Atlanta’s Oddest Places to Have a Memorable Meal
Nothing spices up a meal better than a good story.
If you call yourself a “foodie” then you can stop reading because your definition of a good meal will probably not be compatible with this post. When we think of a great meal, sure, we love the finest ingredients, freshness and great service. But when it comes to having an unforgettable meal, four out of five dentists agree that it is about the moment. It can be a combo meal of the company, the location and the lengths you had to go to actually find the joint or the line you stood in with the other yahoos to acquire said meal of food.
We’re Southerners after all, storytellers accustomed to spicing up a meal with our own voices and experiences. We’ve rounded up some great places in the ATL to eat that at the very least, will provide fodder for a good story or at least a Facebook post.
Located on Memorial Drive in Southeast Atlanta, Ann’s is home of the "the World Famous Ghetto Burger" (their words!) and was named best burger in the country by The Wall Street Journal. In business since 1972, the seating is limited to eight stools at the lunch counter and word is that you should queue up early. Also, study up on the eight rules of dining at Ann’s so that you aren’t asked to leave.
One of Atlanta’s best Mexican restaurants is in a trailer adjacent to an industrial park across the street from a cemetery. Sounds so appetizing, doesn’t it? Well, there’s a reason that on any given night you’ll see the parking lot packed with folks waiting outside leaning against the rickety handrail – because it’s awesome. We recommend the mole and the brisket. The portions are huge and of course you can order a bathtub-sized margarita as well.
Ladies, how do you get your men to shop with you? Easy, tell them there’s a beverage involved. Yes, we’ve seen the Yelp reviews complaining about the overcooked flank steak. Hello?! You’re in a mall ordering a steak. Why aren’t you drinking a stiff bourbon concoction or a very dry martini out of a big gulp while you can? Score points and take your mom.
In a late night barbeque throw down at any given Atlanta drinking establishment someone will argue that Heirloom serves the best ‘que in the city. And, the answer is the yes; that does really happen. The take-out only joint is located practically underneath an overpass next to a convenience store. Load up on to-go only or have them cater you next shindig.
Located downtown, Lunacy is the brainchild of Paul Luna, the man that supposedly brought tapas to the city, according to Creative Loafing. We don’t care much about labeling Luna or Lunacy as much as we love the restaurant’s funky and eclectic style. Sit on the sofa; sit on the floor. Do whatever – just enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think.
When you’re ready to gorge yourself on perhaps the freshest southern cuisine, hop on 75 South down to the Forest Park exit and the Georgia Farmer’s Market. A lot of the recipes on Oakwood’s menu are straight from owner Kasey Carpenter’s family and employees. There aren’t many other places in Atlanta where you’re sure to be called “sugar,” “baby” or “honey child.”
Table 1280 at the High is a fun place to go even if you aren’t taking in an exhibit at the museum. The bartenders are chatty and fun, mix a mean Manhattan and the wine list is certainly nothing to sniff at. You’ll definitely feel like you're in from out-of-town, an extra in your own life story. The escapism element is half the fun.
Okay, this is the part where we talk about surprisingly good food in a ballpark. The first is the H&F Burger where you can enjoy a tasty burger directly from Atlanta favorite Holeman & Finch. Others prefer the Kevin Rathbun $15 sliced sirloin sandwich served with horseradish cream. On the Terrace Level is the refreshing yet annoyingly named Yicketty Yogurt. There’s also a Waffle House located at Aisle 130 near the visitor's bullpen where you can get scattered, smothered, covered and schnockered a la Kid Rock. And just once you should spring for seats on the Golden Moon Casino Level. There’s Mexican, sushi, crepes, veggie burgers, made-to-order milkshakes and stiff adult beverages to wash it all down.