11 LGBTQ+-Owned Atlanta Restaurants You Should Know

These queer-owned Atlanta restaurants and cafes are serving some of the best bites coming out of Atlanta.
11 LGBTQ+-Owned Atlanta Restaurants You Should Know image

photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker

We’re here, we’re queer, we’re hungry: this is LGBTQ+ Atlanta’s formally informal slogan, and we’re sticking by it. Atlanta is a mecca for both the queer community and people who like their food flavored (all the shade), so it makes sense that the city becomes fertile ground for LGBTQ+ restaurateurs. We rounded up some of our favorite queer-owned Atlanta restaurants and cafes, so you can graze your way through the city like the hungry little snack you are.


photo credit: Amy Sinclair




$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerBrunch
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If a pizza and Chinese cuisine combo makes you think twice, then think thrice and head straight to Cabbagetown to sample the many sides of JenChan’s. This cozy, casual spot on adorable Carroll Street is perfect for spontaneous weeknight gatherings since there’s a menu item to please everyone. And the creative chef team is always pairing new culinary concepts—we’re forever dreaming about the sesame street fries, which come dolloped with gochujang ketchup, crispy chilis, and finished with a glistening, over easy egg. And don’t even get us started on JenChan’s Yum Cha Dim Sum brunch menu. Grab a patio table outside and dig into a lusciously glazed miso five-spice doughnut.

Nothing says Atlanta like standing in line for brunch, but Ria’s Bluebird is always always worth the wait. Though its legendary founding chef Ria Pell passed in 2013, her friends have kept her namesake diner and delicious recipes alive. The simple menu is an elegy to breakfast, starting with the city’s best buttermilk pancakes. We also love the shrimp and grits, where shrimp soak in a peppery broth and are buoyed by the creamiest white cheddar grits. Even when the Grant Park cafe is bursting at the seams with people, the easygoing vibes somehow remain.

This is, we’re pretty sure, the best place to watch the Atlanta pride parade (just good luck getting a table). But generally, the vibe here is pretty relaxed. Located in the heart of Midtown’s gayborhood, Henry’s is perfect for lunch al fresco, dinner before a big night out, and of course, brunch. Beautiful plating and fresh ingredients take this classic American menu up a notch. Start with a round of Henry’s classic parmesan fries, which are addictively spiced and well-matched with a light garlic aioli. For a main course, brunch or dinner, we’re quite partial to the kale salad with seared salmon, which is served with zesty pickled red onion and housemade green goddess dressing—it’s perfect for parade day, or any day, really.

$$$$Perfect For:Date Night


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Campagnolo means peasant, but you’ll be eating like Little Lord Fauntleroy at this classic Midtown venue. The housemade pastas here are definitely ones to write home about—try the squid ink risotto and be forever changed—as are the craft cocktails. And they spotlight local since the antipasto platter features meats cured by Spotted Trotter and an array of area-made cheeses. Order wine by the bottle, especially since their impressive selection is affordable even without half-priced bottles on Wednesdays. And if date night’s going well, feel free to keep things going since the restaurant transforms into a piano bar on weekend nights. A little Pavarotti never hurt nobody.

For a light breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up, you can’t go wrong with Finca to Filter café. With two locations on the Westside, this lesbian-owned coffee shop has some of the city’s best beans, sourced from small growers around the world. Stick to classics or try one of Finca’s rotating seasonal drinks—we love the Vicki POW, a delicately flavored gingersnap cookie latte named for legendary queer Atlanta DJ Vicki Powell. Their pastries are equally on point with savory and sweet treats for whatever suits the mood (try one of the handmade empanadas from Atlanta bakery Casa Cardoza). And with their West End location just steps from the BeltLine, you can make this the designated meetup for those “weekend walks” you’ve been all talk about for months.

This Decatur bistro, with a classy but mellow vibe, is perfect for a weeknight date. Café Lily’s cuisine travels along the Mediterranean coast, picking up dishes like the Gamberi alla Rossa, which features chargrilled Georgia white shrimp bursting with flavor and sitting over a creamy tomato fettuccine. And with a special weekly menu, there’s always something new to try. But many of our standing favorites happen to be on the cocktail menu, which is heavily influenced with Indian flavors thanks to their bar manager and co-owner. Try the Cardamom Old Fashioned—made with cardamom bitters, jaggery syrup, and dehydrated orange—and prepare to get your socks knocked off.

Serving up the rich soul food of the Gullah Geechee communities of the coastal South, Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen’s in West Midtown shows off one of our favorite menus and inviting spaces. We’re big fans of the Slammin Sammen, which features blackened salmon smothered in a creamy crab sauce, with a side of jasmine rice, Geechee-style fried corn, and fried oysters and shrimp. And with pulsating music that seems to energize every single seat from the bar to the patio, you’ll still ask to keep the tab open even if you’re full. Brunch, while delicious, can get packed, but you can head to the College Park location, which is a smidge less crowded, or grab a thirst-quenching geecheerita while you wait.

Oreatha’s chef and owner has been all over Atlanta spicing things up (Twisted Soul and La Panarda). While it’s hard picking favorites, we lean more toward this Southern fusion bistro in Cascade because it takes notes from cuisines around the world. We’re big fans of the crawfish poutine, which smothers crisply salted fries in a sumptuous seafood gravy. We also love the fried catfish tod mun pla, which reconsiders the Thai classic with a bed of coconut-flavored cauliflower grits and curried coleslaw. Oreatha’s cocktails menu is also a must—indulge at your own risk in the fragrant bourbon mai tai. Their well-appointed dining room is a hit with parents, so grab a reservation if you’re looking to wow the fam (or if you need to make a great impression on someone else’s).

If margaritas by the pitcher are your kind of thing (they are definitely ours), then Guac y Margys is the place for you. With locations on the Eastside BeltLine and West Midtown, you’re always just a few minutes from ice-cold margs and a plate of queso-drenched nachos. The margarita options run deep here, so don’t be afraid to experiment. But if you need some direction, we like the Smokey and the Rabbit, made with Kimo Sabe Mezcal and Cointreau, and we’ll always have love for the seasonal watermelon margarita that…well..(dabs eyes at the fond memory) we’ll never forget. Also, Guac y Margys has one of Atlanta’s best movie and TV-themed trivia nights, so be sure to stop by Wednesdays to have your Ken Jennings-for-the-culture moment.

Once upon a time, pizza snobs suffered mightily in the South, but that’s changed in the last few decades. Atlanta’s now home to a huge selection of amazing spots, including Urban Pie. The NY-style crust is on the thin and crispy side with just the right amount of chew. We love the Urban Beets, which features unreal homemade pesto with roasted vegetables and goat cheese on top. And our vegan friends happily join us for this pizza night invitation since they do the plant-based cheese thing right here. Stop by every third Wednesday, when the one and only Brent Star, drag performer and comedian, hosts bingo on the patio.

When another soulless condominium pops up, we go to Hodgepodge to remember that Atlanta’s best and weirdest aren’t going anywhere. This East Atlanta institution has been slinging amazing coffee, pastries, and sandwiches since 2012 and building a diverse community of artists and neighbors along the way.  The airy space still displays art for sale on the walls and all kinds of local goods at the counter. You’ll find all the coffee classics, as well as some amazing specialty drinks (try anything with their housemade lavender syrup). And be sure to order one of Hodgepodge’s incredible housemade Pop-Tarts. Who says you can’t go home again?

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