One of the absolute worst decisions you can make in Atlanta is... well, not reading this article about the 24 worst decisions you can make in Atlanta. It’s also a bad move to think of Atlanta as just another American city in Georgia. The truth is ATL is as international as it gets, and this means you can find excellent global cuisine and flavors in almost every neighborhood. Naturally, we picked out the best ones so you can start stamping your dinner passport even more quickly.
French: Bistro Niko
The food and service at Bistro Niko are consistently excellent. French food tends to be synonymous with upscale, and although that is the case here, they manage to pull if off without a speck of pretense. No meal is complete without an order of profiteroles -- a sumptuously soft pastry jammed with creamy vanilla ice cream and topped with shaved almonds and an Oprah-rich chocolate sauce.
Thai: Little Bangkok
An OG in the Atlanta food scene, this unassuming, pint-sized hole-in-the-wall cranks out authentic, in-your-face curries, and much more. It’s easy to be indecisive when examining the menu because everything sounds so good, but we can’t get enough of the chicken larb. Deliciously seasoned with mint leaves, chili, onion, and lime, this spicy ground chicken dish is the play here.
Mexican: Nuevo Laredo Cantina
A charming, hidden gem, Nuevo Laredo Cantina doesn’t disappoint in any category. Drinks? Stiff, and reasonably priced. Eats? Expertly executed, incredibly delicious, and the sizes are only slightly smaller than the country they’re inspired by. Service? Friendly and quick. What more could you ask for?
Italian: La Tavola Trattoria
When a restaurant’s name literally means “The Table” in Italian, you know you’re in for some cozy and inviting deliciousness. La Tavola delivers on that promise with a killer menu loaded up with meat and cheese-filled dishes. Pretty much anything you order is going to tip the scales, so come hungry. And don’t forget to take advantage of their expertly curated wine menu.
Chinese: Oriental Pearl Seafood Restaurant
With generous portions and even bigger flavors, Oriental Pearl Seafood Restaurant does the near-impossible: they take humble Chinese fare to the next level, while still remaining casual, wallet-friendly, simple, and incredibly delicious. Take a group on Sunday for dim sum and see what Chinese cuisine is really all about.
American: Folk Art
Little 5 Points
Serving up delectable traditional American comfort food in a welcoming environment that makes you want to be a regular, Folk Art has a simple and satisfying menu. They not only crank out great carnivorous eats like burgers and fried chicken, they also offer equally flavorful veg options. Whether you’re jonesing for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner -- Folk Art has what you need.
Ethiopian: Queen of Sheba
North Druid Hills
Eating should always be this much fun. Head into Queen of Sheba and you’ll agree. With a laid back and homey atmosphere, huge portions, and deep, rich flavors that aren't too spicy, we especially like it on Thursdays when they have live jazz. Don’t forget to try some of their signature honey wine -- or afterwards, meander into their hookah room.
Japanese: Miso Izakaya
Old Fourth Ward
Essentially the Japanese version of tapas, “izakaya” is great for sharing with friends or for indulging in solo gluttony. Miso Izakaya’s menu has Japanese standards, including rockin' ramen, fresher-than-fresh sushi, and some of the city’s most inventive cocktails. And at the end of the meal, expect artfully presented frozen grapes on skewers -- an unexpected, delightful end to a damn fine meal.
Vietnamese: Com Vietnamese Grill
Middle Eastern: Aviva by Kameel
If you're searching for somewhere delicious to hangout in Downtown, hit Aviva by Kameel. It’s in the Peachtree Center food court and fills an unfortunate cuisine gap with fast-casual Mediterranean food. Portions are enormous and delicious -- plus, they have so many specialities, you could eat here for years without ever repeating your order. Honestly, though, after tasting the falafel and rosemary chicken, you’ll have to force yourself to try something different.
Hankering for Indian? Bhojanic is where you’ll get the best. They serve authentic Northern Indian food and the dishes are prepared from recipes that have been passed down for a whopping four generations. Everything here is rich, complex, and perfectly spiced -- particularly their chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, thali, and pakora platter (just a few of their most popular dishes).
1. Bistro Niko3344 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta
2. Little Bangkok2225 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE, Atlanta
3. Nuevo Laredo Cantina1495 Chattahoochee Avenue NW, Atlanta
4. La Tavola Trattoria992 Virginia Ave NE, Atlanta
5. Oriental Pearl Seafood Restaurant5399 New Peachtree Rd, Chamblee
6. Folk Art465 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta
7. Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant1594 Woodcliff Dr NE, Atlanta
8. Miso Izakaya619 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta
9. Com Vietnamese Grill Restaurant4005 Buford Hwy NE Ste E, Atlanta
10. Aviva by Kameel225 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
11. Bhojanic3400 Around Lenox Rd NE #201, Atlanta
This dressy French joint in Bukhead is serving up eats like chicken paillard and smoked salmon tarts in their brightly lit, leather-boothed spot on Peachtree.
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
While working for ATL giant Coca-Cola in the 1960s, current restaurateur Chance Evans took frequent trips to Mexico, presumably to figure out just how they made that much-coveted Mexican Coke. Anyway, those trips inspired Evans to open his own restaurant, which he's ensured is serving only the best, most authentic South-of-the-Border dishes, including huevos rancheros, chicken mole, chalupas, and more.
Their motto is "Pasta Perfected" so that should give you a pretty good idea of the type of place this is (a good place to order pasta). The restaurant is warm and welcoming, and the menu includes dishes like Squid Ink Linguini with pesto and Mushroom Ragu Tagliolini with truffle oil.
Oriental Pearl is located in the Atlanta Chinatown Mall and has been a local favorite for more than 25 years. While the dim sum menu is available all day, cart service (which is half the fun) is only available until 3pm. The shrimp dumplings are top notch and if you’re feeling adventurous, grab a basket of chicken feet. They may look like, well, chicken feet, but they pack a ton of flavor.
Jason Hill of Wisteria's new daily breakfast/lunchery in Inman Park.
This is our favorite place to get Ethiopian food in Atlanta.
If you want to taste their signature ramen, go there often and get there early (i.e. it tends to sell out quickly). But if you're willing to forgo that staple, there are plenty other delicious Japanese meals to masticate.
Head here for the best Vietnamese food in Atlanta.
Tucked away in Muse’s Peachtree Center, Aviva by Kameel is offering up fast-casual food with a Mediterranean bent to Downtown diners. The grill and juice bar is a health-focused, counter-service spot with vegetable, falafel, and shawarma -- chicken and lamb -- on offer in platter, sandwich, or salad form. The menu is based on heirloom family recipes, with house marinades and spice blends giving each dish authentic character. Aviva’s is a sure fit for a healthy lunch, fresh-squeezed juice, and a taste of the Mediterranean. (No butter was used in the making of this menu.)