Seared scallop with saffron butter, one of the many dishes from Umi's celeb-beloved menu
From tried-and-true classics to recently opened culinary stars, JEZEBEL’s 100 Best Restaurants list spotlights the city’s best when it comes to dining. For the 15th consecutive year, we’ve asked you, our in-the-know readers, to chime in on your go-to spots (which you did by the thousands!), while our editorial team has been hard at work scoping out the good, the fab and the truly sensational, from Buckhead to Marietta to Decatur and beyond. In the next 28 pages, dig in to a sizzling rundown of rising-chefs, revamped menus, fresh openings, mouthwatering dishes and the perfect summer sippers. Plus, we’re calling out the best burger, mobile eats, celeb-sighting spots and more in our Best of the City section, making it easier than ever for you to plan your next dining detour. So, what are you waiting for? Satisfy your social cravings (and appetites!) with these trending outposts. Get to grubbin’!
$–Dinner entree price range
B–Brunch available (times vary)
R–Reservations accepted (restrictions may apply)
F–Furry friends welcome
1 | Umi
3050 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.841.0040 | @umisushiatl | $40-$75 | R
Indulge in a superior level of Japanese culinary preparation and presentation at partner/chef Fuyuhiko Ito’s Umi—the most happening resto in A-Town, co-owned by longtime Atlantans Farshid Arshid and Charlie Hendon. Their vision was to create a subtly elegant interior that welcomes guests with unique floor-to-ceiling blackwashed, burnt-wood panels, polished light-wood furniture and moss-green banquettes. Orb chandeliers, sculptural chairs and the thoughtful addition of shiny river rocks (to rest your chopsticks on) are all part of the restaurant’s inventive design, but still allow the cuisine to take center stage.
Although Ito was trained as a French chef, his black cod misoyaki was inspired by Nobu Matsuhisa’s famous dish. Despite his classical leanings, Ito isn’t afraid to add modernity into his delectable creations. The spicy-tuna crispy rice and yellowtail jalapeno top the list for best starters, followed by the nigiri lineup, which includes superfresh options such as the unagi (barbecue fresh-water eel), hotate (live scallop) and others flown in from Tokyo fish markets five days a week. Specialty rolls that wow include the new page roll with shrimp tempura on the inside, topped with paper-thin sliced lemon and fresh salmoneel sauce; and the Kobe beef roll with slices of slightly cooked Kobe beef, daikon sprouts and green onion. To complement both typical and innovative rolls, expect a bevy of inventive dishes such as the Chilean sea bass yu-an yaki, marinated in a yu-an sauce and wrapped in a cedar sheet that’s set ablaze for a true smoky flavor and presentation that’s full of pageantry.
Take care to save room for a green-tea souffle dessert prepared by Ito’s wife, Pastry Chef Lisa Ito—only 12 are served up per night. Like the rest of the evening’s experience, it inspires wonder with every bite.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Yellowtail jalapeno; Main course: Black cod misoyaki; Sip on: Tenzan sake; End with: Green-tea souffle
Insider Tip: Try The Aburi sushi, which is all the rage in Japan—the fish is handtorched for a flavor profile that’s more complex than raw sushi.
Celeb Cred: Drake, Freddie Freeman, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence, Matt Ryan, Dan Uggla, Usher
2 | St. Cecilia
3455 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.554.9995 | @stceciliaatl | $10-$46 | R
In the days leading up to the opening of St. Cecilia, Ford Fry’s latest addition to the Buckhead dining scene, the expectations were palpable: A million-dollar-plus renovation to the sprawling Bluepointe space by the world-renowned Meyer Davis Studio was being spit-polished. A menu of coastal European-inspired fare was first being crafted by Fry’s hand-chosen überchef Brian Horn (who recently returned to help with the culinary programs at JCT. Kitchen & Bar, The Optimist and No. 246). A towering bar and superchill lounge space was set to be a new staple for happy hour and beyond. St. C’s was slated to be the restaurateur’s biggest foray yet, so we can understand why the buzz would be a little intense.
Occasionally, a restaurant is capable of living up to such a difficult level of hype, and our palates are better off for it. And then once in a blue moon, we’re simply blown away. Sure enough, everything about St. Cecilia is exquisite.
Natural light floods a space that successfully walks the razor-thin line between modern elegance and rustic charm, as new Chef de Cuisine Craig Richards and Creative Director Drew Belline have stepped in to bring their own savoir-faire simplicity to Horn’s meticulously crafted menu of fresh fish and hand-kneaded pasta. Shareable antipasti like charred octopus with cured tomato-and-bean salad is savory and refreshing. Similarly, the Cappelletti with wild Georgia shrimp, microgastronomic seaurchin froth and pickled herbs combines a hardiness with an inescapable delicacy. Loup de Mer, sparsely garnished with marcona almond and citrus, reaches simple perfection in a way seldom achieved by seafood in this city. The overall effect of Richards’ and Belline’s new twists are intoxicating.
Along with beverage director Bradley Wyatt, Fry’s star mixologist Lara Creasy consulted on St. C’s crafted cocktail list. Gin fans will rejoice with the Green River, which combines muddled arugula, black pepper and cynar for a combination as spicy and sultry as a summer afternoon on the Chattahoochee. A list of small-batch wines has been carefully cultivated and marries the menu precisely. But don’t just take our word for it—the accolades have been pouring in from across the country. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—Fry’s on fire.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Cobia tartare; Main course: Agnolotti with red wine-braised beef short rib; Sip on: Barber of Seville; End with: Whey panna cotta with strawberry
Insider Tip: Make reservations two weeks in advance or plan to sit at the bar.
Celeb Cred: Drew Barrymore, Conan O’Brien, Robert Redford, Matt Ryan
3 | Chops Lobster Bar
70 W. Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.262.2675 | @chopslobsterbar | $26-$104 | R
Chops Lobster Bar is the American seafood and steakhouse personified. The dimly lit dining room with its dark-wood booths, white tablecloths and big-city bustle sets the stage for a redblooded meal like no other. Every moment of the experience at Chops (and its downstairs counterpart, Lobster Bar) is luxe: Knowledgeable servers guide you through the extensive menu and decadent specials (lobster mac and cheese, anyone?); waiters wheel carts of tableside-served specialties like tenderloin steak tartare and fresh genuine Dover sole; while enormous towers of fresh seafood are intermittently on parade through the crowd. Diving into one of these towers is a decadent must for seafood-lovers: Maine lobster, jumbo shrimp, ceviche, cold-water oysters and colossal lump crab reign over a bed of ice. If cold isn’t your thing, warm up for the main course with a signature cold-water South African flash-fried lobster tail. Then, “steak” your claim with the resto’s namesake entrees. Each prime cut of meat is perfection, whether you prefer the filet mignon, bone-in New York sirloin dry-aged with Himalayan pink salt or the coveted Kobe: The $19 per ounce genuine A-5 Miyazaki Wagyu is available in filet- or New York strip-style cuts. Take any of these exquisite carnivorous options to the next level by adding foie gras, white truffle butter or traditional béarnaise sauce to the mix.
But the entrees aren’t the only standouts. The sides are easily meals in and of themselves. Indulge in truffle Parmesan fries or thick-cut onion rings with cracked-pepper steak sauce for the table. Veggies get the royal treatment too, thanks to decadent creamed spinach and jumbo asparagus with a Parmesan crust.
And after you’ve reveled in dessert or a glass of port, head downstairs to The Club. But be prepared to only get a glance: This speakeasy-style, invite-only spot is so in-demand there’s a waiting list to get on the waiting list for membership. Now that’s exclusive.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Shellfish Tower; Main course: Snake River Farms Wagyu Kobe New York strip; Sip on: Smoky Manhattan; End with: James Beard Award-winning white-chocolate banana cream pie
Insider Tip: Behind a secret door lies a lounge known as The Club at Chops that’s members only. The VIP establishment has a humidor, mosaic-tile roof and leather chairs filled with sports stars, actors and other prominent who’s who.
Celeb Cred: Jennifer Aniston, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Dan Uggla
4 | The Optimist
914 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.477.6260 | @theoptimistatl | $21-$33 | R P
It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time in the not-too-distant past when the words “raw bar” were not on the tips of Atlanta diners’ tongues. Then, Ford Fry decided to unleash The Optimist, Westside’s seafood-serving darling of a dining room, and everything started to change.
Stashed away in an unassuming warehouse on Howell Mill Road, the elements of a surf-side, Old World boardwalk are flanked with nautical hues, white tile and hardwoods. A long bar, outfitted with carnival-esque exposed bulbs, is stocked with bubbly prosecco—the perfect accompaniment to a selection of multicoastal oysters from the aforementioned raw bar, one room away.
Executive Chef Adam Evans has cultivated an assortment of the kind of simple, fresh fare for which Fry’s restaurants are now renowned. Seafood gumbo with garlic bread is an ideal starter, as is a pickable crop of shell-on Georgia shrimp a la plancha in a creamy white-wine sauce with sopping toast, arbol chili butter and lime. Hearth-roasted fish is the star of Evans’ kitchen. It’s hard to do Better than the crispy whole red snapper with a garlicky ginger sauce and charred peppers.
There aren’t a lot of spots that really set the pace for an entire category of dining in this town: Prior to The Optimist, our landlocked city provided only a few options for really spectacular seafood. Now, well, have you seen all the oysters in this town lately? Setting a trend isn’t easy, but as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We apparently have Fry to thank for that.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Shell-on Georgia shrimp a la plancha; Main course: Duck fat-poached swordfish, smoked short-rib, fava beans, treviso and horseradish butter; Sip on: Scurvy Scoundrel; End with: Toasted coconut sorbet
Insider Tip: Chef Adam Evans says, “Ask for a chef-prepared fish collar. We always have some interesting fish cuts!”
Celeb Cred: Jake Gyllenhaal, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon
5 | New York Prime
3424 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.846.0644 | @newyorkprime | $29-$60 | R P
The definition of “prime” refers to something of the first importance, highest rank or greatest significance. New York Prime is the name, too, of the old-school steakhouse anchoring the ground floor of the Monarch Tower that incorporates all of that (and more!) into its cuisine and ambience.
For starters, the steak might as well be passing Ivy League entrance exams—each one must be certified to the USDA’s highest standards, then aged, cut and charred on a special 1700-degree Southbend broiler to guarantee that the best possible quality meat ends up on your plate. The seafood? It gets the same VIP treatment. The colossal shrimp cocktail only allows U10s or higher, so each crustacean is about the size of a child’s fist.
Aside from top-notch tastes, the interiors follow suit and are a study in contemporary masculinity—dark, warm leather booths, low lighting, palm trees and wood panels. Service here is from a different era—a throwback to when the customer’s every wish was granted. In the formal main room—separate from the lively bar—white-coated wait staff bring out barrel-cut sizzling filets, while gargantuan oyster shells slip around on ice and baked potatoes are dressed tableside. It’s instantly clear upon arrival that Owner Greg Greenbaum, General Manager Michael Smith, Managing Partner Bobby Donlan and their team work hard to imbue everything from atmosphere to drinks, with a clever sophistication that evokes a time when the pleasures of gestation and cocktailing were savored at a slower pace.
Sometimes, dinner should be a pageantry-filled spectacle.It certainly is in this Buckhead chophouse that’s been on our Top 10 list since 2003.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Thick-cut sizzling bacon, served by the slice; Main course: 22 oz. Bone-in rib steak; Sip on: Woodford Double Oaked Manhattan; End with: White chocolate banana cream pie with buttery walnut shortbread crust
Insider Tip: Order the cheesecake, which is flown in from the famed Carnegie Deli in New York regularly.
