Food & Drink

Atlanta’s Best Secret Eats: 11 Off-Menu Items You Can’t Miss

Published On 10/07/2015 Published On 10/07/2015
Courtesy of Sarah Dodge

Atlanta Everyone knows Atlanta has great stuff to eat, but you know what’s even better than some really great food? Some really great secret food... oh, wait! You couldn’t possibly know that, ‘cause the stuff in our round-up of ATL’s best off-menu eats... um, isn’t on any menus, obviously. Luckily for you, it is helpfully listed below...

LUSCA

Buckhead
What you're getting: Trout roe toast The much-celebrated sister restaurant of East Atlanta’s Octopus Bar, Lusca has a rotating menu chock-full of impressively inventive dishes that are also straight-up great. Case in point? The trout roe toast. Equal parts salty and sweet, it features butter-toasted sourdough topped with silky, salty trout roe and drizzled with honey and crème fraîche before its finishing touch: a sprinkle of spicy, smoky Basque Espelette pepper. Try to have a little dignity and don’t go cramming it into your mouth all at once. More Stuff You Will Like

Courtesy of Heidi Geldhauser

Portofino

Buckhead  
What you're getting: Fried artichokes From appetizers to entrees to desserts, Portofino is well known for creating some of the most delectably authentic Italian eats in the city, and hearts were broken earlier this year when it took one of its most popular appetizers off the menu: the fried artichokes. Crispy on the outside, silky on the inside, and utterly perfect with homemade tarragon aioli, they're unlike anything you’ve had before. Maybe that’s why if you request them, Executive Chef Matt Marcus will still whip up a batch or two. Continue Reading

Courtesy of Bocado Burger

BOCADO Burger

 Alpharetta  
What you're getting: The “Wimpy Plate” Inspired by the burger-loving Popeye cartoon character Wimpy, this mammoth plate features a juicy triple BOCADO Burger stack with American cheese, perfect house-made pickles, and a soft, buttery bun on one plate. Three times the BOCADO Burger stack? That’s what we’re talking about. FYI: it’s also available at BOCADO in Buckhead!

Little Bangkok

Cheshire Bridge  
What you're getting: Massaman curry fried flounder ATLiens already know that some of the city’s very best Thai and Chinese dishes get cranked out here, but not everyone knows about the massaman curry fried flounder. Once something featured on the specials board, it remains a viable favorite for those who know to ask. What should you expect? Only the most flavorful, perfectly fried, flaky fish in a rich, creamy curry sauce. You’re welcome.

Brook Bolen/Thrillist

Shake Shack

Buckhead  
What you're getting: The Shack BLT You already know Shake Shack makes killer burgers, but you probably didn’t know that it also cranks out one seriously legit BLT. Boasting thick, smoky bacon with zesty Shack sauce on a buttery, toasted, and inverted potato bun, it’s almost hard to believe something so simple can be so fantastic. But then again, BACON.

El Super Pan

Ponce City Market  
What you're getting: Mojitos and pisco sours There was an almost palpable sadness in the city when Chef Hector Santiago’s original Super Pan Latino Sandwich Shop closed a few years back, but now that it’s coming back to the Ponce City Market you can once again order the same incredible Latin sandwiches and small plates that made the old spot so beloved. Just be sure to order at least one each of the unlisted classic cocktails to go with ‘em.

Brook Bolen/Thrillist

We Suki Suki

East Atlanta  
What you're getting: The FrankenVeggie Sure, We Suki Suki gets a ton of hype for its classic bánh mìs. And a bite of the FrankenVeggie, a hybrid of the tofu and eggplant bánh mìs, proves it deserves pretty much all of it. By stuffing half the baguette with the most... err, maybe the first eggplant you’ve ever tasted, and the other half with tofu that’s actually delicious (also the first you’ve ever tasted), you might even be surprised when you start ordering it on the reg.

The Vortex

Multiple locations  
What you're getting: The Cowboy burger Boasting a huge all-beef patty cooked however you like, this burger is topped with seared ham, smooth provolone, and a sweetly spiced barbecue sauce. Make sure to leave room for the French fries or onion rings that’ll bust your zipper if the burger hasn’t already. Pro tip: grab some extra napkins -- it’s incredibly messy and entirely worth it.

Brook Bolen/Thrillist

Six Feet Under

Multiple locations  
What you're getting: The crab cake po-boy, fried pickles, and fried asparagus Kudos aplenty have been bestowed on Six Feet Under, and this also extends to its off-menu dishes. Once you taste the hearty crab cake po-boy stuffed with succulent crab cakes, fresh spinach, corn, and a spicy mustard sauce, you’ll think it can’t possibly be any better. Then you'll try the fried pickles and asparagus and know you were wrong. Oh, and once you’ve polished all this off, head on up to the rooftop patio and enjoy the view and a cold one.

