Hong Kong BBQ: Cantonese places rise and fall in favor, but this Chinatown food court staple is a reliable destination for stunning pieces of lacquered pork or roasted duck, crowning mounds of glistening fried rice, and classic noodle dishes like dry beef chow fun. 5385 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee. 770-451-7277.
Nam Phuong: This Vietnamese powerhouse is more than pho — although it has a perfectly respectable version. The immense menu has everything from street food classics like rice cakes embedded in scrambled eggs to a stunning herb-laden platter of assorted fillings waiting to be assembled into your very own spring roll. 4051 Buford Highway. 770-409-8686; 5495 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross. 770-409-8686. www.namphuongatlanta.com.
Quan Ba 9: Soup and salad get a different spin at this quintessential Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall. Mild ginger-tinged rice porridge to calm your stomach, spicy bowls of chicken soup with flat rice noodles to tame your hangover, and vinegary shredded salads to wake up your sleepy taste buds and remind you why Buford Highway remains an exciting place to dine. 4285 Buford Highway. 404-636-2999.
Quoc Huong Banh Mi Fast Food: These banh mi sandwiches are airy rolls reminiscent of French baguettes overstuffed with pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, creamy mayo, and sweet pork. A seductive folded omelet, as expertly prepared as any top Paris bistro, ups the guilty indulgence of this unparalleled Buford Highway bargain. 5150 Buford Highway. 770-936-0605.
Myung Ga Won: This two-story Korean restaurant still holds court as the King of Korean barbecue with exceptional meats and pitch-perfect marinades with just the right amount of sweetness. The service can being a little salty, but being open 24 hours a day makes up for any minor inconveniences. 1960 Day Drive, Duluth. 770-622-1300. www.mk1usa.com.
Shoya Izakaya: Skewered bits of chicken skin grilled over charcoal, big bowls of spicy ramen, tender and grilled octopus, and a whole host of authentic specialties await you at this wood-filled temple to food made for drinking. Word has it that the sushi has improved drastically. 6035 Peachtree Road, Doraville. 770-457-5555. www.shoyaatlanta.com.
Tasty China: Peter Chang left the building, but this Sichuan powerhouse shows no signs of diminishing. A new menu of appetizers, a spruced-up website, and improved service is why it continues to be the hottest restaurant in Marietta. 585 Franklin Road, Marietta. 770-419-9849.
Thaicoon & Sushi Bar: During the week, this Thai and sushi spot is lackluster, but the weekend brings a handful of chefs trained in the art of Thai street food. The limited menu holds a treasure of soups and small bites and the price is right. 1799 Briarcliff Road. 404-817-9805. www.thaicoonsushiatlanta.com.
Tomo Japanese Restaurant: The new Buckhead location of this Cobb Parkway original has prices that match its address in the Ritz-Carlton Residences. Skip the small plates trying too hard to be Nobu-esque, and go straight for the splurge that is nigiri so impeccable even Jiro would approve. 3630 Peachtree Road. 404-835-2708. www.tomorestaurant.com.
Woo Nam Jeong (Stone Bowl House): The unmistakable sound of sizzling rice on lava-hot cast iron greets you as you enter this hole-in-the-wall run by a benevolent chef and owner known to her customers as "Grandma." The big sizzling bowls of meat, vegetables, and rice will tame the largest of appetites with the added benefit of soothing your soul. 5953 Buford Highway. 678-530-0844.
Yakitori Jinbei: When ramen blew up on the Atlanta scene, this random yakitori spot frequented mostly by Japanese businessmen already had a strong foothold in the hearts of ramen lovers. Fast-forward a few years and the broth and noodles still reign supreme in a sea of watered-down imposters. 2421 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna. 770-818-9215. www.yakitorirestaurant.com.
One doughnut from each shop is definitely a weird way to do this Smackdown. It…
"vegan goodness" -- oxymoron of the day.
Doughnuts are the new cupcakes are the new popcorn are the new popsicles.
I agree with both posters - they're frickin donuts! And as far as the low…
Great post, but you forgot Dutch Monkey!