Cheap Eats near ATL Airport?
NYC hound will be staying at the Airport Hilton in Atlanta for almost a month (1031 Virginia Ave).
Looking for some good local cheap eats. Nothing too fancy. Mostly lunches and early dinners. BBQ and the like.
Assuming you have a car...a few of these places are within walking distance.
The Brake Pad
Irish Bred Pub
Spondivits (let' hope they've improved the conditions since the recent oyster death)
I don't know how much time I'll have to go into town...I'll be pretty busy (and will try to get home on the few days I'll have off).
Honesty, there very few foods I don't like. But I'm not interested in anything close to fine dining. BBQ is something that's always marginal in NYC, so I try to sample of much of that as I can when I'm down South.
I never seek out pizza or bagels when I'm away from home because I'm always disappointed.
I'm a big fan of exploring Chinatown here in NYC. How can you beat five dumplings for a buck! I like Japanese Ramen and Vietnamese Canh Chua and Pho.
And of course, I'm always up for a good local burger. Or any kind of pub fare. I just don't like chain food at all. It's so funny to see the thousands of tourists here in NYC who are staring at Olive Garden and TGI Fridays in Times Square when there are hundreds of greats options just a few feet away.
This is Atlanta. Get in the car. Drive. If you want to eat like a local then do what we do---Drive.
Drive early on to Tasty China in Marietta for Sichuan that rivals Spicy & Tasty and Grand Sichuan International. See many prior TC posts--both here and at atlantacuisine.com. I say go early on because you will want to go back.
Also go to Frank Ma's Dinho in Chinatown Square in Chamblee for Soup Dumplings, Chive Dumpling, Shanghai and Taiwan specialties.
The good news is that what you want is here.
The bad news is that you have to drive because most of what you seek centers around Buford Hwy north of downtown. If you wait until after rush hour, say 7:15 PM or so, traffic moves pretty quick.
catch the Marta train north to the Midtown station. Try Vortex (around the corner on Peachtree & 7th) for an awesome burger. Ecco on 7th for great house-cured meats and cheeses, loud hip bar scene. Change trains at 5 Points, East line to Decatur. If you like beer, the Brick Store Pub is for you.
I second the Harold's idea. Also consider Daddy Dz bbq on Memorial Drive, or Rolling Bones bbq on Edgewood Avenue. (both a little bit farther north, other side of I-20).
For a good local burger and good beer selection, try the vortex bar and grill. They have a location in "Midtown" and one in "Little Five Points" which is a bit east of there. (Neither one's too far from Marta.)
At the risk of inciting a discussion of what "southern cooking" is, mary mac's tea room on Ponce de Leon is considered an Atlanta instiution, although a lot of folks say other places are better. (at higher levels of price and pretentiousness, too, I might add.)
And probably "the" Atlanta institution for cheap eats that I can't believe no one has mentioned, love it or hate it, is the Varsity (10th street near Ga. Tech).
Plenty of good suggestions above, so I'll confine my thoughts to just those places that you can walk to or take a short cab ride.
Irish Bred Pub - less than 1/4 mile from your hotel. Rather smokey, decent pub food. In the same development as Landmark Diner which is a (fair) local chain.
The Academy - A half mile or so from your hotel. I read mixed reviews about this restauirant but I've had nothing but good meals myself. Serving sort of updated southern food in a nice setting.
Thai Heaven - about a half mile from your hotel (N. Central Ave in "downtown" Hapeville, you'll need to ask directions). Surprisingly good Thai food coupled with agonizingly slow service.
Cafe on the Corner - S. Central Ave in downtown Hapeville. Lunch only. A bit pricey, but good sandwiches, salads, and a few hot entrees.
Taqueria Dos Hermanos - 890 E Cleveland Ave, East Point. Need to take a taxi or bum a ride - not a neighborhood to be walking around in. Mighty fine tacos - especially the chorzo. Even better if you're stopping on your way back to the hotel after a night of drinking.
First night here....ummm, Irish Bred PUB???
Not quite sure if the owners interpret the word "pub" to mean "club" but that place is hardly what I would expect (or have ever expereinced) in an Irish Pub....in NYC or Dublin.
A pub with a thirty foot open girder ceiling and a dance floor and DJ. Interesting.