The 9 Best Places to Get Empanadas in Atlanta

Go on, celebrate National Empanada Day. You know you want to.
  • Can't decide? You can get a trio of empanadas at Tacos & Tequilas: brisket, chicken and mushroom.
    Can't decide? You can get a trio of empanadas at Tacos & Tequilas: brisket, chicken and mushroom.
  • Delicious empanadas like the chicken, chorizo and mole or the ground beef with olives await at Calle Latina.
    Delicious empanadas like the chicken, chorizo and mole or the ground beef with olives await at Calle Latina.
  • It's worth the drive to Smyrna for these plantain empanadas at Porch Light Latin Kitchen
    It's worth the drive to Smyrna for these plantain empanadas at Porch Light Latin Kitchen

How can you make deep-fried dough any better? Stuff it with savory meats, cheeses and spices, of course. And that’s just what an empanada is. This Latin street food has become so popular that many restaurants have put it on their menus. Whether you became interested during National Empanada Day (April 8) or you're looking ahead to Cinco de Mayo, choose from our list of the best empanadas in Atlanta:

  1. Alma Cocina – Oh, think you can’t get a sophisticated Latin dish in the heart of downtown? Then you haven’t been to Alma. The vibrant atmosphere is matched by the creative dishes. The empanada is served with a house-made sauce.

  2. Calle Latina – This Decatur spot is right off the square. The large, crisp empanadas are quite filling , so be careful if you intend to eat an entrée after having one. My favorite? The crab, but olive lovers will enjoy the ground beef and olive empanada. The chicken/chorizo with green mole sauce is excellent as well.

  3. Eclipse di Luna - This festive tapas spot is sure to start your night on the town off right. Skip wine and opt for sangria. You'll want to place several orders of empanadas if you've got a group, because they will be gobbled up quickly. 

  4. Iberian Pig – There are all kinds of meats in empanadas, but you’ve probably never tried a rabbit empanada. These are a signature item at Decatur’s Iberian Pig. The serrano-braised rabbit is served with a salsa verde and cumin crème fraiche. You’ll want to take a group of friends with you here, as this is just one of many dishes you’ll want to try, and everything is meant for sharing.

  5. Porch Light Latin Kitchen – Not all empanadas are created equal. Sure, many restaurants get creative and change up the fillings, but what about the ones that change the outside shell? Yep, at Porch Light they sub plantains for the dough. It’s a genius idea. And the taste? Well just go find out for yourself.

  6. Rreal Tacos - The Empanada de Trompo is a must when you visit. You’ll see the trompo (or pork) roasting on a skewer as you enter the restaurant. This delicious meat is what fills the empanada. Wash it all down with one of the signature drinks like tamarind or a horchata.

  7. Smokebelly - While this Buckhead restaurant is known for incredible 'cue, that doesn’t mean the experts there can’t appreciate foods from other lands, too. The smoked brisket and sofrito empanadas are quite tasty and are served with chipotle dipping sauce. Yum. 

  8. Tacos and Tequilas – Located in Buckhead, with another location in Midtown, Tacos and Tequilas is a more upscale establishment than your typical Mexican restaurant. The lovely interior has comfy booths and an enclosed patio that can be enjoyed year-round. Both the chicken or beef empanadas are  spectacular. Wash it all down with a jalapeno margarita. 

  9. TWO Urban Licks - Stuffed with juicy brisket, the delectable fried pockets of goodness at TWO Urban Licks are topped with feta and a light garlic cream sauce. 

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. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram

 

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