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Socca crepe made with chickpea flour, sunny side eggs, braised turnip greens, carrots, pickled onions, green onions, and cauliflower puree from Daily Chew in Atlanta.
Socca crepe made with chickpea flour, sunny side eggs, braised turnip greens, carrots, pickled onions, green onions, and cauliflower puree.
Daily Chew

38 Essential Restaurants Around Atlanta, Winter 2023

From hearty Jamaican fare Downtown and a raw food restaurant institution in West End to exquisite courses of edomae-style sushi on Howell Mill and savory socca crepes topped with fresh vegetables and greens in northeast Atlanta

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Socca crepe made with chickpea flour, sunny side eggs, braised turnip greens, carrots, pickled onions, green onions, and cauliflower puree.
| Daily Chew

The Eater 38 is a curated list of restaurants covering Atlanta and its metropolitan area — both inside and outside the perimeter — spanning myriad cuisines and price points. It’s meant to help navigate Atlanta’s sprawling restaurant scene, while also answering the question, “Can you recommend a restaurant?”

With winter’s arrival, the Eater 38 has been updated for the first time in 2023 to include longtime Atlanta staples, restaurants with loyal followings, and those really bringing something special to the food scene right now. The restaurants listed below have been open for six months or longer and were selected to showcase the impressive diversity of Atlanta’s dining landscape. Removal from the Eater 38 does not mean a restaurant isn’t still great and won’t return in the future, but it allows for new additions, keeping the 38 a fresh, inclusive, and representative list.

For the first quarterly update of 2023, Nur Kitchen, Ticonderoga Club (temporarily closed due to flooding), Sushi Hayakawa (relocated), La Mei Zi, and Minas Grill and Emporium were removed to make way for Mujo, Hen Mother Cookhouse, Tassili’s Raw Reality Cafe, Daily Chew, and Jamrock Restaurant on MLK.

Want to nominate a restaurant? Send suggestions to, along with details as to why a particular restaurant deserves to be included before the next quarterly update.

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Spring Restaurant

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The critically acclaimed restaurant, owned by chef Brian So and partner Daniel Crawford, features a tight, seasonally-inspired menu of dishes paired with a carefully curated list of natural and biodynamic wines. Start with fois gras terrine and sockeye salmon crudo before moving on to entrees like grilled wagyu flatiron steak and braised short rib or a whole fish course. Never skip the desserts at Spring, which change often and incorporate herbs, fruits, and other ingredients of the season. The small dining room here lends itself nicely to intimate dinner dates for two or foursomes of friends meeting to catch up over bottles of wine and a meal. Reservations highly encouraged.

Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar

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The Gullah and Lowcountry dishes at Virgil’s, owned by Gee and Juan Smalls, are not to be missed. Order the she-crab soup or Gullah egg rolls stuffed with red rice, cabbage, and shrimp; the crab rice mixed with sautéed bacon, onions, and peppers; a side of greens; and the brownie-based Chucktown Chewie sundae for dessert. A second location is now open along the Marietta Street Artery near Georgia Tech. Outdoor seating available via parklet.

A round of compact white rice topped with shrimp and crab gravy at Virgil’s in College Park, GA. Ryan Fleisher

Heirloom Market BBQ

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This Cobb County barbecue spot has limited seating, but chefs and owners Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee bring more than enough flavor to compensate for the cramped quarters or a ride home with a to-go box. Taylor and Lee’s Southern-Korean barbecue restaurant offers a must-try spicy Korean pork sandwich on its menu with chopped rib meat marinated in fermented chili paste, topped with kimchi coleslaw, black sesame seeds, and a sliced scallion. Order the sandwich with a side of Brunswick stew or collards.

A tin tray displaying spicy Korean BBQ pork, kimchi, and pickles spilling out of a sandwich at Heirloom Market BBQ in Smyrna GA. Heirloom Market BBX

Hot Cafe

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For years, this modest restaurant just south of town has been serving up a comforting mix of Laotian, Thai, and Chinese dishes on its menu. But it’s the Laotian fare that really shines at Hot Cafe. Make sure to order any of the larb (or “lab”) — a meat salad tossed with scallions, cilantro, red onions, and toasted rice — along with the fiery papaya salad paired with sticky rice. Regulars also swear by the wings, pad thai, and tom yum soup. 


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Two decade-old fine-dining stalwart Bacchanalia and its epic tasting menu are better than ever. The menu still includes the popular crab fritter, Maine lobster with caviar and brioche, and a rotating array of in-season entrees and desserts. Located next to market and cafe Star Provisions on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, reservations are necessary for a table here. Don’t have reservations? Head to the bar for cocktails, a glass of wine, and the a la carte menu. For those looking to create the Bacchanalia experience at home, the restaurant also offers a lavish, four-course takeout menu that includes dishes such as Maine lobster, New York strip, cheeses, and dessert. Reservations required.

Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours

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Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in Westside is where the South’s most loved dishes meet chef and owner Deborah VanTrece and chef de cuisine Robert Butts. VanTrece’s world travels and her three decades of professional cooking experience drive the menu and the service here, with Butts pushing the boundaries further with his dishes — striking a balance between casual and fine dining with ease. Expect dishes like mole sous vide short ribs, a smoked salmon croquette sandwich, cornmeal-crusted catfish goujonnette, and crispy confit duck with chevre scallion Johnny cakes. Reservations encouraged. Outdoor seating available.

Tassili's Raw Reality Café

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A restaurant institution in West End, Tassili’s is a haven for people seeking raw and vegetarian food dishes that not only taste good, but are filling and completely satisfying in every way. Owned by Tassili Ma’at, the menu offers a variety of wraps and salads, including a wrap boasting Southwestern flavors made from chilis stuffed with black-eyed pea puree, couscous, tomatoes, and avocado. The Tassili original kale salad comes with red onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and spices paired with freshly pressed carrot juice. Vegan.

Tassili’s Raw Reality tassili’s raw reality/Facebook

Busy Bee Cafe

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In business since the 1940s, this Vine City soul food staple on Atlanta’s Westside serves some of the city’s best fried chicken, alongside an assortment of other Southern meat-and-three staples. The fried chicken here is marinated for 12 hours, hand-breaded, and fried. If that isn’t enticing enough, get the smothered version, which is topped with pan gravy. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation honored Busy Bee Cafe with an America’s Classics award.

Fried chicken, collards, and mac and cheese from Busy Bee Cafe in Vine City Atlanta Busy Bee Cafe

Che Butter Jonez

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Occupy the Hood activist Malik Rhasaan and Detric Fox-Quinlan opened a permanent location of their popular food truck, Che Butter Jonez, as a restaurant in 2021. And they never looked back. Located next door to a Chevron station on Cleveland Avenue, the restaurant continues to serve one of the food truck’s most popular menu items: the That Sh!T Slambing burger. The menu here changes daily to keep things fresh, but has included bodega-style breakfast dishes, tacos on Tuesday, lumpia and garlic noodles topped with steak, and a delicious soft-shell crab sandwich during the spring. Halal.

B-More Careful Soft Shell Crab on a brioche bun
B-More Careful Soft Shell Crab on a brioche bun.
Che Butter Jonez

Miller Union

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James Beard award-winning chef Steven Satterfield’s fresh Southern cooking is simple, elegant, and includes a lot of seasonal, locally grown vegetables. The farm egg baked in celery cream with grilled bread is a must-try Atlanta dish. The restaurant also has one of the best vegetable plates in town and offers a killer wine list, too. Getting a reservation at this west side Atlanta restaurant can be challenging on busy dining days, so opt to sit at the bar or head in on a Monday for a quieter meal. Reservations encouraged. Outdoor seating available.

[Miller Union's farm egg in celery cream. Photo: Matthew Wong]
[Miller Union’s farm egg in celery cream. Photo: Matthew Wong]
Matthew Wong


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Redbird, the restaurant from chef Zeb Stevenson, churns out wildly creative seasonal dishes, with vegetables and fish always playing starring roles on the menu. Order family style and pair the meal with food-friendly wines, a cleverly named cocktail, or local beer while sitting in the airy, light-filled dining room or on the covered patio taking in the action at buzzy Westside Provisions District. Redbird serves weekend brunch, too, with its biscuit sandwich and burger pop-up Birdy Biscuits from the restaurant’s to-go window on the patio. Reservations encouraged. Outdoor seating available.

Three plates containing ripe tomatoes, leeks, okra Ryan Fleisher

Built around an intimate and highly personalized dining experience between guests of the restaurant and the sushi chef, 2022 Eater award winner Mujo is a splurge-worthy destination for omakase. Reservations go fast when released each month, but for those who secure a seat at the sushi bar at Mujo, patience (and the hefty price tag) pay off with the attention to detail and personalized touches experienced throughout the meal. Led by chef J. Trent Harris, who trained under master sushi chefs at at Michelin star establishments Sushi Ginza Onodera and Shuko in New York and Tokyo, this 15-seat omakase restaurant gives a nightly master class in hospitality and the nuanced art of edomae-style sushi. A meal at Mujo begins with cocktails at the small bar reserved for guests of the restaurant. Then, during dinner, Harris and his team wow with exquisite course after exquisite course of nigiri prepared in the edomae style, beautifully presented dishes like hakurei turnip tartlets, and nods to other Japanese culinary traditions, including tamagoyaki (Japanese shrimp and egg cake similar to an omelette) and konacha green tea served with dessert. Reservations required.

