Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend than dining on some delectable desserts?

In honor of the holiday, we caught up with Miller Union’s executive pastry chef, Claudia Martinez. Claudia was named a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2020.

She has also received numerous accolades, including appearing on Eater’s Young Guns list the same year. When she’s not in the kitchen at Miller Union, Martinez operates Cafe Claudia, a pastry pop-up that donates a portion of its proceeds to minority and female chefs.

As she prepped for the big weekend, Claudia took time out to chat with Rough Draft to share her Top 5 Favorite Atlanta Restaurants.

1. Poor Hendrix: One of my favorite bars/restaurants in the city. It’s a great atmosphere that has small bites at the bar that are very different from your average bar food. The grilled broccolini, grilled cheese, and salmon tartare are some of my favorites. The drink menu has some fun plays on classics, local beers, and an amazing wine selection. This is a East Lake neighborhood favorite with a great clientele, hospitable employees, and even better owners. Dessert tip: get a Rice Krispie treat before you leave!

2. El Tesoro: My go-to place on Sunday! The food is authentic Mexican with a wide range of items from tacos to pozole. The margaritas are always fresh and feature fun, seasonal flavors. The seating is only outside, so it’s great for big groups and enjoying the weather! My favorite items are the cheese dip, frijoles, maduros con crema, mulitas, and the tamales.

Claudia Martinez: Making pastries at Miller Union.

3. Kitchen Six: This is an Oak Grove neighborhood restaurant that deserves more recognition! It’s hidden, never too crowded, and very welcoming. The restaurant features local ingredients and supports local farmers. The menu is seasonal and light. I love seeing what new dishes the chef is playing with, using featured produce of the season. The menu is affordable and great for small groups. Make sure to ask for the reserve wine selection. 

4. Ticonderoga Club: This Krog Street Market institution is my favorite place for drinks and snacks. Every cocktail is well thought out, balanced, beautiful, and creative. I always get the Cobb salad, mussels, Ticonderoga Cup, and the tartare. It’s the best in the city! “Ticon” is good for everything, you can never go wrong.

5. Supremo: I eat a lot of Mexican food (see: El Tesoro) and Supremo is always on my mind when I want it “to-go.” This authentic Mexican restaurant on Memorial Drive specializes in tacos, burritos, and other staples. The churros are too good to be true, agua frescas are always changing, and on Sundays they feature a specialty menu. Make sure to get there early. They tend to have a line, that’s how good it is.

Rough Draft

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