Celeb Cred: Kevin Bacon, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Kuchar, Tyler Perry
6 | Bistro Niko
3344 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.261.6456 | @bistroniko | $19-$30 | B R P
To step into Bistro Niko is to step back in time to 1920s Paris. Walking to your table is a feast for the senses: Charcuterie and raw oyster bar options on ice are on dazzling display in front of the open kitchen. The dining room—sleek and chic thanks to dark wood booths, a floor-to-ceiling wall of bar shelving, ivory subway tiled walls and ornate carvings on the ceiling—is an inviting respite. French art adorns the walls, alongside photos of the Parisian brasseries that inspired the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s Karatassos family when they created the bistro.
For those looking for a more intimate setting, the Salon is a romantic nook off the entrance from which lovebirds can enjoy a quiet evening (and a killer view of the chefs in action). And, of course, the popular wraparound patio overlooking Peachtree Road is a haute spot to see and be seen as you sip and snack après work.
True Francophiles will delight in chef Gary Donlick’s authentic delicacies like foie gras with brioche croutons; apple compote and port-wine glaze; frisee aux lardons (salad) with bacon, a poached egg and brioche croutons; or a simple but delicious classic coq au vin—chicken in red wine, Parisian mushrooms, pearl onions and steamed potatoes. But, this wouldn’t be a true French affair without indulgent desserts, oui? Chocolate lovers will go crazy for profiteroles (choux pastry, vanilla ice cream, bitter chocolate sauce and almonds).
Wanting just a little somethin’ somethin’? Bistro Niko’s small plates are just as heavenly as the entrees. Share a tarte (traditional French pizza). Our faves: the mushroom and Gruyere and the smoked salmon with creme fraiche and chives. Wash it all down with one of the brasserie’s well-priced wines or a specialty cocktail.
At brunch, the brioche French toast with maple syrup and applewood-smoked bacon is a sweet go-to, while the croque madame served with crisped duck potatoes is a savory delight. On the sinful side, a Harvey Wallbanger with vodka, orange juice and galliano is the perfect complement to a très-chic meal.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Mussels Le Coze; Main course: Boeuf Bourguignon; Sip on: Le St. Germain; End with: Profiteroles
Insider Tip: Belgian Waffle Chantilly with freshly whipped cream and warm maple syrup is only available during Sunday brunch from 11AM-3PM.
Celeb Cred: Jimmy Buffett, Liam Hemsworth, Ludacris, Tim Tebow
7 | Gunshow
924 Garrett St. | Glenwood | 404.380.1886 | @gunshowatl | $8-$26 | R
When meat master and Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie left his post at the helm of perennial fave Woodfire Grill, we were surprised. There were burblings that the guy was starting his own restaurant—some funky little place, just a little off the beaten Path, where his creativity could be let off the leash.
And so, we have Gunshow, an utterly imaginative tribute to the chef’s Southern roots. Did we expect it to be good? Of course—this is Kevin Gillespie we’re talking about. But it wasn’t until our reservations were set, and we began taking a look at the menu, that we really got an idea of how unique this Glenwood dining room was going to be.
First of all, there’s the cart. Every few minutes, a multitiered carriage makes its rounds around the large, single-room space, weaving between long communal tables, touting a selection of freshly made delicacies straight from the open kitchen. Try something daring like Jamaican curried goat or go for funky change-ups to old standbys like oyster-mushroom Rockefeller or the West Coast burger: all brought to your table, explained, joked about, and, if it’s up your alley, put down in front of you. Empty plates are piled up, food is tallied and at the end of the evening, you get your bill. It’s fun, it’s different, it’s delicious—and it changes every week.
Speaking of which: Gunshow has expanded its wine and beer offerings to include a limited selection of drinks du jour. Every night, barkeep Mercedes O’Brien comes up with a shortlist of tasty sippers, loads her drink cart with all the fixings and rounds the room, making small talk with thirsty patrons while she shakes and strains. A bar on wheels: Why has nobody thought of this before?
Want to talk shop? Gillespie himself mixes and mingles with patrons from time to time, because nothing goes with dinner like a little foodie chit-chat. This star chef treats his guests like family, which, really, is what it’s all about.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Beef tartare; Main course: Low Country broil; Sip on: Smoked Old Fashioned; End with: Old-fashioned warm banana pudding
Insider Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for a “secret dish,” denoted by a blank space on the menu.
Celeb Cred: Jon Favreau, Bill Paxton, Vince Vaughn
8 | Miller Union
999 Brady Ave. NW | Westside | 678.733.8550 | @millerunion | $21-$33 | R P
New restaurants open in a continuous cycle in this town, but sometimes you can’t beat a classic.
It’s never hard to come up with new reasons to dine at Miller Union, the dream come true of Executive Chef Steven Satterfield and super sommelier Neal McCarthy. With an interior crafted by ai3, ATL’s go-to design firm, the whole place exudes a modern aesthetic with a well-weathered hand, where whitewash marries perfectly with steel windows and patterned wall coverings. Urban chic at its finest.
Satterfield has conjured up an ever-evolving menu that celebrates sustainable fare prepared simply, worthily showcasing the flavors of the season. Duck-leg confit with roasted peaches and oyster mushrooms create a sweet, refreshing summer charm; sauteed quail with basic aioli and faro is fresh and light; and if grilled flank steak with snap beans, cherry tomatoes and new potatoes doesn’t say, “Southern dinner down on the farm,” we don’t know what does. Is it any wonder that Satterfield was (finally) a James Beard Award finalist in the last couple of years? No, it’s not. (Congrats!)
A capable craft bar helped set the standard for cocktails in this town, but it’s McCarthy’s wine list that always leaves us impressed. There aren’t many restaurants that can combine MU’s style with a steakhouse-sized bottle-andglass menu, but under this gifted sommelier’s cultivation, the effect is seamless. You can’t help but respect a place that does pairings so perfectly—ask your server for a recommendation.
Before sipping, arrive a little before dusk to get a gander at the setting sun from one of our favorite patios in town. And plan to stick around for a while—diners in the know are always packing MU out, so you’re bound to run into someone you know at this Westside staple.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Shrimp, watermelon, cucumber, hot pepper, cilantro and lime salad; Main course: Georgia pastured chicken, grilled summer squash, feta, chili oil, mint and almonds; Sip on: Tangled Up in Blue; End with: Roasted peaches and cashew ice cream in a puff pastry
Insider Tip: The bar can extract a glass from any wine on the “by the bottle” list as they have Coravin Wine Access Technology, but you have to know to ask.
Celeb Cred: Cameron Diaz, Megan Fox, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds
9 | King + Duke
3060 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.477.3500 | @kingandduke | $16-$86 | B R P
When Ford Fry decided to try his luck at Buckhead dining, we were wondering if he could pull it off. After all, the king of the Westside had just come off a string of successful openings, but early-American cuisine (read: awesome meat) with a wood-fired char, all in the old Nava space? We would have to see.
As it turns out, King + Duke was the right step in an entirely new direction for this restaurateur extraordinaire. Teaming up with Joe Schafer (touted by JEZ as the hottest chef in Atlanta), the two concocted a lineup of fresh fare designed around the kitchen’s most prominent feature; a 24-foot-long open woodfire hearth (yeah, you’ve heard of it).
Let’s walk through your meal for a sec. Starting with a bowl of the coal-roasted onion soup is a no-brainer—this staple starter is smoky and kicked with pale ale: so good. Next, an order of Brunswick shrimp will have to be hidden from friends if you don’t want errant forks jabbing at your plate. And as varied and exciting as this “back to basics” menu is, we can’t go any further without singing the praises of The Duke: a house-ground burger crafted from carefully aged cuts, with coal-roasted onion and fries. Don’t let the simplicity fool you—this is perfection on a crusty bun. And for dessert? The sinful Valrhona chocolate cremeaux is to die for.
Then again, simplicity is the name of the game here. From the clean but rough-hewn attention to design we’ve come to expect from Fry’s empire; to the drinks, brought to you by mixology mastermind Lara Creasy; to the service, which remains intrinsically casual (but never off point) from top to bottom.
After all: the folks who make King + Duke tick know that a great restaurant should never take itself too seriously. You, on the other hand, may beg to differ—but we know you’ll have a great time, regardless.
Fave Dishes: Start with: Candied lamb belly with cucumber, sheep’s milk feta and warm flat breads; Main course: Mississippi rabbit with rabbit bacon, mustard and mushrooms with farro salad and rabbit liver roast; Sip on: The Yearling; End with: Dates + Ale
Insider Tip: Order the dry-aged steak tartare. “Dry-aged steak tartare isn’t listed on the menu, [but] is available every day until we run out,” shares chef Joe Schafer.
Celeb Cred: Jessica Alba, Jack Black, Matt Ryan, Usher
10 | Empire State South
999 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.541.1105 | @essouth | $20-$46 | B R P F
As Top Chef judge and restaurateur Hugh Acheson continues to build his empire (opening both The Florence in Savannah and Cinco y Diez in Athens, Ga. this year), his actual empire—Empire State South—remains one of the best restaurants in Atlanta four years after it first opened.
The airy dining room and bar flow into each other, embellished with brown leather banquettes, rustic farm tables and a soaring wall of shelves lined with barrelaged spirits.
Pull up a steampunk-esque stool at the bar, and you’ll often find bartenders standing on the counter reaching for bottles and bitters to make refreshing cocktails like Aesop Sour with gin, raspberry eau de vie, hay sugar and Absinthe.
The vibe here is casual (there’s a bocce court in the courtyard, after all) but the food is eclectic and sophisticated, while still being comforting. With Executive Chef Josh Hopkins (previously of Abattoir, STG Trattoria and White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails) taking over the kitchen last summer, the toque has been handed the reins by Acheson and has been busy giving the resto’s classics his own spin. The menu changes daily—depending on what fresh produce comes in the back door—so Hopkins essentially creates new plates or tweaks the components of old standards on the reg.
The new ESS cuisine still gets tummies rumbling with dishes like fresh Georgia catfish served next to fairy-tale eggplant, fillet beans, red pepper and charred leek. Craving something more unusual? Hopkins won’t disappoint with his stuffed quail entree over abalone mushrooms, turnips, lambs quarter and crisp potato, either.
In a surprise twist, former Executive Chef Ryan Smith returned to the ovens he once manned, but this time as the resto’s interim pastry chef. The new desserts—lovage tart with blueberry sorbet, black butter cake with peach ice cream, and chocolate cremeux with toastedoat gelato—all stem from his Willy Wonka mind, and are a sweet end to a monumental meal.
Fave Dishes: Start with: In Jars; Main course: Duck breast with broccoli, butter beans, chanterelles, sourdough gnocci and oat puff; Sip on: Kipling’s Muse; End with: Black butter cake with peach ice cream
Insider Tip: Ask to sit at table 7. It’s the special two-chair table they give to guests celebrating an anniversary, proposal or birthday. It’s the best seat in the house.
Celeb Cred: Conan O’Brien, Nina Dobrev, Jennifer Nettles, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Usher
CONTINUE TO BEST RESTAURANTS 11-55 >>
11 | Rathbun's
112 Krog St. | Inman Park | 404.524.8280 | $15-$42 | @rathbuns | R P
From sea scallop benedict to crispy duck breast, dishes at Rathbun’s are anything but ordinary, thanks to Chef de Cuisine Nick Anderson and owner Kevin Rathbun. Plus, the cocktail menu is just as fab: Try a Bell Tolls for Thee featuring hibiscus-infused Shellback silver rum. Both the dining room and the patio offer up industrial-inspired decor with a glam twist, so whether you indulge inside surrounded by exposed brick walls and the hum of a bustling bistro, or on the patio under the cover of the Stove Works portico, you’re in for a treat.
