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Shrimp and crab gravy at virgil’s in College Park
Shrimp and crab gravy at Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen and Bar in College Park
Ryan Fleisher

Where to Eat and Drink in East Point, College Park, and Hapeville

The definitive dining and drinking guide to the Tri-Cities (ATL Airport District)

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Shrimp and crab gravy at Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen and Bar in College Park
| Ryan Fleisher

Newcomers to Atlanta and those who travel to the city for work or pleasure may have heard of the towns of East Point, College Park, and Hapeville referred to as the “ATL Airport District” due to the area’s proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. But residents and old-school Atlanta natives still call it the Tri-Cities. Its namesake high school and assortment of landmarks were made famous on albums by former East Point residents André 3000 and Big Boi, the duo behind Outkast.

Like many Atlanta-area neighborhoods, business these days is booming in East Point, College Park, and Hapeville thanks to a renewed energy building here. In fact, people who haven’t visited recently might be surprised at just how many restaurants have opened in the last two years and become extremely popular with locals and folks looking for new dining options inside the perimeter.

Below, Eater rounded up the best bets to enjoy great food and drinks in East Point, College Park, and Hapeville.

Don’t see a favorite restaurant or bar listed? Send Eater Atlanta the details via the tipline.

Disclaimer: A number of Atlanta restaurants on this map have resumed dine-in service. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the Georgia Department of Health. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Corner Grille

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3823 Main St
Atlanta, GA 30337
(404) 767-1135
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An OG of the booming Main Street strip in College Park, the Corner Grille is separated by a couple of blocks from the patch of other Black-owned restaurants that have helped to revitalize the area across from the College Park MARTA station. But it remains one of the most reliable restaurants in town. Located in an Episcopal church built in 1906, there’s a reverence inside these brick walls —and an expectation of patience, as dishes are cooked to order. The Cajun influence appears in all of the dishes, whether dining on beignets, gumbo, shrimp and grits, or crab cake Benedict. The crowd here is a little less lit, so it’s a safe bet for those seeking drinks paired with good, hearty food at brunch and dinner in an enjoyable atmosphere. A second location opens soon in the former Westside Pizza space on Marietta Boulevard. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

2. Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar

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3721 Main St
College Park, GA 30337
(404) 228-4897
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When Virgil’s arrived on Main Street in 2019, it set a new precedent for dining in College Park. Owners Gee and Juan Smalls offer soul food takes on Gullah-Geechee cuisine on the menu, including dishes like crab rice. Gee Smalls hails from Charleston and proudly showcases his Gullah Geechee roots through the food here. The menu even lists dishes spelled phonetically to represent the culture and dialect of the Gullah-Geechee people, known to be the first community of African Americans in the U.S. Read more about Virgil’s and the Smalls here. Call for takeout. Masks highly encouraged.

3. Johnny's World Famous Chicken & Waffles

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3725 Main St
Atlanta, GA 30337
(404) 748-4244
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This almost all-day breakfast restaurant closes for a handful of hours each day, but aside from that serves its signature dish (read the sign) for hungry people nearly around the clock. It’s owned by a trio of celebrities: hip-hop artist Karlie Redd (star of VH1’s “Love n’ Hip Hop” and Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners”), singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, and chef Crystal Smith. It’s an indulgent menu with customizable waffles that can come plain or in flavors like red velvet and a choice of poultry sections, like wings, tenders, breasts and thighs, and flavored plain, BBQ, lemon pepper or buffalo. Other dishes include teriyaki-glazed salmon or lamb chops, brioche French toast, and waffle sandwiches. Call to order takeout. Masks required.

4. Hattie Marie's Texas Style BBQ & Cajun Kitchen

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3699 Main St
College Park, GA 30337
(678) 796-8205
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The big ranch-style lettering outside is inspired by the Lone Star State, and so is Hattie Marie’s barbecue. The pit-smoked brisket is the real stand-out here, but try the pork ribs (cooked over cherry wood), sausage links, and Cajun-fried catfish, too. And Hattie Marie’s gets bonus points for its flavorful collards and yellow rice. Locations also opening in Duluth and Decatur. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

5. Lunch on Main Street

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3569 Main St
College Park, GA 30337
(404) 761-9214
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A favorite among College Park’s older residents, this former gas station-turned-luncheonette has been around since 1999. Lunch on Main added breakfast a few years ago and began serving dinner in 2016. With hearty plates of rotisserie chicken, chop steak, and specials, which include fried pork chop Mondays and Wednesday meatloaf, this local favorite is all about gathering for a family meal. Call for takeout. Masks highly encouraged.

