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An overhead photo of two tacos piled high with chopped onions, cilantro, and jalapenos, accompanied by slices of lime. Taqueria Don Sige #2

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

Where to find essential barbecue, gyros, Gullah Geechee fare, pho, meat-and-threes, and a fancy feast or two

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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 East Point, College Park, and Hapeville 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 pho to meat-and-threes, Gullah Geechee fare, and a fancy feast or two, the cities and neighborhoods near the Atlanta airport offer some of the metro area’s best-kept restaurant secrets.

Where to Dine at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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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. 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, GA.
Shrimp and crab gravy
Ryan Fleisher

Fresh From Earth Herb & Tea Bar

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Fresh from Earth carries over 30 loose-leaf teas on its menu. Offerings include familiar blends like Earl Grey, green, and jasmine, but also custom immune boosters and herbal blends to assist with combating sinus and respiratory congestion and high blood pressure, and some that even rejuvenate skin, hair, and nails. The shop also has restorative and healing tea tonics, like those meant to boost concentration and others that help reduce inflammation. Located just north of the College Park MARTA station.

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.

Kupcakerie

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For a sweet treat in East Point, head to Kupcakerie across from the East Point public library and beneath bar Chairs Upstairs for cupcakes and coffee. Fun flavors here include churro, key lime pie, and Madagascar vanilla bourbon. Grab a book from the community bookshelf, too.

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Chairs Upstairs Bar and Restaurant

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Located across from the East Point MARTA station, this bar and restaurant offers a large selection of beer and plenty of solid pub grub on the menu. Order the white chicken chili if it’s on the menu or just grabs wings from the outdoor smoker. Rooftop patio available. Order online for takeout.

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

Grub Fresh Bowls & Wraps

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Grab a bowl or a wrap from the menu at Grub Fresh, like a jerk chicken bowl with sauteed peppers and onions, pineapple salsa, and mango jerk sauce; a sweet and spicy salmon bowl mixed with edamame, shredded cabbage, green onions, sesame seeds, sweet chile, and haricot vert; or a Philly cheesesteak or Buffalo chicken wrap. Located near the Delta Flight Museum.

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

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.

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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A full-service Taco Pete’s is now open in Hapeville featuring 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

La Oaxaquena Taqueria

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Owned and operated by chef Rosalia Ruiz in Jonesboro, La Oaxaquena Taqueria is a favorite spot for tacos and great Mexican fare in the south metro. Come here for a taste of Oaxaca, which includes the restaurant’s 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.

La Oaxaquena Taqueria

KAWA 18 RAMEN

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Just up the road from Pho Dai Loi, head to Kawa 18 in Forest Park for bowls of tonkotsu, miso, and vegetable ramen paired with bubble tea. There’s mochi ice cream for dessert.

Pho Dai Loi

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Vietnamese restaurant Pho Dai Loi serves up hearty portions of comforting pho on its menu, which features a substantial amount of proteins to choose from, including tripe, flank, beef tendon, chicken, and combinations. Order a medium bowl of pho. It’s more than enough to satisfy.

A bowl of Bun Bo Hue pho showered with bean sprouts, basil, and other toppings. Emem N. / Yelp

Rays Southern Foods

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Part catering company, part restaurant, Rays offers everything from Southern meat-and-three staples to barbecue on its menu. For a small Southern feast, try the smoked chicken, ribs, or wings plates. These come with a choice of cornbread or white bread and sides, like seven-cheese mac and cheese, collards, candied yams, and black-eyed peas. Or order a brisket, fried whiting, or the smoked sausage sandwich with a side of potato salad or fried okra.

Best Country Doughnuts

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Regulars to this Forest Park doughnut shop claim the doughnuts here are the best anywhere in south metro Atlanta. Expect everything from classic old fashioned cake doughnuts to sticky glazed doughnuts and those covered in chocolate. Doughnuts are baked fresh daily and often run out before the shop closes at 1 p.m. Opens at 5 a.m. Closed on Sundays.

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SluttyVegan ATL

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The huge success of Slutty Vegan in Atlanta cannot be overstated. Owner Pinky Cole founded the vegan burger business in 2018 as a delivery service, with people contacting her via Instagram to place orders for provocatively named meatless burgers like the One Night Stand and Ménage à Trois. She quickly amassed a large following, eventually leading to a food truck and late night pop-ups around Atlanta University Center. Cole now has four restaurants in Westview, on Edgewood Avenue, in Duluth, and in Jonesboro, with a fifth restaurant open in Athens and restaurants in the works for Birmingham and Brooklyn, New York. She also opened a vegan cocktail bar and restaurant at Ponce City Market in 2021.  

Taqueria Don Sige #2

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Looking for solid birria tacos in the south metro? Head to Taqueria Don Sige in Forest Park. Also worth ordering at this counter-service spot are the campechano, beef cheek, and chorizo tacos. The restaurant serves up great tortas and quesadillas, too.

An overhead photo of two tacos piled high with chopped onions, cilantro, and jalapenos, accompanied by slices of lime. Taqueria Don Sige #2 / [Official Photo]

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

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

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. 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, GA.
Shrimp and crab gravy
Ryan Fleisher

Fresh From Earth Herb & Tea Bar

Fresh from Earth carries over 30 loose-leaf teas on its menu. Offerings include familiar blends like Earl Grey, green, and jasmine, but also custom immune boosters and herbal blends to assist with combating sinus and respiratory congestion and high blood pressure, and some that even rejuvenate skin, hair, and nails. The shop also has restorative and healing tea tonics, like those meant to boost concentration and others that help reduce inflammation. Located just north of the College Park MARTA station.

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.

Kupcakerie

Official

For a sweet treat in East Point, head to Kupcakerie across from the East Point public library and beneath bar Chairs Upstairs for cupcakes and coffee. Fun flavors here include churro, key lime pie, and Madagascar vanilla bourbon. Grab a book from the community bookshelf, too.

Official

Chairs Upstairs Bar and Restaurant

Located across from the East Point MARTA station, this bar and restaurant offers a large selection of beer and plenty of solid pub grub on the menu. Order the white chicken chili if it’s on the menu or just grabs wings from the outdoor smoker. Rooftop patio available. Order online for takeout.

Drip-Thru Coffee®

Noel Mayeske

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

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

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

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

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

Grub Fresh Bowls & Wraps

Grab a bowl or a wrap from the menu at Grub Fresh, like a jerk chicken bowl with sauteed peppers and onions, pineapple salsa, and mango jerk sauce; a sweet and spicy salmon bowl mixed with edamame, shredded cabbage, green onions, sesame seeds, sweet chile, and haricot vert; or a Philly cheesesteak or Buffalo chicken wrap. Located near the Delta Flight Museum.

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