Best dishes to eat in Atlanta, July 2024

The drunken noodles at Bangkok Thai in Piedmont Heights. (Photo by Beth McKibben)

The Move is your monthly guide to the top food finds from Senior Editor Beth McKibben, who oversees restaurant and dining coverage at Rough Draft. Subscribe to our dining newsletter Side Dish for the latest restaurant intel and scoops and to be the first to know where she’s been eating around Atlanta. Side Dish drops every Thursday at noon, just in time for lunch. 

Bangkok Thai
1492 Piedmont Avenue, Piedmont Heights

Do you have a go-to restaurant in your neighborhood? For me, that’s Bangkok Thai at Ansley Mall.

Serving the Midtown, Piedmont Heights, and Ansley Park neighborhoods since 1977, Bangkok Thai is within easy walking distance from my place in Midtown, and just down the street from the parking deck entrance to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It’s not only my go-to for Thai takeout, but the restaurant features one of my favorite comfort foods during lunch: drunken noodles (pad kee mao).

At $12, the stir-fry sees a heaping pile of wide, chewy rice noodles sauteed and tossed with chicken, onions, bell peppers, egg, slightly al dente green beans for crunch, and fresh basil leaves. There’s a subtle heat to Bangkok Thai’s take on drunken noodles, too, with the spiciness building with each bite. It’s not a blast of in-your-face spice that overwhelms the palate, as with some versions of drunken noodles I’ve had at other Thai restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I love spicy food, but there’s an art to balancing heat in a dish without sacrificing the overall flavor. 

For two people, two coconut chicken soups, an order of basil spring rolls, and an order of drunken noodles cost around $35 at lunch. Add $5 more to the total at dinner.

La Glorieta Honduran in Tucker. (Provided by La Glorieta Honduran)

La Glorieta Honduran
4010 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker

La Glorieta Honduran Restaurant has become one of my favorite spots to grab a quick lunch when I’m in Tucker. This small, counter-service restaurant on Lawrenceville Highway opened late last year in a former Subway.

Honduras borders the Caribbean Sea to the north, Guatemala to the west, El Salvador to the southwest, and Nicaragua to the southeast in Central America. Colonialism and centuries-old trade routes infused the country’s Mesoamerican cuisine with flavors, ingredients, and dishes from Spain, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Breakfast is the main meal of the day in Honduras, typically a hearty dish comprised of eggs, beans, fried plantains, queso fresco, avocado, and tortillas for scooping. La Glorieta serves desayuno catracho (Honduran breakfast) as well as a popular street food often eaten at breakfast: baleadas.

A layer of refried beans coats a large, thick, lightly browned flour tortilla topped with proteins like steak, chicken, scrambled or fried eggs, and avocado. The tortilla is then topped with queso fresco and crema fresca and folded over like a giant taco. At breakfast, eggs are the main protein of choice.

My move at La Glorieta is the baleada loca res. It comes with scrambled eggs and a choice of chicken or steak. I’ve added both chicken and steak to my baleada on past visits.

I highly recommend also ordering the pollo chuco con pechuga with fried chicken. Fried green plantains serve as the base for the dish. The crispy green plantains come topped with shredded cabbage, tomatoes, pink sauce, pickled vegetables, chismol (pico de gallo), and fried chicken. 

The Diavola (left) and roasted pepper panuozzo pizza sandwiches. (Photo by Beth McKibben)

Sunnyside Pizzeria
220 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs

Like barbecue, discussions on which Atlanta restaurants serve the best pizza will often end in a fierce debate. But what about pizza sandwiches? 

Meet the Panuozzo Napoletano. This is a take on the Campanian street food served on wood-fired focaccia found at Sunnyside Pizzeria in Sandy Springs worth seeking out during lunch. 

Pizzeria Mascolo in Gragnano, Italy, south of Naples, first invented the pizza hybrid in the 1980s. Pizzaiolos shaped traditional Neapolitan pizza dough into a foot-long baguette and baked it in a wood-fired pizza oven for around 30 minutes. The bread was removed from the oven, sliced down the middle, stuffed with pizza toppings, and baked again to melt the cheese and crisp the crust. After baking, the panuozzo was sliced into pieces and wrapped in paper, creating pizza easily eaten on the go. 

Sunnyside offers eight variations on the panuozzo during lunch, including the La Parma with San Manzano tomato sauce, prosciutto, and tangy parmigiano-reggiano cheese and a roasted pepper version with caramelized onions, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. I’m partial to spice, so the Diavola is my panuozzo move at Sunnyside. 

Baked in a wood-fired pizza oven, the focaccia retains that signature springy crumb, but with a much crispier crust. It becomes the perfect vehicle for securely containing and soaking up wetter ingredients like tomatoes, roasted peppers, and pesto without getting soggy. 

For the Diavola, a base of San Manzano tomato sauce sees spicy soppressata, savory capicola, sliced Calabrian chili peppers, and mozzarella layered on top. All panuozzos come with a choice of Caesar or sesame-ginger salad.

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