China Town

Buford Highway Day Trip Itinerary

Whether you are visiting Atlanta or live here, it is always worth making time to spend a day diving into the magic and uniqueness of Buford Highway. It would probably take weeks to really get a handle on the diverse corridor, and even by then, things might have already evolved and changed. So, don’t overthink it. Don’t get overwhelmed. Buford Highway is a place for you to keep coming back to, always with the promise of discovering something new. 

If all you have is one day to get a good taste of Buford Highway, here is an itinerary to help you discover new favorites and connect with old traditions. 


Choose from many sweet options at Windmill Bakery and Cafe. (Photo by Daniela Cintron)

If you are the kind of person who likes to get the day started with a good coffee and a pastry, head over to White Windmill Bakery and Cafe. At this Korean bakery, you can find any classic pastry, from Chapssaltteok (red bean manju) to green bean bread, sweet rice red bean doughnuts and mochi mochi. 

Have a few sweet bites, grab more to go and get ready for more flavors. 

Dive into breakfast from 5 a.m. at Xelapan Restaurant on Buford Highway. (Photo by Daniela Cintron)

Once you get your caffeine fix, head over to Xelapan Restaurant for a Guatemalan breakfast. Starting at 5 a.m., this place is buzzing with people coming in and out. Don’t be shocked if there is a line to get in. During the week, some workers like to stop by to grab their breakfast and to-go lunch. A typical breakfast here can be loaded with eggs, steak, rice, beans, freshly made tortillas and delicious pan dulce. 


China Town in Atlanta is home to a must-try food court, stores and a relaxing Chinese garden. (Photo by Daniela Cintron)

With a full belly, continue your adventure less than a mile away. Make a couple of turns and find China Town. This is a great place to experience Chinese culture in Atlanta. Visit the popular food court with authentic Chinese flavors, spend some time relaxing in the Chinese garden and hop from shop to shop finding unique gifts to take home. 

There is so much to see, taste and smell at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. (Photo by Daniela Cintron)

Don’t let the shopping stop at China Town. Head over to Buford Highway Farmers Market to experience a very unique store. In this 100,000 square feet of retail, you will find produce, products, meat and seafood from all over the world. Some of Atlanta’s best chefs come here to get hard-to-find ingredients and to get inspiration for their creations. Locals do their weekly grocery shopping here, and many come to find products that remind them of home — wherever in the world that is.

Get adventurous with scallop-flavored chips at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. (Photo by Daniela Cintron)

Get lost in the hustle of the produce section, head to the back to smell the freshly baked pan dulce, cross over to the fish section that will blow your mind and don’t miss a chance to walk past the Polish pastries before getting to the Asian section where you can take a risk and grab a bag of scallop, roasted garlic, oyster or chicken-wing-flavored chips from Thailand. 

You could spend a whole day at Buford Highway Farmers Market, so definitely make it a point to keep coming back to discover more. 

The mariachi at Marisqueria El Veneno is an experience that adds flavor to the food. (Photo by Daniela Cintron)

It has been proven that lots of shopping makes you hungry. So, let’s head down the street to Marisqueria El Veneno. This restaurant in the heart of Buford Highway has been around for many years and continues to be a local favorite for its big selection of seafood. It’s not just any seafood restaurant. It is a Mexican seafood oasis packed with vibrant flavors. While diving deep into your ceviche, lobster legs and spicy shrimp soup, enjoy some live music by the mariachi or the banda. They both are there on weekends and alternate playing your favorites tableside. It’s a whole experience. 


You’ll find snacks galore at Plaza Fiesta. (Photo by Daniela Cintron)

Let’s do more shopping and sightseeing a few blocks down at Plaza Fiesta. Save room for dessert because Plaza Fiesta has endless snack options on the savory and sweet side. Plaza Fiesta is a trip to Latin America. Here you can buy anything from a quinceañera dress to a soccer uniform or diamond earrings. Get a tattoo, do your taxes or get a manicure, all under the same roof. With more than 200 vendors tucked in every corner of the plaza, you will have so much to explore. 

I know you had a feast at Marisqueria El Veneno, but if you still have room, don’t pass on the carnitas tacos or the pupusas at the food court. 


Plaza Fiesta will leave you energized, so don’t miss a beat and head over to one of the most popular things to do in the area – karaoke. There are many karaoke bars up and down Buford Highway, and you just have to pick your vibe. For an over-the-top experience, go to Mics Karaoke and let your vocal cords do their best under the neon lights of one of the private rooms. Get food and drinks and sing the night away. 

You will leave hungry, and Buford Highway has a spot just for those late-night cravings — El Rey del Taco. This place used to be open 24 hours back in the day, serving tacos and Mexican delights after hours for concert-goers and party animals after the club. While it isn’t open 24 hours now, you can still get last-bite-before-bedtime tacos until 1 a.m., or 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Get your carne asada and al pastor tacos while people-watching. It’s amazing the diversity of people that tacos in the middle of the night can bring together. 

We told you, one day is just not enough to explore Buford Highway, but this was certainly a good taste of it. Keep coming back, trying new flavors and meeting more people from all over the world. 

Born and raised in Mexico, Daniela is a bilingual journalist living in Atlanta. She is passionate about telling stories that highlight the diversity and the blooming gastronomic scene in Atlanta.

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