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Duck lasagna from Lyla Lila in Midtown comprising layer upon layer of rich duck meat and red sauces between the pasta.
Duck lasagna.
Lyla Lila

25 Iconic Atlanta Restaurant Dishes to Try

From layers of duck lasagna and mille crepe cake to a Korean barbecue pork sandwich and comfy chicken biscuit doused in sausage gravy

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Duck lasagna.
| Lyla Lila

Diners looking for staples of Atlanta's food scene, take notice. It’s time to round up a few of the dishes defining ATL’s culinary scene at the moment. Some have been around for years, while other dishes have just recently achieved “icon” status. Atlanta is full of great food, and there’s not a list large enough to contain every dish making Atlanta and its sprawling metropolitan area a great place to dine. From layers of duck lasagna and mille crepe cake to a Korean barbecue pork sandwich and comfy chicken biscuit doused in sausage gravy, check out these iconic dishes found at restaurants around Atlanta.

This list is updated twice a year to keep it fresh with new dishes to try.

Don’t see an iconic Atlanta dish listed here? Email Eater Atlanta the details to check out for the next update via the tipline.

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Peppercorn-crusted kangaroo at Canoe

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Listed under the appetizers on the dinner menu, the peppercorn-crusted kangaroo is an homage to executive chef Matthew Basford’s Australian roots. The garnishes and sauces accompanying the dish are seasonal. For instance, expect flavors like apple pie with savory bacon in the fall and winter.

Wings at Jamal’s Buffalo Wings

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Residents who lived in or attended school near the West End over the last two decades are likely familiar with the wing shack that sat in the parking lot across from what used to be the Georgia Dome. Now that Mercedes-Benz Stadium has changed the landscape, Jamal’s has changed locations to the edge of Westview Cemetery. But, the crispy fried, sauce-soaked wings have stayed exactly the same — delicious. Expect the savory flavor to literally shine through, especially on the honey bar-b-que and hot lemon pepper flavors. — Mike Jordan

Crab rice at Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar

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Located along the bustling Main Street of College Park, Virgil’s serves soul food takes on Gullah-Geechee cuisine on the menu. Owner Gee Smalls, who owns the restaurant with husband Juan, hails from Charleston and proudly showcases his Gullah Geechee roots through the food here. Order the crab rice spiced with Gullah seasonings and the Gullah egg rolls stuffed with red rice, fried cabbage, and white shrimp. The red rice at Virgil’s is also worth the order. The rice is cooked in tomato sauce and mixed with onions, peppers, bacon, and smoked sausage. There’s now a second location near Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Korean BBQ pork sandwich at Heirloom Market BBQ

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Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee’s Southern-Korean barbecue restaurant offers a must-try spicy Korean pork sandwich on its menu with chopped rib meat marinated in fermented chile paste, topped with kimchi coleslaw, black sesame seeds, and a sliced scallion. Order the sandwich with a side of sweat and spicy crispy tofu, pickled cucumber-radish salad, or kimchi slaw.

Crab fritter at Bacchanalia

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The crab fritter has become a staple dish on the tasting menu at Bacchanalia. This dish is a must to kick off the four-course tasting at chef Anne Quatrano’s Blandtown establishment. The beautifully fried, crispy fritter is filled with juicy crab meat and accompanied by a fresh burst of citrus and sliced avocado. It might be the perfect bite.

South of the Border wrap at Tassili’s Raw Reality Café

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Owned by Tassili Ma’at, this West End raw food restaurant institution claims to be “faster than full-service restaurants and healthier than fast-food restaurants.” The menu consists of a variety of wraps and salads, including a Southwestern-influenced, chili-studded wrap stuffed with black-eyed pea hummus, couscous, tomatoes, and avocado. Wraps come in full- and half-sized portions.

