The Busy Bee Café - In 1947 Lucy Jackson, a self-taught cook decided to own her own restaurant. While working on developing a name for the business, she received some uncommon inspiration from a couple of sources.
Photos & Videos
Private Lot, Street
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Rate & Reviews
How would you rate The Busy Bee Café?
Pros: The food was excellent. The food just melts in your mouth. I fell in love with the fried chicken, green beans and sweet potatoes. Every thing my party ordered was good. You will and should not be disappointed with the amount of food because they serve a lot on the plate.
Cons: The restaurant was so busy we rarely saw our server. The quality of the food made up for the absence of service. It took a while to receive our drinks. The ribs were great in flavor but I wish they were tender. I ordered wings but they gave me thighs ( no complaints made). Definitely not a 5 star restaurant but I give it to the chef in the back that put their foot in the green beans and sweet potatoes.
Horrible Customer Service. They were suppose to open at 11:00 am, on 1/06/2016. I arrived at 10:55 am and found the doors were locked, which was no problem, I could wait 5 minutes for the place to open. I waited in front of the restaurant as the staff sat in the corner of the restaurant talking, while periodically glancing over at me. I waited outside for about 15 mins in plain view of the staff, and then tried to enter the restaurant yet again. I found the doors still locked at 11:10 am. One of the staff members looked directly at me, shook her head, and continued talking. It was 40 degrees outside and they didn't have the common courtesy to tell a customer they weren't going to open on time. It was my first visit to the restaurant, it came as recommendation from a friend. I come to Atlanta often and I will never eat here because of this experience.
Man... The chicken is GOOD. I'm picky about my fried chicken and this is probably the one of the best in town... Not too salty... Not too greasy... Super juicy... This place does it right!
Authentic soul food. Much better than the commercialized Gladys Knight restuarant. I love you Gladys and your restuarant decor is really nice but when it comes to what I came to do...eat...Busy Bees definitely delivers. Now if you are caught up in glamour and superficial customer service, do not come here and give it bad reviews. Busy bees is authentic and it really gets no realler than that.
The worst customer service I have ever experienced. The staff is outrageously rude. We were told the wait would be 30 minutes ... waited over two hours for a table. Hands down the most overrated restaurant in Atlanta with mediocre food at best. Steer clear of this place, Atlanta has so much better to offer.
Great food, good service (ask for Sheila). Kind of small with limited seating but definitely worth the wait. Sundays are super busy from open until about 5pm.
It's one of the best fried chicken I have ever had. It's homey and comforting. Beware though, it is heavier on the salt but you can wash it all down with a tall glass of sweet tea. The peach cobbler is sweet but not so sweet that it will hurt your teeth and do it get with some ice cream. The chicken is tender and succulent. The breading is so delicious and if I could just order the skin fried to a crisp. It's a little off the beaten path but worth it.
I'll give a review based on the 3P's (People, Product, Process). Since the overall review of this business will be poor, I'll start with the good.
The product or food is good. Please, understand the difference between good, great and excellent. The food is good in a sense of a desire for southern soul food. It ranks near the top of the list for best in the city. However, the food is not great or excellent as you'd get from someone's grandma's kitchen.
The people who work there are cordial at best. No one is exceptionally friendly or overly nice. I must say, most of the waitresses are polite. However, you do get a sense of attitude.
Here's where Busy Bee is subpar. There's so much I can write here, but I'll just give the skinny. The cafe has outgrown their current location. There's no reason for a business that's survived decades not to expand. The ordering process is a zoo, and that's me being nice. It takes at least 10-15 minutes to order. Multiply the wait time by 2.5 if you want to dine in. Their POS (point of sale) is unlike anything I've ever seen. Scenario, I order a couple of dinners to go paid and then realized I was overcharged. Here's the caveat I was refunded for my original purchase and then recharged for the correct amount. So the problem is my bank is holding roughly 200 dollars for a "mistake."
Overall, the food is decent the people and process are horrible. No one is accountable or display any empathy. I'll just say customer service is not their forte.
Fried chicken was great as were the sides. My mashed potatoes had the perfect combination of sodium, dairy and starch. This isn't my usual diet, but sometimes you just want to eat something worth risking a heart attack and this is that meal. Should I have died, it would have been alright with me. I read some of these reviews and I just don't get it.You don't come to a place like this looking for 5 star service and crisp white linens. It's going to be slightly disorganized. While you order, your server may get distracted while she gives a regular customer a hug and asks about their kids on their way out. Our server was a sweetheart. It's that kind of place, and I'm perfectly ok with it.
