200 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta. 212-933-0971, pokespot.com.
Bacon, Fig and Brie Tartine at Amelie's. As one might expect, the combination of solidly executed food, good coffee and fair prices at Amélie's results in a restaurant that is as busy as the industrial intersection beyond its large windows.
840 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-921-0276, ameliesfrenchbakery.com/atlanta.
Biscoff Cream Pie at Bar Margot. Interlacing flavors of banana, bourbon and its namesake cookies, the Biscoff Cream Pie at Bar Margot is understated, yet whimsical, subtle and fun.
75 14th St. NE, Atlanta. 404-881-5913, barmargotatl.com.
Blue Christmas at Miracle on Highland. One of the best dishes at Miracle on Highland is the somberly named Blue Christmas, which turns out to be an extremely well-executed crab cake.
240 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-681-4434, miraclebaratlanta.com.
Bo-Mi at Bun Mi. The various components filling the sandwich each have distinct characteristics that help them stand out from one another.
2277 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. 678-705-9156, bunmigrill.com.
Boerewors at The Whelan. It's just the sort of sandwich that you order again and again at your favorite neighborhood pub.
1133 Huff Road NW, Atlanta. 404-228-5164, thewhelan.com.
Campfire S'mores Concrete at Shake Shack. The s'mores flavor combination is a classic for a reason. And, the application of s'mores flavors in frozen custard is particularly nice in Atlanta, when crisp fall mornings sometimes give way to 80-plus-degree afternoons.
Shake Shack. 3035 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, 470-809-9201 and 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, 678-203-3385, shakeshack.com.
Cantaloupe Gazpacho at Souper Jenny. Herbaceous, and not overly sweet, it's the lunch equivalent of a nice, cool breeze on a screened porch.
Multiple locations. souperjennyatl.com.
Cheese Puffs at Sushi Itto. Nothing but a crispy coating of Panko breadcrumbs separates you from the melty, salty and sweet cream cheese filling.
2173 Briarcliff Rd NE, Atlanta. 404-633-3400, atlantasushiitto.com
Chimichangas at Bone Garden Cantina. The chimichangas at Bone Garden are not deep-fried, but any criticisms end there.
1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 404-418-9072. bonegardencantina.com.
Dat Ish Wrap from Tassili's Raw Reality. Worried that your veggies will be bland? This is one of the most intensely flavored wraps or burritos you'll find in Atlanta.
1059 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta. 404-343-6126, tassilisrawreality.com.
Elote Creamed Corn at DAS BBQ. If you think of creamed corn as the watery, bland side dish dumped from a can and sitting untouched on the cafeteria buffet, be prepared to have your eyes opened at this Westside smokehouse .
1203 Collier Road NW, Atlanta. 404-850-7373, dasbbq.com.
Empanada de Pollo at Loca Luna. Served one at a time, the empanada de pollo is the type of dish that gets ordered again with every successive round of tapas.
550 Amsterdam Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-875-4494, loca-luna.com.
Garganelli at Bocca Luppo. It's so good, in fact, that after having been taken off the menu for much of last year, frequent requests have finally brought it back.
753 Edgewood Ave. NE. Atlanta. 404-577-2332, boccalupoatl.com.
Kitchen Sink Burger at Terri's Cafe. On the Kitchen Sink Burger, the cheese-infused patty is loaded with a laundry list of classic toppings: American and provolone cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, a fried egg and shockingly crispy turkey bacon.
2478 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta. 404-343-4149, Facebook: Terri’s Cafe,
Kitchen Sink Pizza at Urban Pie. Urban Pie doesn't try to make pizza you've never seen before. Rather, it does a great job making the kind of classic pizza you crave.
2012 Hosea L. Williams Drive NE, Atlanta. 404-373-2778, urbanpiepizza.com.
L'Inimitable Gelato at Amorino. A rich gelato that expertly mimics the hazelnut and chocolate flavors of Nutella.
3035 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-228-3196, amorino.com.
