75 Best Restaurants in Atlanta

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75 Best Restaurants in Atlanta

You’ll sometimes see the tlayuda compared to a Mexican “pizza,” but that frankly undersells it—and understates the crackling freshness and piquancy of the Oaxacan specialty, which is also the specialty of the house at this Clayton County taqueria. The base is a disc of masa larger than a frisbee, fried or grilled till crispy, then topped with refried beans, juicy tomatoes (perfectly in season, on a recent visit), avocado and sliced jalapeño pepper, and then stretchy Oaxacan cheese—which admittedly is a little mozzarella-like. Then, your choice of meat (carne asada, pork stomach, a sumptuous al pastor, et al)—or just more vegetables. And then—almost done—one or more salsas from this restaurant’s voluminous salsa bar, which includes a punchy salsa verde and a blood-red salsa macha. If it’s a cousin to pizza, the tlayuda is equally a relative of a tostada, a salad, and a seven-layer dip. In short, it’s everything.

Rosalia Ruiz—who owns Taqueria La Oaxaqueña with her husband, Oscar Arteaga—started selling food on the street in Oaxaca, where she grew up, at the age of 16. Since coming to the Atlanta area, her career has built slowly toward this restaurant: first, a flea market; then, a food truck; then, a small Clayton County brick-and-mortar; and now, this cheerful space on Mt. Zion Road, which at any given lunch hour is filled with construction crews and office workers. The tlayuda is the marquee item, but the rest of the menu is as lavishly good, whether you’re looking for simple tacos on handmade tortillas, weekend menudo and pozole, textbook tamales (wrapped in corn husk or, in the style of Oaxaca, banana leaf), or specialities like mole Oaxaqueño or chicharron en salsa ranchera. —SW


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