Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day. Since I can remember, I love mornings, especially breakfast. Breakfast time is this quiet and peaceful moment of the day before life’s external stressors begin to unfold — i.e. work, school, emails, etc.
I get it; not everyone is a morning person! Why would you choose to wake up earlier than you have to just to eat breakfast before work?
I’d argue that mornings are often overlooked as a time to prioritize, but they can be a valuable time to connect with family and friends. Studies have shown that sharing a meal with others can positively impact your physical and psychological health. People who enjoy meals together have lower rates of depression, feel more socially connected, and have lower average body weight.
Society glamorizes happy hours and dinner dates to socialize with others. However, eating out for dinner on a weekly basis can be expensive and physically draining when coupled with a cocktail or two.
I encourage you to switch it up from your usual dinner date to an occasional breakfast date. I’ve listed my top five breakfast spots in Atlanta, and I can guarantee these restaurants will help you get your day started off on the right foot!
#1 - Highland Bakery
Highland Bakery is an Atlanta breakfast staple with six locations throughout the city. Doors open at 7am for those early birds. My favorite location is Old Fourth Ward on Highland Avenue because of its neighborhood charm. The vibe is relaxed— you can wear a suit or yoga pants and feel comfortable.
On the weekends, there is always a long wait, but you can curb your hunger by snacking on a pastry from the bakery and a cup of coffee. Highland Bakery is great for work meetings because the menu has something for everyone, and the prices are reasonable.
My go-to items are the bagel and lox, homemade biscuits, or the shrimp and grits.
#2 - Ria’s Bluebird
I’ve been a fan of Ria’s for five years now because I always thought it was a “hipster” spot to grab breakfast. The interior of the restaurant is small and divey. Ria’s is loved by locals, and always buzzing with an interesting morning crowd. I loved the vegetarian breakfast options, like the tofu scramble and the fruit and nut bowl. I haven’t been back since I moved from Atlanta two years ago, but it still remains on my top list for breakfast. They open at 8am and close at 3pm every day.
#3 - Bread and Butterfly
Clearly, my list for breakfast would not be complete without a French restaurant. Bread and Butterfly is a whimsical and vibrant French cafe that serves some of the most gorgeous bakery offerings I have ever seen. They also have a long list of fresh coffees to choose from, including: espresso, macchiato, cortado, cappuccino, latte, mocha, chai latte, cafe au lait. If you want to opt for a warm breakfast, I suggest the omelet du jour, quiche. The doors open at 8am until 10pm, and they open at 8:30am on the weekends.
Bread and Butterfly would be a great date spot because the atmosphere is romantic and feels authentically French.
#4 - Folk Art
Out of all of the restaurants on this list, this one feels the most like home. I used to walk to Folk Art on a weekly basis to get my fix of sweet potato pancakes, waffles, French toast, or beignets. Don’t let my sweet tooth fool you, Folk Art has delicious savory options as well, like the steak and eggs or the folk southern fried.
The restaurant is rustic and Southern with quirky pieces of art. I can never turn down an invite to Folk Art, but I do try to avoid the weekend brunch crowd. Doors open Monday-Friday at 7:30am (9am on the weekends), and close at 9pm every day.
#5 - Pancake Social
Transport yourself back in time to Ponce City Market’s 60s-themed diner. The interior design is gorgeous with bright white accents and high ceilings, making the restaurant feel clean and airy. I was holding off on going to Pancake Social for a while because I feared it was more of an Instagram destination with overpriced breakfast, opposed to a blog-worthy recommendation.
The menu offers unique items like chicken and waffles, chocolate chocolate pancakes, lemon and ricotta pancakes, and a classic grilled cheese and tomato soup. They also have fresh, healthy juice options or boozy breakfast drinks for the brunch crowd. Every morning, they open at 7am, but close at 3pm Monday through Friday, and close at 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.