Atlanta has an endless list of amazing restaurants, but they aren’t always in the budget. When you’re in need of some downright delicious food, but don’t want to break the bank, here are some cheap places to eat in the ATL.
Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand
Now open in Westside as well as East Atlanta, Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand offers a variety of hand-deboned chicken sausages prepared from scratch, using locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality (minus preservatives, hormones, and pork). Delia’s “Slinger,” their chicken sausage on a hoagie, is just $4.99. Make it a “Hot Mess” by adding chili, cheese, and jalapeños, or try the “Two Timer” slinger, topped with coleslaw and chili. Their signature chicken sausage patty “Slider” is served on a bun, while “da Bomb,” made with chicken sausage patties, eggs, and cheddar, is served on a grilled Krispy Kreme donut! Delia’s also offers lasagna, Philly sandwiches, and breakfast, all made with chicken sausage. But most items can be made vegetarian—just tell them to “Cluck Off.” Both locations stay open for 24 hours on the weekends, making it a healthy and affordable late-night option.
If you live in Atlanta, you’re already familiar with the home of the jerk chicken plate. Open for lunch and dinner since 1993, this Ponce de Leon mainstay is known for its large portions of comfort food at affordable prices. The meat and two (sides) plate comes in at $9.50, and you can add another side for a dollar. Vegetarian? No prob, just order a three or four vegetable plate from one of their 12 side choices which include sweet potatoes, collards, and mac n’ cheese. Wash it all down with the sweetest tea in the South.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers
With four ATL locations: Airport, Memorial, Piedmont, and Sweet Auburn Curb Market (Edgewood) and one in downtown Decatur, you can get a fresh ground burger at a good price no matter where you live in the city. Serving lunch and dinner, this local chain is known for its burgers, veggie burgers, brisket chili, onion rings, and shakes. Nothing on the menu is over $10—single- and double-patty burgers start at $4.99 and $6.99. Make it a combo with fries and a drink for an extra $2.50. But, be prepared to wait for a bit; these burgers are made to order.
The Piedmont Avenue location near Cheshire Bridge Road is in a converted fueling station with a covered patio and full bar (the Sweet Auburn location is dry). Campy B-movies and Kung Fu flicks projected on the subway tile walls add to Grindhouse’s cool factor. On Monday nights the Memorial, Piedmont, and Decatur locations also host Dirty South Trivia at 8:30pm.
For authentic southern comfort food at a good price, head to Home grown. The cozy establishment brightens up a drab strip of Memorial Drive in the vibrant community of Reynoldstown in east Atlanta. With breakfast, brunch, and lunch, the daily menu stars locally- grown produce and fresh ingredients. At breakfast, biscuit sandwiches start as low as $3. While most menu items stay within the $10 range, the popular Comfy Chicken Biscuit (served open-faced blanketed in sausage gravy) will set you back $12. The Blue Collar lunch is a value-sized portion of any entrée, served with cornbread, one side, and a drink for just a couple bucks more. Choose three sides instead of an entree to make it vegetarian. This diner also has a cute little thrift shop in the back room called Sew Thrifty 5 & Dime.
Jack’s Pizza & Wings
Craving pizza, wings, and cheap beer? Look no further than this dive bar on Highland Avenue (off the Beltline and Freedom Park Trail) in the Old Fourth Ward. This neighborhood staple is known for its dollar beer, baked wings, and unique pizza toppings. Some of the “Atlanta Style” specialty pies are the Soul Food Pizza, piled high with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and collard greens all smothered in gravy; the Jason, a macaroni and cheese pizza with bacon; and there’s even a Chili Cheese Dog pizza. Beyond crazy pies, the dive bar also offers cheesy tots, pizza rolls, calzones, oven-roasted subs, and more. Try the meatball sub for just $6.49, a slice of cheese pizza for $1.99, or get five wings for five bucks. On Twisted Tuesdays, Jack’s has $1 beer, $2 shots, $2 cheese pizza, and $4 40oz pours starting at 9pm, plus a live DJ and $10 hookah. There’s not much you can’t get for cheap here.
Taqueria del Sol
The queso/cheese dip at Taqueria Del Sol has been described as “life-changing”. With three area locations (including one in Decatur), you’re never too far from a Southwestern-meets-Southern meal made with fine-dining ingredients at a fast-casual price. The core menu is the same for lunch and dinner—the prices stay the same all day long! They offer weekly specials and tacos are around $2.50 each, so you might even have some extra dough for a house margarita. Mexican-inspired meals like the Memphis taco and salsa trio starter (verde, asada, and fresca) live on the menu next to Southern offerings such as shrimp corn chowder and turnip greens.
All three ATL locations offer outdoor seating, too. The Westside Provisions location is easiest for those living in the West Midtown area, one of the top neighborhoods for recent grads. Check the hours before you go—they close between lunch and dinner. And be prepared to stand in line to order, this place is popular and you’ll see why.
Victory Sandwich Bar
The laid-back Decatur landmark opens daily at 11am and doesn’t even list a closing time, so you know you can count on them when you need some cheap eats. Every sandwich on the Victory Sandwich Bar menu is under $5, but they tend to be on the small side, so you might want to start with the flavor of the day popcorn for $3.50 (it’s addictive). Wash it down with a small Jack n’ Coke slushie for just four bucks, a beer for $6, or spiked soda for $7. Follow Victory’s Facebook page for #Twosday specials and don’t forget to check out their newest location in Inman Park, where you can hop from there to the Ticonderoga Club to complete a full day of drinking at the city’s best bars.
Since 1975, this Midtown pit stop has been serving up the best cheesesteaks in Atlanta in down-home digs. The original Woody’s Cheesesteak is packed with shaved beef, sautéed onions, and cheese whiz and costs only $6.50, leaving enough room in the budget for a $3.50 milkshake or $1.75 Vanilla Coke. The no-frills, quick counter service is available from morning until late at night (midnight during the week, 4am on Fridays and Saturdays). Come hungry and take your meat-filled sammy to-go for a picnic in Piedmont Park.
If you’re a local, you might already know and love these Atlanta spots where you can keep your stomach and wallet full. Not a local yet? Find your next apartment on Zumper and get out there and enjoy some cheap eats.
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