Serving up a modern take on Southern fare and barbecue, 521 Kitchen has the kind of food that can move a Wednesday afternoon from average to legendary. They go a step beyond your classic meat-centric BBQ shop, offering a number of clearly identified gluten-free and vegetarian dishes. But, as is the case at any BBQ restaurant, it’s the meat that really takes center stage here. The chickens are locally-raised. The beef is Certified Angus. The BBQ’d Grilled Cheese will make you wonder why BBQ hasn’t always been on your grilled cheeses. As one reviewer said, “you made a room full of IT people very, very happy.” And that’s something special.
For those who like their casual comfort food with a Southern accent: Baked to the rescue. Expect whole, fresh foods that are healthy (without tasting too healthy). And let’s face it: at the end of the day, sometimes you just want an excellent piece of salmon for lunch.
This regional chain is a wonderful ode to biscuits, and a purveyor of dishes that go well with biscuits so you have an excuse to eat more biscuits. There’s a reason these things fly off the shelves. Though they’re probably more well known as a breakfast outpost, Flying Biscuit serves excellent food (including certain breakfast dishes) all day long. Another surefire hit? The mind-bogglingly amazing grits.
Founded by a former NFL quarterback, this local restaurant tosses rice bowls and wraps in perfect spirals all around Atlanta. It’s your standard pick-your-own base, protein, and toppings affair, but with healthy ingredients and interesting sauces (Apple Curry Peanut, anyone?). It’s the type of place you can eat at twice a week, without spending hours of extra time at the gym.
Founded by a baker with a background in Chinese and Asian cuisines, Sweet Hut is a go-to spot for bubble tea, sweet and savory pastries, and the kinds of snacks that may not (yet) be in your usual rotation. Looking for seaweed and bacon rolls? BBQ pork puffs? Custard buns? Look no further, Atlanta.
Know any other local Atlanta favorites that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Great Atlanta restaurants, straight to your office.