E6: Decatur

A little further off the beaten path from the hotel, Decatur, whose unofficial slogan is “Mayberry meets Berkeley,” is worth the trip as you’ll find many restaurants and watering holes all on one convenient square right outside the MARTA station.  And on a warm night, you’ll no doubt hear live music on the square or on the patio across the street outside Java Monkey.

Take the red or gold line one stop south to Five Points and transfer to the eastbound blue line to go to six stops to Decatur. When you exit the MARTA station, you’ll be facing Church Street, with your back to the Square. Look to your right, you’ll see Cakes & Ale on Sycamore. All the other restaurants below under Sycamore are listed in the order in which you’ll pass them after Cakes & Ale.

This is just a selection of what’s available to eat in Decatur.

Here’s a map of the area with most of the restaurants marked. (Restaurants listed below but not marked on the map are located between the marked ones.)

Dining on Sycamore:

Cakes & Ale serves higher end modern American cuisine served in a casually elegant space.  Offerings consist of a mix of small plates, entrées, and a few special dishes from the wood-burning oven.  The menu is constantly changing to bring in whatever’s new and in-season at local farms. Definitely make a reservation or try your luck getting a seat at the bar of the “community table” that’s reserved for walk-ins.

Raging Burrito‘s slogan “We roll fatties” says it all. Ultra casual burrito joint with a college-hangout feel and a huge back patio. This is the only restaurant on this site for which I wouldn’t bother trying to make a reservation.

Sushi Avenue offers the expected sushi menu with good service in a nice atmosphere.

Siam Thai, ditto Sushi Avenue, offers the expected Thai menu with good service in a nice atmosphere.

Iberian Pig* serves modern Spanish cuisine including an extensive menu of tapas, cheeses, entrées and of course wine, lots and lots of wine.

Square Pub* is a pretty standard English-style pub serving good food and drink.  Friendly crowd.  Not as long a wait as Cakes & Ale, Iberian Pig and Brick Store if you can’t get into one of those.

Standing with your back to Square Pub, across the square and slightly to the right is Brick Store Pub.

Brick Store Pub*, described as a hub for Decatur locals, is a large pub with casual, neighborhood feel. The food – burgers, salads, sandwiches and a selection of English pub fare – is excellent; service is friendly; and the beer list is …. long.

Leon’s Full Service. To get to Leon’s from MARTA, instead of looking to your right to find Cakes & Ale, turn left and walk till you get to the corner of Ponce de Leon.  The owners of Brick Store opened a restaurant in this renovated former gas station. A great spot for people-watching, you can eat out front at the corner of this busy Decatur block. I’ve never eaten anything here that I didn’t like. I recommend ordering a selection of starters and sides to share with your table.

*Also a bar. No need to order food.


About sonyalcollins
Sonya Collins is an independent journalist whose stories about public health, medicine and biomedical research have appeared in publications including WebMD.com, Scientific American, Yale Medicine, Georgia Health News, and publications served by the Georgia Public Health News Bureau. She is the editor of Primary Care Progress Notes, the guest-written blog of a primary care advocacy group, and editor of the Georgia Public Health News Bureau. She holds an M.A. in Health & Medical Journalism, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and she is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese.

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