While I was living in Atlanta for the past three months, all I was craving was a New York City Bagel; warm, crunchy on the outside and doughy on the inside with cream cheese and all the classic fixins’. Simply delicious. While NYC is arguably the food capital of the United States and I can satisfy any of my food desires there, call me crazy, but I am already finding myself reminiscing about my favorite places back in Atlanta. As a serious foodie and loyal lover of all things New York City, I never thought I would cheat on my local restaurants - but it’s 2020 so I guess anything is possible! Don’t believe me? Well, if you’re lucky enough to live in Atlanta, go taste for yourself and visit the five places I miss the most. You can thank me later.

#1. Butter and Cream 

A little background about me: I am a self proclaimed ice cream expert. Everywhere my family travels, we make it a priority to find the best ice cream. So, I was shocked to discover a place that rivals many of my favorites. Not only is the ice cream locally made, but what makes this spot so special is their amazing array of flavors. Ranging from classics such as butter pecan and chocolate to their outrageous flavors like butterscotch brownie (sweet butterscotch ice cream with pieces of their house-made brownies mixed in) and midnight snacks (sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese ice cream with chocolate chip cookies, brownies, chocolate covered cake pieces, and a dulce de leche swirl) they have a flavor to satisfy all of your cravings. Moreover, it’s impossible to get bored of this spot as they’re constantly creating new flavors for each season. This season, my favorite was apple harvest (Granny Smith Apple ice cream with apple pie spices). And if you’re wondering, the flavors taste even better than they sound. 

#2. Storico Fresco Alimentari

I discovered this amazing Italian spot early on during my time in Atlanta and liked it so much I chose to eat there for my birthday. Much of their pasta is homemade and just the thought of their cheese board and fried pizza dough filled with mozzarella, prosciutto, and tomatoes makes my mouth water. For the main course, I had their handmade cavatelli with wild boar ragu and grana padano. It was absolutely to die for. I didn’t share a single bite. Even better, Storico offers pasta making classes so you can learn their heavenly Italian recipes. Please go here if you’re looking for some classic and consistently delicious Italian food.

#3. B-Side Cafe

As I mentioned before, while in Atlanta I was constantly craving a good bagel. It practically kept me up at night. B-Side’s hand rolled wood fired bagels are by far the best bagels I’ve had in Atlanta. They’re as good as a non New York City bagel can be. Because they use a woodfire, the outside of their bagels are especially crispy while the inside remains doughy like all good bagels should be. My favorites are (in no particular order) their sea salt, everything, and caramelized onion jalapeño cheddar bagels. In addition, their chai and iced coffees are equally if not more delicious than the bagels themselves. Just be sure to go earlier in the day to this adorable cafe as they often sell out of bagels and chai closer to 3pm, especially on Sundays. So please, run, don't walk. They’re THAT good.

#4. Antico’s Pizza Napoletana 

Similarly to how I have determined that I am an ice cream expert, pizza, too, falls under my line of expertise. So, you know you can trust me when I say that if you’re looking for some classic Italian woodfired pizza, this is the place for you. They make the pizza right in front of you and make it impossible to only eat two slices. The pizza crust is absolutely killer and all the ingredients taste so fresh. I recommend going with friends and ordering different kinds of pizzas (and a lot of them, might I add). My personal favorites are Margherita D.O.P and the Sophia, their house special, which has buffalo mozzarella, cipollini onions, roasted mushrooms, and white truffle oil. Just beware, Antico’s may ruin all other Atlanta pizza joints for you. Sorry not sorry! As if this place could not get better, at their midtown location they have outdoor seating which makes it a great spot to eat outside while socially distanced. But, wait there’s more: their seating is right next to their other store, Caffe Antico, which serves delicious gelato, coffee, and various classic Italian desserts. My final recommendation for you is to leave your belt at home, or even better - wear your stretchiest pair of pants.

#5. Hawkers Asian Street Food 

I’m not one to typically seek out Asian food. I’m more of an Italian or BBQ girl. However, this modern Asian Street Food spot opened my eyes to a whole new collection of cuisines I had been missing. This food was absolutely packed with flavor, especially their street skewers and the Korean twice fried wings. We liked both dishes so much we couldn’t help but order a second round. Trust me, you will have no difficulty finishing everything on your plate. I recommend that you try as many things on the menu as possible and split each dish with friends as I did. I should note that they’re so popular that it’s important you eat there on the earlier side on weekends as they had run out of some of their items when we sat down for dinner at 8pm on a Friday night. On top of their delicious food, their outside seating takes this restaurant to the next level. It has plenty of heaters outside and fun music creating an excellent atmosphere. I hear that their drinks are fantastic as well. 

So, please, if you’re in Atlanta do me a favor and try all these places I’ve been missing while on winter break. And if you're like me, a college student, reminiscing about your favorite foods back home in Atlanta, consider asking for gift cards from your favorite restaurants. It's a great way to support local businesses and to already start making plans for when you're back on campus.