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Grecian Gyro

Where to Eat Near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport (ATL)

Where to find essential barbecue, gyros, and Mexican fare to meat-and-threes, Gullah Geechee dishes, and brunch all day

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Whether you are an Atlanta local looking to grab a bite in the area or a weary traveler heading off the highway or staying in a nearby hotel, there is plenty of great food to be found at restaurants around Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport — the world’s busiest airport.

Newcomers to Atlanta have likely heard of the towns of College Park, Hapeville, and East Point referred to as the ATL Airport District. But longtime residents and Atlanta natives still refer to this area as the Tri-Cities. Its namesake high school and landmarks were made famous on albums by former East Point residents André 3000 and Big Boi of Outkast.

The histories and cultures of the cities and towns surrounding Hartsfield-Jackson have helped create a vibrant and growing food scene in the southern portion of metropolitan Atlanta. From barbecue, gyros, and Mexican fare to meat-and-threes, Gullah Geechee dishes, and brunch served all day, some of metro Atlanta’s best-kept restaurant secrets can be found right outside Hartsfield-Jackson.

Headed to the airport? Where to Dine at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport


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Cafe Shekel

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Grab a quick bite at this counter-service spot on Main Street in College Park. Cafe Shekel, located one block north of the College Park MARTA station, serves pita sandwiches, falafel, gyros, pizza, and pasta dishes.

Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar

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The Gullah- and Lowcountry-inspired dishes at Virgil’s, owned by Gee Smalls 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 sautéd bacon, onions, and peppers; a side of greens; and the brownie-based Chucktown Chewie sundae for dessert. The Smalls also own neighboring brunch spot the Breakfast Boys on Main Street. Located just north of the College Park MARTA station.

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

The Real Milk & Honey

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This all-day breakfast and brunch restaurant serves up Southern staples like shrimp and grits and other dishes such as a French toast sandwich stuffed with Crown Royal-infused peach cobbler, a “Hotlanta” chicken biscuit, lobster- and gravy-smothered biscuits, and jumbo lump crab hash. Located just north of the College Park MARTA station.

Hattie Marie's Texas Style BBQ & Cajun Kitchen

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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 standout here, but try the pork ribs (cooked over cherry wood), sausage links, and Cajun-fried catfish, too. Owners Willie and Ramona Griggie also own a location in Decatur and plan to expand their barbecue restaurant to Duluth. Located just north of the College Park MARTA station.

Brake Pad

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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, millennial and Gen Z wanderers, and longtime residents.

All the cool kids are doing it!! Place your preorder for wings ASAP. We will have them all ready for pickup at whatever time your heart desires. The best wings around!!

Posted by Brake Pad on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bole Ethiopian Restaurant

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Bole is an area favorite, especially for those seeking hearty vegetarian fare. It’s also a 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 into injera (spongy Ethiopian flatbread) and a glass of honey wine. Restaurant relocated to 1583 Virginia Avenue.

Drip-Thru Coffee®

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Forget Starbucks and Dunkin’, hit up this local drive-thru coffee shop in College Park for espresso, lattes, tea, and smoothies paired with pastries. There’s also a location in Stockbridge.

Noel Mayeske

Hot Cafe

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Located on Riverdale Road, this small, unassuming restaurant serves a comforting mix of Laotian, Thai, and Chinese dishes on its menu. But it’s the Laotian fare that really shines here. 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.

Three plates boast fried chicken wings, fried rice, and dipping sauces. Brandon E. / Yelp

Skinny's

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Skinny’s is where to head when craving a good, old-fashioned hot dog, wings, or a burger, as well as teriyaki chicken, Korean-spiced tacos, and bibimbap. Make sure to order a pile of crispy tater tots here, too. Located one half mile from the Delta Flight Museum.

A close-up picture of a hot Chopped Cheese sandwich studded with peppers and topped with melting cheese alongside a helping of golden tater tots. D T. / Yelp

Grecian Gyro

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With several locations now around 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 are also substantial gluten-free and vegetarian options here.

