Mama’s Spicy Noodles is our go-to vegan option with a kick.
Joining ATL’s array of hot spots for clean eats is KarmaFarm, the city’s (and America’s, since we’re keeping count) first certified gluten-free fast-casual resto and bakery. Spoiler alert: It tastes as good as it looks on this page.
“Our mission is to eat real and do good,” says co-founder McCall Wilder, who set up shop on Pharr Road in Buckhead with her husband, Scott, just last year. “Scratch-made fresh dishes incorporate mindfully sourced, locally grown produce; humanely raised pastured meats; sustainable seafood; and organic dirty dozen fruits and vegetables.” Translation: The meat- and veggie-centric menu is that of which healthy dreams are made, curated with sensitive palates in mind, which is why the gluten-, nut- and dairy-free, and vegan and vegetarian crowd of Atlanta can walk into the 2,500-square-foot space without being forced to say “I’ll just have the salad” once again. Instead? Dishes bursting with flavor—and locally sourced ingredients—abound, from the savory turmeric mac (vegan!) to the fan-favorite Mama’s Spicy Noodles (also vegan!), made with all that good-for-you stuff from Georgia-based farms such as Calhoun Produce, Springer Mountain Farms, Rodgers Greens and Roots farm, and more.
Opt for the combo plate for a taste of everything—we recommend the made-in-house grilled Venezuelan yuca arepas.
As for the reason behind the name, Wilder explains: “What you put out into the world—your karma—is what will be returned to you. Whether it’s how you treat others, the way you feed and fuel your body… we believe in helping, not harming, in all aspects.” And why the llama logo? “Our daughter is a longtime llama aficionado,” says Wilder. (Same.) “In keeping with the warm, happy vibe, she named him Harold, and we worked with several entities to bring him to life in art and graphic form.” So, whether you’re stopping by during your lunch hour or for a pick-me-up after work (round of happy-hour shots, anyone? Vitamin shots, that is), you’ll spot Harold in mural form handpainted by local artist Nancy B. Westfall (@nancybwestfallartist)—and then most likely take a Boomerang; no judgment here, though. Inside, the interiors are as colorful and good vibes-inducing as the food, with bright orange hues instantly lifting your mood. “Orange is our son’s favorite color,” says Wilder, “so we chose that as the main accent to lend a bright, happy, cheerful and upbeat vibe to the space.”
Start your meal with one of these refreshing infused waters (infused teas and lemonades are also available).
And while you’re eating well, know you’re doing good too, thanks to the local nonprofits KarmaFarm helps support. “For every meal sold, we donate one back to a local child in need via No Kid Hungry Atlanta (@nkhatlanta),” notes Wilder. “And as parents to 10 furry rescues through the years, we also recently sponsored a large fundraiser for Angels Among Us (@angelsrescue) local pet rescue here in Atlanta.”
In true new-year-new-you fashion, fresh additions to the menu (emphasis on fresh) abound: Think flavorful bowl options like the Karmacado, filled with gluten-free smoked salmon, organic greens and avocado on organic rice or sorghum; and the Southern Comfort bowl flaunting grass-fed, slow-cooked brisket—or oven-fried Springer Mountain chicken, if that’s more your style—on organic sauteed greens and organic chickpea smash. Do us a favor? Save our seat!