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Pork belly and clams with two toasted slices of sourdough bread for sopping up juices from the Deer and the Dove in Decatur, GA.

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Take This Food Crawl Through Downtown Decatur, Georgia

Eat, sip, and stroll the streets during a progressive food and drink crawl through downtown Decatur

Pork belly and clams.
| The Deer and the Dove
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for over 12 years.

Decatur may feel like an extension of Atlanta, but this historic city to the east is home to a diverse community of people, charming neighborhoods with tree-lined streets, and features a dining scene of its very own with award-winning restaurants among its ranks.

Given the city’s close proximity to Atlanta and the campuses of Emory University and Agnes Scott College, over 25,000 people call Decatur home. The 200-year-old city also draws thousands of visitors each year who stroll the streets of downtown Decatur to shop, eat, and drink.

The colorful historic town square in Decatur, GA, includes restaurants with street-side patios, a gazebo, and a large paved stone area in the center for events.
Decatur Square in the heart of the city features a number of popular restaurants and bars.
City of Decatur

Adding to its appeal as a dining destination, the Decatur city commission created an open-container policy in 2021, allowing restaurants and bars in designated areas to serve alcohol in approved to-go cups for off-premise consumption on the weekends. Food carts also roam the town square and parks throughout Decatur to create more grab-and-go food options for residents and visitors to the city.

With a centrally located MARTA train station, a weekend open-container policy, and pedestrian friendly streets downtown, Decatur offers a unique opportunity for people seeking a car-free dining experience. The Decatur MARTA station (Blue Line) resides on Church Street in the heart of the dining district.

Here’s how you could spend a day partaking in a progressive food crawl through downtown Decatur.

Stop 1: Lunch buffet at Chai Pani

406 West Ponce de Leon Avenue

Blue table with plates of Indian food. Chai Pani
A metal tray of round chaat garnished with herbs and onions called SPDP (sev batata Dahi puri) from Chai Pan in Atlanta
SPDP (sev batata Dahi puri).
Chai Pani
The entrance to the dining room at Chai Pani in Decatur Ryan Fleisher

You’ll want to pace yourself at this first stop. Just consider the lunch buffet at Chai Pani a base layer for what’s to come on your Decatur food crawl. The Indian street food restaurant, owned by award-winning chef Meherwan Irani, offers a lunch buffet featuring kale pakoras, saag paneer, bhel puri, and butter chicken. There’s also plenty of naan to choose from on the buffet, as well as an assortment of chutneys and hot chai. Take as much or as little as you want, because everything is easily shared. Served daily, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $14.99 per person weekdays; $19.99 per person weekends. Kids 10 and under $9.99.

Stop 1 alternative: Pizza and a pint at Inner Voice Brewing and Glide Pizza on West Ponce.

Stop 2: Espresso at Dancing Goats Coffee

419 West Ponce de Leon Avenue

After grabbing lunch at Chai Pani, head across the street to Dancing Goats for a shot or two of espresso or a cortado. Take a seat inside or out on the street side patio before moving on to your next food crawl stop.

Stop 3: Kimchi taco at KBBQ Taco

105 Clairemont Avenue

Food crawls are all about managing portions and not overeating before the final destination. A short walk from Dancing Goats on Clairemont Avenue near the old Decatur courthouse, KBBQ Taco offers a Korean barbecue taco garnished with kimchi. Made from salted and fermented cabbage and vegetables, kimchi can help aid in digestion. Order the spicy pork or tofu taco with house-made kimchi. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Stop 3 alternatives: Treat yourself to a cupcake at Lenox Cupcakes on East Ponce or grab a mango slush or Thai milk tea from Rebel Teahouse up the road.

Stop 4: Beer and afternoon snack at Brick Store Pub beer garden

125 East Court Square

Brick Store Pub
Brick Store Pub

A food and drink crawl in Decatur wouldn’t be complete without a stop for at pint at Brick Store Pub, regularly cited as one of the best beer bars in the country. And that’s not hyperbole, folks. Brick Store offers an extensive list of local, Belgian, and hard-to-find beers and features a food menu that rivals many of the best restaurants in Decatur. The place to be on a pleasant day is in the beer garden behind the building. It offers fire pits, a separate food and beer menu, a patio bar, and shady spots for lounging. Order baskets of smoked wings or tots (add the vegetarian chili) to share and sip on a locally brewed lager or imported hefeweizen. Dogs on leashes welcome. Family friendly.

Stop 4 alternative: The daily popcorn or cold ramen noodles tossed with sesame seeds, scallions, and peanuts paired with a whiskey coke slushie from Victory Sandwich Bar on Church Street.