The time has returned. Its back to school already! Schedules are complicated, your meal doesn't have to be. For the...

Posted by Grecian Gyro on Thursday, August 1, 2019

Pit Boss BBQ

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Pit Boss in Hapeville is often packed with Delta employees, weary travelers, locals, and off-duty (hopefully) police who come to indulge in the sweet, spicy, savory, and smoky ’cue here. Make sure to order the smoked wings, which are dry-rubbed overnight before being smoked on pecan, oak, and hickory woods and flash-fried for a crispy skin. There’s also a location in Stockbridge.

A parchment-lined basket holds Pit Boss BBQ’s noteworthy smoked chicken wings, mild wings, and collard greens. Chris O. / Yelp

Arches Brewing

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Located just north of Hartsfield-Jackson, this Hapeville brewery serves beers like a Vienna-style Mexican Empire lager, the Cold Smoke smoked lager, and the Simply Sticky West Coast IPA. Look for food trucks here throughout the week, too. Located 1.5 miles north of the Delta Flight Museum.

Arches Brewing Arches Brewing/Facebook

Volare Wine & Bistro

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Aimed at the date-night crowd, Volare brings Southern-French fancy to the ATL Airport District. The restaurant mixes elegance with an understated location overlooking the train tracks in Hapeville. This juxtaposition is reflected in the dishes here, like the Cajun pastas, Parmesan-encrusted cordon bleu, mountain trout, or the grilled Australian lamb chops in Grand Marnier gastrique. Reservations required.

Don Chon

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Don Chon in Hapeville is a Mexican buffet, and it’s also a solid stop for a la carte tacos near the airport. While the menu offers everything from tortas to fajitas, and even menudo on the weekends, regulars to Don Chon swear by the tripe, carne asada, chorizo, and the lengua tacos. Each taco averages around $2.50 and comes in a tortilla made fresh that day.

Carne asada and al pastor tacos have been topped with onions and cilantro. Hart P. / Yelp

Tia Rosie's Kitchen

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Just up the road from Arches Brewing, this counter-service Mexican restaurant is a great place to grab a quick bite during breakfast, lunch, or dinner, especially if you’re on the go to or from the airport. This includes the breakfast burritos stuffed with bacon, egg, and cheese and the tacos and tortas later in the day with sides of elotes or street snacks like chicharron preparado — a fried wheat paste topped with diced tomatoes, sour cream, cotija cheese, avocados, and cueritos (pickled pork rinds). For dessert, order a refreshing mangonada.

Tia Rosie’s Kitchen

Mami's La Cubana

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When in Hapeville, pop by Mami’s La Cubana to grab a cubano or medianoche on fresh Cuban bread with a side of tostones, croquettes, or an empanada. Mami’s also serves tamales and platters, featuring mojo pork, fried tilapia, or shredded chicken, peppers, and onions, which come with sides of rice, beans, Cuban bread, sweet plantains, and a salad.

Kenny's Cafe

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This cafeteria-style meat-and-three serves all the Southern comfort favorites, including fried chicken and catfish, salisbury steak smothered in gravy, and hearty vegetable plates filled with collards, black-eyed peas, fried okra, and mac and cheese (Yes, it’s a vegetable in the South.) Breakfast is hard to beat, especially the biscuit sandwiches at Kenny’s, like the country ham, egg, and cheese. Expect daily specials here.

Located at the Kimpton Overland Hotel, Apron overlooks a private racetrack reserved for Porsche and offers views of the planes landing and taking off at Hartsfield-Jackson beyond. Come in the morning for a light breakfast of coffee and a ham and cheese croissant. Head in for dinner, featuring steelhead trout, a za’atar-spiced lamb burger, or New York strip steak. Cocktails, beer, and wine are available. Be sure to grab drinks at the covered rooftop lounge with its panoramic views of the airport. Reservations highly encouraged.

