In 1974, the Atlanta Rhythm Section sang the virtues of Doraville with the line, “Touch of country in the city.” Today, you might wonder, “Which country?” as you drive along Buford Highway on either side of the Doraville line and read the billboards and shop signs in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and more. Although Buford Highway as a thoroughfare spans from Buckhead to Buford, the multi-ethnic eating and shopping destination commands about a seven-mile stretch inside and outside the I-285 perimeter. It remains a mecca for delicious, exotic, cheap food, as well as countless shopping opportunities for the adventurous. Looking for meat-shaped tofu? Tongue-scorching spices? Cowboy boots or ball gowns for preschoolers? Buford Highway awaits.
The tiny, shacklike entrance reveals an eclectic and loyal late-night crowd. Music at this underground clubber’s club ranges from hip-hop and Brit-pop to downtempo and rare grooves. The dim basement space feels like the most happenin’ speakeasy in town.
From its obscure location on Chattahoochee, Nuevo Laredo offers home-cooked Mexican food that is as sabroso (delicious) as it is sana (healthy). The food on your plate looks fresh, not as if it's sat under a heat lamp for even a second.
It's rare for a place to be so hip and so comfortable. This one has an industrial vibe, a cool-but-not-too-cool staff, locally produced art on the walls, pastries and cookies from Alon's and, of course, well-crafted coffee drinks and high-quality teas. Of particular note: Octane's French press coffees and award-winning baristas.
Originally a cotton-gin manufacturer, the Goat Farm is a Westside haven for working artists and performance companies, a frequent location for movie shoots (cough cough, Hunger Games, cough cough), and a great live music venue.
Holeman and Finch Public House has changed the face of Atlanta's dining scene since opening in 2008. From the outset, H&F's cocktail program set off a citywide race to blend obscure spirits into crowd-pleasing tipples. The 10 p.m. off-menu cheeseburger established a widely imitated gold standard. The house charcuterie program, once a unique feature, has inspired a whole league of competitors. The menu is unapologetically meat-centric with an extra focus on offal dishes and Southern-inspired small plates. Even after all these years, H&F's carefully crafted cocktails continue to be destination-worthy on their own.