Olivia Arnold doubles as a foodie at night, finding some of Atlanta’s most delicious eats and discovering the best of savory and sweet in other cities. In honor of Thanksgiving, we ask Olivia some delicious questions about being a food blogger:
Q: Olivia we love looking at your amazing food journey on Instagram. Can you tell us one of your first taste memories – like your favorite meal growing up or something that inspired your love of eating?
A: Ironically, my mother was actually (and admittedly!) a terrible cook, so I spent most of my young life trying to eat at restaurants or to get my family to order takeout as often as possible. This likely contributed to my love of food exploring, dining out, and trying new restaurants. When we went out, my family most often ate Thai food, pizza, and cheap and cheerful tacos.
Q: Can you highlight some of the best dishes you’ve had in Atlanta and some of your favorite places? Where would you go on date night vs. family night with kids?
A: There are so many great options in Atlanta! My favorite restaurants are Gunshow (definitely date night or a group of adults), Staplehouse (date night), and The Optimist (date night but also has a fun outdoor area where kids can play). For pizza, I love Nina & Rafi and Varasano’s. For ramen, Jinya, Momonoki, and Lifting Noodles. I love Buford Highway for Korean (Sokongdong) and Mexican (El Ray). For brunch, Petit Chou and Root Baking Co. For pasta, Boccalupo and Bellina. For burgers, there is an awesome pop up called Billy’s Burgers that is worth finding and then the classic H&F and Marcel burgers. I could keep going…there are too many great spots!
Q: How do you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving this year (we’re guessing it’s your favorite holiday)…
A: I do love Thanksgiving! However, this year looks a little different from most. I will have just had a baby in early November, so Thanksgiving will likely be low-key, and my typical family gathering will be a lot smaller. Still, I will probably get a catered dinner from Serpas, a local restaurant in a hip area of town, which is what I did last year as well but with a BBQ restaurant called DAS BBQ. Getting a pre-made meal takes away a lot of the stress (and, let’s face it, my cooking is not the best)!
Q: What made you decide you wanted to start @foodistagirl on Instagram and what would you recommend to anyone else that wants to get started on social?
A: I started my @Foodistagirl Instagram account when I was still in New York and had worked on a beauty influencer campaign at work. I thought that the influencers seemed to have a great time trying and sharing about the beauty products, and I wanted to see if I could be an influencer, too. However, I was not a beauty or fashion expert, but I did go out to dinners every night, and so I figured I could just share pictures of my meals. Soon thereafter, I moved to Atlanta, and I decided to use my fledgling foodie Instagram account to document my adventures around Atlanta’s exploding food scene – and hopefully to make my New York friends jealous!
Q: Food is so much more than breakfast, lunch and dinner. What does it mean to you and why are you so passionate about finding these dining experiences?
A: I love trying new restaurants and new types of food both in Atlanta and when I travel, which is very frequently (though likely a lot less once I have a kid)! I look for the most interesting dishes on the menu in the hopes of discovering something really different. I also love the experience of eating out either at a restaurant or a food truck or a food festival. The food always tastes so much better than anything I could cook! I also love sharing the experience of trying a new place with my husband and friends. People get so attached to the same old places they have always visited – breaking out and trying something new is so fun and exciting!
With Thanks to Olivia,
Bio: Michelle is a former beauty executive who loves being part of the Care Skincare Team. She’s married with two young children who have more energy than all the drinks on a Starbucks menu.