Taco Pete Bistro

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The full-service Taco Pete’s in Hapeville features its popular wings, tacos, and combo platters served with beans and rice. Wings here come in hot, mild, honey barbecue, or lemon pepper, and rival some of Atlanta’s best wings when fresh out of the fryer. Head over to Taco Pete’s original East Point taco stand and walk up to the window to order tacos and wings for takeout.

The photo displays a plate of hot wings and two short stalks of celery from Taco Pete Bistro. Abhishek S. / Yelp

Cafe Shekel

Grab a quick bite at this counter-service spot on Main Street in College Park. Cafe Shekel, located one block north of the College Park MARTA station, serves pita sandwiches, falafel, gyros, pizza, and pasta dishes.

Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar

The Gullah- and Lowcountry-inspired dishes at Virgil’s, owned by Gee Smalls 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 sautéd bacon, onions, and peppers; a side of greens; and the brownie-based Chucktown Chewie sundae for dessert. The Smalls also own neighboring brunch spot the Breakfast Boys on Main Street. Located just north of the College Park MARTA station.

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

The Real Milk & Honey

This all-day breakfast and brunch restaurant serves up Southern staples like shrimp and grits and other dishes such as a French toast sandwich stuffed with Crown Royal-infused peach cobbler, a “Hotlanta” chicken biscuit, lobster- and gravy-smothered biscuits, and jumbo lump crab hash. Located just north of the College Park MARTA station.

Hattie Marie's Texas Style BBQ & Cajun Kitchen

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 standout here, but try the pork ribs (cooked over cherry wood), sausage links, and Cajun-fried catfish, too. Owners Willie and Ramona Griggie also own a location in Decatur and plan to expand their barbecue restaurant to Duluth. Located just north of the College Park MARTA station.

Brake Pad

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, millennial and Gen Z wanderers, and longtime residents.

All the cool kids are doing it!! Place your preorder for wings ASAP. We will have them all ready for pickup at whatever time your heart desires. The best wings around!!

Posted by Brake Pad on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bole Ethiopian Restaurant

Bole is an area favorite, especially for those seeking hearty vegetarian fare. It’s also a 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 into injera (spongy Ethiopian flatbread) and a glass of honey wine. Restaurant relocated to 1583 Virginia Avenue.

Drip-Thru Coffee®

Forget Starbucks and Dunkin’, hit up this local drive-thru coffee shop in College Park for espresso, lattes, tea, and smoothies paired with pastries. There’s also a location in Stockbridge.

Noel Mayeske

Hot Cafe

Located on Riverdale Road, this small, unassuming restaurant serves a comforting mix of Laotian, Thai, and Chinese dishes on its menu. But it’s the Laotian fare that really shines here. 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.

Three plates boast fried chicken wings, fried rice, and dipping sauces. Brandon E. / Yelp

Skinny's

Skinny’s is where to head when craving a good, old-fashioned hot dog, wings, or a burger, as well as teriyaki chicken, Korean-spiced tacos, and bibimbap. Make sure to order a pile of crispy tater tots here, too. Located one half mile from the Delta Flight Museum.

A close-up picture of a hot Chopped Cheese sandwich studded with peppers and topped with melting cheese alongside a helping of golden tater tots. D T. / Yelp

Grecian Gyro

With several locations now around 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 are also substantial gluten-free and vegetarian options here.

The time has returned. Its back to school already! Schedules are complicated, your meal doesn't have to be. For the...

Posted by Grecian Gyro on Thursday, August 1, 2019

Pit Boss BBQ

Pit Boss in Hapeville is often packed with Delta employees, weary travelers, locals, and off-duty (hopefully) police who come to indulge in the sweet, spicy, savory, and smoky ’cue here. Make sure to order the smoked wings, which are dry-rubbed overnight before being smoked on pecan, oak, and hickory woods and flash-fried for a crispy skin. There’s also a location in Stockbridge.

