Victory sandwich serves slider-sized sandwiches for one of the cheapest price tags in town (most are under $4). Try the Hambo with prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, balsamic and apple or the Castro, the restaurant's take on a Cuban sandwich. Sandwiches are mini-sized, so you'll either want to order two, or grab a side salad to finish up your meal. The industrial chic interiors are part of the charm, so if you can, stick around to eat. If it's packed, don't discount eating at the bar. It's a beautiful perch for watching the hipster staff in action--and admiring the restaurant's selection of craft brews and Jack-and-Coke slushie machines. Besides great sandwiches, the restaurant / bar has a fabulous patio for warm, sunny days.
Recommended for Lunch because: Experience a cool in-town vibe and a delicious sandwich for $4!
Kelly's expert tip: While there is a parking lot next door (in the lot shared by Raging Burrito), note that they do not validate. You're better off doing street parking if you're going for lunch.
Kirkwood's local French-inspired cafe, "the little market," is a big favorite in this in-town neighborhood. Open for breakfast and lunch the family-owned restaurant serves sandwiches, paninis and salads with a side of Southern hospitality. Recently relocated to a larger address (across the street from its former digs), the space brims with fanciful decor. On top of the food, the shop also peddles local jams, gourmet food and odds-and-ends. Must-try dishes include the basil, chicken and pesto sandwich (with chicken breast, fresh basil, housemade basil pesto, tomato, feta and provolone)and the famous Chinese chicken salad (with marinated chicken breast, leaf lettuce, scallions, almonds, black sesame and sesame dressing). Catering is also available.
Recommended for Lunch because: Family owned and community centered, you just feel like you're home when you pull up to the counter.
Kelly's expert tip: Besides the food, it's the perfect place to pick up a thoughtful gift for a foodie friend, or as a hostess gift before a dinner party.
Modern white interiors and expansive windows lend to the breezy allure of pristine Bocado. Located on the Westside, it's home to one of the city's best burgers and an expansive menu to boot. Healthful, ingredient-driven dishes make this a popular spot for businessmen and ladies who lunch seeking a thoughtful, foodie alternative to fast food. A patio in the back is well-suited to a leisurely lunch, though the spacious interiors are welcoming as well. Besides the double-stacked burger, you'll find a respectable array of salads, sandwiches and soups brimming with fresh produce. The quinoa salad with creme fraiche, cucumber, radish, cilantro, cranberry beans and avocado is particularly good, as are the snack plate (party nuts, olives, pimento cheese, toast) and deviled eggs.
Recommended for Lunch because: Enjoy thoughtful salads and carnivorous sandwiches packed with fresh, local ingredients.
Kelly's expert tip: Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to find parking. Spots out front are limited, so you'll need to seek a space on side streets, which can be tricky given the fact that popular Octane coffee is right across the street.
Get the New York Jewish deli experience at Emory Point. Boasting gleaming white environs with subway tiles and big windows, the light-filled space is a friendly one. It attracts a wide clientele with Emory and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within throwing distance of the restaurant. Though, it's popular with business lunchers, friends and family too. It's easy to see why when you look at the menu: comfort food rules. It's a three-way tie between the roasted turkey sandwich (portabella mushrooms, lemon creme fraiche, arugula and gruyere), the reuben (made the good old-fashioned way, but somehow, the best we've ever had) and the chicken club (chicken salad with crispy pastrami, gruyere and potato chips... brilliant). Try 'em all at some point.
Recommended for Lunch because: The quality of the food, combined with the excellent service and beautiful environment give this a regular space in our lunch rotation.
Kelly's expert tip: It's worth noting that these sandwiches are enormous. But they're good leftover, so take that other half to go!
