100 Hottest Restaurants 2016

Produced by Allison Mitchell | February 29, 2016 | Articles

$-Dinner entree price range
B-Brunch available [times vary]
R-Reservations accepted [restrictions may apply]
P-Patio dining
F-Furry friends welcome

1782 Cheshire Bridge Road NE | Buckhead | 404.343.0313 | @capedutchatl | $14–$82 | R

This elegantly finessed concept from Justin Anthony (restaurateur behind 10 Degrees South, Yebo and the brand-new Biltong Bar at Ponce City Market) sits at the top spot on this year’s list for good reason. Since opening this past November in the former home of Woodfire Grill on Cheshire Bridge Road, it all but ushered in a real-estate revolution on this somewhat-seedy in-town strip, where even old-school Italian institution Alfredo’s will soon close. The message was clear: The future of Atlanta dining is here.

Inspired by the South African wine country from which Anthony hails, Cape Dutch gets its name from the country’s most popular mode of architecture. True to theme, its stunning interiors were devised by Anthony’s wife—the immensely talented Kelly Wolf-Anthony—and combine the multi-influential design hallmarks of the highly colonized locale with features like dry-brushed woods, weathered metal, tufted upholstery and airy glass accents. (Don’t forget to take a pic in front of the “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” canvas before your visit’s end.)

The buzzing bar scene—relegated to the front half of the restaurant—is comfy but chic, like the keeping room of a well-appointed home where a good-looking crowd routinely fills its numerous seating groups, under the watchful eye of General Manager Mitch Flowers. Cocktails by lead mixologist Sean Gleason include The Luchador, a tequila version of the Old Fashioned; and the food menu, which is somehow simultaneously light and ultraflavorful, was whipped up by legendary Executive Chef Philippe Haddad (formerly of The Ritz-Carlton and F&B Atlanta). His robust proteins are braai-grilled right in the dining room (sit at table one for the best view). Top menu items include the out-of-this-world elk chop (paired with spaghetti squash, oyster mushrooms and a berry-filled lady apple); melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone braised rabbit leg (served on a bed of roasted shallots, carrots and spinach-whipped mashed potatoes); whole Maine Lobster (truffle vinaigrette, anyone?); three cuts of steak (including the shareable 30-ounce porterhouse); and the delicate porcini ravioli bathed in sage, brown butter and Parmesan (splurge for the fresh black truffle shavings). Wines are a big draw here, so be sure to call upon sommelier Stacey Blalock for a few suggestions (she’ll help you sample them right at your table); then sweeten the deal with the Callebaut Belgian chocolate soup paired with H&F bread and sweet rice crisps for crunch. This is Anthony and Haddad at their best, and it’s better than we ever dreamed.

START WITH Foie gras brulee
SIP ON The Luchador
END WITH Callebaut Belgian chocolate soup
HOT FACTOR Sit at the chef’s table for the best view of the braai and the entire dining room. (Hint: It’s table one.)

2. UMI
3050 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.841.0040 | @umisushiatl | $10-$120 | R

There’s no denying sushi is H-O-T in Atlanta, but none can compete with the level of freshness, variety and finesse you’ll find at Umi, undeniably Atlanta’s superlative sushi restaurant that’s scored a spot on our list since its debut. There’s a reason that nearly three years after opening, Umi, owned by longtime Atlantans Farshid Arshid, Charlie Hendon and chef Fuyuhiko Ito, is still the toughest table to snag in the city.

Once inside the luxe dining room (think floor-to-ceiling hand-charred cypress walls, striking orb chandeliers and a showstopping terrarium, all anchored around the 23-foot custom white-oak sushi bar), it’s clear Umi far surpasses the hype.