I heard so much about the place I had to check it out. So finally me and my husband went... It was crowded which we didn't mind so we decided to take our order to go. While my husband was giving the woman up front our order she stopped taking our order to take payments for regular/people she already knew. She never apologized for the action. After giving our full order we were not told a total but to have a sit and she'll tell us the total once the food was done. After 45 mins or so the manager was walking around with a gun on his hip not even checking to see why we were still there after closing time. Once our order was finished we were informed that it was $45 for a oxtail dinner and fired chicken dinner no drinks and a peach cobbler ... Okkkk so I presented my husband card and ID to the same woman who took our order so once she charged us she decided to tell me that I can not sign the receipt for my husband... Sooooo you can charge him on my behave but I can't sign for him.. So I let my husband sign and we were interrupted by a customer who drove 20 plus miles just for them to tell her they didn't have the items for her meal in stock... Not to mention when we get to the door we had to stAnd there for an extra ten minutes because we were locked it because it was closing time and the manger was too busy in the back talking 💁🏿
Breast meat was tender and juicy. Skin was just the right thickness and crispness. Collard Greens were on point. Staff was friendly and helpful.
OK, so honest review, the initial experience was horrible, but the food was phenomenal. This place is small, cramped, and ridiculously busy. You will experience very long wait times. You will be irritated by the time you are seated. And you will start finding every flaw you can once you are seated. But then your food will be served, and none of those negatives will matter. They have the best "homemade" fried chicken in Atlanta. It trumps all the "restaurant" fried chicken here, even Mary Mac's. This is true melt-in-your-mouth, soul-soothing Southern food.
Food was ok, cozy which in my vocabulary is another word for way too small on space. I've been in the smallest of waffle houses and had more room. I'm not knocking the place I just want people to be prepared that you're not going to sit down at a table bust a gut and think you're going to stretch out in your chair with your pants button undone.You're not at home people you're eating out. LOL
My experience here was incredible. This place is always busy but that's because everything about here is worth coming back to. The staff was incredibly busy yet still remained friendly, efficient, and helpful. The food was out of this world amazing, the place clean, and they even had a parking attendant!!
I just did not enjoy it. The entire experience was unimpressive. It was like going to an aunts house in the projects waiting at least an hour to eat but only I had to pay. Ghetto servers arguing over nothing, coming out from the kitchen eating and drinking and hasn't washed a single finger. Disorganized, cluttered, hot, expensive and the food is at best mediocre. Mac n cheese I can get from a box, corn bread "dressing" lacked texture, "candied yams" or sweet potatoes, were boiled which do nothing for them; instead of being baked to bring out their natural sugars, the black eyes peas were decent a bit to much sugar for my liking; yes I said sugar. The turnip/greens were off the chain; delicious along with the corn bread. We spent $46.00 for two people and I promise it was not worth it. If I were you I would cook at home.
First time ever eating here and the service and food was amazing!! I tried their smothered pork chops the first time in my life... All I can say is that they were finger licking good,juicy,well cooked!! Their uptown tea is a really good drink to have as well. I do recommend getting there early(like waiting for the doors to open) if you want to sit down and eat
This restaurant has potential. The staff just needs to be more organized and professional. It' s a pretty tight space and it was super crowded. I stopped by yesterday after work and I had to wait for 45 minutes to receive my food. Other patrons were waiting for close to an hour to receive their dinner. I ordered two piece fried chicken, collard greens, mac& cheese. My dinner was very delicious. There is not a hostess stand so the manager was just standing by the counter trying to offer me a seat. The manager (I'm assuming) and the cashier started arguing about a guest's meal. (Very unprofessional) The other cashier were having a full blown conversation instead of paying attention to the guest's needs. I paid for my meal when I first arrived and the cashier tried to charge me twice. A bigger space, patience and organization might be the key to making me a loyal customer.
Just what you want to satisfy that craving for home cooking. Great atmosphere, friendly staff, And yummy, satisfying food. Prices are a bit on the high side for the portions, but I would go back.
Wait wasn't too bad. Food was great as expected. Highly recommend the mac and cheese! It was delicious. Our server was pretty sweet as well.
Amazing food, one of my absolute fave soul food restaurants that I've found in Atlanta. Love to come here for lunch. Excellent service, and I greatly appreciate the manager acting as host/hostess most times I visit.
Excellent food and friendly staff. I loved the pork chops and collard greens. I will definitely go back my next trip to Atlanta.
Arrived a 12:45 wasn't seated til after 3.. Man at the door continued to call from a list that he seemed to skip over us from.. Food was awesome tho.. talked to a long time customer & he stated he hadn't sat & ate in the place in about 7yrs.. If we go back definitely will be taking my food to go that place is a matchbox & they need to expand or open a secondary location. Even tho we waited half a day to eat I loved the food..
