Hungry for food that satisfies the soul and keeps you coming back for more? Visit Decatur, Georgia, just east of Atlanta, for memorable and delicious culinary experiences. Destination dining is in Decatur’s DNA, with chef-driven menus and buzz-worthy cocktails. Restaurants here routinely earn “Best of” Atlanta honors for everything from ice cream to oysters, and the James Beard Award nominations just keep rolling in.
At The Deer and the Dove, Koval specializes in rustic meat dishes cooked over a wood-burning hearth. The adventurous menu features seasonal vegetables, beef and pork from local farms, and game meat entrees, like crispy rabbit legs fried in fermented buttermilk, duck sausage roulade, venison, and quail.
Chef Siddiqui serves up authentic Indian street food at Chai Pani that’s crunchy, spicy, sweet, and tangy. This restaurant is all about vibrant colors and bright flavors. Order a few dishes to share at dinner—we recommend kale pakora, butter chicken, matchstick okra fries, and the beloved SDPD (sev potato dahi puri). Or treat yourself to the sumptuous lunch buffet.
Decatur has a rich tradition of award-winning chefs and a well-earned reputation for critically acclaimed restaurants.
Kimball House, well known for its curated oyster menu and craft cocktails, is a two-time James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program. Taqueria del Sol’s Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez are past semifinalists in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. No. 246 brings innovative Italian dishes with pasta made in-house daily from chef Ford Fry, another past Outstanding Restaurateur semifinalist from the James Beard Award Foundation.
The White Bull, a farm-forward Italian restaurant where the pasta is made with grains milled in-house, is among the metro’s top restaurants as chosen by Atlanta Magazine and Eater Atlanta. Tortuga y Chango and Boho115, recent additions to Decatur’s dining scene, have earned accolades, respectively, as Atlanta’s best mezcal destination and the best spot for eating fish from tins (it’s a thing!).
Under-the-radar local favorites include Parker’s for steak and martinis, Café Lily for upscale Mediterranean, Café Alsace for French-German favorites, Steinbeck’s for inspired gastropub fare, Sapori de Napoli for rustic stone-cooked pizza, and Sushi Avenue for sushi and tempura.
Count on Decatur’s pub fare to hit the spot with interesting and adventurous takes on tried-and-true dishes at Universal Joint, the Marlay, The Brick Store, O’Sullivan’s, the Corner Pub, the Imperial, and Thinking Man Tavern, serving up tacos, barbecue, fried chicken, vegetarian and vegan selections, sandwiches, and more.
Decatur’s dining scene is vibrant, fragrant, multi-cultural, and delicious with long-standing (for good reason) favorites and intriguing new spots to try. So when you visit, be sure to come hungry.
- by Erin Byers Murray