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A bright red food truck parked beneath the awning of a former gas station, where outdoor tables host groups of diners
The dining sitch at Refuge Coffee Co.
Refuge Coffee Co./Facebook

The 10 Essential Clarkston Restaurants

Where to find Egyptian karkadeh tea, Tibetan thenthuk soup, Hyderabadi mutton biryani, and Burmese mala steamed fish in Georgia’s “Ellis Island of the South”

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The dining sitch at Refuge Coffee Co.
| Refuge Coffee Co./Facebook

With nearly half of its 13,000 residents hailing from somewhere else — including dozens of countries on six continents around the world — the tiny city of Clarkston, Georgia, has become one of the most diverse spots in the metro Atlanta area.

Dubbed the “Ellis Island of the South,” this rich, multicultural community is home to many immigrants and refugees who’ve fled war-torn countries, which means the restaurant scene in Clarkston reflects ever-shifting global influences. And it plays a role that goes beyond food: Since the city was first deemed a haven for asylum-seekers in the 1990s, Clarkston nonprofit organizations like Just Bakery and Refuge Coffee Co. have helped refugees establish long-term economic security in the Atlanta area. Through these organizations, the city’s newest residents are offered job training and opportunities to start their own food businesses, many of which open in Clarkston.

As a result, Clarkston has become a dining gem in metro Atlanta packed within 1 square mile. It’s where folks from all walks of life can come together to indulge in and experience a variety of cuisines from around the globe — from Ethiopian and Eritrean fare to foods from Myanmar, Pakistan, and Nepal.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Chef Winnie's Kitchen

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Hailing from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, chef Woinshet Legesse Emory (Chef Winnie) is no stranger to the hustle and bustle of restaurant life. She worked in a number of hotel restaurants before settling in Clarkston, where she opened her eponymous restaurant. Here, Emory mixes Ethiopian, Mexican, and American cuisines on the menu; one might dine on beef, chicken, or jackfruit curry tibs and gomen with spongy injera alongside Philly cheesesteaks and fish tacos. Order online for takeout.

Several sauce-covered dishes on top of a platter of injera, along with a side salad
A full spread at Chef Winnie’s.
Chef Winnie’s Kitchen/Facebook

Kathmandu Kitchen & Grill

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Located in the Clarkston Village shopping complex, Kathmandu Kitchen & Grill serves Nepalese and Indian dishes, including an all-you-can-eat buffet at lunch. Look for the goat curry, tandoori chicken, pakoras, Tibetan thenthuk soup, sekuwa (Nepali meat skewers), and wai wai sadheko (spicy Nepali noodles similar to chaat). Call to order takeout.

PS-Asian Restaurant

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PS-Asian has become a staple on the food scene since opening here five years ago at the Clarkston Village shopping complex. Head in for a mix of Burmese, Thai, and Chinese dishes, including the national dish of Myanmar — mohinga (fish soup with rice noodles) — along with bak kut teh (pork rib soup), char kway teow, and spicy Thai basil chicken. Call for takeout.

Abyssinia Cafe & Restaurant

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Among the go-to Clarkston Village restaurants and markets is Abyssinia Cafe & Restaurant, a charming and friendly spot serving traditional Ethiopian dishes alongside karkaday (Egyptian hibiscus tea) and superb coffee drinks and hot chocolate, too. Kick off the day with kita firfir (shredded injera braised in berbere) or breakfast ful with fava beans, served with red onions, green peppers, and scrambled eggs. Order awaze tibs (beef sauteed in onions, tomatoes, and barbere); fried tilapia dulet mixed with jalapeno, onion, and mitmita seasoning; or shiro normal, a chickpea stew simmered in berbere and Ethiopian butter. Call to order takeout.

Merhaba Shawarma

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Owned by Manna Samuel, this congenial little restaurant on East Ponce is painted in the colors of the Eritrean flag. Pull up for spit-grilled meats, shawarma platters, beef and chicken gyros, and comforting bowls of ful (fava bean stew). Make sure to order the falafel and, for dessert, the baklava. Note: Meats served at Merhaba Shawarma are halal. Call to order takeout.

A Dong Market

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Just next door to Biryani Point at Clarkston Plaza, A Dong Market features a selection of South Asian foods, fresh herbs and ingredients, and other sundries. But make a beeline to the market’s small buffet-style restaurant serving Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes, including bowls of hot pho, lemongrass chicken, whole steamed fish with ginger and scallions, and pad thai.