This is the second time I've placed an order, arrived and my order was not even in the system. They are an unorganized mess. Too many ppl behind the counter that don't have a clue what they are doing. I call in an order, show up 30 minutes later. My food isn't ready. I wait an additional 30 minutes and tell the manager that I've been waiting an hour and he then tells me that no one put my call in in the system. So I've waited an hour and no one entered my order????? Then asked me if I'm sure I called it in. Seriously? What type of dumb question is that??? Are you accusing me of hallucinating that I called in food at Busy Bee? Instead if questioning me, ask your incompetent staff what went wrong! That's just common sense. I reordered my food and they changed the baked meat item because it would take longer. I asked for a lemonade because of my wait and trouble and the RUDE MANAGER had the audacity to say no. This is just a shame. I go out of my way to support black businesses, and the customer service received is just disgusting. It's a sad truth about our community. I would've been OFFERED an incentive by our counterparts...matter of fact, this would have never even happened. I will never return. That manager was flat out ignorant and should be ashamed of himself.
Simply put; This is real soul food.
The Fried Chicken is some of the best I've ever had.
A bit pricey, but tasting those greens, that flavorful and perfectly crispy chicken, and any of the desserts/puddings is beyond worth it.
Note: MANY people love this place and it's a ritual for many as well, so be strategic with your visits; but overall, the food is just undeniable.
Wow... This place has great food good music and nice friendly service! Taste like big momma in the kitchen at your own house. There is usually a little wait, but well worth it 😋😋😋
Good food but after 2 visits I won't be back. The service was horrible. My daughter and I waited for 30 minutes seated without drink orders. Others who looked different from us were served first. The staff seemed lethargic and not in a hurry to service us. The portions are also too small for the price.
This place is THE PLACE! We only had a short wait and the staff looked after us. Friendly, and efficient they made us feel very welcome. If you are looking for Southern Soul food Busy Bee will not disappoint. The fried chicken special and peach cobbler were outstanding.
The staff is friendly and the food is ALWAYS delicious and consistent. I had the neck bones, collards and mac n cheese. Took me back to my childhood. If I didn't know better, I'd think my mom was in their kitchen
Was so satisfied with the visit. The service was great. Thank you, Brittany! Your customer service skills were on point. The assistant manager was an organized, soft spoken man named Cecil. The food did not disappoint. Hot food, fresh corn muffins, tasty Arnold Palmer. I would visit again.
Busy is the place to be for some good and I mean good soul food. Everything on the menu is good. My favorites are fried chicken, smothered pork chops or fried, yams & collard greens. All the desserts are good but love their banana pudding. Been going here for the last 15 years.
Well the name fits it's definitely busy in there. Tried to order over the phone but they were so busy no one answered. Personally it was a little salty but I don't tend to cook or eat with salt. The fried chicken want greasy and even crisp when I got home.
Their oxtail is ok. Nothing special. I don't think it's worth the $20 they charge for. Nothing special about their fried okra either. ,
Great fried chicken though. If you want great fried chicken go here.
Great manager. I think he is the owner. And Lee, one of their stuff is very nice.
Waitress Sheila though, was full of herself. No need for her to make you feel welcome. She acts like she is doing you a favor. I will not want her to serve me again so next time I want their fried chicken I will order to go.
The food was absolutely delicious, the wait was long as usual but worth it. Our server Mrs. Jackie was very attentive & welcoming. I'll definitely go back but I'll try to avoid lunch next time. The only thing they need to work on is seating & greeting their guests accordingly.
The service was so friendly and fast. The whole atmosphere was friendly. Tight quarters. Amazing fried chicken! Leave room for dessert!
Amazing Food! Most of the staff is polite. Only reason I didn't rate 5 stars is because its is pack and the wait can be long. And sometimes not ALL of the staff are in a great mood.The atmosphere is small and intimate. Feels like home and a place you always want to come back to. About half the staff have been working there for years! I liked that part of it. You can tell their employees must be happy with where they are.
My Fiance and I drove an hour to get here and the soul food did not disappoint. It exactly what we hoped it would be: simply delicious. And the service was welcoming and attentive to us.
The best soul food I've ever had. If you're ever in the atlanta area you have to try this restaurant. Today was my third visit to this establishment. While there is typically at least an hour wait, the time waiting is well made up for with their exceptional hospitality and quality food selection. Looking for comfort food? This is the place. #1 in my book!
I had a pleasant experience. Our sever was awesome, she ensured our needs were well taken care of. The food was great.
