Java Saga to “Pursue the Brew” and Tasty Taiwanese Fried Chicken on Buford Highway

The diminutive coffee shop and hot chicken restaurant is relocating to bigger digs formerly occupied by Master Bakery.
Java Saga to “Pursue the Brew” and Tasty Taiwanese Fried Chicken on Buford Highway
Photo by Alvin Sun
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Java Saga, popular for its strong coffee and Taiwanese-style fried chicken, will be moving to the Buford Highway shopping center anchored by I Luv Pho, across from Asian Square and Sweet Hut. 

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“It’s about 1000 square feet, a little bigger than our current spot,” Owner/Fry Cook Alvin Sun told What Now Atlanta. “So, unfortunately, it’s the same concept, pickup-only with tables outside. There will be a tiny indoor waiting area. But it’s right on Buford Highway, so that’s pretty special!”

Java Saga is currently “about halfway done with building process,” and hopes to open in early spring. “If Doraville allows wine and beer sales for pickup, then we will apply for a liquor license,” Sun said. 

The original brick-and-mortar location on Presidential Parkway has thrived despite the pickup-only business model, off-the-beaten-path-location, and opening in February 2020. “Getting established in the middle of the pandemic was a soul-crushing experience,” Sun told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

But the concept was conducive to social distancing, and loyal customers made their way to the cheerfully muralled pickup window to order Cloudland Coffee and sandwiches like the 886, with pickled daikon-carrot slaw, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, and Sriracha mayo. 

Everything will still be made fresh to order at the new location, without gluten or MSG, based on a recipe that Sun’s mother got from a restauranteur friend in Taiwan. They will also continue to serve Cloudland Coffee — but never decaf. “That’s like taking a nap in a movie theatre,” says Sun. 

As the name implies, Java Saga got its start as a coffee shop — or more precisely, a coffee truck. In 2016, Sun, a senior at UGA and Starbucks barrista, decided to parlay his business classes and café experience into the Java Saga trailer. But things didn’t really take off until he added the chicken. 

“We created the Taiwanese chicken sandwich and everything changed,” Sun told Atlanta Coffee Shops. “I then centered my focus to film production catering only. Business was great being one of few coffee and food trucks in Atlanta’s growing film industry. We were booked every week.”

Even after the Presidential Parkway location was up and running, the Java Saga truck continued to deliver great chicken and coffee all over Metro Atlanta — until last September, when it was stolen. Despite the theft being captured on video, “the trail has gone cold.”

But Sun’s sense of humor and business are both going as strong as good coffee, and we’re looking forward to the new Buford Highway location.

Java Saga to “Pursue the Brew” and Tasty Taiwanese Fried Chicken on Buford Highway
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Paige R. Penland

Paige R. Penland has been covering hospitality and travel since 2003, when she began writing Lonely Planet travel guides with reviews of restaurants from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. But there's no place like home, and she’s excited keep Atlanta in the know with What Now.

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