And that’s before the fish procession begins. Though you’ll find a curated selection of sushi rolls (you can’t go wrong with the pressed lobster box roll) and Nobu-inspired dishes, where Umi outshines its competitors is with Tokyo-born partner-chef Ito’s sashimi and nigiri. Splurge on the omakase menu (meaning chef’s choice) and let the vivacious Ito San (as he’s known to regulars) spoil you with jet-fresh fish. With more than two dozen species behind the counter, expect a parade of seafood (it’s flown in from around the world, including the legendary Tsukiji fish market in Japan, every day) that goes way beyond standard tuna, salmon and yellowtail. We’re talking shima-aji; kinmedai (goldeneye red snapper), hotate (live scallop); and high-end delicacies, like A5 wagyu beef, foie gras, uni (sea urchin) and monkfish liver. Don’t leave without trying the specialty nigiri—melt-in-your-mouth otoro (fatty tuna belly) elegantly draped over supple rice with a drizzle of truffled soy sauce, a dollop of caviar and a fiery serrano chile. Be sure to save room for dessert as well, and we don’t mean an orange slice. You’ll find unexpected creature comforts rarely found in Asian restaurants, from incredible desserts prepared by the chef’s wife, Pastry Chef Lisa M. Ito, to an exceptional craft cocktail program and tableside coffee service from Lamill Coffee.

Truly, no detail is left undone. Every single item, from reservations and glassware to chopsticks, paper and even the heated toilets is hand-picked and reviewed on a daily basis. And it’s all served up by one of the city’s most passionate, hospitable and knowledgeable staffs. Yep, Umi checks all the right boxes.

START WITH Avocado salad
MAIN COURSE Rock shrimp tempura
SIP ON Moscow mule with fresh ginger and sake
END WITH Green tea souffle
HOT FACTOR Though the dining room buzzes with celebs and socialites, the best seat in the house is at the sushi bar, where chef Ito personalizes your meal (spring for the omakase) as you watch him slice and dice with theater-like showmanship.

3035 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 678.686.2267 | @dolce_italian | $11-$39 | B R P

It’s been a little more than six months since Dolce Italian landed on the scene at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta, and A-Listers like Carrie Underwood, Ludacris and Gabrielle Union have already made pit stops at this LDV Hospitality stunner. One trip up the glass-paneled elevator, wedged between Etro and Intermix, will instantly transport you back to Fellini’s Rome of the 1960s. Midcentury furniture, courtesy of Chris Sheffield of SL Design, invites guests to stay awhile via supple leather booths, warm wooden tables and Instagram-worthy mosaic floors. Outside, a 50-person patio wows with chic red wicker chairs and tufted leather sofas, the perfect spot for enjoying an aperol spritz while taking in the Buckhead skyline. And we’re not the only ones buzzing about the city’s hottest throwback concept—the brand recently beat out the competition on Bravo’s series Best New Restaurant alongside sister locations in Miami and Chicago.

Charming General Manager Nick Ladikos (previously of Here to Serve Restaurants) is providing leadership direction while chef Brandon Hughes is highlighting authentic Italian flavors accompanied by artful presentation. While the menu will be updated seasonally, standout staples include a variety of seafood and meat options, pizzas and handmade pastas. To start, the grilled octopus with grilled endive, confit artichokes, romesco and smoked fingerlings is a choice option for adventurous palates. Traditional tasters will love the Dolce meatballs with creamy polenta and Parmigiano. Main-course highlights include the Tartufata pizza (fior di latte, speck, spicy salami and truffle oil), butternut squash tortelli (sage, brown butter, mushrooms and pumpkin seeds) and pappardelle alla Bolognese (braised beef, veal and pork ragu). For hearty eaters, the whole roasted branzino with vegetable couscous and palermo sauce shines. Follow each savory bite with a sip of the spicy raspberry Collins, a refreshing cocktail punctuated by a surprising kick of jalapeno. And before you finish an evening Don Draper himself would envy, save room for the Nutella Budino (oatmeal cookie crumble and amarena gelato) or house fave semifreddo (caramelized pecans, maple syrup and bomboloni). Now that’s amore!

START WITH Dolce meatballs
MAIN COURSE Pappardelle alla Bolognese
SIP ON Spicy raspberry Collins
END WITH Semifreddo with caramelized pecans, maple syrup and bomboloni
HOT FACTOR Depending on who you know, you can order a Stella pizza, which is any of the menu’s pies in the shape of a star.