12 | Aria
490 E. Paces Ferry Road | Buckhead | 404.233.7673 | $26-$38 | @gerryklaskala R
There are some things you just don’t want to alter. If it’s amazing the first time around, why mess with success? Aria has been carrying some of the same tried-and-true classics since it opened in the ’80s, but much of the menu changes nightly. Stalwart staples like lobster-smashed potatoes, seared Hudson Valley foie gras, and pork shoulder cradled on cheese risotto shine brightly, even after all these years, thanks to culinary mastermind Gerry Klaskala. Plus, be on the lookout for a new dining room designed by The Johnson Studio set to arrive this summer.
13 | Pricci
500 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.237.2941 | $20-$30 | @pricciatlanta R
Since cropping up in Buckhead more than 25 years ago, award-winning Pricci has been a staple dining destination for locals and visitors alike, as well as for private dining, soirees and more. Credit it to chef and Milan native Piero Premoli, who landed in ATL after stints in Miami, New York City and throughout Europe. Premoli, along with new Pastry Chef Christian Castillo, are serving up fine Italian eats including standouts like barre di limoncello with caramel-vanilla kumquats, and fennel salad with tangerine vinaigrette; and inspired sides, charcuterie ops and hearty meat entrees to boot.
14 | Bone's
3130 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.237.2663 | $26-$98 | R
This old-school steakhouse has been one of Atlanta’s most beloved haunts since 1979. Out-of-this-world steaks, a Rat Pack-esque decor and exceptional service are the norm at this chophouse, which is also a favorite with the Buckhead power-lunch crowd. Expect classic steakhouse dishes like a wedge of iceberg lettuce, dry-aged bone-in rib-eye and sauteed spinach or mushrooms. The famed grit fritters are a must-try, and the wine list is a lengthy ledger full of perfect pairings for any meal. Not in the mood for vino? Order a dry martini and make a toast to dining like Sammy and Dino.
15 | The General Muir
1540 Avenue Place | Druid Hills | 678.927.9131 | $14-$22 | @thegeneralmuir | B R P
We’ve all waited an hour for a table at West Egg Cafe. It’s just something you do, because West Egg is that good. So why wouldn’t we be all over The General Muir, the splendid Emory offering from the same crew? Half Jewish deli and half modern Southern resto, The General is a place that balances bagels, schmear and coffee, with skirt steak, potato puree and a glass of Malbec. At 7AM or 10PM, it’s awesome: A laundry list of best restaurant nods, from James Beard to GQ, seem to think it’s top-notch, and we agree!
16 | Bacchanalia
1198 Howell Mill Road NW | Westside | 404.365.0410 | $85 prix fixe | @starprovisions | R
The Jamison Farm lamb is sliced artfully aside farm-fresh summer squash and spring onion. The oil hisses with Gulf crab fritters before it’s crowned with avocado and grapefruit. The sommelier is advising and pouring Bordeaux, Chablis and Grüner Veltliner. The five-course ever-changing prix-fixe menu leaves you in the deft hands of Executive Chef David A. Carson, who is forever under the influence of culinary virtuosos Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. Yes, everything’s still a serious standout at Atlanta’s fine-dining maven, even after more than 20 years on the scene.
17 | Kimball House
303 E. Howard Ave. | Decatur | 404.378.3502 | $6-$27 | @kimballhousebar
Come for the oysters and the Absinthe cocktails—stay for the vintage ambience and the daily rotating menu from Executive Chefs Jeffrey Wall and Philip Meeker. As a former train depot-turned-craft-cocktail emporium, this spot has become an instant favorite, with a packed house on most nights and an always-bustling wood-and-brass bar, where some of the city’s top mixologists pour. The a-la-carte oyster selections are always impeccably fresh, while those ordering elsewhere on the menu will be delighted by dishes like grilled trout with root vegetables harvested from the resto’s garden.
18 | Cakes & Ale
155 Sycamore St. | Decatur | 404.377.7994 | $22-$38 | @cakesandale_ | B R
Now that they’ve fully settled into Decatur Square, Cakes & Ale seems as focused as ever on chef-owner Billy Allin’s mission of bringing a changing menu of sustainable, local cuisine to the ATL masses. In addition to adding Sunday brunch to their roster, the rustic, earth tone-splashed space rotates much-loved dishes like seasonal gnocchi or whole-roasted trout with unexpected eats like mahi with eggplant puree and toasted hazelnuts. Head in to snag a sweet bite from Pastry Chef David Garcia, and be on the lookout for their next Sunday supper, held every three months.
19 | Barcelona Wine Bar
240 N. Highland Ave. | Inman Park | 404.589.1010 | $4-$25 | @barcelonawineba | B R P F
Serving small and large Spanish plates and some of the most fabulous cocktails in town, this Inman Park resto offers up something for every palate. With this year’s addition of chef Eyhab “Happy” Hatab, tantalizing tapas like sunchokes a la plancha and Moorish kebab with frisee, jalapeno and lime are new standouts. If you’re dining with a group, try the paella, which feeds two or more. The first-come, first-seated patio is always packed, so plan ahead for an alfresco dining experience, or take a seat in the dark, sultry wooden bar area and order a signature cocktail like the Summer St. Sling.
20 | STK
1075 Peachtree St. | Midtown | 404.793.0144 | $24-$89 | @stkatlanta | R
The chef may be new, but this Midtown hot spot’s swanky-sexy vibe still ushers in some of ATL’s hottest on the reg, by poppin’ Magnum bottles of Champagne every Monday and dishing out some to-die-for fare. Executive Chef Mark Alba is revamping STK’s seasonal menu, while signature dishes will remain on offer as well. The beef tartare and grilled Spanish octopus are flavor-packed, while the strawberrycobbler cocktail (with a graham-cracker rim) and desserts like the Bag o’ Donuts (apple-cider donuts with caramel and bourbon sauces) provide a perfectly sweet finish.
21 | Watershed on Peachtree
1820 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.809.3561 | $18-$34 | @watershedatl | B R P
This temple to all things Southern, owned by Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers and helmed by Executive Chef Joe Truex, is a must-try. The handsome toque’s Louisiana roots are evident in the Smith Hanes decor (rustic wood finishes, industrial details), and his Sunday Creole jazz brunch includes sugar-dusted langue de boeufs (Cajun-style beignets) and pimento-cheese cornbread. But don’t let its laid-back vibe fool you; Watershed throws a raucous late-nighter one Saturday a month with DJ Yvonne Monet spinning. Oh, and did we mention Jennifer Lawrence is a huge fan of their fried chicken?
22 | No. 246
129 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. | Decatur | 678.399.8246 | $12-$28 | @no_246 | B R P
Chef Drew Belline wanted to boil things down to the basics when putting together the menu for Ford Fry’s Italian job in Decatur. Categories like toasts, meat and cheese, and flour and water prove that simple is best—a philosophy that’s ever-present in the hand-cut pastas and crispy pizzas that dot the menu (the artichoke with Italian long peppers, salumi and roasted garlic is a delectable pick). And fresh news: 246 is doing brunch on the weekends (there’s a breakfast pizza, and yes, it’s amazing), so expect to see us there at 12:30PM promptly.
23 | Ocean Prime
3102 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.846.0505 | $25-$48 | @oceanprimecmr | R P
At first, you’ll take a shine to the bar with its sexy blue-swathed decor, frothing cocktails and addictive bar bites (spiced king-crab dip is a do!), but explore further and you’ll find a lively scene in the white-tablecloth dining room. The nautical-inspired space plays up the “surf” in this Buckhead surf ‘n’ turf outpost. A serious raw bar, yellowfin tuna and jumbo lump crab cakes will satisfy any seafoodies, but landlubbers will discover the “turf” from Executive Chef Mitch Brumels is just as enticing with steaks dressed in black truffle butter or Maytag blue cheese crust—foodie fashionable!
24 | Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.844.4810 | $9-$46 | @daviosatlanta | B R
This Phipps Plaza staple is a fave of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. It’s easy to see why: Executive Chef Richard Lee has perfected each meal, from brunch (prime top sirloin with over-easy eggs and sweet-potato hash) to classic Italian dinner dishes (the Philly cheese steak spring rolls and center-cut filet mignon have cult followings). Head in for their Sunday Local for Locals special, a shareable meal for the whole fam, or to sample a glass from their extensive wine menu—the resto recently invested in a Coravin, a steel contraption that keeps opened wine preserved for months on end. Bottoms up!
25 | Kyma
3085 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.0702 | $26-$44 | @kymarestaurant | R P
Fresh seafood and authentic regional cuisine have made Kyma a Greek-chic jewel in the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s crown for years. Dine alfresco on the sheltered patio or under the LED-lit starry-sky ceiling in the dining room, done up in Grecian-inspired interiors. Order a round of small plates, or Meze, to indulge in a sampling of some of chef Pano Karatassos’ finest fare, like saganaki (pan-fried kefalograviera cheese, Barbayanni ouzo). Feelin’ extra hungry? Order up a grilled whole fish: Select your favorite fresh catch and dig in. Wash it all down with a refreshing Thirsty Philosopher. Opa!
26 | 4th & Swift
621 North Ave. NE | Old Fourth Ward | 678.904.0160 | $12-$35 | @4thandswift | B R P
Jay Swift has taken his penchant for farm-totable eats (he grows most of the veggies you’ll see on the menu), and transformed an O4W warehouse into one of Atlanta’s most celebrated eateries. Along with son/Chef de Cuisine Jeb Aldrich, Swift guides his menu through the seasons with plates like hand-rolled potato gnocchi and cucumber fennel gazpacho. Mind the sides: From herb-roasted fingerlings to summer squash, this kitchen doesn’t miss. A full bar concocts exceptional libations, while wine fans will be greeted with a list that isn’t afraid to branch out.
27 | JCT. Kitchen & Bar
1198 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.355.2252 | $15-$30 | @jctkitchen | R P
After seven years, Ford Fry’s Westside resto continues to please locals with its menu of modern Southern cuisine. The truffle Parmesan fries are an indulgence that can’t be passed up, while the angry mussels are a game-changing app, thanks to the addition of serrano chilis. True to Southern form, the fried green tomatoes and deviled eggs are killer, and the famed fried chicken is so good you have to arrive early to get a piece. After dinner, head up to the chic second-story bar for a signature Southern Belle, and be sure to check out the schedule of weekly live music on the terrace.
28 | Tomo Japanese Restaurant
3630 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.835.2708 | $8-$34 | @tomobuckhead | R P
Artful plating, chic environs and superfresh eats are flown in twice a week from the renowned Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, then prepared by master chef and owner Tomohiro Naito—what more could you ask for in a Japanese resto? Naito opened Tomo with the desire to man his own kitchen and serve up contemporary dishes with handpicked, global ingredients. The menu is chock-full of traditional plates like black cod with sweet miso and yellowtail nigiri, while more adventurous palates can opt for the squid rings with ginger dashi sauce or the sea-urchin sashimi. Chopsticks up!