Lemon pepper wet pizza from Phew's Pies

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This westside Atlanta pizza pop-up from Matthew “Phew” Foster slings handmade pies, including pizzas topped with lemon pepper wet wings and oxtails and ricotta. His signature pizzas, the lemon pepper wet and hot lemon pepper wet, are made using butter sauce, chopped chicken, and mozzarella with wings dotting the center. Order online for pick up. Location provided upon ordering. Follow on Instagram for menu updates and pop-up locations.

Frango Catupiry at Brasiliana Pizza

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Owned by Thiago Machado and Nicollie Conovalow, Brasiliana Pizza blends Brazilian and Italian ingredients and flavors together to create a unique pizza style that’s savory, sometimes subtly sweet, and often bringing heat. With a long-fermented crust, the order here is the Frango Catupiry topped with shredded chicken, bacon bits, squeezes of creamy Brazilian Catupiry cheese, and lots of oregano. Order the Brigadeiros for dessert boasting a thick layer of gooey chocolate fudge and chocolate sprinkles, based on the Brazilian truffle of the same name. All of the pizzas here are meant to be eaten with a knife and fork. In fact, it’s encouraged. Takeout and delivery only.

Fried chicken at Busy Bee Cafe

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In business since the 1940s, this Vine City staple serves some of Atlanta’s best fried chicken. Busy Bee has had plenty of time to perfect its fried chicken recipe. Take the yardbird to the next level by ordering it smothered with pan gravy. The restaurant is always bustling, so be prepared to wait. But that fried chicken is worth it.

Farm egg in celery cream at Miller Union

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The farm egg at James Beard award winner chef Steven Satterfield’s Miller Union is a must-order. This seemingly simple dish is made with fantastic ingredients — a farm egg swimming in celery-infused cream and a side of crusty bread.

Duck lasagna at Lyla Lila

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Regulars to this cozy neighborhood Italian restaurant in Midtown, owned by chef Craig Richards, helped make the crispy duck lasagna here so popular, it’s never coming off the menu. Think decadent cocoa bechamel, parmigiano, and pieces of tender duck meat layered in a thick slab of lasagna set atop carrot-coriander puree.    

Tlayuda at La Oaxaquena Taqueria

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Owned and operated by chef Rosalia Ruiz in Jonesboro, La Oaxaquena Taqueria is a favorite place for tacos and great Mexican in the south metro. Come here for a taste of Oaxaca, which includes their extremely popular tlayuda—a pizza-like Oaxacan dish consisting of toasted tortilla typically topped with refried beans, cheese, meat, and lettuce. This is a dish people from around metro Atlanta travel to Jonesboro for just to eat.

Jerk chicken plate at Eats

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Now considered an Atlanta institution, and one of the few good and affordable restaurants still standing near trendy Ponce City Market, Eats is where to head for hearty meat-and-three combos for around $10 each. The restaurant’s jerk chicken platter is the move here, with choice of two vegetables, like collards, broccoli casserole, or black eyed peas. Order the special which comes with black beans, rice, and cornbread and choice of meat.

20-yolk tagliatelle at BoccaLupo

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BoccaLupo quickly became both a neighborhood favorite and a destination restaurant when it opened in 2013 on Edgewood Avenue. Head in for the fresh pasta like the black spaghetti or pappardelle in bolognese gravy. However, it’s the 20-yolk tagliatelle that is now an Atlanta classic.

Crepe cake at Tiny Lou’s

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Charmain Ware took over the role of executive pastry chef at Tiny Lou’s in 2020, following the departure of Claudia Martinez, who is now at Miller Union. But Ware kept the restaurant’s popular mille crepe cake on the dessert menu and gave it her own seasonal spin. This includes a lemon version with layers of lemon curd and coconut marscarpone icing topped with brulee coconut.

Comfy chicken biscuit at Home Grown

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Home Grown is a breakfast favorite among Atlanta’s diners and restaurant industry folks. And, it’s home to one of the city’s must-try dishes: the comfy biscuit topped with fried chicken smothered in sausage gravy. Read more about the comfy biscuit here.

