Our 5 Favorite Places in Atlanta, Georgia

Our 5 Favorite Places in Atlanta Featured Image

Since moving away from Atlanta, I thought it might be a good idea to document some of the things my wife and I loved about living there. As a result, I’ve decided to kick off a series called Renegade Travel Tips where I’ll cover some of our favorite experiences around the world. Up first is our 5 favorite places in Atlanta, Georgia.

Table of Contents

A Fair Warning

Typically, when you find a “must-do” or “best” list for Atlanta, you’ll find a lot of tourist traps. For instance, I think it’s common to see things like the Georgia Aquarium and Varsity on those types of lists. While you shouldn’t avoid these places, they don’t exactly capture what means to be in Atlanta. That’s why in this list you’ll find a few experiences off the beaten path.

1. Buford Highway Farmers Market

By far the best place my wife and I visited in Atlanta was the Buford Highway Farmers Market. If there is anything you do on this list, make sure it’s this.

Basically, the Buford Highway Farmers Market is a giant grocery store. Of course, what makes the store interesting is its selection. Let’s take a tour!

Buford Highway Farmers Market Entrance

When you walk in, you’re greeted by probably one of the largest produce sections you’ll ever see in any store. That’s because it contains produce from all around the world. Need a durian? They have them. Want some aloe vera? They have that as well.

Buford Highway Farmers Market Produce

As you round the corner, you’ll see several things: a bakery, a butcher, and a fish market. Each of these likely providing something you’ve never seen before.

Buford Highway Farmers Market Bakery

The remainder of the Buford Highway Farmers Market is organized in aisles like a typical grocery store. Of course, the difference is the selection. For instance, one of our favorite sections of the store is entirely dedicated to Asian foods:

Buford Highway Farmers Market Asia

Another one of our favorites is the Eastern European candy aisle:

Buford Highway Farmers Market Eastern Europe

Of course, no grocery store of this magnitude is complete without a cafe. As you can probably imagine, we love the cafe. Not only is there a ton of food choices from around the world, but it’s also extremely affordable. A meal for two will probably run you less than $15.

Buford Highway Farmers Market Cafe

Our personal favorites from the cafe were the Tacos al Pastor and the Jamaican Patties. In addition, we loved the Russian dumplings, the Tikka Masala, and the Samosas. You really can’t go wrong with any of the food though!

2. The Beltline

Up next, we recommend the Beltline. If you’re unfamiliar with the Beltline, basically it’s a trail circling downtown that people generally walk or bike for exercise.

Now, I believe the Beltline is a work in progressOpens in a new tab.. However, it’s still worth exploring. The portion we’re most familiar with is alongside the Ponce City Market, a typical Atlanta must-do:

Ponce City Market Front Entrance

If you hop on the beltline from Ponce City Market, you can walk in two different directions:

Ponce City Market Beltline Entrance

In one direction (to the right in the photo above), you’ll hit midtown. On the other, who knows? We never walked far enough to see. That said, there are plenty of stops along the way that include good food and shelter.

Beltline Art

Also, Atlanta appears to be focused on setting up a ton of housing along the beltline, so get in there while you can. I can’t imagine it’ll be too long before the beltline looks like Charlotte’s South End. In other words, get ready for craft breweries and millennial dog families.

3. Plaza Fiesta

If you love Hispanic culture, you’re going to want to explore Plaza FiestaOpens in a new tab.. Basically, Plaza Fiesta is a Latin shopping mall with an authentic food court. If you’re nostalgic for Mexico, this is the place to be.

While I’m probably not qualified to say this, Plaza Fiesta is about as authentic as you’ll get in the states in terms of Hispanic culture and food. Over the course of the year, I only visited once, but my wife has been several times. As expected, we like to visit for the tacos:

Plaza Fiesta Tacos

As a word of caution, you may want to brush up on your Spanish. This place is the real deal!

4. Asian Square

If you love Asian culture, you’ll absolutely love the Asian Square on Buford Highway. Here’s just a sample of what the square has to offer:

  • BBQ Corner 2
  • Quoc Huong Banh Mi Fast Food
  • Ming’s BBQ
  • Asian Supermarket
  • Cantonese Cuisine
  • Sweet Hut

Of course, we’re partial to BBQ Corner 2 and Sweet Hut. If you’re up for it, grab some Peking Duck and some steamed buns from BBQ Corner 2:

BBQ Corner 2 Peking Duck

When you’re done, grab your favorite Matcha sweets from Sweet Hut, and don’t forget the boba tea!

In addition to these places, there’s a rather authentic Asian market in the center of the plaza. There you’ll be able to find the ingredients for your favorite Asian dishes.

5. Food Trucks

While not exactly unique to Atlanta, you should definitely try to find a food truck event while you’re around. In the year we spent in Atlanta, we hit up a few food truck events, and we were never disappointed.

Perhaps our favorite food truck event was the Margaritta and Taco FestOpens in a new tab. near Ponce City Market. At that event, we tried out several tacos including some Asian fusion tacos:

Atlanta Taco Fest Asian Fusion

Even if you don’t care for tacos, at least the location is beautiful:

Atlanta Historic Park Fountain

Another one of our favorites was the Food Truck Thursdays in DunwoodyOpens in a new tab.. When we went, there was this awesome German food truck where we were able to get Schnitzel Burgers and Currywurst.

Honorable Mentions

Of course, not everything made our top 5 favorite places in Atlanta. Here are some of our other favorites:

All in all, we really enjoyed our year in Atlanta, and we plan to visit again sometime soon.

Renegade Travel Tips (4 Articles)—Series Navigation

As a tech blogger, I find that I don’t often get time to talk about the other things that I love like travel. Since moving to Columbus, I decided it might be fun to do a bit more leisure writing by kicking off a Renegade Travel Tips series.

You may recall that I’ve spent some time traveling, and I’m even TEFL certified. So, a series like this shouldn’t seem too much of a stretch.

Currently, I have no plans for this series long term. However, in the short term, I want to write about some of the places I’ve lived: Cleveland, Erie, Manchester, Atlanta, and Columbus. If that sounds interesting, come along. Perhaps you can share some of your own travel tips!

Jeremy Grifski

Jeremy grew up in a small town where he enjoyed playing soccer and video games, practicing taekwondo, and trading Pokémon cards. Once out of the nest, he pursued a Bachelors in Computer Engineering with a minor in Game Design. After college, he spent about two years writing software for a major engineering company. Then, he earned a master's in Computer Science and Engineering. Today, he pursues a PhD in Engineering Education in order to ultimately land a teaching gig. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, playing Overwatch and Phantasy Star Online 2, practicing trombone, watching Penguins hockey, and traveling the world.

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