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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and Eater will check it out for consideration on a future guide.
Roasted magret duck breast at Ticonderoga Club
99 Krog Street, Inman Park
Time to rejoice, Atlanta, it’s finally duck season again at Ticonderoga Club. Each fall, the roasted magret duck breast makes its way back onto the menu taking on a new set at the Krog Street Market tavern. This year, the roasted duck breast comes served with beets and marinated mushrooms topped with field jus and a side of butternut squash gratin. The plate tastes like a potent micro-dose of Thanksgiving. And, if you could distill the aroma alone, the butternut squash gratin would give any pumpkin spiced latte a run for its money.
Kubaneh at Aziza
1170 Howell Mill Road, Westside Provisions District
Before you pull the trigger on a plate of braised lamb neck hummus and pita at Aziza, honor the ritual of breaking bread with a savory kubaneh. Now a menu staple at Aziza, which debuted at Westside Provisions District in 2019, the laminated croissant-like layers split perfectly down the center, making this kubaneh easy to share with a dining companion. And as far as restaurant bread service goes, what sets the kubaneh at Aziza apart from all others is the side of grated tomato topped with a dollop of bright green schug (spicy chili hot sauce). The subtle heat from the schug and sweetness of freshly grated tomato cut the richness of the buttery kubaneh — a tomato and bread combination reminiscent of pan con tomate.
Screamin’ Weenies Chicago dog at Banshee
1271 Glenwood Avenue, East Atlanta Village
If you’re the kind of person who likes to build their weekend plans around where they’ll eventually land late night, make your way to the back patio at Banshee in East Atlanta Village to visit Screamin’ Weenies. Approach the window of the “weenie wagon” to find a tight lineup of hot dogs, from a classic hot dog to one dedicated to Atlanta. But there’s no iteration of a hot dog better than a Chicago dog. A steamed poppy seed bun cradles a Fripper’s beef frankfurter topped with mustard, neon green relish, tomato slices, diced onions, a pickle, sport peppers, and celery salt. If even one of these toppings is missing, it’s simply not a Chicago dog. In the event of a long, late-night line, pass the time debating with a stranger whether or not the humble hot dog is a sandwich. The weenie wagon is only available at Banshee on Friday and Saturday nights after 11 p.m.
Savory socca crepe at Daily Chew
2127 Liddell Drive, Atlanta
When Julia Kesler Imerman opened Daily Chew earlier this year, she imagined a takeout window serving quick bites, bowls, pita sandwiches, and rotisserie chickens and chicken dishes as an option for people looking for easy grab-and-go meals. But over time, the tiny takeout restaurant evolved from window to a daytime cafe, which now resides at the heart of the neighborhood. With Olivia McCoy leading the kitchen, dishes like the socca crepe truly mark Daily Chew’s new direction as a food destination in Atlanta, serving dishes that are not only good for you, but good for the planet. The savory socca crepe, made with chickpea flour, comes with sunny side eggs, braised turnip greens, carrots, a smattering of pickled and green onions, and cauliflower puree, making it a meal worth kicking that $15 salad to the curb.
Cioppino at Fishmonger
674 North Highland Avenue, Poncey-Highland; 225 Rogers Street, Kirkwood.
Fishmonger’s splashy debut in Poncey-Highland this spring brought the Gulf coast to Atlanta in a small but mighty seafood cafe and market. The city finally has a top-quality seafood spot that doesn’t require dressing up or a reservation. Notable dishes such as the grouper sandwich or the dazzling seasonal crudos will draw you in from the street for a first visit, but the cioppino will keep you coming back for more. Originating in San Francisco, cioppino was first created by Italian-American fishermen who threw whatever was left over from a day’s catch into a tomato-based fish stew. The base consists of garlic, onions, tomatoes, herbs, and wine. But it’s the fish stock that makes or breaks the deep umami flavor found in this broth, including in Fishmonger’s take, which comes served with a slice of garlic butter sourdough toast from Evergreen Butcher and Baker. A second location is now open at the Pratt Pullman District in Kirkwood and includes seating indoors as well as outside on a large patio, some of which is covered.