99 Krog St. | Inman Park | 678.491.1310 | @supericaatl | $13-$34 | B P

It’s usually a safe bet to judge a Tex-Mex restaurant based on its guacamole. Superica’s is good—fresh and simple, served with extra-thick chips—but where Ford Fry’s Krog Street Market establishment really shines is outside. “The patio is just clutch,” remarks Wes, a server who lives in the neighborhood, which straddles the line between Inman Park and Cabbagetown. And he’s right: It’s the kind of spot that makes you want to settle in for a while.

The laid-back environs are a big part of the charm, and you’ll find an eclectic mix of ATLians—from business suits to BeltLine walkers to hipsters with manbuns—noshing and imbibing until the wee hours (the kitchen takes orders until about 10:30pm on weekends). From spring through fall, alfresco tables are in high demand. Prepare to wait two or three hours on a weekend night, as reservations aren’t a thing.

But the opportunity for catching up over cocktails with choice picks like The O.G. margarita (small but mighty), the Vampire Weekend (with housemade horchata and spiced rum) or Mexican beer served in a frosty mug make the time fly. A window bar with seats outside opening to the bar inside fills up fast; there are also plenty of bar stools inside in the Texas-mod inspired interior by New York-based firm Parts and Labor Design.

The Bob Armstrong, a Texas-inspired queso made with yellow cheese and topped with ground beef, avocado and sour cream, is a must-order. Both that and the guacamole come highly recommended by General Manager Andrew Palermo (formerly of King + Duke). For the main course, the steak fajitas are divine; and for the extra hungry, the tampiquena (marinated wood-grilled skirt steak covered with a cheese enchilada and fried egg) or the whole-roasted Gulf red snapper are both smart choices.

Dessert options include a to-die-for tres leches cake with passion fruit-infused whipped cream that’s worth undoing that extra button on your now-snug pants. Then again, it’s just as easy to skip dessert in lieu of another round of cocktails and soak up the ambience a bit longer. Tex-Mex looks good on you, Mr. Fry, and we’re bold enough to say, it’s the best in town.

START WITH Queso fundido
MAIN COURSE Chicken verde enchiladas
SIP ON Texas Star
END WITH Tres leches cake
HOT FACTOR Catch live music starting at 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Not much of a night owl? Pop in Monday through Friday for the $11 lunch special.

3050 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | $6-$50 | R

Shhh, Himitsu is now open. There’s no phone number. No sign. No line. Reservations are mandatory and notoriously tough to snag. To get in, you need a password, or your eyeballs must be in their Rolodex for entry via the iris scanner. What kind of bar is this?! If you haven’t already heard, Himitsu (meaning secret in Japanese) is the latest progeny of Atlanta entrepreneurs Farshid Arshid, Charlie Hendon and Fuyuhiko Ito of Umi fame.

If it sounds like the kind of place where James Bond and Batman might go tête-à-tête over martinis, you’re right. In its opening week, DETAILS named Himitsu the world’s most exclusive cocktail bar. The very first full American concept from world-renowned designer Tom Dixon (the lounge was featured last month in Vogue Italia), Himitsu is not your average cocktail watering hole. By raising the barrier of entry, what could be just another bar has been elevated to Michelin status.

Revel in the $200,000 worth of Baccarat crystal in which each artfully crafted cocktail is served at this sexy bi-level speakeasy, reminiscent of a posh jewelry box. Plush emerald leather banquettes and luxe mirrored tables twinkle below lava-like chandeliers and shining copper surfaces, all anchored around a massive masterpiece—Todd Murphy’s “King of Birds” painting.

The team is equally first-class. Himitsu’s beverage program is helmed by Creative Director Shingo Gokan, founder of Speak Low in Shanghai, director of Angel’s Share in NYC and winner of the global Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition in 2012; and local mixologist extraordinaire T. Fable Jeon. Husband-and-wife team chef Fuyuhiko and pastry chef Lisa Ito from Umi handle the eats.

With more than 110 wines and 30 sakes, the cocktail program complements the wide-ranging list (which is delivered via iPad) with seven signature Ginza-style cocktails (think ritual-heavy, culinary-influenced concoctions indicative of Japanese precision and finesse) and seven classic Americana cocktails from Jeon. For non-drinkers, Acqua Armani water entices.

