Yes, yes, we know: If you get too far away from the epicenter, your luscious beard and thrift store clothing may start to disintegrate. The only reason to stray from your upscale Southern stalwarts or farm-to-table brunch or neighborhood gastropub is to eat something unpronounceable on Buford Highway. Well, we've got some news for you, ITPers. (Even though we totally, totally get it. We've got as much pride as the next guy.) There are some amazing places you are missing out on. And they are outside of 285.
Yes, pack your messenger bag, grab your treasure map and get ready for gem hunting of Goonies' proportions, 'cause we've rounded up some of our lesser known, OTP favorites, just for you. These are classic hidden-gem types, from swanky bistros to little BBQ carts that sell out every day—and they're all anxiously waiting for you to give 'em try. (At half-off, even.)
In fact, you can hooked up with all of our Northbound deals right here.
This is good ol' American gumption at its finest. Spousal duo Ashley and Seth transmogrified a 100-years-plus, dilapidated house into a nostalgic, industrially rustic restaurant. The leftover wood? Well, they turned that into tables, of course. And on them you'll find farm-fresh food from a simple, authentic menu that changes frequently to utilize seasonal produce.
Here's a chance to put on your fancy pants that's totally worth the drive. TEN walks that line between upscale and artsy eclectic, and it does it exceptionally well. It's comfy, calm and chock-full of interesting flavor combos. Oh, and we hear tell that they pour a larger glass of wine than anyone around.
Ronnie John's Beach Cafe
Many a hidden gem is tucked away in the confines of a strip mall. And Ronnie John's ain't no exception. With their curious combo of Asian fusion, beach-style and Southern flair, these folks sling fish tacos, Hawaiian BBQ burritos and some mean sweet tea with equal aplomb. Order's up, brah.
Meat and Potato Kitchen and Bar
The upscale, classic twists on steakhouse fare were enough to convince us, but in case you're not quite there yet—top-shelf libations (obtained via a slide-along-the-shelves ladder) and a piece of flourless chocolate cake (wherein they remove the flour and replace it with more chocolate) should do the trick. It's okay. We drooled too.
Australian Bakery Cafe
Today's your lucky g'day, mate. Here you'll find equally authentic fare and accents, at I-can't-believe-it's-legit prices. Three friends (that come from the land down under) own and operate this Aussie hangout, prepping all of the meat pies and pavlovas on the daily.
The smoked and sauced goods at this newcomer will have even the most devoted of barbecue connoisseurs questioning their loyalties to those 'cue shacks that litter the countryside. This is a large, full-service, sit-down sort of joint. One that churns out a mean Sloppie Jose (pulled pork, green chile salsa, Sabotage Hot BBQ, cheese topped with a fried egg). (Psst... Sweet tooth? Check out dat Frozen Elvis Pie.)
The traditional Colombian favorites found here inspire just as much enthusiasm among the staff as they do with the customers. Walk in the door and you'll be greeted like you're making the first trip home in years. One bite of the flavorful, but not too spicy fare—and you can be sure you'll pop in on the reg.
Flavor Restaurant and Bar
Restauranteur and flavor expert Peter has taken traditional Persian dishes (think kabobs and baba ghanoush galore), and made them better. Really. High-quality, organic ingredients and no frying means that these delicious dishes are also resolution-friendly. Heck, they even make their own strained-with-cheesecloth yogurt.
Uncle C's Rib Joint
Don't let the little mobile cart just off the highway fool you. Dru is smokin' some of the meanest pulled pork and lip-smacking-est ribs we've ever sunk our chompers into. When someone can pinpoint the exact moment they perfected their 'cue sauce – we know they're not messin' around. (Come with a back-up order. This stuff goes fast, baby.)
For more Northern goodness, check out our curated list on the app for all those just-under-the-radar eateries.