clock menu more-arrow no yes

Twelve Restaurant Chains That Got Their Start in Atlanta

View as Map

Like it or not, chain restaurants reign supreme on the American dining scene, and Atlanta is no exception. Whether fast food or full-service, breakfast, lunch, or late night, Atlanta's contributions in the chain restaurant realm include regional, national, and even global brands. Here are twelve homegrown Atlanta chains (and a few extras with Atlanta connections) that give new meaning to the idea of eating locally.
John Mishler


· All Eater Maps [-EATL-] Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Chick-fil-A

Copy Link
461 N Central Ave
Hapeville, GA 30354
(404) 762-1746
Visit Website
The classic Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich with waffle fries is nothing short of its own food group in Atlanta, not to mention the hand-spun milkshakes and the array of sauces perfect for pairing with Chick-fil-A nuggets. The original Chick-fil-A Dwarf House in Hapeville features menu items not seen elsewhere, like the Hot Brown: a hash of chicken, chicken gravy, cheese, and bacon served with two slices of bread. [Photo]

2. Moe's Southwest Grill

Copy Link
2915 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 442-8932
Visit Website
A large sign along Peachtree Road in Buckhead identifies a small yellow building as the home of “The Very First Moe’s on Earth.” Chips and salsa come complimentary, and Mondays make Moe’s especially popular when a burrito meal at many locations is priced between 5 and 6 dollars. [Photo]

3. Waffle House

Copy Link
2850 East College Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 294-8758
Visit Website
An indisputable Atlanta icon since 1955, Waffle House traces its roots to a modest storefront in Avondale Estates that is now the Waffle House Museum. Road trip fuel or recovery aid, every Waffle House but the outpost in Turner Field is open 24 hours a day to satisfy that craving for hashbrowns, cheese n’ eggs, or waffles. [Photo]

4. Taco Mac Sports Grill

Copy Link
1006 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 873-6529
Visit Website
Buffalo wings— not tacos— are what put Taco Mac on the map. The original location at the corner of Virginia and North Highland was previously a taco stand, and the chain's founders simply never changed the name, but instead grew into it, now offering not just wings, but guacamole, nachos, plenty of beer, and even tacos. [Photo]

5. Great American Cookies

Copy Link
4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE
Dunwoody, GA 30346
(770) 396-4666
Visit Website
A staple of mall food courts across the country, Great American Cookies’s first shop opened in Atlanta’s own Perimeter Mall, offering a chocolate chip cookie based on an old family recipe. Cookies, cookie cakes, and brownies are baked fresh daily in almost 300 stores. [Photo]

6. Mellow Mushroom

Copy Link
400 W Peachtree St NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 577-1001
Visit Website
An old liquor store in Downtown Atlanta became the first Mellow Mushroom, a joint venture between three college students, in 1974. A wide selection of craft and local beers complements specialty pizzas like the Magical Mystery Tour, featuring mushrooms and jalapenos, and the Mellowterranean, with feta cheese, black olives, and tzatziki sauce. [Photo]

7. Huddle House

Copy Link
430 S Marietta Pkwy SE
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-3784
Visit Website
Founded in Decatur in 1964, Huddle Houses now dot the landscape of small towns all across the state of Georgia and beyond, as far north as Fargo, North Dakota. The specialty at Huddle House is breakfast— served all day— but Chop House burgers and BIG House sandwich combos offer hearty options for lunch and dinner. [Photo]

8. Ted's Montana Grill

Copy Link
1874 Peachtree Rd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 355-3897
Visit Website
Founded by and named for Atlanta media mogul Ted Turner, a bison is not only the full-service chain’s logo, but also the backbone of its menu. Bison nachos, bison meatloaf, bison steaks, bison chili, and, of course, bison burgers showcase the restaurant’s signature item. [Photo]

9. Applebee's

Copy Link
4705 Memorial Dr.
Decatur, GA 30032
(404) 294-4610
Visit Website
Opened in 1980 as T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs, an Applebee’s still stands— albeit in a new building— on the site of the original Memorial Drive location in Decatur. There are now over 2,000 Applebee’s restaurants worldwide, each billing itself as a “neighborhood bar & grill” and serving up specials like the 2 for $20 appetizer and entrée deal. [Photo]

