Atlanta has always had fantastic local food and drinks (we’re looking at you Coca-Cola) and every year more chefs and entrepreneurs create drinks, foods and condiments that bring culinary thrills to Atlantans and visitors alike. Here are some of our favorites.
DRINKS (ALCOHOLIC AND NON-ALCOHOLIC)
Kate Carter and Bess Weyandt (two admittedly “nutty women”) weren’t satisfied with the almond milk in supermarkets so they revved up their Vitamixes and blended their own plant-based milks. That was the start of Treehouse Milk, a company that proudly produces Georgia pecan milk, which the women say has more antioxidants and requires less water than almonds, as well as several other plant-based milks. Their products range from sweet Georgia pecan milk to chocolate pecan milk to cashew milk to various flavored almond milks. The milk is available in several Atlanta stores, and there is a home delivery service as well as a shipping option.
Golda Kombucha Tea
The tea is the brainchild of 95-year-old named Golda, who has been brewing her own kombucha for more than 40 years in her home. The family recipe, which has been handed down for generations, is a kombucha tea that is a probiotic drink known for aiding digestion and immune support while energizing the body and mind. The teas now are available in ready-to-drink cans and in dozens of restaurants, bars and grocers throughout the Southeast (including more than 100 Kroger supermarkets and several Whole Foods Markets).
Atlanta certainly has caught the craft beer craze and there are several breweries in town, many of which give tours and tastings. Among them are: SweetWater Brewery, Red Brick Brewery, Monday Night Brewing, Scofflaw Brewing Co., Wild Haven Beer, Max Lager’s, Second Self Beer, Steady Hand Beer Co., Orpheus Brewing, New Realm Brewing, Wrecking Bar Brewpub and Eventide Brewing.
Craft beer isn't the only adult beverage made in Atlanta; there are several distilleries as well. Among them are Old Fourth Distillery, American Spirit Whiskey and Urban Tree Cider.
This cold-pressed juice company uses organic ingredients crafted so that each juice, almond milk and elixir shot is more like a health tonic than a drink. Hand bottled in Serenbe, which is south of Atlanta, customers can opt for home delivery in Atlanta or buy it at various farmers markets.
Chop Shop is Atlanta’s first butcher- and farmer-owned high-end retail store offering heritage and artisan meats, farm fresh produce, hand-crafted cheeses, heritage grains and a wide variety of specialty provisions. Located on Memorial Drive in Atlanta’s Edgewood neighborhood, Chop Shop offers hand-crafted charcuterie and artisan sausages as well as fresh cuts of humanely raised pork, beef, poultry and lamb. The store also offers its signature Bacon Jam, spices, brines, hot honey mustard, pork rillettes, chicken liver pâté and cheeses.
Famed Atlanta Chef Kevin Gillespie and his team know how critical finishing touches are to making a dish stand out, so they created Gunpowder Finishing Salt. Handcrafted in Atlanta by Beautiful Briny Sea, the blend includes Hawaiian volcanic salt with chipotle, black pepper, garlic, onion and sumac. The tangy spice mix, which retails for $15, has a mineral-clean finish with smoky residual heat. Put it on grilled meats, fried foods and barbecue to assure that your family will be back for seconds.
The Spotted Trotter
Spotted Trotter chef Kevin Ouzts offers a variety of dried salumi, fresh sausage and smoked sausages, meaty treats such as jerky and pancetta, and crepinettes.
A Haute Cookie
Find this boutique a few blocks from Zoo Atlanta in Grant Park's The Beacon complex. Owner Shiana White offers a line of cookie sweets that include creative ice cream sandwiches, safe-to-eat raw cookie dough, shakes, brownie cookie dough bars and freshly baked cookies. She also offers vegan and gluten-free options.
Beautiful Briny Sea
This Old Fourth Ward company sells small-batch salt blends, sugars and other culinary products. Restaurateur Suzi Sheffield started the business in 2011 and the product line has expanded to 12 salt batches, including Santa sea salt, rosemary sea salt and Hot Steve sea salt, as well as cane sugar blends such as Mexican chocolate sugar, orange chili sugar and hot orange.
Georgia is famed for its peanuts so Jaime Foster took her grandfather’s recipe and launched Georgia Grinders, which makes high quality, natural nut butters with no GMOs. The butters (which include almond, peanut, pecan, cashew and hazelnut) are available in local grocery stores and farmer’s markets.
ICE CREAM AND FROZEN TREATS
King of Pops
King of Pops, under its signature rainbow umbrella, revised a love of frozen pops in Atlanta. Chocolate sea salt anyone? White chocolate peppermint?
Morelli’s Ice Cream
Morelli's fame goes beyond Atlanta. It regularly gets named as among the best ice cream in the country-and for good reason. Located in East Atlanta, the store’s ice cream is thick, creamy and comes in a variety of flavors, some of which are a bit, well, different. We’re talking about sweet corn, oatmeal cream pie, East Indian Kulfi, coconut jalapeño and ginger lavender. You’ll probably have to stand in line, but it’s worth it.
Queen of Cream
Located in Inman Park, the Queen's ice cream is made entirely from scratch and in small batches to ensure that every bite is as good as possible. Cora Cotrim and Davis Sandling started out with one ice cream cart in 2014 and their store now serves coffee and pastries.
Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications.