Busy Bee Cafe Earns a Spot in Restaurant History

Atlanta’s famous Busy Bee Cafe is getting the recognition it so richly deserves after nearly 60 years of serving up “the South on a plate.” Known for its ultra-authentic soul food menu, the tiny but intimate restaurant on Auburn Avenue in the heart of Atlanta’s Black business district, the Busy Bee Café won the 2021 Bib Gourmand Award and this year was named one of only 10 restaurants in a town full of restaurants to make the prestigious Michelin Guide. 

According to the Michelin Guide: In the hospitality business, restaurants often come and go, but not The Busy Bee. Open since 1947, it’s an Atlanta institution. Everyone has come through these doors, including Martin Luther King Jr. It may be big on heart, but this spot, with tile floors, booths, a stool-lined counter and walls hung with framed photos, is tiny. Still, they’re making a big impression with old-fashioned Southern/soul food. Plenty come time and again for their favorites, but daily specials are worth a try. Pick a protein, like the fried chicken that’s oh-so-crispy and juicy, then order a slew of slides, including the tangy-sweet beans. Wash it all down with a sweet tea or lemonade. Of course, there must be dessert; peach or blackberry cobbler are exactly what you need.

“We are Black history,” shared the restaurant on its website. “Prepared with love. Seasoned with soul.” 

The restaurant’s award-winning fried chicken continues to delight local and traveling customers. From sweet tea and lemonade to the homemade peach cobbler, its time-honored menu items are receiving praise. On Oct. 20, current owner and chef Tracey Gates was announced as an inductee into The Georgia Hospitality Hall of Fame. She will receive the honor on Nov. 1. 

Busy Bee continues serving comfort meals with an exquisite twist and is a pioneer for Black-owned restaurants to be recognized for culinary excellence. 

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