Buford Highway: A best kept secret

H Mart, a Korean supermarket and grocery store is also located on Buford Highway. Shoppers can find popular Asian food items and groceries, and this location even boasts a food court. // Photo courtesy of Korean Food

Tech’s neighborhood, Midtown Atlanta, while studded with gems of eateries married with greenspaces and skyscrapers ripping seams of clouds, is somewhat the front door of Atlanta. 

The bustle of urban life along with the hectic scuffle of students tends to overtake the waning summer, keeping students busy with excitement for new classes and the year to come. 

As the school year ramps back up, it is important for students new and old to get out of campus and explore greater Atlanta and its wide diversity.

The pearl of Atlanta, Buford Highway, seems like a mystical place; lacking the defined borders of a city, it is hard to tell where the “highway” starts and stops, what it is or how to know if you have stumbled across it. 

Just off of I-85 and a 20 minute drive from Tech’s campus is the city of Doraville, home to the conglomerate of ethnic enclaves known as Buford Highway. 

With new immigrants from Mexican, Central American, Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese descent calling the area home, Buford Highway is a haven for students from all walks of life.

The area is also much closer than you think; the central road, Buford Highway NE, is just a seven minute walk from the Doraville MARTA station, right on the Gold Line route directly connected to the Midtown and North Avenue  and Midtown MARTA stations off Tech’s campus. 

Here are the Technique’s recommendations for  essential stops to make on a trip out to Buford Highway. 

Farmers market

Patrons from all over Metro Atlanta journey out to Buford Highway Farmers Market, often called Atlanta’s best kept secret, for any grocery needs. 

Craving a taste of Scandinavia? There is a portion of an aisle dedicated to Norwegian chocolate bars, Swedish cookies and Dutch licorice. 

A college student’s paradise — instant noodles, of course — spans more than one full aisle.

If you are looking to whip up a fancy dinner for your friends, pay a visit to the fresh meat or fish market within the store for high quality and cheap prices.

Some of the best weekends come from going to the market with friends, challenging yourself to make a dish out of packages in languages you can not understand. These experiences bond college students together during their years together, while exposing them to new cultures.

Kura sushi bar

Out of Atlanta’s three revolving sushi restaurants, two of them are located right on Buford Highway. 

The most popular place by far is Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, which is situated in the busiest plaza of the highway. 

Make sure to arrive early, as there is a wait on most weekend nights. 

However, with the perfect location comes perfect distractions; while you wait for the table, make sure to pay a visit to the HMart right next door.

Once you are seated at the sushi bar, the revolving trains contain rolls, nigiri and specialty items of all sorts. 

The experience is even gamified since an automated slot counts the plates and dispenses prizes as a robot comes around to serve water and fresh utensils. 

If the revolving train does not have the item you crave, do not worry; you can call a “bullet train” with selected items straight to your table.

El rey del Taco

El Rey Del Taco is in one of the busiest plazas on Buford Highway. 

Its popularity speaks for itself in its plentiful five-star reviews and the impossibility of finding parking on a Friday night. With a packed menu of octopus tacos, steak parrilladas and their famous fajitas, El Rey Del Taco frequently finds itself on lists of local favorites. Their kind staff and dedication to the community always keep customers coming back for more delightful food and an amazing experience.