Blackened grouper sandwich at Fishmonger

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Nhan Le, Skip Engelbrecht, and chef Brad Forsblom struck gold with the opening of seafood market and cafe Fishmonger when it opened in Poncey-Highland in 2022, followed by a second location at Pratt Pullman District later that same year. Much of this success can be linked to the delicious blackened grouper sandwich. The delicate filet is dipped in nori butter and sprinkled with a blend of ten spices before hitting a hot skillet to crisp the skin. The spice blend features everything from Sichuan pepper, cumin, fennel, and black pepper, to cinnamon, cloves, coriander, and fresh onion bits. The fish is then topped with zesty Florida sauce, herb salad, and pickled peppers and served on a buttery toasted bun smeared with more nori butter. A third location of Fishmonger is open on Howell Mill Road.

Sunday cheeseburger at Evergreen Butcher + Baker

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Located in the heart of the Kirkwood neighborhood, this butcher shop and bakery offers a small selection of sandwiches and pastries throughout the day. But it’s the double cheeseburger that has people lining up on Sunday afternoons, no matter the weather. The all-beef burger is topped with gooey cheese, house pickles, onions, and aioli sandwiched between a long-fermented sesame seed bun. One hundred cheeseburgers are typically available every Sunday, starting at 1 p.m. Just look for the burger flag flying out front.

Spicy peanut cold noodles at Poor Hendrix

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No matter the day of the week, or the season of the year, regulars to this East Lake restaurant and bar will always find the popular spicy peanut cold noodles listed on the menu. The noodles are coated in zesty peanut butter and chili oil sauce tossed with julienned carrots and cucumbers and sprinkled with crunchy sesame seeds and sliced scallions.

SPDP at Chai Pani

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Found on the menu at both Chai Pani in Decatur and Botiwalla at Ponce City Market, award-wining chef Meherwan Irani has a bonafide hit with his take on the Indian street food sev puri dahi puri. Called SPDP, individual puffed crisps are filled with potatoes, onions, cilantro, yogurt, and green and tamarind chutneys topped with sev. The puffed street snacks are eaten in one bite.

Khao piek at Snackboxe Bistro

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Located in the Super H Mart plaza in Doraville, the menu here is a mix of traditional Laotian dishes and street foods, including the khao piak, a comforting chicken rice noodle soup, and laap (meat salad). Try the pork belly or the minced tofu laap. Both are tossed in toasted rice powder, chili pepper, fish sauce, lime juice, kaffir, and fresh herbs.

Kaldereta at Kamayan ATL

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Many people credit Filipino food pop-up Kamayan ATL, owned by Mia Orino and Carlo Gan, for finally bringing the country’s cuisine to the forefront in Atlanta. Now open as a restaurant on Buford Highway, Orino and Gan continue to draw people in with their exemplary takes on traditional Filipino dishes and kamayan feasts. For something hearty yet comforting, order a bowl of the kaldereta — a tomato-based broth beef stew brimming with peppers, potatoes, and olives garnished with jalapenos, chilis, and fresh herbs.

Hand-tossed noodles at LanZhou Ramen 兰州拉面

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Located in the Pine Tree Plaza shopping center just down from Supermarket Chicago, this is where to head for heaping plates of some seriously long-as-your-arm, hand-pulled noodles. Try the pork or oxtail noodles or a hot bowl of duck or pork noodle soup. Watch the chef roll, twist, pull, and whip those noodles into shape through the window overlooking the kitchen.

Taiwanese-style hot chicken sandwiches at Java Saga

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Hit the takeout window at Java Saga for a Taiwanese-style hot chicken sandwich that comes in four levels of heat: lifeline (mild), crypto (hot and numbing), octane (very hot), and predator. Each sandwich is topped with Java Lava Saga sauce and sweet pickles served on brown sugar milk toast. Order coffee or tea drinks or a mango smoothie to curb the heat. Owner Alvin Sun is relocating Java Saga to the former Master Bakery space on Buford Highway in Doraville soon, the same complex as I Luv Pho.

