Downtown Atlanta has no shortage of things to see and do. If one were really ambitious, one could start the day off early at the Georgia Aquarium (doors open at 9am Saturday!), venture next door to the World of Coke (don’t forget to try the Beverly), frolic through the water fountains at Centennial Olympic Park to work off some of the sugary high, take a tour at CNN (I might be more inclined to do this if Anderson Cooper actually filmed in Atlanta), and end with a ride on a Ferris wheel at night. Not that I would attempt to do all that in one day.
But often overlooked and unbeknownst to many, is the fact that in this very same area, is a modest deli with the best chicken tenders in all of Atlanta. Yes, there you have it. Park Avenue Deli & Market is the one establishment that you are forgetting to visit. Their hand-battered chicken tenders, which are fresh, never frozen, are reason enough to endure one-way streets and parking fees (or Marta) to come downtown. And after wading through the sea of tourists, kids, and traffic, who wouldn’t want to unwind with a deep fried delicacy?
Located across from Centennial Olympic Park in the same building as the Embassy Suites, it is the perfect spot for a quick and tasty meal in between your downtown excursions. It’s a family operated establishment (by the hardworking Songs) and has been around for over 10 years. In addition to your usual deli fare … Boar’s Head sandwiches and tasty soups … they have unexpected delicacies like their gyro (my second favorite go-to meal here after their chicken tenders and wings), which is loaded with juicy meat, fresh vegetables, and crazy amounts of feta cheese; their cucumber tomato salad; King of Pops; and new menu items like the Kwan Katsu. They are also planning to add some Korean inspired dishes like beef short ribs (갈비) and seasoned fried chicken (양념통닭) in the very near future. As if I don’t have a hard enough time deciding what to get!
Don’t believe me? Give it a try the next time you are at the Aquarium or Park and find out for yourself. Your tummy will thank you.
March 2014 UPDATE: Park Avenue Deli has officially changed their name to Kwan’s Deli and Korean Kitchen. Much more catchy and memorable!