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Moving to Atlanta - Need to find the following

So a dear friend has taken a job in Atlanta. She is moving from Los Angeles and will be living a few miles from downtown Atlanta - but she has a car. She needs (and I mean NEEDS) the following to survive (in no particular order).

1. Mexican
2. Pizza
3. Sushi
4. Deli
5. Breakfast place
6. Coffee place
7. Desserts
8. Burgers

I thank you all for your help!!

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  1. Everything is really spread out here. Will she be inside the city perimeter or outside?

    In any event, we have those things in spades, although a really good deli is hard to find here, and good pizza is so subjective. Breakfast, coffee, desserts, burgers,sushi and Mexican we have in abundance!

    1. My favorite Mexican place is in Tucker. Taqueria de los Hermanos. But intown La Fonda will work for a fix. Also, Las Magaritas on Cheshire Bridge is really very good.
      Pizza, Rosa's Downtown is the best. I also love Shorty's on North Druid Hills.
      Sushi, MF Sushi on Ponce is great. My favorite is Kang Nam on Buford Hwy outside the perimeter.
      Deli, ouch a tough one. Bagel Palace? maybe for breakfast deli. Deli, Goldbergs might just be it.
      I have to move on to Desserts. Chocolate Pink in Midtown.
      Burgers, Vortex in Little Five Points.
      There are so many other places to try. This is just a start. I hope your friend loves it here. This is such a simple list and there are some really awesome places in Atlanta.
      I hope she loves it here.

      1. 1) Nuevo Lorado (http://www.nuevolaredocantina.com/hom...) it gets pretty crowded there every night by 6 but it is worth it
        2) Everybody's (http://www.everybodyspizza.com/) is the best but Felini's (http://www.fellinisatlanta.com/fellin...) is classic Atlanta
        3) Ru San's (www.rusans.com) great food and great prices
        4) no idea
        5) West Egg (http://www.westeggcafe.com/) unbeatable breakfast...I recommend the Georgia Benedict or banana bread french toast
        6) Octane (http://www.octanecoffee.com/) good coffee, amazing art, beer, and food...hands down the best
        7) Cafe Intermezzo (http://www.cafeintermezzo.com/) they also have great gourmet drinks (the white hot chocolate is a dessert itself) and a full bar
        8) I second the Vortex (http://www.thevortexbarandgrill.com/)

        All of these places have at least one location in midtown. Hope that helps.

        1. Sorry I have some blanks :)

          1. Nuevo Laredo, overrated in my opinion, not worth the wait..Check out Sala in Virginia Highlands.
          2. Slice on Howell Mill.
          3. Sushi Huku
          4.
          5. West Egg, hands down.
          6.
          7.
          8. Ann's Snack Shack (Home of the Ghettoburger!)

          1. With no info regarding what part of town we are looking at I will just wing it

            Mexican: Nueva Laredo or Taqueria del Sol (I will catch flack for this, but I really prefer the Decatur location to the original)

            Pizza: Everybody's is pretty good. For "fancy" pizza I really love 5 Season's Brewing (Sandy Springs) Baraonda (Midtown) and Fritti (Inman Park). I am not from Atlanta, so maybe my pizza taste is different from the norm here (Brooklyn rather than Brookhaven), but I think Fellini's is godawful (though they have great patios). If you are looking for a chain, rather than Fellini's I would recommend Mellow Mushroom (especially the Magical Mystery Tour pie - YUM!).

            Sushi: If your friend is on expense account or splurging absolutely MF Buckhead (almost $200 a person last time I went there) or MF Sushibar (probably about half the price) are where she wants to eat. There are lots of very decent neighborhood places you can eat at for $20 or less per person. I eat a lot at Thaicoon on Briarcliff. Nothing fancy but very reasonably priced and consistent. I like Taka (Pharr Rd.) for fun rolls and if I am in Gwinett I really like Haru Ichiban where you cannot go wrong with the Chef's Choice sashimi.

            Deli: Bad news. There is absolutely no decent deli to be had here. The best option I have found is Bagel Palace at Toco Hills. Not great but the best of a bad lot.

            Breakfast: Thumbs Up. Inman Park. There is no substitute

            Coffee: I like San Francisco Coffee on North Highland, Chocolatte' (the Decatur one), Inman Perk, and Octane.

            Desserts. For taking home I love Piece of Cake (Buckhead) and Alon's (Morningside and Perimeter). There is no where I really go out for dessert.

