The Best Under-the-Radar Brunches in Atlanta

By Christopher Hassiotis  |  November 18, 2015

A good brunch is a great thing — doesn't matter if you're in search of a calm meal to recover from last night, or craving a lively get-together to catch up with friends. And while it's not difficult to find good brunch in Atlanta, there's always more to discover. It's time to venture off the path — check out our favorite under-the-radar brunches.

  • La Tavola
    Why It's Great: Italian may not spring to mind when thinking about brunch, but this Virginia-Highland spot hits all the right brunch notes: salty, savory and, most importantly, tasty.
    Must Order: The pork milanese ($12.95) tops a breaded scallopine with arugula-radish salad and poached eggs. The grilled rabbit sausage ($10.95) is also a hit, bathing savory links in fried eggs, semolina gnocchi and mushroom sauce.
    Insider Tip: Gluten-free? La Tavola has a whole menu for you.
    Hit It Up: Sunday only, 11 AM–3 PM

    992 Virginia Ave.; 404-873-5430

  • Smoke Ring
    Why It's Great: Barbecue brunch? Heck yes. Just think of all the wonderful nooks and crannies that oozing egg yolk can find in a pile of pulled pork. Another positive? Brunch here is served on both Saturday and Sunday.
    Must Order: Barbecue subs in for Canadian bacon on the pulled-pork Benedict ($11).
    Insider Tip: Bar manager Erin Wakefield was a Zagat 30 Under 30 honoree in 2014.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 AM–3 PM

    309 Nelson St. SW; 404-228-6377

  • Credit: Christopher Hassiotis

    No. 246
    Why It's Great: This Decatur Italian restaurant is a lower-profile member of restaurateur Ford Fry's empire, but shouldn't be overlooked. Swing in on a weekend, when the brunch menu looks fairly similar to the restaurant's regular grub. The brunch-inspired items that do make an appearance, however, are outstanding.
    Must Order: Breakfast pizza ($13) topped with farm eggs, pancetta, caramelized red onions and fresh herbs.
    Insider Tip: Looking for a great experience? Come back to No. 246 with reservations for the chef's counter.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM–3 PM

    129 E. Ponce de Leon Ave.; 678-399-8246

  • ADios Café
    ​Why It's Great: T​his colorful Castleberry Hill spot is a great place to check out. Nothing's too unfamiliar to an American palate, but it's all projected through a Mexican prism. Hotcakes are made with blue corn and piloncillo syrup, for example. The hollandaise is also infused with green chile.
    Must Order: The ADios ($8) is the restaurant's signature breakfast item. Chorizo-spiked potato cakes come bathed in stewed black beans and eggs, topped with tangy salsa verde, sour cream and avocado slices. 
    Insider Tip: Having trouble locating ADios? That's because it's inside No Más Hacienda & Cantina. Look for this instead as you're on the hunt. Also, keep in mind that it's open for breakfast throughout the week as well.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 8 AM–2 PM

    180 Walker St. SW; 404-574-5678

  • Credit: Flickr / jeremybrooks

    One Eared Stag
    Why It's Great: Weekend brunch is a great time to visit this Inman Park favorite. It gets a lot of press, but often has room for walk-ins. Creative spins on classics satisfy foodies, but keep traditionalists happy. Vanilla pancakes with duck-liver butter? Yes, please.
    Must Order: It's simple, but the black-pepper biscuits and gravy ($7) show how to put a creative spin on the classic.
    Insider Tip: The $22 "chef's breakfast," while eye-popping, is a little overwhelming and gimmicky.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM–2:30 PM

    1029 Edgewood Ave.; 404-525-4479

  • Empire State South
    Why It's Great: Although Hugh Acheson's restaurant receives much attention for its dinner, wine list and cocktail program, its brunch remains an under-the-radar gem of seasonal Southern ingredients.
    Must Order: Dishes change regularly, but keep an eye out for whatever is incorporated with a farm egg and crisp Carolina rice.
    Insider Tip: It's under the radar, sure, but it's not unknown. Make a reservation if you want to dine during peak brunch times.
    Hit It Up: Sunday only, 10:30 AM–3 PM

    999 Peachtree St.; 404-541-1105

  • Across the Street
    Why It's Great: Sometimes all you need is that little bit of heat to wake up. And there's something about combining a hot cup of coffee with spicy Mexican salsa that provides an extra kick to get you going.
    Must Order: The pan perdido ($9) offers a Mexican spin on French toast, soaked in a sweet tres leches batter. Fish 'n' grits ($10) come fried in cornmeal, served alongside a poached egg and salsa verde.
    Insider Tip: This is the spot to hit up if it's sunny, with a great patio and tons of great people-watching. You'll see everything from joggers to dog-walkers to still-going partyers.
    Hit It Up: Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM–2:30 PM

    668 Highland Ave.; 404-781-0931