Buford Highway, Atlanta is Georgia’s melting pot. The more than 1,000 immigrant-owned businesses are owned by a wide variety of ethnic groups, notably Korean, Mexican, Chinese and Vietnamese, and also Indian/South Asian, Central American, Somalis and Ethiopian. Foodies know it as a mecca of ethnic food establishments.
Vietnamese-Cajun Food at Crawfish Shack Seafood:
The owner of Crawfish Shack Seafood, Hieu Pham, was born in Atlanta and is a true Southerner. But he learned cooking from his parents, one of whom was born in Vietnam and the other in Cambodia.
As a child Pham attended a Vietnamese Baptist Church Convention each summer in Louisiana where he learned how to cook crawfish boil. This and his Southeast Asian ancestry led to a truly divine fusion of Vietnamese and Cajun cooking.
Pull up a chair and enjoy nuoc mia (sugarcane drink) with your po’boy!
Southern, Mexican and Southwestern at Taqueria del Sol:
As a child, Taqueria del Sol Chef Eddie Hernandez learned to cook from his grandmother in her restaurant kitchens in Mexico. Today he his whipping up Mexican and Southwestern food in Atlanta, and local Southern food is finding its way onto the menu. In 2007, Bon Appétit picked the Atlanta-based chain as a “Top American Restaurant.”
The Sloppy Jose (sloppy joe, fresh jalapeño, cheddar cheese and Fritos) and The Bob (fried shrimp, crayfish mayonnaise, and pickled jalapeños) are two of the favorite taco specials in rotation on the popular weekly menu. Other must haves: the salsa trio starter (verde, asada and fresca), the shrimp corn chowder, the Memphis taco (smoked pork, jalapeño cole slaw, tequila BBQ sauce), the fish taco (poblano tartar sauce and pickled jalapeños) and the turnip greens, which were voted by Garden & Gun as one of the “100 Southern Foods You Absolutely Must Try Before You Die.”
Dim Sum at Canton House:
Consistently voted number one dim sum in Atlanta, Canton House‘s dim sum is pre-made and circulates the restaurant. The dishes are marked as large or small; $2 for small and $4 for large.
Enjoy ribs, stuffed mushrooms, and baby squids, clams,duck, red bean buns, custard buns, lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice, fried stuffed shrimp, and more.
Panahar Bangladeshi Cuisine:
Mirza Chowdhury worked his way up the food chain of Atlanta’s food and beverage venues, and in 2001 opened Atlanta’s first (and, to this day, only) Bangladeshi restaurant, Panahar Bangladeshi Cuisine. Chowdhury was born in Bangladesh in 1962 came to Atlanta to study and never left.
Enjoy korma, pakora, and tondoori of all sorts. If you’ve never had this sort of food the best way to sample it is to come in for their $10 lunch buffet.
Korean at Stone Bowl House:
Stone Bowl House offers a unique 12-course tasting menu, as well as the best dolsots (cast-iron pot dishes) in Atlanta. The owner and chef is simply know as “Grandma.” As you would expect from a Grandma there is lots of comfort food to be had.
Banchan (Korean side dishes) include smooth, white pine nut porridge and battered and pan-fried Korean squash.Try puffy fried filets of pollock drizzled with a spicy sauce, and sesame seed-encrusted drumsticks of Korean fried chicken, beef dolsot bibimbap, mung bean pancakes with kimchi and green onions, seafood pancake, bulgogi . . . . . you can’t go wrong with any of it.