Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. And, if there is one thing I love about traveling to new cities, it’s eating at local breakfast restaurants. No matter the city, I am sure to find something unique and delicious. This is no different in Atlanta, a city which has some of the best southern food in the country.
One of the most popular places in Atlanta to have breakfast or lunch is at Atlanta Breakfast Club. Since opening in 2016, the restaurant has become popular for its southern breakfast specialties. This includes chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits, shrimp po boy, and buttermilk biscuits.
Many consider Atlanta Breakfast Club to serve the best breakfast in Atlanta. So, on my recent visit to Atlanta, I stopped by the modern southern kitchen to try it out for myself.
Arrival at Atlanta Breakfast Club
The location of Atlanta Breakfast Club could not have been better. It’s location was near Centennial Olympic Park across from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. If you have the time, I recommend a visit to both. When I arrived at the restaurant, there was a large group of people waiting out front. These people were all waiting for a table. At this point, I regretted my decision of not adding myself to the Atlanta Breakfast Club waitlist on Yelp. Since it was a Thursday afternoon, I didn’t bother doing this. Luckily, it was only a 20 minute wait for a table. Learn from my mistake and add yourself to the waitlist as it can be upwards of 3 hours for a table on weekends.
In the small lot in front of the restaurant was 9th Ave Street Food, a local food truck serving mimosas to waiting guests. I found this to be a great idea and helped passed the time. You can never go wrong with a cold drink on a hot day. Many guests were enjoying their drinks and dancing to the music played by the food truck. But, the music was so loud that I waited across the street for my table to be ready. No joke, it was so loud you could hear the music from a half a mile away.
Interior of Atlanta Breakfast Club
For a Thursday afternoon, I couldn’t believe how busy the place was. Every single seat and table inside the open dining room was taken. And while not as loud as outside, it was still loud. The music, voices, and sounds from the kitchen made it difficult to communicate with the servers and even the person sitting across from me. I would not bring someone on a date here as it would be difficult to have a conversation without yelling. The noise level in the dining room was more geared towards larger groups and those who don’t mind a boisterous atmosphere.
I found the décor to be simple with white and gray walls, concrete floors, a metal ceiling, wooden accents, and exposed air conditioning pipes. The retro chairs and tables reminded me of those found at an old school diner. Hanging on the walls in the corners of the dining room were a few televisions. Some were playing the Food Network, which Atlanta Breakfast Club was featured on. The space gave off a modern, industrial vibe which you don’t really find at most southern restaurants. One thing I did not like was how condensation from the air conditioning pipes above kept dripping on the table next to me.
On my visit, I sat near the open kitchen. I enjoyed peaking into the kitchen to watch the chefs at work as they prepared and cooked dishes. The kitchen appeared to run like a well oiled machine with dish after dish coming out. There was also a simple but unique mural of the skyline of Atlanta and the logo of Atlanta Breakfast Club on the wall next to the kitchen. The mural also featured a red chicken, an homage to the chicken dishes found on the menu.
Atlanta Breakfast Club Menu
On the breakfast menu at Atlanta Breakfast Club were typical southern dishes. This included Crispy Fried Chicken & Waffles ($15.95) and Gulf Shrimp & Grits ($17.95). You also had an assortment of biscuit dishes such as the Crispy Chicken Biscuit ($14.95) and Southern Benedict ($14.95). Finally, you had a good selection of omelettes and breakfast sandwiches.
Atlanta Breakfast Club also offered a limited lunch menu. This included Seafood Gumbo ($14.95), Fried Chicken Sandwich ($13.95), Shrimp Po Boy ($15.95), and A.B.C Burger ($14.95). You could also order an assortment of items from their a la carte menu. They also had a kids menu for children 7 and younger.
The biggest issue I had with Atlanta Breakfast Club was with their drinks. Everything came served in single use plastic bottles ranging from $3 to $5.25. I didn’t ask the reason why, but it seemed like a waste of plastic and a way to upcharge guests. I saw plenty of tables with multiple bottled drinks. And, to make matters worse, they did not serve tap water. So if you want water with your meal, that will cost you $4 per bottle. I found this to be ridiculous, especially when spending a lot of money at a sit down restaurant. With that said, I will remain neutral on my review of the food without thinking about their drink policy.
