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Little Bear pokes fun at fine dining’s proclivity for tweezer food with dishes rivaling the five-star establishments chef and owner Jarrett Stieber often lampoons.
Little Bear

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Where to Eat and Drink in Grant Park/Summerhill: A Local’s Guide

Recommendations for tacos, pizza, coffee, farmers market goodies, Jamaican fare, and cocktails from neighborhood locals

Filled with quaint bungalows and Victorian mansions, Grant Park is one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods, punctuated by a lush 131-acre park at its center sporting walking trails, picnic areas, and mature shade trees. The neighborhood is home to Zoo Atlanta on the edge of the park and historic Oakland Cemetery along Grant Park’s northern boundary. This charming neighborhood includes a mix of longtime restaurants offering home-style Mexican food, breakfast fare, and pub grub to new arrivals serving California-style tacos, Brazilian and Filipino dishes, and ramen.

Bordering Grant Park to the west is Summerhill, a neighborhood founded by former enslaved people after the Civil War, which would also become home to the majority of Atlanta’s Jewish population in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Summerhill has long been a place for Atlantans to strike out on their own and open businesses. That entrepreneurial spirit continues today with the latest generation of restaurants opening in the neighborhood where people will find everything from barbecue, beer, and fried chicken to casual fine dining and clever takes on Thai food and cocktails.

For this installment of Ask a Local, Eater checked in with three Grant Park and Summerhill residents on why they love their neighborhood and their favorite spots to dine there.

Suzanne Vizethann, chef and owner of Buttermilk Kitchen

Most Atlantans know chef Suzanne Vizethann from her popular Buckhead restaurant Buttermilk Kitchen. Vizethann opened the Southern breakfast and brunch spot along Roswell Road in 2012. It quickly became the spot in Atlanta for folks to get their regular fix of buttermilk biscuits and fried chicken biscuit sandwiches topped with red pepper jelly and a side of pimento cheese grits. When Vizethann isn’t at Buttermilk Kitchen whipping up batches of her famous biscuits, people will find the chef walking her dog, shopping at the weekly farmers market, or dining at one of the many restaurants in her neighborhood of Grant Park.

Suzanne Vizethann, chef and owner of Buttermilk Kitchen
Suzanne Vizethann.
Buttermilk Kitchen

The responses below were lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Why she loves living in Grant Park

I love my neighborhood [of Grant Park] because it is charming, very historic, and walkable. We are right next to Zoo Atlanta and blocks from the [Eastside] Beltline, so there is lots to do and see.

Her neighborhood dining favorites

Supremo Taco

Really great, authentic tacos. You can tell they are fresh, and it’s one of the best spots in Atlanta.

Juniors Pizza (Summerhill)

I am a sucker for pizza and this place does it right. Thin crust, good toppings, and great atmosphere. I like to keep it classic with red sauce, cheese, and fresh basil.

Grant Park Farmers Market (across from the Beacon/Eventide Brewing)

My Sunday tradition is walking down to the local farmer’s market. There is tons of fresh produce and awesome eats. I usually get a sourdough doughnut from Osono Bread, a cup of kombucha [from Cultured South], or an English muffin from TGM Bread.

Daily Dose Coffee (off Bill Kennedy Way)

I walk up here with my dog Butters 3 to 4 days a week and get their espresso. I like the Americano with light water and splash of Half and Half. The staff is super friendly and they always get my order right. It’s also a great place to work and read their collection of books on the wall.

Jeni’s Ice Cream (Glenwood Park)

My total weakness is ice cream, and Jeni’s has some of the best. I love that they make their waffle cones to order. My go to is lavender and either espresso or green mint chip.

Sofia Edwards-Salmon, allergy/immunology specialist

Grant Park resident Sofia Edwards-Salmon moved with her husband to Atlanta from New Orleans over four years ago in order to finish her pediatrics residency. The couple fell in love with the city and decided to put down roots in Grant Park. Edwards-Salmon is now in the midst of finishing her training as an allergy/immunology specialist and plans to begin practicing in Atlanta by next summer.

Sofia Edwards-Salmon, a resident of Grant park Atlanta, cheers with Champagne at a dinner. Sofia Edwards-Salmon

The responses below were lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Why she loves living in Grant Park

We live on the border of the Summerhill neighborhood and love that you can walk to the zoo, park, farmers market, and all of the restaurants and businesses in both Grant Park and Summerhill. We were immediately drawn to Grant Park being from New Orleans. The colorful and historic houses and the wildness of the greenery made it feel like home.

Her neighborhood dining favorites

Ziba’s Bistro (Grant Park)

This is somewhere we love going with friends for dinner when we are in the mood for a warm, cozy, yet fun atmosphere. Their mussels, which they prepare in a variety of ways, are the best thing on the menu! They often have live music on the weekends.

Little Tart Bakeshop (Grant Park)

Their chocolate pistachio croissant is out of this world. On the weekends, Little Tart usually has a seasonal kouign amann, which has traditionally been chocolate hazelnut (basically Nutella). Their breakfast sandwich (egg/cheese/bacon on English muffin) is incredible.

Talat Market (Summerhill)

This is one of our favorite restaurants for dinner in all of Atlanta. It is a fun place for happy hour or group dinner with friends since the food is made to share. We love the variety of outdoor and indoor seating and that you don’t need a reservation. But most of all, it is a combination of the food (which is some of the best Thai I’ve had,) the creative cocktails, and carefully selected wine list that keep us coming back. We always get the fruit salad or crispy rice salad.

