Ecco's fried goat cheese balls drizzled in honey can be found in Midtown or at the airport.

The San Gennaro pie from Antico is a staple in the diet of many Atlantans.

You can't call yourself an Atlantan if you haven't had a Vortex burger.

You can't go wrong with any Sublime Doughnut, but the A town is a favorite.

Come hungry -- Paschal's fried chicken plate is huge.

Atlanta’s 14 Most Iconic Dishes

When you think of dining in Atlanta, some iconic dishes just jump to mind. How many of these Atlanta iconic entrees have you tried? 

  1. Anne’s Snack Bar – Ghetto Burger. Though, sadly, Miss Anne has passed away, her legendary juicy burger lives on.
  2. Antico – The San Gennaro. Pretty much an overnight success, the pizza spot has grown to several Atlanta locations. Customers still place the San Gennaro pizza in high demand.
  3. Better Half – Silk Handkerchief Pasta. Though the menu of this Midtown restaurant changes weekly, this one item – the first item the chef made for his wife – never leaves it. One taste of the rich, light pasta bursting with flavor of sweet and savory, thanks to a jam and mushroom combo, and you’ll see why.
  4. Ecco – Fried Goat Cheese. Cheese is a pretty universally pleasing snack by itself. But fry it and it becomes even more indulgent. And there’s something about the fried goat cheese at Ecco that keeps customers coming back. The fried cheese balls are drizzled with honey that puts them over the top. Tip: You can get this at the Atlanta airport location.
  5. Fox Bros Bar-B-Q – Wings. Quickly becoming a favorite in the barbecue world, Fox Bros. has customers driving from great distances to experience their ‘cue. But the wings are also a fantastic item that brings customers back.
  6. Kimball House – Oysters. Located in Decatur, this incredibly popular spot churns out excellent cocktails and is known for oysters as well. Reservations are hard to come by, so it’s best to visit for oysters and cocktails. Plus, oyster happy hour is Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.
  7. Hankook Taqueria – Calamari Tacos. It sounds weird but just embrace it. Hankook is a fusion of Korean and Mexican, and – whoa – is this a good marriage. It gets quite crowded at lunch hours; visit off-peak for little or no wait.
  8. Holeman and Finch – Cheeseburger. Even though this item is available anytime now, it caused quite a stir and quickly became one of Atlanta’s favorites and most sought-after burgers particularly because it was only available after 10 p.m.
  9. Mary Mac’s – Tomato Pie. One of the many dishes you will find in the restaurant’s recipe book, it is one you’ll want to add to your holiday dinner table. Of course, you don’t have to wait for special occasions to have this fantastic dish. Just visit Mary Mac’s in Midtown .
  10. Paschal’s – Fried Chicken. A place steeped in history like Paschal’s must have an iconic dish that has stood the test of time. That dish is, hands down, fried chicken. The restaurant played a big role in the civil rights movement, serving as a meeting place for many leaders. No doubt that fried chicken kept them satiated as they fought the good fight.
  11. Royal China – Dim Sum. This treat has become the “other” Atlanta brunch. Eschewing perennial brunch spots for a midday meal that is one unique dish after another, diners love it as carts float by with lots of tempting offers, and patrons are free to pick what they like. Arrive well before noon or face a long wait.
  12. Sublime Donuts – A-Town Doughnut. There’s so much more to this than the letter. A chocolate glaze gives way to a soft pastry filled with rich cream.
  13. Varsity – Chili Dog and Orange Cream Milkshake. It’s the stop almost every first-time visitor makes when they come to Atlanta. The chili dog at this famous restaurant, The Varsity, is an iconic Atlanta dish if ever there was one. I recommend getting the super thin onion rings to go with it and washing it all down with an orange cream milkshake.
  14. Vortex – Burger. Sure the giant skull that serves as the entrance to this establishment can be intimidating, but the coronary bypass burger, or really any burger, is worth a trek to the Vortex. There are only a couple Atlanta locations because the owners want to be able to consistently deliver the quality Atlantans are used to.

Malika Bowling is the author of Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More!, and founder of Roamilicious. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. Her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram

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