Ann’s Snack Bar
1615 Memorial Drive
Atlanta, GA 30317
Open Monday-Saturday, 11am – 9pm
Atlanta has always been one of my favorite places to visit for it’s cultural and culinary aspects. The city is completely spread out and like Los Angeles, you spend a lot of time in your car, Garmin in hand, sitting in traffic. But despite the challenge of getting around, Atlanta has some of the best eats in the South. Last month, I was fortunate to be working in that great city. Before leaving the Capital of Georgia, I was instructed by my trusted friends that a visit to Ann’s Snack Bar must fit into my hectic itinerary, to complete my Southern burger quest. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal voted Miss Ann’s burger the best in the US. Now that’s a tall order!
Ann’s Snack Bar is located in the Kirkwood area on Memorial Drive. Pay close attention and don’t speed, because if you drive too fast (like I did), past the parking lot with a Rolls or Bentley, you have missed it. The snack bar is counter seating with exactly 8 stools. There is a television, fridge and at the grill is 67 year old Miss Ann, who has set rules about eating at her restaurant, which include no mobile devices, keeping your elbows off the counter, waiting outside the seating area until one opens up, no cursing or smoking and most important, having manners and addressing Miss Ann properly. If you can get pass this, along with (patiently) waiting outside in the patio for anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours… then you are ready to experience the world famous “Ghetto Burger.” Miss Ann is the sole full service cook/restaurateur. She makes every burger, one at the time, in the order it was received. The grill is often thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed and the counter is spotless. The “Ghetto Burger”, with everything on it has 2 beef patties, American cheese, onions, fresh tomato slices, lettuce, bacon, chili and Miss Ann’s special secret seasoning. You can order it with fries, but I wouldn’t bother. The burger is a massive piece of delicious edible art, that probably weights over a pound. Cutting it in half makes it easier, but however you choose to eat it will work, even with a knife and fork. The $8 burger is super juicy, cooked to perfection Miss Ann’s way on the medium side. The no frills burger bun is lightly grilled and all of the ingredients and toppings just melt together to form the most delicious mouthful of burger ever. You will savor every bite until you really can’t eat anymore. I don’t know how anyone can finish this; I ended up bringing half of it back to New York… and yes, it was just as tasty the next day! Other menu options include the “Hood” burger; which features two lean cheeseburgers topped with bacon and coleslaw, the chili dog; a deep fried hot dog doused with chili, or just regular burgers or cheeseburgers. But if you are serious about your burgers and have made the journey to Miss Ann’s, then order the “Ghetto Burger.”
Miss Ann has a steady clientele consisting of locals, business professionals and celebrities. However, since the Wall Street Journal accolade, Miss Ann has been visited by thousands of curious burger lovers internationally, along with food critics from the NY Times and most recently, NBC Nightly News. So if ever in Atlanta, stop in at Miss Ann’s for what I think will be the best burger you will ever eat.