            Burgers: Vortex is good but they are 21 and up so I rarely go. I know I will get nailed for naming a chain, but I love the bison burgers at Ted's - they are every bit as good at the beef burgers (which are great) and they are so much healthier! Also, the Clubhouse at Lenox makes a very nice burger.

            Hope she enjoys!

            1. What a great thread! Here are my suggestions:

              1. Taqueria del Sol
              2. Shorty's or Fellini's
              3. Not a fan of sushi.
              4. Bagel Palace, Goldberg's, Muss & Turners
              5. West Egg
              6. Dancing Goat in Decatur
              7. Chocolate Bar in Decatur
              8. Vortex

              Hope your friend has a smooth transition and enjoys our city!

              1. All great suggestions. I would add Locos as a great burgers place. Yes, it's a chain, but they will cook you an amazing rare or med rare burger, which a lot of places no longer do.

                1. 1. Mexican - taqueria del sol (several locations) and casa grande are my faves. taqueria del sol is a la carte, great, gooey cheesy delicious tacos and enchiladas and the like, casual with great margaritas. casa grande is part of the uncle julio's chain with the same amazing, smoky, perfectly seasoned salsa that I craved since I left dallas and couldn't go to uncle julio's - the food is more tex-mex with gigantic portions but has always been consistent and good (and quite frankly, I would go for the salsa alone).
                  2. Pizza - agreed, everybody's pizza in virginia highlands is amazing. there is also a new neighborhood joint at the corner of johnson ferry and ashford dunwoody called corner pizza - they have homemade crust that is perfect thin-crispy like chicago pizza and interesting combos (like the "brookhaven betty" with smoked salmon, goat cheese, capers and shallots) or you can make your own. they also have amazing subs, i think they must bake their own bread (?) and it is perfect crispy on the outside, soft on the inside (and I don't even really like bread that much!). for a local staple there is a mellow mushroom on every corner that is good, they also have a great greek salad.
                  3. Sushi - if you are on an expense account go to mf sushi, but I think it is way overpriced (although I live part time in new york and tend to compare it to nobu 57th which isn't fair to any sushi restaurant). my all time fave is sushi mania - the owner kenny used to be the sushi chef at the famous sushi roku in los angeles and he and his wife anna opened sushi mania next to the kroger in brookhaven. ok so it's a bad name and not a great location, but many of the dishes on the menu are exactly like roku and it really has a cult following, and kenny and anna always remember your name. best bets are the spicy halibut plate, yellowtail sashimi w/jalapeno, and the 911 and kiss of fire rolls.
                  4. Deli - goldberg's, hands down. hearty matzo ball soup, and the tuna salad is the best in town. I live for a goldberg's sesame bagel toasted with a side of tuna spread on top.
                  5. Breakfast place - west egg is good - trendy but good and great atmosphere. of course, being the southern girl that I am waffle house is a must. the flying biscuit has expanded all over the city and offers great twists on traditional southern breakfast dishes all day. and I also go back to my obsession with goldberg's...amazing breakfast as well.
                  6. Coffee place - I like the atmosphere (and quite frankly the coffeee too) better at caribou coffee than starbucks for a staple. cafe intermezzo has amazing coffee and desserts and has recently expanded to a few locations, javavino on highland avenue has coffee and a wine bar for a relaxing place to go after dinner.
                  7. Desserts - again, cafe intermezzo takes the cake (get it?) on desserts and selection IMO. alon's and henri's bakery also both have amazing takeout deserts.
                  8. Burgers - ok, so i am a "chain hater", but five guys burgers and fries are all over the city and it a concept very similar to in-n-out, only burgers and fries done the best. soooo good! the vortex is also very good, locations iin little five points and downtown.

                  hope this helps...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: waterpusher

                    Alright, I gotta know, is a waterpusher a pump or a pimp?

                    Coffee- support your local coffee shop! (www.auroracoffee.com; or www.mysfcoffee.com

                    )

                    Pizza- we tend to get Fellini's, sometimes Johnny's; Mellow Mushroom has been kinda greasy in the past (though nothing near Pizza Hut's level of grease)

                    I'm surprised Cafe Intermezzo still gets recommended. Probably went for the first time in '92, and it's been 6-8 years since I've been. But it just wasn't all that the last time (and relatively expensive, IIRC). I'd rather go somewhere for a nice meal and get their dessert, or just get dessert at the restaurant, or just get ice cream (!).