Kohada nigiri topped with kimioboro at Mujo in Atlanta, GA. Ryan Fleisher

THE CHASTAIN - New American Bistro

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Chef Christopher Grossman opened his all-day neighborhood restaurant the Chastain in the former Horseradish Grill space in 2019. Described as a “New American bistro,” most of the fresh ingredients used in dishes served on the menu come from the restaurant’s garden. The dinner menu includes everything from lobster agnoletti and beef tenderloin to shrimp and grits, roasted garden broccoli, and butternut squash soup. Look for counter-service biscuits and pastries at breakfast as well as a delicious cheeseburger during lunch. But dinner is when Grossman and his team really shine, from the attentive service provided by the front-of-house staff to the wine and cocktail lists to the dishes presented at the table. It’s hard to beat the outdoor seating arrangements at the Chastain, which include casual conversation areas around a stone fire pit and seating in the garden under an old oak tree. After dinner, take a stroll in the restaurant’s vegetable and herb garden beside the dining room. Be sure to keep an eye out for Bogey, the friendly neighborhood black cat who likes to frequent the patio. Reservations encouraged. Outdoor seating.

Heidi Harris

Jamrock Restaurant

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It’s hard to go wrong with any order at this Jamaican restaurant institution, but a great place to start is with one of Jamrock’s curry plates. Try the rich curry shrimp and curry snapper, or maybe opt for a plate of braised oxtails or a hearty sandwich here, like the Hotty Hotty jerked chicken and turkey bacon topped with peppers and onions. Breakfast is also available and typically features callaloo and saltfish, dumplings, and saltfish fritters. Keep an eye out for specials like jerk fish fried rice.

Little Bear

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Former pop-up chef Jarrett Stieber opened Little Bear in Summerhill right before the start of the pandemic in 2020. Despite the challenges brought on by the health crisis, Stieber never wavered from what made his pop-up, and now his restaurant, so popular with regulars. The chef’s mischievous sense of humor and creativity continue to be on full display in the dishes and in the cocktails at Little Bear. It’s best to order the entire tight menu here. Tell the server “Just F*ck Me Up, Fam.” Reservations encouraged.

A ceramic blue and white bowl of gold rice pudding garnished with edible violets at Little Bear Atlanta Ryan Fleisher

Lyla Lila

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Chef Craig Richards opened his Midtown restaurant Lyla Lila in December 2019. Just three months later, the pandemic halted its forward momentum as a destination restaurant. Despite it all, Richards seemed to never lose sight of his original vision for Lyla Lila, a casually elegant neighborhood restaurant that Midtown needed. Pasta is a craft Richards has been working at for nearly two decades, which includes stints with Italian chef Lidia Bastianich at her Kansas City and Pittsburgh restaurants, and leading the kitchens at Virginia-Highland trattoria La Tavola and St. Cecilia in Buckhead. From cold-smoked scallops to duck lasagna to whole wood-grilled fish to the tiramsu, the dishes on the menu definitely make Lyla Lila a destination restaurant. Reservations encouraged. Outdoor seating available.

Two heads-on jumbo shrimp over spaghetti and bortaga Ryan Fleisher

Talat Market

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Summerhill Thai restaurant Talat Market opened in spring 2020 inside an old neighborhood market on Ormond Street. Each week, chefs Parnass Lim Savang and Rod Lassiter create around a dozen or so Thai and Thai-influenced dishes for the menu, featuring soups, salads, relishes, curries, stir-fries, and desserts, along with a couple of larger entrees, like yum khao thawt (crispy rice salad) and whole fish preparations. This is where to head for happy hour specials, fresh oysters, off-menu dishes, and crushable cocktails, including a Thai-inspired twist on the pina colada. Outdoor seating available via patio and parklet.

Lucian Books and Wine

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Owners Katie Barringer and Jordan Smelt merge their love for books, wine, food, and London at bookshop and wine bar Lucian. Located at Modera Buckhead, Lucian specializes in titles centered around art, design, food, and culture and carries nearly 400 wines by the bottle and 15 wines by the glass, curated by Smelt. Food here is approached with the same thoughtfulness and care as Barringer does with books and Smelt with wine. Nothing is an afterthought, right down to the sauces composed for each dish. Standouts on the menu are the raw hamachi with seasonal fruits, the gnudi, and duck. Be sure to order a bowl of crispy fries, too, which comes served with a chef’s choice aioli, like horseradish or spiced with chilis. Pair with a glass of champagne. Reservations highly encouraged.