I told myself I would not order a drink, but I failed. Being a southern restaurant, I couldn’t resist ordering their Iced Tea ($3.50). Even though it came in a plastic bottle with no ice, it was homemade. I found the iced tea to be very sweet. It was a little too sweet for my liking. But, I am an unsweet tea type of guy, so I won’t judge their tea for being too sweet. If you enjoy sweet drinks and treats, you will like it. Otherwise, I would avoid it or pour some of that $4 water in the bottle to dilute it.
Biscuits & Shrimp Gravy
I love biscuits. I love shrimp. And, you guessed it, I love gravy. So, ordering the Biscuits & Shrimp Gravy ($17.95) was an easy decision. This unique dish came with two buttermilk biscuits, gulf shrimp, chicken sausage, and a smoked jalapeño gravy. On the side, I had my choice of two eggs served any style. I chose over medium.
When the plate arrived at my table, there were a few things that caught my attention. First, the plating was a little sloppy. I cleaned up the plate for the photo, but there was sauce all over the sides of the plate. It didn’t look appetizing. Second, the gravy was thinner than I was expecting. But, in the end, all that mattered to me was how it tasted.
The first component of the dish I tried, and the one I was most curious about, was the smoked jalapeño gravy. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I found the gravy, more like a thin sauce, to be buttery and rich with a salty shrimp flavor. The gravy tasted great and I wanted more of it. But, I didn’t get any heat from the jalapeños or taste any smoky flavors. If the sauce was thicker, I think the flavors would be more pronounced. The only issue I had with the gravy was how it was served lukewarm at best. The gravy was too cold and needed to be served warmer as it made the other components in the dish cold.
Scattered around the plate was a generous amount of gulf shrimp. The shrimp, cooked until springy and tender, had a unique salty, savory, southern flavor which I enjoyed. Mixed in with the shrimp were small salty pieces of chicken sausages. I enjoyed the complementing textures and flavors between the shrimp and sausage.
In the middle of the plate were two large buttermilk biscuits. While covered in sauce and topped with shrimp and sausage, the biscuits never became soggy. While I prefer a flakier biscuit, I found the biscuits to be dense and heavy but still moist and buttery at the same time. The biscuits tasted even better after they soaked up all the flavors of the salty, rich gravy.
The most forgettable part of this dish were the over medium eggs. They were basic and fresh but overcooked with no runny yolk. For something so simple to cook, it was a shame they were overcooked.
The best part about my visit to Atlanta Breakfast Club was the service. My server was friendly, attentive, and always around to see if I needed anything, even when it was loud and she could barely hear me. And, for how busy the restaurant was on my visit, food arrived faster than expected. While the food was not memorable to me, the service was.
I’d rather not judge Atlanta Breakfast Club based on one visit, but I have to be honest about my experience. There were many things I did not like about my visit. First, it was too loud. I am ok with music but when you can’t talk to the server or person across from you without screaming, then it’s too loud. Second, using bottled water and other single use plastic containers was absurd. Not only was it annoying to pay $4 for water, but the amount of plastic waste was unacceptable. For this reason alone, I would not return.
As for the Biscuits & Shrimp Gravy, my hopes were set too high. While there was nothing wrong with the dish other than cold gravy, in hindsight, I would have ordered something else on the menu. It was not memorable or worth the wait or cost for me.
But, the service at Atlanta Breakfast Club was great and I appreciated the care and attention by my server. So would I recommend Atlanta Breakfast Club? I would say it depends. If you don’t mind the loud music, long waits, and paying for bottled water, then yes. Otherwise, there are better places in Atlanta for breakfast. And, they will give you tap water for free.
- Friendly service
- Simple but nice décor
- No tap water served
- All drinks severed in single use plastic bottles
- Loud dining room
- Gravy served cold
- Overcooked eggs
- Wait for tables can be long
249 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
GPS Coordinates: 33.764889629798965,-84.39546559263906