Chamblee Dekalb Creative Loafing Atlanta Neighborhood Guide Joeff Davis photo
Chamblee isn’t so much a neighborhood with something for everyone as a neighborhood convenient to the ones that do. It offers affordable housing inside the Perimeter, is practically adjacent to the Buford Highway corridor of ethnic restaurants, and just a few miles south of Buckhead’s shopping districts. Families with kids will be more attracted to spacious, sleepy residential neighborhoods like Huntley Hills and Sexton Woods, which feel insulated from its more industrial areas. Chamblee’s heart lies in the Antiques Row of its historic business district, with so many shops that you can lose hours searching for the perfect vintage knickknack.
No Southern breakfast is complete without biscuits, but the Flying Biscuit has made the biscuit -- cakey, oversized and with a touch of buttermilk -- the cornerstone of all its meals, even its lunch menu items and dinner entrees. Next door to the restaurant, there's a small to-go shop that's always crowded where you can get your biscuits, sold by the dozen, to go with your morning coffee. Street and lot parking available.
Elegant urban setting for a menu that is kind of international and kind of Caribbean. The chocolate chicken wings are spicy, slightly hot and not too sweet. For an entree the jerk chicken with pineapple and mango salsa and side of rice and black beans will have you cleaning your plate.
Perched on the edge of Decatur Square and swimming in Spanish romanticism — dark wood, twinkling lights, and wine bottles as decor — the Iberian Pig exudes charm. As do the owners, members of the Castellucci family, who roam the dining room dishing out stories of their family's five generations of restaurant ownership. And the menu's nods to Spanish flavors and presentations are often delicious, regardless of the lack of authenticity or modernity.
Floataway is a place you come to be chill. To feel chill. To eat chill. With the walls painted vibrant blue, assorted glass bottles lining the bar and vintage fire-engine-red accents, it's as if owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison splashed the essence of hipster indie craft aesthetic over the place and then toned it down just enough to feel fancy. This approach to the decor is similar to the way the kitchen approaches food: ramp up ingredient quality, then tone down dishes to the absolute essentials. The restaurant excels at a seemingly forgotten aspect of service, and that’s pacing. Meals at Floataway are languid affairs — never slow, but gloriously unrushed.
Tomohiro Naito's vision for his Vinings Japanese restaurant is one of modernity, and the chef excels in technique, quality and creativity. The best meals at a Japanese restaurant will leave you feeling satiated but not stuffed, your palate awakened but not overloaded, certain dishes and tastes still ringing clear in your mind. Naito is a master at this style of dining, at pacing dishes perfectly, at putting tart dishes before heavy ones, at giving you time to breathe and savor before offering the next stunning but small burst of flavor. Tomo is a splurge, but worth it in every way. It’s still possible to eat at Tomo and miss the particular rhythm and brilliance of this chef. But put yourself in his hands, and Naito offers an unparalleled experience in modern Japanese eating.
Eclectic venue for hip-hop, spoken-word poetry, and up-and-coming soul artists. Home to Wednesday night jam sessions featuring a live band and open mic for vocalists to join in. Street parking available.
No sneaker store in town can compete with the 62-year legacy of Walter's Clothing. Being the old man on the block hasn't kept it from staying hip. Try squeezing in on a Saturday and you'll see why. Walls of Adidas, Nike, Fila, Reebok, and Converse have kept customers fresh-to-death for decades. If you can't find your footing here, you're probably lost.
The once-doomed strip mall now houses more than 200 shops that offer everything from cowboy hats and ornate belt buckles to frilly dresses, cheap shoes, and chili-flavored lollipops. It's really got something for everyone.
The longest-running African-American comedy club in Atlanta, Uptown Comedy Corner has featured Chris Rock, the Wayans Brothers, Steve Harvey, and Chris Tucker in the more than 20 years it's served Atlanta's Westside.