Updated: Apr 22
For What’s Cooking Atlanta
A monthly column for PACCGA
by Hope Webb 3/22/22
In 2018, when I arrived in the metro Atlanta area, the local food scene was dolefully devoid of Filipino food. Kuya’s in the ASSI Food Court in Duluth, was highly revered as the go to, one and only, Filipino restaurant in the area. Unfortunately, for those who live OTP south or west of Atlanta the location was reserved for killing two birds with 1 stone; traveling long and far to shop at the market, with a solid plan of enjoying those familiar flavors of home.
Throughout my research I stumbled upon story after story of Filipino restaurants surfacing to feel the sunshine and then submerging into the dark abyss. Outside of Kuya’s (the Filipino communities anchor restaurant), It seemed like the city of Atlanta’s foodie population could only support a Filipino Food scene that was limited to a few food stands and pop-ups peppered about town. Since 2012, Sarap Atlanta has been holding it down in the City at venues like Atlanta Underground - Atlantic Station, Defoor Centre, Sweet Auburn Market Nventors Loft, American Legions Post and Arts Xchange. Eggrollin’ ATL has been slinging Filipino food at markets from Suwannee, to Alpharetta, McDonough and beyond. While Claire’s Kitchen and Antonio Family Foods began their Filipino Baked goods monopoly and began to supply many of the Asian stores throughout. All of them, being the longest known purveyors of Filipino food, of note, who are still at it today. One would be curious to know what happened in 2012 that spawned their endeavors. It was obviously a significant year in Atlanta’s Filipino food history.
However, things today look very different. I hope you join me in celebrating the OG’s of the past as I dig into our history and their stories. I encourage you to follow more closely as we ramp up excitement and support for those currently digging in their heels in a merciless pandemic to help them build a foundation for themselves and for the Filipino food entrepreneurs and chef’s of the future. The #filipinofoodmovement of Atlanta is coming in hot with one common goal: to ensure that the City of Atlanta’s Foodscape is never dismally devoid of Filipino food ever again.
In the coming articles I will dive deeper into the journeys of the following Filipino Chef’s and Micro-Bakers. I will build on their friendships and how they banded together around one nucleus.
Kamayan ATL, Sarap, Estrellita, Three Lola’s Bakeshop, Adobo ATL, Seven Finger’s Baked Goods, Baolicious, Hapag, The Real Deal Bakery, Barangay ATL, Bakers Hatt
Follow all the latest on FB and IG @filipinofoodatl