The roast duck leg atop lady peas and cherry tomatoes at Lucian Books and Wine in Atlanta. Lucian

After years of serving classic, white-tablecloth fine dining, chef Gerry Klaskala remodeled his Buckhead staple restaurant to appeal to a younger generation of diners. Now it’s a bit more relaxed and casual — there’s a walk-in ready bar and lounge for drinks and snacks for an impromptu night out. The kitchen consistently cranks out Aria favorites, like butter braised lobster, slow braised pork, and lump crab cakes. Aria continues to carry one of Atlanta’s most comprehensive wine lists, too. Dine al fresco on Aria’s covered and heated patio. Reservations required. Outdoor seating available.

The main dining area inside the revamped Aria in Buckhead.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater Atlanta


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In 2020, Kara Hidinger and chef Ryan Smith took over ownership of the restaurant they helped found with non-profit Giving Kitchen, transforming it from tasting menu restaurant to a neighborhood market with a daily food menu served from the back counter near the kitchen. The food now is as seasonal, creative, and thoughtfully composed as it was when Staplehouse offered coursed-out tastings before the pandemic. Head to the back counter and order dishes like grilled octopus, eggplant, and peppers tossed in fennel salami vinaigrette, a crab cake sando, or a hearty grain bowl or burrata surrounded by fresh vegetables. If it’s on the menu, don’t skip the Italian grinder — a meaty and mighty sandwich easily shared between two people. Then, grab wine and beer by the glass or bottle or a cocktail and find a seat outside in the sunny garden patio or on the covered porch behind the building.


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Blink and one might miss this Filipino restaurant gem tucked away along Woodward Avenue in Grant Park. Opened in 2020, owners Hope Webb and chef Walter Cortado are putting in the work to shine the spotlight on the many regional cuisines that make up the thousands of islands comprising the Philippines. Grab a seat in the cozy dining room or at one of the street-side tables out front for bite-sized lumpia stuffed with aromatic ground beef and shrimp or crispy chicharron-style chicken skins, followed by slow-simmered pork adobo, bistek (Angus beef sauteed in a citrus soy marinade), or a comforting bowl of pancit noodles. Try a dessert lumpia filled with ube ice cream for dessert, and be sure to pair the meal with a cocktail, such as the Lychee Collins made with gin, lemon juice, lychee puree, and cucumber topped with soda water. Estrellita often opens its doors to Atlanta Filipino food pop-ups and chefs in a continuing mission to raise awareness of the vast foodways found throughout the Philippines.

Pancit with shrimp and chicken Matt Wong


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Opened in 2013, Italian-American restaurant BoccaLupo has become both a neighborhood favorite in Inman Park for local residents and one of Atlanta’s must destination restaurants. Order any of the fresh pasta dishes on the menu — the black spaghetti and the 20-yolk tagliatelle are now Atlanta classics. Make sure to check out the tight wine list and cocktails here, too. Reservations encouraged. Outdoor seating available.

Daily Chew

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This small cafe from chef Julia Kesler Imerman features coffee, protein breakfast bowls, and shakshuka in the morning, followed by rotisserie chicken pitas and salad and grain bowls in the afternoon all leaning into Imerman’s Jewish and South African roots. The savory socca crepe made with chickpea flour and topped with sunny side eggs, braised turnip greens, carrots, pickled and green onions, and cauliflower puree isn’t to be missed, nor are the lemon ricotta hotcakes or the smoked salmon pita stuffed with lemon labneh, greens, sumac onions, capers, and dill. Food at Daily Chew is fresh, healthful, and hearty and totally packed with flavor. The restaurant also sells fresh breads and pastries daily as well as whole rotisserie chicken or cauliflower family meals and prepared foods like vegan soba noodles, salads, and even a paleo shepherd’s pie. Outdoor seating available.

Daily Chew

Delbar Middle Eastern

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Delbar is purposefully transportive in every way: food, drinks, and design. When chef and owner Fares Kargar opened Delbar in 2020, his intention was to whisk diners away from Atlanta to countries throughout the Middle East, including his native Iran, via the restaurant’s dishes and design. Comfortable yet chic, seating at Delbar is meant to flow seamlessly from inside to outside, and back again, while people gather to dine on dishes like adas polo (lentil rice dish made with tahdig), gheimeh bademjoon (lamb shank stew), and Chilean sea bass spiced with saffron. Cocktails and wine are top notch here, too. Reservations highly encouraged. Outdoor seating.

