Local Love!

Every city, big or small, has some great places to haunt.  Here are some of mine in metro-Atlanta (a few are not exclusive to ATL), mostly food-related, & in no particular order:

Community Q BBQ has amazing barbecue.  I also love Fox Bros. but Community is closer to my home & I think their sides are awesome - they have smoked sweet potatoes with kale - who knew?!?  Seriously, all of the sides are so good, you'll have a hard time picking.

Intown ACE Hardware has the best gifts & for meandering.

Pea Ridge Kitchen & Bar is great for a burger or salad - I love their brunch menu too.  The menu changes often & always happily surprises me.

Freedom Park - Chandler Park is my favorite place to walk the dogs & has been for years.   They often have art installations too.

Georgetown Cupcakes are a caloric splurge (of course!) but worth it.  Their cupcakes are not overly sweet which is win in my book. 
It's hard to just window shop:
The Atlanta Beltline is super popular because it's art, food, walking, biking, running, dog walking, kid walking/strollers, music & so much more.

Shorty's Pizza is wood-fired pizza & they all have fun names (I love the "Wu Tang Clan (RIP ODB)").  They also have an awesome arugula salad with parm & lemon oil - everything is homemade - even their ranch dressing. I'm not a huge fan of ranch dressing, but I'm a little obsessed with how they make their ranch dressing.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens because you need be in beautiful places outside & it's part of Piedmont Park.

La Fonda Latina- my faves are the fish tacos (salmon or tilapia), salads (any of them), maduros (plantains), & the Reuben Cubano:

Chastain Park because concerts + outside.

Victory Sandwich Bar - the Victory at Sea sandwich is everything.

Kudzu Antiques is ginormous & a great place to find gifts & wander.

Leon's Full Service Get the goat cheese filled peppadews as a starter.  Everything on the menu is great.

Taqueria Los Hermanos has one of the best shrimp tacos.  The tres leches cake is worth checking out too - the menu is huge & unique.
Tres leches with fruit:

Zyka is no frills as far as atmosphere, but their food (Indian) is perfection.  The Gobi Manchurian (spicy, fried cauliflower) is one of my favorites.

Heart of India This is our place for takeout/delivered Indian food.  Fact:  Most of our "Tupperware" comes from Heart of India. Their containers are great for reuse. Naan being delivered to my door always makes me happy.  They only offer takeout & delivery - no eat-in service.

Jalisco's is kinda old-school Mexican food - taco, burrito combos - they have great salsa.  They are always busy.  If you go for lunch, I recommend getting there early or after 1pm.  It's unpretentious & the service is quick.

IKEA - because, it's IKEA.

Taqueria del Sol is fresh, affordable tacos & more - they have a special taco & plate that changes weekly.  Be prepared to wait in line at peak times, but it's always worth the wait.  Check out: the salsa trio, queso, shrimp-corn-chowder, the fried chicken taco, the Memphis taco, & grab a Cheeseburger taco if it's the weekly special.
The beloved (on special some weeks) Cheeseburger taco:

  Farm Burger has great fries & if you are feeling healthy, you can add any patty to one of their salads - they have great, seasonal-ingredient salads

Yeah! Burger has the best brussels sprouts of all things!  They fry them up & add a dollop of fantastic goat cheese.  Try the onion rings as well.  They also have great salads.

The Corner Cup is a newbie coffee shop - they offer local pastries, sandwiches, & of course great coffee.

Southern Sweets Bakery - oddly, I haven't had a lot of sweets from this bakery because I love their breakfast menu so much.  They have the best spicy chicken sausage.

Piece of Cake is the best place to get a cake for a special event/birthday.  These cakes are heavy (butter, butter, & butter) & pricey but worth every penny.  If you are not sure which flavor to get (I am partial to the caramel & white chocolate) try a cupcake.  Also, order ahead if you want a smaller size.  It's a good idea to order ahead period because on some weekends they sell out of cakes

Savage Pizza is a fun spot to get some pizza, salad, or sub.

Cafe Agora is the place to go if you are in Buckhead & want delicious Greek food.

Annie's Thai Castle has excellent lunch specials & great Thai food.

Henri's Bakery has beautiful cookies (oh, the shortbread cookies!) & great salads & sandwiches.  It's an excellent spot for lunch.

Antico = best pizza in Atlanta.  End of story.

The Greater Good Barbecue has these crazy potato skins with pimento cheese + barbecue + slaw. Yep.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream has the most unique flavors.  Churro ice cream?  Yes, please.

Little Bangkok - to me, this is the best Thai in Atlanta.  Parking can be tricky - they stay busy, especially for dinner.

The Colonnade is the place to go to for fried chicken, fried shrimp...all the classic southern fare & a strong drink.

The Varsity for when you want a greasy cheeseburger.  I love their pimento cheeseburgers, orange freezes, & fried peach pies.  Not for the health-nut, but fun & a great place to take out of town guests.

Butter & Cream because it's always good to have many ice cream options.  Grab a cone & walk through downtown Decatur.

Your Dekalb Farmers Market is a crazy-fun experience (& the place is only getting bigger)You can buy bulk spices here, fresh seafood/meat, prepared meals, all-the-produce, coffee, pastries & so much more at great prices.  Be prepared for crowds.

Downtown Decatur - I am just going to lump it all together because it has so many excellent independent shops & restaurants (many listed above).

Blue Moon Pizza has a really affordable lunch special.  I also love their Cobb salad - great gluten-free options as well.

Skips Hot Dogs - if you've never had a Chicago dog, you are missing out! 
Yes, that's a pickle on a hot dog & yes, it's delicious!

King of Pops - Chocolate Sea Salt, please!

Shake Shack is fairly new(ish) to Atlanta (& a huge hit in NYC).  I love their Shack burger, but they have a killer chicken sandwich as well:

Krog Street Market for quirky gifts & great food. Some fun street art too:
 and a tower too:
Treat Your Feet (outside the Perimeter): because hour-long foot massages for $30 are the best thing ever (so are their combo massages for $50).  There is a new location in Buckhead too - prices are a little higher.

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