Peach season is back, and reader, it’s good. “This has been an incredible year for peaches. They’re not always as good as they are this year,” says Rachel Wright, pastry chef of Leon’s Full Service in Decatur.
To Wright, this means that the peaches have been highly acidic and very sweet. “They have that velvety, slick, mango-ish texture. Not like a mealy, hard, city peach texture,” she says. “Just high-acidity, high-sugar, and real juicy—falls down your face while you’re eating it.”
Peaches at Leon’s are from Pearson Farm through Georgia Proud Provisions. Once they arrive, it seems that no one on staff is impervious to the fuzzy fruit, which disappears as quickly as Wright can cut it.
But like most good things, peach season is fleeting, so we’ve rounded up 11 treats from around metro Atlanta to help you make the most of it.
Anne Quatrano’s mainstay has an ice-cold cocktail to celebrate peach season. The Grilled Peach Ice Pick features peach vodka, peaches, lemon, and tea. Enjoy it with one of the restaurant’s beloved wood-fired pizzas.
South City Kitchen
At South City Kitchen’s multiple locations, you’ll find a Georgia peach salad on the menu. It’s a combination of arugula, mid-state peaches, burnt honey-mint vinaigrette, creamy Valbreso feta, and spiced pecans.
Every July, Mia Orino pays homage to her mother’s favorite “U.S. fruit” (a.k.a. a fruit that they don’t have in the Philippines). She caramelizes the peaches and turns them into lumpia (spring rolls) served with a mango puree that either gets drizzled on top or served as a dip.
Gabriel’s Restaurant & Bakery
Head to Gabriel’s in Marietta for a scrumptious peach pound cake. Not only will you get to enjoy a peachy treat, but you’ll also get to do some good: proceeds from the cake will be donated to MUST Ministries, a social welfare organization that assists people struggling with homelessness and families who need aid with food, housing, and clothing.
Butter & Cream
The popular Decatur ice cream shop holds out for Freestone peaches, which typically arrive in late June or early July. Then they do what they do best: turn them into ice cream and sorbet. Get it in a waffle cone for optimal summer pleasure.
Leon’s Full Service
There are two peachy options to choose from at Leon’s in Decatur. Executive chef Jeff Sellers created a refreshing peach and cucumber salad with celery leaf, fermented lemon peel, chevre, pistachios, and a pink peppercorn vinaigrette with coriander and fennel. There’s also Wright’s peach crisp (an annual delight) that’s typically served a la mode. The ice creams rotate but you might see lime sherbet, vanilla, or brown butter pecan.
According to pastry chef Charmain Ware, her crepe cake personifies Hotel Clermont. True, you’ll find a peach motif throughout the hotel’s decor and we can probably all agree that crepe cakes are a little showy (in the best way). The layered crepes are raspberry-flavored and in every other layer you’ll find peach preserve, smoked vanilla mascarpone, and stewed cinnamon peaches. The cake is topped off with a brown sugar crumb and bourbon-vanilla glaze.
Muss & Turner’s
Smyrna’s Muss & Turner’s is known for their sandwiches so you know that their peach creation has to be good. They’ve put fresh peaches, goat cheese, black pepper-honey, and arugula between two sourdough slices for a sandwich aptly called “Ain’t That A Peach?” We think yes, M&T.
Doughnut Dollies is on the verge of opening a third location (in Virginia-Highland), but for now you can satisfy your cravings for both peaches and doughnuts in Marietta or West Midtown. There, they’ve crafted a fruit shortcake-inspired doughnut with sugared peaches and rosemary stuffed in between a 24-hour brioche with vanilla cream.
Located in the back of Irwin Street Market, Bottega Bene has been winning over the bellies of Atlantans with their antipasti boxes. Owner Blaire Dorin has added what she calls a seasonally chic burrata cup featuring smashed burrata, sliced peaches, olive oil, balsamic glaze, cracked pepper, and flake salt. It’s available on its own and can be added to a spread. May we suggest some prosciutto and a baguette with that?
Little Tart Bakeshop
Did you hear that Little Tart recently reopened their dining rooms in Summerhill and Grant Park? What better way to celebrate than by treating yourself to one of their peach galettes. The treats are absolutely packed with peaches and make an excellent companion to coffee. They’re big enough to share with a friend . . . but do you want to?