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9 Atlanta Restaurants Helping Their Neighbors During the COVID-19 Crisis

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It’s no secret that bars and restaurants have taken a particularly hard hit from the impact of COVID-19. But Atlanta’s hospitality scene is still doing everything it can to support the community — with food and otherwise — while stimulating the economy by creating and sustaining local jobs. Award-winning restaurants have pivoted their models to include soup kitchens, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, and contactless neighborhood bodegas. Others are offering discounts to first responders or delivering meals to families in need. During the recent protests against police brutality, restaurants also have shown support by attending rallies or raising money for racial justice initiatives.

And despite the unpredictable times, restaurateurs are celebrating Atlanta’s diverse, vibrant food scene in the best way possible: by supporting the people that bring all its flavors to life. Below, we’ve spotlighted a few restaurants “doing good” for their neighborhoods right now. Want to help out? When we support small business, we support our communities, so be sure to follow these restaurants’ Facebook and Instagram pages or find more resources at Facebook’s Small Business support hub.

A number of restaurants around the metro Atlanta area have reopened and are following the state requirements and CDC guidelines to help make sure you have a great dining experience. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit atlantaga.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Red Pepper Taqueria

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3135 Piedmont Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 869-2773
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Lebanese-born and Spanish-raised chef Mimmo Alboumeh marries his diverse culinary background with a love for fresh, bold flavors at Red Pepper Taqueria. When restaurants and bars closed at the start of the coronavirus crisis, Alboumeh used his kitchen to feed those experiencing homelessness. He also partnered with Daniel Troppy of Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) to deliver meals to Lost-N-Found Youth, an Atlanta shelter for young people in the LGBTQ+ community.

2. 8ARM

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710 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(470) 875-5856
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When the pandemic took hold, executive chef Maricela Vega took action — by transforming her restaurant 8ARM into a takeaway model with a CSA program featuring fresh produce from local farmers. She also teamed up with the Atlanta-based art nonprofit Living Walls to create the Each One, Feed One program; for every CSA box purchased, another box will go to to an undocumented family through Freedom University. Vega told us: “There were a few times where I went to help distribute the boxes for Each One, Feed One, and the students would just look at you and say, ‘You have no idea how much this really means to us.’” Recently, Vega also announced that she’d be adding a 20-percent service charge to all orders so that 8ARM’s employees can be guaranteed a living wage.

3. H&F Burger

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675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(678) 235-2682
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Longtime Atlanta restaurateur Linton Hopkins joined forces with fellow chefs Michael Lennox and Edward Lee on the Restaurant Workers Relief Program. Together they combined resources to create #ATLFamilyMeal, delivering essential food (1,800 meals a week), cleaning supplies, diapers, and personal hygiene products to restaurant employees who had been laid off or seen a significant reduction in pay. They also provided 2,400 meals a week to doctors, nurses, and medical workers through Emory University’s Feed the Frontlines project, and 5,600 meals a week to families with children, shut-ins, and other at-risk families in the Buford Highway Corridor through We Love BuHi and World Central Kitchen

4. One Eared Stag

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1029 Edgewood Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 525-4479
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Like many of its peers, One Eared Stag pivoted to a takeout and patio model during COVID-19. However, the beloved Inman Park restaurant also opened up a bodega to help local farmers and ranchers sell their goods and to act as a resource for customers needing basic supplies. In addition to organic veggies, fresh herbs, and local meat options, customers have been able to pick up sundries like bone broth, potato-skin chips, unshucked oysters, olives, and more — all safely served through a market window.

5. Big Dave's Cheesesteaks

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57 Forsyth St NW Suite 63
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 343-0259
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Big Dave’s CEO and founder Derrick Hayes does more than keep Atlanta fed with his award-winning sandwiches. During the pandemic, Hayes and his employees have fed health care workers at Atlanta hospitals and donated to the family of Rayshard Brooks, the man fatally shot by Atlanta police in late June. Most recently, Hayes showed up with baby supplies and offered jobs to teens selling water on the streets, welcoming them to the Big Dave’s family.

6. Mr Everything Deli

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899 M.L.K. Jr Dr SW
Atlanta, GA 30314
(404) 521-9903
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When owners Monica and Jayson Smith opened their first location of Mr. Everything Cafe in downtown Atlanta in 1993, they did so to provide jobs and healthy food options for the community. Now five locations strong (with four in Georgia and one in Louisiana), Mr. Everything continues to act as a pillar of the community, having offered discounts on their sandwiches, salads, and protein-powered rice bowls to doctors, nurses, first responders, firefighters, educators, sanitation workers, social workers, flight attendants, postal workers, grocery employees, and other essential workers.

7. SluttyVegan ATL

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1542 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW
Atlanta, GA 30310
(855) 439-7588
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Why let meat-eaters have all the fun? This plant-based food truck serves dishes with irreverent names like One Night Stand and Menage a Trois, but owner Aisha “Pinky” Cole is working toward an important mission. Her eponymous foundation provides education and resources to help communities of color achieve economic progress and break cycles of poverty. She recently partnered with HBCU Clark Atlanta University in a joint effort to send the four children of Rayshard Brooks to college.

8. Gunshow

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924 Garrett St
Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 380-1886
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Chef, restaurateur, author, former reality-TV contestant, and cancer-survivor Kevin Gillespie has his hands full with five different Atlanta and Decatur concepts (Gunshow, Cold Beer, Revival, Ole Reliable, and Gamechanger). And now the philanthropic chef has been keeping busier than ever. Gillespie partnered with Meals of Love to give nutritious, chef-prepared meals to Atlanta public schools families, plus started a weekly Powerful Progress Tuesday tradition on his own Instagram account, where he uses the space to share stories and messages from some of Atlanta’s Black leaders and the organizations they support. 

