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Need BEST affordable Ethnic Dinner in ATL

I am suprising my husband for his birthday a day trip to Atlanta from Asheville, NC.

We are foodies.

I am taking him to the King Tut exhibit since I know he will get a kick out of it and I want to take him out for food that I can not get in Asheville, NC (although we got some amazing joints!)

Korean, Dim Sum, Ethopian, Cuban... something ethnic and authentic!

I would like the place to be on the affordable side, under 15 per plate if possible, but with a nice atmostsphere for dinner. I dont mind a stripmall if inside you feel 10,000 miles away.

The experience is what I am looking for.

Thanks in advance for helping! Chowhound made my NYC trip an incredible trip.

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  1. Havent been to Atlanta since I was a kid. Any other tips will help as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ashevillejudge

      I would do a search on the board for Buford Highway. That area is where you'll find the most authentic and reasonably priced.

    2. Saravanaa Bhavan on Lawrenceville Highway, although the niceness of the atmosphere is not so much. _How_ nice?

      5 Replies
      1. re: hillarybrown

        Not white table cloth nice but authentic to the cusine nice

          1. re: rcburli

            I thought C'om had closed, though I'm not sure about the Dunwoody one.

            Consider Bhojanic for non-all-veggie Indian, and I like Udipi a lot, though it's been a long time.

            1. re: ted

              You've got some great suggestions so far. Let me add one, for the best Sichuan food bar none: Tasty China. So inexpensive that you should bring a cooler, order for four and your bill will still not reach $75. Get the Fish Soup with Parsley (and preserved vegetable), Dry Fried Eggplant (MUST). Dan Dan Noodle--spicy w/ pork. Orange beef appetizer (comes hot and spicy automatically). Chicken with Three Mushrooms. Hot Braised Fish. Shelihon (green leafy vegetable 2nd cousin to mustard greens), Ma Po Tofu, about everything from the authentic Sichuan menu. btw--the above dishes, enough for five to six people would total around $65. BYOB.

              Royal China has the best dim sum right now, peak hours are 11:30 to 1:15.

              Jang Su Jang is next up on our list.

              Asiana for Sunday Indian Buffet lunch.

              But Tasty China will transport you.

              1. re: Steve Drucker

                I read your amazing review on Tasty China and Im soooo tempted. Whats up with people saying the owner is like the soup nazi? :) should I be concern?

      2. When I visited ATL last month my Chinese friend took me to Royal China Restaurant near Buford Hwy for some of the best dim sum I've had, including Boston, DC, and San Fran Chinatowns. Quite reasonable prices too. But I'm not sure if they only serve dim sum at lunch or for dinner as well. I'd call them to make sure, although their regular entrees looked very good too. Lots of Chinese families were eating there as well as in-the-know locals.

        1. Colombian: Casa Vieja
          3652 Shallowford Rd NE # D
          Doraville, GA 30340
          (770) 454-8557
          Super yummy, come very hungry, the portions are both huge and cheap. Go for the bandeja paisa!

          Ethiopian: Meskerem
          2781 Clairmont Rd
          Atlanta, GA 30329
          (404) 417-0991
          There are actually 2 Ethiopian restaurants in this shopping center, you're looking for the one in the attached building. Great food, service is friendly, and their hot tea is wonderful.

          Korean: Jang su Jang
          3645 Satellite Blvd
          Duluth, GA 30096

          One of my favorite restaurants, period. Their specialty is the tofu soups, spicy with smooth soft creamy tofu... mmmmm. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and they are very reasonably priced.

          Bakery: White Windmill
          (there are several, best thing is to google to decide which one is closest)
          This is a Korean bakery. Don't pass up the shu-cream pastry, it's so good there aren't even words.

          Cuban, you're out of luck, the best restaurant in my opinion just burned down. Was a sad day.

          Chinese: Frank Ma's Dinho
          5389 New Peachtree Road
          Chamblee, GA 30341
          770-234-4885
          No ketchup or americanized nonsense to be seen. Try the pickled vegetable and fish soup, it's perfect. And the Kung Pao Kidney isamazing. Mmmmm....

          Have a great trip!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Ori

            Frank and Amy Ma left Dinho a few months ago. They are now at Frank Ma's South, 2088 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta (phone # 404-417-9990). I haven't been yet, but I have eaten at Dinho and the restaurant he operated before that. The food is very good. Frank and Amy have been in the Atlanta restaurant business for about 35 years, as I understand.

            1. re: Ori

              Thank you!
              I wish we had enough time to try it all- I am going to print this all out for the next trip.
              No good cuban?! We both are from Miami orginally and I was hoping to get a decent cuban sandwhich for lunch.

              Frank Ma's or Tasty China?

              1. re: ashevillejudge

                As an alternate to the classic Cuban that burned down on Buford Highway, you might enjoy Papi's Cuban Grill. Great Cuban's with their Garlic Mojo sauce. Location in Midtown, Town Center/Kennesaw area and Stockbridge. Full Cuban and Caribbean menu.
                http://www.papisgrill.com/

                1. re: ashevillejudge

                  There is Coco Loco, I really love their lunch specials. I haven't had their cuban sandwich in years. There is also a great little place called Little Cuba that is on Chamblee Tucker Rd. In the Big Lots shopping center.
                  Have a great time and good luck!

                  1. re: ashevillejudge

                    Frank Ma's is no longer Frank Ma's. Don't go there. (Frank Ma is no longer at Frank Ma South, and has been long gone from Dinho)

                    Tasty China is still tasty, and Chinese. Do go there. Though it is way out in the burbs.

                2. According to an Ethiopian acquaintance of mine - Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant, 1594 Woodcliff Drive #G, Atlanta 30329 (phone # 404-321-1493) is currently the best Ethiopian restaurant in metro Atlanta. I took some friends there last month and had the best Ethiopian meal I have had. This would definitely be a dining experience unavailable in Asheville. My friend says beef and chicken are what they do best. We had beef and lamb dishes and could not have been more pleased.