Dining Out

A Local’s Top Places to Eat in Atlanta

By: Hannah Lee Leidy

In today’s Atlanta, your neighbor, coworker, or someone you meet at an Atlanta United match can give you a great recommendation for delicious food from around the globe on Buford Highway just as easily as they could tell you where you go just down the street for your next boozy brunch, and both will be just as amazing. That’s the magic of the city—the best recommendations of places to eat in Atlanta don’t just come from one person. They come from lots of folks.

Atlanta resident and writer of the Local Palate’s regional Atlanta newsletter, Mike Jordan, listens and learns lots from these conversations. As the editor-in-chief of butter.atl, he keeps a constant finger on the city’s culture, including the best places to eat and grab a drink. For a quick snapshot of the scene, we got this cheat sheet of his current places to feast and refresh:

Mike Jordan’s Recommendations to Eat, Drink, and Do in Atlanta

Photo credits to Eric Sun

Betty Hsu’s Culinary Legacy

“I’m fortunate enough to have met Betty Hsu, matriarch of Atlanta’s Hsu family of restaurateurs, before she passed away in May 2019. Her legacy lives on not only at Lazy Betty, the Candler Park tasting menu restaurant that carries her tongue-in-cheek nickname, but also Sweet Auburn Barbecue (operated by her son and daughter Howard and Anita), and recently opened Juniper Café, backed by Lazy Betty’s Ron Hsu and chef Aaron Phillips. Stop in for Vietnamese classics like pho, bún, banh mi, housemade sausages, and scratch-made pastries and breakfast from the bakery. Sounds simple; tastes incredible.”

Photo credits to Hop City

Grab a Drink at Hop City

“Beer is made all over Atlanta these days, and it can be hard to know which new breweries are worth the trip across or around Interstate 285. Hop City is a great place to start, whether you know exactly what sort of beer you like or are feeling adventurous. Not only do they have a great selection of craft beer, cider, mead, wine, and even non-alcoholic brews on their shelves, but they also have a bar where you can order a glass of featured sips they’ve got in stock. My favorite location is at Lee + White on the Westside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. The Krog Street Market location is also great for taste-testing your next favorite libation.”

Atlanta’s Stolen Goods

“My favorite recent pop-up series is Stolen Goods. The simplest description would be a collective of brilliant ATL culinary talent—Maximilian Hines of The Lawrence, Claudia Martinez of Miller Union, Robert Butts of Twisted Soul, and others—who come together for collaboration dinners where menus merge seriously delicious eats with subtle social commentary around culinary appropriation. Tickets for the pop-ups are sold online. But, I’m told they save a few seats in case you just show up willy-nilly.”

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