I ordered the fried chicken my best friend ordered the catfish- both were amazing. The chicken was well seasoned and the catfish tasted fresh and had a crispy crust. I also had fried green tomatoes and candied yams with red velvet cake to finish. The food was the best soul-food I ever had the red velvet cake was to die for. I highly recommend this place but expect a long wait to get seated this place is pretty popular.
This a small hidden jewel with Atlanta. I've been a cook for 17yrs and have NEVER been ANYWHERE where every single dish was completely outstanding. My palate was buzzing with happiness. The portions are really generous and the taste was heavenly. If you're tired of bland, boring food PLEASE visit the Busy Bee. You will not be disappointed I promise you.
First time to the restaurant and didn't know what to think by the outside until we got to the door and people was waiting outside and inside to get a table. Cecil is awesome and kept letting us know the wait time. Food was AWESOME and they are definitely a busy bee! It may be a wait but it is definitely worth it
You really want to support black owned businesses but in this case they make it really hard. I eat here all the time and from what I can gather they need new management ASAP. If you order to-go on a Sunday they will tell you 30mins only to have you sit there and wait over a hour (happened on several occasions). The man at the door is very unorganized all the time.
Fast forward to now and yesterday (11/20/17) I wanted to order a Thanksgiving meal. I called back to back for a hour with no answer. Really? No answer on 1 of the most profitable holidays for your company? Why not be prepared and make all the money you can.
Don't get me wrong they do HAVE THE BEST SOUL FOOD IN THE CITY but the customer service is awful and I don't mean the waitresses. I mean the whole experience of ordering needs to be better from the wait times they tell you to them not even answering the phone. It's just rude.
Parking is horrific and limited at best. There is always a wait for either seating or take out orders, usually around an hour or so. The servers and the service is awesome! The staff is amazing at making you feel at home. They're always courteous, polite, friendly and very helpful. The food is so good, it's as if your grandmother is in the back doing the cooking personally just for you. You have to eat here at least once. Tip: go to their website to be added to their wait list.
Things to note up front: you will likely have to wait for parking and you will definitely have to wait for a table, perhaps even outside if there are too many people clustered inside waiting as well. Things to also note: the food is consistently good. The fried chicken tastes like your grandmother or favorite auntie cooked it for Sunday dinner. The vegetables are stellar and the sweet tea is king. That being said, if you have a hankering for ox tails, find a Caribbean joint that won’t charge you $21 for a measly sparse serving of them.
There are limited parking up front, but there are also street metered parking available ($2 first hour). It was crowded for a Thursday lunch at 130pm but only waited for 5 mins. Both fried chicken and fried whitening are decent. Their fried chicken is famous. Don't expect big pieces and they are lightly battered. 4 pieces half chicken with 2 sides is $15. Fried whitening with 2 sides is $12. Broccoli casserole is pretty good. Probably 3.5 stars if I could do half stars.
The food is consistently delicious, and that's why I keep coming back. As good as or better than your grandma's cooking. I only wish there was a way to directly tip the cooks who prepare the food, because the customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Don't expect the food to be on time (it might just be sitting on a counter somewhere) or presented with a smile, because the staff from the counter girls to the man at the door are usually rude and snappy. One of the reasons I get my food to-go. The other reviewers are correct in that this place needs new management, badly.
I purchased New Year's catered meal that I picked up hot on New year's Eve. Food was delicious. Fried turkey was moist and skin was spicy hot. Dressing and gravy were outstanding. Mac and cheese was sooo good. I really was happy that everything tasted like it was cooked at home. Perfectly seasoned turnip greens, chitterlings, black eyed peas, sweet potatoes. Sweet potato pie and cranberry sauce. You can't go wrong with this catering.
Very crowded. Restaurant def lives up to its name because it is always busy. Ordered to-go a few times. I do not care for the addition fee on to-go orders - considering that the place is consistently packed & hard to get a table. The fried fish is yum. Slightly over seasoned but still yum. The collard greens are good too but for some reason they are oily. They had a food order mix up at the front counter. I kindly asked for fee to be removed due to me having to wait to get by order while they worked on the situation with the guests before me. My claim was that my food was getting cold. Lady manager declined.
Busy Bee’s is a very small, intimate establishment. Not a place to go if you’re claustrophobic. The service was below average. Our waitress took a while to greet us, take our order, bring drinks etc. You could hardly ask for anything because as soon as she brought something she turned around so fast. The food was pretty good. I ordered the half chicken white meat so a wing and a breast the wing was great, the breast was incredibly dry. I even sent it back because it was so dry, the new one was just as dry although the skin was seasoned well. The Mac n cheese was good. The portions were really small, not quite worth the money. My friend ordered a thigh and was charged 3.45 extra (waitress didn’t tell us there was an up charge) so she paid $20 for a leg, thigh, and two small sides. Not worth it at all. I’ll still go back to try their fried tilapia which I was told is flounder now.
