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Explore the many food stalls and produce vendors at the Municipal Market (Sweet Auburn Curb Market) on Edgewood Avenue.
Explore the many food stalls and produce vendors at the Municipal Market (Sweet Auburn Curb Market) on Edgewood Avenue.
Ryan Fleisher

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How to Eat Through Atlanta in One Day

Make that one day in Atlanta count with this 24-hour guide to dining and drinking in and around Georgia’s capital city

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Atlanta’s population is booming as people discover there’s more to this Southern city than conferences, Coca-Cola, and traffic. Months-long warm weather conducive to outdoor dining and a diverse culinary scene mean endless eating options, from French fare, soul food, and Sichuan dishes to Korean cuisine, barbecue, and a thriving pop-up community, and everything in between.

In Atlanta for a short stay or visiting for a holiday and looking for places to eat? Consider this 24-hour food tour as merely an introduction to the South’s gateway city, and get to know ATL in the best way possible — through its food. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of other restaurants to explore during that next visit to Atlanta.

It’s best to take MARTA (rail or bus) whenever possible or to travel by Lyft or Uber.


8 a.m. - Comfy biscuit at Home Grown

Start the day off with one of Atlanta’s most iconic (and super filling) dishes, the comfy biscuit at Home Grown in the Reynoldstown neighborhood. This Memorial Drive restaurant is a breakfast favorite among locals and chefs. The biscuit is topped with fried chicken and smothered in sausage gravy. There’s almost always a wait on the weekends, but it’s definitely worth it. Take a post-breakfast stroll through the beautiful and historic Oakland Cemetery, one mile west on Memorial in Grant Park. Check website for hours. Patio available. Located within walking distance of the Eastside Beltline. Accessible via MARTA buses 21 and 107.

Jonathan Phillips/Eater Atlanta

BREAKFAST ALTERNATIVES: The Little Farmhouse Cafe on Presidential Parkway for a brunch Cubano with bacon and eggs or chicken biscuit topped with ghost pepper cheese. The Atlanta Breakfast Club on Ivan Allen for chicken and waffles and salmon croquettes. Julianna’s in Inman Park for Hungarian-style crepes and coffee.

10:30 a.m. — Coffee and empanadas at Golden Drops Cafe

This quaint coffee shop on the edge of Decatur includes a variety of Latin American pastries and sandwiches on its food menu for mid-morning snacking, including guava and cheese empanadas and teardrop-shaped coxinha filled with shredded chicken. Beer, wine, and even mimosas can be had here, too. Order a cafe con leche to pair with the pastries or a misto sandwich for an early lunch, and take a seat inside or on the covered patio. Accessible via MARTA bus 19.

Golden Drops offers a variety of coffee and coffee drinks on Clairmont Road.
Golden Drops offers a variety of coffee and coffee drinks on Clairmont Road.
Golden Drops Cafe

MID-MORNING ALTERNATIVES: Buteco for Brazilian street snacks and a cortado (head here in the evening for stellar caipirinhas) in Grant Park. Buzz Coffee and Winehouse on Cascade for nitro coffee on draft and macarons or a daily pastry (wine and wine cocktails served later in the day, alongside sandwiches and sharable snacks). El Vinedo Local in Midtown for a latte and spinach and mushroom empanada (head in later for South American wines and ceviches and larger entrees at dinner.)

1:00 p.m. — Hand-pulled noodles at LanZhou Ramen

A Buford Highway staple, LanZhou Ramen serves heaping platters of hand-pulled noodles and noodle soups on its menu, including pork, oxtail, and roast duck. People can even watch through the kitchen window as chefs roll, twist, and whip long strands of noodles into shape. Make sure to also order soup dumpling here. Accessible via Doraville MARTA station and taking MARTA bus 39.

Watch as the chefs whip long strands of noodles into shape at LanZhou Ramen on Buford Highway.
Watch as the chefs whip long strands of noodles into shape at LanZhou Ramen on Buford Highway.
Boon C/Yelp

LUNCH ALTERNATIVES: Kategna Ethiopian on Buford Highway for sambusas, tibs, or gomen mixed with short ribs. Busy Bee Cafe on the edge of Vine City for some of Atlanta’s most iconic (and best) fried chicken served with an assortment of Southern and soul food sides. El Tesoro in Edgewood for street tacos, fresh tamales, and mulitas on the outdoor patio. Lake and Oak Neighborhood BBQ in East Lake for pork and brisket pimento cheese deviled eggs and a smoked chicken, collard, and pimento cheese patty melt or fried catfish. Triton Yards food truck park in Capitol View for a variety of eating.

