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The field pea and peanut salad from Miller Union in Atlanta features field peas, crushed peanuts, roasted peppers, and tomatoes atop a bed of lemony ricotta.
A late-summer harvest dish at Miller Union includes this field pea and peanut salad.
Miller Union

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5 Must-Try Dishes in Atlanta Right Now

From a meaty pizza and roasted cauliflower to a late-summer harvest salad and a comforting Thai food classic

Restaurant recommendations come in many forms. There’s good old-fashioned word of mouth, the bonafide tried-and-true classics everyone swears by, and the never-ending rundown of new restaurants to consider checking out. In a sprawling, congested city like Atlanta, it’s easy to retire to neighborhood go-to’s, reserving any high-risk, high-reward meals for a special night out, like a birthday, date night, or weekend indulgence. But what about simply dining out for the pleasure of ordering a specific dish to curb a craving or to try that dish friends always rave about from an Atlanta restaurant?

Each quarter, Eater chooses five dishes we love eating and think readers should seek out and try for themselves. These dishes include overlooked gems on menus, off-menu specials, hot new dishes on the dining scene, and even a few that might not be around for long.

Got a must-try dish recommendation from an Atlanta restaurant? Send details with a brief description to atlanta@eater.com, and Eater will check it out for consideration on a future guide.

Carne pizza at La Calavera Pizza and Bakery

1696 Memorial Drive, Kirkwood

The Carne at La Calavera Pizza in Atlanta, a take on a meat lover’s-style pizza, comes with house-made red sauce and cheese and is topped with  bacon and pepperoni from local butcher shop the Spotted Trotter. La Calavera Pizza

When La Calavera owners Eric Arillo and Dale Ralston announced they were launching a pizzeria in February 2021, the decision set the local Kirkwood and Edgewood neighborhoods into a frenzy at the thought of losing the beloved Memorial Drive Mexican bakery. Known for its sourdough and specialty breads, La Calavera instead partnered up with local food purveyors to help create a wide array of toppings for the pizzas on the menu using the bakery’s popular bread doughs to make crusts. The Carne, a take on a meat lover’s-style pizza, comes with house-made red sauce and cheese and is topped with bacon and pepperoni from local butcher shop the Spotted Trotter. Kick things up a notch by adding a side of chili oil and hot honey to experience the full range of flavor laced throughout the sourdough crust for this pizza. Don’t eat meat? Sub it out for the Spotted Trotter’s vegan pepperoni.

Italian grinder at Staplehouse

541 Edgewood Avenue, Old Fourth Ward

A post-pandemic pivot, Staplehouse transitioned to a full-service market, wine shop, and counter-service restaurant in 2021, but still provides a refined yet super casual dining experience. Only here can one purchase a bottle of wine, throw it in the chiller, and order from a tight roster of Staplehouse classics — both old and new — including the chicken liver tart and the Italian grinder, all while perusing the high-caliber pastries in the display case. Dedicate a visit to the Italian grinder, boasting layers of house-made ham, soppressata, salami, and giardiniera. The sandwich just so happens to pair perfectly with a high-acid sparkling vouvray — a throwback meal that tastes even better on the back patio or table in the sunny garden.

Roasted cauliflower at Nur Kitchen

7130 Buford Highway, Global Forum Shopping Center

A head of cauliflower is roasted whole in a brick oven and served alongside house labneh and doused in za’atar spice, creating an intoxicating aroma of smoky, earthy herbs from Nur Kitchen on Buford Highway in Atlanta. Nur Kitchen

In the vast sea of Buford Highway hot spots, where typical table turns can happen in a matter of 30- to 45-minute increments, Nur Kitchen wants people to stay a little while longer and linger over a meal. Billed as a modern Middle Eastern establishment, Nur Kitchen has become a haven for large groups of people to gather and dine as though they’re eating together in the home of a close friend or family member. Find the expected dishes like mezze, chicken shawarma pita, and falafel on the menu here, but don’t skip the house specials, including the roasted cauliflower. It’s inspired by Nur Kitchen chef Shay Lavi’s Israeli roots. A head of cauliflower is roasted whole in a brick oven and served alongside house labneh and doused in za’atar spice, creating an intoxicating aroma of smoky, earthy herbs.

Field Pea and peanut salad at Miller Union

999 Brady Avenue, Home Park

The field pea and peanut salad from Miller Union in Atlanta features field peas, crushed peanuts, roasted peppers, and tomatoes atop a bed of lemony ricotta. Miller Union

While there are four seasons in a year, there are several at Miller Union. And one of the best seasons here is dedicated to field peas. While signature dishes like the farm egg in celery cream are available all year long, the field pea and peanut salad is a swan song to the late-summer harvest in Georgia. It’s only on the menu for a short period of time and signals to diners at Miller Union that summer is nearing an end. An all-time favorite of the restaurant’s many regulars, the simple preparation of field peas, crushed peanuts, roasted peppers, and tomatoes atop a bed of lemony ricotta is the perfect excuse to indulge in a solo date at the bar. Paired it with bartender Evan Sewell’s Summer Nights cocktail made with chamomile tequila, passionfruit liqueur, kina l’aero, and fresh lime.

Thai basil Chicken at Little Bangkok

2225 Cheshire Bridge Road, Lindridge-Martin Manor

Little Bangkok Thai-Chinese restaurant on Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta. Little Bangkok

During the pits of the pandemic, Atlantans learned the ins and outs of ordering takeout. There are only a few foods that taste just as good at home as when seated in a dining room at a restaurant, and the menu at Little Bangkok is a testament to that fact. When ordering at a Thai restaurant, sometimes people feel the need to venture out of their comfort zone and try a new dish, but sometimes it pays off to stick with the classics. Basil chicken, the most humble of stir fry dishes, goes perfectly on top of a bed of rice and is somehow greater than the sum of its parts — sliced chicken breast, onions, peppers, and wilted basil leaves. For Thai food purists, basil chicken makes for a perfect, no-fuss meal, which also makes for great leftovers the next day. The only thing improving this dish is the addition of sliced eggplant to help soak up the sticky, savory sauce.

La Calavera Bakery

747 East College Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 998-8389 Visit Website

Staplehouse

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

La Calavera

1696 Memorial Drive Southeast, , GA 30317 (404) 697-7030 Visit Website

Nur Kitchen

7130 Buford Highway Northeast, , GA 30340 (678) 691-3821 Visit Website

Little Bangkok

2225 Cheshire Bridge Road Northeast, , GA 30324 (404) 315-1530 Visit Website

Miller Union

999 Brady Avenue Northwest, , GA 30318 (678) 733-8550 Visit Website
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