29 | Atlanta Fish Market
265 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.3165 | $10-$31 | @atlfishmarket | R P
This perennial fave serves some of the freshest catches in town, thanks to Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s own boutique seafood company that keeps a steady supply swimming in on the daily. The main dining room is filled with Cape Cod seafood house-style wooden tables and a glowing jellyfish tank. The made-to-order sushi bar serves some of the best in town. And having owner Pano Karatassos’ market onsite means you can order up fresh seafood to experiment with at home. (Though we have a feeling you’ll have a tough time recreating AFM’s signature Maine lobster roll.)
30 | Kevin Rathbun Steak
154 Krog St. NE | Inman Park | 404.524.5600 | $19-$105 | @rathbunsteak | R
Before Krog Street Market was a twinkle in the city’s eye, Kevin Rathbun set up shop over in Inman Park. Seven years later, his modern steakhouse still inspires, but if there’s one thing we know, it’s that Rathbun knows his meat. The old warehouse plays host to a comfortable, upscale atmosphere that balances Old World and abstract: a perfect setting for dishes like venison carpaccio and a splendidly aged rib-eye. A competent wine selection has the bar booming, so have a glass and get ready to splurge. Feeling sweet? Try the salted-caramel bon bons.
31 | F&B Atlanta
3630 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.254.1797 | $7-$36 | @fandbatlanta | R P
At a little more than six months on the job, F&B’s star Executive Chef Philippe Haddad has turned the beloved bistro’s menu on its head—with a Belgian twist. Housed on the ground floor of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Atlanta, Buckhead, new menu ops include pomme frites, chicken paillard salad and Mussels from Brussels. Feeling fancy? Book two days in advance for a private off -the-menu dinner soiree ($120 per person), where Haddad will treat you and guests to a seasonal, four-course French meal paired with Champagne. Sign us up!
32 | Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano
1099 Hemphill Ave. NW | Westside | 404.347.3874 | $15-$43 | P F
Giovanni Di Palma, the man who is building his very own Little Italia in the middle of Westside, wants you to know something: His mom made really good chicken. Lemon chicken was her specialty, in fact, and since this is the guy who brought us Antico Pizza, he deduced that he had the street cred to recreate the recipe, with scarcely a dozen others, in the back of his Hemphill warehouse. Family favorites like the incredible scarpiello, with salsiccia, sweet piccantes and cipolline, are made with fresh ingredients imported from Naples. Truly authentic is the name of the game.
33 | Holeman & Finch Public House
2277 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.948.1175 | $4-$19 | @holemanandfinch | B
James Beard-winning chef-owner Linton Hopkins’ famed Buckhead haunt has been at the top of the ATL dining scene since opening in 2008. The bar gets just as packed as the dining room, thanks in part to the infamous H&F burger, which is available in limited quantities (24 of them, to be specific), starting at 10PM nightly and all day on Sunday. Not one of the lucky few? Never fear! The chicken liver pate with apple cider gelée and toast is a delicious way to expand your palate, while the carbonara with a farm egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano and pancetta is elevated comfort food at its best.
34 | Canoe
4199 Paces Ferry Road SE | Vinings | 770.432.2663 | $11-$35 | @canoeatlanta | B R P
Back when dining out in Atlanta involved a meat and three and not much more, Canoe opened its doors on the shores of the Chattahoochee. They’ve been perfecting their craft ever since. Newly minted Exec Chef Matthew Basford continues the tradition with dishes like cornbread-stuffed Vermont quail with chicken Andouille and crisped okra: they’re as simple as they are succulent. Wine aficionados have long been aware of the paramount wine selection. An impeccable quality of service and a stunning view of the riverfront make Canoe the perfect celebration spot, even after 19 years.
35 | Saltyard
1820 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.382.8088 | $4-$24 | @saltyard | B R P
This newish Buckhead outpost is a fresh go-to for shared small plates—think heavenly cheddar bay biscuits, deviled farm eggs with bacon and hot sauce, and house-cured salmon chips with lemon-dill mascarpone, to name a few. Pro tip: Call ahead to find out if chef Nick Leahy is serving his crispy Brussels leaves, a tasty twist on Brussels sprouts, that only grace the menu as a special. And to toast the good life, order a signature cocktail like a Swift Kick in the Tito, or pick from the resto’s extensive beer and wine list. Don’t miss brunch, either; the mascarpone-stuffed French toast is a must-try.
36 | The Spence
75 Fifth St. NW | Midtown | 404.892.9111 | $9-$31 | @thespenceatl | R P
We’ve come to expect the unexpected from this hip, Richard Blais-helmed resto located in Tech Square. The daily changing menu boasts say-what dishes like bone marrow with tuna tartare and fried quail eggs, and roasted beets with salsa verde, avocado and marscapone. The Johnson Studio-designed space evokes warmth, with modern touches like cream tartans and pine tabletops. Pastry Chef Andrea Litvin whips up inventive desserts (where else can you get a liquid nitrogen ice-cream sundae?), while sommelier Joon Lim offers up a fresh, curated wine list.
37 | Woodfire Grill
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road NE | Lenox Park | 404.347.9055 | $8-$39 | @woodfiregrill | R
While this staple recently announced former Sous Chef Matthew Weinstein as executive chef, the quality of this Midtown mainstay proves for certain that some things never change (an ironic sentiment for a resto with a menu that changes every day). But rest assured, visiting patrons! Current summer menu faves like chilled Georgia peach soup, fried local zucchini and wood-grilled Cheshire-white pork chops delight. The bar also remains a favorite for the discerning pre-movie crowd as a reliable and comfortable place to unwind before heading over to the Tara.
38 | Cucina Asellina
1075 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.793.0141 | $11-$18 | @asellinaatl | B R P F
Tucked next door to big sister STK, this Italian eatery combines loose-tie elegance with a dogfriendly patio, so it’s no wonder that happy hour is huge here. Bistro tables line a vast, high-ceilinged space that straddles rustic and modern simultaneously, and the bar can stir up something crafty in its sleep. But it’s the kitchen that shines brightest: Chef Andrea Montobbio hand-rolls some of the best pasta in town—square spaghetti and burrata ravioli are perennial favorites. Don’t pay your bill without trying the lambstuffed Cerignola olives, though, and hit the resto on Sunday for a Bellini-infused DJ brunch.
39 | Osteria Mattone
1095 Canton St. | Roswell | 678.878.3378 | $8-$32 | @osteriamattone | R P
There’s a fine line between the anything-goes vibe of an osteria and the formal sensibilities of a trattoria, and this rustic, Old World Roswell dining spot walks it straight to our palates. Ted Lahey came over from Table & Main to open the new, Roma-inspired spot, and we have to say: For a guy who made us fall in love with simple, Southern fare, he sure knows his way around an Italian kitchen. (Neapolitan braised veal meatballs? Que bella.) And of course, there’s a menu of obscure, delightful wines from the old country to round everything out.
40 | Seven Lamps
3400 Around Lenox Road NE | Buckhead | 404.467.8950 | $7-$25 | @sevenlampsatl | R P F
Last year’s new kid in town has quickly become a Buckhead must-try. Chef Drew Van Leuvan, formerly of TAP and One Midtown Kitchen, serves up a lobster roll that can’t be beat, while the mussels in white wine with fennel butter and charred jalapenos are to die for. And because Van Leuvan has a passion for pastries, he makes sure his menu includes plenty of decadent desserts, including baked-to-order blueberry pie with sweet-corn ice cream. The cocktail menu is equally impressive, with inventive sips like Aphrodite’s Revenge, Ciao Bella, Ginger & The Bees and more. Drink up!
41 | The One Sushi +
2523 Caldwell Road NE | Brookhaven | 404.869.6988 | $11-$26 | @onesushiplus R P
At the end of the hip Dresden Drive strip sits this upscale sushi joint. Owners Mali Hu and George Muh, along with chef Jason Liang, are keeping fans like rapper Ludacris and TV chef G. Garvin coming back for superfresh sushi and creative faves, which include misoyaki Japanese black cod, pineapple shrimp and playful yellowtail jalapeno shots. Inside you’ll find a modern, blue-lit bar and sultry dining room with tabletops constructed from Taiwanese wood, tilted glasses and metal chopsticks. Outside, sip a lychee saketini on the patio and watch all of Brookhaven’s attractive revelers roll by.
42 | Local Three Kitchen & Bar
3290 Northside Parkway NW | Buckhead | 404.968.2700 | $10-$32 | @localthree | B R P
A hard-to-find doorway opens into a secluded space with reclaimed-wood walls and communal tables, filled with fans like bestselling author Emily Giffin. Like her, we adore this spot’s pig-themed menu. From the pork-belly pastrami to the Notorious P.I.G. charcuterie sampler to the ham-and-cheese popcorn—these meat masters have perfected the art of a playful pork-inspired lineup. Muss & Turners’ Ryan Turner and Todd Mussman, and chef Chris Hall are the... ahem, local three behind this upscale Southern food mecca with a laid-back attitude and a serious bourbon habit.
43 | Restaurant Eugene
2277 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.355.0321 | $12-$49 | @chefhopkins | R
There are a few restaurants you just know will be included on this list. It might be due to fresh, local fare that’s served in an atmosphere that practically invented Southern-chic. It might be a James Beard Award-winning chef like Linton Hopkins, who never stops pushing the envelope with a menu that evolves nightly. With offerings like marinated snapper and garlic scapes up for grabs, it’s no wonder the five-course tasting is legendary. Plus, the bar was ground zero for the craft movement in ATL: If you’re a truly great barkeep in Atlanta, you probably got your start here. Just sayin’.
44 | Hal’s
30 Old Ivy Road NE | Buckhead | 404.261.0025 | $40-$70 | R P
The atmosphere: relaxed elegance with a dash of New Orleans chic. The food: classics like baked escargots, oysters bordelaise and swordfish steak, washed down with an expertly crafted cocktail. You: there. Any questions? This old-school eatery keeps patrons of all generations coming back for more, with a sexy, intimate atmosphere, first-class service and throwback furnishings that evoke a vintage, black-and-white movie-style vibe. VIPs pack in on the reg (Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is a fan!) To get their drink and dine on. Don’t let the crisp white tablecloths fool you—Hal’s is far from stuffy.
45 | Ecco
40 Seventh St. NE | Midtown | 404.347.9555 | $7-$29 | @eccoatl | R P
Midtown’s go-to Euro bistro (for visiting celebs and locals alike) offers up modern takes on Old World Mediterranean dining. Chef Jonathan Beatty’s gastronomic gifts are on display in favorites like fried goat cheese with honey and black pepper, and braised beef-stuffed piquillo peppers. Fresh is never a question at Ecco, thanks to a rooftop garden that produces seasonal veggies all year long. This summer, Pastry Chef Eric Wolitzky is sweetening the deal with his Pastry Board; a selection of rotating handmade European pastries (among them a multilayer opera cake and a strawberry macaron). Ah, the sweet life!
46 | Nan Thai Fine Dining
1350 Spring St. NW | Midtown | 404.870.9933 | $18-$36 | @nanthaiatlanta | R P
Garnering a AAA Four Diamond Award eight years in a row is a ridiculous feat, but Charlie and Nan Niyomkul have done it again. It’s no surprise, really, when even native Thai guests declare dishes such as the larb kai—cooked minced chicken with ginger, lime, mint and roasted sweet-rice flavor— the best they’ve ever eaten outside their home country. #TrueStory. When not salivating over the lamb hung lay—chef Nan’s signature slow-braised lamb shank simmered in Northern Thai red curry—you’ll revel in the friendly and contagious nature of the staff. It’s no wonder we can’t get enough!
