These days, Duluth is seen by many as a desirable suburb of Atlanta, lying in the northeast section of the city. It’s a vibrant and green community with a good selection of restaurants for all tastes and budgets. Find the right place for you with our guide to Duluth’s best restaurants.
Courtesy of Sugo (credit Heidi Geldhauser)
Sugo serves a combination of Italian and Greek food, reflecting the heritage of the owners. The upscale ambience and attentive staff make this a good date night destination. Signature dishes include the succulent hanger stake with gigande beans and aged feta, as well as the braciole, a pork tenderloin stuffed with Italian sausage, dates and caramelized onions. Don’t miss the homemade four-cheese ravioli. The wine list will please even dedicated wine buffs, while the bartenders serve good, innovative cocktails.
Located in the old Knox House, which is surrounded by greenery, in the historic part of Duluth, Park Café offers fine but relaxed dining. The small dining rooms create a convivial atmosphere, and there’s an inviting outdoor patio when the weather permits. The chef uses local and organic ingredients, creating Southern dishes with a European twist. Popular choices include the trio of dips as well as shrimp and grits. The extensive wine list features wines from Italy, France, Germany, Chile, as well as the US. Best of all, if a wine takes your fancy, it’s possible to buy it through the restaurant.
Don’t be put off by the shopping center location; Luciano’s serves all your Italian favorites. The ambience is classy and romantic, complete with low-level lighting and a live band playing some evenings. The pastas and flatbreads are homemade, while the Neapolitan pizza is baked in a brick oven. Other recommended dishes include the linguine di mare and short rib osso bucco. The good food is complemented by an excellent wine list with options for all budgets, and Nutella-filled donuts make a great end to the meal. Service here is fast, professional and friendly.
Duluth has numerous Korean restaurants, but Breakers is an up-market choice. It’s modern and clean with air vents built into the grills, which diminishes that Korean BBQ smell. Service is friendly and efficient with beepers for attracting attention. The menu offers traditional Korean BBQ, and you can either order à la carte or the all-you-can-eat option if you’re extra hungry. Meat is pre-seared before being grilled at your table by one of the waiters. The thick pork belly is extra juicy, while the brisket is tender and moist. Sides include traditional seasoned salad and rice paper slices.
Kurt’s Bistro is a neighborhood restaurant that has been serving hearty, comforting German-style fare for over 30 years. Clearly, they are doing something right. The interior is dark and intimate and the welcome warm and friendly. This is not the place to come if you’re looking for a light meal as recommended options are Black Forest spaetzle, potato pancakes, ghoulasch and the Schwabian platter with different bratwursts, sauerkraut and potato salad. The ample portions should easily provide the next day’s lunch. Save some room for the signature apple strudel dessert with vanilla ice cream.
Hiding in a strip mall is Haru Ichiban, offering a range of authentic Japanese food. Staple sushi choices like nigiri and maki are fresh and flavorful, while the inspiring chirashi sushi don comes in a generous bowl with ample sides. There are also some typical Osaka dishes including takayaki (fried octopus balls) and the omelette-like okonomiyaki. But it’s the ramen (rich, flavorsome soups) that customers really rave about; try the Tonkatsu or Takana ramen. Don’t miss the beautiful creation that is green tea ice cream tempura, and don’t be discouraged by the line at the door, it moves quickly.
J’s Mini Hot Pot is a clean and friendly hot pot restaurant. Here, everyone gets an individual pot, avoiding potential hot pot squabbles. The choice is huge, with everything from beef, pork, and lamb to sliced fish, snow crab and other seafood. There are also plenty of vegetables and sides from which to choose. There is also a separate sauce bar where you can mix different sauces to create your own unique blend. Options include soybean sauce, fish sauce or garlic-chili sauce. For dessert, try the range of bubble teas and shaved ice topped with red bean paste.
Bar, Restaurant, Steakhouse, American, French, $$$
Viande Rouge is a special occasion steakhouse. The interior is intimate and glamorous with red walls and dark wood plus a 1920s cigar bar feel. The restaurant serves over seven different types of steak with a range of toppings including foie gras and lobster tail. Other signature mains are the Wagyu Kobe burger and beef bourguignon. All dishes are beautifully presented. Don’t forget the chocolate soufflé or the banana foster for dessert. The extensive wine list features prominent European and American wines including a large selection of Bordeaux, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon.
Looks like it's closedHours or services may be impacted due to Covid-19
Armando’s Caribe is predominantly a Cuban restaurant with a Latin hint. It has been recently refurbished and features a tropical vibe, warm and laid-back with helpful and attentive staff, while the bar serves highly drinkable margaritas. Complimentary chips and salsa are provided at the start of the meal. Popular choices include the mahi, salmon with guava sauce, lobster tacos and Cuban sandwiches. But follow the parrot marking the signature dishes and it’s hard to go wrong.
Café Raik offers a combination of Lebanese and Turkish specialties. The no-frills décor resembles a take-out joint in a strip mall, but it’s clean. More importantly, the food is delicious, authentic and fresh. Falafel, baba ganoush and the beef or chicken shawarma wrap are recommended. The sandwiches come in pita, pafeh or baguette (and the pita is particularly delicious). Service is friendly, and the very generous portions will keep you fed for a couple of days.