Sometimes it’s easy to forget how lucky we all are to be LGBTQ in Atlanta. The sheer volume of options for nightlife, entertainment, sports, arts and social options for just about every LGBTQ subuculture outweighs that of our rural red-state brethren and even some iconic larger cities.
An awesome extension of our cultural wealth is Atlanta’s full plate of restaurant choices. From casual to chic, date night to gurlz night, enjoy our roundup of the most popular queeer and allied eateries on the following pages.
This at the bottom of every spread or page (not this intro page, but all the listing pages):
Pick up Q magazine on the second and fourth issues of each month for more great restaurants in our Good Eats directory.
Forget the pretense. Your t-shirt and jeans are welcome here, whether you’re on a break or you have all day.
Hidden in plain sight on Ponce de Leon Ave. near Monroe Drive in the shadow of Ponce City Market, big portions of American comfort food come cafeteria-style at this popular, offbeat eatery.
Eat this:You can’t go wrong here with an entrée-and-three concept, but we have a hard time passing up the jerk chicken. The meatloaf and chicken chili, as well as a pasta selection, are good choices as well.
600 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
The real McCoy. New York Italian pizza so good you’d slap your mama. Whole pie or by the slice, the prices are great, too. Get a slice with one of their actually good side salads if you just have to watch your figure. Speaking of watching, watch them make it through the old-timey window.
Eat this: Turn the tables and devour a Great White. Cream sauce, grilled chicken, garlic, and spinach.
1810 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
*Papi’s Cuban and Caribbean Grill
Come say Ay, Papi, to this longtime favorite on the Ponce corridor. Within steps of some and minutes of all the big gay bars, this place gives Holes in the Wall a good name. You bring your appetite, and let the flavors of the islands do the rest.
Eat this: You can’t leave without trying Rey’s Cuban or Ropa Vieja Sandwiches. These conglomerations of pressed perfection may be the best of their kind in Atlanta.
216 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE
It is said that you can spin around, throw a rock and hit a Thai restaurant in Atlanta. Whether that’s the case or not, you’ll want to land on this gem in the Lavista Park neighborhood near Emory and Toco Hill. All your favorites in a hospitable, comfortable atmosphere, if your table is for 5 or for 25.
Eat this:Panang Curry Beef is our favorite, and you might also consider a starter with the Chicken Coconut Soup. Not sure what magic they do to make them so special, but you’ll be glad they did.
2169 Briarcliff Road NE
Who doesn’t love Mom’s Kitchen. Well when Mom is the same one responsible for Las Margaritas and the former Taco Cabana, it comes with all your Latin favorites at prices your mom would appreciate you spending too. Perfect for lunch, dinner or post-bar 24-hour deliciousness.
Eat this: We’re eating the Pollo a la Plancha, and we’re eting it every single time. Comes with rice, beans, tortillas and the sweet satisfaction of a full belly.
1958 Piedmont Road
It’s here. It’s queer. Sit back, relax and enjoy the food of your people by your people with your people.
Latin fare with a gay flair. On any given Sunday, brunch is hopping. And on most every day of the week, gay Atlanta’s own Oscar Valdivieso is usually holding court over his popular eatery. Sample the extensive tequila selection and specialty drinks while you scarf up some awesome food.
Eat this: You can’t go wrong from Mexican specialties to Spanish Paella. We love to start with the Taste of Las Mas appetizer, munch on the Ultimate Mix Trio of dips, and go big with Fajitas big enough to share.
1842 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
With a patio presence you don’t want to miss in springtime and a menu that keeps ‘em coming back for more all year, this gay-owned sibling eatery of Campagnolo’s nearby has all the gay you can handle in one sitting.
Eat this: Baby baked potato starters are bangin, burgers are to die, and any of a half-dozen tacos or hot dogs are a sure bet. Our favorite? Barbecue Baby Back Ribs. Fall. Off. The. Bone.
132 10th St.
A one-stop shop for American fare and a gay clientele. A popular patio, a menu of favorites from salad to meat-and-threes and beyond, a friendly staff, and a guaranteed crowd of gay men and their cohorts. What’s not to love?
