OTP Dining: Where to eat while holiday shopping

Communal tables add to the casual and welcoming vibe at South Main Kitchen in Alpharetta. Photo credit: Alpharetta CVB

'Tis the season for holiday shopping and countless hours spent at the mall in search of the perfect gifts. If all that shopping works up your appetite, escape the fast-food options and food courts for these local restaurants just a quick drive from your favorite malls outside The Perimeter.

South Main Kitchen

An easy seven-minute drive from North Point Mall in Alpharetta, South Main Kitchen offers farm-to-table fare and a kitchen-inspired dining experience where you can relax after a hectic day of gift hunting. Located in the heart of Alpharetta's historic downtown district in a building built in 1902, the restaurant features a welcoming atmosphere with its open kitchen and communal seating, encouraging patrons to sit down and socialize over a meal. Swing by for lunch and try the club sandwich with candied bacon, or a comforting cup of sweet potato soup with charred marshmallow cream.

9 South Main St., Alpharetta, 678-691-4622, southmainkitchen.com

Alon’s Bakery & Market feels like a specialty market straight out of New York, offering prepared foods and specialty items made from scratch. Photo credit: Dunwoody CVB

Alon’s Bakery & Market

Right across the street from Perimeter Mall, Alon’s Bakery & Market feels like a specialty market straight out of New York. A smorgasbord of specialty food items made from scratch, Alon’s features artisan breads and more than 120 varieties of cheeses from around the globe, plus an extensive selection of European-style pastries, cookies and desserts. Prepared foods and gourmet sandwiches, including lunch boxes, make for a quick, easy meal.

4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road N.E., Atlanta, 678-397-1781, alons.com

Freight Kitchen & Tap

Hit up The Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta in Woodstock for some shopping deals and then drive five minutes to downtown Woodstock where dining options abound. Take the edge off at Freight Kitchen & Tap, where they mix craft cocktails , like a caramel apple mule made with local apple cider or a blackberry vanilla gin spritzer. After you’ve worked up your appetite, nosh on Southern fare favorites like spicy pimento cheese, chicken and waffles or shrimp and grits. The smoked brisket nachos with creamy gouda cheese sauce and fried green tomatoes make good choices if you’re not ready for a full meal.

251 E. Main St., Woodstock, 770-924-0144, freightkitchen.com

Breakers Korean BBQ's signature menu item of short ribs, served with starters, sauces and sides including kimchi, Miso soup with spinach, rice wrap, sweet radish wrap and rice. (Beckysteinphotography.com)

Breakers Korean Grill & Barbecue

Located right next to Gwinnett Place Mall, the nationally lauded Breakers Korean Grill & Barbecue is a good option for a hearty midday meal with lunch barbecue specials that come with rice, miso soup and sides in addition to the main grill-your-own-meat traditional Korean barbecue dishes like bulgogi (thin sliced ribeye marinated in sweet soy sauce), pork ribs and spicy chicken. Breakers also serves up a flavorful kimchi stew and naeng-myeon (sliced beef and veggies over cold noodles) if you’re not in the mood for barbecue. The modern, sleek interior makes for a chill respite from the mall madness right around the corner.

3505 Gwinnett Place Drive N.W., Duluth, 770-946-1000, breakersbbq.com


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About the Author

Ligaya Figueras
Ligaya Figueras
Ligaya Figueras joined the AJC as its food and dining editor in 2015.