10 Best Restaurants in Atlanta to Stretch Your Dollar
Trying to pin down words like frugal, value, and deal can be exasperating because different people have different ideas of cost savings. For 10Best, the range is broad - we include impossibly cheap eateries with amazing menus, and we share really nice restaurants that are white tablecloth like La Tavola, picked for it's $10 Monday night pasta special.
If sandwiches are you thing, you'll want to head to Victory Sandwich or Toscano and Sons for the their delectable sandwiches. These are made from high quality ingredients and served on small, tasty buns. Order a couple and the price won't set you back much.
If you are a fan of Mexican or Latin foods, you are in luck, because we've got serveral on this list of 10 best value restaurants. Check out La Fonda Latina, Taqueria del Sol or Elmyr. All have outstanding food that is high on quality yet easy on the wallet. And for something quite out of the ordinary, visit Hankook Taqueria, which blends Mexican and Korean foods.
What would a top ten list be without a diner on it? The Thumb's Up Diner is one of the hot spots for a cheap breakfast and brunch. But they also have incredible lunch options too. Don't fret, as breakfast is served all day!
El Myr has achieved almost mythological status in Little Five Points as one of the most lively and reliable sources for Mexican cuisine. This endearingly-seedy establishment emphasizes creative takes on traditional Mexican dishes, like the potato, corn and black olive burrito or the Pad Thai burrito, as well as strong drinks. The tequila selection here is delightfully mind-boggling: just name a drink, and the bartenders are sure to be able to mix it. Prices for food are incredibly inexpensive and the prices for beer is inexpensive as well. They do lots of take out orders if you don't want to eat there. (404-588-0250)
An open kitchen and soft lighting add further character to this cozy Virginia Highland restaurant, which is often filled to capacity with loyal regulars. The fantastic Italian cuisine, features delicious salads like beets with apple and a delightful mussels appetizer. Pastas are fantastic with unique items like boar, bone marrow and rabbit sausage. Standout entrees include pork saltimbocca, and seared Georgia trout. The olive oil cake makes for an interesting dessert. Locals know to visit here for brunch and get in easily without a long wait, instead of that other crowded restaurant across the street. The outdoor patio is popular during warm weather. (404-873-5430)
Toscano and Sons Italian Market
Located on the hip Westside of theToscano and Sons serves up some delicious sandwiches full of Italian meats. The sandwiches are not like your average deli in size, but are on the small side. That's how they keep the prices around $4. If you are hungry you could easily eat two. These sandwiches or pressed paninis includee: the Toscano with soppressata, fontina, arugula and the Porchetta made with pork and fontina cheese. Of course there's more traditional sandwiches like the Caprese or the Manzo, made with roast beef and horseradish. After you are done with your sandwich stay and shop for those traditional Italian items you've been meaning stock up on. (404-815-8383)
Pleasant, inviting and relaxing, this traditional Bangladeshi restaurant is located in a most unlikely setting -- a shopping strip off busy Buford Highway. Don't let the setting dissuade your visit, though, because they serve some of the tastiest fare this side of Dhaka. Dishes seem to explode with exotic aromas and flavors, as seen in tandoori lamb with ginger, Biriyani specialties with baashmatee rice and mixed vegetables, and spicy chicken vindaloo with aloo. A word to the wise: if you plan on enjoying wine with your meal, stop by the store first -- Panahar maintains a BYOB policy. Great for groups. (404-633-6655)
Hankook Taqueria features an interesting, delicious blend of Korean and Mexican food, and local connoisseurs love this eatery on the westside for its warm, casual atmosphere and one-of-a-kind tacos. No table service is found here - order at the counter and food is delivered to your table. The menu is pretty simple at Hankook. Choices are tacos, burritos (standard chicken, beef, pork, fish, tofu, shrimp) and what they like to call "Street Snacks" which are really what most would consider appetizers. These "Street Snacks" are spicy pork sliders, tempura fried sweet potatoes, fried dumplings and a firedog -- spicy hot dog with kimchee. Standout tacos are the calamari and the beef brisket. Don't miss the tempura fried Korean sweet potatoes. You'll soon see why this top-notch taqueria was featured on the Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate" in 2010. (404-352-8881)
Hidden away in Atlanta's Inman Park, this quirky diner attracts weekend breakfast crowds from all over Atlanta with homemade pancakes and biscuits and jellies, which pose tough alternatives to equally tasty scrambles and three-egg omelets. If you're a late-riser, don't fret -- they serve breakfast throughout the day, and lunchtime offerings are also superbly done. Menu highlights are the french toast made with Challah and the Sassy Scramble. Chicken and waffles are on the menu as well. Really hungry? Get The Heap, a skillet breakfast with home fries, eggs, cheese and extra add ins of your choice. Be warned, waits can be very long on weekends. (404-223-0690)
La Fonda Latina
Treat yourself to some tantalizing Mexican food when you stop by La Fonda Latina. Pitchers of mojitos litter the landscape here in endless profusion, in equal parts because of their tastiness and reasonable price. After you've had time to enjoy chips and salsa, choose from a wide variety of sumptuous menu options. The paella is delightfully authentic, and the vegetarian version of this dish is surprisingly delicious. One of the best menu items, however, is the beef enchiladas. It is topped with cilantro and a slightly sweet red sauce. Quesadillas and the Cuban Sandwich are good choices as well. Try to sit on the patio if possible. (404-607-0665)
Victory sandwich serves slider sized sandwiches, and most are less than $5. Try the Hambo with prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, with balsamic and apple or the Castro, made which is similar to a Cuban sandwich. As the sandwiches are rather small, you'll need two to get full, but this is still very reasonable. Besides great sandwiches, the restaurant / bar has a fabulous patio for warm, sunny days. Indoors is inviting as well with a ping pong table as well as the old movies projected on to the wall of the restaurants. Make your meal boozy with their jack and coke slushies. (404-377-9300)
Taqueria del Sol
The line out the door of people waiting to eat here is evidence of how popular this is. Taqueria del Sol serves quick and easy Southwestern food that is so good you'll be convinced the cashier under-charged you. Made-to-order fare is prepared right at the counter, and you can have your taco stuffed with tasty ingredients like chopped smoked pork, tilapia rolled in corn masa, or chicken breast with lime jalape?o mayonnaise. Heartier appetites can go for one or two beef brisket enchiladas and, perhaps, a side of Mexican rice, turnip greens or jalape?o coleslaw. Don't miss the shrimp corn soup either. (404-352-5811)
Many restaurants come and go in Atlanta, but Eats has prevailed with its reasonable prices and diverse cuisine. On the menu you'll find barbecue chicken, pastas, and lots of meats and vegetables to choose from as well. If you are looking for a posh, trendy spot Eats is not it, but what they lack in decor, they make up for with all of their tasty dishes to be found on the lengthy menu. Add to that the fun eighties music they crank out and you are in for a fun time. Parking can be hard to come by, so best to go at off peak times. (404-888-9149)
About Malika Harricharan
Malika is the Author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta. With a background in marketing, Maika's passion is Writing and Social Media Marketing and she works for various clients in Atlanta. Malika also seeks Atlanta's hidden gems, writing about them on her Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She believes that an exceptional meal can be found at a hole-in-the-wall joint, as well as in a swanky building. Exotic travel is also important to our Atlanta expert, who wants to see the whole world. “There are so many great experiences and so much we can all learn from different cultures,” she says.
Read more about Malika Harricharan here.