Dolsot bibimbap at Stone Bowl House 운암정 스톤 볼 하우스

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Woo Nam Jeong or Stone Bowl House serves traditional Korean fare created by the restaurant’s longtime chef Young Hui Han, lovingly referred to as “grandma”. Regulars to this Korean restaurant know to order its signature dish: the dolsot bibimbap. The dish is served in a searing hot cast iron stone bowl allowing the rice to become nice and crispy before mixing. Han makes all of the complimentary banchan herself, too.

Peppercorn-crusted kangaroo at Canoe

Listed under the appetizers on the dinner menu, the peppercorn-crusted kangaroo is an homage to executive chef Matthew Basford’s Australian roots. The garnishes and sauces accompanying the dish are seasonal. For instance, expect flavors like apple pie with savory bacon in the fall and winter.

Wings at Jamal’s Buffalo Wings

Residents who lived in or attended school near the West End over the last two decades are likely familiar with the wing shack that sat in the parking lot across from what used to be the Georgia Dome. Now that Mercedes-Benz Stadium has changed the landscape, Jamal’s has changed locations to the edge of Westview Cemetery. But, the crispy fried, sauce-soaked wings have stayed exactly the same — delicious. Expect the savory flavor to literally shine through, especially on the honey bar-b-que and hot lemon pepper flavors. — Mike Jordan

Crab rice at Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar

Located along the bustling Main Street of College Park, Virgil’s serves soul food takes on Gullah-Geechee cuisine on the menu. Owner Gee Smalls, who owns the restaurant with husband Juan, hails from Charleston and proudly showcases his Gullah Geechee roots through the food here. Order the crab rice spiced with Gullah seasonings and the Gullah egg rolls stuffed with red rice, fried cabbage, and white shrimp. The red rice at Virgil’s is also worth the order. The rice is cooked in tomato sauce and mixed with onions, peppers, bacon, and smoked sausage. There’s now a second location near Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Korean BBQ pork sandwich at Heirloom Market BBQ

Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee’s Southern-Korean barbecue restaurant offers a must-try spicy Korean pork sandwich on its menu with chopped rib meat marinated in fermented chile paste, topped with kimchi coleslaw, black sesame seeds, and a sliced scallion. Order the sandwich with a side of sweat and spicy crispy tofu, pickled cucumber-radish salad, or kimchi slaw.

Crab fritter at Bacchanalia

The crab fritter has become a staple dish on the tasting menu at Bacchanalia. This dish is a must to kick off the four-course tasting at chef Anne Quatrano’s Blandtown establishment. The beautifully fried, crispy fritter is filled with juicy crab meat and accompanied by a fresh burst of citrus and sliced avocado. It might be the perfect bite.

South of the Border wrap at Tassili’s Raw Reality Café

Owned by Tassili Ma’at, this West End raw food restaurant institution claims to be “faster than full-service restaurants and healthier than fast-food restaurants.” The menu consists of a variety of wraps and salads, including a Southwestern-influenced, chili-studded wrap stuffed with black-eyed pea hummus, couscous, tomatoes, and avocado. Wraps come in full- and half-sized portions.

Lemon pepper wet pizza from Phew's Pies

This westside Atlanta pizza pop-up from Matthew “Phew” Foster slings handmade pies, including pizzas topped with lemon pepper wet wings and oxtails and ricotta. His signature pizzas, the lemon pepper wet and hot lemon pepper wet, are made using butter sauce, chopped chicken, and mozzarella with wings dotting the center. Order online for pick up. Location provided upon ordering. Follow on Instagram for menu updates and pop-up locations.