6. Brake Pad

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3403 Main St
College Park, GA 30337
(404) 766-1515
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This tried-and-true College Park tavern shines with its pleasing burgers and fries, wings, patty melts, and blackened tilapia. It also fosters a funky, devil-may-care attitude in its community of regular locals, which includes Woodward Academy teachers and longtime residents. Call for takeout. Masks highly encouraged.

7. Don Sige Taqueria

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1720 Vesta Ave
College Park, GA 30337
(404) 762-8084

Just beyond the East Point city limits, this counter-service taco spot could easily be missed hidden behind a Chevron station. Its storefront is on Vesta Avenue rather than Main Street, and it might just serve some of the best tacos around. The corn tortillas here are a perfect balance between soft and sturdy and easily stand up to being stuffed with marinated steak or chicken. Stick to lean meats or get real with beef tripe, beef cheek, and tongue in those tacos. Call for takeout. Masks highly encouraged.

 

8. Taco Pete

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2957 Main St
East Point, GA 30344
(404) 968-4790
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The original Taco Pete was founded in Los Angeles in 1966. This corner-situated taco stand in East Point is its second location. Call ahead to order tacos to be ready upon arrival – an order generally takes about 15 minutes, but the flavor and prices are worth the wait. While the name promotes the tacos, Taco Pete’s wings are easily East Point’s best. They come in hot, mild, honey bbq, or lemon pepper and rival Atlanta’s most popular wings when they’re fresh from the fryer. The owners recently opened a Central Avenue bar in Hapeville called Taco Pete Bistro, which has an intimate dive feel and is expected to offer dine-in service soon after serving customers exclusively via takeout and delivery throughout the pandemic. Call for takeout. Masks required.

9. Bole Ethiopian Restaurant

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1583 Virginia Ave
College Park, GA 30337
(404) 549-9111
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Bole is an area favorite for those seeking Ethiopian fare. It’s also the place people often ask one another if they’ve visited. While this spot is very vegetarian-friendly (try the samosas), Bole is still accommodating for meat lovers. Order lamb and beef to scoop with spongy injera and a glass of honey wine. Call for takeout. Masks required.

10. Kupcakerie

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2781 Main St
East Point, GA 30344
(404) 975-3751
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Look for the pink window frames across from East Point’s public library just beneath Chairs, that’s where sweets seekers will find the rich and moist cupcakes of Kupcakerie. Creative flavors here include churro, key lime pie, and Madagascar vanilla bourbon, to name just a few. Pair the cupcakes with a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. It’s also a great place for kids — as if kids needed a reason to visit a cupcake shop — because of the community bookshelf, where people can purchase reading material while the little ones indulge in sweets. Masks required.

11. Chairs Upstairs Bar and Restaurant

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2783 Main St
East Point, GA 30344
(404) 768-0007
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When the owners of the original Corner Tavern (yep, it was in East Point, not Little Five Points) left the mothership to build a new Hapeville location across from the East Point MARTA station, regulars were worried. However, the beer selection and the food at Chairs in the old tavern building is still solid. Order the white chicken chili if it’s on the menu or just grabs wings from the outdoor smoker. Rooftop patio seating. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

12. Grecian Gyro

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855 Virginia Ave
Hapeville, GA 30354
(404) 762-1627
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With several locations throughout metro Atlanta, this self-described “hole in the wall” located in Hapeville is the original. Stop in for souvlaki, falafel, gryos, or Italian sausage wraps. There’s also substantial gluten-free and vegetarian options here. Order online for takeout or delivery. Masks required.

