Explore Your City - Atlanta
Just 6 hours (depending on who is driving) to the north of Orlando is one of my favorite weekend getaway cities. Atlanta is full of good food, and fun things to do. While I could never list all of the amazing places to indulge the senses, I can recommend a few spots to check out or cross off if you are traveling there this summer.
The Netflix series “Good Eats” turned me on to Highland Bakery. Particularly a French Toast dish. They use challah bread, slather rich and creamy peanut butter between two thick pieces. Caramelized chunks of banana are topped upon the mountain of carbs along with maple syrup. I couldn't finish this half of it, but I did my best. It’s worth the experience, and I would recommend to anyone not worried about going into sugar shock, or as Andy from Parks and Rec calls it: Sugar SLAM!
My favorite spot for breakfast hands down is West Egg. Something as simple as their Blue Plate, which is just eggs, a meat, and the fluffiest biscuit East of the Mississippi. What makes me omit weird pleasure food noises though, are their lattes. I've been fortunate enough to have tried three different flavors in my travels. Their Lavender and Pumpkin lattes were legit.
There is nothing alluring about the outside of Sublime. It’s in a mini strip center away from the hustle of the city, but close enough to Georgia Tech, that I can only assume college students maybe living on these sweet circles of goodness. The name isn't even on the marquee, it simply says “Donut”. When you walk in a colorful haven awaits, complete with a picture of Mr. Donut himself, Homer J. Simpson.
Feel like Salted Caramel & Reduced Balsamic Vinegar donut? Apparently that is an actual thing. How about a Sweet Potato Cake? Or an Oreo Ice Cream Burger? No matter how full you are, make sure you stop by, even if it’s just for one. Their motto is “Eat one that’s worth it”, and I couldn't agree more.
Because one donut joint on your list just isn't enough, if you make your way over to Decatur another donut mecca awaits at Revolution Doughnuts. Not only are they handmade, but they are pretty flexible to people that have different dietary allergies!
This is a great place to stop the sight seeing and ingest a treat.
When it’s time to spice up your life and mouth, head to a “hole in the wall” that takes the food/taco truck craze to a brick and mortar location at Hankook Taqueria. Off the beaten path, in what could be described as an industrial part of town past Atlantic Station, there are no frills here. Just good food. Korean-Mex fusion fare is what you can expect with fast service and really, really amazing sesame fries. My brother, an Atlanta resident, turned me on to this gem, as this is one of his favorite spots.
Pork Belly sliders, dumplings, Korean BBQ pork tacos, and the sesame fries. GOOD GRAVY, those fries were on point! They are tossed in sesame oil and red pepper flakes, which doesn't sound like it would be so amazing, but it is. This food was good, cheap, and fast.
It doesn't hurt that recently Mr. Alton Brown visited recently and got his eat on there. Case closed.
Virginia-Highlands is one of my favorite neighborhoods for pretend house hunting, and right in the middle of a quaint residential area is Murphy's. There is something so comfortable about dining here although it feels much more high end than your basic neighborhood filling station. Meals are sourced from locally raised ingredients and they have their own bake shop and wine shop to carb up and kick back some finer wines. Not to mention I was waited on by one of the best servers I can remember in my recent dining history.
During my last visit I had the Guinness Braised Brisket and it was rich, tender, and had a great flavor enhanced by the Guinness. This could easily turn into a more expensive night out, but well worth it. I can' wait to go back and check out their brunch.
I've never been to Italy but I want to believe that this is what the pizza is like. Antico beats any pizza I've had in any other city. I don't even mind that most of the seating is communal. Eating with strangers is no big deal when you dive into a pie like this.
Don't eat any other pizza in this city, I implore you.
I'm not a big fan of aquariums because I'm not a fan of captivity. Release them all into the sea I say! Alas, my better half really loves going to them, so I oblige while loudly making anti-captivity remarks during the whole outing.
Personal protests aside, this is a great place to check out if you are in to seeing aquatic life up close. If you are going to visit an aquarium you might as well go to what is the largest in the world with 8 million gallons of fresh and marine water. At $35.95 this isn't the cheapest family adventure, but you can waste a few hours which is nice if you experience any inclement weather like we did on the particular day we visited.
In my personal opinion this tourist attraction is worth skipping. For $13.95 you go around once and get a view of Centennial Olympic Park. Not the most exciting view Georgia has to offer. It is however pretty to take a picture of while it's lit up at night.
Unless you are really into the history of Coca Cola or you think you can drink $16 worth of free samples of different Coke products, pass this attraction by. My highlight was getting my picture taken with the Coke Polar Bear.
Some say Atlanta is the city in the forest and once you've driven from neighborhood to neighborhood you see why this saying is true.
Piedmont Park is actually pretty gorgeous and quite expansive to explore. Pack a lunch and enjoy the weather and stroll through the different areas including the botanical garden.
Atlanta was recently ranked at the 8th best city for street art. Every time I visit I love to drive around and find new areas covered in the talents of local artists.
Areas like Old Fourth Ward, Cabbagetown and Inman Park are great to explore and look for the newest murals. Bonus - it's free (minus the gas you will burn).
I've barely scratched the surface of amazing things to eat and fun things to do in Atlanta, but this is a good start for your travel plans. If you have any must see spots leave them in the comments below for my next trip!