Frango Catupiry at Brasiliana Pizza

Owned by Thiago Machado and Nicollie Conovalow, Brasiliana Pizza blends Brazilian and Italian ingredients and flavors together to create a unique pizza style that’s savory, sometimes subtly sweet, and often bringing heat. With a long-fermented crust, the order here is the Frango Catupiry topped with shredded chicken, bacon bits, squeezes of creamy Brazilian Catupiry cheese, and lots of oregano. Order the Brigadeiros for dessert boasting a thick layer of gooey chocolate fudge and chocolate sprinkles, based on the Brazilian truffle of the same name. All of the pizzas here are meant to be eaten with a knife and fork. In fact, it’s encouraged. Takeout and delivery only.

Fried chicken at Busy Bee Cafe

In business since the 1940s, this Vine City staple serves some of Atlanta’s best fried chicken. Busy Bee has had plenty of time to perfect its fried chicken recipe. Take the yardbird to the next level by ordering it smothered with pan gravy. The restaurant is always bustling, so be prepared to wait. But that fried chicken is worth it.

Farm egg in celery cream at Miller Union

The farm egg at James Beard award winner chef Steven Satterfield’s Miller Union is a must-order. This seemingly simple dish is made with fantastic ingredients — a farm egg swimming in celery-infused cream and a side of crusty bread.

Duck lasagna at Lyla Lila

Regulars to this cozy neighborhood Italian restaurant in Midtown, owned by chef Craig Richards, helped make the crispy duck lasagna here so popular, it’s never coming off the menu. Think decadent cocoa bechamel, parmigiano, and pieces of tender duck meat layered in a thick slab of lasagna set atop carrot-coriander puree.    

Tlayuda at La Oaxaquena Taqueria

Owned and operated by chef Rosalia Ruiz in Jonesboro, La Oaxaquena Taqueria is a favorite place for tacos and great Mexican in the south metro. Come here for a taste of Oaxaca, which includes their extremely popular tlayuda—a pizza-like Oaxacan dish consisting of toasted tortilla typically topped with refried beans, cheese, meat, and lettuce. This is a dish people from around metro Atlanta travel to Jonesboro for just to eat.

Jerk chicken plate at Eats

Now considered an Atlanta institution, and one of the few good and affordable restaurants still standing near trendy Ponce City Market, Eats is where to head for hearty meat-and-three combos for around $10 each. The restaurant’s jerk chicken platter is the move here, with choice of two vegetables, like collards, broccoli casserole, or black eyed peas. Order the special which comes with black beans, rice, and cornbread and choice of meat.

20-yolk tagliatelle at BoccaLupo

BoccaLupo quickly became both a neighborhood favorite and a destination restaurant when it opened in 2013 on Edgewood Avenue. Head in for the fresh pasta like the black spaghetti or pappardelle in bolognese gravy. However, it’s the 20-yolk tagliatelle that is now an Atlanta classic.

Crepe cake at Tiny Lou’s

Charmain Ware took over the role of executive pastry chef at Tiny Lou’s in 2020, following the departure of Claudia Martinez, who is now at Miller Union. But Ware kept the restaurant’s popular mille crepe cake on the dessert menu and gave it her own seasonal spin. This includes a lemon version with layers of lemon curd and coconut marscarpone icing topped with brulee coconut.

Related Maps

Comfy chicken biscuit at Home Grown

Home Grown is a breakfast favorite among Atlanta’s diners and restaurant industry folks. And, it’s home to one of the city’s must-try dishes: the comfy biscuit topped with fried chicken smothered in sausage gravy. Read more about the comfy biscuit here.

Blackened grouper sandwich at Fishmonger

Nhan Le, Skip Engelbrecht, and chef Brad Forsblom struck gold with the opening of seafood market and cafe Fishmonger when it opened in Poncey-Highland in 2022, followed by a second location at Pratt Pullman District later that same year. Much of this success can be linked to the delicious blackened grouper sandwich. The delicate filet is dipped in nori butter and sprinkled with a blend of ten spices before hitting a hot skillet to crisp the skin. The spice blend features everything from Sichuan pepper, cumin, fennel, and black pepper, to cinnamon, cloves, coriander, and fresh onion bits. The fish is then topped with zesty Florida sauce, herb salad, and pickled peppers and served on a buttery toasted bun smeared with more nori butter. A third location of Fishmonger is open on Howell Mill Road.

