A walk down the Atlanta BeltLine is a food lover's dream. And one reason is Krog Street Market, a former stove factory converted into an award-winning food hall. In fact, it was Atlanta's first food hall, kicking off a trend that just won't stop.
Travel + Leisure calls Krog "one of the world's best food halls," and we agree. Every Saturday, we kick off our Food Tour on the Atlanta BeltLine at Krog, sampling some of their best food.
If you are headed to Krog Street Market, you might be overwhelmed with all the food choices. You can find Vietnamese, Indian, sushi, Tex-Mex, Southern, Chinese, vegetarian and more. No worries, though. We have vetted nearly all of them for you.
So in my opinion, here are the 5 best restaurants that will make you fall in love with Krog Street Market, and keep you coming back. In no particular order. And if you read to the end, there are some bonus suggestions for dessert.
For some seriously good Southern food, head to Soul Food & Culture. What is Soul food, you might ask? It's African-American cooking that has been passed down through generations. And owner Chef Todd Richards serves up some of the best - he has been nominated three times for a James Beard award. You cannot come to Atlanta without trying his fried green tomatoes, a favorite on our Food Tour on the Atlanta BeltLine. What makes them stand out is the pimento cheese and remoulade topping. What, you don't like fried green tomatoes? Try these, and you'll change your mind. They have converted more than one person on our food tour. Another delicious menu item is the wings, an Atlanta staple. If you're a bit hungrier, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich and Hot Fried Catfish sandwich are crowd faves.
Atlanta is experiencing a pizza renaissance, and Varuni Napoli is one reason why. In this unassuming spot at the back of the market, you can get real Italian pizza made by real Italians. The ingredients are shipped from Naples - which is to say the dough is made with double zero flour, and the sauce is simmered from San Marzano tomatoes. The pizzas are small enough that you could eat an entire pie if you're hungry enough, but you'll most likely have a slice or two left to bring home. One of my favorite pies is the Bastardo, which gets a kick from Nduja, a spicy sausage. And you can't go wrong with their classic Margherita.
Bonus tip: They now serve sandwiches, like a Meatball Parmesan and an Italian grinder.
If you love French pastries, this is your spot. The owner, Sarah O'Brien, fell in love with Paris as a kid and returned there years later to learn how to perfect the croissant and various other patisseries. I had friends in town from France, and even they were impressed. You'll see the line as soon as you enter Krog Street Market. The gougere is one of my favorites, along with their ham and cheese croissant. My boyfriend never fails to get the chocolate croissant.
It's hard to say if Fred's is known best for their burger stack or their cheesesteak. Bon Appetit magazine was won over by the latter, exclaiming, "The best cheesesteak is no longer found in Philadelphia." And famed chef Alton Brown agrees: "I'm so sorry Philadelphia, but the best cheesesteak is now in Atlanta." The burger stack, though, also gets lots of love from locals and visitors. Thrillist even included it on their list of 100 Best Burgers to Eat in America. No matter which sandwich you get, be sure to pair it with another Fred's favorite - rich truffle fries.
Gu's claims to serve the only authentic dumplings in the city. They certainly might be the best. It's the carefully guarded secret sauce that will win you over - crafted from a recipe brought from China by Chef Yiguan Gu, the original founder of Gu's Kitchen on Buford Highway. If it's your first time here, go for the pork dumplings. They also have veggie and chicken, along with plenty of other Chinese dishes like Dan Dan Noodles and Kung Pao Chicken. Whenever we share these dumplings on our tours, usually on private tours, our guests say this is their favorite dish. One out-of-town visitor even came on our tour a second time because she wanted the dumplings again.
Let's just get this out of the way first. Jeni's is a nationwide chain, but I am oh so happy they chose Atlanta for their locations. There are actually two spots at the Krog District - one inside the market and one across the street at Atlanta Stoveworks. With unique flavors like Butterscotch Popcorn, Gooey Butter Cake and Everything Bagel - you'll never run out of favorites.
And while technically not inside Krog Street Market, Butter & Cream is another recommendable ice cream spot, located in the Krog District on the BeltLine. They are a favorite on our private tours, with flavors like Cookie Monster and OG Goodness, made with butter cake and brown sugar. And their "pup cups" are a hit with our canine guests on Barks & Bites: Doggie Food Crawl on the BeltLine.
Overwhelmed by all the restaurant choices? Let us take you to the best ones on a Food Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine! Get a sampling of Atlanta's exploding food scene, from Detroit-style pizza to New Orleans beignets and more. Relax over refreshing margaritas from one of the funnest restaurant/bars in the city, and discover favorite neighborhood restaurants you'll want to return to. And if you're a paw parent, treat your dog to their own restaurant crawl on Barks & Bites: Doggie Crawl on the BeltLine.
An Atlanta native, Nicole Gustin is the Founder and CEO of BiteLines Atlanta Food Tours, which offers walking food tours on the Atlanta BeltLine. She considers the BeltLine her backyard, and is excited to see how Atlanta is reinventing itself. To sample some of Atlanta's best restaurants and street art, join us on our unforgettable Food Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine. Or bring your fur baby on Barks & Bites: Doggie Crawl on the BeltLine. Follow on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram @bitelinesatl.