Ha! I loved this place. Born and raised in Atlanta and this was my first time going. The food was excellent. I told my fiance I would take him but he will have to bring his own salt packets. Lol. But I love their ideals too.
The food and service was absolutely wonderful. There can be a long wait so I highly recommend going on their website and checking in online. The food and service is worth the wait.
Rating is based only on service/hospitality. It looked as if the Cafe seats no more than 40 people. Arrived around 6pm and there were 2 lines outside: one for takeout and one for seating. We were told it would be 45 minutes for takeout and we were willing to wait. Waited until 630pm and still had not even placed our order. A staff person began telling people they weren't seating anyone else, even though there was a line of people who had put their names on a list. People were upset and the staff person was rude. We decided to leave. This place left a really bad impression with us.
Fried chicken in the South is one of the defining dishes that will probably start family wars and class action disagreements. However, over the years I have come to appreciate the peanut oil fried chicken (often voted best in Atlanta) at the simple urban soul food diner just west of the Dome. This is one of the few Fried Chickens I have craved. Yes, there's fantastic soul food sides like fried okra and mashed potatoes (request the side of gravey used to top the other favorite, smothered pork chops). The staff is polite but be prepared even on a weekday evening or lunch to wait for a spot.
I had heard about the food at Busy Bee Cafe from several friends so while visiting Atlanta, I had to stop and get some. The place is very small and the lines were out the door when I arrived. You cannot go here if you are in a hurry. I was determined so I waited. After about 30 mins, I felt lucky to get a seat at the bar. It took another 10 mins to order but after that, I was glad I waited. I ordered the smothered pork chops, candied yams, with mac & cheese. My pork chops were enough to share if I wanted to. Everything I ordered was delicious. I would highly recommend Busy Bee Cafe if you have time. The 4 stars instead of 5 is only because the service could be improved.
It was an amazing experience, the only down side to this restaurant, is a lack of space. The restaurant has some amazing food. I ordered the fried chicken, with black eyed peas & mac and cheese. It was amazing, the chicken was juicy and the crust was soft, flaky, and crunchy. You can tell they brine the chicken as well as the flavor is seasoned extremely well throughout. The sides were just as amazing, the black-eyed peas were seasoned with meats. As much as I loved the food, I could do with more space. The wait wasn’t too long either, prompt service.
I love the food and the warm southern culture! You'll definitely be back after the first time you visit! It does get very crowded but the service never changes. Even if you order to go, the food is just as delicious! I love love love it!
The wait is insane on a Sunday. Do not go! I would recommend visiting on that day. The staff is very friendly and accommodating! Food was good...
Everything is Excellent.
The Greens are the best I've ever had...I just kept taking bites, trying to figure out how they got the flavour and texture so perfect. Not too salty - perfect taste - and just firm enough, not mushy.
The chicken is clearly brined for awhile before they cook it - juicy flavour sings throughout the meat.
The energy here is lively, friendly - and the service is on point! They have a small parking lot in front, which helps too.
Busy Bee was my first meal on this trip to Atlanta and set the bar so high, no one has come close yet...
This place should be ashamed of themselves for how they messed up these oxtails. They taste like seasoned salt or accent. And their not trimmed or tender. I thought I was eating stew beef. Totally upset I spend $20+ there. And they use boil in the bag rice. What kind of black establishment soul food restaurant uses that kind of rice. Trust me and don’t go... You will be highly disappointed.
I took my two girls there for lunch and it was exactly what we needed. The vegetables are pork free, not over cooked, and they also served some of the best cornbread. I ordered the whiting, and it was fried to perfection. The Mac n cheese, broccoli/rice casserole, and greens were seasoned to perfection. Unfortunately , the only downside was the wait time and limited space, but I can say it was work the wait! Shout out to the hostess with the dreads, and my server Diane :)
Really tasty down home last century Sunday Dinnersl you grew up that hardly anybody has the time or even capacity to cook like. There is a lot of the food your Dr. Won't recommend as good for your arteries.Just don't eat here everyday and don't tell your Dr. When you do. Bring your appetite and guard your plate. if you can afford it you should order everything on the menu and the daily specials can't be forgotten about either.
I had not eaten at the Busy Bee in three years, maybe more. It was nice to be to see an old friend working. I ordered the smothered pork chops. With rice and gravy. My sides were collards, and sweet potatoes. I couldn't eat it all. It was delicious.. I took the rest home. The conversation was great with my neighbor and the food even better. I plan to stop in more often.