Even the bathrooms are over-the-top. Aesop soap, $20,000 toilets with warmed seats and state-of-the-art bidets are exactly the kind of details nearly every other bar overlooks. But not Himitsu. They know in order to be truly extraordinary, you can’t be for the ordinary. And if you can score a reservation, you’ll see Himitsu is anything but.

START WITH Ito-Gio pizza
MAIN COURSE Scallop tiradito
SIP ON Toryufu
END WITH Mille crepe
HOT FACTOR If you’re a regular at Himitsu, ask to be put on file for quick, anytime entry via the iris scanner.

70 West Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.262.2675 | @chopslobsterbar | $19-$120 | R

Steak and seafood take center stage at Chops Lobster Bar, an iconic Atlanta restaurant that has been wowing patrons for more than two decades with its exceptional service and high-quality fare under the watchful eye of General Manager Kevin Brown. A dimly lit dining room dotted with white tablecloths and supple booths awaits at the upstairs Chops, while an uberexclusive speakeasy-esque party beckons downstairs at Lobster Bar. No matter where you take a seat, knowledgeable servers will guide you through Executive Chef Ryan Delesandro’s magical menu.

Decadence shines throughout with tableside specialties like tenderloin steak tartare and fresh Dover sole, adding a theatric element to the dining experience. Go big with an over-the-top shellfish tower, a must-try for seafood lovers. Think Maine lobster, jumbo shrimp, ceviche, cold-water oysters and colossal lump crab nestled on a tiered bed of ice. All offshore fare is flown in daily for top-notch taste and texture. For carnivore enthusiasts, you can’t go wrong with any of the resto’s namesake entrees. Only USDA prime cuts will make their way to your plate, whether you prefer the filet mignon or the epic bone-in New York sirloin dry-aged with Himalayan pink salt. Our top rec? The coveted 100 percent A5 authentic wagyu Kobe beef (available in filet- or New York strip-style cuts). Chops happens to be one of the only restos in the city to even have it on the menu. Please your palate by slathering foie gras, white truffle butter or traditional bearnaise sauce on any of the exquisite meat options.

And what would a true steakhouse be without satiating sides to pair with the main course? Shareable picks include truffle Parmesan fries, thin green beans with shallot butter, cream curly mac and smoked Gouda, and the memorable hashed potato tots with blue cheese truffle sauce. Light eaters will equally enjoy the Italian-inspired burrata mozzarella, tomato and arugula salad (with fresh basil, white balsamic and extra virgin olive oil), the chilled iceberg wedge BLT (with triple- cream blue cheese and bacon) and the specialty warm spinach and mushroom salad (prepared tableside).

Finish off the meal with indulgent chocolate toffee crunch pie or sweet, warm bread pudding with vanilla sauce. No matter what you order, Chops delivers. Now, meat your match!

START WITH Signature fried lobster tail
MAIN COURSE A5 wagyu steak
SIP ON Chops classic martini
END WITH White chocolate banana cream pie
HOT FACTOR While Chops and Lobster Bar share a menu, Lobster Bar has the best lighting in the city, making it a choice spot for a romantic date night. Many film crews request to use it in television shows and movies due to the lighting!

924 Garrett St. | Glenwood Park | 404.380.1886 | @gunshowatl | $10-$27 | R

When Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie left his post at the now-defunct Woodfire Grill to open a dim sum-meets-Brazilian-churrascaria restaurant in East Atlanta’s Glenwood neighborhood, we weren’t sure what to expect. Turns out, that’s the beauty of Gunshow. No matter how many times you dine at the interactive eatery, you can never guess what your meal might hold. Gillespie works with Executive Chef Joey Ward and a curated handful of young guns (pun intended) to create new, innovative dishes on a near daily basis.

Perhaps the most successful restaurant marketing tactic in history, pushcarts carry the latest creations from Gillespie and his fellow culinary maestros directly to diners. Chefs personally explain their works of art, describing the taste, the technique and the story behind each dish, making it impossible to turn down any plate—not that you’d want to. Though there have been the occasional misfires over the years, nearly every dish bursts with unique flavor, innovative combinations and intoxicating aromas you won’t find anywhere else in the city: Just look at the Indian-inspired escargot and Jamaican curried goat, Vietnamese chicken and waffles or oyster-mushroom Rockefeller for proof.

