1 W. Court Sq., Decatur
The menu here changes every day based on what’s in season (Jenny sources all her produce locally), and you’ll always find plenty of soups—warm in the winter, and chilled in the summer. The entire operation skews healthy, at there's never a time where you won't find both a gluten-free and vegan soup on the menu. They now have four locations (in addition to Decatur, they're in Brookhaven, Buckhead, and Blandtown), serving every major neighborhood.
Cakes & Ale
155 Sycamore St., Decatur
This beloved Decatur restaurant and attached café was the first concept by chef Billy Allin and wife Kristin Allin. (They later opened Bread & Butterfly and Proof Bakeshop in Atlanta.) The dishes, while creative, never sacrifice taste for art—whether it’s a veg-forward dish like carrots, mushrooms, mustard greens with a crispy egg, or lamb ragu gnocchi with turnip greens.
The Iberian Pig
121 Sycamore St., Decatur
Occupying a cozy, wood-lined space right on the main square and Decatur, the Iberian Pig’s Spanish-inspired menu is neatly divided into cheese, charcuterie, and tapas, with a wine list that leans heavily on Spain, Chile, and Argentina to match. While they do the classics really well, we love their fusion dishes, like the pork-cheek tacos and their extra-flavorful macaroni-and-cheese with charcuterie.
303 E. Howard Ave., Decatur
Kimball House is the brainchild of four friends who originally worked together at Brick Store Pub and came across old menus from the historic (and, sadly, no longer standing) Kimball House Hotel featuring classic Manhattan cocktails and oysters. That menu—and the deep-dive into old-school dining traditions that ensued—became the inspiration for their own restaurant, which opened a few years ago. While the thorough oyster menu and its thoughtful tasting notes are an important part of the experience here, it’s the specialty cocktail program run by local bartending celebrity Miles Macquarrie that put it on our radar. If you’re lucky enough to stop by when he’s behind the bar, he’ll give you the history behind everything on the menu, including the exhaustive list of absinthes and the subtle differences between them.
Leon’s Full Service
131 E. Ponce De Leon Ave., Decatur
So there are the cocktails (great), but then there are the snacks: cheese, "pub frites," and bacon in a glass. You can pretty much stay all day. The shaded patio is undeniably pleasant, and the open garage door (a big trend in Atlanta) makes it airy and bright.
130 Clairemont Ave., Decatur
The menu at this Chinese/Korean hybrid runs the gamut of Asian delicacies. There’s Korean tacos and steamed bao for lunch, ramen and braised mahi mahi for dinner, and a dim sum brunch on the weekends. Ingredients are sourced from local farmers who focus on quality and sustainability. The portions are large enough to encourage sharing and go perfectly with the restaurant’s communal vibe—massive tables, a well-stocked bar, and outdoor picnic tables.