Nope, nope, nope
No way fried chicken and mac and cheese is worth a minimum 2 hour wait on Sunday.
I see why people rave about it. The food is good, I have to admit. But I question those who spend the better part of their day in line for a few ounces of meat. This establishment is far too small to take the number of orders that they do. Not to mention the "hostess" is composed of a frantic individual running around with a tablet in the most disorganized fashion I have ever seen.
Fried chicken is consistently delicious and portions are abundant. Although there is a wait to get seated, it is always worth it. Your food is cooked when you order it, so it takes time to get it, but you know it's fresh. The has always been nice. I consider this place a staple of Atlanta restaurants.
They allow people to use the Busy Bee app or whatever it is called to ensure a place in line. There is a long, long, wait for a table. You can call your order in, if they answer the phone. The mac and cheese is grainy. Other items are really good. Be prepared to wait... A long, long, time on the weekends. The wait is not so bad during the week. Be prepared to spend $10 or more for your meal.
We got there alittle after they opened on a Monday. No wait and sat right at the counter. We had to get to the airport so we got our fried chicken to go so we could eat it in the car. Quick and friendly service and we were on out way.
This chicken was Awesome! Juicy, crispy and perfectly seasoned. Black eyed peas.were great and the Mac and cheese was perfect. I'll be back next time I'm in the neighborhood.
Oh my Goodness... Wear your big girl pants any time you're lucky enough to eat here. A!d by big girl... I mean elastic waist bands. Food is great! Chicken is mouth watering... All of the veggies are wonderful! Make sure you go home after eating because you will definitely have the "it is"!!!
The food was really good. The down side was the establishment was way to small to accommodate the crowd it attracts. We were directed outside( rather rudely) where we waited for about 25min to be seated and waited about another 45min to receive our food.Our waitress was very accommodating and pleasant so overall I still enjoyed the experience.
Order there all the time, my husband ordered some food for us over the phone,and I went to pick it up. It STILL wasn’t ready after 45 minutes even though we were told 15.
So I waited and waited and waited until I finally got my food. Not only was it cold, was told I couldn’t pay for it because it was in my husbands name. This place isn’t worth all of that trouble for an hour+ wait, cold food, high prices for small portions and the technicality of it being in his name. The food used to be better, the service as well. They honestly need to fire everyone and just start over. Laziness
I’m good love
Okay. You need to brace yo' entire self for the deliciousness you are about to experience when you go to this place. Hold your chest! I have been to many many many soul food restaurants. I can legitimately say that the flavors here - deliberate, perfected, balanced - are unmatched. I am speaking on behalf of the fried whiting, yams, collards, mac 'n cheese and peach cobbler. They love being cooked and served here. I can't imagine that the other foods aren't happy to be prepared and ultimately enjoyed here as well. Go and thank yo' self later for heeding wise counsel.
Had a very good experience for lunch. Went on a friend's recommendation and was not disappointed. My husband and I were greeted with a sincere smile from the hostess. Our server NeCee was very sweet, professional and proficient. She too greeted us with a warm smile although clearly busy with the lunch crowd. She took the time to pleasantly converse while taking our food order. Absolutely no complaints. Our food was very good! Both chicken and fish were seasoned and fried to perfection.
I have NEVER written a review for any diner, but I felt sooo compelled to let y'all know how absolutely amazing this food was. My first time and Busy Bee's has a customer for life. The collards are legit fresh, the yams had a sweet bourbon taste, and the music set the tone for the whole experience! It's worth the price, the wait, everything. You won't be disappointed!!!
Ordered, waited and waited and waited. Sat at the bar with another who ordered some time as me. He was served and eating for 25 min while I still waited. A couple seated after finished and left while I still waited. I canceled and walked out. Will never come here or recommend.
I am fine with a wait for food, but expect to be treated and prioritized like everyone else at the same time.
I was so excited to be able to stop by on a quick trip to pick up lunch/dinner after a visit last year.
The expedited check in with a hostess was great. The food was good as expected.
But the bill made it my last visit. An southern favorites with 2 additional side items (8 oz.) and large (16oz.) peach cobbler totaled $41.23.
The sides were $4.50 each. The cobbler was $14 so please update your online menu prices. The value for price paid impacted my rating otherwise it would have been a 4.
A star was lost due to it taking 4 calls before anyone would pick up the to go line beyond the automated system where I waited over 5 minutes the first time.
