My Best of Buford Highway… So Far!

Geez, making this list was really hard! But after 100 Buford Highway posts, and many requests for a short-list, it was about time I took a stab at this. Here are my (and Adam’s) pick for the top three restaurants by major category, with notable mentions at the end.

Mexican (23 restaurants on Buford Highway so far)

La Pastorcita

  1. La Pastorcita – We visited La Pastorcita earliy on in our adventure, but the experience (large portion sizes) stuck with us. Get the ceviche – every other patron does!
  2. La Rumba – This restaurant is like a superhero in reverse; a typical nightclub by night, but a darn impressive, authentic, family-friendly buffet by day. Bring your A game and try the fiery Camarones a la Diabla.
  3. Taqueria Los Rayos – This place may look sketch, but the food was great. Order whatever you want, but use the red table sauce!

Chinese (20 restaurants on Buford Highway so far)

Northern China Eatery

  1. Chef Liu – It doesn’t matter how many health inspections go awry, we just can’t shake this place. Hands down, our most frequented spot. Love the Shanghai Dumplings and the Seaweed appetizer.
  2. Northern China Eatery – Yeah, yeah, Anthony Bourdain, I know. But seriously, this place is great. Try the Northern Style Homemade, if you can deal with seeing whole fish on your plate – it’s worth it.
  3. 1968 At Cafe 101 – What a quirky and fun spot. We’ve only been twice so far, but it wowed us. Everything impressed, but the Cod Fish Filet With Crispy Beans was a standout.

Vietnamese (13 restaurants so far)

Nam Phuong

  1. Nam Phuong – A nicer atmosphere than most BuHi establishments, and great food make for a superb experience. Try the banh hoi for a hands-on experience, or canh chua bap chuoi hai san for a unique soup with no assembly required.
  2. Pho Dai Loi #2 – A fast-paced but pleasant spot for fast, affordable vietnamese fare. My favorite spot for one of my all-time favorite dishes: bun tom thit nuong.
  3. Lee’s Bakery – If you haven’t heard of Lee’s Bakery, it’s time to get up and go! This is a great spot for Buford Highway first-timers. Get the #1 combo – 1/2 banh mi and a bowl of pho.

Other Spots You Shouldn’t Miss

Machu Picchu

  1. BakerySweet Hut Bakery & Cafe
  2. Korean BarbecueHan Il Kwan
  3. Dim SumCanton House
  4. PeruvianMachu Picchu closed
  5. Halal (Bangladeshi)Purnima
  6. IndonesianBatavia (just a teeny bit off-Buford)
  7. VegetarianHarmony Vegetarian Chinese Restaurant

I know we have a lot of good things on the horizon, like Sushi House Hayakawa and Woo Nam Jeong Stone Bowl House, so I’m sure this isn’t the final or definitive list of must-try spots on Buford Highway, but it’s what I’ve got right now, and I certainly think you should try them all!


Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Homecook. Perpetual planner. Gardener. Aspiring homesteader. Direct response graphic designer. I use too many damn commas.

7 thoughts on “My Best of Buford Highway… So Far!

  1. Thanks for the blog! I’ve been trying just a little bit here and there for restaurants on Buford Hwy. My favorite find being Sweet Hut Bakery. I travel 2 hours to get to these great treats. Can’t wait for them to open up one in Gwinnett. I will refer to your blog when I’m in town. I’ve been wanting to find a good Mexican restaurant. Any suggestions on finding great tamales? Keep up the good work! Happy eating!

    • Hi Tammy! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Sweet Hut is amazing, isn’t it?

      Tamales aren’t in my wheelhouse; I’ve mostly been studying tacos, tortas, and aguas frescas in our adventures. I will have to start keeping an eye out. I bet that 5 De Mayo, near Van Bakery and La Rumba is a good place to start, though. Actually I bet La Rumba has them, too, but it’s an amazing but pricey $15 buffet, so you couldn’t just order them a la carte, I don’t think.

  2. Have you tried oriental pearl for dim sum? IMO it’s better than canton cook. Also I can’t see your full list but I’m curious to see where bobo gardens ranks for Chinese, also tofu house for Korean.

    • Hi Will, thanks for the comment. Organizing all my posts is a challenge to be sure. At the moment you can only filter one way at a time – that is you could look at all the 3.5 stars posts or all the chinese, but not both. It’s something I definitely want to work on. We were really impressed by the food at Bobo Gardens, but our review may have come at a bad time, being recently after Northern China and right before Chef Liu, which are both outstanding spots in different ways.

    • Oh and yes, we have gone to Oriental Pearl! We enjoyed it a lot and gave it four stars ( I’ve been brainstorming ways to compare places more accurately though – maybe back-to-back in the same weekend? I feel that Canton House and Oriental Pearl could benefit from being compared from two trips that are closer together.

  3. I love reading your blog- especially the Buford Highway restaurant reviews. I love BuHi and the vast selection of ethnic food choices! I am going down your list and trying the different restaurants and dishes. You are always totally spot on ! We had our favorite restaurants that we have been going to for YEARS, so it has been fun to broaden our list ! We usually get what guys tried- and then one more dish. I also discovered that in some of these Chinese restaurants, you have to ask for the Chinese menu- not the American one. Thanks for blogging and happy eating! 🙂

  4. MY CURRENT WIFE AND I DRIVE the 200 mile RT TO Dekalb Farmers Market and come back to Toccoa

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