Grab your culinary passport: Best Asian and Pacific Islander cuisines in Atlanta

Chai Pani Misal Pav, Bengali Fish Fry, Surti Locho, Green Tomato Pakora, Kolhapuri Mutton, Aged Basmati Rice, Veg Raita, assorted breads, and Mango Lassi. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Mia Yakel

As we celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, there’s no better time to spotlight some of the major cuisines that make up the region of the world, right here in Atlanta. From Chinese and Japanese to Vietnamese and Thai and even Filipino and Malaysian and more, there’s something for everyone. So grab your culinary passport and embark on a journey across Asia and the Pacific Islands this May (and beyond).

Chinese cuisine

Breathe in the bold aromas of soy sauce, ginger and garlic as you take a journey into Atlanta’s Chinese cuisine scene. From dim sum at Canton House to the sizzling chicken at Tasty China (and their sister restaurant at Ponce City Market, Jia) to biang biang hand-pulled noodles at Xi’an Noodle House, the Chinese food offerings in Atlanta offer a glimpse into the diverse regional flavors of China.

Japanese cuisine

Spice up your life when you embrace the bold flavors of Thai cuisine. Some Thai restaurants in Atlanta include 26 Thai Kitchen and Bar, with multiple locations around the metro Atlanta area, and Nan Thai Fine Dining, both of which serve delicious (and upscale) Thai dishes from land to sea. Over in Summerhill, Talat Market (which means “market market” in Thai) is known for their oyster bar in addition to its more traditional Thai dishes.

Korean cuisine

If you’re looking for sear-iously good Korean food, Atlanta won’t disappoint. Inman Park’s Char Korean Bar and Grill offers bar bites, bowls and meats on the grill, from 28-day age marinated short rib and tenderloin to spicy shrimp, pork belly and tofu. Over in Midtown, Park 27 Korean BBQ and Bar serves all-you-can-eat (AYCE) BBQ with options ranging from brisket to bulgogi with five side dishes.

Filipino cuisine

Journey into the Philippines when you go to Kamayan ATL or Estrellita, two flagship Filipino restaurants in Atlanta. From the tangy, vinegar-based chicken and pork adobos to barbecue dishes, curry and the famous halo-halo shaved ice, you’ll be in a Manila state of mind for days.

Malaysian cuisine

Malaysian cuisine offers diverse culinary flavor profiles, ranging from China and Indian influences mixed with indigenous flavors. Explore an endless menu of Asian street foods (with a heavy emphasis on Malaysian cuisine) at the futuristic Food Terminal, with neon lights and robots serving your meals. If you’re looking for something a little bit more low-key, Mamak serves delicious, no-frills Malaysian dishes, from curries to noodles.

Desi cuisine

Aromatic curries and spices await you when you embark on Atlanta’s Desi dining scene. Popular restaurants such as Tabla and Blue India are some metro Atlanta ITP favorites, serving dishes with an elevated spin, from biryanis to curries, tandoori and more. In Decatur, another trendy spot is Chai Pani, which is known for serving street food-inspired dishes, and their sister restaurant, Botiwala, is located in Ponce City Market. Madras Mantra in Decatur serves authentically delicious (and vegetarian) South Indian cuisine, and Purnima on Buford Highway near Brookhaven serves Bangladeshi cuisine.

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The month of May is dedicated to celebrating the diverse and rich …