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Busy Bee Cafe

Southern / Soul Food Restaurant$$$$
Atlanta University Center, Atlanta
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8.9/10
222
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88 Tips and reviews
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  • fried chicken
  • soul food
  • mac & cheese
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  • fried whiting
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  • Creative Loafing Atlanta
    This friendly café has been serving up crunchy, juicy, fried-chicken ecstasy since 1947. The birds soak in a secret marinade before getting a light toss in flour and a bath in hot peanut oil. Read more
  • Bon Appetit Magazine
    Go for oxtail, chitlins, some of the best fried chicken in Atlanta, not to mention Georgia peach cobbler. Always check out the daily vegetable specials. The fresh turnip greens are worth the trip. Read more
  • Tasting Table
    Tasting TableMay 11, 2016
    Sink into some soul food at The Busy Bee Cafe. If you're feeling saucy, go for the smothered version, simmered in pan gravy, and wash it down with a glass of their refreshing sweet tea. Read more
  • Tasting Table
    Tasting TableAugust 5, 2014
    Fried chicken has been the star since 1947. If you're feeling saucy, get the smothered version, simmered in an addictive pan gravy. Sweet tea and sides of collard greens and candied yams are a must. Read more
  • Alecia R.
    Alecia ReederJanuary 3, 2013
    Loved it! A celebrity walked in while we were eating! Food was excellent. Had fried chicken, Mac and cheese, and sweet potato pie. The sweet tea was perfect! Wish we had it this good in Kansas City.
  • PureWow
    PureWowSeptember 9, 2016
    This is serious Southern soul food. The chickens are brined for a day, floured and fried in peanut oil, just as they have been since the café opened its doors back in 1947. Read more
  • Greg C.
    Greg CothranFebruary 16, 2015
    Everything is good here! A little shady outside, but everyone is friendly inside! Staff reminds you of the good ole southern charm! Small, and often no room, so be patient. It's worth the wait!
  • AJC
    AJCMarch 20, 2013
    The wonderful fried chicken tops the menu every day. Marinated for 12 hours, lightly breaded and well-seasoned, it’s deep-fried in peanut oil. Read more
  • Wright B.
    Wright BraidsFebruary 4, 2013
    The fried chicken is good but the smothered chicken is yummy! I had purchased the high priced small banana pudding. Glad that I bought it. Broccoli and cheese casserole and the carrot souffle are yum.
  • AJC
    AJCAugust 7, 2015
    The red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting is a popular choice at $5 per slice. Just be prepared, you may have to wait in line to get inside the famous Busy Bee! Read more
  • Arka M.
    Arka MajumdarNovember 13, 2015
    KFC should be ashamed of themselves, this place is the best soul food in the world. Their original recipe is awesome!!!! Try the Joe Lewis Ham Hock the are a must.
  • Gregory C.
    Gregory CoxNovember 24, 2014
    An Atlanta institution. Definitely enjoyed the fried chicken, mac and cheese, and green beans. If you go during lunch, get there early or go later.
  • Rejeannda H.
    Rejeannda HicksJanuary 23, 2015
    Everything was amazing! I will for sure go back there. Our waitress was super cool and the food was nice and hot.
  • Explore Georgia
    Explore GeorgiaMarch 15, 2013
    The smothered chicken and mac n' cheese is a must have when visiting the Busy Bee Cafe. Many visitors say it's the best meal they have ever had!
  • Island G.
    Island GirlMay 13, 2016
    Been here 10+ times
    Fried chicken, green beans, fried okra. The fried catfish is delicious. The staff is AWESOME!!!.
  • Atlanta
    AtlantaMarch 3, 2011
    Since 1947, the Busy Bee Cafe has been one of Atlanta's best soul food restaurants. Service is friendly and the restaurant is busy and cheerful. Atlanta hearts Soul Food! Read more
  • Eater
    EaterOctober 4, 2011
    Crackly fried chicken, pork chop, and homespun sides are delivered non-stop by no nonsense servers who call every one “baby.” [Eater 38 Member]
  • Craven M.
    Craven MooreSeptember 8, 2014
    #OVERRATED #OVERPRICED seasoning is decent, portions are minimal and the pork chop was NOT smothered!!! It was fried (tough) and dipped in gravy!! 😐 Poor representation of southern soul food...
  • V G.
    V GeorgeAugust 17, 2015
    Oxtails, fried chicken, Mac & cheese, pinto beans, cornbread, sweet tea all made fresh each day with love... Need I say more?
