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Tracey Gates and Michael Jordan

Ramona King

Tracey Gates (left) of Busy Bee Cafe being interviewed by Southern Kitchen's Mike Jordan


Watch as Busy Bee Cafe owner Tracy Gates shares the secrets of world-class soul food

The story of Busy Bee Cafe is deeply woven into the fabric of Atlanta history. Famed for its unfailingly good fried chicken and other soul food standards, Busy Bee has made regulars of visitors far and wide.

It has a long-established reputation for making every guest feel like a local, whether they're presidential candidates, Civil Rights Movement leaders, global music celebrities or just members of Atlanta’s West End and Vine City communities, who’ve lived within walking distance long before the arrival of the city’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is just down the street on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Associate Editor Mike Jordan recently stopped by Busy Bee on the way to work to talk with owner and chef Tracy Gates, whose family has operated the cafe for more than 30 years. While the kitchen prepared to meet the immediate rush of guests, who stormed the doors as soon as they were unlocked for lunch service, Gates spoke about the secrets of soul food, staying true to the neighborhood, and what it takes to run a restaurant famous for serving world leaders.

Watch the video below:

Learn more about the secrets of soul food by listening to our podcast, Sunday Supper

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Mike Jordan is Southern Kitchen's former associate editor. He was also the host of our podcast, Sunday Supper. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including The Huntsville Times, American Way, Upscale, Time Out, NewsOne, Fatherly and Thrillist, where he served as the founding Atlanta editor. He lives in East Point, Ga., with his amazing wife and daughter, and loves writing, playing alto saxophone, cooking, craft beer, and cocktails. He is admittedly much better at these things than basketball, so never choose him for your pickup team.