                    My only recent brunch outing was to Shaun's, which I enjoyed. And the Treehouse makes a pretty good burger.

                  2. 1. Mexican - El Porton
                    2. Pizza - Nothing really has been able to stick out in my mind, although, I would go with Everybody's Pizza near Emory
                    3. Sushi - Sushi Avenue hands down, MF is 2nd choice
                    4. Deli - I love Rubins deli on Broad St. in Downtown
                    5. Breakfast place - J.'s Christophers, best egg benedict in the state
                    6. Coffee place
                    7. Desserts - I like La Madeline alot
                    8. Burgers - don't know, I like Johnny Rockets, there is a good place near Mall of Georgia, but don't remember the name.
                    By the way for other things:
                    Persian: Rumis Kitchen off Roswell Rd.
                    Indian: Palace great weekend Buffet - Norcross, GA
                    Chinese: Chop Stix
                    Steak: Bones or Rathburns are my favorite

                    1. 1. Don't know yet since I haven't tried any Mexican restaurants yet.
                      2. Mellow Mushroom.
                      3. Ru San
                      $. Muss and Turner's. (Very upscale deli with EXCELLENT food. ATL's version of Zingermans' deli from Michigan).
                      5. Silver Skillet is worth a try.
                      6. Not much of a coffee person but heck, there's always Starbucks!
                      7. Melting Pot for chocolate fondues.
                      8. Five Guys or Fatburger.

                      1. Since your friend is coming from LA, think the following would work well:
                        1. Nuevo Laredo - one of the few tex-mex style places around. Most of the Mexican here in town is bland and greasy, but this one has more flavor.
                        2. Surprised nobody has mentioned Fritti. Located in Inman Park, one of only 18 restaurants here in the U.S. to be certified at Neopolitan. Also has amazing arancini (fried rice balls).
                        3. Sorry - not a sushi lover, but hear MF Sushi Bar in Buckhead is the bomb (it's a gorgeous restaurant - went there for lunch)
                        4. Deli - Would have to go with Goldberg's on that one
                        5. Breakfast at The Original Pancake House used to be the best in Brookhaven, but since they closed, have not tried the one on Cheshire Bridge. Anyone??
                        6. Coffee Place - Depends on what you are looking for. Great place to hang out, place to grab a cup of joe at 3 am, or what?
                        7. Desserts - Alon's or Cafe Intermezzo - located in Virginia Highlands and Buckhead near Midtown. Both also have locations just outside the perimeter near the mall.
                        8. Hate to say it, but I'm a huge fan of 5 Guys Hamburgers. This DC-based restaurant just rolled out here in Atlanta in the last year and it's always packed. It's an order at the counter, eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floor kind of place.

                        What she really needs to survive is a good map book - especially to find any restaurant that is located on any kind of Peachtree Street. :)

                        1. 1. Mi Barrio on Memorial... authentic mexican but the best mexican food in atlanta is inside of I-285 on Buford Hwy. (just pick any place) true authentic stuff... not the americanized suggestions in most of the other replies.
                          2. Camellis in the Ford Factory lofts on Ponce De Leon
                          3.RuSans on piedmont for cheap sushi, Nakato on Cheshire Bridge Rd. for higher end stuff
                          4 good luck
                          5.Silver Skillet on 14th st. best southern breakfast. Thumbs Up for a little more artsy.
                          6. Caribou several locations
                          7. Cafe Intermezzo on Ponce
                          8. Vortex on Peachtree or Morland. NoteL Miss Annes Snack Bar has the best burger in the country (WSJ) but is in a part of town you need to acclimate yourself to atlanta for a while before you venture into.

                          1. Follow up post.... Taqueria Del Sol is great food... but the only thing in the place that is mexican is the salsa...beyond that its about as authentic mexican as taco bell..

                            1. This is an irrestible post! So much however will depend on where your friend is. I live in town near Decatur and hate Buckhead - so all my recommndations will be within that radius... Your friend has not asked about Barbeque I notice. That is a question that can get some emotions high!

                              Mexican: I am from Texas and have not found much that I readlly like. I think that much of the mexican food in Atlanta is really heavy on cheese and one note sauces. I am not a Nuevo Laredo fan for this reason although lots of people enjoy it... I like Taqueria del Sol although one certainly is not allowed to linger there. The owner makes certain the tables turn very quickly.

