LET's LUNCH: JIA at Ponce City Market Atlanta, GA

March 08, 2016

Ponce City Market Food Hall

Lunch at Jia in Ponce City Market

I love to explore Atlanta, especially new eateries, so I was excited to make my first visit to Ponce City Market (PCM) to do just that. I am so glad that instead of demolishing this Atlanta treasure, the developers turned the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building into a lovely mixed-use structure where you can shop, eat, live, and work. 

My mission this visit: Lunch in Ponce City Market's Food Hall. I have seen so many fantastic images on Instagram about the amazing things at PCM, namely the food. I was eager to experience for myself. When I arrived at the Food Hall, I began to make my way up the left side with a plan to then travel down the right side evaluating my dining options and then make a decision on where to dine, after I had seen all possibilities.

As I made my way down the ride side of the Food Hall, I noticed a Chinese restaurant and was about to walk past it, but was stopped in my tracks by the unique decor. I am typically not a fan of Chinese food, at least not the type of Chinese food available en masse in the states. However, a quick peek at the menu solidified that Jia would be my lunch spot for the day.

Jia is described as serving authentic Sichuan cuisine. From the menu, I noticed varied offerings that differed vastly from the menus of Chinese restaurants I had been to in the past. After reviewing the menu, I decided on an appetizer and a main course. Shout out to our awesome waitress Kate for your recommendations!

Dry Fried Eggplants

eggplant appetizer

We started off with the Dry Fried Eggplants or "aubergines," as it is called in French, for our appetizer. This was an amazing start to the meal. The eggplants were light and crispy on the outside with a dense creamy center. The savory combination of spices and herbs that garnished the eggplant were the perfect compliment to a vegetable that can sometimes be bitter.

Bamboo Fish

Bamboo fish

For our entree, we had the Bamboo Fish - "Deep fried fish fillet with spicy and numbing flavors served on a bamboo basket", with fried rice. The fish was light and crispy, but slightly greasy. The bouquet of spices that were similar to that of the fried eggplants gave balance to the dish. 

My dining experience at Jia gave me a new appreciation for Chinese food. The dishes that I tried were complex with bold flavors that captivated my taste buds. Each bite was a synesthetic fusion of unexpected flavors. I highly recommend that you check out Jia on your adventure at Ponce City Market.

Tips for eating at Jia:
  • Visit for lunch on a Friday - I went around 12:30 PM on a Friday and didn't have to wait at all.
  • There is plenty of parking available for Ponce City Market. It costs $1 per half hour. The cool thing about the parking is that a portion of the proceeds goes to sustaining the Atlanta Beltline. Major key - make sure to check your license plate number before going to the parking kiosk as you will need to enter it when you pay for parking.
  • The red chili peppers that may accompany your dish are not for the faint of heart. They are SPICY!!!

You can find Jia in the Ponce City Market Food Hall
675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Check out the menu here.

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  1. i haven't been here or to krog's market. both are on the list though

    1. Hi Elle! The Krog Street Market is on my list as well. If you make it there before I do, let me know what you think.

  2. Nice article, thank you so much for the share

    1. Thank you! I'll have to check out your selection of sun glasses since the sun has decided to shine a little brighter and warmer leading into spring.


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