Spicy food has always been my jam, and I enjoy challenging myself to try different types of spiciness across various cuisines. It has been said that personality has something to do with one's love for spicy foods. As someone who always looks for thrills in my food adventures, I cannot resist sampling the spicy foods Atlanta has to offer. Here are four spicy foods in Atlanta that left a notable mark in my quest. 

Charlotte He

1. Shishito & Anchovy from Gaja Korean Bar

If you want a mildly spicy appetizer, shishito peppers are a must try. Although it looks similar to the popular Pimento de Padrón, they are different peppers with different heat levels. Shishito peppers are especially popular in Asia as appetizers. They are mild in taste - but sometimes you can come across an especially hot one that almost surprises you. It also has a fresh, sweet aftertaste that will surely coax you into ordering a drink. The most popular recipes for shishito are simply searing them with sea salt or grilling them. I had this shishito & anchovy dish from Gaja Korean Bar, a hip restaurant in downtown Atlanta. Although I am not a big fan of anchovy, it combines well with the shishito, which results in a pleasant experience. I recommend having this dish along with soju or makgeolli, a Korean rice wine. 

Charlotte He

2. Hattie B's Hot Chicken

Big fan of hot chicken? Hattie B's Hot Chicken will challenge your tastebuds to the next level. Originated in Nashville, Hattie B's is a perfect place to bring your friends and get a taste of an ultimate Southern hot chicken. But remember, be careful - if you want to try their firey Shut the Cluck Up heat level, the ghost peppers could burn your tongue. The medium level I ordered for my Southern Mild Dark meat was more than enough to put my lips on fire towards the end. Except for the spiciness burn, I love the juiciness and tenderness of the chicken.

Charlotte He

3. Broth Chicken Feet from Han Shin Pocha

If you haven't tried chicken feet before, you're missing out. Although it looks a little bit daunting the first time, you cannot miss the experience of sucking the tasty skin off the bone. This is a signature dish from Han Shin Pocha, a Korean restaurant in Duluth. The chicken feet have been cooked to ultimate tenderness, and the Korean spice sauce and broth are absolutely addictive. If you are a little bit extra, you can also add cheese to the dish, making it less spicy but more savory. To take full advantage of the sauce, you can also order fried rice. Chicken feet are packed with proteins and collagen, so your skin might also glow up after consuming this dish. Don't shy away from this dish and give it a try!

4. Seafood Boil from YH's BBQ & Crab

Charlotte He

Last but not least, the spicy seafood boil from YH's BBQ & Crab shows how a seafood feast can make your mouth go wild. This newly-opened restaurant in Duluth provides a range of Chinese spicy food embracing Sichuan-style spice, from barbeque to seafood boil. We ordered octopus, shrimp, and crawfish for our seafood boil, but you can also add green mussels, snow crab legs, blue crab, or abalone. There are three flavors to choose from: spicy, hot & spicy, and garlic butter. If you are not a fan of  spiciness, I would recommend the garlic butter. But if you are craving for something that is exciting and savory, you can't go wrong with the hot & spicy. Fully marinated in the sauce, the seafood is ready for you to dig in and get your hands dirty. There are also other tasty cold spicy dishes on the menu, including spicy beef shank and hot & spicy chicken gizzards.

Spicy food, if consumed with restraint, can serve as a great stress reliever. It is also confirmed that eating spicy food can cause boosts in happy-making neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins. Next time you are in Atlanta and you find yourself craving a little bit of spice, why not go on your own quest for spiciness? From hot chicken to seafood boil, be ready to set your mouth on fire!