                              Pizza: Thin or thick crust? We like thin so Everybodys and Osteria have some nice pies.
                              Sushi: MF Sushibar

                              Deli: Bagel Palace at Toco Hills gets my vote. Not the best atmosphere by any means.
                              Breakfast: Thumbs Up on the border of Inman Park and cabbage Town. Flying Biscuit used to be good but not any more.
                              Coffee: San Francisco Coffee has several locations in town and Aurora Coffee is good as well (though parking can be an issue)
                              Desserts. Alon's is fabulous and has eliminated the need to ever bake at all again for many Atlantans If you are on the Westside Star Provisions has incredible baked goods. Don't go out for desserts much so my insight is limited.

                              Burgers: I am (somewhat) embarressed to say that I like Five Guys best. Vortex is very smoky (and pround of it!) so does not get my vote.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sazall

                                I have been to Nuevo Laredo once... if that is the best Mexican Atlanta truly has to offer... then your friend is in deep trouble. It would definitely not meet CH standards in L.A.. and definitely not anything that would have a chance of surviving in Mexico's interior.

                                I have heard that there are decent Taquerias just outside of Atlanta, that the locals just have gotten into more authentic Mexican yet... but that if she knows the right questions to ask, and isn't afraid of hole in the walls... there is some decent stuff to discover.

                              2. 1. Nuevo Laredo Cantina. Taqueria is more Southwestern to me.
                                2. There is no good pizza. Fritti is okay, but it's not regular pizza in my book.
                                3. Don't know.
                                4. Muss & Turner is fabulous. New Yorker Marketplace is solid. Oak Grove is okay.
                                5. Thumbs Up. For brunch Babbette's Cafe and Watershed are good.
                                6. Don't know
                                7. Depends on what she likes.
                                8. Vortex

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: f1i2s3c4h5e6r7

                                  Welcome! You have to tell us more. Saying "there is no good pizza" and there are no good wings kinda falls flat if you don't tell us why. I know it isn't high dining, but I'm certainly interested. Especially since I think there are multiple choice in each area that are a) good and b) fit the variety of tastes folks have for these sort of things.

                                2. If she's coming from LA, it's possible that she might be looking for more than just Mexican... perhaps a fish taco joint. When I moved to ATL from the west, I searched for anything resembling Rubio's, but the only fish tacos that I could find that came close were from FROGS cantina on 10th and Monroe (near Piedmont Park). They have a nice patio for a sunny day. Trader Joe's is there, too... added bonus. :o) For TexMex on a rainy day.... Nuevo Laredo is great-- I love the sauteed scallions for an app. and either the carne asada tacos with extra cilantro and lime, as well as the chicken diablo taco with a dallop of sour cream.

                                  Pizza-- I enjoy a lot of veggies (with perhaps a little bit of meat), so my choices might differ a bit from those who load on the meat. Felini's makes a good veggie slice-- it's loaded with veggies and I usually add sausage and spinach. It's REALLY good. I also like Nancy's deep-dish spinach pizza. They deliver, too, but expect it to take an hour.

                                  Breakfast-- Atlanta has a ton of great weekend brunch spots. Faves include West Egg, Murphy's (go quite early to avoid the lengthy wait), Watershed, Atkin's Park, Park Tavern (on a sunny spring day), and I know I'm forgetting some.....

                                  Deli-- Goldberg's

                                  Sushi-- I never liked RuSan's until I discovered the lunch buffet-- the shear quantity of sushi makes up for a slightly lower quality (in my opinion :o) ). Starfish on Peachtree is good and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the sushi at Nakato on Cheshire Bridge was phenomenal!

                                  My favorite burger is Vortex's buffalo and blue cheese burger. I remember that my brother always liked their pimento cheese burger. Vortex also has a fantastic beer selection and tater tots, making the restaurant a definite winner in my book. And I can't believe I nearly forgot this... definitely check out The Earl in East Atlanta-- really good burgers, but interestingly enough, the black bean burgers are great! They will also serve up a basket of fried okra (even extra crispy, if you request it). yum... For an added bonus, check out the grafitti in the ladies' restroom... if it's still there, it's certain to make even Amy Winehouse blush. good stuff :o)

                                  1. 1. Mexican - unfortunately there isn't a lot of good mexican food in Atlanta. Pappasito's on Windy Hill is the best Tex Mex with the best fajitas and homemade flour tortillas and originally from Texas. Nuevo Laredo Cantina is not really tex mex and not really worth the wait if you get there duing busy hours. However, if it is a margarita you are looking then run from NLC straight to Agave in Cabbagetown.

