Chow By Atlanta MARTA - Help!
We will be in Atlanta for, yes, a convention, in late March. Totally dependent on MARTA . Hotel is, of course, downtown. Am not looking for Underground food courts, The Varsity, expense account steakhouses, etc., etc. Have a Southern grandma so don't need requisite chitlin stops. Have also recently overdosed on barbecue. Willing to travel far on MARTA if chow is chowhound worthy, but not too eager to walk about at night too far from MARTA stop. Downtown recs that are walkable would be appreciated too. Budget is not in the general $$$ Buckhead range, but can go for a splurge now and then. Would appreciate any help. TIA.
I think midtown is your best bet.
For a quick MARTA ride and short walk I suggest Baraonda or Enoteca Carbonari, which are both very close to the North Ave. station. These are both excellent choices and not terribly expensive.
In addition not to far from the Midtown station is Ecco, which is a fairly new spot and very good.
Lastly, one more stop up at the Arts Center Station is Trois, another new spot and it's superb, probably the most expensive of all that I have suggested. For cheaper, the bar downstairs has excellent food, including very tasty Sliders (little sandwiches).
You could take the train east to King Memorial and walk two blocks south to Memorial Drive where you will find the Standard (good bar, curry night on Mondays), another couple blocks west Daddy D'z (good bbq and southern sides), or east to Six Feet Under, Ria Bluebird. Or walk over to Cabbagetown, just a few blocks on the other side of the cemetary, to Carrol Street Cafe or Agave.
Disclaimer from a frequent marta user: limiting yourself to marta is well, limiting.
I assume you will not be riding busses [often an extremely unsatisfying experience]
A quick sampling [not exhaustive] – have fun – Atlanta is a great place to live and can be a crappy place to visit…weird but true….
EASTLINE [Indian creek]:
Decatur station: square and environs [10 min walk]: a range of good options including sushi avenue; brickstore, twains, java monkey; and many many others – many at least good.
Eastlake station: Wahoo, 15 –20 minute walk south to Oakhurst village with many options – more hip than good but worth a visit for how intown locals tend to live/work/play.
Candler park station: radial, flying biscuit [not so good anymore but famous]; gato bizco [way underrated IMHO]; candler park market – wine and sandwiches
Inman park station;
Son’s [classic meat and three soul/southern [b-fast and lunch only], shaun’s; 10 minute walk to “LITTLE 5” points many option most at least decent;
Eastpoint Station: matilda bean [still there?] oz pizza; others
College park station: very much in flux sometime has some good stuff – not sure what is open there now
Midtown Station: Walk 5 blocks south to one of the more prominent midtown central business districts @ 10th and piedmont – very gay friendly. Coffee; sushi; Mediterranean [eh]; tapas. name it… piedmont park! Worth a walk around on a nice day.
Lenox – lenox mall food court – free samples; near the mall on peachtree – bluepointe; palm; others
I highly recommend restaurants around the Decatur marta station, especially Brickstore Pub, Noodle (Asian) and Taqueria del Sol (Southwestern) for inexpensive, tasty meals. Feast, a Mediterranean restaurant, is a quick walk from the station and has gotten excellent reviews. Watershed has upper-end Southern fare. Plenty of other spots to try as well in new condo developments, including Ted's Montana Grill (gets mixed reviews, but the milkshakes are great).
There are also some good spots around Piedmont Park - 10th and Piedmont, that are on the Marta line/Midtown station, including Flying Biscuit (used to be better, just ok now). Juniper Street is walking distance from Arts Center Station and has some o.k. places.
Try The Vortex Bar & Grill on Peachtree (3 blocks north of the Fox Theater) for great burgers and bar food in a punk/biker bar environment. Also in the area, The Globe & Tin Drum (Asian) in the new Ga. Tech Square development.
Atlantic Station is the new downtown shopping & dining destination, but I don't recommend it - it's a combination of Underground Atlanta and a mall to me.
If you happen to go to the Georgia Aquarium, the cafe is good, albeit a bit pricey.
Hope this helps - have fun in Atlanta!