By: Faith Lopez, OSI Green Labs & General Sustainability Intern
As a part of OSI’s Sustainable & Local Food Month, I wanted to explore some local and dynamic food options that provide delicious, nutritious, lower-footprint meals! I focused my search on the metro-Atlanta area and restaurants that sourced from local farms. So, if you’re looking to spend your money on delicious food that’s better for the world around you, here are my suggestions!
1. Dulce Vegan
Dulce Vegan is a delicious vegan café, coffee shop, and bakery located in the Kirkwood area, which is only a fifteen minute commute from Emory’s Main Campus! Their expansive menu ranges from “egg” sandwiches, giant cinnamon rolls, bagels, tea, coffee, and cupcakes. Dulce Vegan is a queer and woman of color owned small business that has been serving the local community since 2007. Their location sits right across the street from a public library, and a combo dog wash and car wash! Dulce Vegan is the perfect spot for dog owners, book readers, and anyone looking to expand their palette to include more vegan options. In speaking with one of the main bakers, Dulce Vegan’s entire menu is organic and locally sourced. Before the COVID pandemic, they had a waste-sorting company that properly disposed of their
recycling and composting. As a result of pandemic-related changes, they are now looking to find a waste company that will dispose of their compostable waste. They do still properly recycle all recyclable materials, which is consistent with their mission of sustainability.
Overall, as an individual who follows a vegan diet, I found the atmosphere of their restaurant to be intentionally inclusive and extremely inviting. When I went to Dulce, I went with a friend who has multiple food allergies, and they were quick to inform her of which items on the menu were allergen-friendly. Ultimately, if you are looking for a cozy spot to try out new vegan-friendly breakfast items or desserts, this is the spot for you!
2. Cultivate Food and Coffee
Cultivate Food and Coffee is an off-beat brunch and café spot that relies heavily on farm-to-table culinary principles. Their first location was in West Buckhead, Atlanta and opened in 2019. They have plans to open three more locations in nearby cities like Alpharetta, Woodstock, and Battery. Cultivate Food and Coffee has an extensive menu including scratch-made breakfast and brunch items, specialty cocktails, and a coffee program based around beans roasted on site. Crucial to their menu is their in-season pumpkin pancakes, their vegan beignets, and their Halal chicken salad sandwich. They have grown quite the fan following in the metro-Atlanta area! Cultivate prides itself on integrating
ingredients from local farmers. All of their coffee beans are identified as organic, Fair Trade beans. Cultivate Food and Coffee surrounds itself with the support of local patrons. This can be seen in their farm-to-table menu as well as their artwork in-store! Cultivate only displays artwork from local Atlanta artists, hand-picked to match their modern atmosphere. If you’re looking for a new spot to try great coffee, as well as vegan-friendly, and wide-variety brunch items, Cultivate is the place to go!
3. Farm Burger
The Emory CCTMA shuttle, which runs on weekdays, stops at Decatur Square in downtown Decatur. Just a few minutes of walking from this bus stop is the simple, but delicious, Farm Burger restaurant. A Southern classic, with locations in Tennessee and Alabama, Farm Burger has but one mission: to make burgers with 100% grass-fed, local beef and ingredients from farms in the nearby area. Their farms certify that they never use antibiotics, never use growth hormones, and always use humane practices. And just like the crops on a farm, the Farm Burger menu changes with the season! Here in Decatur, Farm Burger sources its ingredients from local farmers like Crystal Organics, Decimal Place Farms, Anderson Farms, Love is Love Farms, and Hungry Heart Farms. With an ever-changing menu, there is always something to eat at Farm Burger. Highly recommend stopping by this restaurant the next time you find yourself in Downtown Decatur!