13. Pit Boss BBQ

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800 Doug Davis Dr
Atlanta, GA 30354

Recently relocating from Virginia Avenue to Doug Davis Drive, people can still expect the same really good barbecue at the new location. One of the easiest ways to tell if a barbecue restaurant is any good is if it pulls a cross-section of people as expertly as it pulls pork for sandwiches. It’s definitely true at Pit Boss, where everyone indulges (including the police) in sweet, spicy, savory, and smoky ‘cue. The brisket, wings and chicken rival any found at other barbecue joints around Atlanta. Order online for takeout Masks required.

14. VOLARE WINE & BISTRO

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603 N Central Ave
Hapeville, GA 30354
(404) 503-6730
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A classy yet casual bistro, Volare brings Southern-French fancy to Hapeville, which has made it a popular date-night destination in the area. The restaurant mixes elegance in an understated location overlooking the train tracks. This juxtaposition is also reflected in the dishes like the Cajun pastas, pan-seared “Mahi Chardonnay” with lump crab, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and mashed potatoes in a shallot beurre blanc, or the Hennessy-glazed prime ribeye with potatoes dauphinoise. Volare also offers family-style pasta bowls, which are available gluten free by request. Currently reservation only. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

15. Hapeville Corner Tavern

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573 N Central Ave
Atlanta, GA 30354
(404) 254-1004
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Hapeville’s Corner Tavern may have moved from its original location (now home to Chairs,) but it continues to serve its classic burgers and a great selection of both craft and local beers, including from Hapeville-based Arches Brewing. Corner Tavern also features one of the nicest outdoor set-ups in the area, with lawn games and picnic tables and plenty of street-side people-watching opportunities. It all pairs perfectly with tacos, chicken sandwiches, wings, and nightly specials. Patio seating. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

16. Apron at the Kimpton Overland Hotel

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Two Porsche Dr
Atlanta, GA 30354
(470) 466-3300
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Located at the edge of a private racetrack at Porche’s North American headquarters in Hapeville, this Mediterranean restaurant is located inside the Kimpton Overland Hotel, formerly known as Solis Two Porche Drive. It’s one of the area’s most upscale dining establishments, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, from spinach and ricotta croissants to seared trout with crimini mushrooms and collard green pesto. The restaurant also features a respectable bar program, with a Woodford Reserve Manhattan (purchase supports the No Kid Hungry Foundation) and plenty of local beer on draft and in bottles, including Hapeville neighbor Arches Brewing, and others. And cocktails like the slightly spicy Hot Landing (mezcal, pineapple, jalapeño honey) are great sipping choices when watching a pricy sports car swerve around the racetrack curves or a Delta jet coming in for a landing viewed from the panoramic rooftop patio. Reservations highly encouraged. Masks required.

1. The Corner Grille

3823 Main St, Atlanta, GA 30337

An OG of the booming Main Street strip in College Park, the Corner Grille is separated by a couple of blocks from the patch of other Black-owned restaurants that have helped to revitalize the area across from the College Park MARTA station. But it remains one of the most reliable restaurants in town. Located in an Episcopal church built in 1906, there’s a reverence inside these brick walls —and an expectation of patience, as dishes are cooked to order. The Cajun influence appears in all of the dishes, whether dining on beignets, gumbo, shrimp and grits, or crab cake Benedict. The crowd here is a little less lit, so it’s a safe bet for those seeking drinks paired with good, hearty food at brunch and dinner in an enjoyable atmosphere. A second location opens soon in the former Westside Pizza space on Marietta Boulevard. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

3823 Main St
Atlanta, GA 30337

2. Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar

3721 Main St, College Park, GA 30337

When Virgil’s arrived on Main Street in 2019, it set a new precedent for dining in College Park. Owners Gee and Juan Smalls offer soul food takes on Gullah-Geechee cuisine on the menu, including dishes like crab rice. Gee Smalls hails from Charleston and proudly showcases his Gullah Geechee roots through the food here. The menu even lists dishes spelled phonetically to represent the culture and dialect of the Gullah-Geechee people, known to be the first community of African Americans in the U.S. Read more about Virgil’s and the Smalls here. Call for takeout. Masks highly encouraged.