Gunshow’s high-energy space is equally distinctive—the open kitchen sits front and center in the communal dining room (long tables are shared by multiple parties), so sparse it’s virtually undecorated, save for a small merch stand up front. And don’t miss the cocktail cart. Barkeep Mercedes O’Brien invents a short list of dangerously delicious sippers each week, which she wields around the room, rewarding thirsty patrons while she shakes and strains. Bottoms up!

START WITH Kung Pao Brussels sprouts
MAIN COURSE Closed-On-Sunday chicken sandwich
SIP ON Toasted Old-Fashioned
END WITH Warm old-fashioned banana pudding
HOT FACTOR Hired Guns (aka hot chefs from around the country) cook dinner on select Sunday and Monday nights (when the restaurant is closed) for $95 per person. This season’s all-stars include Brian Baxter of HUSK in Nashville, Tenn.; Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in Fernandina Beach, Fla.; Brooke Williamson of Hudson House in Redondo Beach, Calif., and more.

74 14th St. NE | Midtown | 404.881.5913 | @barmargotatl | $14-$36 | R

Ford Fry’s first hotel project inside Midtown’s Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta has everything you’d expect—a classy design, relaxed vibe and over-the-top delicious food, courtesy of Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker. Its richly hued surrounds, comfy seating (think navy leather and burnt-orange velvet banquettes) and lively bar scene works equally well for post-work cocktails on Tuesday as it does for a first-date spot on Saturday.

The menu begins with “Snacks.” Underwhelming in title, the crab toast is overwhelmingly flavorful. Grilled bread topped with huge chunks of fresh crab, avocado coulis and rooftop garden herbs is bright and lemony; it’s also the perfect complement to the delicate, refreshing Lady Victoria cocktail (Hangar One vodka, lemon juice, Cocchi Americano and rosemary), served in a retro glass.

Next up is “More,” a section of the menu also filled with shareable apps. The cheese and charcuterie plate is good (the honeycomb is a nice touch), but the ahi crudo topped with soy truffle vinaigrette will be gobbled up first. Small plates are a plus here because you’ll want to sample nearly one of everything off the cocktail menu too. Bartender Joe Haywood’s old-school concoctions like Mercy Street (a twist on an Old Fashioned) and Sour in the Dark (whiskey sour, the remix) are palate pleasers. And if you have a preggo (or just a teetotaler or DD) in your group, Haywood shakes up some great mocktails too.

If you have room for a main dish, the spicy shrimp sugo with rice dumplings is just the right size and has a nice kick (soak up the sauce with extra crostini from your charcuterie plate), and you can’t go wrong with the simple tagliolini cacio e pepe pasta.

The most impressive part of a meal at Bar Margot? By far, it’s dessert. For a special occasion, go for the chocolate bomb. It requires 24-hour notice to the kitchen, but it’s one of the most impressive desserts we’ve seen in Atlanta. A hand-painted chocolate sphere—almost too pretty to eat—gets doused in hot caramel sauce to reveal ice cream inside. Scoop the entire melted, gooey mess into the accompanying bowl of homemade brownies, and we’re pretty sure this is what heaven looks (or tastes) like.

START WITH Burrata with pistachio butter, sorghum and grilled sourdough
MAIN COURSE Bavette steak with butter-poached king crab and potato puree
SIP ON Gin Margot
END WITH Sticky toffee cake with ginger ice cream
HOT FACTOR Get your late-night groove on Friday and Saturday nights when a DJ spins until 1am.

3035 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.869.9944 | @le_bilboquetatl | $26-$41 | B R P F

Sometimes you just need to enjoy some sinfully cheesy potato gratin with an exquisite bottle of bubbly. And there’s no better place to indulge in this foodie fantasy than at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta’s Le Bilboquet. This little piece of Paris, with roots that go back to 1986 in NYC’s Upper East Side, opened its Atlanta doors in late 2014. And with design details (courtesy of Paris native Carolina von Humboldt of NYC’s CvH Interiors) like blue velvet banquettes, well-appointed art, crisp white tablecloths and sidewalk seating straight out of a Parisian postcard, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a French cafe—minus the jet lag.

