Vegan bodega opens at Ponce City Market and more dining news from the week

LaRayia's Bodega is opening at Ponce City Market. / Courtesy of LaRayia's Bodega
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LaRayia's Bodega is opening at Ponce City Market. / Courtesy of LaRayia's Bodega

Organic and vegan LaRayia’s Bodega opened Dec. 3 on the first floor of Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE in Atlanta.

The shop’s first location outside of Los Angeles is a counter-service grab-and-go operation serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with Caribbean and Puerto Rican influences. The menu includes overnight oats and parfaits, Jamaican jerk jackfruit tacos with mango salsa, vegan ceviche, chili, cornbread and collard greens. It also offers specials, including soups and salads of the day featuring seasonal produce.

Drinks include juices, lemonades and teas like Black Girl Magic Lemonade with activated charcoal and Moon Tea, LaRayia’s spin on a vegan chai tea.

The bright space features design elements like leopard print grocery bags, neon signs and original paintings from founder LaRayia Gaston.

Gaston, who directed the documentary “43 Days on Skid Row,” opened LaRayia’s Bodega in 2019. After her experience living on Skid Row for the film, she founded nonprofit Love Without Reason. The group runs Lunch On Me, which serves 10,000 organic meals six days a week to people on Skid Row; In Atlanta, the nonprofit will hand out free vegan food at Woodruff Park every Friday.

LaRayia’s Bodega will be open 9 am.-7 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays.

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The interior of Boarding Pass Coffee. / Courtesy of Boarding Pass Coffee

Credit: Boarding Pass Coffee

The interior of Boarding Pass Coffee. /  Courtesy of Boarding Pass Coffee
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The interior of Boarding Pass Coffee. / Courtesy of Boarding Pass Coffee

Credit: Boarding Pass Coffee

Credit: Boarding Pass Coffee

Boarding Pass Coffee has opened its flagship roastery and tasting room at 13695 Highway 9 in Milton. The business offers coffee beans from international destinations roasted onsite, and customers can collect “visa stamp” stickers in a Boarding Pass Coffee “passport.”

Owners Murilo and Christine Santos, who started selling their coffee beans online and at metro Atlanta farmers markets in 2020, chose the name Boarding Pass as a nod to the more than 100 countries they have visited. The most popular roasts at Boarding Pass come from beans grown at Murilo’s family coffee farm in Brazil, which is still run by his brother.

In addition to selling coffee beans, Boarding pass offers in-store and virtual coffee tastings as well as a monthly coffee club.

Hours are 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.

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Whitney Wood has been named the culinary director for Recess, the health-focused restaurant from Castellucci Hospitality Group with an outpost at Krog Street Market and another to debut soon in Buckhead.

Wood worked as an air traffic controller for the United States Air Force before entering the food and beverage industry. She worked in the kitchens at Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, Hillstone Restaurant Group, the Hotel at Avalon and True Food Kitchen before joining Recess.

She plans additions to the Recess menu including the Winter is Coming salad with kale, basil leaves, chili vinegar, roasted butternut squash and brussels, farro, fresh pomegranate, golden raisins and parmesan crisp.

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Seaside Oyster Bar has opened at 3890 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in Suwanee. The menu offers a variety of seafood dishes, sandwiches and cocktails.

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Itala Pizza has opened at 11720 Medlock Bridge Road in Duluth. The menu includes a selection of pizzas, salads and desserts.

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Bottega Benne, which specializes in meat and cheese boards, has closed its stall at Irwin Street Market, Eater Atlanta reports.

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North Carolina-based Peruvian chicken restaurant Viva Chicken is set to open its first Georgia location in 2022 at 1125 Ernest Barrett Pkwy in Kennesaw, Tomorrow’s News Today reports.

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Restaurant and catering kitchen the Neon Leaf is set to open at 2695 Browns Mill Road SE in Atlanta, What Now Atlanta reports. The business comes from Bea Lewis, who also owns food delivery service Atlanta Meal Prep and is slated to open Concept in Summerhill.

More dining news

The Greek opens in Brookhaven

Pielands opens Dec. 6 in Virginia-Highland

Ford Fry’s JCT Kitchen closing this month

Alici oyster bar opening in Midtown

Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken opens in Ponce City Market

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