3 Days in Dunwoody for Foodies
3 Days in Dunwoody for Foodies: Where to Eat and Drink
Often overshadowed by the larger Atlanta culinary scene, Dunwoody is a strong up-and-comer as one of Greater Atlanta's best foodie neighborhoods. Long known as a great place for variety among well-known restaurants like The Cheescake Factory, Dunwoody has a healthy crop of locally owned and operated specialty restaurants that are "putting the city on the culinary map," one writer notes. Thousands of people flock to the area for Dunwoody's Restaurant Week event, where you can sample some of the best dishes from local establishments from pre-set menus, but the restaurant's doors are open year-round. Although three days may not be enough time to explore all of the good places to eat in Dunwoody, consider this your challenge. Eat and drink your way through Dunwoody on this three-day culinary tour to some of the top restaurants in town.
Day 1: Atlanta Favorites
If you've ever been to Dunwoody, chances are you've heard of Alon's Bakery & Market in the center of town, which is arguably one of the top places to eat in all of Atlanta. "Take your choice: It's a restaurant. It's a market. It's a place to hang out. Alon's has plenty of food, such as lump crab cakes or grilled salmon, to eat at a table inside, on its expansive patio or take out," notes a story in the local Atlanta Journal Constitution. Alon's has been a mainstay in this town for quite some time, and often lands on list like "best place in Atlanta to find picnic-perfect food" or "best place to find a culinary gift for a friend." It's the perfect place to start a Dunwoody culinary tour, because it shows you what's possible in this town. For breakfast you can order freshly made omelets, Danish pastries, croissants and a latte. Before you leave Atlanta, you'll likely come back to Alon's to grab a chocolate bar as a souvenir for you mom or best friend.
After a morning shopping and dining at Alon's, it's a quick hop over to the ever-popular Perimeter Mall for more shopping and dining. This is where you can find familiar favorites like The Cheesecake Factory and the high-end Capital Grille, but for lunch you should try Seasons 52, especially if you've not eaten there before. It's an upscale dining restaurant that isn't too pretentious and focuses on fresh, seasonal menus with delicious, hearty salads, soups and grilled fish.
The next stop on a culinary tour of Dunwoody should be a dessert detour for sinfully good cheesecake at Cafe Intermezzo. This bohemian spot makes a cozy place to lounge with your friends among the French decor at small round European tables. A large glass display tempts you with various cakes and pastries, and the cafe is known for its exceptional service.
For dinner, head to Eclipse di Luna, an Atlanta-area favorite that serves Spanish tapas and cocktails. Insider there are festive lantern lights and a large bar with glowing red lights. Order a selection of interesting tapas dishes like yucca fries, fried goat cheese, duck chili and steamy mussels to share, then head over to Vino Venue for a nightcap. Vino Venue is a relaxed and unassuming cool spot with self-serve wine tasting. When you go, you'll be given a pre-filled money card with the amount you wish to spend, and you can walk around to pour samples of red and white wines from machines that deliver samples in one-, three- or six-ounce pours. Small plates of cheese and other snacks are available on the menu to complement the wines. Vino Venue is also the home of the Atlanta Wine School, and an ongoing schedule of classes and special events aim to educate wine lovers about the art of their favorite drink.
Day 2: Eat and Drink
If you're staying at Le Meridien Atlanta Perimeter, start your day at the elegant yet rustic Portico Global Cuisine, the hotel's interior restaurant that's modern and welcoming at the same time. For breakfast, the restaurant has an impressive buffet loaded with gourmet sausages, eggs and toast, but it also has customized breakfast options like peach crepes and hearty omelets. Slow sip your latte on the restaurant's gorgeous outdoor patio.
After breakfast, it's time for an early lunch at E. 48th Street Market to try out the most authentic Italian sub outside of Tuscany. The market gives you a true mom-and-pop vibe, and you can purchase a little souvenir of homemade pickles to take home. Early afternoon calls for a stop at another Atlanta favorite- Tin Lizzy's Cantina- for ice-cold craft beers and margaritas (and of course chips with guacamole). Tin Lizzy's fish tacos are one of the most raved-about dishes in the Atlanta area, so share some with some friends as appetizers.
You're past the halfway mark on your Dunwoody culinary, so celebrate with a nice dinner at McKendrick's Steak House at Park Place. Reputed to be one of Dunwoody's best restaurants, McKendrick's is a high-end, gorgeous restaurant where steaks and seafood are king. After dinner, go for drinks to The Pub Perimeter, a cozy British laden with wooden furniture, United Kingdom flags and an impressive bar stocked with whiskey and beer. End day two of your tour with a sweet treat Novo Cucina, with its rustic interior inside a renovated warehouse. Order from the gelato bar or enjoy tiramisu on the restaurant's patio.
Day 3: Go All Out
It's your last day, so start it off right at Village Burger on Dunwoody Village Parkway for overloaded omelets and pancakes with a strawberry milkshake at one of the outdoor picnic tables. Make a brunch-time stop at Cafe Sababa to add a little "opa" in your life with authentic falafel balls with a side of hummus and babaganoush. Cafe Sababa is a happy little spot with sun-yellow walls and stone mosaics.
This is Georgia, so for lunch on your last day, you need something that's authentically Southern. Sage Woodfire Tavern by the Perimeter Mall is the place to get southern style shrimp n' grits or chicken stuffed with goat cheese. This restaurant is a great place to set up a lunch date to enjoy the snazzy atmosphere of neon lights and swanky blue bar. Complimentary large portions of bread are served pre-meals.
After Sage, drive five minutes north to Carbonara Trattoria for a laid-back, social setting to sip on imported wine and eat appetizers. Take advantage of the Trattoria's comfortable couches and order a cheese board plate to share some gourmet snacks with your friends. And order that glass of wine to celebrate your three-day foodie tour through Dunwoody.