10 Degrees South

Buckhead  
What you're getting: South African biltong and droewors The original 10-spice biltong at 10 Degrees South is outstanding, but each night the kitchen has at least three hidden flavors your server may not initially tell you about, but you should most definitely ask for: teriyaki, garlic, and peri-peri. Also, ditch the menu’s boerewors and definitely opt for droewors, an air-dried version of the popular lean beef spiced sausage. All cut, cured, and seasoned in the kitchen, these dishes are not only mind-blowingly good -- they’re great for impressing your date, too.

Miller Union

Miller Union

Westside  
What you're getting: Ice cream sandwiches Served only during lunchtime, you won’t find these treats printed on the menu, but the kitchen has at least three flavors on hand for hungry Atlantans in the know. Lovingly made by hand using seasonal ingredients and featuring flavors such as toasted almond, peach, and peppermint, these frozen treats are seriously gourmet and seriously good. Not that we’d ever order all three and just call that a meal.

Sign up here for our daily Atlanta email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun the ATL has to offer. Brook Bolen is a freelance writer from Atlanta who aspires to eat her weight in FrankenVeggies from We Suki Suki. Don’t believe it? Check out her Instagram for proof.

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1. Portofino 3199 Paces Ferry Pl NW, Atlanta , GA 30305

This elegant Italian restaurant boasts authentic, carefully-crafted menu items—lamb bolognese, fried Castelvetrano olives—and a considerable wine selection, along with a beautiful outdoor patio.

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2. Bocado 887 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (West Atlanta)

Bocado's burger -- two patties of blended short rib, brisket, and ground chuck, topped with American cheese and butter pickles -- is one of the best in Atlanta. You may very well come here for the burger but end up more than satisfied with the rest of the contemporary dishes, like deviled eggs that'll rival your grandmother's, a grilled cheese & bacon sandwich that's near impossible to recreate at home, and a lobster roll special that'll transport you to Cape Cod on first bite.

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3. Little Bangkok 2225 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

The tom ka soup here is out of this world: a chicken-, mushroom-, and green onion-studded soup made with creamy coconut milk and outrageously flavorful spices

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4. Shake Shack 3035 Peachtree Rd NE Ste A146, Atlanta, GA 30305

Restaurateur Danny Meyer's food-truck-turned-global concept doles out no-fuss burgers, fries, shakes, and other classic American eats.

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5. El Super Pan 675 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta, GA 30308

Located inside Ponce City Market's massive Food Hall, this shop (by Chef Hector's Santiago) offers Latin-inspired hot plates, sandwiches, and baked goods.

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6. We Suki Suki 479 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (East Atlanta)

We Suki Suki is a simple Vietnamese sandwich shop in East Atlanta Village slinging creative banh mi that rival those found along Buford Highway. Expect traditional lemongrass chicken and pork-and-paté sandwiches, plus the house favorite made with tofu and eggplant. While the so-called Saigon-style subs are the main lure of We Suki Suki, a small selection of pho (available with beef, chicken, or mushroom & tofu) is available, but only for dine-in service (and for good reason -- noodles and broth taste best right when they're served).

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7. Lusca 1829 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

From the guys who brought you the Octopus Bar, get ready for some kick-ass seafood and fantastic cocktails. Plus, this spot is open before 10pm so you can enjoy breakfast/lunch.

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8. The Vortex 438 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 (Little 5 Points)

This sibling-owned bar and restaurant in Little Five Points is a self-proclaimed "Official Idiot-Free Zone," and they're notorious for kicking out rude or high-maintenance customers to create a laid-back and fun crowd (they're usually pretty young, too). It's hard to imagine why anyone here would be picky with their food when they've got such a massive selection of whopping, diverse signature burgers like the Hawaiian-themed Freaky Tiki and the Holy Guacamole (self-explanatory), along with a hefty selection of local draft beers (and beer cocktails), cocktails and shooters.

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9. 10 Degrees South 4183 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30342 (Buckhead)

The retired South African pro soccer player who opened 10 DS back in '98 knew what he was doing when he opened this oasis of food from his homeland. It looks like a corporate office from Roswell Rd, but once you get past the door, and especially when you hit the bungalow-designed back patio, you'll feel transported.

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10. Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House, Westside 685 11th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (Home Park)

A rooftop bar with greenery and awesome views, SFU's got all the brews, 'tails, and seafood you need for a perfectly chill & boozy day.

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11. Miller Union 999 Brady Ave, Atlanta, GA 30318 (West Atlanta)

From its post on the Westside, Miller Union features unpretentious yet sophisticated New American cuisine with a Southern bent. The menu changes seasonally, but staples like the feta snack, butter bean or field pea hummus (depending on the season) with house-made lavash, and the celery cream-baked farm egg are indispensable starters (and if you happen upon the shrimp and andouille gumbo, add that to the list). The wine list is approachable, affordable, and organic with a global reach, though most of its attention leans towards the food-friendly wines of the old world. It’s also worth noting that the house-made ice cream sandwich is only available at lunch.

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