Adas polo, a traditional Persian lentil rice dish made with a rice crust called tahdig from Delbar in Atlanta. Andrew Thomas Lee

This East Atlanta Village hangout has been known to quietly serve some of the best versions of popular foods on its menu for years, including pizza, meatloaf, wings, vegan burgers, and a hot chicken thigh sandwich served on a brioche bun. Make sure to check out the seasonal food and dessert specials on the menu, too, and pair the meal with clever cocktails, wine, local beer, or even a boilermaker. Outdoor seating available.

Argosy Argosy/Foursquare

Lazy Betty

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Owned by chefs Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips, Lazy Betty in Candler Park offers sophisticated fine dining wrapped in a warm and inviting neighborhood restaurant. Here, people choose between two reservation-only tasting menus of six to eight courses with optional wine pairings and a vegetarian meal upon request. There’s also champagne and caviar service, which comes with steamed milk buns and scallion pancakes, too. Reservations required. Vegetarian menu available upon request. Outdoor seating available.

Ryan Fleisher

Feedel Bistro

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This congenial restaurant on Briarcliff, owned by siblings Tamar Telahun and Simon Gebru, serves traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean fare with injera flatbread used to scoop up the vegetable- and spicy meat-laden dishes. Order options like the lamb and collard stew gomen be’siga or the red pepper stew doro wet, the ye’shimbra asa chickpea biscuits, and the marinated short ribs goden tibs or vegan mushroom tibs. A bright and cheery restaurant, Feedel Bistro is a great spot for solo dining, couples seeking a quiet night out, or a small group of friends gathering for a meal.

Feedel Bistro

Poor Hendrix

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A congenial neighborhood restaurant and bar in East Lake, Poor Hendrix is a sought-after spot for laidback vibes paired with stellar cocktails and bar food that’s been kicked up a notch yet still affordable. Order perennial favorites on the menu like the spicy peanut cold noodles or baskets of drums and flats glazed in a sticky sesame sauce, as well as meatless Monday meal deals and daily bar fly specials that never disappoint. But this menu is chock-full of good eats no matter the day, including starters like salmon tartar, curried chickpea salad, and house-made ricotta topped with tapenade served with grilled bread and entrees of marinated mussels, Hawaiian fried chicken, and classic spaghetti and meatballs. Pair dinner with a draft beer, one of the cocktails on rotation from the bar, or a glass of wine. Covered patio 21 and up. Well-behaved dogs on leashes welcome. Backyard seating all ages.

The Deer and The Dove

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Chef Terry Koval opened his Decatur restaurant in 2019 and its become not only a destination restaurant for Atlantans, but provides Koval ample space to really shine as a chef. Expect skillfully composed dishes of in-season vegetables, beef and pork from nearby cattle and pig farms, and game meat entrees, like crispy rabbit legs fried in fermented buttermilk, duck sausage roulade, and plates of venison. The restaurant’s bar offers a handful of classic cocktails, beer, and cider, as well as a selection of mainly French and Italian wines. In the mornings, head next door to Koval’s B-Side Cafe for Montreal-style bagels, bagel sandwiches, and coffee. Reservations encouraged. Outdoor seating available.

Chef and owner Terry Koval inspecting dishes prior to being served at The Deer and the Dove The Deer and the Dove

Kimball House

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Housed in the former Decatur train depot, the menu at Kimball House is an ode to elegant dining and drinking all experienced in a dimly lit, laid-back dining room. Kick off the night with Southern and Gulf water oysters paired with cocktails or champagne at happy hour. Stay for dinner and continue the evening by sharing local vegetable and fish dishes or a three-course steak dinner for two. Beyond its award-winning cocktails, the Decatur restaurant features a wine list that is equally impressive, and includes everything from mucadet, chenin blanc, and big, bold reds to sherry, madeira, and vermouth. Reservations highly encouraged. Outdoor seating available.

Kimball House.
Kimball House.
Andrew Thomas Lee

Snackboxe Bistro

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Since opening in 2018 at the H Mart plaza in Doraville, Lao restaurant Snackboxe Bistro has gained an avid following — and for good reason. Chef Thip Athakhanh mixes traditional Lao dishes and street foods with beloved home recipes passed down from her family on the menu at Snackboxe. Expect plates of larb (meat salad), khao poon (spicy rice noodle soup), and the popular mok pha (steamed fish) with street foods such as fried garlic-pepper wings, lemongrass spare ribs, and tapioca pearl dumplings here. There’s a second location in Duluth.