Sunday cheeseburger at Evergreen Butcher + Baker

Located in the heart of the Kirkwood neighborhood, this butcher shop and bakery offers a small selection of sandwiches and pastries throughout the day. But it’s the double cheeseburger that has people lining up on Sunday afternoons, no matter the weather. The all-beef burger is topped with gooey cheese, house pickles, onions, and aioli sandwiched between a long-fermented sesame seed bun. One hundred cheeseburgers are typically available every Sunday, starting at 1 p.m. Just look for the burger flag flying out front.

Spicy peanut cold noodles at Poor Hendrix

No matter the day of the week, or the season of the year, regulars to this East Lake restaurant and bar will always find the popular spicy peanut cold noodles listed on the menu. The noodles are coated in zesty peanut butter and chili oil sauce tossed with julienned carrots and cucumbers and sprinkled with crunchy sesame seeds and sliced scallions.

SPDP at Chai Pani

Found on the menu at both Chai Pani in Decatur and Botiwalla at Ponce City Market, award-wining chef Meherwan Irani has a bonafide hit with his take on the Indian street food sev puri dahi puri. Called SPDP, individual puffed crisps are filled with potatoes, onions, cilantro, yogurt, and green and tamarind chutneys topped with sev. The puffed street snacks are eaten in one bite.

Khao piek at Snackboxe Bistro

Located in the Super H Mart plaza in Doraville, the menu here is a mix of traditional Laotian dishes and street foods, including the khao piak, a comforting chicken rice noodle soup, and laap (meat salad). Try the pork belly or the minced tofu laap. Both are tossed in toasted rice powder, chili pepper, fish sauce, lime juice, kaffir, and fresh herbs.

Kaldereta at Kamayan ATL

Many people credit Filipino food pop-up Kamayan ATL, owned by Mia Orino and Carlo Gan, for finally bringing the country’s cuisine to the forefront in Atlanta. Now open as a restaurant on Buford Highway, Orino and Gan continue to draw people in with their exemplary takes on traditional Filipino dishes and kamayan feasts. For something hearty yet comforting, order a bowl of the kaldereta — a tomato-based broth beef stew brimming with peppers, potatoes, and olives garnished with jalapenos, chilis, and fresh herbs.

Hand-tossed noodles at LanZhou Ramen 兰州拉面

Located in the Pine Tree Plaza shopping center just down from Supermarket Chicago, this is where to head for heaping plates of some seriously long-as-your-arm, hand-pulled noodles. Try the pork or oxtail noodles or a hot bowl of duck or pork noodle soup. Watch the chef roll, twist, pull, and whip those noodles into shape through the window overlooking the kitchen.

Taiwanese-style hot chicken sandwiches at Java Saga

Hit the takeout window at Java Saga for a Taiwanese-style hot chicken sandwich that comes in four levels of heat: lifeline (mild), crypto (hot and numbing), octane (very hot), and predator. Each sandwich is topped with Java Lava Saga sauce and sweet pickles served on brown sugar milk toast. Order coffee or tea drinks or a mango smoothie to curb the heat. Owner Alvin Sun is relocating Java Saga to the former Master Bakery space on Buford Highway in Doraville soon, the same complex as I Luv Pho.

Dolsot bibimbap at Stone Bowl House 운암정 스톤 볼 하우스

Woo Nam Jeong or Stone Bowl House serves traditional Korean fare created by the restaurant’s longtime chef Young Hui Han, lovingly referred to as “grandma”. Regulars to this Korean restaurant know to order its signature dish: the dolsot bibimbap. The dish is served in a searing hot cast iron stone bowl allowing the rice to become nice and crispy before mixing. Han makes all of the complimentary banchan herself, too.

Related Maps