RECIPE: Make Southern Bistro’s Coca-Cola Braised Collard Greens

Southern Bistro’s Coca-Cola Braised Collard Greens. (Courtesy of Justin Keith)

Credit: Justin Keith

Credit: Justin Keith

Southern Bistro’s Coca-Cola Braised Collard Greens. (Courtesy of Justin Keith)

My friends and I like to meet for lunch at Southern Bistro on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. They have wonderful homemade dishes and desserts. One of their staple sides is collard greens made with Coca-Cola. I’ve tried to replicate this dish based on recipes I’ve seen online, but none compare. Would they be willing to share the recipe? — Janet Busler, Roswell

Justin Keith, Southern Bistro’s owner and chef, was happy to share this recipe. His grandparents grew collards and he grew up seeing them on the dining room table every Sunday. He says he never ate them.

But because he wanted to have this quintessential Southern vegetable on the menu, he looked for a way to prepare them that he could enjoy. “The ‘wow’ ingredient in our recipe is Coca-Cola. It’s not so much that it makes the greens taste like Coke, but for the sweetness and flavor it adds. We have gotten lots of great feedback from our guests over the years about our greens and have converted many doubters along the way.”

Diners love the collards so much they often purchase pints and quarts to go. The restaurant prepares 10-pound batches of these several times a week.

Keith reminds our readers that the cooking liquid, also known as pot liquor, is delicious and full of vitamins and iron from the greens. “Do not throw it away. Use it to cook beans or rice, or make soup with it. You can even use it to boil peanuts.”

Southern Bistro’s Coca-Cola Braised Collard Greens

Note: For nutritional calculations, a “pinch” is defined as 1/16 teaspoon.

From the menu of . . . Southern Bistro, 4920 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs; 404-705-8444,

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to and put “From the menu of” and the name of the restaurant in the subject line.

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