Like any other Buford Highway devotee, I watch the shopping centers evolve as I eat my way up and down our city’s treasured, multicultural restaurant row. Just a few years ago, Asian Square (located just north of Chamblee Tucker Road on Buford Highway) felt like a ghost town—a product of a fairly stagnant growth period for Buford Highway. But now, businesses like Mamak, Sweet Hut, and Asian Supermarket have transformed this sleepy strip mall into a bustling food lover’s haunt.
Best BBQ first came to my attention back in 2014 in a similarly sparse strip mall hidden off of Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. The restaurant recently opened a stall inside Asian Supermarket’s food court—look for a shiny, new, neon-covered stall at the end of the row. For fans of dim sum and Cantonese barbecue, this is exciting news. Like the Duluth location, the stall has a glass display case full of lacquered hanging meats such as char siu (roast pork), suckling pig, soy-infused chickens, and roast duck. The stall offers a long list of Cantonese specialties, but the dim sum is why you should come.
If you’ve read any of those yearly dining trend prediction pieces, you’ve probably heard Filipino food is supposed to be hot this year. Up until now, Atlanta has had few Filipino options, save Kuya’s Food Express inside the ASSI Food Court and grocery stores where you can sometimes order lechon (a whole roasted pig). But this underrepresented cuisine has finally surfaced at Upper Room, a pop-up run by chef Andrew Bantug and Joyce Lau on Sundays at Tomo that routinely sells out in minutes.
With the months of this mild winter dwindling, it might not feel like soup season, but never doubt the ability of a warm bowl to provide instant comfort, whether you are looking to soothe a cold, your broken heart, or the lingering sting from that not-so-Super Bowl. Here are six of my year-round favorites.