Lamb Burgers at Botiwalla. These little slider-sized burgers, two to an order, practically crackle with electricity compared to typical lamb burger offerings.
675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta. 470-225-8963, botiwalla.com.
Lobster Chowder at Marcel. Served in a chalice-like bowl under a tall, architecturally impressive dome of puff pastry, the chowder really is a straightforward seafood stew. But, it's executed very well.
1170 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-665-4555, marcelatl.com.
Meatball Tagine at Marrakech Express. My recent lunch plate was lovely: tender, slow simmered beef meatballs cooked down with peppers and onions into a tomato-rich tagine spiced with a bewitching combination of Moroccan spices.
479-B Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta. 770-568-0548, marrakechexpressrestaurant.com.
Shrimp Remoulade at Bread and Butterfly. The shrimp remoulade at Bread & Butterfly is a perfect example of brunch done right. Fat shrimp, served cold, were nestled in a bed of fresh, crisp salad greens.
290 Elizabeth St. NE, Atlanta. 678-515-4536, bread-and-butterfly.com.
Spicy Dragon Toes at Six Feet Under. The end result certainly is spicy, but not likely to overwhelm those who enjoy spicy food.
437 Memorial Drive SE, Atlanta. 404-523-6664. 685 11th St., Atlanta. 404-810-0040. sixfeetunderatlanta.com.
Squash Pie from True Food Kitchen. The filling is smooth, wonderfully creamy butternut squash, scented with familiar holiday spices.
3393 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. 404-481-2980, truefoodkitchen.com/atlanta.
Squid Ink Spaghetti at La Tavola Trattoria. The elegant, delicious squid ink spaghetti tastes as exciting as it looks: zippy Thai basil pesto and Calabrian chiles add just the right amount of spice.
992 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-873-5430, latavolatrattoria.com.
Tom Ka Soup at Little Bangkok. While Little Bangkok's Tom Ka soup is tasty, no matter what, the best way to eat it is in the hotpot at the restaurant.
2225 Cheshire Bridge Road NE, Atlanta. 404-315-1530, littlebangkokatlanta.com.
Chili con Queso at The El Felix. Head to the El Felix for their chili con queso compuesto, a queso dip with all the fixings.
The Battery, 455 Legends Place SE, Atlanta, 770-675-6318 and Avalon, 1130 1st Street, Alpharetta. 678-248-5239, theelfelix.com.
Forbidden Rice at Flower Child. Forbidden Rice is a guiltless, flavorful and comforting dish. It's like a healthy, more expensive version of good takeout Asian food.
3400 Around Lenox Road, Atlanta. 678-668-2271; 6400 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs. 470-481-7850, iamaflowerchild.com.
Grateful Veg Sandwich at Peace Love and Pizza. The sandwich is deceptively simple, made with a familiar combination of Mediterranean ingredients.
12640 Crabapple Road, Milton. 706-810-8888, peaceloveandpizza.com.
Mirza Ghasemi at Rumi's Kitchen. Under-promised on the menu as "smoked eggplant, tomato, garlic," the restaurant over delivers.
6112 Roswell Road, Atlanta, 404-477-2100 and 7105 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta, 678-534-8855. rumiskitchen.com.
Pittsburger from Peach & the Porkchop. Atlanta long has been a city of incredible burgers, and the Pittsburgher measures up.
12040 Etris Road, Roswell. 770-696-5409, peachandtheporkchop.com.
Baltimore Pit Beef Sandwich at the Brake Pad. Whether or not this is strictly traditional, it does make for a very solid sandwich.
3403 Main St., College Park. 404-766-1515, brakepadatlanta.com.
Best Best Brisket Sandwich at Pit Boss BBQ. A mix of rough-chopped fatty and lean chunks – an assortment of just-done pink bits and crunchy, brown burnt nibs – spill out the confines of the bun.
