Black-Owned Restaurants, Retailers, and Landmarks to Discover in Atlanta
Atlanta has and remains a crucial piece of African American life—the birthplace of the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr.; now a utopia for successful black-owned businesses, practices, restaurants, and more. Atlanta pays homage to King's work and the fight for equality at various museums and landmarks throughout the area. The city's African American roots continue to extend, as today's Atlanta attracts bright minds and great leaders from around the world, including younger generations attending notable historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) of the Atlanta University Center consortium.
In honor of Black History Month, we're spotlighting black-owned restaurants near Atlanta, black-owned shops, and African American historical sites and important locations in Atlanta. This round-up only scratches the surface of the many black-owned businesses worthy of a visit; but it is a reminder for our community to support locally-owned businesses, large and small, owned and operated by people from all races, religions, and backgrounds.
For more family-friendly activities and events happening this month, check out Best Things to Do in Atlanta in February with Kids. If you'd like more stories like this sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletters.
Black-owned Restaurants Near Atlanta
Atlanta Breakfast Club - Atlanta
Fill up on classic Southern food at Atlanta Breakfast Club on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard in Midtown. Specialities include shrimp and grits, peach cobbler French toast, and chicken and waffles.
Besides selling delicious baked goods, Lenox Cupcakes also hosts kids' birthday parties. Photo courtesy of author
Lenox Cupcakes - Chamblee, Decatur
Enjoy a cupcake (or three) from Lenox Cupcakes' Chamblee or Decatur locations. If your kids really love these treats, look into throwing a birthday party at the bakery. I had my daughter's 4th birthday at Lenox Cupcakes and it was a total blast!
Morelli’s Ice Cream - Virginia-Highland, Westside, Ormewood Park
Now with three locations, there's no excuse not to try the delicious treats at Morelli's Ice Cream. Make sure to check Morelli's website before visiting as they post that day's current flavors for all the locations.
Mary Mac's Tea Room - Midtown
Mary Mac's Tea Room is an Atlanta dining institution. Opened in 1945, this historical restaurant has served scratch-made Southern food to hometown heroes and notable visitors for more than 75 years. Obviously enjoy the sweet tea, as well as the fried chicken, tomato pie, peach cobbler, and more.
The Busy Bee Cafe - Downtown
In operation since 1947, The Busy Bee Cafe fills the bellies of hungry patrons going to work in downtown Atlanta or those just looking to taste a bit of history. Standout meals include the fried chicken, barbecue ribs, collard greens, and more.
Slutty Vegan ATL - Multiple Locations
Introduce kids to vegan foods that are full of fun and flavor at one of the Slutty Vegan locations. Pinky Cole started the brand as a food truck, introducing communities to the wonder of plant-based eating. With four locations and silly burger names like "one night stand" and "fussy hussy," you may want to order for your kids without them perusing the menu.
Paschal's Atlanta Restaurant - Castleberry Hill
In operation for nearly 60 years, Paschal's is the spot to find Atlanta soul food. This iconic Black-owned restaurant has a rich history of serving civil rights leaders, politicians, entertainers and more. Make sure to order the black eyed peas and mac & cheese.
There's no wrong choices when it comes to Sublime doughnuts.
Sublime - Midtown, North Druid Hills
Kamal Grant created Sublime to satisfy doughnut fans across the city. Represent the A-T-L and make sure to get the A-Town Cream filled doughnut. And guess what? Sublime is open 24 hours a day!
Big Dave's Cheesesteaks - Downtown, Doraville
If you crave that Philadelphia stand-by but can't make it up north, visit Big Dave's Cheesesteaks. Besides traditional cheesesteaks, try Big Dave's inventive options like the salmon cheesesteak or the massive egg rolls.
Perhaps you've been stuck in Atlanta's famous traffic and seen a glorious site on the road...the Not As Famous Cookie Co. food truck?! Find these delicious chocolatey goodies at many local events or better yet, order a cookie pick-up or delivery order whenever you want.
Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours - Midtown
It's hard to spotlight one specific dish at Twisted Soul since everything is so delicious. Go for brunch and just order one of everything.
Big Oak Tavern - Roswell
Located in downtown Roswell, Big Oak Tavern is a popular spot for upscale American fare, including high-quality steaks, glazed salmon, and pork ribeye. Big Oak offers its soul food entrees the first Sunday and Monday of each month.
Black-owned Shops and Businesses Near Atlanta
the beehive - Edgewood
Going to the beehive is like walking through a real-life Etsy. This boutique collective is made of independent designers who offer locally-made products like apparel, baby goods, jewelry, housewares, and so much more.
