If you’ve eaten out in Atlanta over the past decade, then you’ve undoubtedly been to one of Ford Fry’s restaurants. There are almost as many of them as there are streets here with “Peachtree” in the name, and they tend to be successful, delicious, and distinct. But JCT Kitchen and Bar was the first, and it’s still one of the best.
The menu at this longtime Westside spot is full of Southern staples, like chicken and dumplings, vidalia onion soup, and shrimp and grits, all of which are made with slightly better ingredients and look a little more photogenic than any versions you may have grown up with. They also do a weekly “Sunday Supper” with a family-style meat-and-three, which comes with biscuits and deviled eggs, and is the perfect excuse to go out with your friends on a Sunday night.
While there are more Southern restaurants in Atlanta than you could ever count, JCT Kitchen and Bar finds a way to separate itself by serving really good versions of all the classics, while also creating a space that’s classy enough for a date, but casual enough to feel like you’re eating at someone’s house. Even if Fry opens another 10 restaurants over the next decade, JCT will still be one of our favorite places to go for dinner after work, grab drinks on the patio, or just eat some fried chicken and debate how the city’s founders ran out of street names so quickly.
This mac and cheese is everything you want it to be, and also comes with bacon. Get it as a side to share, or be honest with yourself and your friends, and get your own.
Always good and always on the menu, the dumplings are light and fluffy, so you don’t have to worry about feeling too weighed down afterwards. Well, at least not just from this dish.
JCT’s mussels come in a bacon, serrano chile, and onion broth. Use the toast to soak it all up, and then ask for more bread to soak up the rest.
The first and best thing you should order at JCT. The fried chicken comes with buttermilk biscuits, a side of collards, and a tiny bottle of housemade hot sauce.