If you’re looking for a spot to enjoy a post-shopping sip, sidle up to Le Bilboquet’s posh pewter bar, which has become one of the see-and-be-seen drink destinations in the neighborhood. And the brunch set can rejoice as well, as the eatery hosts a weekly Saturday brunch party from 1 to 5pm, where you can dance away the afternoon while sipping on champs. Menu highlights include crepes with a caramelized blend of fresh orange juice and Grand Marnier or Nutella, brioche French toast with maple syrup or poached eggs with smoked salmon and spinach.

Thanks to chef Jean Louis Sangare (a 16-plus-year veteran with the resto), madames and monsieurs (including A-Lister Robert De Niro, who’s pulled up a chair more than once) in the mood for an authentic French bistro meal have a variety of palate pleasers from which to select. Must-tries include the tuna tartare, jumbo lump crab with corn and avocado, Cajun chicken, and lemon veal scallopini paired with creamy mashed potatoes. And don’t you dare forget the mouthwatering PEI steamed mussels served in a delicious white wine and shallot sauce with a side of fries. (We indulge every time.) Finish your feast on a sweet note with the decadent mousse au chocolat, profiteroles or sweet creme brulee. Oui, s’il vous plaît!

START WITH Crispy octopus with chickpeas
MAIN COURSE Signature Cajun chicken with beurre blanc and french fries
SIP ON French Buckhead 75
END WITH Mousse au chocolat
HOT FACTOR Le Bilboquet has become the state’s largest buyer of Champagne. Pair a glass of bubbly with homemade crepes suzette (available on Sundays for in-the-know guests).

1170 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.665.4555 | @marcelatlanta | $30–$165 | R P

Having opened in July, this European-inspired steakhouse from Ford Fry proved to be everything we anticipated and more: a touch Moulin Rouge—with sumptuous, residential-inspired furnishings and a plush, parlor-like entryway. Further inside, you find a square-shaped bar occupied by charming barmen and fabulously relaxed patrons, plus a dining room replete with Midcentury-style light fixtures, oxblood-colored leather booths and cheeky baroque wallpaper inspired by New York City street scenes. That last little detail serves as an unexpectedly entertaining conversation piece—that is, if chef Brian Horn’s cuisine doesn’t get you talking enough. Fans of JCT. Kitchen & Bar know that Horn’s fare is exceptional to say the least.

The dining experience here starts with a selection of cappicola and olives, plus oily focaccia with herbaceous whipped ricotta. Next up? Perhaps a Caesar salad with the ideal amount of unctuous dressing and an attractive scatter of decadent, pungently flavored croutons. So far, so good. You also can’t go wrong with the garlicky escargot with parsley butter, nor with the oysters Bienville, a sizzling savory dish topped with decadent accompaniments like mushrooms, cheese and bacon bits. Opt for the pommes aligot (pureed potatoes)—they’re dangerously addictive, especially alongside a bloody cut of steak. True to expectation, these supreme-quality, perfectly aged proteins set this restaurant head and shoulders above others. And if you want to enjoy these eats at a steal, just come in late night—after bar-hopping on the Westside—when faves like duck confit-topped fries and a bacon cheeseburger are offered for just $10 a plate. If you’re still down for a nightcap, pair your haute chow with a La Vie en Rose, a delectable rye whiskey libation that zings with orange bitters and grenadine. Have any questions? General Manager Mac Angulo will make sure your every whim is attended to. At your service, indeed!

START WITH Oysters Bienville
MAIN COURSE Beef Wellington for two
SIP ON Le Bombardier
END WITH Baked Alaska
HOT FACTOR Midnight munchies won’t break the bank at Marcel, as the resto’s late-night menu on Fridays and Saturdays offers many of the most popular entrees for just $10 per plate.