Eat this: The fried chicken wraps with flavor options and dipping sauce are a favorite. And there’s no gay man who doesn’t love a Sausage Fest. Try that as well.
1824 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
Come for the drag, stay for the food. OK the food and the drag. Dinner and a show finally answers your burning question about how, exactly, is life a cabaret. High-glam decor and high-drag divas like Charlie Brown and Bubba D. Licious make this a must-stop to make a big night of it. Try Sunday Gospel Brunch too.
Eat this: The menu of American fare changes, but it’s always worth the prix fixe or a la carte pricing. Do make reservations.
3011 Buford Hwy NE
If it’s not already, this Mexican eatery is about to become a regular stop on your restaurant rounds. Generous portions, a helpful staff and authentic flavors raise this place over its brethren and instantly into a Midtown mainstay.
Eat this: Just ask for “The Bowl.” Your choice of meat – but pick the pork marinated all day in milk – with cheesy rice, charro beans, onions, pico, corn, guac, sour cream and cilantro. Mix it up and enjoy.
900 Monroe Dr. NE
Meet your friends for a party any given night of the week with orders from the kitchen and the bar.
You’ve noticed this neighborhood spot perched at the corner of Monroe Drive and Piedmont Avenue, and maybe even dropped in for drinks. If you and your crew haven’t done the refined Southern take on tavern fare, you’re missing out.
Eat this: You are a go for tons of options at lunch, dinner and brunch with the guys who own G’s and three Hobnob locations. The BLT Salad, Roasted Tomato & Basil Bisque and Pot Roast are excellent, but we can’t live without the Mac & Cheese, available with your choice of meat.
1551 Piedmont Ave NE
No Mas Cantina
Known for its food and fun as well as hosting events as a member of the gay chamber of commerce, this Mexican food place is a gay mainstay featuring lively décor and a gift shop stocked with handmade goods.
Eat this:The enchiladas are divine, but Southern meat lovers will agree that the Carnitas– seasoned, grilled pork chunks – are as good as it gets.
180 Walker St. SW
You’d be hard pressed to find a more delicious meal at these prices. Cooks are just on the other side of the bar ready to fix your plate of man-that-hits-the-spot. Dip in on Sunday for a smorgasbord brunch buffet that will knock your socks off.
Eat this:Yes, they have bar-food fare, but sink-your-teeth meats with fresh sides are the way to go. You’re welcome.
1492 Piedmont Ave.
Atlanta’s first and only gay sports bar makes its name on jocks and the guys who love them, but its kitchen has always been a big deal with entrees and sides that making watching the big game even better.
Eat this:You won’t go wrong with a varied and delicious burgers and baskets menu. We fore one are always down for the Turkey Reuben-style or Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
2425 Piedmont Road NE
Known as much for their support of queer organizations with beer busts as for their delicious Mexican food, this Midtown Promenade spot is always down for a good time. Tacos, tequilas and tons of gay clients make it a must.
Eat this:Oh, did we already mention the tacos? Because they are amazeballs. Chicken and beef, of course, but we are here for the shrimp and fish versions. Mix and match for a custom plate you’ll love.
931 Monroe Drive NE
Gaze into each other’s eyes over great-looking plates and a curated ambiance.
This European bistro is consistently voted the best place for a gay first date umpteen years running. Conveniently located by Midtown Art Cinema, it’s perfect for a movie night, before-or-“après” your day. Or night.
Eat this: Nothing says you’re sweet on each other like dessert. Rotating selections here are always on point. Visit the display case together and share your selections on one plate. Cozy.
931 Monroe Drive NE
Nothing says lovin’ like Italian food. On a date, sit inside with classics dishes, plus some special menu items that show you this gay-owned sister eatery to Henry’s knows what it’s doing.
Eat this:Start with the antipasti platter then dive face first into one of the decadent pasta dishes. Orecchiette (house fennel sausage) is our favorite.
980 Piedmont Ave NE
The truth is in the name, and the proof is on your plate. Right by the botanical gardens, here’s where you find modern American fare featuring global accents served in mellow digs with exposed brick, or have your date on the patio in warmer weather.
Eat this:All we can think about is the Pasta Carbonara, but you might like something like Butternut squash ravioli, pork tenderloin or a balsamic flank steak.