A parchment-lined basket holds Pit Boss BBQ’s noteworthy smoked chicken wings, mild wings, and collard greens. Chris O. / Yelp

Arches Brewing

Located just north of Hartsfield-Jackson, this Hapeville brewery serves beers like a Vienna-style Mexican Empire lager, the Cold Smoke smoked lager, and the Simply Sticky West Coast IPA. Look for food trucks here throughout the week, too. Located 1.5 miles north of the Delta Flight Museum.

Arches Brewing Arches Brewing/Facebook

Volare Wine & Bistro

Aimed at the date-night crowd, Volare brings Southern-French fancy to the ATL Airport District. The restaurant mixes elegance with an understated location overlooking the train tracks in Hapeville. This juxtaposition is reflected in the dishes here, like the Cajun pastas, Parmesan-encrusted cordon bleu, mountain trout, or the grilled Australian lamb chops in Grand Marnier gastrique. Reservations required.

Don Chon

Don Chon in Hapeville is a Mexican buffet, and it’s also a solid stop for a la carte tacos near the airport. While the menu offers everything from tortas to fajitas, and even menudo on the weekends, regulars to Don Chon swear by the tripe, carne asada, chorizo, and the lengua tacos. Each taco averages around $2.50 and comes in a tortilla made fresh that day.

Carne asada and al pastor tacos have been topped with onions and cilantro. Hart P. / Yelp

Tia Rosie's Kitchen

Just up the road from Arches Brewing, this counter-service Mexican restaurant is a great place to grab a quick bite during breakfast, lunch, or dinner, especially if you’re on the go to or from the airport. This includes the breakfast burritos stuffed with bacon, egg, and cheese and the tacos and tortas later in the day with sides of elotes or street snacks like chicharron preparado — a fried wheat paste topped with diced tomatoes, sour cream, cotija cheese, avocados, and cueritos (pickled pork rinds). For dessert, order a refreshing mangonada.

Tia Rosie’s Kitchen

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Mami's La Cubana

When in Hapeville, pop by Mami’s La Cubana to grab a cubano or medianoche on fresh Cuban bread with a side of tostones, croquettes, or an empanada. Mami’s also serves tamales and platters, featuring mojo pork, fried tilapia, or shredded chicken, peppers, and onions, which come with sides of rice, beans, Cuban bread, sweet plantains, and a salad.

Kenny's Cafe

This cafeteria-style meat-and-three serves all the Southern comfort favorites, including fried chicken and catfish, salisbury steak smothered in gravy, and hearty vegetable plates filled with collards, black-eyed peas, fried okra, and mac and cheese (Yes, it’s a vegetable in the South.) Breakfast is hard to beat, especially the biscuit sandwiches at Kenny’s, like the country ham, egg, and cheese. Expect daily specials here.

Apron

Located at the Kimpton Overland Hotel, Apron overlooks a private racetrack reserved for Porsche and offers views of the planes landing and taking off at Hartsfield-Jackson beyond. Come in the morning for a light breakfast of coffee and a ham and cheese croissant. Head in for dinner, featuring steelhead trout, a za’atar-spiced lamb burger, or New York strip steak. Cocktails, beer, and wine are available. Be sure to grab drinks at the covered rooftop lounge with its panoramic views of the airport. Reservations highly encouraged.

Taco Pete Bistro

The full-service Taco Pete’s in Hapeville features its popular wings, tacos, and combo platters served with beans and rice. Wings here come in hot, mild, honey barbecue, or lemon pepper, and rival some of Atlanta’s best wings when fresh out of the fryer. Head over to Taco Pete’s original East Point taco stand and walk up to the window to order tacos and wings for takeout.

The photo displays a plate of hot wings and two short stalks of celery from Taco Pete Bistro. Abhishek S. / Yelp

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