With the highly-anticipated Atlanta Food & Wine Festival taking place this month, I can’t help but have food on the brain. That’s as good an excuse as any to spend a day nibbling my way through some of my favorite eateries. Join me for a fun foodie day—and then follow me to the nearest gym.
I love starting my day with a heaping plate of eggs, roasted potatoes and vegetables, and nothing beats the finger-licking fixin’s at Ria’s Bluebird. A bluebird mural cloaks the building’s exterior while a retro-style bar and handful of tables sum up the restaurant’s interior. Given the demure size and immense popularity of this eatery, there’s often a long wait for Saturday and Sunday brunch—arrive before 10:30 am to skip the crowds. Try my favorite, the gluten-free and vegetarian deep-dish baked frittata, or go big with Ria’s famous brisket breakfast, which includes 14-hour slow-roasted and shredded Angus beef with two poached eggs, a toasted baguette and red pepper romesco.
If I’m starting the day with decadence, then I’ll opt for a healthier lunch. Even better, True Food Kitchen (TFK) is founded on the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet to create dishes packed with both flavor and nutritional value. TFK’s menu is diverse and loaded with gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. Try my favorites: pomegranate limeade with evaporated cane and chia seeds, cheesy, bubbling turkey “lasagna” and chia seed pudding with banana and coconut. Don’t forget to order something from the full bar, which includes biodynamically, organically or sustainably farmed wines, locally sourced beers and a long list of superfood-infused cocktails.
It’s time to end the daylong food fest at beachy Bartaco on Atlanta’s Westside. This eclectic Mexican restaurant became an instant classic upon opening. That’s because a Palm Beach-meets-Costa Rica vibe is just what this city’s landlocked foodies needed. Bartaco’s navy-blue, white and natural wood decor isn’t the only thing that makes this my little paradise—a well-balanced, tapas-style menu of tacos, tamales, sides and insanely good cocktails keep me coming back. I constantly crave the crispy baja fish tacos, pork tamales and an ice-cold pisco sour. This little Eden gets packed on Friday and Saturday nights thanks to the large, U-shaped bar and expansive patio.