It's been almost a century since the Sweet Auburn Curb Market first took shape in Downtown Atlanta, making this historic landmark the city's oldest market. Born as a hodgepodge of farmers convening in a huge tent to sell their goods to city folk, the Curb Market eventually was given a more permanent structure in 1924, when it became the Municipal Market of Atlanta. Nowadays, the market isn't just a historic treasure or a place where one can procure a whole pig— it's also home to some of the best and most unique counter-service eateries in Atlanta. From kale juice to killer burgers, the provisions up for grabs in the market stalls are many. Below, a guide to a few of our favorite ways to indulge in Atlanta's most diverse and interesting marketplace:
Good for: Tucking in to hearty, homemade comfort food straight outta Caracas.
Who's cookin': Lis Hernandez used to sell her hot-off-the-griddle Venezuelan specialties off a picnic table. Once people started waiting in line for an hour just for a taste, she knew she had something special.
What to get: Where to start? The pernil arepa is stuffed with slow-roasted, melt-in-your-mouth pork, the plaintain-filled Domino empanada is transcendent, and the fresh-shaved yucca and plantain chips are made even better when dunked into the creamy, cheesy nata sauce.
Good for: Curing what ails you (or washing away memories of last night's taco binge) with fresh-pressed juices and smoothies.
Who's cookin': Chantel got her start (and her devout following) by spreading the gospel of juicing on YouTube, 'til she decided to pack up her chia seeds and take it to the next level.
What to get: The Banana Nut Ultimate tastes like sweet banana bread in a glass, while the Ultimate Recharge is excellent for getting in those greens.
Bell Street Burritos
Good for: A divine experience with real-deal San Francisco-style burritos
Who's cookin': Matt Hinton used to peddle his home-delivered burritos as a supplemental gig to his career as a theology professor at Morehouse. He went on to open Bell Street out of love and nostalgia for the late Tortillas, a cult burrito joint on Ponce.
What to get: The pork and green chile burrito has its own devout following, and for good reason. But the real dark horse here is, surprisingly, the perfectly crunchy, cheesy quesadillas.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers
Good for: Ripping into a badass burger with reckless abandon (and maybe watching some classic horror movies, too)
Who's cookin': Back in 2009, Alex Brounstein just wasn't too impressed with the burger offerings around town—so he decided to take matters into his own hands. Now, he keeps Grindhouse's burger game tight with high-quality fresh ground beef, top-notch buns and all the fixins.
What to get: We're big fans of the Apache and its roasted New Mexico green chiles, and the Vidalia onion rings are some of the best in town
Miss D's New Orleans Pralines & Popcorn
Good for: Indulging your sweet tooth, Southern-style
Who's cookin: After losing everything in Hurricane Katrina, Dionne moved here wanting to repay all of the kindness that was shown to her with her sweet skills, and her 25 years of tweaking her praline recipe to perfection.
What to get: Any of Dionne's perfect pralines, plus a big ol' tub of "The Triple" — popcorn coated in butter, caramel and cheddar cheese, a.k.a. the holy trinity of snacking.