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Atlanta's Top 10 Iconic Greasy Spoons

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Greasy Spoons Week gets started with a roundup of Atlanta's ten most iconic greasy spoons. Have another favorite or want to leave some love for a lesser-known spot? Head to the comments section below.

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The way we look at it, the greasy spoon restaurant has two places in food culture. One, for pre-gaming in a family-friendly sort of way— for when you need a spot to please a variety of ages before doing a variety of activities (catching a game, watching a dance recital, celebrating a low-key birthday, what-have-you). Two, for post-gaming in a decidedly not-family-friendly sort of way— for when you need to lay down a layer between you and your last (or next) drink. Lucky for us, Atlanta's covered on both fronts. So, behold a top-10 list of iconic greasy spoons where you can either get together or try not to fall apart.


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Majestic Diner

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“Food That Pleases” since 1929. This Ponce mainstay is open 24 hours, so stumble on in any time between your visit to Virginia Highlands or to the Clermont, whichever way you roll. Grease comes in traditional diner varieties, from burgers to grits.

Landmark Diner

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Drop by 24 hours in Buckhead or Downtown, or visit the Landmark Jr. on Cheshire Bridge Road (you might recognize it as JJ’s Diner from Parks and Rec). Look for a menu including regular diner fare plus seafood platters and other Greek and Italian specialties.

The Silver Skillet

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Since 1956, this family-run favorite has slung buttermilk biscuits, country, ham, red-eye gravy, and meat-and-three favorites, not to mention some killer pies. Ask one of the lifetime waitresses about all the movies and TV shows this joint has been in.

The Varsity

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It’s not a visit to Atlanta without a stop here, our most iconic drive-in since 1928. That’s probably why even presidents step up to the counter and answer, “What'll ya have?” with an order for hot dogs, burgers, chili, fries, and a Frosted Orange.

OK Cafe

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Folk art, retro-dressed wait staff, and solid comfort food make this a neighborhood standby. The family recipes don’t hurt. It’s hard not to find something on their expansive list of breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner options. Plus a thorough offering of cakes, pies, sundaes, and shakes.

BB's Bagels & Diner

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It’s worth the schlep. Traditional New York bagels, hand-made cream cheeses, breakfast and lunch melts, and macaroni salad. Don’t forget to read the sixteen commandments and pay particular attention to number three (don’t piss off Al).

Buckhead Diner

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The most upscale restaurant on this list, Buckhead Diner is the sexy spoon. For two decades it’s served brunch, lunch, and dinner to the fancy set who just wants to have fun. Blue-cheese potato chip and (JBF-winning) white chocolate banana cream pie kind of fun.

Waffle House

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For 58 years southerners have been able to count on Waffle House for being open 24-7, keeping the temp low, staffing some pretty fun folks, and serving up breakfast sandwiches, waffles, patty melts, and hash-browns any way you want ‘em (which is a whole lot of ways).

Thumbs Up Diner

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Breakfast worth waiting for. Whole wheat biscuits, plentiful egg scrambles, and chicken and waffles. Did we mention chicken and waffles? Get them.

White House Restaurant

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Established in 1948, this unassuming strip mall favorite serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner around the clock. The menu’s got southern staples (country ham, biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings) and Greek classics (moussaka, roasted chicken, gyro platter).

Majestic Diner

“Food That Pleases” since 1929. This Ponce mainstay is open 24 hours, so stumble on in any time between your visit to Virginia Highlands or to the Clermont, whichever way you roll. Grease comes in traditional diner varieties, from burgers to grits.

Landmark Diner

Drop by 24 hours in Buckhead or Downtown, or visit the Landmark Jr. on Cheshire Bridge Road (you might recognize it as JJ’s Diner from Parks and Rec). Look for a menu including regular diner fare plus seafood platters and other Greek and Italian specialties.

The Silver Skillet

Since 1956, this family-run favorite has slung buttermilk biscuits, country, ham, red-eye gravy, and meat-and-three favorites, not to mention some killer pies. Ask one of the lifetime waitresses about all the movies and TV shows this joint has been in.

The Varsity

It’s not a visit to Atlanta without a stop here, our most iconic drive-in since 1928. That’s probably why even presidents step up to the counter and answer, “What'll ya have?” with an order for hot dogs, burgers, chili, fries, and a Frosted Orange.

OK Cafe

Folk art, retro-dressed wait staff, and solid comfort food make this a neighborhood standby. The family recipes don’t hurt. It’s hard not to find something on their expansive list of breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner options. Plus a thorough offering of cakes, pies, sundaes, and shakes.

BB's Bagels & Diner

It’s worth the schlep. Traditional New York bagels, hand-made cream cheeses, breakfast and lunch melts, and macaroni salad. Don’t forget to read the sixteen commandments and pay particular attention to number three (don’t piss off Al).

Buckhead Diner

The most upscale restaurant on this list, Buckhead Diner is the sexy spoon. For two decades it’s served brunch, lunch, and dinner to the fancy set who just wants to have fun. Blue-cheese potato chip and (JBF-winning) white chocolate banana cream pie kind of fun.

Waffle House

For 58 years southerners have been able to count on Waffle House for being open 24-7, keeping the temp low, staffing some pretty fun folks, and serving up breakfast sandwiches, waffles, patty melts, and hash-browns any way you want ‘em (which is a whole lot of ways).

Thumbs Up Diner

Breakfast worth waiting for. Whole wheat biscuits, plentiful egg scrambles, and chicken and waffles. Did we mention chicken and waffles? Get them.

White House Restaurant

Established in 1948, this unassuming strip mall favorite serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner around the clock. The menu’s got southern staples (country ham, biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings) and Greek classics (moussaka, roasted chicken, gyro platter).

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