9. Little Tart Bakeshop

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68 Georgia Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
(404) 348-4797
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Little Tart’s picture-perfect pastries made with local, seasonal fruit should be all the motivation you need to visit the Cabbage Town cafe. But the shop is committed to much more than making incredible danishes and bostocks. On Father’s Day, they teamed up with restaurants and bars across the South to raise nearly $100,000 for Color of Change, an organization that seeks to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. They just hosted another social-justice bake sale on August 22.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Red Pepper Taqueria

3135 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Lebanese-born and Spanish-raised chef Mimmo Alboumeh marries his diverse culinary background with a love for fresh, bold flavors at Red Pepper Taqueria. When restaurants and bars closed at the start of the coronavirus crisis, Alboumeh used his kitchen to feed those experiencing homelessness. He also partnered with Daniel Troppy of Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) to deliver meals to Lost-N-Found Youth, an Atlanta shelter for young people in the LGBTQ+ community.

3135 Piedmont Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

2. 8ARM

710 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

When the pandemic took hold, executive chef Maricela Vega took action — by transforming her restaurant 8ARM into a takeaway model with a CSA program featuring fresh produce from local farmers. She also teamed up with the Atlanta-based art nonprofit Living Walls to create the Each One, Feed One program; for every CSA box purchased, another box will go to to an undocumented family through Freedom University. Vega told us: “There were a few times where I went to help distribute the boxes for Each One, Feed One, and the students would just look at you and say, ‘You have no idea how much this really means to us.’” Recently, Vega also announced that she’d be adding a 20-percent service charge to all orders so that 8ARM’s employees can be guaranteed a living wage.

710 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

3. H&F Burger

675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

Longtime Atlanta restaurateur Linton Hopkins joined forces with fellow chefs Michael Lennox and Edward Lee on the Restaurant Workers Relief Program. Together they combined resources to create #ATLFamilyMeal, delivering essential food (1,800 meals a week), cleaning supplies, diapers, and personal hygiene products to restaurant employees who had been laid off or seen a significant reduction in pay. They also provided 2,400 meals a week to doctors, nurses, and medical workers through Emory University’s Feed the Frontlines project, and 5,600 meals a week to families with children, shut-ins, and other at-risk families in the Buford Highway Corridor through We Love BuHi and World Central Kitchen

675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

4. One Eared Stag

1029 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Like many of its peers, One Eared Stag pivoted to a takeout and patio model during COVID-19. However, the beloved Inman Park restaurant also opened up a bodega to help local farmers and ranchers sell their goods and to act as a resource for customers needing basic supplies. In addition to organic veggies, fresh herbs, and local meat options, customers have been able to pick up sundries like bone broth, potato-skin chips, unshucked oysters, olives, and more — all safely served through a market window.

1029 Edgewood Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

5. Big Dave's Cheesesteaks

57 Forsyth St NW Suite 63, Atlanta, GA 30303

Big Dave’s CEO and founder Derrick Hayes does more than keep Atlanta fed with his award-winning sandwiches. During the pandemic, Hayes and his employees have fed health care workers at Atlanta hospitals and donated to the family of Rayshard Brooks, the man fatally shot by Atlanta police in late June. Most recently, Hayes showed up with baby supplies and offered jobs to teens selling water on the streets, welcoming them to the Big Dave’s family.

57 Forsyth St NW Suite 63
Atlanta, GA 30303

6. Mr Everything Deli

899 M.L.K. Jr Dr SW, Atlanta, GA 30314

When owners Monica and Jayson Smith opened their first location of Mr. Everything Cafe in downtown Atlanta in 1993, they did so to provide jobs and healthy food options for the community. Now five locations strong (with four in Georgia and one in Louisiana), Mr. Everything continues to act as a pillar of the community, having offered discounts on their sandwiches, salads, and protein-powered rice bowls to doctors, nurses, first responders, firefighters, educators, sanitation workers, social workers, flight attendants, postal workers, grocery employees, and other essential workers.

899 M.L.K. Jr Dr SW
Atlanta, GA 30314

7. SluttyVegan ATL

1542 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW, Atlanta, GA 30310

Why let meat-eaters have all the fun? This plant-based food truck serves dishes with irreverent names like One Night Stand and Menage a Trois, but owner Aisha “Pinky” Cole is working toward an important mission. Her eponymous foundation provides education and resources to help communities of color achieve economic progress and break cycles of poverty. She recently partnered with HBCU Clark Atlanta University in a joint effort to send the four children of Rayshard Brooks to college.

1542 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW
Atlanta, GA 30310

8. Gunshow

924 Garrett St, Atlanta, GA 30316

Chef, restaurateur, author, former reality-TV contestant, and cancer-survivor Kevin Gillespie has his hands full with five different Atlanta and Decatur concepts (Gunshow, Cold Beer, Revival, Ole Reliable, and Gamechanger). And now the philanthropic chef has been keeping busier than ever. Gillespie partnered with Meals of Love to give nutritious, chef-prepared meals to Atlanta public schools families, plus started a weekly Powerful Progress Tuesday tradition on his own Instagram account, where he uses the space to share stories and messages from some of Atlanta’s Black leaders and the organizations they support. 

924 Garrett St
Atlanta, GA 30316

9. Little Tart Bakeshop

68 Georgia Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

Little Tart’s picture-perfect pastries made with local, seasonal fruit should be all the motivation you need to visit the Cabbage Town cafe. But the shop is committed to much more than making incredible danishes and bostocks. On Father’s Day, they teamed up with restaurants and bars across the South to raise nearly $100,000 for Color of Change, an organization that seeks to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. They just hosted another social-justice bake sale on August 22.

68 Georgia Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

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