3:30 p.m. - Exploring Sweet Auburn Curb Market

Grab a mid-day snack from one of the many food stalls at the Municipal Market in downtown Atlanta, like vegan street tacos from My Local Coco, Jamaican beef patties from Afrodish, or poke from O’ Mi Ga. Wash it down with a cold-pressed juice or smoothie from Rawesome Juicery or order coffee and gelato from Three Peaches. Then explore the market’s produce, meat, and seafood vendors. Make sure to pick up some pralines from Miss D’s, too. Accessible via the Atlanta street car and MARTA bus 3.

The Municipal Market known locally as the Sweet Auburn Curb Market offers a variety of food stalls alongside its meat, seafood, and produce vendors.
The Municipal Market known locally as the Sweet Auburn Curb Market offers a variety of food stalls alongside its meat, seafood, and produce vendors.
Ryan Fleisher

MID-AFTERNOON ALTERNATIVES: Just Add Honey for tea service and light snacks on John Wesley Dobbs. LT’s Wings on Fairburn Road for lemon pepper wet wings. Bread and Butterfly for coffee, wine, or an aperitif and a scone, a slice of quiche du jour, or rice croquettes. Cafecito Cafe for a horchata latte and pan dulce in Capitol View.

5:30 p.m. — Martini and shrimp chips at Talat Market

Happy hour is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at critically-acclaimed Thai restaurant Talat Market in Summerhill. The menu includes a take on the martini made with vodka, gin, or pisco mixed with blanc vermouth, dry madeira, pandan, artichoke, and orange bitters. Order the bar peanuts and shrimp chips here. Staying for dinner? Kick off the meal with crispy rice salad or papaya salad before diving into the daily-changing entrees. Patio available. Accessible via MARTA bus 49.

A view from the bar into the dining room at Talat Market in Summerhill, Atlanta
Grab a seat at the bar or on the covered patio for happy hour drinks and snacks at Thai restaurant Talat Market in Summerhill.
Bailey Garrot

HAPPY HOUR ALTERNATIVES: Martinis and shrimp cocktail or spinach and artichoke dip at LLoyd’s on DeKalb Avenue. Empire State South for wine and oysters, fries with hollandaise, or pimento cheese and accompaniments in Midtown. Staplehouse Market in the Old Fourth Ward for wine or cocktails paired with charcuterie and cheeses or dishes from the daily menu board. Take a seat out back in the garden.

7:45 p.m. - Dinner at Lucian Books and Wine

Located at Modera Buckhead, Lucian specializes in titles centered around art, design, food, and culture and carries nearly 250 wines by the bottle and 15 wines by the glass, curated by co-owner and sommelier Jordan Smelt. Chef Brian Hendrickson approaches the food at Lucian with the same thoughtfulness and care as owners Katie Barringer does with books and Smelt does with wine. Nothing is an afterthought, including the sauces, which Hendrickson says can take up to three days to make for each dish on the menu. Make sure to order the fries here paired with a glass of champagne. Reservations required. Accessible via MARTA bus 110.

Lucian Books and Wine is a wine bar and book shop combo in Buckhead serving French-American fare.
Lucian Books and Wine is a wine bar and book shop combo in Buckhead serving French-American fare.
Ryan Fleisher

DINNER ALTERNATIVES: Highland Tap, a local hangout in Virginia-Highland for below-street-level steaks, martinis, and vibes. Nino’s Italian on Cheshire Bridge for old-school red sauce dishes, wine, and atmosphere. Southern Belle/Georgia Boy for delightfully playful tasting menus paired with wine and cocktails in Poncey-Highland. Supremo Taco, a Grant Park takeout window serving LA-style tacos, crave-worthy choriquesos, and churros.

11 p.m. - Late-night drinks and ramen at 8ARM

After taking a bit of breather following dinner, head over to Ponce for late-night bowls of tonkotsu ramen, gyoza, or a karaage chicken sando and cocktails at the buzzy patio bar or in the dimly lit dining room at 8Arm. Accessible via MARTA busses 2 and 102.

