Do you want a taste of Hawaii without the expensive airfare? You’re in luck, because poke (rhymes with okay) is the latest food craze to sweep Atlanta. Although this deconstructed sushi dish is just now gaining popularity, it’s actually been a staple of the Aloha State for centuries. Meaning “chunk,” poke is simply chopped raw fish tossed in a simple shoyu or ponzu sauce traditionally served over hot rice. Over here on the mainland we’re seeing different variations of it found in dedicated poke shops and restaurants around town.
While we may not be able to buy poke at roadside stands like the Hawaiians do, there are plenty of shops and restaurants around town slinging the addictive fish dish. Keep reading to see where you can get your poke fix in the Big Peach.
61 Broad St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 • (404) 343-2467
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Head downtown to visit Atlanta’s first poke shop found on bustling Broad Street. The couple behind Dua Vietnamese opened Fish Bowl in September 2016. Every day hungry GSU students and business people flock to the intimate shop for build-your-own poke bowls. Simply choose your base — rice is a classic (there’s salad for those of us watching carbs) and fish — salmon and tuna are popular. Toppings include crab meat, cucumber slices and other goodies you’d traditionally find at a sushi restaurant, like masago and sesame seeds. Seating is limited, so plan on sitting outside and soaking up the positive vibes of Broad Street.
6615 Roswell Road, Ste. 340, Sandy Springs, GA 30328 • (404) 343-0424
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Why should ITP poke lovers get to have all the fun? Thanks to the California chain opening this past fall, the people of Sandy Springs can get their poke fix, too. If Chipotle and a sushi restaurant made a baby, it would be Poke Bar. Walk into the brightly lit space and choose your base like rice, salad or even nachos. Move down the assembly line and choose your proteins — they even have tofu for vegetarians — and then it’s on to the sauces and toppings, which include classic sushi bar accoutrements like pickled ginger and tomago (egg). Wash it down with a refreshing cup of their iced green tea.
1568 Avenue Place, #D-160, Atlanta, GA 30322
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Not just a poke shop, Boruboru actually has a limited poke selection (two options), but spotlights another sushi trend: sushi burritos, or sushirritos. The fillings are texturally complex and bring together spicy tuna, jicama, avocado, mango and crispy fried onion. Tell your friend who doesn’t like raw fish not to worry, there’s something for her too. Boruboru has protein options for carnivores like the skirt steak with gorgonzola cheese and chicken with roasted mushrooms.
If the sushirritos don’t sway your poke cravings, we recommend the Boruboru-style poke with salmon, tuna or octopus served alongside macadamia nuts, masago, avocado, cucumber and pickled red onions.
Bonus? Boruboru resides in Emory Point, which boasts oodles of free parking.
479-B Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 • (404) 430-7613
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A food stand in We Suki Suki’s Global Grub Collective, Poke Burri offers poke bowls and sushirritos but took it one step further when they introduced Atlantans to sushi doughnuts. You may have seen these hybrids pop up on your Instagram feed, and now you can get your very own at Poke Burri. Don’t worry, it’s not as weird as you may think: sushi rice is simply shaped into a doughnut and the usual sushi fixings are arranged on top. Voila!
675 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, Georgia 30308 • (678) 235-3929
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Oysters aren’t the only thing worth ordering at Ponce City Market’s nautical seafood bar. Tuna and salmon are the go-to fish of choice for most poke joints, but W.H. Stiles, or “Dubs,” crafts their poke bowl with steelhead trout, a fish that’s orange like its cousin but with a sweeter taste. The fish is served alongside a zesty ginger scallion relish entertaining your taste buds with a fun clash of flavors and textures.
Embrace the poke craze and savor the flavors at these area poke hot spots!
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