HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >


Need Cheap Family Eats in Atlanta

  • p

We're going to be staying at the Holiday Inn right by Centennial Park from 7/4 thru 7/8 (Wed thru Sun) and need some good CHEAP places to eat. We are a family of five with 3 kids ages 6-9. Might anyone know of some places that have kids nights or are relatively inexpensive? We are on a pretty slim budget. Are there any good buffet places in the area?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Gotta try the Varsity. It is cheap, famous and fun for the kids. It is the largest fast food restaurant in the world( or one of the largest. Try the Frosted orange, onion rings and chili dogs!

    3 Replies
    1. re: toddle

      We're def going to give the Varsity a try. My husband was drooling over their burgers on the web site! Any thoughts on Johnny Rockets? I saw their site, but their menu didn't give prices.

      1. re: peebs

        We have Johnny Rockets here in CA and their burgers are devine! Around here the burgers go for around $6.00 but fries are extra. Cheap eats here and it really is a sound juicy burger.

        1. re: bubbles4me

          Wow, I didn't realize they were everywhere! We're in Charleston, SC and none here. We went to CA six years ago and we were fasinated with Weinerschnitzel (or however you spell it). They had some special and we got like a dozen chili dogs, bunch of fries and drinks for like $10! You can't get much cheaper than that; we like to do stuff like that for lunch!

    2. "Slice" for pizza and salads and "No Mas Cantina" for mexican are very close in Castleberry Hill, literally less than a five minute drive, if you have a car.

      5 Replies
      1. re: rcburli

        Do you know if they are convenient to the subway? We've decided to park the car and just get Marta visitor passes. My oldest daughter is Autistic (very anal about what she eats) and loves pizza, so slices sounds great!

        1. re: peebs

          For pizza, I would recommend Fellini's. There are several locations, including in Buckhead, not too far from you I think, on Peachtree.

          1. re: brooklynroxie

            Marta doesn't have a stop near Fellini's in Buckhead.

            1. re: brooklynroxie

              And, Buckhead isn't "close" to Centennial Park. But there are other locations - like the one on Ponce.

            2. re: peebs

              Yes, you can take MARTA to Castleberry Hill. Have fun in the neighborhood.

          2. The Varsity is good, cheap. It can get crowded.

            Landmark Diner is good too.

            Also hit citysearch.com, there are lots of reviews on other eateries there. The cool thing about Atlanta is that there are so many options from the $$$ places that require a second mortgage to the places like Varsity that are reasonable.

            What I do when I'm there is to open up my mapping software then see where my hotel is then map out the restaurants. Makes it easier when you have kids in tow.

            10 Replies
            1. re: rick in asheville

              We are also going to Atlanta, with our 10 yo daughter and her 10 yr old school friend, staying in Buckhead. I want to try some real southern bbq... I've read Fat Matt's Rib Shack (or something like that) is good... any comments? Is it kid friendly too? Thanks....

              1. re: roykirk1

                When we are in Atlanta we usually eat at one of 4 places:
                -Varsity (kid likes it, it usually works me over)
                -Coco Loco (Cuban), moderately priced but the food is pretty good and the service is usually good though I once had a water who didn't seem to care what happened that day. For the 3 of us it costs around 55.00
                -Violette (French), cheap for French, the food is good and the staff are attentive. For the 3 of us it ran 75.00 but that included wine, beer and 2 desserts.
                -Flying Biscuit (breakfast). Reasonable, lots of food though it can get crowded.

                Never been to Matt's, I was raised on "down east" BBQ and what they call BBQ outside of eastern NC I find disgusting. ;)

                1. re: roykirk1

                  Fatt Matt's is only OK at best. It's nothing special, but evidently they've done some great marketing because everyone from out of town wants to go there! It's kid friendly during the day but turns into more of a grown-up place once 6-7 pm hits. Music starts up on the weekends and it can get VERY loud and the beer starts to flow! If you're really looking for unbeatable, authentic Georgia BBQ, look here: http://www.lostmountainbbq.com/ AKA: Sam & Dave's BBQ. Just do a search online and you'll be pleased.

                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                    Fatt Matt's is great for takeout. The food is awesome, but the place is too small and loud to stay there.

                2. re: rick in asheville

                  Great Idea! What's funny is that I love Ikea so much for shopping that I told my husband we were going there for breakfast everyday:) Talk about fine dining, but you can't beat breakfast meals for between 99 cents and $1.99!

                  1. re: peebs

                    Decatur is a nice area to walk around if you wanted to venture out of downtown. Several shops and restaurants. There is a Marta stop right in the heart of downtown. Cheap eats: Burrito Art, Taqueria del Sol.

                    1. re: weez

                      Another bump for Taqueria del Sol. Cheap, cheap, cheap and good!

