Where to Go in Atlanta to Celebrate National Chicken Month

We’re not sure who creates these things, but there are a plethora of recognized food days to be celebrated. There are weird ones like National Cheeseball Day, and ones that are very American like National Apple Pie Day and National Hot Dog Day.  

We’re not sure why we need a day to commemorate white chocolate or butterscotch pudding, but we stand behind September as National Chicken Month. Here are some of the great places and ways to celebrate chicken around Atlanta.  


Fried at Busy Bee Café

This West End classic has been around since 1947 and continues to as an Atlanta fried chicken institution. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ate here. President Barack Obama ate here. After a 12-hour marinade and a mix of spices, the lightly breaded pieces come out crisp, golden, and, as they say, “Bee-licious.” We always hope lima beans are on the rotating menu of side dishes. 810 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. NW; 404-525-9212, www.thebusybeecafe.com  


A Whole Bird to Share at Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall

The "Base Camp" section of the menu at Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall features group meals for 3-4 people. Grab a couple of friends, order a few drinks and people watch while awaiting a treat. The Spatchcock Chicken is a whole bird smoked with grilled onions, peppers, and cilantro. It is served with corn tortillas and salsa rojo and verde. It's kind of like the best camping trip finish ever but without all the preparation fuss. To complete the experience, add a Peanut Butter S'mores Pie. 684 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue NE; 404-458-6838, www.ladybirdatlanta.com  


In Sausage at Chop Shop

Butcher/owner Rusty Bowers has a full circle philosophy when it comes to his new butcher- and farmer-owned store full of handcrafted, humanely raised meats, sausages, charcuterie and locally sourced produce and provisions. Two-inch links of his chicken breakfast sausage are flavored with sage, cracked black pepper and chilies stuffed within natural lamb casing. They are not just for breakfast and imbued with light applewood smoke. 1366 Memorial Drive; 404-370-1818, www.chopshopatl.com


A Wee Sandwich at Victory

Victory Sandwich Bar makes the perfectly sized sandwiches for when you want a little something or you want to try different flavors and combinations. Zero Clucks is savory with a little bit of sweet, pairing honey chicken with bacon, herbed ricotta, chutney, and peach mustard. It goes great with a Jack and Coke slushie. 340 Church St. 404-377-9300 and 913 Bernina Avenue NE; 404-963-1742, www.vicsandwich.com


Spicy Dumplings at Gu’s Kitchen

Tender bundles of chicken are boiled in Gu’s sweet, spicy, and garlicky Zhong sauce, soaking into the thin covering at the newish Gu’s Kitchen on Buford Highway. Toasted sesame seeds add a bit of texture. Don’t skip the Chengdu cold noodles from the menu of Sichuan street food. They help balance the heat and have a super fun presentation. 4897 Buford Highway; 470-299-2388, www.guskitchen.com


On Toast at AIX

Chef Nick Leahy’s mission at Westside’s AIX is to transport the eater to Provence. A dry glass of Chenin with an order of his Chicken Liver Pate instantly works the magic. Spread crusty house made brioche with his luscious pate with accouterments of pickles and tomato jam. Or splurge with a charcuterie board including this delicacy. 956 Brady Avenue; 770-838-3501, www.aixatl.com


Classic Buffalo Wings at Moe’s and Joe’s

Open since 1947, Moe’s and Joe’s has been around longer than the creation of the Buffalo wing. A basket of deep-fried wings gets tossed in a vinegary-cayenne-butter sauce, and served with celery and blue cheese. The crisp exterior gives way to a tender interior with sauce melted into it. We like our basket to come “hot and wet.” 1033 N. Highland Avenue (Virginia Highlands); 404-873-6090. www.moesandjoes.com


In Comforting Soup at the General Muir

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The Matzoh Ball Soup at The General Muir is a touchstone if your grandmother ever made you chicken soup. A bowl of intensely chicken-y broth is chock full of tiny cubes of celery and carrots surrounding a giant, soft-poached cornbread dressing matzoh ball. Glistening blobs of schmaltz (chicken fat) dot the surface along with flecks of parsley and dill. At lunch, it is served with half a sandwich. 1540 Avenue Place; 678-927-9131. www.thegeneralmuir.com


Hot Chicken at Richard’s Southern Fried

Todd Richards has refined his fried chicken recipe over the years to the soulful version you can find today at his Krog Street Market stall. With three spice levels (classic, hot, and Richards’ hot) to choose from, each meal also comes with cornbread and pickles. It’s brined with a crackily dark crust with spices that bring both the sweet and the heat. Don’t skip his collard green pho as a side. Bonus: his crunchy chicken is gluten free. 99 Krog Street NE; 678-732-9594,  www.richardssouthernfried.com  


Chicken Meatballs at Whiskey Bird

Morningside’s Whiskey Bird serves small plates of tacos, sliders, and greens. Smoky aromas draw you into the clean, modern space boasting a menu that is a marriage of Japanese gastronomy with Spanish sensibilities. We’ve been known to make a meal of their crispy chicken meatballs with a zingy ginger glaze. This summer they opened for lunch service, something for which their small plates are well suited.  1409 N. Highland Avenue NE; 404-600-5797, www.eatwhiskeybird.com

Heather Sinyard