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The Best Restaurants in Summerhill

Summerhill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Atlanta, yet it’s a case study of rapid modern development. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It was the site of the opening and closing ceremonies of our 1996 Summer Olympics, which then became Turner Field, home of the Braves through 2016, and is now the locale of Center Parc Stadium, home of the Georgia State Panthers. Outside of the stadium’s constant rebranding, the rest of Summerhill has been following suit, particularly in the past few years.

The heart of the city is an unassuming stretch down Georgia Avenue, no larger than your typical town square, yet it paints a rich picture of our city’s current culinary scene. From block to block there’s a diverse lineup of eateries, ranging from a down-home BBQ joint to a sexy Mexican patio, all standing in the shadow of Center Parc Stadium.

Photo Credit: Summerhill ATL

Each spot has charming branding, often accompanied by a striking mural, but more importantly, it has delicious food ideal for any eater.

Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Summerhill.

Wood’s Chapel BBQ

Wood’s Chapel BBQ

From the Rye Restaurants team (The General Muir, Fred’s Meat & Bread, etc.) comes a top-notch BBQ joint named after a church that sprung up shortly after the Civil War to serve the Summerhill community.

The vibes perfectly combine the rustic feel you’re looking for in a BBQ spot and the trendy tinge that embodies Summerhill. There are photos all over commemorating momentous moments in our city’s history, from GA native Jimmy Carter’s 1976 presidential campaign to Hank Aaron hitting his record-breaking 715th home run. The menu walks that same fine line: the turkey is juicy and tender and the pulled pork is perfectly fatty, but the creamed corn has a unique elote inspiration and the crispy fries are elevated by the spicy and smokey house rub. Venture even further outside the norm and get Okonomiyaki Tots, the Pit-Smoked Chicken Burrito, or the Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon plate.

Photo Credit: Summerhill ATL

Halfway Crooks Beer

Every up-and-coming neighborhood needs its trusty brewery, and Halfway Crooks has Summerhill covered. When you’re sipping one of their dozen-plus Belgian-inspired beers while enjoying the view on their rooftop (the biergarten is currently being renovated), you can’t help but feel a sense of joy.

Half the fun of hanging out at a brewery is enjoying the food; Halfway Crooks has a rotating weekly menu along with a more consistent seasonal lineup. They have all your brewpub favorites: wings (psst…they have lemon pepper wet), a pretzel to dip in mustard and beer cheese, truffle fries, a pub burger, and a BLT. They also have belgian fries served with a mighty spread of accompanying sauces: house aioli, fry sauce, Duke’s mayo, and ketchup. 

Donut assortment | Hero Doughnuts & Buns

Hero Doughnuts & Buns

Hero Doughnuts & Buns has already made our list of best donuts in Atlanta, but they have perfected so much more. Jeremy Chambers, of Jim and Nick’s fame, developed this Birmingham-based spot from a popup into a rapidly-growing phenomenon.

Super Crunch | Hero Doughnuts & Buns

These donuts stand out because they’re made with a brioche dough, offering a perfectly fluffy texture to complement the sweet taste. This same brioche dough is also used to whip up cloudlike buns for various sandwiches, like the Hero Burger and Super Crunch fried chicken sandwich. Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, Hero Doughnuts is your…well…hero.

The Hot Rod | Hot Dog Pete’s

Hot Dog Pete’s

One of Atlanta’s finest hot dogs comes from Hot Dog Pete’s. This success comes from a combination of fresh and flavorful ingredients and a focus on challenging the hot dog status quo.

Pick from a wide selection of hot dog options, from Pete’s Original (hot dog sauce, sauerkraut, diced onions, and mustard) to The Hot Rod (bacon, caramelized onions, shredded cheddar, and BBQ sauce). The hot dog buns are buttered and crisped up, emulating Texas Toast; the wieners themselves are crispy and juicy, and the ingredients are high-quality and packed with flavor.

Photo Credit: Little Bear

Little Bear

Little Bear describes their meals as “regular dinners”, but that doesn’t make their food anything less than extraordinary. They’ve definitely earned the right to call themselves “Michelin tire dining.”

