Food stalls are popular in Atlanta these days. Check Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market for some of the city's newest food stalls, and return to both places when you have out-of-town guests.
Though there are several high-end restaurants at Krog Street (The Cockentrice, Luminary and Craft Izakaya), there also is plenty of terrific food from the many food stalls like Gu's Dumpling, Yalla and Fred's Meat and Bread. Grab your food from one of the vendors and sit at one of the many picnic tables. What's nice is that the seating area is adjacent to Hop City where you can have drink at the bar, and, if you enjoy it, just slip inside the store to pick up the beverage in the bottle to take home. Krog Street Market
is just steps away from the Atlanta BeltLine. Stroll the BeltLine when the weather permits–it's a fun way to show off some of Atlanta's neighborhoods to guests.
Ponce City Market occupies the largest brick building in the Southeast, a structure with a rich history. In 1926, Sears, Roebuck and Co. set up there and stayed until 1990 when it sold the building to the city. For a brief amount of time the occupant was City Hall East. The building was sold to a private company in 2010. Unlike Krog Street Market, you can live at Ponce City Market . Lofts sport exposed brick walls, concrete floors and original steel windows.
Besides high-end retailers like the Frye Company, there are a myriad of restaurants, and Ponce City Market did an outstanding job of attracting notable chefs from around the Southeast. Sean Brock of Charleston's Husk opened Minero, a Tex-Mex spot. Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia opened W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, and despite the name it is not the shack it sounds like it would be. Also, Linton Hopkins of Holeman and Finch opened Hop's Chicken. Coming soon is South African Biltong Bar and Chai Pani's skewered meats spot, Boti. There's also 18.21 Bitters, a store dedicated to cocktail accoutrements and Strippaggio where you can purchase olive oils and vinegars.
With a vast amount of history, a variety of restaurants and people-watching galore, you can keep yourself or your guests occupied for hours at these markets.
Malika Bowling is the author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta, Food Blogging 101 and founder of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She has been a contributing writer to USA Today and has been featured on HGTV, Huffington Post and About.com. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. She is the President of the Association of Food Bloggers and her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes.