Where To Eat And Drink In Emory Village
Emory Village has some unique, solid options for quick eats and a few sit-down spots that have date night potential.
It would be easy to write off Emory Village as a strip of restaurants that caters to cash-strapped university students and hospital workers who don’t have time for unnecessary conversation. You’ll see the usual fast-casual, budget-friendly chains but when you look past them, you’ll see that Emory Village has some unique, solid options for quick eats and a few dine-in spots that have date night potential. That most of these locations happen to be easy on our wallet is an added bonus.
photo credit: Amy Sinclair
Wagaya, which also has a sister restaurant in West Midtown, is arguably the most popular dinner spot in Emory Village, and for good reason. With affordable prices and a book-length Japanese menu, we’re always down to squeeze into the noisy, close quarters. If you must have three feet of personal space at all times or have no patience to wait on a table, get there before 6pm. For sushi, get the Devil’s Breath roll (the spicy aioli adds a kick) and watch as the tuna topping is blowtorched right at your table. Another must is the Japanese Spicy Curry Ramen with thin, tasty slices of pork and noodles. Wash it down with any of their Japanese craft beers—we like the Wednesday Cat for a fruity taste.
Not many places can be a romantic date night spot and a suitable place for Emory students to entertain embarrassing parents, but Double Zero’s stylish modern interior pulls it off. Stop by on any given night and you’ll see couples making eyes at each other right next to exhausted Emory hospital staff looking for a strong cocktail and one of the city’s best pizzas. The menu features a handful of pasta dishes that are all worthy of ordering, but our favorite is the huge braised beef ravioli covered in roasted garlic. And we like broccolini much better when topped on pizzas like their Bianca Meatball, which is served with scissors to cut your own slices.
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photo credit: Mhandy
Dave's Cosmic Subs
Dave’s Cosmic Subs is technically an Ohio chain, but we love this mostly takeout-centered Emory Village location like our own. Music posters from The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones line the walls of the tiny interior, and the sandwich names frequently feature ’60s era motifs, like “far out.” They have more than 30 sandwich options, and although we haven’t tried them all (yet), we’ve had our fair share and there isn’t a single one we wouldn’t recommend. But if we had to choose two, go with The Grateful Dave that has hot pepper juice and the San Fran sub, with a kick of hot sauce and heaps of homemade coleslaw that gives it a fun tang.
photo credit: Mhandy
When we’re near Emory University and get hit with a dumpling craving (happens to you too, right?), we head to Dragon Bowl. This relaxed counter-service spot features a range of Pan-Asian dishes and hails from the team behind Doc Chey’s. Their Shanghai Dumplings are stuffed to the max with pork and a bit of ginger, and we always wish there were more than four. But we’ll usually add dishes like the creamy Thai coconut curry with perfectly roasted carrots (our favorite thing on their constantly changing menu) to fill us up. If you tend to order food like Meg Ryan’s super-extra character in When Harry Met Sally, create your own bowl by selecting a base, veggies, protein, and sauce, and be as particular as you like.
photo credit: Mhandy
Falafel King’s building is small but impossible to miss, thanks to a beige pillar on top that serves as a beacon, pointing you toward excellent falafel and other quick eats. Sit at the single counter in front of the two-person team taking and preparing orders, and watch them shave off meat from the two vertical spits spinning shawarma behind the counter. The falafel sandwich is the most popular dish on the menu—at lunchtime it’s common to overhear multiple people ordering it. But don’t discount the juicy shawarma, and don’t forget to dress up your pita with the orange mayo-ish dip that reminds us of a yum yum sauce.
Shield's Meat Market
Hidden inside the CVS off North Decatur Road is Shield’s Meat Market, one of the oldest butcher shops in Atlanta. While they mainly function as a one-stop shop for meats, including hard-to-find elk and venison, they also offer sandwiches from 11am-3pm daily. Build your own or choose from their pre-made grab-and-go’s like the generous-packed chicken salad sandwich or the smoky BBQ pork on a sesame bun (heat it up when you get home). For sides, try the creamy potato salad, available with a sour cream or mustard base, or get a container of their sharp pimento cheese, which can also be added to any sandwich. Don’t expect anything fancy here, the one-room butcher shop is best for low maintenance customers, but their prepared foods section is much better than anything you can get at CVS.
With regular, gluten-free, and vegan options, almost everyone can get in on the sweet treat action at this Atlanta-based kosher cookie company, which has three metro locations. They have at least 15 different cookie flavors (our faves are the red velvet and snickerdoodle), and their melt-in-your-mouth softness will have you questioning why you’ve ever f*cked with the Kroger bakery. And when you really want to load up on dessert, order the ice cream sandwich and pick your own cookie and ice cream flavors—it’s the most efficient way to try it all. Indoor tables are covered in kraft paper with a basket of crayons if you're trying to keep kids occupied while you reach for the last cookie.