Biryani Point

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Located on Market Street at Clarkston Plaza, Biryani Point serves a mix of Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Indian, and Indo-Chinese dishes. Head here for hearty helpings of tandoori chicken and a variety of biryani choices as well as aloo gobi, chili mogo, and karahi gosht — a curry made using goat or lamb mixed with bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Be sure to try the Hyderabadi mutton biryani, a fragrant rice dish cooked overnight and topped with eggs. All meats are halal, too. Order online for takeout.

A tray of mutton curry from a buffet, with chopped herbs spread over top and a large serving ladle
Mutton curry.
Biryani Point/Facebook

Two Fish Myanmar Cuisine

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Yapar Shel and Roi San run this takeout business from their Clarkston home, serving tried-and-true Burmese dishes two days a week. Think rakhine mont di (rice noodles and catfish), mala steamed fish, and the traditional Burmese dessert shwe yin aye (sweet sticky rice, tapioca pearls, and pandan jelly noodles). Dishes from this pop-up cost between $7 and $12 and typically sell out quickly, so it’s best to order the minute a fresh menu drops each week. Make sure to follow Two Fish on Facebook to keep updated on menus and pickup times, which typically take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

Crab, vegetables, sauce, and herbs crammed into a takeout container
A delightful crab dish.
Two Fish Myanmar Cuisine/Facebook

Just Bakery

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The nonprofit Just Bakery — which operates from a licensed commercial kitchen right outside Clarkston — works in partnership with resettled refugee communities to provide paid training and living wages. It also provides customers with a number of fresh-baked treats for pickup and delivery throughout the metro Atlanta area. Order a variety of baked goods, including springy batches of rosemary and sea salt focaccia, crusty sourdough loaves, peanut butter curry cookies, and jeera biscuits (Nepalese-spiced shortbread). Orders should be placed online for local delivery or pickup at various locations. Read more about Just Bakery here

Two heart-shaped frosted sugar cookies decorated with henna patterns
Henna-inspired cookies.
Leah Lonsbury

Refuge Coffee Co.

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Refuge Coffee Co. on East Ponce de Leon Avenue is a purpose-driven coffee shop with a mission to provide jobs, training, and a safe space for Clarkston’s refugee community. There’s a cozy seating area inside a converted 1960s service station, where customers can take drinks from the Refuge Coffee truck parked out front where the gas pumps used to be. (Owners Kitti and Bill Murray hope to outfit the space with a new kitchen soon.) It’s not unusual to find weekly food pop-ups and artist markets in the parking lot, too. Refuge also includes locations in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn district and Midtown.

A mural featuring people of different cultures drinking coffee, beneath the words “We are all different / and we drink coffee”
Mural at Refuge Clarkston.
Stefanie Jayne Photography

Chef Winnie's Kitchen

Several sauce-covered dishes on top of a platter of injera, along with a side salad
A full spread at Chef Winnie’s.
Chef Winnie’s Kitchen/Facebook

Hailing from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, chef Woinshet Legesse Emory (Chef Winnie) is no stranger to the hustle and bustle of restaurant life. She worked in a number of hotel restaurants before settling in Clarkston, where she opened her eponymous restaurant. Here, Emory mixes Ethiopian, Mexican, and American cuisines on the menu; one might dine on beef, chicken, or jackfruit curry tibs and gomen with spongy injera alongside Philly cheesesteaks and fish tacos. Order online for takeout.

Several sauce-covered dishes on top of a platter of injera, along with a side salad
A full spread at Chef Winnie’s.
Chef Winnie’s Kitchen/Facebook

Kathmandu Kitchen & Grill

Located in the Clarkston Village shopping complex, Kathmandu Kitchen & Grill serves Nepalese and Indian dishes, including an all-you-can-eat buffet at lunch. Look for the goat curry, tandoori chicken, pakoras, Tibetan thenthuk soup, sekuwa (Nepali meat skewers), and wai wai sadheko (spicy Nepali noodles similar to chaat). Call to order takeout.

PS-Asian Restaurant

PS-Asian has become a staple on the food scene since opening here five years ago at the Clarkston Village shopping complex. Head in for a mix of Burmese, Thai, and Chinese dishes, including the national dish of Myanmar — mohinga (fish soup with rice noodles) — along with bak kut teh (pork rib soup), char kway teow, and spicy Thai basil chicken. Call for takeout.

