8 Atlanta Foods to Try Before you Graduate

By Katie Brousseau, MPH’23 in Epidemiology

One of my favorite parts about attending Rollins for my MPH is the incredible food scene we have here in Atlanta. In my opinion, going out to eat is one of the best ways to get to know my classmates, explore new neighborhoods, and of course, eat some delicious foods. If you’re new to the city, you have a lot of ground to cover during your four semesters as an Emory Eagle when it comes to restaurants. Let this list be your go-to guide for exploring new restaurants in Atlanta. Here are 10 foods that I recommend trying before you graduate:

Bao Benedict from Whiskey Bird

Located in Morningside, one of Atlanta’s most charming neighborhoods, Whiskey Bird is incredible at any time of day. However, my personal favorite time to go is for brunch. They’re best known for putting a pan-Asian twist on American classics, like the Bao Benedict pictured here, and I am always excited to try something new and totally unique from their menu. I also highly recommend their queso & guacamole dip duo–I can’t go here for dinner or lunch without ordering it!

Donkey Kong Donut from BeetleCat

Inman Park is full of great restaurants that I would recommend trying if you have the chance. I love to go to BeetleCat for their donut brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and then head over to the Beltline for a relaxing walk. Their Donkey Kong donut, topped with an incredible banana pudding glaze, is a personal favorite, and I like to pair it with their avocado toast.

La Sureña from Arepa Mia

You truly cannot go wrong ordering anything off the menu at Arepa Mia. Arepas are a staple Venezuelan food made from ground maize that has been grilled and stuffed with meats, cheeses, veggies, and sauces. Personal favorites of mine are La Sureña, pictured here, and Sifrina.

Ethiopian Pasta from Desta

Don’t let the Italians take all the credit for making incredible pasta dishes! Desta, an Ethiopian restaurant with a handful of locations in Atlanta, serves up some of the tastiest pasta I have ever had. But really, the star of the show here is the injera–a spongy bread made from teff that is popular in Ethiopian cuisine. I like to scoop up the extra pasta sauce using the injera to enjoy the whole dish in one bite.

Roti Canai from Ruby Chow’s

Ruby Chow’s is a newer Asian fusion restaurant located in Midtown. I would say that they are best known for their bao buns, but my personal favorite dish is the roti canai, a soft and flaky flatbread served with flavorful Malaysian curry. Their ambient interior with candles on each table makes this a great spot for date night.

Pierogi Primavera from Brick Store Pub

Decatur Square is another charming Atlanta neighborhood that you’ll definitely want to check out while you’re here. As a bonus for car-free folks, Emory’s CCTMA shuttle will drop you off the Square at no cost! Brick Store Pub is easily one of my favorite places to go for decadent comfort foods like the pierogi primavera pictured here. I would also recommend the chicken pot pie (if you can get there before they sell out) or their pork sandwich.

Rapini from Bellina Alimentari

You can’t graduate from Rollins without trying something from Atlanta’s iconic Ponce City Market. Let me make the case for letting that something be the rapini from Bellina Alimentari. Tender, juicy pork; pasta made freshly in-house; silky, buttery sauce; just a hint of crushed chili; cozy patio seating; a full list of wine to pair it with. Are you in?

Grandpa’s Candy from Killer Grindhouse Burgers

Can an alcoholic milkshake accurately be described as food? I’ll let you be the judge of that after you give Grandpa’s Candy from Killer Grindhouse Burgers a try. This is a salted caramel milkshake spiked with vanilla vodka and topped with whipped cream. In my opinion, Grandpa’s Candy is the only way to celebrate after turning in my last assignment of the semester.

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