Star Provisions has been pleasing its patrons for years. This is the spot to visit if you are searching for hard to find meats, cheeses and breads. The prices are a bit on the high side, but expect quality goods. For lunch, order the prosciutto sandwich served with butter and Parmesan on a crusty baguette. Simplicity makes this sandwich sing! They also sell gadgets, dishes and kitchenware as well as gourmet foodie items for your pantry. Do save room for dessert as they have delectable treats you'll want to savor and take home to share with your friends. Similar praises can be given to the expansive cheese selection. Take a look.
Recommended for Lunch because: This local gourmet grocery is a happenin' space come lunch time. Go for coffee, baked goods, a range of salads, sandwiches and people watching.
Kelly's expert tip: Give yourself some extra time to explore the shop. You may just walk away with goods for dinner as well!
The beloved local burrito stand got its start in Sweet Auburn Curb Market (where it still stands), but now has a brick-and-mortar location in the Midtown/South Buckhead area, too. It's a simple menu dedicated to quality ingredients and massive build-your-own burritos. Order your protein base (bean, green chiles, potato, broccoli, chicken, pork, steak or shrimp) which comes with rice, beans, melted jack cheese and salsa fresca, then add on until you're content. Get crafty, or feel free to ask the servers what's good--they'll steer you right. Tacos, salads, quesadillas and nachos are also on the menu. Pair it with a Mexican Coke. You've got the recipe for instant happiness.
Recommended for Lunch because: It's filling, delicious and near legendary. You've gotta try it.
Kelly's expert tip: Arrive hungry. These are super-sized burritos.
Although there are other locations at Emory, Georgia Tech and in Buckhead and Midtown, the original in Old Fourth Ward remains a popular hub for weekday (and weekend) lunchers. The curried chicken salad is a customer favorite, as are the vibrant salads. Most soups, salads and sandwiches on the menu are under $10. The staff is friendly and courteous. Waits for tables can be very long on weekends. Many like to bring their dogs and sit on the patio. Don't have time to sit down? Get something from the bakery to go. There are lots of options for vegetarians too.
Recommended for Lunch because: This cute neighborhood bakery lends itself to a quick, affordable, local lunch.
Kelly's expert tip: If it's not too busy, eat at the restaurant. Otherwise, grab your food to go and make a picnic out of it!
Yes, there is always a line. That's because Taqueria del Sol is always good, regardless of date or time. Don't let the wait discourage you--management keeps the crowds moving. Tacos, margaritas, queso, enchiladas and some amazing shrimp corn chowder are the items to get. We're impartial to the Memphis taco (chopped smoked pork with spicy jalapeno coleslaw and tequila BBQ sauce)and the shredded beef brisket taco served with pico de gallo. Specials are daily occurrences. If the fried chicken happens to be the special, even if you're leaning toward Mexican food. Get it. It's truly delicious stuff that you won't see coming.
Recommended for Lunch because: Get tasty, local Mexican fare that's consistently good and always affordable.
Kelly's expert tip: If you're in a huge hurry, call in your order in advance and pick it up at the bar. Or, if you're ordering four items or less, you can walk straight up to the bar and order your food to go--you'll be out of there quick!
Housed within a space with rustic, industrial-chic stylings (the restaurant has locations in Decatur, Dunwoody, Buckhead and Asheville, N.C.), the burger concept sets itself apart from other fast-to-order restaurants not just by its design but by its ingredient-driven menu. While you can order from a numbered list of Blackboard Burgers (get the No. 1), you can also opt to build your own by selecting a patty choice (quinoa, chicken or beef), a regular or gluten-free bun, and then topping it with a range of typical and more unusual (think bone marrow) options. Sides are awesome (looking at you, sweet potato fries). The restaurant also happens to offer one of the best lunch salads in the city--(the market salad changes daily, get it with the goddess dressing). Burgers start at $6.75.
Recommended for Lunch because: It's family-friendly, supports local farms, serves the freshest meat and veggies possible, plus it's affordable. And, the burgers are darn good.
Kelly's expert tip: Your instincts will be to add too many flavors. Don't do that. Ask for advice when ordering at the counter.