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May 6, 2011 11:10 AM

San Francisco Hounds moving to Atlanta--what should we look forward to?

After 10 years in the San Francisco Bay area, my husband and I are moving to Atlanta this summer. We've been spoiled with the bay area's incredible variety of high/low options, every ethnic cuisine know to humankind, incredible local produce and markets. Of course, we're also THRILLED to be in the epicenter of Southern cuisine as our options here are pretty lacking since our favorite homestyle southern place closed 5 years ago.
We're no food snobs; our palates are adventurous and democratic, but we like to eat organic and local when we can and support local entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, growers, and producers. Every once in a while we splurge, and we love cheap eats, but we typically spend $15-30 for the two of us. We're not big drinkers either.
What will become our new favorites? What will replace the Ferry Building/Oxbow Market/regional farmers' markets? If I'm feeling homesick, where can I find dim sum/organ meat tacos/hole in the wall Italian/artisanal coffee?

make me drool . . .

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  1. Man, that's a lot to answer to! First and foremost, in what area of town will you live?

    For shopping, there's Your Dekalb Farmers Market and the Buford Highway Farmers Market -- between those you can find damn near any food you seek. Also, between May and November about a hundred little farmers markets pop up once a week. The larger ones are in Buckhead (http://www.peachtreeroadfarmersmarket...) and Morningside ( on Saturday mornings, but a lot of the intown neighborhoods have them, too.

    Buford Highway is Atlanta's ethnic corridor. It's a long, unwelcoming-looking street lined with strip centers and apartment complexes, with 3 lanes of traffic going too fast in both directions. Ugh. But once you get past that stuff (mentally), you'll find some of the best Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, Chinese, etc. cuisines. Best and cheapest. Having to drive somewhere took a while for me to get adjusted to, but now I trek out there regularly. Totally worth it.

    As for a feeling of home and good food, Inman Park, the Old Fourth Ward (along Edgewood, at least), and West Midtown are all throwing down with some solid restaurants. My current favorites and regulars: Miso, Sauced, Noni's (just skip the Saturday night dance party), Lotta Frutta, El Myr, Miller Union, Dogwood (in midtown), Planet Bombay. You might want to check out Radial Cafe on Dekalb Ave. And head down to Decatur, coming from San Fran I'll bet you'll find some like-minded people down that-a-way :


    El Myr
    1091 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

    Planet Bombay
    451 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

    Radial Cafe
    1530 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

    357 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

    Miller Union
    999 Brady Ave Suite 106, Atlanta, GA 30318

    Miso Izakaya
    619 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

    753 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

    1 Reply
    1. re: abbyloving

      Nothing will replace the Ferry Building, but here are other spots you may enjoy:

      4th and Swift
      Cakes and Ale
      JCT Kitchen
      Star Provisions

      Or the burgers joints (Yeah Burger, Farm Burger, FLIP, Grindhouse Killer Burgers in the Sweet Auburn Market).

    2. Local Three is another great spot that supports local cuisine and farmers.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Roswellgirl

        And Empire State South.
        I'm going for dinner Saturday....first time for dinner so we're excited.

        Empire State South
        999 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

      2. Holeman and Finch does a great job with their house-made charcuterie as well. Really great cocktails. Brickstore Pub has a phenomenal beer list, and good pub grub. Iberian Pig does a nice job with tapas. Highland Bakery for all pastries, breads, etc. Antico Pizza is really fantastic as well.

        Highland Bakery
        655 Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

        The Iberian Pig
        121 Sycamore Street, Decatur, GA 30030

        1. Hi sad tomato,

          I'm from Atlanta and did the reverse move 4.5 years ago (I was looking at the Atlanta board because I am visiting next week). Here are my observations (although it is based on the Atlanta that I knew in 2006)%3

          The good thing is that Atlanta has a ton of great affordable ethnic places/ whole in the walls. Fantastic Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Malaysian, and Thai food (much better Thai food on average than SF). Atlanta also has great burgers, comfort food, BBQ, and beer (have a Sweetwater 420).