They have an impressive cocktail menu, as well as a great wine and beer selection. The food is constantly changing based on the season, so you should definitely split a bunch of items to maximize how much you get to taste. You can also get the Dealer’s Choice, a four-course individual prix fixe menu, AKA the “just f*ck me up, fam!” approach, as they say.

Little Tart

Little Tart, with additional locations in Grant Park and at Krog Street Market, has become an icon around town for their homemade pastries, addicting breakfast sandwich, and other baked goods.

Their esteemed team of best-in-class bakers, baristas, and additional staff are taking the finest local ingredients and creating even better products. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better pastry in all of Georgia than their flaky and buttery Almond Croissant, sweet and well-spiced Peach Galette, or perfectly tart Blackberry Lime Scone with Dried Cherries. Pair it up with a Nitro Latte or Iced Coffee and you’ll be in a fantastic mood all day.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Big Softie

From the same brilliant minds who brought us Little Tart comes Big Softie, one of Atlanta’s premier ice cream shops.

Who doesn’t love soft serve?  These folks know that it’s the most comforting dessert around, especially in our southern heat and humidity. While they cycle through several seasonal flavors (ranging from Classic Vanilla to vegan Peach Sorbet), they also crush the toppings game, with classics like Sprinkles and Fudge Sauce and wilder choices like Cheez-It Brittle and Strawberry Shortcake Crumble.

Photo Credit: AJC

Maepole

“Healthy comfort food” might sound too good to be true, but a visit to Maepole will prove that some things are even better than they seem. The team from beloved Athens restaurant The National struck gold twice and brought Maepole to Summerhill to ensure a phenomenal meal that won’t leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

How’s it work? Step 1: pick your base (greens, brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potato). Step 2: pick two fresh and seasonal sides (lemon pepper broccoli salad, braised red cabbage, mac and cheese, sesame slaw, and more). Step 3: Add your protein (chicken, pork, tofu, or veggie fritters) or a third side. Then add a sauce and enjoy your balanced and guilt-free meal!

Garden Boi Nuggz | How Crispy Express

How Crispy Express

With a name like “how crispy,” you know this fried chicken is legit. 

They’re best known for their sandwiches, especially the Honey Boi (a fried thigh with garlic-honey butter sauce, sesame slaw, and pickles), but don’t sleep on their juicy “nuggies”. They have a thicker batter than you’d usually find and plenty of flavor infused in each bite (the ones pictured were a special: Garden Boi Nuggz, with zesty ranch seasoning, green onions, and a side of ranch-like garden sauce). The Yucca Fries are also a winner, served with smoky lime mayo.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Junior’s Pizza

When Alex & Jennifer Aton started Junior’s Pizza as a pop-up in 2017, they guaranteed two things: quality ingredients and affordable pies. We’d say they rose above and beyond that calling.

You can enjoy a wide variety of ‘za, from the Buffalo Bill (chicken, Frank’s hot sauce, mozzarella, and either ranch or bleu cheese) to the Pizza of the Month (at the time of writing this in August 2022, it’s the Cuba Gooding Junior’s: mayo, swiss, ham, pork, pickles, and mustard). Vegan? No problem – they offer a wide variety of veggies as well as vegan substitutes (Beyond Sausage, Chao Vegan Cheese, etc.)

Photo Credit: Fate Hospitality

D Boca N Boca

Owner Aliah Zihni and Executive Chef Naomi Rhee have brought Summerhill a Mexican restaurant specializing in “modern dishes that capture the flavors of the season.” While the food is indeed inspired by Mexican cuisine, forget everything you think you know about it and embrace this wholly unique menu from one of the newest spots on the block.

You can reliably get your favorite Mexican staples, like fresh homemade corn tortillas, herbaceous guacamole, and cinnamon-coated churros, but D Boca N Boca separates itself by the items they approach in a new way. The Chipotle Albondigas, meatballs tossed in a chipotle de adobo sauce, are “comfort food straight from the casa of your abuelita” and the Frutas y Chamoy (fruit coated in a spicy pickled fruit sauce) combine every flavor under the sun in one complex dish.

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