10 Latinx-Owned Restaurants In Atlanta You Should KnowThis list includes a new vegan hotspot, a sandwich bar from a celebrity chef, a decades-old Cuban food shop, and other Latinx-owned restaurants.
The Latin American communities of Atlanta are a big reason why eating in this city is so great. Whether you want to grab a crispy cubano before a flight or feel like eating a bowl of mofongo while you watch the big game, these are the staple Latinx-owned restaurants you should check out.
Late hours and rotating DJs turn this Westside restaurant into one of the best rooftop scenes in the city. But if you want to hear your date talk, you can start things off in their chic, dimly lit interior. No matter which seat you choose, though, Palo Santo is one of those places where the food is as enjoyable as the vibe. Palo Santo's menu blends Japanese and Mexican cuisines with wood-smoked flavors. The concept is perfectly represented with their hamachi tostada—the mix of dry miso, burnt avocado, and charred serrano yuzu mayo make this one of our favorite dishes.
Finding a sleek and stylish restaurant in Midtown isn’t really a surprise, but there’s something particularly charming about El Valle. From the intricate black and white star-patterned floor to the emerald chairs, the Mexican restaurant dials up the gloss and dims down the lights. Toss back a Bonita y Mentirosa, a crisp and fresh tequila cocktail. Then decide between the light but flavorful risotto with scallops or the Mole de Ajo Negro, which reminds us of one of those generations-perfected family pot roast recipes. If an entree seems too heavy before you sit through a two-hour production at the Fox Theatre, their tacos are excellent substitutes. And since they're open late, roll in for another cocktail after the show, too.
Since the menu at this pop-up-turned-colorful-Virginia-Highland-space is inspired by the chef’s childhood in coastal Peru, you’ll tear into full-flavor seafood-based dishes like Tiradito, Pulpo Anticuchero, and ceviche. But seafood isn’t the only standout at Tio Lucho's. The Lomo Saltado is our favorite thing on the menu since it combines fries with tender beef chunks and gravy. We often come on a date night to sip piscos or with a multigen crew, when we can order a bunch of things to pass around the table.
The first thing that will catch your eye is the shelves stacked with agave spirits, many of them small family-owned brands. But there's a trio of colorful agua frescas that will invite you to put those tequilas to the test. And while we could play all day in Patria Cocina's choices from their extensive drink menu, we really enjoy the food here, too. Their menu of Mexican classics like sopes and carne asada are some of the tastiest in the city and come well dressed with bright sauces and vegetable garnishes. The Grant Park hub always packs a full house with families and friend meetups.
Instead of fighting Buckhead rush hour, make your way to CT Reforma’s wrap-around rooftop patio. As you sip margaritas (offered in nearly any flavor you can think of) and dunk tortillas chips into four different complimentary salsas, you might feel aristocratically smug, peering down on the unfortunate souls in backed-up traffic. With stellar items like asada fries drenched in queso and topped with shredded beef, hardship will seem (literally and figuratively) beneath you. Come during an early weekday dinner, when you’ll have the entire patio to yourself. Just know this popular Mexican restaurant comes alive in the evenings with scene-seekers and upbeat music and with the soundtrack of chatter and family crowds on weekends.
Havana Sandwich Shop makes the best cubans in the city. Serving as an archive of their 45-plus years in business, the dining area’s yellow walls are plastered with articles about the restaurant’s successes and family photos. They’ve weathered a fire, changed locations multiple times (they’re now back at their OG space on Buford Highway), and survived the pandemic—all while keeping the restaurant family-owned. And while much has changed, their reliability hasn’t. The cuban, stuffed with tender ham and tangy pickles, still tastes like it came from the hands of the family’s patriarch. At lunchtime, the place is crawling with regulars devouring world-class empanadas (chicken/cheese/jalapeño is our fave) with black beans and rice. But the cubano is listed as No.1 on the menu for a reason.
La Semilla began as Happy Seed (a small pop-up) that kept growing in popularity until it blossomed into a full brick-and-mortar location with a new name. With a menu that features only plant-based ingredients and a dining area stuffed with actual plants, this Reynoldstown spot creates an oasis for vegans. The legendary Crunchwrap from their pop-up days is still on the menu and easily upstages its Taco Bell inspiration. But the expanded menu of Latin-inspired dishes makes room for other new favorites like the chochoyotes with dense fried masa balls doused in a fresh coconut-corn broth. Even if you’re an omnivore, there’s plenty to love about this lively, bright space and plenty of dishes that didn’t make us miss meat at all.
With a 20-year presence and five metro Atlanta locations, Papi’s is a go-to for Cuban cuisine. And we have special love for their airport venue in Terminal T, which welcomes us with open arms (and a bar) as soon as we’re past security. The specialty cocktails fill up an entire page of the menu, so when you’re in the mood for a drink that tastes like it should have a mini umbrella in it, this is your spot. Order their cheesy cuban on crusty bread with tangy pickles, then snag a window seat overlooking the domestic terminal drop-off and high five yourself for avoiding that mess by taking MARTA.
If the exposed brick walls, foliage-draped bar, and Sofía Reyes tunes don’t transport you to a cantina in central Mexico, this Summerhill taqueria’s take on the region’s cuisine just might. Enjoy a tidy menu of fundamental (ribeye tacos on hand-pressed corn tortillas) and fun dishes (crema de frijol—a pasty, black bean dip that works well) from the colorful dining room or one of the outdoor fire pit tables. No matter your seat, fluffy churros make any meal at D Boca N Boca complete.
With a celebrated chef at the helm (El Burro Pollo, the former Pura Vida), El Super Pan whips up some of the tastiest Puerto Rican food in the city. This popular sandwich bar has a stall in Ponce City Market, but we prefer the more spacious Battery location. Here, old metal chairs, Edison light bulbs, and large hanging plant baskets dotting the ceiling provide a relaxing backdrop to enjoy a sandwich or bowl of mufango with beef ropa vieja. We can always find an empty seat in one of three bars—two inside and one outside. With plenty of TVs and a massive projector screen that encompasses an entire wall of the restaurant, El Super Pan easily shifts into sport bar mode when the right game is on. While their beer selection is limited (sorry, beer fans), they do have a variety of cocktails, including frozen drinks that we’d go to bat for.