Walking around any of the Georgia State campuses, one thing that is almost immediately evident is that the college is as diverse as the city of Atlanta itself. All of the various cultures of students come together and create a melting pot of experience, knowledge, and a wealth of new things to try.
Over the last few years, millennials have flooded social media sites – particularly Instagram and Snapchat – with snaps of their food explorations, which undoubtedly contributes to the rise of young adults questing for ethnically diverse cuisine. “I was born in South Africa, Johannesburg and I just, you know, I wish they had more places. I feel like there’s more places [for ethnic foods] that I may not know of,” says Shekinah Mukendi, a Business major at the Decatur campus.
“Places to eat at, I would think of Golden Krust, I love Golden Krust” gushes Mukendi about the popular Jamaican restaurant, known for their authenticity and Shekinah’s favorite, braised oxtails. As for at home cooking, the South African student frequents the Decatur Farmer’s Market and small, family owned African shops in the Clarkston and Conyers areas.
From the Caribbean to Peru, Adrian Messiah, a Peruvian Business major at the Decatur campus, shares the best of her native land’s food. “Good ethnic foods that are from Peru will be at Costa Verde; it’s off of Buford Highway,” she says. Like Mukendi, Adriana is also a big fan of Jamaican food, citing Jamaican Country Kitchen and a Jamaican-African fusion, Tropical Grill in Riverdale, as her favorites. “I think that Atlanta has a good reach for a lot of ethnic foods, but a lot of it is kind of [inauthentic] as well, so it’s really hard to find something that is authentic and actually has good flavor,” Messiah explains.
Experiencing different types of food may seem trivial or obvious to some, but there is something enlightening about it, more so when people connect with others who are from the places the cuisine originated. Furthermore, young professionals and students can travel just a few miles to feed their expanding palettes.
Yalla Mediterranean Restaurant at Krog Street Market
Krog Street, located along the Beltline trail, offers a wide range of great food, but Yalla ranks at the top. Their handcrafted sodas are unique and delicious – like their rosewater, pomegranate, and lemon flavor. Drink one to wash down their chicken Shawarma, which is made up of well-seasoned, roasted chicken with Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern favorites like hummus, fried eggplant and other delicious ingredients.
Pho 24 Vietnamese Restaurant
One of the trendiest cuisines of the last year is Asian pho and ramen dishes. Pho 24, like the name is implies, is a 24-hour Vietnamese eatery that makes some the city’s best pho. It is located in a strip mall and feeds cravings for any time of day.
Ike’s Café & Grill
Enjoy traditional West African food in a modern restaurant setting at Ike’s. They serve dishes from Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon, to name a few. Popular dishes are Beef Suya and Egusi. The restaurant is located in Norcross, Ga.