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All Star Game: Places to Eat in Atlanta

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Welcome to Atlanta All-Star Attendees!

Atlanta is home to 5 million people and many good places to eat. If you are visiting for the All-Star Game here are some local establishments you may want to check out to get a taste of the local flavor.

I very much enjoy eating out but I don't like to spend a lot of money so all of these places are quite reasonably prices. (In you are NHL bigwig looking to max out your expense account--well McCormick and Schmicks is right there in the CNN center waiting for you.) I have chosen not to list any of the quality chain restaurants that are available in Atlanta. This is just a short list of the many eating options, for more reviews and descriptions check out Creative Loafing.

Lastly, I should note that Atlanta's public transportation system is not that great. I have tried to pick places that are closer to downtown but even the close places are most easily reached by car. If you don't have a car or can't afford a cab you have to settle for eating up in Buckhead or Atlantic Station which feature malls, bars and restaurants in close proximity. But if you can venture out--well here are a few of my favorite places to eat.

Favorite Breakfast
Flying Biscuit: One of my personal favorites. It has a new-south menu. I recommend the "High Flyer" combination which includes eggs, turkey sausage, pancakes with peach compote, one flying biscuit and your choice of home fries or salad (take the salad) for about $8. This place is very popular on the weekends so be prepared to wait before being seated. There are several locations the original one is east (1655 McLendon Ave) and the second north of Philips Arena (1001 Piedmont Ave) in the heart of Atlanta's gay community (visit their website for more details).

Favorite Dim Sum
Every other month my hockey friends and I gather for a bit of dim sum and China Delight (2390 Chamblee Tucker) is our consensus for "best dim sum" in the city. I'm not sure what it is called but make sure you get the shrimp on a sugar cane stick--very tasty. Located in the Asian and Hispanic corridor along Buford highway it caters both to Chinese and non-Chinese diners.

Favorite Seafood
Six Feet Under is located due east of the arena (415 Memorial Drive SE) and sits directly across the street from historic Oakwood Cemetery where many prominent figures in Georgia history are buried. Six Feet Under has a great local reputation and the prices are very reasonable compared to some other seafood restaurants. Last time there I enjoyed the "Snow Crab Boil" which includes 3-4 Snow Crab claws, Andouille sausage, new potatoes and corn on the cob ($19).

Mexico Meets the South
Tacqueria del Sol: has three locations, but at each people will line up out the door for their delicious fish tacos, brisket tacos, or my favorite the fried chicken taco (which tastes much better than the name sounds).

Favorite Szechuan
Read almost any of the reviews of the food at Tasty China (585 Franklin SE, Marietta, GA) and you will find food critics gushing with praise. With a low profile strip mall location the decor doesn't speak nearly as loudly as the flavor. Roughly a half hour drive from downtown Tasty China is worth the trip if you love Szechuan.

Favorite BBQ
Atlanta has many BBQ joints but my new favorite is Fox Bros BBQ (1238 Dekalb Ave) the dry rub ribs are great. Other quality BBQ establishments in town include Fat Matt's and Smokey's.

Favorite Thai
Located just a short drive from Philips Arena is a high quality Thai place called Spoon (768 Marietta Street). Slightly more expensive than most of the places on this list, the food is top notch.

Best Fried Food
The Varsity Ever wondered what it would be like to step into a time machine and visit a fast food place from 1966? Well you can make that dream come true at The Varsity (61 North Ave) which has been serving up many a pre- or post-game meals for Georgia Tech fans. They have been keeping cardiologists in business for decades but some claim that the onion rings are to die for. Another menu favorite is the orange shake.

Favorite Pizza
Cameli's Pizza: I'm a big fan of this local pizza joint. They have a number of house specialties and will make custom pizza as well. The ingredients are always very fresh and the crust tends toward the thin side. This place reminds me of the pizza I ate in northern Italy a few year ago.

Although I have not tried it myself yet, Rosa's Pizza on Broad is close to Philips Arena and comes highly recommended from friends.

Best Value
Eats: If you go to Eats (600 Ponce de Leon Ave) don't expect any fancy decor but a no frills cafeteria style local place that offers pasta and soul food. The clientele caters to college students, musicians and urban hipsters looking for a reasonable meal. My personal favorite is the rotisserie jerk chicken with corn on the cob and couscous (plus a square of cornbread) which costs only $7-8.

For European Sports Fans
Often gather at The Brewhouse (401 Moreland) which shows big soccer matchups at all hours of the day and night and also features English rugby league action on Sunday mornings.

Hockey Friendly Bars
Football is still king in the south but there are some places that are quite welcoming to fans of hockey. I have watched many NHL playoff games at Twain's over the years. Taco Mac a local tex-mex chain which is also a sponsor of the Thrashers. T.J.s up on the northside is run by former Altanta Flame Tim Ecclestone. Mr. Ecclestone himself is frequently around the establishment and has bought us a round from time to time.

Late Night Food
Bambau Lau (2263 Cheshire Bridge Road) has the distinction of being open until at least 3 am every night. So if you're up late and are craving Chinese this is your destination.