Kameel Srouji welcomes guests at Aviva by Kameel. (📷 Aviva by Kameel)

Where To Find The Best Jewish Food in Atlanta

Every February Atlanta hosts the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the largest Jewish film festival in the world, attracting more than 38,000 moviegoers who come to watch films on the Jewish experience. Of course, you don’t have to come to the film festival-or even be Jewish-to enjoy Israeli/Jewish food, some of which is kosher. Here are some restaurants that celebrate their Jewish heritage.

Jewish Restaurants in Atlanta

1. Aziza

Enjoy the 48-ounce porterhouse steak with fire-roasted vegetables at Aziza. (📷 Andrew Thomas Lee)

Aziza pays homage to the cuisine of Israel with a little dash of Moroccan, Lebanese and Persian influences. The restaurant’s owner, Tal Baum, who grew up in Israel, joined forces with executive chef Brandon Hughes to design a menu made for sharing. The nearly 4,000-square-foot restaurant features an open kitchen with a wood-burning oven, which is at the heart of many of the dishes.

What to order: Hummus (there are three types), along with roasted eggplant, braised lamb shank, duck and Kubaneh. A “full experience” menu serves the entire table for $65 per person.

Location: Westside

2. Falafel Nation

Also owned by Tal Baum, Falafel Nation offers a menu of quick to-go Israeli street food.

What to order: Sabich pita (eggplant, hummus, chopped egg, Israeli salad, amba and harissa). A hummus bowl with chickpeas, boiled egg and tahini, and a falafel.

Location: Westside

3. Rina 

Rina is a skewer house (or shipudiya) that is similar to a cafe in Tel Aviv. (📷 Angie Webb)

Rina is a skewer house (or shipudiya) that recently opened in the historic Ford Factory Lofts alongside the Eastside BeltLine on Ponce de Leon Avenue. The restaurant has the feel of a beach cafe in Tel Aviv, and the 2,700-square-foot restaurant has an outdoor patio with BeltLine access and traditional Israeli decorative accents.

What to order: Sumac-cabbage slaw, beef kebab, “Jaffa” fried fish, as well as pita selections filled with chicken shawarma, arrays (spiced lamb) or sabich (spiced eggplant).

Location: Ford Factory Lofts in Poncey-Highland

4. The General Muir

The pastrami sandwich at The General Muir is among the best in town. (📷 Andrew Thomas Lee)

Inspired by a classic New York Jewish deli, The General Muir has been garnering national accolades since it opened in 2013. The General Muir serves breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch as well as having a separate counter that serves bagels, sandwich and pastries. The restaurant stays true to its roots as the pastrami is cured and smoked in-house and bagels are hand rolled and kettle boiled.

What to order: smoked hash, house-made challah, matzo ball soup, latkes with applesauce and kippered salmon fondue. Monday night is Ramen Night and every Friday is a Shabbat dinner with fried chicken.

Location: Near Emory University

5. Yalla

Yalla has two locations, at Krog Street Market and near Georgia Tech in Midtown. (📷 Danielle Oron)

Operated by the folks who gave us The General Muir, Yalla is a modern Middle Eastern food stall that first opened at Krog Street Market with a second location at the Canteen Micro Food Hall on 5th Street near Georgia Tech. The menu is very friendly to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners.

What to order: Shawarma and kebabs, fresh salads, sabich and handcrafted, all natural, low sugar sodas inspired by the Middle Eastern “gazoz.”

Location: Krog Street Market and Midtown

Bagels, Bakeries and Delis in Atlanta

6. Goldberg & Son

Started in 1972 on Northside Drive, the restaurant now known as Goldberg’s Bagel Company & Deli has blossomed into a deli empire with six locations throughout metro Atlanta, including at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Bagels are at the heart of the deli. In fact, Goldberg’s bakes more than 500 dozen bagels daily and more than 1,000 on the weekends. Goldbergs also offers special catering menus for holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah and Passover. And, if you feel the need for green bagels and cream cheese, you can get them at Goldberg’s on St. Patrick’s Day.

What to order: There are 32 varieties of bagels and all can be smeared with your choice from a dozen of house-made cream cheeses, nova or hummus. Besides bagels, the deli offers a Brooklyn Reuben, kosher hot dog and sliced tongue.

Locations: Various

7. Alon’s Bakery and Market

Alon’s is owned by Alon Balshan, an Israeli native who opened his shop in 1992. It soon became a neighborhood favorite for its pastries, soups and sandwiches. Alon’s now has a second location in Dunwoody, and the Morningside eatery offers a one-stop market in addition to its food offerings.

What to order: Take-out food, wine, cheese, pasta sauces, olive oil and condiments in addition to soups, sandwiches, breads and made-from scratch breads, pastries and European-style cakes.

Location: Morningside

8. Emerald City Bagels

The East Atlanta Village mainstay is known for its bagels and sandwiches.

What to order: Bagels with spreads including standard cream cheese spreads (dill, garlic herb) or Gold Star (toasted almond and fig), butters and jams and vegan spreads. Add-ons include red caviar, gravlax and Scottish style lox. More
options are egg and cheese whitefish salad and pastrami.

Location: East Atlanta Village

Restaurants with Kosher Menus in Atlanta

9. Aviva by Kameel

One of the city’s best lunch restaurants is part of a food court but that doesn’t stop Aviva by Kameel from consistently taking top honors for the best lunch. Located at the Peachtree Center Food Court, Aviva was started by Kameel Srouji who watched his mother cook as a child in Nazareth. With the help of his sister, they opened Aviva to rave reviews. Aviva uses the freshest quality produce, and all meats are USA born and bred with no extra hormones or additives. “If a rabbi came into the restaurant he would be very happy,” said Srouji. “We are Kosher except for having a mashgichim.” The restaurant also is certified halal for Muslims. In addition to the food, Srouji’s friendly welcoming personality makes you feel right at home.

What to order: The cuisine features no pork, eggs, mayonnaise or butter. The meat is kosher and cooked separately from the vegetables. Try the lamb shawarma, rosemary chicken, falafel, mmjadara and eggplant ratatouille.

Location: Peachtree Center, Downtown

10. Cinnaholic Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls

Recently opened on Caroline Street just south of Little Five Points, Cinnaholic Gourmet Cinnamon Rolls is kosher certified. All the ingredients are organic, vegan, cholesterol-free, lactose-free, sugar free (vegan beet sugar is used), dairy, lactose and egg-free.

What to order: Brownies, chocolate chip cookies and cinnacakes with more than 20 frosting flavors.

Location: Little Five Points

11. Chai Peking

There are several kosher restaurants in the Toco Hills area of metro Atlanta, and the shopping center has the honor of having the only Chinese kosher restaurant from Maryland to South Florida. Chai Peking is the oldest kosher-certified restaurant in the city. There are more than 150 items on the menu, and more than 90% are gluten-free.

What to order: Steamed dumplings, fong wan gai, chop suey, egg foo young and tomato beef.

Location: Inside the Kroger at Toco Hills Shopping Center

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications. 

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