City at a crossroads: Your city guide to Dunwoody

Enjoying the green space in Dunwoody's Ashford Lane
Credit: Discover Dunwoody

Located just north of Atlanta near the junction of the I-28 Perimeter and GA-400, Dunwoody is a booming suburb with a growing number of hot spots for families and foodies alike.

Established in the early decades of the nineteenth century — on land the Cherokee tribe called home along the Chattahoochee River — Dunwoody is named for Major Charles Dunwody. (Fun fact: the difference in spelling between the man and the city comes from a clerical error.) Dunwody was the son of a founder of one of nearby Roswell’s cotton mills, and the rail lines constructed between that town and Atlanta led Dunwoody to develop as a major trading post. One of the city’s oldest buildings, 1829s Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church, still stands to this day. After the destruction of the Civil War, new rail lines between Roswell and Chamblee expanded the town to the east. Over a century later, Dunwoody remained a transit hub, as it welcomed two MARTA stations to the area in time for the 1996 Olympics.

For much of its existence, Dunwoody was a rural town between other, bigger cities. But the development of 400 and the I-285 Perimeter, and the suburban boom of the 1970s, combined to modernize this sleepy locale. Neighborhoods and retail strips sprung up. Perimeter Mall and the adjacent developments were built on land sold by long-time families. Perimeter Center became a major jobs hub thanks to its central location and highway and transit access. In 2008, after neighboring Sandy Springs broke free of Fulton County to become their own city, Dunwoody followed suit, officially incorporating its own city within DeKalb County. Since then, Dunwoody has boomed as one of the major hotspots in the north metro region. There’s lots to do in Dunwoody, so let’s check it out.

What can I do for fun in Dunwoody?

Go out on a limb at Treetop Quest. Located inside Brook Run Park, this aerial adventure experience will have you climbing and zipping through the forests of Dunwoody. Bound across ropes bridges, play in an obstacle course, and strap into a zipline up to 55 feet in the air and soar through one of their five courses at every skill level. There’s something for every adrenaline junkie in the family here.

Get in touch with nature at the Dunwoody Nature Center. If you’d rather commune with nature without the danger and excitement, check out this suburban oasis. With 22 acres of trails to explore, picnic space, and numerous educational events on site to learn about conservation and science, this serene park makes for a great weekend field trip.

See a show at Stage Door Theatre. Celebrating its 50th season, Stage Door Theatre’s productions have something for everyone. Shows range from “Tuesdays with Morrie” to family-friendly original plays, to a collaboration with improv theatre Dad’s Garage. The theatre also offers classes for kids and teens in acting, musical theatre, and production.

Where are the best places to eat and drink in Dunwoody?

Valor Coffee

Start your day off at this spacious, vibrant coffee shop in Dunwoody Village that puts people first. Valor has the standard coffee fare, but lets you add a flavor boost to your latte, like lavender vanilla, cardamom, or one of their seasonal flavors. Coffee aficionados can grab a nitro cold brew on draft, espresso shots, and other creative seasonal coffee cocktails if you’re feeling fancy. Take your coffee cocktail and a flaky croissant onto their spacious patio and enjoy your morning in style.

Location: 5531 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338; Hours: Weekdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Website:

Politan Row at Ashford Lane

The newest metro Atlanta food hall, this bustling build out from the team that renovated Midtown’s Colony Square has a bevy of cuisines to try. From the Midtown Politan Row comes Indian fusion pub Tandoori Pizza and Wings, the flash tacos of Pretty Little Tacos, and Bar Politan. Joining them are the well-reviewed 26 Thai, soul food meat plates from Delilah’s Everyday Soul, and Mamacita’s Cuban Cocina with zesty bowls, Cuban sandwiches, and a full bar with margaritas, mojitos, and more!

Location: 4550 Olde Perimeter Way, Dunwoody, GA 30346; Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Website:

NFA Burger

Who knew that one of the best burgers in the Atlanta area can be found in a convenience store? Next time you need to fill up your gas tank at the Chevron on Chamblee Dunwoody Road, fill up your stomach as well. NFA’s Classic burger is a double stack of perfectly grilled patties, melty American cheese, pickles, and sauce on a fluffy bun. Pair it with tots or crinkle fries and a side of “sassy sauce” and your choice of beverage from the adjacent shelves of the Chevron mini mart. Trust us, you won’t be able to go back to McDonald’s again.

Location: 5465 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338; Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Website:

Carbonara Trattoria

Fans of Italian food rave about this cozy Dunwoody diner. They have the titular traditional carbonara, but also a wide selection of pasta dishes, including penne arrabiata, tagliatelle, lasagna, and linguini. Other entrees span the proteins — from chicken to veal to parmesan crusted salmon. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to get a carbonara salad and a glass of wine on the side.

Location: 5499 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338; Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Website:

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