Discovering the Food of Atlanta

Leena Patel, 1st year Health Policy & Management Department


Atlanta is known for many things, but one thing I didn’t realize it was famous for was its amazing food. Seriously, Atlanta is a foodie’s heaven, and there is so much to explore, and so little time (and a limited budget for my dangerous eating habits)! Even if you aren’t a foodie, you seem to catch the fever when you’re here because there are so many fun things and places to discover. I love the lack of chain restaurants, and the abundance of mom-and-pop places with delightful grub.

No matter what meal or snack you’re going for, there are so many choices here. Feeling Thai? There are least five great places off the top of my head! There are tons of coffee shops, pastry bakeries, and specialty businesses too. Atlanta natives sure do love their brunch, and though I may be biased, I would say that it is one of the best meals of the day. Definitely try out some of the one’s listed here. A few friends and I made a habit of trying to go every couple of weeks, and we successfully tried out some real treats. I would suggest trying to get there early though; otherwise you will have to wait for a while while your stomach grumbles away. Nonetheless, don’t miss out on great lunch, dinner and dessert options as well!

There are plenty of places to get your foodie on, and I’ve found a good number of resources online to create a list of restaurants I want to visit in Atlanta. Some great resources include Atlanta Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants, a blog named Eat It, Atlanta, Creative Loafing’s Food and Drink section and their Best of Atlanta awards. Yelp, Zagat, and Eater. Your list will probably continue to grow, as mine has. Each time a friend talks about a yummy meal, I add the restaurant to my list. It’s getting to a pretty ridiculous length, and I may have to just eat my way to graduation next year. Believe me, I wouldn’t complain about that! I also love to talk to Atlanta natives, many who have found hidden gems in the growing food scene here. It’s also fun to try out new restaurants, which seem to pop up daily with unique takes on dishes.

There are also fun events like food and wine festivals, restaurant weeks and farmer’s markets to try out. There are always such fun things to try out! In fact, there’s a farmer’s market at Emory every Tuesday that I would highly suggest trying out. A bit of advice though: make reservations whenever possible, because the restaurant scene here makes for long wait times! Additionally, always look into parking arrangements at restaurants because areas of Atlanta have different parking situations. Also, be open to trying new things, you will likely surprise yourself (in a good way!).

Some suggested eateries to try out:
Café Intermezzo: amazing desserts and a 60+ page drink menu
Antico’s: Some of the best pizza I’ve ever had
The Porter: Great food and fantastic beer
Leon’s Full Service: known for their cocktails and unique food choices
Noodle: Lots of Asian-style choices
Tamarind Seed: Amazing Thai and don’t forget to have their coconut cake
Ormsby’s: Great American food and a fun bar area downstairs with fun games
Bhojanic: legitimately delicious Indian food
Rumi’s Kitchen: very friendly staff and fun Persian food
Murphy’s: known for their brunch, but they have delicious food all day
Chai Pani: Delicious way to try Indian street food
South City Kitchen: Yummy southern style food in a classy setting
Gladys Knights: Your go-to for chicken and waffles, a Southern staple
Vortex: serious burgers
Alon’s and Highland Bakery: the go-to places for pastries and desserts

Some places I haven’t tried but have heard great things about:
Poor Calvin’s
Community BBQ
Iberian Pig
Paper Plane
Barcelona Wine Bar
Sotto Sotto
Taqueria del Sol
Yeah! Burger
Sunflower Café
Cakes and Ale
Bocca Lupo
La Tavola Trattoria

Enjoy the great eats of Atlanta and take this chance to explore cool neighborhoods and areas like Little Five Points, the Highlands, Midtown, Buckhead, and Downtown Decatur!

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