Keep your yeast rolls and buttered bread, this is cornbread country. Whether it’s soaking up the potlikker or dripping with melting butter, cornbread is a staple on many tables in Atlanta. So, besides mama’s house, where can you find the best cornbread in town? Here are a few favorites.
Busy Bee Cafe
810 M.L.K. Jr Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30314; 404-525-9212, www.thebusybeecafe.com/
Long known as the bastion of soul food in Atlanta, Busy Bee Cafe certainly knows what they’re doing with the classics. Plates are piled with crisp, fried chicken, candied yams and collard greens. To sop up all the juices, the hot cornbread hits the spot. That same cornbread is used to make a dressing that will have you forgetting that it’s not Thanksgiving.
99 Krog St NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; 404-525-9212, thecockentrice.com/
If there is anything more iconic on the Southern plate than cornbread, it’s pork. Krog Street Market’s The Cockentrice combines those two beautifully. The cornbread medallions are flecked with pork belly, creating a rich and satisfying bite. The medallions work great with the ever-changing vegetable plate that highlights the best local produce the restaurant can get their hands on.
King and Duke
3060 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30305; 404-477-3500, www.kinganddukeatl.com/
The cornbread comes in muffin form. They are moist and full of sweet corn flavor. The butter that is melting on top adds both saltiness and creaminess to elevate them. The muffins can be ordered as a side or with the smokehouse chicken with white Alabama barbecue sauce.
1284 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30327; 404-233-2888, www.okcafe.com/
When a fire temporarily shuttered OK Cafe in 2014, the city went into mourning. One of the most missed items? The cornbread. They come in muffin form and are filled with pieces of whole, fresh corn. Now that the restaurant is open again, diners can dive into them, along with the rest of the classic Southern fare like triple cheese macaroni and meatloaf.
129 Church St, Decatur, GA 30030; 470-225-6770, http://www.revivaldecatur.com/
Former Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespie opened his homage to his family’s Southern recipes back in 2015. On a menu full of classics like fried chicken, the cornbread shines bright. It’s fluffy and almost creamy on the inside, crispy on the outside. This cornbread will melt in your mouth.
Seed Kitchen and Bar
1311 Johnson Ferry Rd #504, Marietta, GA 30068; 678-214-6888, www.eatatseed.com/
Among classic starters of smoked salmon deviled eggs and corn grit fritters, the skillet cornbread stands out. In a mini cast iron skillet, it arrives piping hot with whipped butter. The skillet imparts a crispy exterior with just a touch of oil. It would be at home on any Sunday supper table.