47 | Haven
1441 Dresden Drive NE | Brookhaven | 404.969.0700 | $17-$54 | @havenrestaurant | B R P
This Brookhaven bistro is the definition of an upscale urban eatery. Cozy up with a glass of vino from the extensive wine library (a wall of wines on display in the middle of the resto). Then, take in the open kitchen, which allows guests to watch Executive Chef Stephen Herman and his team work their magic on dishes like bacon-wrapped North Georgia trout, grilled Colorado leg of lamb and homemade ricotta tortellini. And save room for dessert! The banana pudding with Nilla wafers is a classic, while the fried sweet-potato pie with Nutella and butter-pecan ice cream is a craveworthy signature.
48 | Lure
1106 Crescent Ave. NE | Midtown | 404.817.3650 | $11-$30 | @lureatl | B R P
A one-stop bait shop for cool drinks and creative catches, the food here is hip and playful without ever being fussy. Summer highlights include pan-fried sole and whole Georgia rainbow trout. Libations are so big here the staff skips glasses and goes straight to punch bowls. Even the names of the drinks are tongue-in-cheek. The Old Habits cocktail mixes Bulleit rye, Berentzen apple and Benedictine. Oh, and don’t miss the sweet stuff. Try the warm coconut-guava cake or the citrusy key lime trifle. Stick a yum flag in that!
49 | Bocado
887 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.815.1399 | $8-$24 | @bocadoatlanta | R P
One of the pioneers of the Westside’s now fully fledged dining scene, casual burger joint Bocado keeps it fun and fresh. Think a seasonally changing menu of modern American eats with an eclectic twist, care of Executive Chef Adam Waller. The fried chicken sandwich is perfectly complemented with slaw, house pickles and spicy mayo, while the roasted poblano iteration with pimento cheese, applewoodsmoked bacon and fried green tomato takes Southern inspiration to the next level. Top it all off with a boozy Graffiti Sour cocktail with whiskey, Casoni liqueur, citrus and cherry.
50 | Bistro VG
70 W. Crossville Road | Roswell | 770.993.1156 | $7-$38 | @bistrovg | B R
An enduring epicurean outpost, this OTP gem was opened by Christopher and Michele Sedgwick in the early ’90s. Not afraid to update, the couple has changed with the times and given the space a modern East Hamptons-inspired update a few years ago. Executive Chef Eric Balderrama kept the beloved crabcake and white bean soup with truffle oil from the resto’s early days, but has crafted new faves like Meyer Ranch braised short ribs, wood-fired pizzas and brick-oven roasted oysters. The only thing that never changes? The bar spills out a lively scene almost every night.
51 | South City Kitchen
Multiple locations | $15-$36 | @sckmidtown | B R P
A longtime favorite of visiting A-listers (they love exceptional fried chicken, just like us!), SCK broke ground on modern/Southern fusion before the combination even existed. Years later, they’re still overhauling the local experience with Southern classics like fried green tomatoes and shrimp ‘n’ grits, all backed by a bar that was invented for brunchtime revelry. Speaking of brunch, call ahead—whether you’re hitting up Midtown or Vinings, South City is still one of ATL’s favorites for Sunday morning restoration, and you’re gonna have a wait if you show up unannounced. You’ve been warned.
52 | Antico Pizza
1093 Hemphill Ave. NW | Westside | 404.724.2333 | $18-$21
It doesn’t get much more auténtico than this, y’all—from foodies far and wide to A-list celebs, Antico is the real deal. As the first of several ventures owner Giovanni Di Palma has opened around A-Town (Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano and the brand new Bottega Luisa and Bar Amalfi), the Naples-style menu boasts pies (with fresh, Italian-sourced ingredients) baked in a 900-degree oven, brought out on silver trays in the snag-a-seat-when-you-can dining area that’s shared with the open-air kitchen. BYOB, sidle up to one of the communal tables and prep yourself for a true taste of Italy.
53 | Miso Izakaya
619 Edgewood Ave. SE | Old Fourth Ward | 678.701.0128 | $4-$16 | @guywongatl | R
Inventive dishes and a decidedly hip scene define this urban hot spot. Whether you’re craving sushi or jonesing for inventive ramen dishes, chef Guy Wong’s ever-changing menu of authentic, fresh options is always spot-on. Try the gyoza—steamed or pan-fried pork-filled dumplings with a sweet toasted sesame soy sauce—for a memorable and authentic experience. And don’t forget dessert! The matcha (green tea) brulee combines east and Far East. And for the daring, try a shot of shochu… this Japanese whiskey is a smooth way to kick off—or cap off—your meal.
54 | Blue Ridge Grill
1261 W. Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.233.5030 | $21-$49 | B R
Like a cabin where Ernest Hemingway would rendezvous with his pals, this Buckhead spot is the kind of classic place where you get your Scotch neat, and cozy up in a plush leather booth next to a stone fireplace under exposed-beam ceilings. Buckhead bigwigs stop in on the reg (on the way to their West Paces Ferry and Habersham homes) for hickory grilled Georgia trout with lemon butter and lobster club sandwiches with housemade potato chips. The scene is a throwback to a simpler time—only modern amenities like an iPad wine list remind you that you’re still in the 21st century.
55 | The Iberian Pig
121 Sycamore St. | Decatur | 404.371.8800 | $9-$36 | @iberianpig | R P
Tapas-style dining is always a good time. But in a class of its own, there’s The Iberian Pig, on the square in Decatur. This cavernous, woodlined space with a keen, laid-back demeanor conjures the ham-touting watering holes of the Spanish peninsula from which the restaurant derives its namesake. The flaky morcilla and mushroom toast is to die for; the aged, cured pork shoulder, shaved razor thin, is a must-have app; and a standout craft cocktail list rises to the standards set by the meticulously curated list of small-batch, fabulous vino.
CONTINUE TO BEST RESTAURANTS 56-100 >>
56 | Smash Kitchen & Bar
804 Town Blvd. | Brookhaven | 404.841.4221 | $12-$34 | @smashatl | B R P
We hadn’t heard anything from Tom Catherall in a little while, but it turns out he’d just been working on his next, well, smash hit, so to speak. Tucked smack-dab in the middle of Town Brookhaven, Catherall’s answer to the classic American chophouse is fancifully outfitted, but never gaudy—it certainly meshes well with a menu of faves like baby back ribs that fall off the bone, and a bacon and pimento-outfitted SKB burger. A separate bar area and Sunday brunch have solidified Smash as a favorite among Brookhaven locals and early CinéBistro patrons.
57 | Yebo
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.467.4988 | $7-$19 | @yeboatl | R P
Head to Phipps Plaza for a taste of South Africa. Yebo, the second resto from 10 Degrees South owner Justin Anthony, is a chic safari-style tapas spot with delicious indigenous dishes and wines. Go traditional with plates like biltong, a South African beef jerky, and bobo, a bread bowl filled with curry and topped with an egg, all of which pair perfectly with, what else? South African wine. But the real highlight? The melt-in-your-mouth fried chicken with peri-peri sauce, bacon collards and corn puree. The Parmesan popcorn and truffle oil-slathered french fries are close seconds.
58 | Del Frisco’s Grille
3376 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.537.2828 | $7-$39 | @dfgrille | B R P
While the carnivorous cuisine is delicious, it’s Executive Chef AJ Buchanio’s lighter fare that has us flocking to this Buckhead destination. Ahi tuna tacos with avocado and spicy citrus mayo, and cheesesteak egg rolls with sweet and spicy chili sauce, are the perfect complement to Del Frisco’s signature VIP cocktail: sweet Hawaiian pineapple-infused Svedka clementine vodka. This summer, we’ll be hitting up the two-story patio for the Triple Threat: a grilled prime cheeseburger with classic frites and a spiked milkshake. Plus, catch live music the last Friday of every month. Music to our ears!
59 | Double Zero Napoletana
5825 Roswell Road | Sandy Springs | 404.991.3666 | $13-$32 | @doublezeroatl | R P
Double Zero brought Neapolitan-style pizza to Sandy Springs, and for that, we’re grateful. Outdoor dining is the way to go here: it’s the perfect setting to snack on wild mushroom arancini with a truffle Gruyere fondue, while sipping a selection from a seasonally rotating craft cocktail list. The namesake pie—the Double Zero Napoletana—is a masterpiece with garlic, flor di latte, arugula, prosciutto di parma, Pecorino Gran Cru and basil; all drizzled with olive oil and fired over flavorful wood. P.S. don’t miss dessert, we’re crazy for the hand-dipped cannoli and Nutella gelato!
60 | Buckhead Diner
3073 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.3336 | $16-$30 | @buckheaddiner | B R
With its stylishly old-school decor and modern menu, it’s easy to see why A-Town can’t get enough of the Diner. And they’re not the only ones: The walls of this resto are lined with shots of celebs who’ve dined there. (Hopefully they did so on Wednesdays or Sundays, the only nights the famed fried chicken is served.) Other faves include Maytag blue cheese chips, veal and wild mushroom meatloaf and the James Beard Award-winning white chocolate banana cream pie. Pair with a signature Peartini and toast to the good life!
61 | Chicken and The Egg
800 Whitlock Ave. NW | Marietta | 678.388.8813 | $10-$20 | @chickandtheegg | B R P
Though it’s hard to understand why anyone would deviate from beloved staples, there is more to Marc Taft’s Marietta dining room than crispy buttermilk-fried chicken. This eatery was among the first to revamp the Marietta dining scene, bringing fresh cuisine to an environment that conjures up images of being back home on the farm. If you’re planning on a visit from ITP, the banana pudding is reason enough, and a roster of seasonal cocktails rounds everything out. Marietta residents? You already know all this.
62 | Cibo e Beve
4969 Roswell Road | Sandy Springs | 404.250.8988 | $11-$34 | @ciboatlanta | B R P F
From the owners of Food 101 and Meehan’s Public House sprung this authentic Italian trattoria helmed by the deft hands of chef Linda Harrell. The ai3-designed space takes its name from the boot-shaped country’s words for “food” and “drink.” For cibo, crispy Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon, poached egg and pecorino are the perfetto side to gluten-free lasagna marchegiana with Bolognese. A lighter dish like the Tuscan kale and cannellinibean soup is a must-have that seems to never leave the seasonal menu. For beve, make Ernest proud and try a Hemingway daiquiri.
63 | Antica Posta
519 E. Paces Ferry Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.7112 | $18-$35 | @anticaposta
Authentic Tuscan cooking is the name of the game at Antica Posta. While seasonal specials delight (think veal scallopini with porcini mushrooms in a lemon butter caper sauce, risotto with fresh Tybee Island shrimp and oven-roasted chicken breast with fresh summer truffle sauce), the wine pairings really bring it home—you can peruse the resto’s wine shop, open every day at 4PM, or ask for a rec from your server. Looking to mix up your Friday night? Chef Marco Betti hosts a Chef’s Table dinner where attendees can sample several courses of summer specials at $35 a pop. Pure perfezione!
64 | Leon’s Full Service
131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. | Decatur | 404.687.0500 | $8-$23 | @leonsdecatur | P
A stylish patio and bocce-ball court, plus upscale bar bites like goat cheese stuffed peppadews and to-die-for pomme frites with your choice of two inventive sauces, are just some of the many reasons customers flock to Decatur resto Leon’s Full Service. From the brains behind Brick Store Pub just down the street, the locally driven concept is brought to life by chefs Robert Lupo and Eric Ottensmeyer, and a level of customer service harkening back to the days of full-service gas-station attendants (which inspired its name). We’re not complaining.
