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It’s never been a better time to live in Atlanta. Chefs all over the Atlanta restaurant scene are trying all kinds of new things. They’re putting new twists on old classics. They’re shifting up their presentations and fusing international cuisines. All the while, they’re still offering old-school mainstays that fully satisfy your appetite. Here are some the hottest Atlanta food trends to explore today.

Greetings from the Atlanta food scene

A Different Kind of Burger

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes, fancy hotdogs are popping up everywhere at trendy Atlanta restaurants. But when it comes to Atlanta catering, next-level burgers are where it’s at. Hamburgers are as classic as they come. If you think you know everything about the perfect burger, think again.

  • At Flip Burger Boutique flavor has fun. The Oaxaca burger layers Angus beef with avocado, cilantro-lime mayo, and queso fresco. Or for a different take, try the vegetarian Fauxlafel Burger. A chickpea fritter patty gets topped with arugula, cucumber, pickled red onions, pickled beets, and tzatziki, for a decidedly Mediterranean take on the classic American.
  • Ilegal Food’s Fungus Among Us Burger combines wild mushrooms, Swiss cheese, arugula, red onion, and truffle mayo. Or, for funky flavors tossed together, the Nasty Nate layers a burger rubbed with heirloom chilies with raw milk bleu cheese, bourbon bacon jam, arugula, and red onion.
  • At Grindhouse Killer Burgers, try your burger Hillbilly-Style, which comes with pimento cheese, jalapeños, brisket chili, and red onion on a toasted potato bun. Or, hop the pond with the Eurostyle’s Swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, mustard, and mayo.

Barbeque Catering Reimagined

How can you talk about the Atlanta restaurant scene without mentioning barbeque? Especially since there are so many places doing it right. But this is not your parents’ barbeque. Atlanta caterers today are trying new things and experimenting with new flavors.

  • Shane’s Rib Shack loads plates with so much barbeque pork and chopped chicken that it continues to wow locals as much as out-of-town guests. A side of mac and cheese is a particular must-order. And the peach cobbler is a Georgia classic if there ever was one.
  • Carl’s Café Catering offers hot breakfasts of eggs and grits. Lunch entrees including grilled salmon and baked ziti. But the signature Bourbon Chicken will make you forget barbeque you’ve ever eaten anywhere else. You’ll want to order seconds…and thirds.
  • And at Righteous Que, classic pork, chicken, and brisket are built traditionally as sandwiches and sliders, with buns and southern sides. But it’s their secret white sauce that makes every dish sing. Top it off with their award-winning Oatmeal Cream Pie and you’re in Atlanta barbecue heaven.

International Southern Fare

No matter where you explore, you’re never too far from the South in the Atlanta restaurant scene. Every menu has some variation of classic southern sides, like the fried green tomatoes at Grindhouse Burgers. But just because these dishes are classic, doesn’t mean they need to be boring. There’s a new crop of caterers offering a more international take on the southern fare you know so well.

  • Tin Drum Kitchen caters Asian dishes like Tikka Masala, Pad Thai, and Crab and Cheese Spring Rolls. And every meal comes with gallons of good ole’ sweet tea, mixing east and west.
  • At Desta, you’ll find the best of Ethiopian cuisine. But you can’t resist the call of the south when it comes to dessert. The Butterscotch Banana Rum Cake brings the best of home and away together.
  • Vegan Vibez offers veggies that are to die for. Their collard greens can’t be beaten. But you have to try the BBQ Jackfruit Sliders for a new and sweeter take on a southern favorite.
  • Dua Vietnamese serves pho as its mainstay. But don’t forget to check out their chicken salad that combines the chicken, with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, red onions, crushed peanuts, and a homemade vinaigrette for the perfect east meets south combination.

Key Takeaways
  • Atlanta caterers are pushing the boundaries of classics for new versions of classic burgers.
  • Barbeque never goes out of style, but in Atlanta it never gets stale.
  • No matter what you order, the Atlanta restaurant scene offers sweet southern staples on every menu.

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Written by:

Jacqueline Raposo

Jacqueline Raposo is a food writer and podcast producer based out of New York City. She has written features and columns for clients including Saveur magazine, Plate magazine, Tasting Table, Serious Eats, and The Village Voice, and produced audio stories for Heritage Radio Network and Live from Prince Street. When not reporting about or eating food, you can find her in Riverside Park with her dog, Mitra, working off the prosciutto.

Posted in: Trends in FoodNeed to Know

Tagged with: Atlanta, BBQ, Food Trends, GA, Southern