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 restaurants near rail stations that we would recommend to friends and family based on our personal favorites and restaurant ratings.
Note: Restaurants are listed geographically and not in a particular 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 MARTA 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 MARTA station and make two quick lefts to walk above the station. Turn right on the first street, E. Court Square.
3. Dish Dive
For a unique dining experience in a neighborhood setting, Dish Dive is a short walk from the East Lake MARTA station on the blue line. The menu is small (but tasty) and features Southern food. BYOB. Follow the signs to South Parking after getting off the train. The restaurant is next to the station on College Avenue — at street level turn left in the bus bay to walk up the short staircase to College Avenue. Turn left and walk under the pedestrian bridge to reach the restaurant.
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 Candler Park MARTA 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 MARTA 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. Alma Cocina
One of the highest-rated restaurants in downtown Atlanta, Alma Cocina is a Latin American restaurant near the Peachtree Center MARTA station. In addition to food, check out their specialty cocktail and tequila menus. Parking is a challenge near the restaurant, even more reason to take the train there. Follow the signs to the Ellis Street then Peachtree Street East exit. At street level, turn right and walk less than a block. Alma Cocina is also near the Peachtree Center Atlanta Streetcar stop.
7. The Vortex Bar and Grill
Craving a burger? The Vortex is a dive-y place with a huge beer and burger menu that includes the infamous Coronary Bypass Burger. The Midtown location is next to a comedy club, Laughing Skull Lounge, if you’re looking for something to do after dinner. Take a red or gold line train to the Midtown MARTA station and follow signs to the Peachtree Place exit once at street level. Turn left on Peachtree Place then right on Peachtree Street at the stoplight and walk about a block.
8. Cafe Agora
An even shorter walk from the Midtown MARTA 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.
9. The Consulate
The Consulate is an Asian Fusion restaurant with small plates, craft cocktails and hip and modern interior. The restaurant is an extremely short walk from the Midtown MARTA station’s Federal Reserve exit — great for after-work drinks, dinner with friends or date night. Merely walk up the pedestrian plaza after exiting the station and the restaurant is on the left.
10. South City Kitchen
South City Kitchen now has two locations near MARTA: next to the Buckhead MARTA station on the red line and near the Arts Center MARTA station in Midtown. The restaurant is known for brunch, but otherwise has 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 to street level and turn right.