65 | La Tavola Trattoria
992 Virgina Ave. NE | Virginia-Highland | 404.873.5430 | $8-$23 | @latavolaatl | B R
Bursting with aromas from the open-air kitchen and sexy-chic decor, this Va-Hi destination is date-night done divine. Executive Chef Brent Banda (a Fifth Group Restaurants vet since 2004) dishes out epic Italian iterations, complete with gluten-free options. Wholeroasted branzino with arugula-fennel salad satisfies without leaving you feeling stuffed; ricotta with swiss chard tortellini melts in the mouth; and squid-ink linguine is adventurous enough to surely impress your dinner mate. Got a sweet tooth? Tiramisu with a hazelnut-praline crunch soaked in espresso is the perfect happy ending.
66 | Livingston Restaurant + Bar
659 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.897.5000 | $10-$28 | @livingstonatgt | B R P
Brunch at this Midtown hot spot has become as famed as the building it’s housed in (well, so has dinner, for that matter). This dining room at The Georgian Terrace was named for a former mayor who, we’re informed, knew how to have a good time. That spirit of revelry is carried forth by chef Michael Semancik, who knows his way around signature dishes like grilled rabbit wings with blue cheese grits, and cast-iron oxtail marmalade with raclette cheese. Stop in for a craft cocktail and have a go at the theater brunch buffet, which is fast becoming a pre-matinee tradition.
67 | The Capital Grille
Multiple locations | $28-$49 | @capitalgrille | R
Enter the white linen-tablecloth dining room and you’re sure to witness power lunches, first dates and anniversaries galore. Here, sophisticated moments happen around plates of bone-in kona-crusted sirloin that’s been dry-aged and slathered in shallot butter, or seared tenderloin with butter-poached lobster tails. It’s just that kind of place. At lunch, if you don’t order the lobster roll with truffle Parmesan fries, you’ll spend the rest of the meal wishing you had. Master Sommelier George Miliotes is the brains behind the brawn of this 300-deep wine list, so don’t be shy in asking for a recommendation. Cheers!
68 | Little Alley Steak
955 Canton St. | Roswell | 770.998.0440 | $16-$60 | B R P
North of the city, a wood- and brick-lined spot with great meat and an endless Scotch bar has become a staple of Roswell dining. Tony Manns Jr. Has risen through the ranks fast, from sous to OTP chef extraordinaire, and takes a classical French approach to quintessentially American cuisine (we’re looking at you, Colorado lamb shank with cippolinis, vichy carrots and fingerling potatoes). Stay for the steak: custom cuts like a transcendent cowboy rib-eye take center stage. Then, head back for brunch the next morning for chicken and waffls slathered in maple butter.
69 | Noche
Multiple locations | $4-$11 | @nochevh_atl | R P
There’s a reason this buzzy tapas spot from Here to Serve Restaurants has locations dotted all over ATL. From the beloved margaritas to the Spanish-inspired shareable plates, you’ll be hard-pressed to walk in with a date or group of pals and not have a blast. The Trailer Park taco with queso and fried chicken is nearly impossible to pass up, while seafood ops like chipotle mango barbecue salmon, along with meat-free items like garlic mushrooms, mean there’s something to please every palate. Add daily drink specials and $2 tacos every Monday, and what’s not to love?
70 | Cardamom Hill
1700 Northside Drive NW | Westside | 404.549.7012 | $9-$27 | @cardamomhill | R
What did we do before Asha Gomez? This gal has been working magic with Southern Indian cuisine, and has created her own little niche in the process—we haven’t seen Indian in Atlanta like this before. The food of Gomez’s native Kerala is dished out from the kitchen of this unassuming but intimate little nook on Northside, and those lucky enough to have sampled her fried chicken or fish curry attest that it’s a perf pick for something unexpected and wonderful. A craft cocktail program, customsuited for the carefully spiced fare, takes the whole idea of Indian dining up a notch.
71 | Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Multiple locations | $25-$52 | @ruthschrisatl | R
When the quality of your steak earns you more than 100 locations across the globe (three in the ATL), you’re doing something right. For the true devotees, there is no substitute when it comes to Ruth’s Chris’ classic take on the American steakhouse: The meat is aged and cooked to perfection, whether it’s the rib-eye or the filet mignon; the wine list is outstanding; and the service is always toptier. The chophouse menu is rounded out by standbys like shoestring fries, tempura onion rings and sweet-potato casserole. Hit up the Downtown location on the way to see the Hawks or a concert.
72 | Table & Main
1028 Canton St. | Roswell | 678.869.5178 | $14-$27 | @tableandmain | R
We’ve got to hand it to Roswell and its burgeoning resto scene. At the peak of this renaissance is Table & Main, and Restaurant Eugene alum Woolery “Woody” Back and Ted Lahey, who’s amped-up, hyperlocal interpretation of classical Southern fare is divine. Dishes like the cornmeal-crusted catfish and the grilled 12-ounce pork chop with barbecued Sea Island peas are absurdly simple, but prepared impeccably. If all this isn’t enough, owner Ryan Pernice has cobbled together what may very well be the best bourbon bar outside the perimeter.
73 | Alma Cocina
191 Peachtree St. NE | Downtown | 404.968.9662 | $10-$36 | @almaatl | R
Every now and then, Downtown has the ability to surprise us. So imagine our pleasure a few years back, when this upscale Mexican joint moved into the ground floor of 191 Peachtree, boasting a friendly atmosphere of deep reds and rough-hewn hardwoods. On the table, roasted chicken mole Oaxaca and lobster tacos anchor the main plates, while a delectable lineup of ceviches will put a smile on the face of the biggest seafood stickler. Have a chat with the barkeep about their margaritas: Alma has its own label of aged tequila, marked by its earthy, spicy and spectacular flavor.
74 | Brick Store Pub
125 E. Court Square | Decatur | 404.687.0990 | $8-$15 | @brickstorepub | P
Beer is more than just a happy-hour bev here—way more. Opened 17 years ago by a trio of Athens brewheads, the bi-level Decatur staple has attracted casual drinkers and hardcore beer enthusiasts with a menu that’ll make your head spin: a bevy of suds on tap at any given time, hundreds of bottled beers and 120-plus Belgian-style brews. Just don’t expect typical bar bites to go along with them; rather, opt for the bourboncaramel popcorn with roasted pecans and peanuts (dubbed “tittle pop”), the sausage with grit croquettes and tomato jam, or salted Bavarian pretzels served fresh from the oven.
75 | Bhojanic
Multiple locations | $9-$18 | @bhojanic | R P
A beloved Decatur Indian joint, Bhojanic migrated to Buckhead with a second location last spring. Less casual than the Clairmont Road outpost, this fancier iteration still has the same to-die-for pani puri, lamb curry, cold Kingfisher beer and homestyle Northern Indian fare that fans flock to experience. Indian ex-pats can be seen peppering the dining room (always a sure sign of authenticity), devouring owner Archna Becker’s chaat (street food) and traditional curries. Carb-lovers: Don’t skip drenching the chapati in fresh cucumber sauce—it’s totes worth the workout later.
76 | Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft
1745 Peachtree St. NE | Buckhead | 678. 539.6181 | $13-$21 | @tuktukatl | R P
Chef Dee Dee Niyomkul comes from good stock: Her parents own two of the premier Thai joints in town (Nan Thai Fine Dining and Tamarind Seed Thai Bistro, in case you were wondering). So if you’re a fan of Southeast Asian fare, you’re not going to find much better. Tuk Tuk’s menu focuses on Thai street food (noodle dishes, classic massaman curry and some spicy plates are tantalizing and fresh), all served in a sprawling space with one of the best above-street-level patios on Peachtree. The wine list is thorough, keeping pace with the menu at every turn.
77 | 10 Degrees South
4183 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 404.705.8870 | $21-$38 | @10degreessouth | R P
If you haven’t been to 10 Degrees South lately, you’re in for a surprise. South African restaurateur Justin Anthony has just given the cozy spot a complete overhaul for something more sleek and modern. We dig the new look, and, as always, are headover- heels for the menu. Ostrich medallions are pan-seared with wine and rosemary sauce for a sultry sweetness—a baseline for the native flavors the menu playfully touts. Speaking of which, the South African wine selection is the best in town. Jambo!
78 | Murphy’s
997 Virginia Ave. NE | Virginia-Highland | 404.872.0904 | $12-$29 | @murphysatlanta | B R P
This Va-Hi hot spot is known for fresh ingredients, inventive takes on American contemporary dishes and a to-die-for Sunday brunch. Chef Ian Winslade’s passion for cooking and his commitment to using only top-shelf ingredients shine through in entrees like Guinness-braised beef brisket and spinach and sausage meatloaf. Come Sunday morning, there’s a line around the block as diners pine for Eggs T. Murphy, and the decadent malted waffle with warm maple syrup, cinnamon butter and fruit compote. Trust us, there’s a reason they don’t take reservations during brunch hours.
79 | Taka Sushi
375 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.869.2802 | $10-$29 | @sushiandpassion | R P F
Chef, owner and Hiroshima native Taka Moriuchi founded his eponymous ATL restaurant on the ideas of passion, authenticity and, of course, serving seriously tasty sushi. A fave of Atlantans and A-listers alike, the menu shines—from apps and izakaya to sushi rolls and sake. Upon entering, globe-trotters will recognize the sleek, unassuming interior that looks like it could be a bona-fide sushi spot off a Tokyo street corner. Throw in a vertical plate piled with a Passion Roll (eel with spicy avocado paste, red tuna and orange salmon) or Norwegian mackerel nigiri, and you’re good to go.
80 | Varasano’s Pizzeria
2171 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.352.8216 | $14-$19 | @varasanospizza | B R P F
Pizza is competitive business in Atlanta. So, if you want to stand out so far that The New York Times gives you a nod, you’d better make sure your game is in top form. Such is the case with Varasano’s, a tidy and modern pizzeria right on Peachtree. Owner Jeff Varasano’s favorite offering is the Bufala and Coppa pie, but we suggest ordering up our current summertime pick: the light and succulent Nucci with garlic, olives and Emmentaler cheese. Bonus points for brunching on the patio while indulging in some perfect cannoli and a cup of espresso.
81 | Cuts Steakhouse
60 Andrew Young International Blvd. NE | Downtown | 404.525.3399 | $11-$39 | @cutsatlanta | R P
Owner Muzo Saritas has impressive credentials as a hotel manager and restaurateur, all of which he pours into this much-welcomed Downtown steakhouse. The 13,000-squarefoot space has a chic sunken dining room with hip ceramic deer heads, a designated sports bar and a sprawling patio. Executive Chef Donnie Wicker is bringing a subtle Southern touch to the menu through pecan-crusted salmon with chilled quinoa salad and goat cheese-risotto fritters along with requisite prime cuts and standout steakhouse fare. A cut above, indeed.
82 | Salt Factory Pub
Multiple locations | $11-$28 | P F
Part of the buzzy F&H Food Trading Group family of restos, this upscale gastropub offers up pints and plates to please all palates. Chef Bob McDonough’s menu includes updated twists on comfort food staples like shepherd’s pie (braised lamb, pearl onions, corn, green beans, rosemary demi and cheddar potato puree) and burgers (order the Steakhouse, a prime beef patty topped with applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, fried onions, an over-easy egg and housemade barbecue sauce). Plus, the expansive beer and bourbon lists make it a haven for cocktail connoisseurs. Down the hatch!
