Ethnic bakeries 

Joli Kobe

This French-Japanese classic in Sandy Springs is one of those rare places where the gleaming, highly styled creations taste as rapturous as they look. Stick to the bakery's signature chicken curry salad for lunch, and grab a Fraisier (sponge cake with vanilla buttercream, and strawberries) or Matignon (flourless chocolate cake and chocolate mousse) cake to go. 5600 Roswell Road. 404-843-3257. www.jolikobe.com.

Mozart Cafe and Bakery

Inveterate explorers of Buford Highway know this Korean bakery by its former name, Boulangerie, but it's still the same quirky tea parlor-meets-"Twilight Zone" hangout filled with rows of Asian sweets. Peruse shiny buns filled with sweet potato, coffee bean cream and red bean paste. Giggling, hopelessly friendly cashiers ring you up, ensuring you walk out the door with your own lopsided grin. 5301 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-936-8726.

Pao de Mel

This no-frills spot is packed at noontime with Brazilian ex-pats jonesing for a taste of home. We're partial to the savories here like coxhinha, surprisingly delicate and crunchy fried dumplings filled with shredded chicken and cheese. Breads are fluffy, yeasty and eggy, and cakes are enriched with tropical ingredients like yucca, pineapple and coconut. 2359 Windy Hill Road, Suite 340, Marietta. 770-690-8007.

Royal Sweets

Indians are renowned for their collective sweet tooth, and Royal Sweets seems to be where much of Atlanta's Indian population goes to get its sugar fix. You'll want to pick up the gulab jamun, the fried milk fritters seen on Indian buffets everywhere. Cooked in three shades of doneness, these quavery globes will open your eyes to the potential of this ubiquitous dessert. Not in the mood for sweet? The vegetarian samosas stuffed with potatoes, peas and spices are ethereal. 1766 Lawrenceville Highway, Decatur. 404-327-5799.

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