                                    2. Pizza: - Grant Central Pizza in Grant Park and Camelli's on Ponce are both very good

                                    3. Sushi - Rusan's is good but not consistent, MF is fabulous but expensive,

                                    4. Deli - Muss and Turners, Goldbergs but nothing like Canter's in LA

                                    5. Breakfast - Thumb's Up Diner and Carol Street Cafe are new fav's of mine

                                    6. Coffee - Octane ---hand's down the best in town AND you get a foam design in your mug.

                                    7. Desserts - Alons Bakery, Cafe Intermezzo, Paolo Gelato

                                    8. Burgers - Anne's Snack Shop - but be prepared to get yelled at and wait but worth it.

                                    You are forgetting the staples of the South...BBQ and Southern food!

                                    Good Luck to you!

                                    1. 1. El Rey del Tacos. Not just tacos, but great fish ones. Buford Hwy, inside the perimeter.
                                      2
                                      3
                                      4
                                      5. Silver Skillet on 14th street.

                                      1. As mentioned, it really depends on what side of downtown she is moving to, unless she is very willing to drive anywhere for grub.

                                        Mexican: Taqueria los Hermanos in Tucker. A drive, but worth it every once in a while. Has fish tacos. homemade tamales. Also, La Fonda has really good fish tacos - only metioning this based on a previous post referencing LA'er might wanting them.

                                        Breakfast: Agree with West Egg & Thumbs up. Also Kasan Red in East. Atl. Not fancy but very tasty, reasonably priced, friendliest staff. Never had a bad meal. Ria's Bluebird.

                                        Burgers: IMO Vortex is second to The EARL. Ann's Snack Shack not worth the wait & humiliation. Unless you've got that kind of time to kill for a hamburger.

                                        Did not ask for SouthWestern, but one of my favorite restaurants is Agave in Cabbagetown. Excellent margaritas, white bean soup...heck everything is good there. And can walk around the corner to Carroll Street Cafe for an after dinner drink.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: weez

                                          1. Mexican-Nuevo Laredo for traditional mex; Casa Grande for tex-mex, El Azteca on Ponce for sitting outside then walking over to the Highland bars for drinks is an easy night
                                          2. Pizza-still looking, has just moved from Chicago and grew up in NY so its hard here. anyone ever try "Unique Pizza" or "Gevito's" in the highlands/ponce area?
                                          3. Sushi-ive heard a few recs for MF Sushibar. any others?
                                          SPEAKING OF, any good Dim Sum recs?
                                          4. Deli-
                                          5. Breakfast place-yea, flying biscuit has good sausage, i was dissappointed in j.christopher's but they're everywhere. maybe our location just was bad? that thumbs up place sounds interesting
                                          6. Coffee place-above recs are good, also too Belly in the highlands is decent good cup of coffee and bagels. itd be nice to grab a cup and go for a walk in the highlands.
                                          7. Desserts-anyone ever go to "matty cakes" on piedmont? curious. but alon's has a nice dessert and pastry selection.
                                          8. Burgers- VORTEX...i lived in chicago 2 years and couldnt wait to get back to the vortex burger
                                          any seafood recommendations anyone? atlanta fish market was tasty about 6 years ago, but how it held up quality-wise.
                                          Rathbuns, Kevin Rathbun steak, two urban licks, all tasty and great atmospheres...very atlanta-feel i think.
                                          Capital Grille was quite good in Chicago, even though its a chain. IS it good quality here-anyone been? I'm a fan of the dry-aged.

                                        2. OK, I'll chime in as well:

                                          1. Neuvo Laredo or Bone Yard
                                          2. I really like Quattro, Piedmont Park & 11th, mostly for the very well rounded menu and the patio atmosphere (killer people watching on a nice afternoon).
                                          3. MF Sushi Bar, Buckhead or Midtown
                                          4. That's a tough one as we're not very good at that. Goldberg's?
                                          5. Sun In My Belly, Decatur or Thumb's Up. Carroll Street Cafe for Brunch
                                          6. Aurora or San Francisco Roasting in Virginia-Highland
                                          7. Cafe Intermezzo
                                          8. Ann's Snack Shack was named Best Burger in the US by the Wall Street Journal. Vortex' burgers are pretty damn good too