Backed by Lazy Betty chefs Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips in partnership with Lazy Betty general manager and beverage director Carl Van Tyle Gilbert, expect pho, bún, bánh mì, Vietnamese sausages, and summer rolls, alongside fresh pastries and shaved ice desserts on the menu here. In addition to coffee, tea, and fresh-made sodas, look for cocktails using Japanese whisky, soju, and Vietnamese flavors and ingredients from Gilbert as well as beer and French, American, and natural wines.
Led in the kitchen by former Lazy Betty senior line cook Timothy Rufino, Phillips now helms the kitchen at Lazy Betty and acts as corporate chef for Juniper Cafe, while Hsu takes on the role of culinary director for both restaurants.
Open for breakfast and dinner, with lunch set to begin in the coming weeks, the design for Juniper Cafe features stepped ceiling details inside reminiscent of the terraced countryside found throughout Vietnam and two patios with elements taking inspiration from historic Vietnamese homes. One patio also includes a takeout window for pastries, coffee and to-go food and drinks.
Juniper Cafe is a departure from Hsu and Phillips’ fine dining background, which includes stints at chef Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, Jean-Georges’ the Mark Restaurant, and Le Colonial in New York City.
The pair opened Lazy Betty in 2019, paying tribute to Hsu’s late mother Betty, a longtime Atlanta restaurateur who owned five Chinese restaurants throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Hsu siblings, Howard and Anita, own Sweet Auburn BBQ in Poncey-Highland. The “lazy” in the restaurant’s name refers to a family joke poking fun at their mother’s need to stay active and busy, even after retiring. Juniper Cafe is named for Hsu’s niece and for the tree-lined street populated with historic homes and restaurants in Midtown.
Hsu, Phillips, and Gilbert plan to open pizzeria and pie restaurant Humble Pie next spring at the Interlock on Howell Mill Road, serving wood-fired pizzas, pot pies, and a variety of dessert pies. The trio tapped chef Evelyn Ling to lead the kitchen there. Ling, who is also Hsu’s cousin, was most recently the executive chef at Anne Quatrano’s Pancake Social at Ponce City Market.
Take a look at the menu for Juniper Cafe:
2260 Marietta Boulevard, Atlanta. juniper-cafe.com.
Open Wednesday - Sunday, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Public transit information: Accessible via MARTA bus 1, 14, 37, 60.