Inside Atlanta: Chef and Restaurateur Ford Fry

Atlanta Restaurateur, Ford Fry, shares his favorite spots in Atlanta

Inside Atlanta: Ford Fry
Dustin Chambers

We're back with our series Inside Atlanta—each week, we sit down with influential locals to talk about what Atlanta means to them. Today we’re chatting with Ford Fry, the restaurant mogul and chef behind some of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants, including St. Cecilia, The Optimist, JCT Kitchen and no.246. If you fancy yourself a foodie, then odds are you’ve dined at one of his gems. His latest restaurant, Inman Park’s BeetleCat, brought his Atlanta restaurant total to 10 and is proof that his empire is taking over.

The Houston native has been in Atlanta for over a decade and loves the city he calls home. Today we get a tour of The Big Peach led by Fry himself

I live in… “Roswell, GA – yes… OTP! It’s a great escape actually.”

I Wish People Knew… “how fresh and exciting Atlanta’s culinary scene is! There has been a major shift in restaurants migrating to neighborhoods like Inman Park and O4W instead of main corridors. This is where chefs and owners are given the opportunity to shine."

You Can Find Me… “I have two favorite coffee shops at the moment. The first is Octane Coffee/Little Tart Bakery on Memorial Drive. They make great espressos and the best pastries in the city for sure. Chattahoochee Coffee on the Westside is my more frequent spot, and not only is the coffee fantastic, the people there make it special. In the evening you can find me bouncing around from restaurant to restaurant touching base with those I work with, and eating too much food.”


It’s Dinner Time, I’m Headed to… “normally, dinner time for me is a bit later, so I’m headed to my pantry to grab some tortilla chips, cheese and jalapeños bound for ‘nacho time!’ If I’m able to eat out at other restaurants in Atlanta, Floataway Cafe is one of the best restaurants in the city that I think people need to keep being reminded of.”

Clock Strikes 5’oclock, I’m Drinking… “an OG margarita or Texas Star from Superica. I love The Porter Beer Bar too. The owners are great, food is fantastic and real, and hanging in little five is always entertaining.”

If I had to Stay in a Hotel, I’d Check Into… “the newly renovated Four Seasons!”

Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret is… “Buford Highway. One spot is El Rey del Taco, an authentic Mexican taqueria that makes its own tortillas. Also, Ming’s BBQ, a Cantonese place, which makes a really tasty crispy duck and roast pork.”


When I’m Playing Tourist I go to… “the Georgia Aquarium is fantastic, but I also like getting in the water so I would hit up Lake Lanier Island Water Park!” 


I Get My Sweat On… “playing tennis in Roswell for sure.”