As many years as I’ve lived in Atlanta, I’m always surprised to discover new destinations in the city that I’ve never been. One such destination is the Sweet Auburn Curb Market located downtown. I was one of a lucky few Twitter folks that were invited by Atlanta Culinary Tours to be part of their Sweet Auburn Curb Market tour.
Atlanta Culinary Tours is run by ATL locals Beth and Dave. Beth writes the Atlanta Ethnic Foods Column for the Examiner and Dave writes the blog Eat Buford Highway, so both have a great deal of experience with exotic cuisine. Their tours provide a unique opportunity to sample a variety of stores / cafes / restaurants. And not only that, but it is nice to have a little history of the destination or restaurants that you are touring, which they do a great job of.
Founded in 1923 the Sweet Auburn Curb Market offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood. Need pigs ears, frogs legs, or oxtail? They got you covered. In addition, there are several small cafes that operate out of the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. The market is open Monday through Saturday from 8 am until 6 pm. However, hours for cafes may vary, so be sure to check with individual cafes before heading down there.
Our first stop on the tour was Ciao Boca – Fresh Italian foods. We sampled a Meatball Slider as well as an Arugula topped bread. Super yummy!
One of the other stops on the tour was Afrodish Restaurant which is Caribbean food, where we thoroughly enjoyed the Oxtail dish we got to taste – so tender and full of flavor. And for a true taste of the South, we visited Metro Deli Soul Food. With favorites like collard greens, mac n cheese, sweet potato casserole, and meatloaf, there’s certainly something for everyone here.
Next up was Miss D’s New Orleans Pralines. Miss D was there herself to give us a little background of how she got started. She shared with us she came to Atlanta after Katrina struck New Orleans and started fresh making her goods here. She makes New Orleans Pralines from fresh Georgia pecans, as well as making candied apples and flavored popcorn. From the looks of it, she does quite the business too!
A visit to the Market, wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Sweet Auburn Bakery. They feature cupcakes, tarts, danishes, brownies, muffins and of course cheesecake! We were able to sample the Sweet Potato Cheesecake and it was delightful!
Our last stop was at Cafe Campesino . All of their coffee is Fair Trade organic, which means the workers in the countries that supply the coffee beans get a fair wage for the work they do. They also treated us to some delicious scones to enjoy while we sipped on our coffee. They open early (7am) on weekdays and have their own entrance for guests to pop in before the market officially opens at 8 am.
Overall, we left completely stuffed full of yummy treats. Our tour lasted about three hours. Beth and Dave do a fantastic job of organizing these tours. Each vendor was prepared to greet us and serve up our food when we got to their space at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market.
In addition to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market tour ($39), Atlanta Culinary Tours takes you to some of the highlights of the Inman Park / Old Fourth Ward restaurants ($39) on that tour and even tours Atlanta’s Chinatown ($28) in yet another tour. Most tours visit six to seven eateries and last about three hours. Looking for something different for a date other than the typical dinner and a movie? This is terrific option.