Phnewfula Frederiksen (far left) is the owner of Happy Mango. Photo by Brenda Nicole Photography, courtesy of Happy Mango
Happy Mango - Kirkwood
Chances are if you've had a baby in Atlanta or had to buy a baby shower gift, Happy Mango has come up in your social feeds. This adorable kids shop has anything and everything moms need to take care of busy, growing families.
The TEN Spot - Morningside
Ladonna Suggs and her husband Darnell opened the first TEN Spot location in the Southeast region. This full-service beauty bar offers nail, waxing, facial, brow, and lash services. This location also offers kids' mani and pedi services, as well as kids' spa parties.
Ballethnic - East Point
This professional ballet company seeks to create visibility for Black and Brown dancers. Ballethnic blends ballet with African dance concepts. The organization offers a dance company, academy of dance, youth ensemble, and community programs to encourage dancers from diverse backgrounds.
The Tony Rouse candle collection makes a great gift for any man or teen boy in your life.
If you're needing a Father's Day gift or something for a teen boy, consider Tony Rouse's recently launched candle collection and cologne. Scents include Mogul (citrus and sandalwood), Titan (lavendar and musk), and Power (smoked plum and cedarwood).
Get your kids into science with Fun Weird Science! Ronnie Thomas lets kids explore the fascinating world of STEAM disciplines through parties, events, science shows, and more.
The Pink Hotel - Snellville
The Pink Hotel is a one-stop shop for birthday magic and girl bonding. The Pink Hotel is an amazing party venue that offers birthday themes like pampering spa, cupcakes, slime, glamping, and more (events for adults, too).
Medu Bookstore - Greenbriar
For more than 25 years, Medu Bookstore has offered hard-to-find books for the community, and readers, it serves. This literary hub hosts many book signings, readings, and storytelling experiences throughout the year.
SustainAble Home Goods' founder LaToya Tucciarone. Photo by Jamestown
SustainAble Home Goods - Ponce City Market, Serenbe
SustainAble Home Goods seeks to provide home products and art by partnering with artisan entrepreneurs, creating economic stability and jobs for various communities.
Clutch Bicycle Shop - Atlanta
Cyclists of all skill levels can trust the knowledgeable people at Clutch Bicycle Shop for advice about the best bicycle for their needs. In addition to sales, Clutch is a repair shop and rents out bicycles for riders to get a feel of what bikes they enjoy.
Olive Branch Wellness Boutique - Decatur
This Decatur-based beauty boutique offers non-toxic, plant-based skincare and haircare products, as well as home goods like essential oils and crystals. Try the apothecary face mask bar to create a custom product for your skin.
African-American Historical Sites and Museums Near Atlanta
Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Park - Sweet Auburn
Visit this National Park to learn more about Martin Luther King Jr., his legacy, and his connection to Atlanta. People can visit the DREAM Gallery, Behold Monument, "I Have A Dream" World Peace Rose Garden, birth home tour, historic Fire Station No. 6, the visitor center, and more. Currently, all buildings within the park are temporarily closed due to COVID. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the campus and park.
The Center for Civil and Human Rights connects the past with the present.
Bridging the U.S. civil rights movement to human rights challenges today is the aim of The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, sparking inspiration for others to make change in their own worlds.
APEX Museum - Sweet Auburn
The African American Panoramic Experience or APEX Museum's mission is to interpret and present history from an African American perspective to everyone. It was started in 1978 in the historic Auburn Avenue district and is open five days per week.
Ebenezer Baptist Church - Sweet Auburn
Ebenezer has strong roots in Atlanta's Black community, where Martin Luther King Jr. eventually became a co-pastor with his father Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. where he remained in the position until his death (the funeral was held at this church). Many prominent spiritual guides have led the church, including current leader, and Georgia senator, Reverend Raphael Warnock. The church is currently closed due to COVID.
The Herndon Home Museum - Atlanta
Alonzo Herndon was born into slavery and during his lifetime of hard work establishing a chain of barber shops and entrepreneurship, he eventually became Atlanta's first Black millionaire. Visitors can tour his mansion and learn more about the Herndon Foundation and its mission of preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, are honored at The King Center.
The King Center - Sweet Auburn
Located right by Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Park and founded by King's widow, Coretta Scott King, The King Center is a living memorial and non-profit furthering the message of unity by its namesake. The King Center is currently closed due to COVID.
The Atlanta University Center - West End
Atlanta hosts the largest concentration of HBCUs: Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta, Morris Brown, and Spelman College. Alumni include Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr., Alice Walker, and many more. Visit one of the campuses and learn more about these schools.
Oakland Cemetery - Grant Park
Oakland Cemetery is one of the most famous landmarks in Atlanta, composed of several distinct areas. The Historic African American Burial Grounds houses the graves of prominent African Americans like Bishop Wesley John Gaines (founder of Morris Brown College) and Carrie Steele Logan (founded the first orphanage for African Americans in the city).
Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the business.