We were visiting from the Buckeye State and found Busy Bees while searching online. Let me just say this... Don't be fooled by the appearance...(Meaning nothing negative) It's a small place, people were outside sitting and standing so I didn't know what to think. Once we approached the building we seen that it was crowded and a waiting list. So we decided to wait and it was worth it! Had a great server by the name of Sheila. She was very friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and gave us great service. Plus the food was amazing! Cooked and seasoned well, served hot and to top things off 🍑 cobbler to die for!
Thanks for a great experience!
Smaller portions of soul food welcome given the calories! Great fried fish dinner choices on Fridays. Best with greens and yams. Yams very sweet but hey, you won't need dessert. Go for the ambiance and the historic photos on the walls. It's a Black nostalgia old school South thing for me.
The food was really good but definitely not worth the unreasonably long wait time. We were the only people in the restaurant. Doesn’t make any sense why it took so long. (Seriously, it’s was a REALLY long time) Hopefully y’all will have a better experience than we did. Time is money. Sorry Busy Bee cafe, we won’t be coming back.
Wanted to see what all the hype was about so we checked this place out. Long lines are always a good sign meaning many feel it’s worth the wait. I concur. Best chicken this side of the Atlantic. The Mac N cheese & yams were so good as well. The servers were ok under the circumstances because the place is extremely busy. Check this place out. Come hungry and patience. Amazing experience.
Enjoyed. Family and I went on Sunday expecting a long wait. Thankfully we were able to get in line utilizing their website. The atmosphere was good. Most importantly the food and service were great. Looking forward to their new bigger location.
The best soul food. Food always taste the same. Definitely worth the wait because you will have a wait. Pack your patience.
The sweet potato pie and cornbread dressing #best I've ever taste.
My daughter and I made a weekend trip to Atlanta and found this gem. The food.....there are no words to describe it..... it's the best!!! The fried chicken was the best I have ever had (don't tell my Granny that though)! Everything that I put in my mouth was phenomenal. The wait staff was so sweet and friendly. They made the experience even better. This place is a MUST if you're in Atlanta. We will definitely be back. It's worth the drive from NC!!!!
One of the best soul food restaurants in Atlanta. Staff is amazing and very friendly. Down home. The food is beyond excellent. Everything is cooked fresh and comes out in a timely manner. I would recommend the fried chicken - it’s one of my favorites.
Went here on Sunday for lunch with my girlfriend, who initially suggested this place. Being honest, as we approached the building I was a bit unsure of her selection. It looked like a whole in the wall (no offense Busy Bee!), but I decided to go with the flow. She had called ahead and there was a slight wait, maybe 12-20 minutes which we took to walk around the city and people watch. Once it was our turn, we went inside and I was shocked how small and crammed it was. Again, going with the flow I committed myself to try their fried chicken. WOW. Delicious. It was by far top 3 in my history of eating chicken. The staff were super friendly and attentive. Everybody seemed to know everybody which added to the positive vibes. I wish there was a location closer to me, but this place is a MUST for anybody in the city. Will be back again.
The food is FANTASTIC!! This is the best soul food I have tasted anywhere in the US!!! The prices are a little steep. They also add a fee for take out which is a little disappointing considering the food is pricey anyway. That being said the food is AWESOME with a chill vibe inside. The workers are very personable with a southern sweetness. This place is so legendary with many celebrities and sports figures such as baseball great Dusty Baker, who rave about the food here. In fact, Baker, and others have autographed pictures on the wall. The inside has an old cafe look and feel like something from the 1960's. It's located in the historic West End neighborhood of Atlanta! It's a must eat whenever in the West End folks...
This place is amazing. The food is absolutely delicious. I was in doubt because I have eaten at several “soul food” restaurants here in Atlanta and I was very disappointed. Then a dear friend of mine suggested we go here I was very skeptical. My Busy Bee Cafe experience was well worth it. Everything was top notch the food and the customer service will definitely have you want to come back again. Make sure you order some dessert as well. It was a great experience. I definitely will recommend this restaurant if you are in town do stop by.
Great food. We came down from Wisconsin and the food here was super flavorful. Everyone in our group loved it. Awards all over the wall. Great service and staff. Very small space that is cozy and part of the charm, and they are done serving at 7 pm I think. Have to try their friend chicken and banana pudding!
I love soul food and everyone kept telling me to try busy bees that its better than other restaurants I usually eat at. I have to disagree. The food is okay. I went on Monday Jan 1st at about 1. It is small so there were 2 lines formed outside; one for seating one for take out. For a table it would be an hour to an hour and a half wait. I opted for take out. Still waited about 40 minutes to put an order in but I got the order back relatively quickly.