1425 Piedmont Ave. NE
With vino in the name and Ponce City Market as home base, you know it’s elegant. Beyond a vineyard-worthy cellar on site and live shows by nationally touring musicians and comics, creative dishes on the menu offer a little something for everyone.
Eat this:The Q staff loves to gather around a table full of appetizers like fried mac-n-cheese and balsamic Brussels sprouts, but entrees like a gourmet pizza to share or a perfectly crusted salmon may be more appropriate for your date. Desserts are fab too.
650 North Ave. NE
Your palate will thank you for this fusion of Asian and American food. From fried chicken to Pad Thai, only the freshest ingredients will do, and the presentation of the plate is just as lovingly prepared as the flavors in the food.
Eat this:The house specialty Duck Dynasty takes a seared maple duck breast and tops it with Tiger Shrimp and a potato cake. Seasonal specials are also always on point.
510 Piedmont Ave NE
SO HOT RIGHT NOW
Queer-owned, as well as brand new or just hitting their stride, you’ll want these places on your to-eat list.
*Coq et Oeufs
The last thing you might expect at a gay bar, but the first thing you’ll be so glad to find is this quaint eatery inside and adjacent to Ten Atlanta. Have some when you’re there already, or keep an eye out for its own entrance and a delicious menu of delicacies.
Eat this:A play on French slang for something else, it literally means “chicken and eggs,” and that is definitely what you should try first. It’s amazing.
990 Piedmont Ave. NE
With four locations open — Peachtree, Ponce, Decatur and West Midtown — as well as one in Chamblee imminent and a sixth location pending, this is the hot new place for fresh food fast. Build your wrap with ala carte ingredients from protein on down, then bite into the deliciousness.
Eat this:Ready-to-love combinations include the Chipotle Mango Avocado, Tahini Cucumber Feta and the Sweet Soy Sriracha.
1935 Peachtree Road
782 Ponce De Leon Ave.
530 17th St.
1545 Church St, Decatur
Just say yes to this casual neighborhood outpost for tangy and sweet bbq plus homemade sides at lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, as well as a full bar and a full complement of specialties.
Eat this: All the things. We kid, sorta. Lately the fried chicken and waffles on weekends is our obsession, but the wings and pulled pork are what you come for, and come again.
1190 North Highland Ave. NE
It’s a pizza tavern, but get ready for anything but conventional when you come to Grant Park. Queer chef and Cutthroat Kitchenwinner Leslie Cohen puts her extensive culinary background center stage on amazing, creative pizzas. Great apps and rotating taps too.
Eat this:Do not, under any circumstances, miss the meatball, spinach and mozerella pizza with red onions. Other options include white and steak versions, and specialties like the rich Porchetta Pizza and the spicy Fuego Pizza.
519 Memorial Drive SE
The James Room
The female couple who made a splash with their 18.21 Bitters at Ponce City Market have taken over the Beltline with their new concept eatery that opened this month. Just like their first endeavor, this borrows from the past for a European vintage vibe. It features coffee and lattes, craft cocktails and an innovative global palate.
Eat this:In addition to a charcuterie plate or a flight of caviar to start, all of the rotating small plates will put you in the mind of a European café.
661 Auburn Ave.
QUEER OWNED & OH-SO GOOOOOD
A few more LGBTQ-owned spots we love
1039 Grant Street SE
866 West Peachtree Street NW
Delia’s Chicken & Sausage
881 Marietta St .NW
489 Moreland Ave. SE
Georgia Beer Garden & Joystick Gamebar
420 and 427 Edgewood Ave SE
Guac Y Margy’s
661 Auburn Ave. NE
655 Highland Ave NE
319 W Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur
1180 Peachtree St NE
1300 Clifton Road
3353 Peachtree Road NE
25 Park Place NE
931 Monroe Drive NE
1133 Huff Road NW
*Restaurants marked with an *asterisk are Q advertisers that carry our highest recommendation for LGBTQ support. Pick up Q magazine on the second and fourth issues of each month for more great restaurants in our Good Eats directory.
This feature originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue:
Pick up a new edition of Q each week at LGBTQ and allied venues across Atlanta.