inexpensive, good, and unique to Atlanta places?
I'm going to be in Atlanta in November for a four-day conference and would love some recommendations for inexpensive, good, and uniquely Atlanta places to eat in the downtown. I will be staying around the Sheraton and Hampton Inn and will not have a car. I would definitely rank taste well above ambience so it can be a whole in the wall (in fact I'd probably prefer that) so long as the food is good. Any suggestions?
Shpeizmaven from Toronto
Downtown is hard for dining in Atlanta, but here are a couple inexpensive thoughts.
I have to suggest grabbing a slice at Rosa's on Broad. Fantastic pizza, though not "uniquely Atlanta". Closes at 6:00 so go for lunch or go early for dinner.
I think Ted's Montana Grill is still an Atlanta-only chain; bison burgers are their claim to fame. Owned by Ted Turner, hence the name.
Though I doubt you'd get too many fans on this board, Pitty Pat's Porch is nearby and would give you that Southern Food fix. Open for dinner only.
I don't think this board gets a lot of traffic. IDK, I'm not from Atlanta but last time I was there I had an awesome brunch at R. Thomas Deluxe grill. Lots of fresh and organic eggs and produce, yummy shakes, it's kind of hippie-ish but the food was great, definitely memorable. I think they're open all day for lunch and dinner too. Not sure if it's close to where you are staying though.
I wouldn't call downtown Atlanta a food wasteland, but Atlanta dining is definitely easier to navigate with a car. Many of my favorites are probably further than you'd like to travel, but here are a few I can think of in your general area.
Lunacy Black Market Cafe is great for interesting, tasty and super reasonably priced tapas and wine. Dantanna's is basically an upscale sports bar/steakhouse, but food is good and it's a great place to catch a game if you're into sports. (I do prefer the Buckhead location to the CNN Center, but the closer CNN location will be fine) Social Restaurant and Wine Bar is good for international cuisine and cocktails; also nice, laid back vibe late night if you want that. Seafood is good and the vibe is relaxed and fun at Six Feet Under. It should still be warm enough to enjoy the rooftop.
Six Feet Under
437 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
I will second SIx Feet Under (& get there a tad early in order to wander through Oakland Cemetery across the street).
Is Thelma's Kitchen still open? That is definitely "Atlanta" and used to be good soul food/meat & three. I think they are on Auburn Avenue (or were a short while ago). What about Auburn Avenue Curb Market during the day? They have some fun and decent places to grab an inexpensive lunch and it is fun to wander.
Downtown Atlanta is not a city in the way you understand the concept. Atlanta is a car town, and the downtown area is abandoned every day at 5:00. Staying there, without a car, yes, you will be spending 4 days in a cultural and culinary wasteland. That's just the way it is. People who live in Atlanta seem oblivious to how odd this is, the rest of us...well...good luck....
re: uptown jimmy
Shpeizmaven from Toronto,
If you are willing to get on the train and/or take a cab you'll have much more luck.
There are also a bunch of new options close to the CNN center in what we are calling the Lucky-Marietta district. You could walk if you wanted but there is a huge hill/incline between your hotel area and Centennial Park. It's a very short cab ride.
Der Biergarten is the newest place down there.