856 Virginia Ave., Hapeville, 404-678-0036; and 6107 Highway 155 N., Stockbridge. 770-389-5125. Pitboss-bbq.com.
La Poutine de Georgia at The Imperial. The gravy is what puts the Imperial's poutine over the top. It's exactly the salty, greasy, oh-so-satisfying belly bomb that you hope it will be.
726 W. College Ave., Decatur. 404-464-5698, imperialdecatur.com.
Pani Puri from Chai Pani. As they are quickly and expertly served by Sridevi Bhonagiri, a Chai Pani cook who usually runs the pani puri station, guests can mingle, talk and eat.
406 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-378-4030, chaipanidecatur.com.
Papas con Chorizo de Puerco Pambazo at Tortas Factory del D.F. Of course, it's very messy, but very tasty. The spicy, salsa-dipped and griddled bread creates the effect of a sandwich that has been able to marinate for a while, though it still retains the benefits of a fresh sandwich.
5781 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-452-8470, Facebook page: Tortas Factory Del D.F.
Pork Sung Rolls at Sweet Hut. Instead of waiting for pork floss to appear at your local gastropub, go to the experts at Sweet Hut, who have served it on pork sung rolls for years.
Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe. Multiple locations. 678-650-8433, sweethutbakery.com.
Samosas at Cherians International Groceries. In the Cherians version, the crispy fried dough is wrapped around a spicy, fluffy filling of mashed potatoes and peas. Your DeKalb Farmers Market might beat Cherians in terms of samosa variety, but Cherians wins outright with perfect execution.
751 DeKalb Industrial Way, Building #4, Decatur. 404-299-0842, cherians.com.
Vegetable Hot Pot at J's Mini Hotpot Deluxe. The herbal broth was tasty, and supposedly packed with health benefits.
4897 Buford Highway NE, Chamblee. 770-458-8882, jsminihotpot.com.
Brown Stew Chicken at Rodney's Jamaican Soul Food. Brown stew chicken is a simply named, visually unlovely dish that seduces you, nonetheless.
2453 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna. 770-272-1956, rodneyscuisine.com.
Curried Goat at Tassa Roti Shop. This is the sort of food you serve to someone you care about very much.
224 Powers Ferry Road SE, Marietta, 770-977-3163 and 4005 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, 678-395-6748, tassarotishop.com.
Mofongo at Buen Provecho.He brought me a plate of mofongo: a heaping serving of green plantains, pork fat and oil mashed in a roughly bowl-like shape. On top, he piled strips of sautéed chicken, slivers of onions and peppers, and a rich sauce, redolent of garlic and spices. I scraped every last bite from the plate, lingering over the homey, satisfying flavors.
2468 Windy Hill Road, Marietta. 770-712-3188. Buenprovechorest.com.
Peppercorn-crusted kangaroo at Canoe. Australian chef Matt Basford of Canoe is doing his part to combat kangaroo overpopulation in his homeland by serving a kangaroo dish so tasty that you'll want to order seconds.
4199 Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. 770-432-2663, canoeatl.com.
Plantain Empanadas at Porvh Light Latin Kitchen. Bite into one of these frisky little empanadas and it will continue to subvert your expectations.
300 Village Green Circle SE, Smyrna. 678-309-9858, porchlightlatinkitchen.com.
Tostones Rellenos at 2 Sistas Soul Food. You can't go wrong with the tostones rellenos, adorable little cups made from fried plantains that are filled with your choice of beef, pork or chicken.
2148 S. Cobb Drive, Smyrna. 770-434-6500, 2sistassoulfood.com.
Chili Colorado at Agavero Cantina. The meat is served with plenty of extra sauce, which mixes beautifully with the rice and refried beans left over when you inevitably run out of tortillas.
4140 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn. 678-924-1970; 1133 Huff Road, Atlanta. 404-464-5250. luchadorgroup.com.
Falafel Wrap at Grecian Gyro. Grecian Gyro and its tasty, inexpensive falafel wrap provide a sorely needed reprieve from those omnipresent chains.
Multiple locations. greciangyro.com.