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Grab dinner at Little Bear in Summerhill for a low-key meal of wildly creative food from chef Jarrett Stieber.
Little Bear

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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: Lee’s Bakery on Buford Highway for an early morning bowl of hot pho and jasmine tea. Julianna’s in Inman Park for Hungarian-style crepes and coffee. If here on a Saturday, check out Taiwanese brunch pop-up Mighty Hans at Gato in Candler Park. Daily Chew in Piedmont Heights for breakfast bowls filled with jammy eggs or pitas stuffed with smoked salmon and labneh paired with coffee in a relaxed cafe.

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.) The Daily in Berkeley Park for a black sesame latte or power smoothie and refreshing spring salad filled with local greens.

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

While not in the city of Atlanta, Buford Highway is a must-visit for dining, with restaurants offering cuisine from more than two dozen countries. A staple on Buford Highway, 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 Jamaican beef patties from Afrodish or poke and egg rolls 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. — Happy hour in the patio garden at Staplehouse

Before heading to dinner, grab a charcuterie and cheese spread and a bottle of wine to share with friends at Staplehouse, an Edgewood Avenue neighborhood market offering a menu of daily dishes from its back counter. Food here ranges from seriously large grinders and perfectly smoked pork tacos to burrata and farro bowls topped with a jammy egg and fresh-baked hand pies. Order wine and beer by the bottle or glass as well as cocktails and head out back to sit on the covered patio or in the garden. Accessible via the Eastside Beltline trail.

The newly opened Staplehouse market on Edgewood Avenue in Atlanta with two people ordering meats and cheese at the counter from a masked employee during the pandemic of 2020 Ryan Fleisher

HAPPY HOUR ALTERNATIVES: Located next door to Staplehouse, Biggerstaff Brewing Co. is a brewpub serving shareable snacks on Edgewood, like smoked Vidalia onion rings and crispy cornbread bites, paired with pale ales, pilsners, lagers, and sours. Martinis and shrimp cocktail at LLoyd’s on DeKalb Avenue. Empire State South for wine and oysters, fries with hollandaise, or pimento cheese and accompaniments in Midtown. Take a seat out back in the garden. Happy hour at Thai restaurant Talat Market in Summerhill could include a bowl of shrimp chips and a martini made with vodka, gin, or pisco mixed with blanc vermouth, dry madeira, pandan, artichoke, and orange bitters. The cocktails at Talat Market are some of the best in the city right now.

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. The approach to food at Lucian is with the same thoughtfulness and care as owners Katie Barringer does with books lining the back shelves and Smelt does with wine on the menu. Make sure to order the crispy fries paired with aioli and 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. Little Bear in Summerhill for a low-key meal of wildly creative food from chef Jarrett Stieber. Southern Belle/Georgia Boy for delightfully playful tasting menus paired with wine and cocktails in Poncey-Highland. The Lawrence in Midtown for dishes like grilled snapper collar with nuoc cham sauce sprinkled with peanuts and jalapenos atop a bed of sushi rice. Aziza at Westside Provisions District for wood-fired dishes inspired by owner Tal Baum’s childhood in Israel.

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. Pop over to Euclid Avenue Yacht Club in Little Five Points for Yacht tots and a cold beer or Jack and Coke. Grab a King slice from Edgewood Pizzeria on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward.

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. 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 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.

Home Grown

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

Northside Tavern

1058 Howell Mill Road Northwest, , GA 30318 (404) 874-8745 Visit Website

Hotel Clermont

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

Ticonderoga Club

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

Southern Belle

1043 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 698-3961 Visit Website

Georgia Boy

1043 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 698-3961 Visit Website

Talat Market

112 Ormond Street Southeast, , GA 30315 (404) 257-6255 Visit Website


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

So Ba

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


3693 East Main Street, , GA 30337 (404) 767-5155 Visit Website


, , GA

Con Leche

181 Flat Shoals Avenue Southeast, , GA 30316 Visit Website

Cold Beer

670 DeKalb Avenue Northeast, , GA 30312 (404) 254-1032 Visit Website


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

El Tesoro

1374 Arkwright Place Southeast, , GA 30317 (470) 440-5502 Visit Website

LLoyd's Restaurant & Lounge

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


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


675 North Highland Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 474-0262 Visit Website

Panaderia Karina

541 Forest Parkway, , GA 30297 (678) 927-9188

Octopus Bar

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

Edgewood Pizzeria

478 Edgewood Avenue Southeast, , GA 30312 (404) 522-5512 Visit Website

Atlanta Breakfast Club

249 Ivan Allen Junior Boulevard Northwest, , GA 30313 (470) 428-3825 Visit Website

La Pastorcita

3304 Buford Highway Northeast, , GA 30329 (678) 705-8162

BUZZ Coffee and Winehouse

2315 Cascade Road, , GA 30311 (404) 748-4114 Visit Website

Brush Sushi Izakaya

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

Krog Street Market

99 Krog Street Northeast, , GA 30307 Visit Website

Lucian Books and Wine

3005 Peachtree Road Northeast, , GA 30305 (404) 549-2655 Visit Website

Westside Provisions District

1198 Howell Mill Road, , GA 30318 (678) 974-1940 Visit Website


, , MI

Triton Yards

1318 Sylvan Road Southwest, , GA 30310 (404) 882-2331 Visit Website


1660 McLendon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 371-0889 Visit Website

Kimball House

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

Our Bar ATL

339 Edgewood Avenue Southeast, , GA 30312 (678) 929-8380 Visit Website

Highland Tap

1026 North Highland Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 875-3673 Visit Website

Busy Bee Cafe

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

Daily Chew

2127 Liddell Drive Northeast, , GA 30324 (404) 600-4155 Visit Website


90 Marietta Station Walk NE, Marietta, Marietta, GA 3006GA 30060 (678) 540-2777 Visit Website

The Clermont Lounge

789 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Rawesome Juicery

209 Edgewood Avenue Southeast, , GA 30303 (404) 996-6698 Visit Website

Momo Cafe

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

The Lawrence

905 Juniper Street Northeast, , GA 30309 (404) 961-7178 Visit Website

The Little Farmhouse Cafe

, , GA 30340 (404) 809-0380 Visit Website

Sublime Doughnuts

535 10th Street Northwest, , GA 30318 (404) 897-1801 Visit Website

Empire State South

999 Peachtree Street Northeast, , GA 30309 (404) 541-1105 Visit Website

Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

1136 Euclid Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (678) 973-0427 Visit Website

The Municipal Market

209 Edgewood Avenue Southeast, , GA 30303 Visit Website


1039 Grant Street Southeast, , GA 30315 (404) 963-2929 Visit Website
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