Atlanta >Food & Dining > Busy Bee Cafe
810 Martin Luther King Jr SW, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3031433.754476 -84.414018
Mon-Fri 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sun 12 p.m. - 7 p.m
Neighborhoods: Intown South, Atlanta University Center, Intown South
Best Fried Chicken in ATL – Watershed gets a lot of the press for the best fried chicken in Atlanta, and I'm actually partial to a national chain (I know, but Popeye's is damn good and consistent!), but as far as individual spots go... I tip my cap to the Busy Bee.
Located in the West Village off MLK, the Busy Bee has been here forever. MLK himself was a frequent visitor. Their pan fried chicken is super-crisp on the outside and moist on the inside, like all good fried chicken is supposed to be. And the nostalgia that comes along with sitting at the counter and putting down the best soul sides certainly doesn't hurt the cause.
Busy Bee Cafe – I thought the food was very good.Service was good too!The restaurant was too small and it took me a time to find Busy Bee's.
Atlanta soul food has the bar raised off MLK. – In Short
Maybe the aroma has something to do with it, but walking into Busy Bee is like walking into a time warp. Walls of old photographs, warm booths and counter seating make you feel like you’re on a movie set based in a 1960’s diner. Lodged in a tiny strip, the Southern kitchen sports a hodgepodge of patrons: low-rent politicos, cops, students and questing soul food aficionados. Alongside chitlins, giblets, ham hocks and neck bones, their "beelicious" fried chicken (try it smothered in gravy) steals the show. Crispy and pan-fried on the outside, juicy on the inside gives plenty of reason why they haven’t changed a thing since MLK was a frequent diner. Two fresh veggies--don't miss broccoli cheese casserole or a Tuesday special of baby limas--come with each dinner. Desserts, especially red velvet cake and banana pudding, are in a league of their own.
This used to be my favorite place – This place has good soul food, but the wait staff makes the experience of dining here unbearable and if I ever go back, I will only be back for carry out orders.
For the past year I have frequented Busy Bee almost once a week with a former coworker. We WERE regulars. We endured the nasty attitudes from the wait staff (I saw another review that said they were rude to AUC students, but I guess they are just rude to everyone). Even though there would be other tables with plates cleared, my friend and I were constantly rushed to leave by the wait staff. At first it was no biggie, it gets crowded and they need tables. But then we noticed we were really the only ones being harrassed in this manner. We still let it slide.
The last straw came when I was told by the cashier that I could have a seat at a booth (because she knew my friend was close behind) and then I was told I had to move. The booths were full (once I sat down), but all of the tables were empty. After I had been sitting maybe three minutes, the waitresses started yelling at me to get up. They didn't have the decency to come to my table to speak with me, but instead yelled from opposite ends of the restaurant for everyone to hear. The cashier and I both tried to explain that my friend was parking her car and would be right in. I also knew my friend's order so there shouldn't have been an issue. They insisted that I get up and wait for my friend at the front. Instead, I walked out and took my money with me.
Now, if the place had been crowded and someone was waiting, I would have been glad to get up regardless of how close my friend was, but that was not the case. This was simply an intolerable extension of the rudeness that my friend and I have endured over the past year.
So, if you do go to Busy Bee, get it to go. If you dine in, don't tip the waitresses because they do not deserve it. And when you get your food to go, tip the cashier. She is WONDERFUL!!!!
All Abuzz About Busy Bee! – “All Abuzz about Busy Bee!” It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon, it’s lunch time, called my dining guest, decided to venture outside my natural/organic cuisine comfort zone and fill my stomach with some Soul Food from Busy Bee. I’ve lived in the ATL for over 15 years and I’ve never been to this Soul food institution, so being the foodie that I am, I had to try it and share my experience. As we arrive, there’s a long waiting line, that didn’t matter, we were seated in about 20 minutes. Our waiter, delightful, excellent customer service, and well informed about the restaurant and menu. I was amazed that the restaurant has been around since 1947. The café is nestled between 2 other businesses on MLK, so drive slowly so you won’t miss it. My dining guest and I both started our meal with sweet tea blended with freshly squeezed lemonade, just the right sweetness. All the meals are served with corn muffins or yeast bread(we tried both)…delicious! The food service is fast and friendly, our food arrived less than 10 minutes. While I ordered the baked Tilapia over a bed of rice, with a side order of candied yams and collard greens(cooked with turkey), my dining guest had the “Beelicious” Fried Chicken which is marinated for 12 hours, lightly breaded, cooked in peanut oil, moist, juicy, crispy…..(of course, I had to try it, so I removed the skin, and devoured it, as JJ(70's tv show "Good Times") would say it was “Dyn-o-mite! LOL), for his side order, turnip greens and candied yams. Now, I can’t forget, dessert, my dining guest and I shared the Keylime Cake and Peach Cobbler, both simply divine. I see what the Buzz is all about, finger lickin’ good, deliciously seasoned and cooked Soul Food, prepared with Tender Loving Care, the way my grandmother did. The restaurant has a diner style counter with red leather stools, and red leather booths that line the walls. The walls are filled with local, national celebrities, and their Best of Atlanta “Soul Food” plaques. If you are in a hurry, no time to eat in, don’t worry, you can get take out. This is a great place to take out of town guest, just be aware of the long wait and the best part, it’s very economical. The café has a great atmosphere, very diverse, families, students, and urban trendsetters. There’s something on the menu for everyone, even vegetarians. I’ve had my Soul Food Fill for awhile, now it’s back to “Organica” food deluxe.
Greatest SOUL FOOD IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA – I eat at BUSY BEE often and the serve is EXCELLENT, atmosphere is very wholesome and cozy. The cozy nature of the cafe does not allow for students to come there to spend hours upon hours in conversations without taking in considerations of other patrons who are waiting to partake of the sumptious food that BUSY BEE's chef prepare. I always recommend the cafe to visitors, family, friends whenever the opportunity arise.
Great food, Horrible Service – Excellent food, but horrible service, especially toward the Atlanta university students, we are oftentimes rushed off the tables & disrespected. The students at the Atlanta University Center (Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College & Spellman College) bring in a lot of business to the Busy Bee Cafe, it is unfair the ways we are treated with the horrible service by the cashier and the employees.
Great soul food – This place has some of the best soul food in Atlanta. I have been to several highly recommended places, and this is the only one that did not disappoint. Everything that I ate was delicious. There were a lot of people, but we didn't have to wait that long for a table (only 10 minutes). If you're looking for an upscale place, Busy Bee's is not it. Rather, Busy Bee's is more like a diner/cafeteria. The server was very friendly, and attentive. These are 2 very important things to me when dining out.
Good Food, tight eating space – Good southern comfort food with excellent side dishes. The only draw back is the seating, not very much and very tight. If you don't mind that, then sit down and enjoy.
Delicious! – I recently moved to Atlanta from NY and was eager to find some good down home soul food. This place is great! The potatoe salad is to die for. My only complaint is that I wanted more food!
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