Abyssinia Cafe & Restaurant

Among the go-to Clarkston Village restaurants and markets is Abyssinia Cafe & Restaurant, a charming and friendly spot serving traditional Ethiopian dishes alongside karkaday (Egyptian hibiscus tea) and superb coffee drinks and hot chocolate, too. Kick off the day with kita firfir (shredded injera braised in berbere) or breakfast ful with fava beans, served with red onions, green peppers, and scrambled eggs. Order awaze tibs (beef sauteed in onions, tomatoes, and barbere); fried tilapia dulet mixed with jalapeno, onion, and mitmita seasoning; or shiro normal, a chickpea stew simmered in berbere and Ethiopian butter. Call to order takeout.

Merhaba Shawarma

Owned by Manna Samuel, this congenial little restaurant on East Ponce is painted in the colors of the Eritrean flag. Pull up for spit-grilled meats, shawarma platters, beef and chicken gyros, and comforting bowls of ful (fava bean stew). Make sure to order the falafel and, for dessert, the baklava. Note: Meats served at Merhaba Shawarma are halal. Call to order takeout.

A Dong Market

Just next door to Biryani Point at Clarkston Plaza, A Dong Market features a selection of South Asian foods, fresh herbs and ingredients, and other sundries. But make a beeline to the market’s small buffet-style restaurant serving Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes, including bowls of hot pho, lemongrass chicken, whole steamed fish with ginger and scallions, and pad thai.

Biryani Point

A tray of mutton curry from a buffet, with chopped herbs spread over top and a large serving ladle
Mutton curry.
Biryani Point/Facebook

Located on Market Street at Clarkston Plaza, Biryani Point serves a mix of Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Indian, and Indo-Chinese dishes. Head here for hearty helpings of tandoori chicken and a variety of biryani choices as well as aloo gobi, chili mogo, and karahi gosht — a curry made using goat or lamb mixed with bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Be sure to try the Hyderabadi mutton biryani, a fragrant rice dish cooked overnight and topped with eggs. All meats are halal, too. Order online for takeout.

A tray of mutton curry from a buffet, with chopped herbs spread over top and a large serving ladle
Mutton curry.
Biryani Point/Facebook

Two Fish Myanmar Cuisine

Crab, vegetables, sauce, and herbs crammed into a takeout container
A delightful crab dish.
Two Fish Myanmar Cuisine/Facebook

Yapar Shel and Roi San run this takeout business from their Clarkston home, serving tried-and-true Burmese dishes two days a week. Think rakhine mont di (rice noodles and catfish), mala steamed fish, and the traditional Burmese dessert shwe yin aye (sweet sticky rice, tapioca pearls, and pandan jelly noodles). Dishes from this pop-up cost between $7 and $12 and typically sell out quickly, so it’s best to order the minute a fresh menu drops each week. Make sure to follow Two Fish on Facebook to keep updated on menus and pickup times, which typically take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

Crab, vegetables, sauce, and herbs crammed into a takeout container
A delightful crab dish.
Two Fish Myanmar Cuisine/Facebook

Just Bakery

Two heart-shaped frosted sugar cookies decorated with henna patterns
Henna-inspired cookies.
Leah Lonsbury

The nonprofit Just Bakery — which operates from a licensed commercial kitchen right outside Clarkston — works in partnership with resettled refugee communities to provide paid training and living wages. It also provides customers with a number of fresh-baked treats for pickup and delivery throughout the metro Atlanta area. Order a variety of baked goods, including springy batches of rosemary and sea salt focaccia, crusty sourdough loaves, peanut butter curry cookies, and jeera biscuits (Nepalese-spiced shortbread). Orders should be placed online for local delivery or pickup at various locations. Read more about Just Bakery here

Two heart-shaped frosted sugar cookies decorated with henna patterns
Henna-inspired cookies.
Leah Lonsbury

Refuge Coffee Co.

A mural featuring people of different cultures drinking coffee, beneath the words “We are all different / and we drink coffee”
Mural at Refuge Clarkston.
Stefanie Jayne Photography

Refuge Coffee Co. on East Ponce de Leon Avenue is a purpose-driven coffee shop with a mission to provide jobs, training, and a safe space for Clarkston’s refugee community. There’s a cozy seating area inside a converted 1960s service station, where customers can take drinks from the Refuge Coffee truck parked out front where the gas pumps used to be. (Owners Kitti and Bill Murray hope to outfit the space with a new kitchen soon.) It’s not unusual to find weekly food pop-ups and artist markets in the parking lot, too. Refuge also includes locations in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn district and Midtown.

A mural featuring people of different cultures drinking coffee, beneath the words “We are all different / and we drink coffee”
Mural at Refuge Clarkston.
Stefanie Jayne Photography

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