With the arrival of fall an eye on the upcoming holidays, this month I chose to profile one of my favorite cold weather breakfast treats: French Toast.

It’s hard to go wrong with French Toast – the egg-battered bread fried up and drizzled with maple syrup and sometimes sprinkled with powdered sugar. It’s somehow both savory and sweet, and goes great with breakfast meats. My personal favorite is maple syrup on bacon, but that’s a story for another time.

The dish is a fairly simple concoction, but the varieties are endless. With origins that are speculated to date back to the 4th or 5th century in Europe, it has long been a fastidious way to make a filling meal using few ingredients and was traditionally served alongside game birds and other meats. In France, the dish is known as ‘pain perdu,’ a term which means “lost bread” and references the frequent repurposing of stale bread for the recipe. The popularity of the dish flourished across Europe and Asia, and as such has seen many iterations and evolutions.

In modern day America, it’s not at all uncommon to find French Toast listed on the menu of your favorite local restaurant (and some fast food joints) or served up hot and fresh on your family’s breakfast table. This month I visited five of my favorite local spots for the delectable dish, presented below for your consideration.

Folk Art Restaurant
465 N. Highland Ave. NE
(404) 537-4493 or folkartrestaurant.com
Cinnamon Pecan Sticky Bun French Toast, $8.25.

Le Petit Marche
1984 Hosea L Williams Drive NE
(404) 371-9888 or lepetitmarche.net
French Toast Sandwich: Vanilla-rum battered french toast, scrambled eggs, with your choice of bacon, Delia’s chicken sausage or veggie sausage all drizzled with warm buttery syrup, $8.99. 

Thomas’ Deluxe Grill
1812 Peachtree St., NW.
(404) 881-0246 or rthomasdeluxegrill.net
R.’s Big Breakfast Special: Half order of French toast, two eggs any style, choice of bacon, ham, or veggie sausage, $13.75.

Highland Bakery
655 Highland Ave. NE
(404) 586-0772 or highlandbakery.com.
Super thick slices of challah bread, topped with seasonal fresh fruit & French cream, with brown sugar butter on the side, $10.99 for full order or $5.99 for half order.

1565 N. Decatur Road
(404) 377-4407 or facebook.com/breakfastatl
French Toast two ways, with added mixed berries ($9.95), above, or with bananas ($9.50), below. Shown here with a Soy Mocha ($4.40) and a side of bacon ($3).

Avatar photo

Isadora Pennington

Isadora Pennington is a freelance writer and photographer based in Atlanta. She is the editor of Sketchbook by Rough Draft, a weekly Arts newsletter.