International Atlanta – A Food Story

Most people would NEVER think Atlanta is anything but a southern city that hosts CNN, the place where Coca-Cola was invented, and where Delta, one of the largest airlines in the world, operates from.  And perhaps that it has one of the top two airports in the world (which, to me, a taxpayer in Atlanta will ONLY be Hartsfield airport).  But people do not think of Atlanta typically as an international city.

Today, I took my Mom, stepdad, aunt, and uncle to a place that belies the view that Atlanta is just a southern provincial capital (which it was back in the 80s when I got here!):  the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market on Buford Highway right outside I-285.  I am not sure who the owners are but I find it more “real” than the more popular Dekalb Farmer’s Market where it feels people go just to show they are “cosmopolitan” and hip.  It is full of people from all ethnic backgrounds and I am not just talking about the staff.

In any case, my visitors were astounded by the great variety of Latin products (every product they know and/or use in cooking Cuban food; quenepas/mamoncillo that I used to eat as a kid; papaya, one of my Mom’s favorites; etc.), the large Eastern European section (with its incredible Russian product suite including ice cream!), and the incredible Asian section with aisles (one or more) for each of the following:  Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, and on and on.  The ONLY thing I begrudge is the too-limited wine section.  I expected to find Bulgarian, Chilean, Greek, and other wines.  The wine section was tiny and with only the typical countries represented (Chile was but only a handful of wines).

Though I have been there before to buy all the ingredients for the Easter lunch I make for my friends or Christmas Eve dinner for my family (Cuban pernil), I had never stepped back to really gape at the diversity.  Sometimes, you have to see things through others’ eyes to discover them!!  As I had not expected to want to take pictures, I did not take my camera so the pictures I ended up taking were with my smartphone.  I include them here to share some of the sights at this awesome place – and I have special pictures that I hope my friend Pola will recognize…  Enjoy!



  1. Sounds like a day out I would love! Did you have sweet georgia peaches? I never had one there.. but only peach martinis!!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..Photos of the Week – WhiteMy Profile

  2. Woo hoo, Polish candy! Of course I recognize. :)) And who would have thought that could be found in Atlanta… When I visit your city, I’ll have to check this place out. Thanks for the shout out.
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo of the Week: John Hancock Center in ChicagoMy Profile

  3. What a bounty…. Wondering , the bottles, beer? and where are they from?
    Karl recently posted..Go Travel SoloMy Profile

  4. I love farmer’s markets and anything that mentions international. This would be my happy place, for sure!
    The World Wanderer recently posted..Camping in Africa.My Profile

  5. Great to know that there is a cosmopolitan side of Atlanta. I am not surprised with such a busy airport.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Fall foliage at Lake of the Clouds simply stunningMy Profile

  6. Fun day! And yes, it will always be Hartsfield!
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..A Day Trip From Napa To Sonoma CountyMy Profile

  7. this looks amazing! the hubs and i may be visitng atlanta sometime between now and early next year and we’ll definitely have to put this on our list!
    the lazy travelers recently travel requiredMy Profile

  8. I love a good farmers’ market and this looks to be one in my book. You’re right, I lived in Atlanta and don’t think of it as an international city like NYC or Houston, but you’ve shown me that I am misinformed.
    Leah Travels recently posted..Revealed: The Italian ItineraryMy Profile

    • Atlanta was not an international city until relatively recently, Leah! Being awarded the Olympics started the process but it took a few years. I got here when it was still a provincial capital!! Come visit for a tweetup!!

  9. all the photos are making me hungry! i LOVE food markets/farmers markets. YUMMY.

    maybe you can speak to them about their lack of wine selections. could be a missed biz opp & you certainly are an expert ;)
    lola recently posted..favorite travel spots – food for thoughtMy Profile

  10. Oh! Love the treats and booze. Looks like you had an amazing shopping experience.

  11. Atlanta did surprise me when I spent a few months there on an assignment. And surprised in a good way. I wonder if the city really changed after the ’96 Olympics.

    stay adventurous, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Fall Foliage – Glimmerglass State Park in New York’s CatskillsMy Profile

  12. I love Buford Highway! You can find just about whatever you want to eat there. I go to a Pho shop and a Cuban place there each time I’m in Atlanta. I’ll have to add this market to my trip next time.
    John recently posted..Strolling the Malecon in La Paz, MexicoMy Profile

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I second that! What a great place…apparently they also offer cooking lessons (, I’ll have to check those out soon.

  14. I’ve never heard of quenepa.
    I love farmers markets! Whenever we travel, I always (ALWAYS) look up where a farmers market is and cross my fingers it’ll be going on one of the days we’ll be able to go.
    Anni recently posted..#HomesteadChat 2/7/2014 – Culinary herbs in the kitchenMy Profile

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