83 | The Tavern at Phipps
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.814.9640 | $10-$29 | @tavernatphipps | R P
Whether you’re experiencing post-shopping fatigue, in desperate need of an after-hours cocktail on a spacious patio, or just like dining among some of the city’s hottest singles, The Tavern at Phipps has you covered. The see-and-be-seen set flocks here for the high-energy bar, live music and, naturally, the eats. Think a classic Reuben stuffed with Carnegie Deli pastrami, a pan-sauteed lump crabcake sandwich and their signature Tavern chips offered in flavors like Cajun, Thai chicken and more. Breeze through the revolving doors, into the shower of napkins, and prepare to be served.
84 | Stem Wine Bar
1311 Johnson Ferry Road | Marietta | 678.214.6888 | $7-$19 | @dougturbush
New to the JEZ list, this Marietta resto is one of the surprise hits of the year. Its front entrance is so subtle that it can get overshadowed by its full-size sister restaurant next door—Seed Kitchen & Bar. Order up the chorizo-stuffed Medjool dates—wrapped in bacon and bathed in smoky tomato sauce—which are simply a revelation. On the tapas side, go with the playful patatas bravas dressed up like little sushi rolls or the addictive blistered padron peppers sprinkled with Maldon salt. Ever-changing wine flights, with whimsical names like What Women Want, will keep you expanding your palate each time out.
85 | Southern Art & Bourbon Bar
3315 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.946.9070 | $19-$38 | @southernart | B R
Ever hear of the Oprah Blessing? Basically, anything the grand diva of daytime television waves her hand over turns to gold. This is no different for Art Smith’s resto, which has garishly redefined Southern cuisine (and wicked charcuterie) on the ground floor of the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta. Ask yourself: does your passion for bourbon-cured smoked salmon or perfect buttermilk-fried chicken rival that of O herself? If so, make a reservation—but arrive early to knock one back at Bourbon Bar while while sneaking bites of the Southern Art butcher’s board. Talk about divine swine!
86 | Octopus Bar
560 Gresham Ave. SE | East Atlanta | 404.627.9911 | $10-$30 | P
Once an underground foodie’s paradise, Octopus now holds a spot on every Atlantan’s culinary bucket list. The brainchild of chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le, Octopus opens its doors at 10:30PM Monday through Saturday. Hipsters and the haute crowd rub shoulders as they nosh on an everchanging, seasonally influenced menu. Favorites include Freshwater eel with congee and fried shallots, and Santa Barbara sea urchin with risotto. The drinks are just as daring. Test your limits with Fever Dreams featuring Belle Meade, Borghetti, cacao and Underberg. Bottoms up!
87 | White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails
270 Peachtree St. | Downtown | 404.524.7200 | $26-$32 | @whiteoakatlanta | R P
Under a pair of colossal Jenga-like chandeliers—made out of wood from the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn.—patrons are drooling over decadent plates of short rib, and monkfish with brown-butter sweet potato at this Downtown spot. Envision a bright, soaring space where the bourbon is plentiful and the crowd is chowing down on New South cuisine from owners Cindy and Alan LeBlanc. Think softshell crab, lamb burgers and rock-shrimp beignets. Then, sweeten up with a bourbon pecan bar with milk chocolate and mocha chantilly. Now that’s some mighty oak.
88 | Stillhouse Craft Burgers & Moonshine
56 E. Andrews Drive NW | Buckhead | 678.244.3601 | $8-$12 | @stillhouseatl | P
Since joining the ranks of the Andrews Entertainment District less than a year ago, Stillhouse has managed to make itself stand out. Could it be the burgers (including Apalachicola fried oysters and freshground duck with housemade confit iterations), piled high with locally sourced ingredients like green-tomato relish and pickled beets, topped with an upside-down bun? Probably. Or could it be the a bar stocked with 50-plus types of moonshine? Definitely. Add that to cozycushioned booths with whiskey-barrel tables—and we’ll see you at Stillhouse.
89 | Czar Ice Bar
56 E. Andrews Drive NW | Buckhead | 678.244.3601 | $6-$18 | @czar_icebar | R P F
A bar stocked with hundreds of vodkas: Check. A master chef (in this case, Master Sushi Chef Saito Saito): Check. A staff of eye-catching hotties and a prime spot in the heart of Buckhead: Checkmate. This Russian ice bar has it all. Have a seat at the bar or on one of the plush chairs or sofas, and choose from the laundry list of cocktail ops to go along with the expertly crafted sushi (trust us—you won’t even need soy sauce). And if you’re looking to heat things up, Tuesday is ladies night, complete with a DJ, sushi and drink specials.
90 | Buttermilk Kitchen
4225 Roswell Road NE | Buckhead | 678.732.3274 | $8-$13 | @buttermilkkitch | B P
There’s breakfast all day, then there’s breakfast all day done right—Buttermilk Kitchen falls in the latter category. Suzanne Vizethann (of ADAC’s The Hungry Peach and Chopped fame) upped the ante on ATL’s brunch scene when she opened this quaint spot on Roswell Road. The Mexican scramble and fried-egg BLT are not to be missed, while the weekday lunch menu boasts sandwiches, salads and a Southern-style lineup, such as the pimento-cheese starter and signature Brunswick stew. Waiting for a table? The front porch features rocking chairs perfect for that surefire food coma.
91 | Coast Seafood & Raw Bar
111 W. Paces Ferry Road | Buckhead | 404.869.0777 | $13-$28 | @coastatl1 | R P
This seafood fave is from the same Here to Serve Restaurants team behind Noche, Shucks Oyster Bar, Aja Restaurant & Bar and more. The seashanty ambience, while casual, still pulls in the well-heeled West Paces crowd who flock here for its coastal chill vibe. Chef Quentin Donnaud (who appeared on Chopped) can finesse lemon sole and blackened salmon just as well as he can handle addictive sweet-corn and jalapeno hush puppies. Two patios (a packed one in the front and a more private one in the back) keep the scene Jimmy Buffet song-ready all year long—and beachy drinks are worth dropping an anchor for awhile.
92 | Don Antonio by Starita
102 W. Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.844.2879 | $7-$25 | @donantoniopizza | R P
With the myriad of pizzerias cropping up around Atlanta, the ones with staying power know it’s about standing out. Such is the case with this authentic establishment housed in the former STG Trattoria space. Opened by Italian duo Roberto Caporuscio of NYC’s Kesté Pizza & Vino and Antonio Starita of Naples haunt Pizzeria Starita a Materdei, their first Southern venture dishes out paninis, antipasti and 60 traditional and innovative wood-fired Neapolitan pies. Plus, the cocktail menu shines with signature Italian cocktails made with 100-percent fresh fruit over at the bar.
93 | The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill
3279 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 404.474.9508 | $7-$24 | @thebigketch | R P
With a sand-in-your-toes philosophy, decor inspired by some of our favorite resort towns (think Rosemary Beach, The Hamptons and Nantucket) and a menu full of fresh seafood, The Big Ketch feels like destination-dining in the heart of Buckhead. Start with the hushpuppies or basil Blue Moon mussels. Then, move on to one of the fresh fish entrees or the Charleston-style lump crab cakes (grilled or blackened). And remember to do as the locals do: Hit the deck for boiled peanuts, cocktails and live music seven nights a week. Ahh, the good life.
94 | Aspen’s Signature Steaks
Multiple locations | $14-$44 | B R
Both Marietta outposts of this crowd-pleasing steakhouse have a lodge-y atmosphere that recalls of—where else?—Aspen. Have an après ski moment any time of year OTP when you stop in to spoon rich Maine lobster bisque with a crabmeat fritter or devour a lump blue crabcake with cracked mustard sauce. All of that awesomeness aside, the prime meat selection is what truly shines here. The 18-ounce bone-in cowboy steak, New York strip and saltcrusted prime-rib are must-trys. Plus, gluten-free options are plentiful—score!
95 | Highland Bakery
Multiple locations | $5-$13 | @highlandbakery1 | B P F
Here in Atlanta, you can’t talk about brunch without mentioning Highland Bakery. That’s because their menu has it all: super-thick French toast, shrimp and grits... you name it. The concept of the now five locations was created by owner Stacey Eames out of a love of coffee, quality-made pastries and fresh breads, and has grown into a beloved eatery with a fully functioning bake shop serving sweets, decorative cakes and more. Bonus: There are plenty of ops for the health conscious: think housemade granola, smoked salmon and light breakfast ‘wiches. Now that’s a weekend win.
96 | Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
1238 Dekalb Ave. NE | Candler Park | 404. 577.4030 | $8-$26 | @foxbrosbarbq | P
Long live the king—the barbecue king, that is. In this case, there are two of them: Texas-bred brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox, who’ve had the market cornered on ATL’s barbecue scene since opening doors in 2007. After a severe storm destroyed the patio, locals came together to help the Candler Park joint get back on its feet. The revamped outdoor seating is now primed and ready for settling in to enjoy signature dishes like chicken-fried ribs, smoked wings, brisket sandwiches and that ever-addictive Frito pie—don’t say we didn’t warn you.
97 | Jalisco Mexican Restaurant
2337 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.233.9244 | $4-$13
Good luck leaving with anything less than a smile on your face, and a satiated appetite, after a visit to Mexi-institution Jalisco. The yellow-drenched space features accents of red and green, with Mexican-inspired pieces dotting the bold walls. Get comfy and prep for classic fare you’d expect from an authentic hole-in-the-wall spot—done right, that is. Guacamole dip will be gone in a jiff, while the Mexican stew with chopped steak, peppers, onions and tomatoes simmered all together will leave a lasting palate impression. Order a signature sangria to wash it all down, and you’re good to go.
98 | Twist
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.869.1191 | $6-$38 | @twist_atl | R P
This longtime Phipps Plaza staple has something for everyone. A wide range of shareable tapas (including faves like fried artichokes with parsley aioli and capers, and harissa-spiked lamb burgers); a raw bar with some of the freshest oysters and shrimp this side of the coast; prime cuts of meat that give any steakhouse a run for its money; and one of the largest sushi menus we’ve ever seen. (Be sure to try the Tomahawk and Sinatra rolls!) Throw in a toastworthy collection of signature cocktails, and it’s easy to see why Twist’s expansive patio is packed from lunch until closing time.
99 | Nuevo Laredo Cantina
1495 Chattahoochee Ave. NW | Westside | 404.352.9009 | $8-$20 | R
When Chance Evans, formerly of The Coca-Cola Company, opened this authentic eatery on the Westside 22 years ago, it wasn’t about franchising or expanding. Rather, it was about making the cantina a prime spot for locals and visitors to enjoy homecooked Mexican dishes. And that he’s accomplished—the menu is packed with faves like chicken mole, lobster tacos and first-class refreshing margs and cervezas. Artifacts and handpicked items brought back from Evans’ many trips to Mexico give the interior an authentic feel, making for an all-around delicioso dining experience.
100 | Three Sheets
6017 Sandy Springs Circle NE | Sandy Springs | 404.303.8423 | $8-$21 | @threesheetsatl | R P
Things are heating up in Sandy Springs, and you can blame Three Sheets. This swank spot packs in a seriously sexy clientele on the reg, thanks to their grilled-cheese dinners, “flavor tripping” parties starring a miracle fruit that alters the taste of different foods, happy hour five days a week... the list goes on, y’all. Plus, this place loves to party—whether it be a Halloween soiree or a fire-and-ice ball. Head upstairs to the breezy patio for a bite (like fire-roasted tomato flatbread) and one of their signature cocktails (try a Spice of Life with honey vanilla vodka and you’ll be three sheets in no time!).
CONTINUE TO BEST OF THE CITY AWARDS >>
BEST OF THE CITY
Take a bite of A-Town’s sweet, savory and standout superlatives.