Continue to Hottest Restaurants 11-25 >>

-Dinner entree price range
-Brunch available [times vary]
-Reservations accepted [restrictions may apply]
-Patio dining
-Furry friends welcome

1170 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.500.4737 | $5-$20

Atlanta scenesters have a soft spot in their hearts for this cagey drink den, tucked in at the end of an industrial alleyway. Secluded and a tad spooky—in a futuristic, revenge-of-the-robots sort of way—the neon-laced lounge is not quite a bar, not quite a restaurant, but its tongue-and-cheek drinks and quirky Asian eats more than satisfy both cravings. Victory Brands’ Executive Chef Melissa Allen (formerly of Miso Izakaya and Pura Vida) may be most revered for developing Victory Sandwich Bar’s tasty sammies. Try her Thai beef dumplings, steamed pork belly buns or pork rinds with Fresno honey.

88 W. Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.600.6471 | @atlasbuckhead | $28-$85 | R P

Tastes like tenderloin and lamb with sides of primo people-watching and amazing art—welcome to Atlas. The cozy resto, which is tucked away in Buckhead’s swank The St. Regis Atlanta, has become a go-to for date nights and grabbing a glass of happy-hour bubbly alike. Whether you’re looking for fancy fare like the foie gras torchon or the simple but tasty Atlas burger, Executive Chef Christopher Grossman (formerly of Napa’s luxe French Laundry) has you covered. Need something sweet? Order the Opera (an espresso-soaked sponge-cake sable cookie with almond croquant and dark-chocolate coffee cremeux). It sings to us every time.

3344 Peachtree Road | Buckhead | 404.261.6456 | @bistroniko | $14-$38 | B R P

Looking for the perfect place to enjoy a glass of Sancerre and oysters on a patio—without hopping the pond to Paris? Voila! We give you Buckhead’s Bistro Niko. Please your palate with French fare like beef short rib bourguignon and coq au vin, courtesy of longtime Buckhead Life Restaurant Group chef Gary Donlick. See and be seen sipping on a Midnight in Paris cocktail at the bistro’s bar, which is anything but hidden. Or, treat yourself to live music and brioche French toast on Sundays at jazz brunch. Bon appetite, y’all!

Multiple locations | @bartacolife | $3-$38 | P

With its carafes of margaritas and tricked out tacos, this Northern transplant has won over the hearts of folks all over ATL. The Bartaco empire, known for its coastal-casual vibe and sweet patio scene, now has three locations around town in Buckhead, Inman Park and the Westside. Start with the grilled corn with lime, cayenne and cotija cheese, and follow with sesame rib-eye and falafel tacos while washing it all down with a La Ruleta (Flor de Cana silver rum, jalapeno, peach nectar and lime juice) or a caipirinha (Leblon cachaca, limes and fresh pomegranate). Seal the deal with the churros—they’ll leave you saying “gracias.”

3035 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.939.9840 | @gypsykitchenatl | $6-$26 | R P

Those who cozy up to the bar for a cocktail at this sexy spot at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta will be seduced into staying to sample a few of the tapas or one of the entrees by chef Matthew Ridgway (of NYC’s Oak Room and New Jersey’s The Pass)—all designed to share. Clock some patio time with friends over a few Seville Rose bevies and small bites like the chargrilled octopus, patatas bravas, chickpea pancakes, gulf shrimp a la plancha and lamb tartare. Happy hour runs from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, Monday through Friday and is prime time for $5 rotating wines and $4-$5 tapas. Drink (and eat) up!

3455 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.554.9995 | @stceciliaatl | $18-$42 | R

The baked focaccia, the mineral-forward wines, the varied crudo… scarfing down the European-inspired coastal cuisine of Executive Chef Craig Richards (one of Ford Fry’s greatest acolytes) is only half the experience at this exquisite eatery. Once we’re finished admiring the soaring ceilings, circular booths and Instagram-worthy lavatory floors, we’re routinely sold on the finesse of Richards’ housemade pastas (think pillowy ravioli stuffed with chicken liver or smoked squash) and charred octopus paired with an Italian bean salad with sun-dried tomato pesto. Return Sundays for a four-course, family style, prix-fixe feast ($35 per person).