          Mexican in the Bay Area is totally different than most of what I had in Atlanta... I think the Mexican immigrants come from a different part of Mexico (I can't seem to verify this though), but a lot of the Mexican food on the east coast in general is more Texas influenced. The only place I know of where you can find anything similar to what you are used to is Taquerîa Michoacan (they seem to still be there).

          From the looks of it, Atlanta has gotten a lot of great new places since I left, but I still don't think the produce will hold a candle to what you are used to no matter where you go... I am still in awe of the markets in the Bay Area (if I had to move back I would miss them horribly... esp the fruit). The good thing is that when I lived in Atlanta I could afford a yard, in which I grew a lot of great things.

          It is good to see a bakery and pizza place recommended since they are things that I found lacking when I lived in Atlanta. I can't wait to get some BBQ next week!

          1. I made the same move last month. I'm in the Marietta area. Sold my restaurant in San Francisco and moved here searching for something. Don't know what it is yet. :)

            So far, I haven't had any luck with produce. Today, I was at the Buford Highway Farmers Market and it was a disappointment. It's only a farmers market in name. There are no farmers there and I doubt you'll find any local produce. The quality is close to what you might find at a Safeway in San Francisco. It's more of an Asian/Latin, specifically Korean and Mexican market which is not a bad thing at all. It's just not what I was told it would be. I'm beginning to feel that this may be as good as it gets where I am. Just be ready. This isn't the Ferry Building or Berkeley Bowl. I'm headed to the Marietta Square market next week. I'm told that it has grown in the last two years. I'll post a report.

            I did speak with the manager of the Piedmont Park Farmers Market, a Holly Hollingsworth, and I'm planning a trip there tomorrow. She was extremely kind and knowledgeable on the phone. My sense is that that may be the only real farmers market around Atlanta.

            If anyone with a deeper knowledge of the area could help, I would be grateful.

            6 Replies
            1. re: merdol

              oooh. i disagree about Buford Hwy Farmer's Market. As far as I've observed across the country, there are at least 2 kinds of farmer's markets. One, where farmers and small artisinal vendors hire someone to sit in stalls and mind their wares, and then there's the other kind that would include BuHi Farmer's Market and Dekalb Farmer's Market (YDKFM). At both BuHI & YDKFM there are a lot of international products but if you ask the butcher and produce person, they can point out which of the products are from the state. As an example, both locations carry Patak products, a local butcher and smokehouse. At both locations, some of the produce is seasonal, so don't expect them to always be present. There's also the State Farmer's Market just south of Atlanta.

              1. re: redbeanbun

                I'm very familiar with seasonality. That's why I was certain that most of the produce there could not have been local. I'm just giving the perspective of a recent transplant from California. As far as 'two kinds of farmers markets," I've come to really enjoy the kind with farmers. Thank you for the input.

              2. re: merdol

                Much better farmers market than Piedmont Park is the Peachtree Rd one in Buckhead, also on Saturday mornings. There are many others around town (Grant Park, Morningside, Chamblee, etc.). Yes, the term "farmers market" here somehow took a dramatic turn from the notion of being a true farmers market, but BuHi and Your Dekalb are both really good international grocery stores.

                Peachtree Cafe
                99 Jeff Davis Rd, Thomaston, GA 30286

                1. re: biskuit

                  I appreciate it. I'm going to the Peachtree Rd market next week then. I did go to the Marietta market this Saturday and met a number of great farmers. I'd say there were about twenty local farms and lots of grateful people. Thanks again.

                  Peachtree Cafe
                  99 Jeff Davis Rd, Thomaston, GA 30286

                  1. re: merdol

                    Yep- whoever told you that there'd be actual farmers at the Buford Hwy Farmer's Mkt obviously had never been there. We went today and got all sorts of great stuff.

                    All of the intown weekend markets have actual farmers. The State Farmer's Mkt in Forest Park may have a few, but it's mostly folks re-selling wholesale stuff. Doesn't mean it isn't fresh or from in-state, though. Can't wait for peach season.

                    1. re: ted

                      Two weeks ago yesterday, the Marietta Farmer's Market had early Georgia peaches.