A nighttime shot of restaurant and bar 8ARM located on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta with cars rushing by
8Arm transformed earlier this year into an izakaya serving sushi and Japanese pub fare and is open late, especially on weekends.
Ryan Fleisher

LATE-NIGHT ALTERNATIVES: La Pastorcita for late-night tacos on Buford Highway. Octopus Bar in East Atlanta Village for drinks and snacking into the wee hours. Our Bar ATL on Edgewood for drinks, dancing, and late-night wings or food from a rotating array of pop-up chefs. Northside Tavern for cheap beer, shots, and Blues music.

1 a.m. - Beer and a show at the Clermont Lounge

It’s time to hit up the infamous Clermont Lounge in the basement of the Hotel Clermont on Ponce, directly beneath restaurant Tiny Lou’s (another great option for dinner in Atlanta). This iconic strip bar is a frequent stop for both tourists and locals, and has been for over 50 years. The dubious vice den is where to head for PBR and a peep show filled with aging strippers, including beloved Atlanta icon, Blondie. Watch the Atlanta living legend crush a few beer cans between her breasts. Absolutely no photos allowed. Lyft or Uber. Buses tend to stop running after 1 a.m.

Signage at the Clermont Lounge. Clermont Lounge

8 a.m. - Redemptive breakfast at R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill

Seek out the comfort foods found on the menu R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill on Peachtree Street in Brookwood Hills. After more than 30 years, R. Thomas’ is still bringing a healthy dose of breakfast and brunch paired with strong coffee and power smoothies. The menu here caters to folks living vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free lifestyles, too. Try the breakfast quesadilla in a sun-dried tomato tortilla filled with eggs, cream cheese, basil, cheddar, bacon, peppers, and onions or the breakfast stew with red potato corn chowder, quinoa, and veggies topped with dulse and nori. Accessible via MARTA bus 110.

R. Thomas’ Deluxe Grill R. Thomas Deluxe Grill [Official]

BREAKFAST ALTERNATIVES: Bomb Biscuit for chicken biscuits and a cinnamon bun at Irwin Street Market. Lee’s Bakery on Buford Highway for early morning pho and a bánh mì. Panaderia Karina for a bean and cheese pupusa and a side of plantains and coffee in Forest Park. Mount Paran Country Store in Buckhead for gas station biscuits and biscuit sandwiches. Sublime Doughnuts on 10th Street for an A-Town Cream, a chocolate-glazed, A-shaped doughnut filled with custard, the salt and vinegar doughnut topped with chocolate glaze, or a cheese danish.

Need more Atlanta dining options? Check out the hottest restaurants on the scene right now, take a food tour down Buford Highway, or consider specific types of restaurants or cuisines found on these maps.

Disclaimer: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here. It is highly advised people wear masks indoors or in crowded situations, regardless of vaccination status, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Home Grown

968 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 404-222-0455 Visit Website

Hotel Clermont

789 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (470) 485-0485 Visit Website

Staplehouse

541 Edgewood Avenue Southeast, , GA 30312 (404) 524-5005 Visit Website

Ticonderoga Club

99 Krog Street Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 458-4534 Visit Website

So Ba

560 Gresham Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 404 627 9911 Visit Website

Momonoki

95 8th Street Northwest, , GA 30309 (404) 390-3025 Visit Website

8ARM

710 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 Visit Website

LLoyd's Restaurant & Lounge

900 DeKalb Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 228-7227 Visit Website

Octopus Bar

560 Gresham Avenue Southeast, , GA 30316 (404) 627-9911 Visit Website

Krog Street Market

99 Krog Street Northeast, , GA 30307 Visit Website

Brush Sushi Izakaya

316 Church Street, , GA 30030 (678) 949-9412 Visit Website

Midtown

, , MI

Kimball House

303 East Howard Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 378-3502 Visit Website

Busy Bee Cafe

810 Martin Luther King Junior Drive Southwest, , GA 30314 (404) 525-9212 Visit Website

The Clermont Lounge

789 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Momo Cafe

95 8th Street Northwest, , GA 30309 (404) 390-3025 Visit Website

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