United Tastes of America: Georgia

Alright Nomsters, you’re in for a real treat because we have Olivia Arnold (aka the one and only, @foodistagirl) with us today.  She’s going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about the ATL food scene so you’re gonna want to bookmark this and refer back.  She majored in Statistics at Harvard (no big deal) and currently lives in Midtown Atlanta, chronicling her epic food adventures on her massively successful instagram account.  She’s also the GA city guide editor for the Daily Meal so make sure to follow her there as well.

Name:  Olivia Arnold (@Foodistagirl)

City/State: Atlanta, GA

Where to:

1. Grab brunch with your friends:  8Arm is an adorable restaurant in an old train station just off the Beltline on the corner of Virginia Highland, Poncey Highland, and the Old Fourth Ward. It is a trendy spot with American food enhanced with artful, creative touches. My favorite is their loaded bagel sandwich, which changes seasonally but is usually enhanced with wasabi masago or a similar touch.

2. Satisfy late night cravings: The Marcel late night burger served from 11pm – 2pm is legendary. It is a cheesy double layer burger with bacon that satisfies all late-night cravings. Occasionally, Marcel will feature its burger in daylight at Friday popup lunches thereby allowing people to get that daylight photograph and a taste of the juicy creation at an earlier hour.

SEE ALSO:  A Guide to Must Try Restaurants in Wilmington, Delaware

Left:  8Arm’s whitefish bagel || Right:  Marcel’s late night burger

3.  Splurge $$$ on a killer meal:  Dining at Gunshow is like attending a performance. Several chefs cook at a time and each brings their gourmet dishes around and tries to “sell” it to each table. You have one chance to taste the dish or it is crossed off as an option. Drinks are made tableside from a bar cart to further liven the experience.

4.  Go for date night: The Optimist is my go-to date spot for the best oysters in the city, beautiful seaside ambience, and tasty artisan cocktails. This chic spot is also fun; it has outdoor games and a $1 oyster happy hour every day.

5.  Eat clean: Upbeet is fast casual and healthy, a combination not commonly found outside of New York or LA. Everything is Instagrammable down to the succulents on the table and huge neon peace sign light on the wall. Plus, the bowls are as flavorful as they are well-rounded and guilt-free.

Left:  Upbeet’s Thai chia bowl || Right:  Oysters from The Optimist

6.  Enjoy coffee/tea with a friend: Dancing Goats at Ponce City Market has an idyllic outdoor screened-in porch with casual wooden chairs and wide swings on which coffee drinkers can recline. A fountain creates a fresh flow of air even in the dead of summer, and the effect is magical and perfect for enjoying a cuppa with a friend. 

SEE ALSO:  Song: The Best Tonkatsu in Seoul, South Korea

7.  Dine on a budget: SoKongDong on Buford Highway is one of those local gems that offers tremendous value with a ton of food. This Korean tofu house offers savory, delicious tofu soup bowls and all of the side banchan dishes that you can eat. Dining here is not only affordable and filling, it is also super fun to try all of the little sides.

8.  Find the best happy hour deals: Ponce City Market’s The Mercury offers a ½ off Monday night cocktail special that is the best happy hour deal in the city. Enjoy a beverage (or several!) from the wide list of classic cocktails prepared by seasoned bartenders.

9.  Eat for the gram: Poke Burri’s secret menu is not so secret anymore because of how photogenic it is. The poke sushi in particular is a new addition at my request that has become an Atlanta sensation. Order this gem in advance to enjoy photographing and eating something as enjoyable to eat as it is to ‘gram.  Pictured below:  their sushi pizza.

SEE ALSO:  United Tastes of America: Pennsylvania

poke burri sushi pizza

10.  Go with a large group: Beetlecat looks and feels like a ship; the upstairs is like the deck, while the downstairs feels like the underwater inner belly of the boat. With savory shareable seafood dishes and beachy cocktails, Beetlecat is fun for a group dinner upstairs or in a private downstairs cove followed by merriment at the lively bar or outdoor patio downstairs.


1.  Burger: Holeman & Finch

2.  Pizza: Antico

3.  Ice cream: Jeni’s

Left:  Antico’s Capricciosa || Right:  Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

4.  Asian food: Momonoki

5.  Drink: Biltong Bar

6.  Steak: Kevin Rathbun Steak

7.  Seafood: Atlanta Fish Market

Left:  Momonoki’s Shrimp & Japanese Tartar Katsu Sando || Right:  Atlanta Fish Market’s Lobster Sandwich

8.  Noodles: A Mano

9.  Coffee: Condesa Coffee

10.  All you can eat: Eats 

A HUGE thanks to Olivia for being a boss and sharing her top ATL recommendations with us today.  If you want to see more, make sure you check out our series tab!  We have an entire section dedicated to United Tastes of America so go wild.  As always, we’ll be sharing a new post on Thursday so make sure to check back then.  Happy eating, friends!


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