11 Best Asian Restaurants on Buford Highway (Right Now) near Atlanta, Georgia
Story and photos by Malika Bowling
Buford Highway stretches approximately two miles through Atlanta’s DeKalb County, Georgia, but its reputation as a hub of ethnic foods has a much more distant reach.
One of the most ethnically diverse regions in the U.S., Buford Highway is home to over 1,000 different immigrant-owned businesses—including restaurants that range from Korean barbecues to Vietnamese bakeries, Mexican taco joints to Bangladeshi curry houses, Spanish tapas bars to amazing farmers’ markets. It can be hard to know where to start.
For years these restaurants mainly catered to adventurous eaters. That’s changed as many have gained popularity with the average eater thanks to social media. Here are my picks as the best Asian eateries to try on Buford Highway.
While many restaurants on Buford Highway are not flashy, Food Terminal changed all that when it opened a few years ago. The ultra-modern space buzzes with energy. The huge menu—it is as thick as a magazine!—has mouth-watering pictures that make you want to order everything. The food is fusion here, you won’t find one specific kind of Asian fare, but you can’t go wrong ordering whatever piques your interest.
This small restaurant features delicious Malaysian street food and is the place to satisfy a noodle craving. Try the Hokkien Mee noodles (pork, shrimp and squid) or the Hainanese chicken noodles. Beef Rendang is quite tasty, too.
Forget waiting a couple hours for brunch at a trendy restaurant. Instead, head to Royal Pearl and fill up on delicious dim sum dishes. Soup buns are stellar. This place can draw a crowd on weekends; arrive by 11 a.m. to avoid them. Come hungry as there are many items on carts from which to choose.
Ming’s is where to get crispy duck. As you see these hanging in the window, you can almost taste the crispy skin giving way to a juicy flesh. Staffers will cut it up for you. Enjoy the glorious mess you will make at home enjoying it.
Laotian food on your bucket list? Find it here! Try the Laap, a traditional dish made with toasted rice powder, chili pepper flakes, lime juice, fish sauce, kaffir, and herbs.
At a “hot pot” restaurant tables are equipped with cooktops so you can mix and match ingredients as you please. Choose a meat (chicken, steak, pork) and a broth. Mix in your own combo of other items such as mushrooms, watercress, tofu, tofu skin, an egg, noodles, corn on the cob, and vermicelli noodles.
Tofu may get top billing, but don’t let the name fool you: Though it has more than a dozen types of tofu soups, there is so much more here to try. My recommendation: Bibimbap of Spicy Bulgogi.
Bright, bold colors engulf this restaurant featuring Thai Street food. Pork wontons and calamari in spicy dipping sauce are a super start to any meal. The prawn and noodle dish is Instagram-worthy, but don’t miss out on the Papaya salad and save room for mango sticky rice dessert.
If you’ve never had a Banh Mi, make a beeline here for a delicious lunch. Expect the best sub sandwich ever with a Vietnamese twist.
Craving some tasty Vietnamese? The interior of this restaurant may not blow you away, but the food sure will. This is some of the best Pho you can find in Atlanta. Also try the shredded pork rolls.
Woo Nam Jeong Stone Bowl House
Located in Seoul Plaza, this is known as the place for Bibimbap. Regulars also know to get the Nine Treasure plate (Gujeolpan), an assortment of small vegetable dishes. Another can’t miss dish is the steamed black pork belly with kimchi and oysters (Bo Ssam).
Plan A Trip
You can satisfy most any craving on Buford Highway. Before heading to any particular restaurant, however, make sure to check that it’s open as some spots keep odd hours.
Coming from a distance? Find a hotel on TripAdvisor.
Malika Bowling is the editor at Roamilicious.com and the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Atlanta. She’s been featured on HGTV and Huffington Post and has contributed to Beer Connoisseur, PureWow, and USA Today. Malika has also served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals including the World Food Championships. She loves hiking, exotic travels, and Negronis.