3. Heirloom Market BBQ
Heirloom Market BBQ is a love story—between its co-owners, wife and husband Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor; between the homestyle Korean cooking of her childhood and the homestyle Texan cooking of his; and between all of Atlanta and those gochujang-rubbed ribs. The restaurant, just barely inside the northern edge of the Perimeter, did not start out as an intentional cross-cultural melange of cuisines. In its earliest days, Heirloom was mostly concerned with straightforward, Texas-style barbecue. As with all great love stories, the passion between miso paste and collard greens or kimchi and coleslaw was almost accidental at first. And though unlikely, these relationships were clearly meant to be. The changing array of seasonal sides (a creamy, dilled bacon and pea salad, for instance) is inspiring enough to skip meat altogether (though don’t do that). Our only gripe is that the mostly takeout operation offers just a few standing tables; this food is too good to rush through while on your feet and too tempting to drive all the way home with. Heirloom is perhaps the best example of Atlanta’s hard-to-pin-down style of barbecue. Our city’s barbecue gets better—and its identity begins to coalesce—the more that we merge our wide array of traditions.
2243 Akers Mill Road, 770-850-1008, heirloommarketbbq.com