                      1. re: weez

                        Decatur is a great place for family friendly dining. Inexpensive, kid friendly places include Crescent Moon diner for somethingforeveryone menu, Noodle for Asian noodle & rice bowls, Taqueria del Sol for super cheap/really tasty Mexican, & Johnny's for pizza. Also Coldstone Creamery for ice cream (can't remember if Jake's ice cream is still there or not). Lots of cute shops for art, books, clothes, & gifts, too. (Trying not to sound to shill-y here, it's just my neighborhood, so I know it well.)

                        1. re: potterybliss

                          Jake's Ice Cream is now inside the very awesome children's book store called Little Shop of Stories.

                      2. re: peebs

                        If you're going to Ikea around lunchtime (and aren't in the mood for their Sweedish Meatballs which are a good value in their own right) there is an Atlanta institution of sorts that's a short walk from Ikea that serves fantastic Cuban sandwiches for less than $5. It's called Kool Korner, and it's located on the corder of 14th and State streets. No credit cards, (no sign outside for that matter - just look for a beige clapboard "store" with a frosted glass door). Open only from 11a-3p Mon-Sat. Many a Georgia Tech student would have starved if it weren't for the awesome sandwiches from this treasure (I routinely make the drive from the airport into town just to pick up a sandwich or two). They offer one or two other kinds of sandwiches, but really it's the "Classico" that makes Kool Korner a legend. Nowhere to eat inside, but there's a picnic table on the side, and if that's full, then you can go behind into their parking lot and sit along the ledge or steps that lead to the street.

                    2. There's Rosa's Pizza on Broad St, very good slices and very inexpensive. There's a Zesto's on Ponce de Leon. Castleberry Hill is a good suggestion.
                      Good luck and have a great trip!

                      1. Try the CNN Center for lunch. It's easily within walking distance and there's lots of sandwich shops and fast food. Not the best culinary experience obviously, but it's quick.

                        Don't be looking for much more than an experience when you hit The Varsity. Their onion rings are better than anywhere you can find in the southeast ;-), but the overall food quality isn't great. I don't mean to bad mouth the place, it's fun! In fact I was just there last week, but my point is don't expect a revolutionary burger!

                        Definitely get to Taqueria del Sol. Also Eats is another great spot and REAAALLY cheap!

                        Eats: 600 Ponce De Leon Ave Ne, Atlanta - (404) 888-9149

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: HaagenDazs

                          Taqueria del Sol sounds perfect! I'm really not a "foodie", so high quality is nice, but not required. We're just so excited to take a real vacation and actually stay in a hotel instead of camping. I'd prefer to save a bit on food and have more to splurge on impulse buys:)

                          1. re: peebs

                            You mentioned you had a picky eater. Check out their menu before you go because it is not very big. I personally think everything there is great - just don't want your little one to be disappointed if there is nothing she likes.
                            You can drive to the one on the west side, or take Marta to Decatur location

                        2. Okay, I went on Restaurant.com and found three restaurants that appealed to me. Does anyone have feedback on Carnegies (downtown), Mick's (Downtown) and/or Savage Pizza? Are they all near Marta?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: peebs

                            The only one I know of is Mick's - it is basic chain restaurant food like Chili's or TGIFridays.... personally it's rather uninteresting but if that's what you're going for....

                          2. Ted's Montana Grill is around the corner from the CNN cneter. Good for burgers for the kids and pot roast, chicken, etc for the adults. There are a bunch of new restaurants around the aquarium, in fact if you are going to the aquarium they have good food.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: chickstein

                              I think Mick's is terrible - its like really bad diner food.

                              Ted's takes great pride in making everything fresh, and they usually have something for everyone.

                              1. re: Kingrover

                                Ditto on Mick's - yuck.

                                I also thoought of Ted's. You should check out their website. One person's definition of cheap may not be another's.

                                1. re: LizATL

                                  Mick's is out then. How about Savage Pizza? Their web site and menu looks really yummy and w/ the gift certificate we could do dessert and all for super cheap and it looks like fun! I saw they even have Ben and Jerry's IC which is a favorite of mine. We used to live near the plant in VT and they'd sell seconds that were seconds because they had to many chunks (like too much heathbar) in it!!!

                                  1. re: peebs

                                    It does look like fun, although I've never been.
                                    Savage Pizza is in Little Five Points and it's probably a 15 minute walk from a MARTA stop (Inman Park I believe). I don't think you would want to walk it, but Little Five is worth the visit and it's not far at all from Centennial Park by car.

                                    1. re: peebs

                                      Your kids will not like the pizza at Savage. You would be better off at Fellini's or Mellow Mushroom.

                                      If you do go to L5P, check out Zesto. The kids will love this throwback Ice Cream/burger place.

                                      1. re: chickstein

                                        I just had a great breakfast at The Silver Skillet on 14th which is also good for lunch.
                                        And don't forget Chickfila.

                              2. hi im going to be in atlanta and need the best cheap eats near the phillips arena and ga dome. what can u guys recommend. i wont be driving so need as close as possible.

                                1. tacqueria del sol in decatur, on cheshire bridge road and howell mill rd is excellent for the kids. if they're fussy just order chicken (fried strips) in a taco. otherwise there are frozen margueritas and specials that are usually very good