One of Atlanta’s hidden treasures is the food. You can’t walk far without stumbling into a great restaurant, and fortunately, satisfying Southern cuisine abounds. If you’re commuting on MARTA, here are the top local restaurants near rail stations based on ratings.
Note: Restaurants are listed geographically and not in order of recommendation.
1. Iberian Pig
A popular tapas restaurant in downtown Decatur, Iberian Pig is a Spanish-influenced restaurant that’s good for groups or date night. A few tables are available outside that overlook the Decatur Square. Take the Church Street exit out of the Decatur Station and make two quick rights at street level to walk above the MARTA station to the row of restaurants.
2. Brick Store Pub
Also in downtown Decatur, the Brick Store Pub is a beer-lover’s dream. Although it is primarily known as a beer tavern, the food is pretty amazing as well. Take the Church Street exit out of the Decatur Station and make two quick lefts to walk above the station. Turn right on the first street, E. Court Square.
3. KIMBALL HOUSE
In the old Decatur train depot, Kimball House is known for cocktails and oysters. The menu changes seasonally and local food used when possible. In addition to the swanky bar and indoor dining, there is seating on the charming outdoor patio. Take the Church Street exit out of the Decatur Station and turn right on Church then left on Trinity Avenue. The restaurant is straight ahead next to the railroad tracks, which still has active freight trains.
4. Fox Bros. BBQ
The South knows how to do barbecue. Fox Bros. is one of the more well-known joints in town for slow-cooked meats and all the classic side dishes. Take a blue or a weekday green line train to the Edgewood/Candler Park Station. Follow the signs pointing to North Parking to exit the station. At street level, walk straight ahead along Dekalb Avenue (the major road next to the station) toward the stoplight for about 8 minutes. Avoid walking toward the fenced grounds of the MARTA Emergency Center.
5. Ria’s Bluebird
A 10-minute walk from the King Memorial Station, Ria’s Bluebird is worth the hike. The Southern restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch and has unique vegetarian options including the country fried tempeh pictured above. From the station, turn left at the stoplight on to Grant Street. Walk a block and cross over Memorial Drive at the stoplight. Turn left on Memorial and walk another block. It’s a great restaurant to pair with a visit to Oakland Cemetery or walk to Grant Park.
6. Cafe Agora
An even shorter walk from the Midtown Station, Cafe Agora has fabulous Mediterranean food in a casual environment. It’s a great place to stop for a quick lunch near a rail station. Sidewalk tables are available as weather permits. Turn left on to Peachtree Place from the station and walk less than a block.
7. Joy Cafe
In Midtown near Piedmont Park, Joy Cafe is a local restaurant that serves brunch, lunch, dinner, desserts and cocktails. Food is made from scratch and influenced by traditional Southern cooking. Walking time is about eight minutes from the Midtown Station (see directions). You can easily pair this trip with a visit to the park.
8. South City Kitchen
South City Kitchen has two locations near MARTA: next to the Buckhead Station on the red line and near the Arts Center Station in Midtown. The restaurant is known for brunch, and serves contemporary Southern fare in a classy setting.
The Buckhead location is closer to MARTA. Take the Peachtree Road exit out of the station (not via the bridge) and go up the first staircase (or elevator) after exiting the fare gate. Once at street level, turn right.
9. Silom Thai & Sushi
With almost a perfect rating on Yelp, Silom Thai & Sushi is across the street from the Lenox Station on the gold line. It has an exotic atmosphere, great sushi and a large appetizer list if you just want to stop by for drinks and light snacks. At the Lenox Station, look for the “To Mall” exit. The restaurant is literally diagonally across the street once you get to street level.
10. The Alden
Take a gold line train to the Chamblee Station for fine dining at The Alden. In addition to dinner, you can also make reservations for the Chef’s Tasting Menu. All food is sourced locally or regionally. In addition to The Alden, there are several other highly-related restaurants nearby, so you can’t go wrong with a stop in the area, especially with a ice cream stand in an old caboose along the railroad tracks. Walking time is about 12 minutes from the station’s Chamblee Tucker exit (view map), or request a Lyft or Uber.
Last updated July 2021