9 Great Comfort Foods To Eat On Miserable Days

On those cold, miserable days, these winter comfort foods always get us out.
9 Great Comfort Foods To Eat On Miserable Days image

photo credit: Mhandy Gerard

Maybe we’re all still triggered from Snowmageddon. Maybe it's because there's never enough snow to make that life-size version of Jeezy the Snowman that we've always wanted to build. We just know winter isn’t winning any Atlantans over.

In these cold, miserable days, there aren't many reasons to venture out, but food—especially winter comfort food that warms you up—is always a good motive. Here are a few great grilled cheeses, a vegan chili, and other favorite dishes worth braving the cold for.



Downtown Atlanta

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Build-Your-Own Breakfast Sandwich

The original Highland Bakery location in Old Fourth Ward closed, and we're still unbelievably hurt by it. But their GSU and VA-HI locations are open, so our Highland Bakery love can live on. At Highland, simple things like a classic bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich get a BBL makeover since the bakery is known for their daily housemade breads. So listen to your impulse to go thiccer. “A croissant, maybe?” No, thiccer. “Yes, a heavyweight slab of their famous jalapeño focaccia.” Then, of course, play around with the cheese options and pile it higher with more meats if you’d like. Because of all the delicious, dreamy bread choices, any sandwich—from the classic grilled cheese on rosemary garlic bread to a reuben on rye—tastes like a bite of happiness.



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Clam Chowder

Beetlecat is an Inman Park seafood staple. And while their oysters and ceviche are tasty, they don't bring the type of comfort we crave on the days gloves are a necessity. One bite of their creamy chowder always warms our heart (and extremities). The chowder has hunks of bacon and a sprinkle of dill but the real draw are the clams. Beetlecat includes the whole clam (with its shell and all), so there's no mystery to when your next bite of the tasty mollusk will be. And make sure to order some fry bread too, so you can scrape up every last drop of thick chowder. Yes, it's that good.

photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker

Tuna Melt

Anyone who slanders a tuna melt is missing love in their life. Allow Fishmonger, with locations in Pullman Yards, Virginia Highland, and West Midtown, to show you love. And thankfully, it’s not the sloppy, mayo-drenched, barely held-together variety served at derelict roadside diners. Fishmonger’s version comes correct with fresh tuna, thick slices of crispy seeded bread, and sprouts mixed with fresh mint leaves for an added zing. While it doesn’t give the melty cheese pull we usually crave, it’s a fantastic, lighter compromise. Order at the counter, find a seat in the small space, then watch the two-member kitchen team behind the seafood display as they slice, chop, and assemble your melt.

Tomato Bisque

Since By George is housed in an old historic Downtown Atlanta building (circa 1906) with French brasserie vibes, even the basics here feel like a departure from the average burger and club sandwich lunch. So if you pair either one of those with a bowl of creamy, perfectly tangy tomato bisque, then you might as well settle in and call out for the rest of the day. Just grab a seat looking out toward views of the downtown scenes. Unless your feed blows up with news about an Outkast reunion album, your day won’t get any better than this.

Vegan Chili

It might seem like all the plant-based people and curious carnivores at the metro Atlanta Slutty Vegan location are always in a jolly mood. Hip-hop tunes blasting through the sound system and cashiers on amplified microphones who greet guests with endearments like, “hey, sluts” just do something to brighten our mood, too. And with the meatiest of meatless chilis on the menu, there’s even more to like about the vegan burger chain. Filled with crumbles of Impossible Pork (which is a rare find for Impossible product lovers) and a mix of spices, it both warms and fills you up like a good chili should. 

Grilled Cheese

If you head to Colony Square’s Saint + Council for lunch, you’ll probably notice the tables are filled with corporate types and couples on daytime dates. You might also notice that every table has an order of grilled cheese, which towers higher than the typical smashed after-school special. You should order one too, but so you know—the soft doughy bread stuffed with a flattened, fried mozzarella patty, smoked gouda, and tomato jam isn’t the grilled cheese you’d normally dunk into tomato soup. Yet, Saints + Council serves it with a big bowl of bisque. We say skip the soup since the tomato jam already provides enough tangy, sweetness to balance out the smokey, salty cheesy goodness. The menu also has boozy hot chocolate when you really want to warm up.

Any Soup

Since ’99, Souper Jenny has been ladling out big hearty servings of soup for lunchtime crowds. While the menu items—and the number of Souper Jenny locations—have grown over the years, crowd favorites like Dad’s Turkey Chili remain. But whenever you see the Shrimp and Crab Chowder hit their the daily menu (which is updated online), cancel all your mid-day conference calls and make your way to the nearest location before they run out. The tomato-based chowder has a little touch of cream and is packed with jumbo shrimp, generous crab, and chunks of potato. While it's more like sipping a Southern seafood boil than a New England seafood chowder, it delights in a way that’ll send you back to the soup counter for a to-go pint. Grab a take-home cauliflower and cheese soup too, a more filling take on a traditional broccoli and cheese.


Virginia Highlands' La Tavola works on many levels during an Atlanta cold spell. For starters, things are so snug inside the trattoria that you can almost feel the heat coming off the plates on other tables. And then there’s the warming spaghetti. While the menu favorite doesn’t look any differently from something you might whip up between streams, the golf ball-sized veal meatballs work so well in the basil-rich marinara sauce that you may never try at home again.

Grilled Cheese

Giving off Waffle House-for-yacht-owners vibes, Roshambo sits between a bottle shop and a variety store in the Peachtree Battle shopping center. And the upscale diner might just be the only place you can turn to when you wake up with a taste for oysters Rockefeller with your french toast. And while there are plenty of fancy items (hello, meaty ribeyes and tender pan-seared snapper), we found love in a simple place—a classic grilled cheese with a crispy buttered crust that makes for easy dipping in tomato soup.

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