10. The Flying Biscuit Cafe

Copy Link
1655 McLendon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 687-8888
Visit Website
Not surprisingly, biscuits take center stage here, with each location churning out an average of 5,000 every week. Breakfast is on the menu all day, including at the Candler Park original, which has expanded three times since its 1993 debut. [Photo]

11. Taqueria del Sol

Copy Link
1200 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 352-5811
Visit Website
Combining fast food service and gourmet ingredients, Taqueria del Sol draws from both Southern cooking and traditional Mexican fare in crafting its offerings. Fried chicken and brisket tacos, shrimp corn chowder, and jalapeno coleslaw are consistent favorites. [Photo]

12. Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint

Copy Link
3027 N Druid Hills Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 929-6700
Visit Website
The newest addition to this list of Atlanta chains, Uncle Maddio’s is also one of the fastest growing, with plans in development to open over 130 additional stores. The create-your-own pizza shop that calls itself the “Chipotle of pizza” got its start in a Toco Hills strip mall in 2009. [Photo]

13. Extra: Zaxby's

Copy Link
425 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 249-9883
Visit Website
Founded in Statesboro in 1991 and now based just outside of Athens, Texas Toast, Chicken Fingerz, Birthday Cake Milkshakes, and the “indescribably good” Zax Sauce stand out on the menu at this Georgia original. [Photo]

14. Extra: Krystal

Copy Link
1055 Holcomb Bridge Rd
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 992-4951
Visit Website
Krystal isn’t a true Atlanta product, but made headlines when it announced in late 2012 it would move its headquarters from Chattanooga to Dunwoody. The classic, slider-style Krystal burger dominates the fast food chain’s menu, but chicken and breakfast sausages also top the bite-size buns. [Photo]

15. Extra: Teavana

Copy Link
3500 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 261-3004
Visit Website
Though coffee giant Starbucks now owns Teavana, acquired in 2012 for a whopping $620 million, the first name in American tea culture traces its roots to Phipps Plaza, where its first store selling teas and related accessories opened in 1997. Starbucks has plans to open at least 1,000 Teavana tea bars across the globe, with CEO Howard Schultz saying, “We’ll do for tea what we’ve done for coffee.” [Photo]

Loading comments...

1. Chick-fil-A

461 N Central Ave, Hapeville, GA 30354
The classic Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich with waffle fries is nothing short of its own food group in Atlanta, not to mention the hand-spun milkshakes and the array of sauces perfect for pairing with Chick-fil-A nuggets. The original Chick-fil-A Dwarf House in Hapeville features menu items not seen elsewhere, like the Hot Brown: a hash of chicken, chicken gravy, cheese, and bacon served with two slices of bread. [Photo]
461 N Central Ave
Hapeville, GA 30354

2. Moe's Southwest Grill

2915 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
A large sign along Peachtree Road in Buckhead identifies a small yellow building as the home of “The Very First Moe’s on Earth.” Chips and salsa come complimentary, and Mondays make Moe’s especially popular when a burrito meal at many locations is priced between 5 and 6 dollars. [Photo]
2915 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

3. Waffle House

2850 East College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030
An indisputable Atlanta icon since 1955, Waffle House traces its roots to a modest storefront in Avondale Estates that is now the Waffle House Museum. Road trip fuel or recovery aid, every Waffle House but the outpost in Turner Field is open 24 hours a day to satisfy that craving for hashbrowns, cheese n’ eggs, or waffles. [Photo]
2850 East College Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030

4. Taco Mac Sports Grill

1006 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Buffalo wings— not tacos— are what put Taco Mac on the map. The original location at the corner of Virginia and North Highland was previously a taco stand, and the chain's founders simply never changed the name, but instead grew into it, now offering not just wings, but guacamole, nachos, plenty of beer, and even tacos. [Photo]
1006 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