Little Bear (Summerhill)

Little Bear is another favorite spot for dinner when we want fancy food without the fancy atmosphere. You could wear a T-shirt and jeans and feel at home here. The menu changes a lot depending on what is in season, but you can always rely on a good variety of options for vegetarians and omnivores. We always go for the “Dealer’s Choice” — a four course chefs choice menu. This is another place where I can always rely on for creative cocktails and a good wine list.

Hero Doughnuts and Buns (Summerhill)

This is our go-to spot for hangover breakfast. While they are known for doughnuts (which are delicious,) my favorite thing on the menu is the egg and cheese bun which comes with your choice of meat and the yummiest “cracked” sauce and pepper jam. My husband always gets the buffalo super crunch chicken sandwich and my best friend (who is gluten free) gets the loaded hash browns.

Edwards-Salmon also shouts out Supremo Taco’s barbacoa taco and aguachile tostada and Big Softie, where she orders a vanilla soft serve waffle cone with strawberry hardshell coating and cornflake streusel topping.

Dan Reingold, director of marketing for Creature Comforts Brewing Company

Dan Reingold works as the director of marketing for Creature Comforts in Athens. Despite working in Athens, Reingold describes himself as an Atlanta lifer and a big advocate of the city and its diverse culinary scene. In 2021, Reingold, his wife, and their dog George-Michael moved to Summerhill, drawn to the neighborhood’s eclectic mix of restaurants and both new and legacy residents. Folks might spy Reingold out walking his now neighborhood-famous dog along Georgia Avenue, making a pit stop for canine-friendly treats at Little Bear.

Dan Reingold, creature comfort
Dan Reingold and his dog George-Michael.
Dan Reingold

The responses below were lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Why he loves living in Summerhill

I’ve had the pleasure of cutting my teeth in the industry alongside some amazing talents. Friends Jarrett Steiber of Little Bear and Shawn Bainbridge of Halfway Crooks Beer both opened their first brick-and-mortar businesses on Georgia Avenue right before the pandemic. I’ve found Grant Park and Summerhill to have unique quality expressions of culinary traditions from across the world. Invest your time here and you’ll enjoy what I believe to be some of the best food Atlanta has to offer.

His neighborhood dining favorites

Halfway Crooks Beer (Summerhill)

Halfway Crooks specializes in nuanced lagers that perfectly blends inspiration from European tradition and digital modernism. I like to relax after a long bike ride with a lager and the herbed French fries. The flavor corner of Woods Chapel BBQ, How Crispy Express, Maepole, and Junior’s Pizza take most of my money. Little Bear is a truly wonderful place that deserves its own page!

JD’s Summerhill Variety Deli (Summerhill)

This is a hidden treasure on Martin Street. It’s hard not to take a few extra minutes to watch the goats and chickens around the backyard. The store is full of neighborhood market vibes and the owner is one of the friendliest folks in town. My favorite dish: the jerk chicken plate with cabbage and rice and peas.

Patria Cocina (Grant Park)

Patria Cocina at the Beacon is a restaurant I enjoy thoroughly, with thoughtful approaches to the foods of Jalisco and Michoacán. Great patio vibes, a strong chips-dip-queso-guac game, quality mezcals and tequilas, well-built and pretty cocktails, all supported by local beer. Nods to neighboring Buteco for an afternoon espresso and for a pre-Atlanta United game beer at Elsewhere Brewing or Eventide Brewing.

Talat Market (Summerhill)

I feel like Talat Market may be the best restaurant in Atlanta right now. Located on Ormond, chefs Parnass Savang and Rod Lassiter are curating some wonderfully vibrant dishes, incorporating local ingredients, using freshly pressed coconut milk, and fancy fish sauces. I love their bar program. Adrian [(Fessenden-Kroll] has curated some incredible drinks. I will always appreciate any bar with a “Daiquiri of the Day”. On extra hot nights, I order a beer slushie or a cracked-open coconut with a straw. Other favorites are the Rhum Punch and martini brought to life through blanc vermouth, dry madeira, pandan and artichoke, and orange bitters and a base of gin.

Sunday morning coffee and Grant Park Farmers Market

Sundays in Summerhill/Grant Park are a wonderful thing. My wife and I start out with a walk to Little Tart Bakeshop on Georgia Avenue with our dog for iced coffee. During the week its the cortado and kouign amann here. Next, it’s a trip to Grant Park Farmers Market for sourdough breads and doughnuts at Osono Bread, whatever chef Maricela Vega is doing at Chico, and to visit Stella Dillard at Dandelion Foods and Goods. More coffee might be had at 1000 Faces Coffee at the market or Howdy Biscuit ATL on the walk home.

Creature Comforts

271 West Hancock Avenue, Athens, GA 30601 (706) 410-1043 Visit Website

Little Tart Bakeshop

68 Georgia Avenue Southeast, , GA 30312 (404) 348-4797 Visit Website

TGM Bread

1540 Avenue Place, , GA 30329 (404) 941-9751 Visit Website

Osono Bread

1015 Grant Street Southeast, , GA 30315 Visit Website

Talat Market

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

Patria Cocina

1039 Grant Street Southeast, , GA 30315 (404) 622-3501 Visit Website

How Crispy Express

71 Georgia Avenue Southeast, , GA 30312 (678) 705-3531 Visit Website

Eventide Brewing

1015 Grant Street Southeast, , GA 30315 (404) 907-4543 Visit Website

Buttermilk Kitchen

4225 Roswell Road Northeast, , GA 30342 (678) 732-3274 Visit Website

Halfway Crooks Beer

60 Georgia Avenue Southeast, , GA 30312 (678) 705-5530 Visit Website

Supremo Taco

701 B Memorial Drive Southeast, , GA 30316 (404) 965-1446 Visit Website

Buteco

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

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