3721 Main St
College Park, GA 30337

3. Johnny's World Famous Chicken & Waffles

3725 Main St, Atlanta, GA 30337

This almost all-day breakfast restaurant closes for a handful of hours each day, but aside from that serves its signature dish (read the sign) for hungry people nearly around the clock. It’s owned by a trio of celebrities: hip-hop artist Karlie Redd (star of VH1’s “Love n’ Hip Hop” and Bounce TV’s “Saints & Sinners”), singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, and chef Crystal Smith. It’s an indulgent menu with customizable waffles that can come plain or in flavors like red velvet and a choice of poultry sections, like wings, tenders, breasts and thighs, and flavored plain, BBQ, lemon pepper or buffalo. Other dishes include teriyaki-glazed salmon or lamb chops, brioche French toast, and waffle sandwiches. Call to order takeout. Masks required.

3725 Main St
Atlanta, GA 30337

4. Hattie Marie's Texas Style BBQ & Cajun Kitchen

3699 Main St, College Park, GA 30337

The big ranch-style lettering outside is inspired by the Lone Star State, and so is Hattie Marie’s barbecue. The pit-smoked brisket is the real stand-out here, but try the pork ribs (cooked over cherry wood), sausage links, and Cajun-fried catfish, too. And Hattie Marie’s gets bonus points for its flavorful collards and yellow rice. Locations also opening in Duluth and Decatur. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

3699 Main St
College Park, GA 30337

5. Lunch on Main Street

3569 Main St, College Park, GA 30337

A favorite among College Park’s older residents, this former gas station-turned-luncheonette has been around since 1999. Lunch on Main added breakfast a few years ago and began serving dinner in 2016. With hearty plates of rotisserie chicken, chop steak, and specials, which include fried pork chop Mondays and Wednesday meatloaf, this local favorite is all about gathering for a family meal. Call for takeout. Masks highly encouraged.

3569 Main St
College Park, GA 30337

6. Brake Pad

3403 Main St, College Park, GA 30337

This tried-and-true College Park tavern shines with its pleasing burgers and fries, wings, patty melts, and blackened tilapia. It also fosters a funky, devil-may-care attitude in its community of regular locals, which includes Woodward Academy teachers and longtime residents. Call for takeout. Masks highly encouraged.

3403 Main St
College Park, GA 30337

7. Don Sige Taqueria

1720 Vesta Ave, College Park, GA 30337

Just beyond the East Point city limits, this counter-service taco spot could easily be missed hidden behind a Chevron station. Its storefront is on Vesta Avenue rather than Main Street, and it might just serve some of the best tacos around. The corn tortillas here are a perfect balance between soft and sturdy and easily stand up to being stuffed with marinated steak or chicken. Stick to lean meats or get real with beef tripe, beef cheek, and tongue in those tacos. Call for takeout. Masks highly encouraged.

 

1720 Vesta Ave
College Park, GA 30337

8. Taco Pete

2957 Main St, East Point, GA 30344

The original Taco Pete was founded in Los Angeles in 1966. This corner-situated taco stand in East Point is its second location. Call ahead to order tacos to be ready upon arrival – an order generally takes about 15 minutes, but the flavor and prices are worth the wait. While the name promotes the tacos, Taco Pete’s wings are easily East Point’s best. They come in hot, mild, honey bbq, or lemon pepper and rival Atlanta’s most popular wings when they’re fresh from the fryer. The owners recently opened a Central Avenue bar in Hapeville called Taco Pete Bistro, which has an intimate dive feel and is expected to offer dine-in service soon after serving customers exclusively via takeout and delivery throughout the pandemic. Call for takeout. Masks required.

2957 Main St
East Point, GA 30344

9. Bole Ethiopian Restaurant

1583 Virginia Ave, College Park, GA 30337

Bole is an area favorite for those seeking Ethiopian fare. It’s also the place people often ask one another if they’ve visited. While this spot is very vegetarian-friendly (try the samosas), Bole is still accommodating for meat lovers. Order lamb and beef to scoop with spongy injera and a glass of honey wine. Call for takeout. Masks required.