Best New Restaurant: St. Cecilia
3455 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.554.9995 | @stceciliaatl
Best Rising Star Chef: Andreas Müller of Gunshow
924 Garrett St. | Glenwood | 404.380.1886 | @gunshowatl
Best View: The Capital Grille
255 E. Paces Ferry Road | Buckhead | 404.262.1162 | @capitalgrille
Best Sweets Spot: Café Intermezzo
Multiple locations | @cafeintermezzo
Best-Looking Staff: The IVY Buckhead
3717 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 404.941.3081 | @theivybuckhead
Best Girls' Night Out: STK
1075 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.793.0144 | @stkatlanta
Best People-Watching: Lure
1106 Crescent Ave. NE | Midtown | 404.817.3650 | @lureatl
Best for Dudes: Ormsby’s
1170 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.968.2033 | @ormsbysatl
Best Wine Bar: Stem Wine Bar
1311 Johnson Ferry Road | Marietta | 678.214.6888 | @dougturbush
Best Barbecue: Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
1238 Dekalb Ave. NE | Candler Park | 404.577.4030 | @foxbrosbarbq
Best Hangover Cure: The Vortex Bar and Grill
Multiple locations | @thevortexl5p
Best Italian: Pricci
500 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.237.2941 | @pricciatlanta
Best Sports Bar: Dantanna’s
Multiple locations | @dantannas
Best Hidden Gem: Violette Restaurant
2948 Clairmont Road NE | Druid Hills | 404.633.3363
Best Taqueria: Taqueria del Sol
Multiple locations | @taqueriadelsol
Best Place for Singles: The Tavern at Phipps
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.814.9640 | @tavernatphipps
Best Burger: Stillhouse Craft Burgers & Moonshine
56 E. Andrews Drive NW | Buckhead | 678.244.3601 | @stillhouseatl
Best Rooftop Dining: Pure Taqueria
1143 Alpharetta St. | Roswell | 770.817.7873 | @besurewithpure
Best New OTP: Osteria Mattone
1095 Canton St. | Roswell | 678.878.3378 | @osteriamattone
Best Hole in the Wall: Paper Plane
340 Church St. | Decatur | 404.377.9308
Best Romantic Dinner: Aria
490 E. Paces Ferry Road NE | Buckhead | 404.233.7673 | @gerryklaskala
Best Cheap Eats: Victory Sandwich Bar
340 Church St. | Decatur | 404.377.9300
Best Fresh Fare: Juicy Jenny
56 E. Andrews Drive | Buckhead | 404.848.1480 | @planetjennyatl
Best Diner: Buckhead Diner
3073 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.3336 | @buckheaddiner
Best ’Wich: Joy Cafe
316 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.816.0306 | @joycafeyum
Best BYOB: Antico Pizza
1093 Hemphill Ave. | Westside | 404.724.2333 | @antico_pizza
Best Bar Bites: Brick Store Pub
125 E. Court Square | Decatur | 404.687.0990 | @brickstorepub
Best Neighborhood Pub: Mac McGee Irish Pub
Multiple locations | @macmcgeeirish
Best Brunch: Buttermilk Kitchen
4225 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 678.732.3274 | @buttermilkkitch
Best Private Party Space: Bistro Niko
3344 Peachtree Road | Buckhead | 404.261.6456 | @bistroniko
Best Gluten-free: Wisteria Restaurant
471 N. Highland Ave. NE | Inman Park | 404.525.3363 | @wisteriaatlanta
Best Bagels: Goldberg’s Bagel Company & Deli
Multiple locations | @goldbergsbagel
Best Special Occasion: Bacchanalia
1198 Howell Mill Road NW | Westside | 404.365.0410 | @starprovisions
Best Oysters: Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar
705 Town Blvd. | Brookhaven | 404.846.1777 | @shucksatl
Best Dog-Friendly: Treehouse Restaurant and Pub
7 Kings Circle | Buckhead | 404.266.2732
Best for the Fam: Atlanta Food Truck Park
1850 Howell Mill Road NW | Westside | 678.883.8471 | @atlfoodpark
Best Gastropub: Argosy
470 Flat Shoals Ave. SE | East Atlanta | 404.577.0407 | @argosyeav
Best Farm-to-Table: Empire State South
999 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.541.1105 | @essouth
Best Hotel Restaurant: Park 75 at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
75 14th St. NW | Midtown | 404.253.3840 | @fsatlanta
Best Group Dining Spot: Seven Lamps
3400 Around Lenox Road | Buckhead | 404.467.8950 | @sevenlampsatl
Best Late-Night Bite: Industry Tavern
3280 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.254.4468 | @industrytavern
Best Playlist: The Sound Table
483 Edgewood Ave. SE | Old Fourth Ward | 404.835.2534 | @thesoundtable
Best Barkeep: Miles Macquarrie of Kimball House
303 E. Howard Ave. | Decatur | 404.378.3502 | @kimballhousebar
Best Steak: New York Prime
3424 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.846.0644 | @newyorkprime
Best Big Salad: Smash Kitchen & Bar
804 Town Brookhaven | Brookhaven | 404.841.4221 | @smashatl
Best Mexican: Bone Garden Cantina
1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. NW | Westside | 404.418.9072
Best Pizza: Varasano’s Pizzeria
2171 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.352.8216 | @varasanospizza
Best Mobile Eats: Sweet Auburn Barbecue
Multiple locations | @sweetauburnbbq
Best Cocktails: Ration & Dram
130 Arizona Ave. NE | Edgewood | 678.974.8380 | @rationanddram
Best Small Plates: Saltyard
1820 Peachtree Road NW | Brookwood Hills | 404.382.8088 | @saltyard
Best Vegan: Kyma
3085 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.0702 | @kymarestaurant
Best Catch: Atlanta Fish Market
265 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.3165 | @atlfishmarket
Best Live Music: The Tavern at Phipps
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.814.9640 | @tavernatphipps
Best Casual Date: The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill
3279 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 404.474.9508 | @thebigketch
Best Outside Patio: Park Tavern
500 10th St. NE | Midtown | 404.249.0001 | @parktavern
Best Underground Supper Club: Dinner Lab
Best Celeb Spotting: Umi
3050 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.841.0040 | @umisushiatl
Best Chinese: Peter Chang’s Tasty China II
6450 Powers Ferry Road NW | Sandy Springs | 678.766.8766
Best Power Lunch: Bistro Niko
3344 Peachtree Road | Buckhead | 404.261.6456 | @bistroniko
Best Family-Style Fare: Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano
1099 Hemphill Ave. NW | Westside | 404.347.3874
Best To-Die-For Doughnut: Sublime Doughnuts
535 10th St. NW | Westside | 404.897.1801 | @sublimedoughnut
Best Overall Service: Chops Lobster Bar
70 W. Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.262.2675 | @chopslobsterbar
Best Thai: Nan Thai Fine Dining
1350 Spring St. NW | Midtown | 404.870.9933 | @nanthaiatlanta
TOO NEW TO MAKE THE 100 BEST LIST...
These recently opened restos are making a sizzling summer impression.
True Food Kitchen
3393 Peachtree Road NE | 404.481.2980 | @truefoodkitchen
Ditch the food court and grab a healthy plate at Lenox Square’s new True Food Kitchen, a no-guilt post-shopping spot with a menu based on the principals of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. The globally inspired fare includes a wide selection of vegan, vegetarian, organic and gluten-free ops for brunch, lunch or dinner. Highlights include the Inside Out quinoa burger, salmon dip, summer market salad and more. Wash it all down with a Kale-Aid, or cocktail it up with an acai blueberry mojito. Yum!
1540 Monroe Drive NE | 404.709.2690 | @varuninapoliatl
In a year flush with new Neapolitan pizza joints, Varuni Napoli was a slice above, thanks to co-owners Luca Varuni and Giancarlo Pirrone’s killer combo of authentic, fresh Italian food (cooked up in genuine Neapolitan ovens) and sleek-meets-communal decor. Pro tip: Order the famed Reginella—a fried calzone stuffed with fior di latte mozzarella, Italian ricotta, pomodoro corbarino, salami, cicoli, basil, extra virgin olive oil and black pepper—that’s light as air and one of the tastiest bites we’ve ever tried.
Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar
3393 Peachtree Road NE | 404.963.9611 | @zinburger
Who knew mall dining could be so delicious? Lenox Square’s new Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar is serving up mouthwatering burgers (both Angus and Kobe style), sinfully yummy shakes (hello, salted caramel) and a wine list that features 18 varietals by the glass. Not into beef? Order one of the resto’s veggie or vegan options. Comfortable and stylish, the dining room feels miles away from the shopping crowds, plus an enormous bar and patio are the perfect escape after hours on your feet. Burgers, wine... what more could you want?
124 N. Avondale Road | 404.692.5454
Though it just opened its doors in May, The Bishop is already making strategic menu moves, gaining the advantage with dishes such as North Carolina clams with Andouille sausage drenched in SweetWater beer with griddled bread. Knighted as one to watch, the new Avondale Estates neighborhood bistro is the first venture of owner and longtime local Luellen Marshall. Marshall is keeping things ecofriendly, all-natural and locally sourced—neighboring butcher Pine Street Market lends their thickcut applewood-smoked bacon to the fried green tomato BLT, while Avondale’s Wild Heaven brewery leads the draft list.
Ration & Dram
130 Arizona Ave. NE | 678.974.8380 | @rationanddram
Andy Minchow raised the garage door on this Kirkwood outpost this spring. Turns out this godfather of ATL’s craft-cocktail revolution also has a real gift as a restaurateur. The kitchen keeps it clever with bacon-bread French toast and choose-your-own-adventure grits at brunch, while a cast-iron pie with pastured chicken and mirepoix at dinnertime is delectable. Bonus: All the meats and produce are locally grown and free of pesticides and hormones. Nice. Pull up a seat at one of three bars for an ideal summer’s eve with one of Minchow’s brilliant cocktail creations in hand.
128 E. Andrews Drive | 404.848.9100 | @smokebellybbq
Put the brains behind The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails and The Fur Bus (no, really) together, and you get a killer new barbecue spot called Smokebelly. Helmed by chef Darrell Rice (formerly of Canoe and Aria, among others) the kitchen offers up signature snacks in a jar, apps such as fried pickled okra, a hefty variety of barbecue plates, and even some skinny fixin’ ops. Grab a brew or specialty ’tail and kick back on their A+ patio featuring supersoft faux grass
Foundation Social Eatery
1570 Holcomb Bridge Road | 770.641.8877
Venture beyond the Perimeter to try one of Roswell’s newest culinary outposts, where chef Mel Toledo—formerly of intown fave Bacchanalia—and his wife are churning out high-end eats at a wallet-friendly price. Dishes like scotched black olives with house-made sausage, potato gnocchi with thick-cut bacon, and sauteed scallops with a sweet and savory carrot puree will no doubt have even the most hardcore intown-dining devotees making the 11-mile journey again and again.
265 Peachtree St. NE | 404.460.6425 | @polarisatlanta
Last month, ATL’s historical outpost Polaris reopened with the flair and celebration that it first garnered in 1967. The Johnson Studio (also responsible for KR SteakBar and Rathbun’s) gutted the space and reimagined it as Don Draper’s after-hours hangout. Expect Executive Chef Martin Pfefferkorn’s menu to change every couple of weeks, but for now, small plates such as white asparagus soup and steak Oscar with bernaise and Dungeness crab are on the lineup, with bacon popcorn arriving as its signature snack. One thing that will always be signature? The classic peach daiquiri—a nod to this iconic restaurant’s storied past.