Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport may be the world’s busiest, but that doesn’t mean a meal there must be restricted to fast food. Consider your boarding pass your ticket to a first-class foodie adventure.
In fact, the aiport abounds with dining options, from high brow to hidden gems, so why not ask a globetrotter for advice?
Case in point: local restaurateur Justin Anthony—just take a glance at his Instagram account. Nearly 20 years ago, the epicurean opened 10 Degrees South in Buckhead alongside his parents, creating the first South African restaurant in the country.
Today, Anthony’s Atlanta-based hospitality group, True Story Brands, continues to share the lifestyle and experience of South Africa via his additional restaurants Yebo Beach Haus, Cape Dutch and Biltong Bar. In other words, this hardworking tastemaker earns his vacation time. Here’s how Anthony navigates his home airport’s concourses as well as his favorite menus before take off.
If you have time to spare before or between flights, savor one of Atlanta’s premiere dining experiences—conveniently replicated in a concourse near you.
Ecco established its reputation for combining seasonal European cuisine, casual sophistication and an adventurous beverage program in Midtown before duplicating the concept.
“It’s great when flying out of Terminal F on a long international flight on Delta to South Africa,” Anthony said. “I always order the tagliatelle bolognese.”
Another popular bite is fried goat cheese. For fellow fans, a third location is planned for Buckhead’s Phipps Plaza.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers
“One of my favorite burger restaurants in Atlanta, and it’s always great to be able to grab an amazing cheeseburger in the airport,” he said.
Get your hands on one at Concourse T or D. Bonus: the airport outposts offer mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches starting at 6 am daily. Their full-service bar opens at 9 am daily.
Chicken + Beer
“I love good fried chicken and Ludacris’ restaurant never disappoints,” Anthony said.
You read that correctly. Recording artist and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges has ventured into the culinary arena with this 90-seat restaurant. Snack on Southern-style comfort food and sip on local craft beers while enjoying an ambiently cool vibe, from the playlist to bold wall art.
Goldberg's Bagel Co. & Deli
It's authentic New York deli foods, mixed with Southern hospitality.
“If I’m flying out in the morning, Goldberg’s is the best place to grab breakfast,” he said. ”I typically order a plain bagel toasted with nova, tomato and capers.”
Sometimes, you do need a quick bite.
“You can never go wrong with a No. 1 combo ... Original fried chicken sandwich, [waffle] fries and sweet tea,“ Anthony said. Fun fact: the first location actually opened in Hapeville, a community that neighbors Hartsfield-Jackson.