1583 Virginia Ave
College Park, GA 30337

10. Kupcakerie

2781 Main St, East Point, GA 30344

Look for the pink window frames across from East Point’s public library just beneath Chairs, that’s where sweets seekers will find the rich and moist cupcakes of Kupcakerie. Creative flavors here include churro, key lime pie, and Madagascar vanilla bourbon, to name just a few. Pair the cupcakes with a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. It’s also a great place for kids — as if kids needed a reason to visit a cupcake shop — because of the community bookshelf, where people can purchase reading material while the little ones indulge in sweets. Masks required.

2781 Main St
East Point, GA 30344

11. Chairs Upstairs Bar and Restaurant

2783 Main St, East Point, GA 30344

When the owners of the original Corner Tavern (yep, it was in East Point, not Little Five Points) left the mothership to build a new Hapeville location across from the East Point MARTA station, regulars were worried. However, the beer selection and the food at Chairs in the old tavern building is still solid. Order the white chicken chili if it’s on the menu or just grabs wings from the outdoor smoker. Rooftop patio seating. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

2783 Main St
East Point, GA 30344

12. Grecian Gyro

855 Virginia Ave, Hapeville, GA 30354

With several locations throughout metro Atlanta, this self-described “hole in the wall” located in Hapeville is the original. Stop in for souvlaki, falafel, gryos, or Italian sausage wraps. There’s also substantial gluten-free and vegetarian options here. Order online for takeout or delivery. Masks required.

855 Virginia Ave
Hapeville, GA 30354

13. Pit Boss BBQ

800 Doug Davis Dr, Atlanta, GA 30354

Recently relocating from Virginia Avenue to Doug Davis Drive, people can still expect the same really good barbecue at the new location. One of the easiest ways to tell if a barbecue restaurant is any good is if it pulls a cross-section of people as expertly as it pulls pork for sandwiches. It’s definitely true at Pit Boss, where everyone indulges (including the police) in sweet, spicy, savory, and smoky ‘cue. The brisket, wings and chicken rival any found at other barbecue joints around Atlanta. Order online for takeout Masks required.

800 Doug Davis Dr
Atlanta, GA 30354

14. VOLARE WINE & BISTRO

603 N Central Ave, Hapeville, GA 30354

A classy yet casual bistro, Volare brings Southern-French fancy to Hapeville, which has made it a popular date-night destination in the area. The restaurant mixes elegance in an understated location overlooking the train tracks. This juxtaposition is also reflected in the dishes like the Cajun pastas, pan-seared “Mahi Chardonnay” with lump crab, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and mashed potatoes in a shallot beurre blanc, or the Hennessy-glazed prime ribeye with potatoes dauphinoise. Volare also offers family-style pasta bowls, which are available gluten free by request. Currently reservation only. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

603 N Central Ave
Hapeville, GA 30354

15. Hapeville Corner Tavern

573 N Central Ave, Atlanta, GA 30354

Hapeville’s Corner Tavern may have moved from its original location (now home to Chairs,) but it continues to serve its classic burgers and a great selection of both craft and local beers, including from Hapeville-based Arches Brewing. Corner Tavern also features one of the nicest outdoor set-ups in the area, with lawn games and picnic tables and plenty of street-side people-watching opportunities. It all pairs perfectly with tacos, chicken sandwiches, wings, and nightly specials. Patio seating. Order online for takeout. Masks required.

573 N Central Ave
Atlanta, GA 30354

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16. Apron at the Kimpton Overland Hotel

Two Porsche Dr, Atlanta, GA 30354

Located at the edge of a private racetrack at Porche’s North American headquarters in Hapeville, this Mediterranean restaurant is located inside the Kimpton Overland Hotel, formerly known as Solis Two Porche Drive. It’s one of the area’s most upscale dining establishments, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, from spinach and ricotta croissants to seared trout with crimini mushrooms and collard green pesto. The restaurant also features a respectable bar program, with a Woodford Reserve Manhattan (purchase supports the No Kid Hungry Foundation) and plenty of local beer on draft and in bottles, including Hapeville neighbor Arches Brewing, and others. And cocktails like the slightly spicy Hot Landing (mezcal, pineapple, jalapeño honey) are great sipping choices when watching a pricy sports car swerve around the racetrack curves or a Delta jet coming in for a landing viewed from the panoramic rooftop patio. Reservations highly encouraged. Masks required.

Two Porsche Dr
Atlanta, GA 30354

Related Maps