5. Great American Cookies

4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE, Dunwoody, GA 30346
A staple of mall food courts across the country, Great American Cookies’s first shop opened in Atlanta’s own Perimeter Mall, offering a chocolate chip cookie based on an old family recipe. Cookies, cookie cakes, and brownies are baked fresh daily in almost 300 stores. [Photo]
4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE
Dunwoody, GA 30346

6. Mellow Mushroom

400 W Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30308
An old liquor store in Downtown Atlanta became the first Mellow Mushroom, a joint venture between three college students, in 1974. A wide selection of craft and local beers complements specialty pizzas like the Magical Mystery Tour, featuring mushrooms and jalapenos, and the Mellowterranean, with feta cheese, black olives, and tzatziki sauce. [Photo]
400 W Peachtree St NW
Atlanta, GA 30308

7. Huddle House

430 S Marietta Pkwy SE, Marietta, GA 30060
Founded in Decatur in 1964, Huddle Houses now dot the landscape of small towns all across the state of Georgia and beyond, as far north as Fargo, North Dakota. The specialty at Huddle House is breakfast— served all day— but Chop House burgers and BIG House sandwich combos offer hearty options for lunch and dinner. [Photo]
430 S Marietta Pkwy SE
Marietta, GA 30060

8. Ted's Montana Grill

1874 Peachtree Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309
Founded by and named for Atlanta media mogul Ted Turner, a bison is not only the full-service chain’s logo, but also the backbone of its menu. Bison nachos, bison meatloaf, bison steaks, bison chili, and, of course, bison burgers showcase the restaurant’s signature item. [Photo]
1874 Peachtree Rd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

9. Applebee's

4705 Memorial Dr., Decatur, GA 30032
Opened in 1980 as T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs, an Applebee’s still stands— albeit in a new building— on the site of the original Memorial Drive location in Decatur. There are now over 2,000 Applebee’s restaurants worldwide, each billing itself as a “neighborhood bar & grill” and serving up specials like the 2 for $20 appetizer and entrée deal. [Photo]
4705 Memorial Dr.
Decatur, GA 30032

10. The Flying Biscuit Cafe

1655 McLendon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Not surprisingly, biscuits take center stage here, with each location churning out an average of 5,000 every week. Breakfast is on the menu all day, including at the Candler Park original, which has expanded three times since its 1993 debut. [Photo]
1655 McLendon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

11. Taqueria del Sol

1200 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Combining fast food service and gourmet ingredients, Taqueria del Sol draws from both Southern cooking and traditional Mexican fare in crafting its offerings. Fried chicken and brisket tacos, shrimp corn chowder, and jalapeno coleslaw are consistent favorites. [Photo]
1200 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

12. Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint

3027 N Druid Hills Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30329
The newest addition to this list of Atlanta chains, Uncle Maddio’s is also one of the fastest growing, with plans in development to open over 130 additional stores. The create-your-own pizza shop that calls itself the “Chipotle of pizza” got its start in a Toco Hills strip mall in 2009. [Photo]
3027 N Druid Hills Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

13. Extra: Zaxby's

425 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Founded in Statesboro in 1991 and now based just outside of Athens, Texas Toast, Chicken Fingerz, Birthday Cake Milkshakes, and the “indescribably good” Zax Sauce stand out on the menu at this Georgia original. [Photo]
425 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

14. Extra: Krystal

1055 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, GA 30076
Krystal isn’t a true Atlanta product, but made headlines when it announced in late 2012 it would move its headquarters from Chattanooga to Dunwoody. The classic, slider-style Krystal burger dominates the fast food chain’s menu, but chicken and breakfast sausages also top the bite-size buns. [Photo]
1055 Holcomb Bridge Rd
Roswell, GA 30076

15. Extra: Teavana

3500 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326
Though coffee giant Starbucks now owns Teavana, acquired in 2012 for a whopping $620 million, the first name in American tea culture traces its roots to Phipps Plaza, where its first store selling teas and related accessories opened in 1997. Starbucks has plans to open at least 1,000 Teavana tea bars across the globe, with CEO Howard Schultz saying, “We’ll do for tea what we’ve done for coffee.” [Photo]
3500 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

Related Maps