  • Viv
    VivJune 9, 2014
    The fried chicken is some of the best I've ever had. Greens & Yams were great as well. Skip the Peach Cobbler-it's disappointing.
  • Pony Compassionate F.
    Pony Compassionate FootwearApril 5, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    everything on the menu is consistently good and seasoned to perfection! If you're in Atlanta and have no satisfied this epicurus dive then sorry for you.com!
  • Creative Loafing Atlanta
    Creative Loafing AtlantaFebruary 2, 2012
    A crackly and simple breading coats each piece of uncomplicated fried chicken. Not a trace of grease in sight, every juicy, salty bite will fulfill your Southern-fried food dreams. Read more
  • Creative Loafing Atlanta
    Creative Loafing AtlantaJanuary 30, 2012
    Busy Bee lets you know that it holds a hallowed place in Atlanta dining history, and fried chicken is a big part of that history. Read more
  • Carl B.
    Carl BlackMarch 17, 2014
    They charge a 4% fee for take-out orders, and the food is served in polystyrene boxes with plasticware. I understand a surcharge for compostables, but for styrofoam...?!
  • La C.
    La CalleJanuary 9, 2013
    Order an Uptown (sweet tea & lemonade) to go with your food. You won't be disappointed.
  • Charles G.
    Charles GregoryFebruary 28, 2012
    Food is good but outrageously priced. My wallet felt like I had just done at a 5 star restaurant. Fried chicken dinner 20 bucks. Wow
  • Tracy G.
    Tracy GatesOctober 1, 2015
    Fried Chicken mac & cheese broccoli casserole, carrot soufflé, candied yams, squash, cabbage
  • Lovely D.
    Lovely DurhamAugust 6, 2016
    Everything is good here
  • Reg H.
    Reg HDecember 9, 2013
    Cute small place. Very intimate. Gives you mamas kitchen. Food was delicious...
  • Kim A.
    Kim AyersAugust 11, 2013
    Delicious southern cooked food. It was packed and our server was great.
  • Britta S.
    Britta SmithJuly 10, 2013
    I ordered the fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and green beans...delicious!
  • Jennifer B.
    Jennifer BoardmanOctober 21, 2009
    Great place to take out-of-towners. Not to be missed: the "beelicious" fried chicken and banana pudding. I'm still dreaming about it. Get there early or be prepared to wait.
  • Carlton F.
    Carlton FJune 20
    Food is good. Not happy that there is a surcharge for takeout. For a small business setup, staff is very uncoordinated.
  • Alda B.
    Alda Blakeney WrightAugust 17, 2015
    Everything! The ham hocks are my favorite!
  • Eric J.
    Eric JordanOctober 9, 2016
    Fried chicken, cabbage, Mac and cheese, and catfish are excellent
  • Kim N C.
    Kim N CarswellAugust 10, 2011
    Tilapia was fried to perfection! Sweet Potato fries were fantastic!
  • Samar R.
    Samar ReidDecember 4, 2013
    Fried chicken was Great and I didn't have to add Hot Sauce
  • TV Food Maps
    TV Food MapsSeptember 29, 2015
    Check out Busy Bee Cafe as it was featured on Food Paradise for Fried Chicken Read more
  • E P.
    E PurdyMarch 5
    I was there at 10:50 am, so I waited as this was my 1st visit. Well at 11:10 they still had not opened. I was disappointed as their sign states they open @ 11. I left prior to eating.
  • Tracy G.
    Tracy GatesAugust 3, 2015
    Love, love , love the food here. Fried chicken is awesome
  • Samantha F.
    Samantha FrazierDecember 21, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Get the fried Whiting!! That Broccoli and cheese is Super Dope!
  • Cornelius C.
    Cornelius CDecember 22, 2012
    The fried chicken is worth waiting an hour for
  • DJ Latin Prince ✔ 
    DJ Latin Prince ✔ September 18, 2013
    One of my fav soul food spots in ATL..
  • Gwen S.
    Gwen SanksApril 13, 2014
    Save room for the cobbler a la mode!! OMG ;-)
  • Stephen F.
    Stephen FreshleyFebruary 2, 2016
    Meh...this place is all hype. The parking is terrible, and the food is normal or un-extraordinary. This place is definitely skippable and does not live up to the hype at all.
  • Shayla P. G.
    Shayla P. GoldmonNovember 11, 2012
    The best soul food restaurant in ATL, hands down!!
  • Tye W.