Stop 5: Happy hour at Boho 115

115 Sycamore Street

An assortment of tinned fish, pickled vegetables, salsa verde, and a pink cocktail from Boho 115 in Decatur, GA. Boho 115
Shrimp aguachiles beside a cocktail on the ledge of the lounge upstairs at Boho 115 seafood bar in Decatur, GA. Boho 115

After spending some time relaxing (and resetting) in the beer garden at Brick Store, move on to happy hour at Boho 115 on Decatur Square. The seafood and tapas bar features a daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with beer and wine specials. Oysters are also half off on Monday and Thursday. Pair a pisco sour or Floridita with tuna sashimi, a selection of conservas (tinned fish), or a half dozen oysters before heading out for dinner. The best seats in the house are by the windows downstairs or upstairs along a rail overlooking Decatur Square.

Stop 5 alternatives: The Iberian Pig next door to Boho 115 for a cocktail or glass of wine and charcuterie or The White Bull next door to Brick Store for a traditional Italian aperitivo hour.

Stop 6: Dinner at the Deer and the Dove

155 Sycamore Street

The Deer and the Dove

There are a number of superb restaurants for dinner in downtown Decatur, including critically acclaimed restaurant Kimball House, The White Bull, French bistro Cafe Alsace, and Ford Fry’s Italian spot No. 246, but the Deer and the Dove offers a range of dishes to satisfy meat eaters, pescatarians, and vegetarians. Backed by James Beard award-winning chef Terry Koval, this Eater 38 essential restaurant has become a dining destination for Decatur residents and Atlantans. Koval’s commitment to local farmers and the slow food movement shines through in plates like the weekly salad pickings with in-season greens and vegetables from nearby farms, the Cheese From Our Friends platter, and chicken liver pate using Grateful Pastures birds. Stars on Koval’s menu include the coffee-dusted seared venison, hearty harvest vegetable plate, and the bone marrow and snails. Dishes are easily shared family style. Bar manager Matt Watkins and his team make a mean gin martini and seasonal Old Fashioned. Reservations encouraged.

Stop 6 alternatives: Kimball House, The White Bull, Cafe Alsace, and no. 246.

Detour: Catch a show at Eddie’s Attic

515 North McDonough Street

After dinner, take in a show at local music haunt Eddie’s Attic. The Decatur music bar opened in 1991 and is now a staple for catching shows featuring local and touring musicians and spoken word artists. Shows are intimate at Eddie’s and typically begin at 7 p.m. or 9 p.m. and last about two hours. A limited food menu is available, along with cocktails, beer, and wine. Purchasing tickets in advance is highly suggested.

Stop 7: After-dinner drinks and snacks at S.O.S. Tiki Bar

340 Church Street

S.O.S Tiki Bar
S.O.S Tiki Bar
S.O.S Tiki Bar
S.O.S Tiki Bar

This Decatur food crawl ends with fire and flair, and maybe a little food, at S.O.S. Tiki Bar around the corner from the Deer and the Dove. Follow the neon sign leading you down a small alleyway lined with patio tables to the entrance of a semi-subterranean cocktail lair. S.O.S. offers a modern, slightly irreverent twist on the classic tiki bar. Kitsch is just enough to satisfy diehard tikiphiles without overwhelming those simply seeking an excellent cocktail. Look for riffs on tiki classics like the Mai Tai, Zombi, and frozen Painkiller, along with creative originals from the S.O.S. bar team. Pop-ups frequent the small kitchen here, and have included Little Bear chef Jarrett Stieber, Asian street food from Mushi Ni, and Southern-Cajun takes on the iconic pupu platter from the team behind Mothers Best fried chicken. A tropical-themed holiday bar takes over S.O.S every year during the Christmas season, too. Squeeze into a booth, grab a seat at the bar, or a table outside in the alley.

no. 246

129 East Ponce de Leon Avenue, , GA 30030 (678) 399-8246 Visit Website

Victory Sandwich Bar

340 Church Street, , GA 30030 (404) 377-9300 Visit Website

The Deer and The Dove

155 Sycamore Street, , GA 30030 (404) 748-4617 Visit Website

The Iberian Pig

607 Overton Street, , TN 37203 (615) 844-4242 Visit Website

Brick Store Pub

125 East Court Square, , GA 30030 (404) 687-0990 Visit Website

Lenox Cupcakes

5392 Peachtree Road, , GA 30341 (404) 949-0409 Visit Website

Chai Pani

406 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 378-4030 Visit Website

Kimball House

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

Cafe Alsace

121 East Ponce de Leon Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 373-5622 Visit Website

The White Bull

123 East Court Square, , GA 30030 (404) 600-5649 Visit Website

Glide Pizza

659 Auburn Avenue Northeast, , GA 30312 Visit Website

Inner Voice Brewing

308 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, , GA 30030 (470) 428-3194 Visit Website
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