Mac and cheese is great
yams were bland and watery
greens were okay
wasn't very fond of the cornbread
Couldn't eat the fried chicken because its made in peanut oil and I am allergic.
Ill stick to Mary Macs!
Great soul food. The collard greens are tender and flavorful. The macaroni and cheese is cheesy and tasty. Not much to complain about, so I won't. If you want delicious soul food in Atlanta, then this should be your first stop.
This is a great place!
I really loved the meal.
The food was fresh, properly prepared and a great value for the price. We highly recommend it. The breakfast on Sunday was equally good.
I get way too much happiness from good food.
This place was highly recommended online so we had to try it out.
Depending on the day there might be a huge lineup. There is a huge lineup just for takeout, which can take over an hour, and even when you get in to place your order it takes an hour to prepare it. The other line is to dine in, which can be a 2 hour wait.
We had to make 2 trips because the first time we ran short on time (had to catch a flight as we had a layover in Atlanta for part of the day).
The staff there were all super friendly, a hint of the southern hospitality we have heard about. Plus they enjoy chatting with us briefly when they aren't swamped.
We ordered the fried chicken, corn bread, peach cobbler and some of the sides (I think it was the yellow rice, Mac and cheese, fried okra and fried green tomatoes).
The peach cobbler was delicious and so amazing, I couldn't put my spoon down! Even when it was cold it was so good. The fried chicken were of course delicious and finger picking good. I like how crispy the skin was, how well seasoned and juicy the chicken was. The corn bread was delicious and tasted sweet, the waitress got us an extra helping of it when we finished our first.
I did not like the quantity of stuff you got for the price. The 2nd piece of chicken you got looked tiny compared to the 1st piece. The sides I was not a huge fan of. The mac and cheese lacked seasoning and was barely warm at all (like I ordered this for dine in so no reason for the temperature). The fried okra was so so, could use more seasoning. The yellow rice was yummy but extremely salty, the salt kind of overwhelmed any delicious flavoring the rice had. The fried green tomatoes was interesting and good, but again lacked seasoning.
It feels quite expensive and didn't give me the full southern soul food feel I was looking for.
Overall it was an interesting and delicious experience. But it was quite expensive for the portion size, the line up is ridiculous and not located in the best area.
Great fried chicken, super moist. Very friendly staff. The 2 of us shared a half-chicken that came with corn bread, fried okra and green collards. That was enough to fill us up! With a drink, the bill came out to $20. Great introduction to Georgia's cuisine!
ATLiens are faithful to this legendary establishment! We love a good meal and experience to the end of time. However, as a word of caution, it is not a quick in and out joint. Typically, it's about a 30-45 minute wait; although I have waited beyond 2.5 hours before. So, if you're hungry, get a snack. Secondly, do not be in a hurry. Apart from the extensive wait times, you can expect some really delicious, well-seasoned food. In comparison to some of the other soul food restaurants in the city, it can be on the pricier side. I think it would be nice if patrons were offered a courtesy drink, desert, or something to thank you for your patience. It would have definitely gone along way after waiting for more than an hour. Also, make sure you check in online prior to your arrival; it will save you a lot of time in the future. :)
The fool is so amazing. And so flavorful. I had the smothered chicken and rice with a side of cornbread dressing and a side of green beans. It's just like my grandmother's. My partner had the fried chicken, and a side of yams and a side of mac and cheese. They were equally as good. I will say this is not a quick experience. This place is busy!!! If you have something to do, go somewhere else. You must understand the culture. It's like double dutch, you jump in where you fit in. The Waitresses I so sweet and super helpful
The food is delicious and this is putting it lightly, they really put their foot in it! Lol. Whatever you order will be cooked to perfection and seasoned just right. The pork chops, catfish, yams, cornbread dressing with gravy ALL GOOD!!! If you don't get there at the right time the wait could be long.
I have loved Busy Bee for over twenty five years as it kept me full throughout college. Staff has been like family over the years. This place just feels like LOVE! Hands down the BEST fried chicken ever! Always busy and usually a wait ... but oh so very worth it!!! Wish I had another stomach because I wanted so much more! ❤❤❤ Please bring back the FRIED CORN as it was my fave and I miss it so!
Our first stop when we come to Atlanta. BEST Fried Chicken...juicy, flavorful and fresh fried...get the half because 2 pieces aren't enough! The fried pork chops are sensational... gotta smother with gravy! Sides always Yum! MacNcheese, turnip greens and okra...if you have to wait, DO IT!
On this Saturday I went to Red Lobster for dinner but wanted some good dessert. Originally we stopped at The Beautiful for some Peach Cobbler. They didn't...read this and 601 more