    Tye WFebruary 5, 2015
    The whiting fried fish is delicious
  • Azalea M.
    Azalea McKinneyAugust 11, 2010
    You gotta try the oxtails smothered with rice and gravy. Yummy!
  • Juline
    JulineSeptember 18, 2013
    Fried chicken and any sides!!! Mouth orgasm.
  • BuzzFeed
    BuzzFeedJune 7, 2016
    The fried chicken and sides Read more
  • KRick ★.
    KRick ★March 12, 2013
    Calm down & get the banana puddin
  • L E.
    L ErskineAugust 22, 2016
    Delicious food. Delightful Southern hospitality!
  • The Bite Life w.
    The Bite Life www.thebitelife.comJanuary 31, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Get the fried whiting!!! Nothing like it!!!
  • Rachel C.
    Rachel ClarkFebruary 3, 2014
    Great food! Awesome service!
  • Martha D.
    Martha DowdellJune 9, 2016
    The food was unsatisfactory, had to send back twice & they still didn't get it right. Sides were very small & prices were extremely high for what you got. We will never go back.
  • OneMic C.
    OneMic CypherJuly 18, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Walk home to get the weight of all that food off ... Cause u just gained 5lbs
  • DamonGospel
    DamonGospelAugust 15, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Best Cornbread Dressing in Atlanta
  • Howard B.
    Howard BakerNovember 6, 2012
    I love The Lord with all my heart JD fried chicken too!
  • Bri A.
    Bri AlexandraAugust 12, 2013
    This menu will change your life
  • Dinchaka P.
    Dinchaka PMay 1, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Ox tails...$20.99per order!!! Wow
  • Cyntrina M.
    Cyntrina MontgomeryAugust 25, 2013
    The fried chicken was heaven!!
  • Posh S.
    Posh S5 days ago
    Good food, expect a wait.
  • OneMic C.
    OneMic CypherMarch 22, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Sit at the counter for faster service
  • Keisha D.
    Keisha DeansApril 4, 2014
    Order ahead....don't look to get great customer service though...
  • Rodney J.
    Rodney JonesOctober 4, 2013
    Fried chicken is excellent!
  • Princess V.
    Princess ValentineFebruary 3, 2012
    Get the ribs and fried green tomatoes!
  • Terrence A.
    Terrence AlbrittonFebruary 20, 2013
    The fried chicken is the business!!
  • Jeff
    JeffMay 29, 2014
    Everything here is awesome.
  • Yolanda M.
    Yolanda McclarinAugust 26, 2012
    The best in da land.
  • Jennifer L.
    Jennifer LesterSeptember 6, 2011
    The KeyLime Cake mmmmm...mmmm Good
  • J L.
    J LSeptember 14, 2011
    meat entrees - fried chicken
  • Ebony P.
    Ebony PerroApril 22, 2016
    Love the fried chicken!
  • Elegant	Beauty G.
    Elegant Beauty GiggerJune 6, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    This food will make you move here!
  • I'na S.
    I'na SaulsberyOctober 19, 2011
    TRY THE BROCCOLI AND RICE CASSEROLE.
  • Crystal I.
    Crystal IvoryNovember 14, 2015
    Try the fried chicken
  • savoryexposure.com
    savoryexposure.comAugust 4, 2011
    Two words: smothered chicken
  • Delilah B.
    Delilah BerkleyFebruary 18, 2014
    Loved it!!!
  • Michael S.
    Michael S.3 days ago
    Fried Chicken
  • Robert A.
    Robert AndrewsAugust 25, 2015
    Fried Chicken
  • Samantha F.
    Samantha FrazierJuly 24, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Someone stole my mayorship only because I'm on a diet!
  • Clayton D.
    Clayton DavisFebruary 26, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Smothered Chicken
  • Harry G.
    Harry GatewoodNovember 3, 2010
    Get the Banana Pudding
  • Maurice C.
    Maurice CherryFebruary 20, 2012
    The food is good, but the service is hit or miss.
  • Danie B.
    Danie BanksApril 27, 2010
    2 greasy, finger-lickin thumbs up
  • Angel M.
    Angel M.September 4, 2011
    Closed on Saturdays :-/
  • Danie B.
    Danie BanksAugust 22, 2010
    Try the catfish
  • Martin S.
    Martin SummerourDecember 21, 2010
    I know you like Soul Food
  • Tiff S.
    Tiff StewartAugust 21, 2014
    💙💙💙💙💙
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