Say hello to one of the country’s most famous burger chains, which recently landed in Buckhead Atlanta. Lines file out the front door of this beautifully designed and madly efficient quick-serve restaurant that was started in New York’s Madison Square Park by hospitality mogul Danny Meyer. The Angus burgers—cooked to order, slipped into soft buns, and oozing with American cheese—are perhaps the pinnacle of fast food double stacks, costing just under $8. Grilled Chicago-style hot dogs, the signature crinkle fries with cheese sauce, and wonderfully thick concretes—a frozen custard and milkshake hybrid—taste especially good on the rooftop terrace, where shoppers come to relax. Beer, wine, and fresh lemonade address the various needs of Shake Shack’s clamoring clientele. 3035 Peachtree Road, 470-809-9201, shakeshack.com. $
Fans of Malaysian cooking will be happy to find street food and fresh curries inside this colorful dining room just a few doors down from Asian bakery and cafe Sweet Hut on Buford Highway. Unlike the owners’ other concept—Top Spice in Toco Hills and Ansley Park—Mamak offers bold, authentic cuisine that’s focused and rich. Look for regional specialties like Hainanese chicken; curry laksa noodles; wok-fried pearl noodles with shrimp and pork; and coconut rice with anchovies, egg, and cucumber. They’ll be more approachable than a fiery sambal with okra or a fish head soup with vermicelli. The menu is expansive, but everything is worth trying. A bowl of crushed ice topped with coconut milk and a tropical jelly made from pandan leaves is one of the many satisfying desserts. 5150 Buford Highway, Doraville, 678-395-3192, mamak-kitchen.com. $$
Atlanta still has room for another slice of pizza. Located in Buckhead Atlanta, this chain out of Fort Worth, Texas, lists 12 pies on the menu while crafting the 13th according to the seasons and the kitchen’s fancy. Bubbly on the outside and super thin on the bottom, each pie is a marvel of delicacy, served hot from the twin brick ovens and often finished at the last minute with frisée, farm egg, or Orobianco burrata with basil pesto. Not in the mood for pizza? The salads are a safe bet, tossed with hearts of palm and crisp greens. Most surprising is just how attractive the decor is: alluringly minimalist and full of moody lighting and wood panels. 250 Buckhead Avenue, 678-791-1313, thirteenpies.com. $$
- If you’re wearing a peacoat or wrapped up in a scarf, it’s time for a hot bowl of Vietnamese pho from old standby Pho Dai Loi 2.
- Before the roads ice over, stock up on tins of Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate.
- Large groups looking for excellence on the cheap should head to Community Q BBQ. Smoky brisket sandwiches and creamy bowls of mac and cheese await.
This article originally appeared in our December 2014 issue.