Food & Drink

The ATL Food Bucket List: 50 Things You Have to Eat Before You Die

Published On 08/19/2015 Published On 08/19/2015
Double Zero | Courtesy of Wayne Howard
Sublime Doughnuts
The Varsity 
Courtesy of Ruby Jean Photography
Courtesy of Emily Schultz
Courtesy of Isadora Pennington
Bell Street Burritos
The Cockentrice
Illegal Food
Courtesy of Rick Lockridge
Julia Fenner Leggybird Photos
Canton House Chinese Restaurants
Soul Vegetarian No. 2
Chai Pani Decatur
Holy Taco
The Optimist
Cara Payne Creative
Gu's Dumplings
Cypress Street Pint and Plate
Holeman and Finch Public House
Zachary Meloy/Better Half
Crawfish Shack
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1. Antico Pizza Napoletana 1093 Hemphill Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

This tiny, family owned and operated pizza shop in Home Park doles out saucy, Neapolitan pizzas. Made using a wood-fired oven directly imported from Naples, pizzas come out perfectly charred, piled high with thick, melted mozzarella and flavorful San Marzano tomato sauce. A relaxed BYOB policy makes dining in a treat.

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2. Sublime Doughnuts 535 10th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Sublime is to donuts what Picasso was to painting. They're serious about the craft of creating sweet dough with a hole in the middle and their huge variety of gourmet donuts convey that with every delectable bite.

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3. Double Zero Napoletana 5825 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30328

Old school style pizza in the Neapolitan tradition is the highlight of Double Zero's Southern Italian style menu. Their "American" signature pie is a must try-- cooked with DOP San Marzano tomatoes, shredded Bufala mozzarella , crumbled sausage, and caramelized onions, spread over thick, bubbly crust, it's a savory, surefire entrant onto your ATL pizza bucket list.

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4. Fritti 309 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

This hip, high-ceilinged spot in Inman Park offers artisanal Neapolitan pizza. Cooked in a 1,000 degree oven, pies come perfectly crispy and are topped with the likes of hot salame, cotto ham, sausage, pancetta, and black olives, among other toppings. So authentic, these pies are actually certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association (!!).

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5. The Varsity 61 North Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30308

This Atlanta joint notoriously serves a full two miles worth of hot dogs on a daily basis. The downtown eatery, billed as the world's largest drive-in, can accommodate up to 600 cars and 800 patrons at any given time -- which certainly accounts for the abundance of hot dog sales. A team of singing and dancing car hops awaits vehicular customers in the enormous parking lot, and for regulars, there is something of a secret Varsity lingo when it comes to ordering. Established in 1928, the iconic American mainstay has served its famous chili-cheese dogs and fried peach pies to the likes of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

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6. Gunshow 924 Garrett St SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie’s Gunshow is a Brazilian churrascaria-meets-dim sum eatery in Glenwood with rock music and ticketed reservations. Diners sit at communal metal tables while chefs roll trolleys around the dining room featuring small plates from the open kitchen. Cocktail service follows suit with a roaming bar cart and tableside preparations (get the Toasted Old Fashioned). The menu rotates weekly but always features bold dishes like faux beef bone marrow, Buffalo chicken livers, French-style mussels with beef fat fries, and Vietnamese-style popcorn shrimp. An evening at Gunshow is like a night at dinner theater: take your seat, pick your poison, and enjoy the culinary show.

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7. Cooks & Soldiers 691 14th St NW Ste D, Atlanta, GA 30318

Westside’s Cooks & Soldiers is an upscale restaurant with a menu devoted to the culinary traditions of Spain's Basque Country. The menu serves tapas-like pinxtos and wood-fired asador dishes in convivial atmosphere reminiscent of Basque dining culture. Two per order and served on toast, the traditional pinxtos include skewered bites like pan con tomate (add jamon iberico, trust us) and tortilla de chorizo. From the asador, you’ll find larger format meats, like the Chuletón... that two-pound steak you’ll be having for dinner.

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8. Ann's Snack Bar 1615 Memorial Dr, Atlanta, GA 30317

The burgers at Ann's snack bar, some of the best in Atlanta, could qualify the Kirkwood spot as the eighth wonder of the world. The voluptuous, hand-pressed Ghetto Burgers bring chili sauce, bacon, a super-secret seasoning, fat pieces of onion, and fried bacon together in a burger that's admittedly difficult to eat but so worth the mess (you've just gotta dive right into this one). There isn't ample seating, but after a short wait you can sit along the bar and watch it get made right in front of you, which, trust us, will work up an appetite large enough to tackle it on your own.