A Food and Drink Guide to Sandy Springs
Those who have traveled with me know that if I’m not exploring every inch of a destination on foot, then I’m probably eating and drinking my way around it. It’s the yin and yang of travel for me, and my recent trip to Sandy Springs, Georgia was no exception. Mornings were spent on trails and the river, afternoons spent après-hiking, and evenings spent checking out the city’s restaurants. Without further ado, see my food and drink guide to Sandy Springs below.
Breakfast and Lunch
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then Egg Harbor Café is the most important restaurant in Sandy Springs. This was one of my best meals in Sandy Springs. Characterized by a greasy spoon menu that’s carefully sourced, this restaurant is open for both breakfast and lunch. The popular Sandy Springs breakfast spot features comfort classics, like biscuits & gravy, served alongside healthy and gluten-free options, and uses 100% free-range certified-humane eggs.
For even more of a “treat-yo-self” breakfast, Da Vinci’s Donuts was named one of the top donuts shops in America by Thrillist a couple years ago. Among the headliners: Da Vinci's show-stopping mini donuts that include the Cannoli, Chocolate Oreo, Dulce de Leche, French Toast, Maple Bacon, and Samoa (my personal favorite).
Moving on to lunch, we begin with Hearth Pizza Tavern (because pizza!). At Hearth, I had some of the best cheese sticks (what they call “fried mozzarella”) I’ve ever had. I know what you may be thinking, “Spencer, are you a 5-year-old?” But try Hearth’s hand-cut mozzarella sticks with housemade marinara and you'll be changing your tune about mozzarella sticks, too. I followed that with the bartender’s pizza recommendation, the Great White Clam with clams, Italian sausage, and roasted cremini mushrooms. I then quietly slipped into a food coma. My last lunch recommendation in Sandy Springs is Hammocks Trading Company, which specializes in seafood that couldn’t be more appropriate for enjoying on the restaurant’s outdoor patio.
Day drinking in Sandy Springs first begins at Pontoon Brewing, Sandy Springs’ first brewery. Take my word that no matter what you drink, whether you’re a hardcore IPA drinker or don’t even like beer, you’ll find something you like here. For IPA lovers, that’ll mean beers like the Galaxy Drifter IPA, Pontoon’s flagship IPA, or the new Don't Haze Me Bro New England IPA. For those who enjoy drinks on the lighter side, try the Moscow Mule Berliner Weisse, Hooch Bier Blonde, or Surf Rock Candy Shandy. You can make it a whole day affair with board games and corn hole.
The craft beer theme continues with The Georgia Chapter Room, Sandy Springs’ own speakeasy-style bar. Located in the basement of Taco Mac, The Georgia Chapter Room specializes in craft beer, many of which are local. It also has a small food menu.
Sandy Springs’ most unique bar is undeniably Battle & Brew, a gaming bar. In this case, that means everything from Xbox 360 to PS4 to Wii to trivia nights to PC games to a long menu of board games. They also have a menu of game-inspired craft cocktails, craft beer, and wine. Best game bar ever?
For wine lovers comes Under the Cork Tree from Jason Sheetz and Chef William Sigley of Hammocks Trading Company. The wine bar and restaurant specializes in Mediterranean food (think tapas, cheese, and Spanish-style cured meats), and with a large selection of wine from around the world. Lastly, for a proper happy hour menu, visit Tupelo Honey, one of my favorite restaurants from living in the south. The Sandy Springs location features happy hour Monday through Friday, with discounted draft beer, craft cocktails, and select wine, and contemporary takes on southern classics like fried mac 'n cheese bites, pimento cheese nachos, and fried pickles.
If you have dinner at one place in Sandy Springs, make it Rumi’s Kitchen. Specializing in Persian food, Rumi’s features a menu with a lot of things you’ve probably never heard of, but it’s one of the best Middle Eastern meals I’ve had (outside of the Middle East). The highlight for me was actually the starters, like the fried eggplant, called Kashk Badenjoon, and the Dolmeh, featuring minced beef, rice, and herbs wrapped in grape leaves. Whiskey lovers will rejoice with rare whiskies like Pappy Van Winkle and Weller 12.
For a more traditional dinner, I’d recommend Kaiser’s Chophouse and il Giallo Osteria & Bar. Kaiser’s Chophouse is a modern chophouse specializing in steaks that also offers a wide selection of seafood, including salmon, Maine lobster, diver scallops, raw seafood, and oysters. As the name presumes, il Giallo Osteria & Bar is an Italian restaurant featuring pastas made from scratch during each service, which guests can see themselves. This includes pastas like tagliatelle, pappardelle, and ravioli.
Lastly, end your night at Darwin's Burgers and Blues. Quite simply, this is a Georgia dive, and there’s nothing glitzy about it. What you can count on, however, is nightly music from local and regional bands in a cozy environment. When hunger strikes, order one of Darwin's handmade burgers or local sausages with a side of sweet potato fries.