Rico’s World Kitchen: Metro Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret

Rico's World Kitchen

Rico’s World Kitchen in Historic downtown Buford.

For the past two years, Rico’s World Kitchen in downtown historic Buford, GA has been my best-kept secret. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t keep it hidden for too long. Chef and owner, Rico Cunnington, has been turning heads and turned this once four table restaurant into a shining light in the Buford and Metro Atlanta communities. Urbanspoon currently ranks Rico’s the number 11th best restaurant in all of Atlanta. That is no fluke. Rico’s World Kitchen rocks so hard I sometimes dream about it (don’t judge).

This former gas station turned food Mecca produces some incredibly creative and mouthwatering dishes. Rico’s describes their food as a “celebration of regional and world comfort cuisine.” Chef Rico has said that the dishes featured on his menu have been inspired by food he grew up eating in the culturally diverse homes in Buford as a child. The menu is not big or complicated, but it is good, really good.

When you go to Rico’s, and you will go, you MUST order the Nett’s Lumpia as a starter. The Nett’s Lumpia are Filipino styled egg rolls filled with your choice of beef and pork, which tastes sausage-like, or smoky chicken. Both are fantastic, but I recommend the beef and pork. Rico’s mother Nett puts her stamp on the dish that bears her name by still makes the filling.

Nett's Lumpia

Nett’s Lumpia are Filipino egg rolls filled with pork,beef, or chicken with a house made sweet and sour dipping sauce.

I usually enjoy lunch at Rico’s since I work nearby and a lot of times I order the Fried Green Tomato Salad. This dish is packed with flavor. The fried green tomatoes are worthy of a meal on their own. They seem right at home paired with a salad that includes applewood bacon, blue cheese, and dressed with celery seed dressing.

Rico's Fried Green Tomato Salad

Rico’s Fried Green Tomato Salad with applewood bacon, blue cheese, and celery seed dressing.

Another favorite of mine is the Mojo Pork sandwich. In my opinion you can scip all of the “BBQ” joints in and around Buford. This is, hands down, the best pork sandwich in the area. This hickory-smoked pork is seasoned in a Mojo marinade and topped with a Guava BBQ sauce. The potato bun tends to disintegrate, but that doesn’t deter me from ordering this sandwich on a regular basis.

Rico's Mojo Pork Sandwich

The Mojo Pork Sandwich topped with the house Guava BBQ Sauce on a potato bun.

Other crowd-pleasing sandwiches include the Royal Rooster, a fried Habanero chicken flavor bomb, and the authentic Louisiana Po Boys. Po Boy lovers have a choice between shrimp, oyster and the fresh catch for their meal.

On top of a solid menu of salads and sandwiches, Rico’s has daily specials. We order the Lemon Chicken with Gnocchi during our last visit and it almost made us forget about the rest of the menu.

Rico's Lemon Chicken

Rico’s Lemon Chicken was a Daily Special and was fantastic.

Finish your meal off with an order of banana pudding (when available) and you will thank me. The wafer on top takes an already amazing pudding to a whole new level. It is insanely good.

Rico's Banana Pudding

Rico’s Banana Pudding. The wafer is insanely good.

Rico’s World Kitchen has something special going on in the kitchen and should be on every Atlanta/southern foodie’s list. It is well worth the drive and right around the corner from the Mall of Georgia. Head north for meal filled with bold and distinct flavors you won’t soon forget.


Rico’s World Kitchen

306 W Main St
Buford, GA 30518


Tuesday – Thursday
11:00 – 8:00

Friday – Saturday
11:00 – 9:00

11:00 – 2:00

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Thank you to Shane Durrance of ShaneDurrance.com for photographing our amazing meal.

Rico's World Kitchen on Urbanspoon

About the Author Spencer

Spencer is a native "Atlantan" and the co-owner of The Trot Line. In addition to TL he writes for his own blog, Life Below the Line. He is a graduate of The University of Mississippi, loves sports, art, and any excuse to tailgate.