303 E. Howard Ave. | Decatur | 404.378.3502 | @kimballhousebar | $18-$150 | P

This turn-of-the-century-esque tavern is not a house at all, but an incredible former Decatur train depot where you can pluck oysters from shining silver platters and drip absinthe over sugar cubes at a polished wood bar manned by near-legendary cocktail maestro Miles Macquarrie. Inspired by Brooklyn’s beloved Maison Premiere, this handsome boîte boasts frosted-glass globe lights and high-back leather banquettes frequently packed with cute J.Crew types. Chef Jeffrey Wall, formerly of JOËL and La Fourchette (both defunct) never fails to dazzle with seasonally changing fare made from produce and herbs grown right on-site.

1198 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.355.2252 | @jctkitchen | $16-$29 | R P

This Westside Ford Fry concept is renowned for its refined comfort food—from fried chicken and deviled eggs to bacon mac and cheese and angry mussels executed under the deft direction of Executive Chef Brian Horn. The dining room is sophisticated while the upstairs bar is often swarmed with ardent demand for drinks—especially on Thursday wine nights ($6 per glass, folks!). Hip Atlantans adore catching frequent acoustic acts in this alfresco space, complete with glittering views of railroad tracks below. And they’d be loathe to ever leave without snatching an oversize Lemonhead from the table beside the host stand, so pucker up!

240 N. Highland Ave. | Inman Park | 404.589.1010 | @barcelonawineba | $15-$27 | B R P F

Wine, bread, cheese… Barcelona is the place to indulge in all the right things. Serving up small and large Spanish small plates (the patatas bravas, beef empanadas, hanger steak and scallops a la plancha are all perfection) and sensational cocktails like gin-based Mind Your Bees & Suze, this Inman Park resto helmed by chefs Benjamin Meyer and James McDowell can do no wrong—and for good reason. It’s also quite the social scene, known to be frequented by locals and celebs alike. If you’re with a larger group, sit by the outdoor fireplace. The patio is heated year-round but is especially nice in summer and fall—and an ideal spot for birthday celebrations.

914 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.477.6260 | @theoptimistatl | $24-$35 | R P

Ford Fry’s nationally acclaimed Westside seafood spot is at once modern and rustic, dazzling us with two cool eating areas: a ginormous dining room with a bar at center and an adjacent oyster bar offering a more casual vibe. And Atlanta’s landlocked patrons can’t seem to get enough of chef Wesley True’s always-fresh seafood, which includes Georges Bank scallops in Thai passionfruit vinaigrette, duck fat-poached swordfish and whole Georgia shrimp a la plancha with chile butter and lime. Finish with Rocky Road bread pudding, and if you’re seeking a little diversion afterward, hit the three-hole Putt-Putt course right outside.

4100 Avalon Blvd. | Alpharetta | 678.436.5655 | @avaloninsider | $15-$23 | R P F

This new Avalon watering hole, described as a “19th century industrial craft bar,” is putting the happy in happy hour with craft cocktails (choice ops include the Smarti Pants, Branch & Berry, Strawberry Rhubarb Runner and Big, Big Boss) and innovative fare (heavy on the homemade) by chef Todd Hogan (of Cumming’s Branchwater Restaurant). Snack on sweet potato fries paired with maple aioli and jalapeno candied bacon before moving on to star entrees like lobster mac and cheese, Kentucky Common beer-battered fish and fries or barbecued mini meatballs with cheddar potato gratin. Come hungry!

265 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.3165 | @atlfishmarket | $20-$60 | R P

Fresh seafood is flown in daily to this iconic Buckhead spot where specialty dishes include flash fried Nova Scotia lobster tail, Hong Kong style salmon and stone crab claws. With one of the largest selections of fresh wild caught fish, a sushi bar and even a retail store with newly offered to-go items, this place continues to bring in a packed house for both lunch and dinner. Don’t miss the adjoining Geechee crab lounge for a comfortable place to watch a game, catch up with friends and sip on a Dark & Stormy before dinner.

5920 Roswell Road | Sandy Springs | 404.709.2148 | @gialloatl | $11-$42 | R

Missing Veni Vidi Vici? Say hello to its follow-up il Giallo Osteria & Bar, from Buckhead Life Restaurant Group alums Jamie Adams and Leonardo Moura. Authentic coastal cuisine shines (don’t miss the squid ink risotto with braised calamari) while handmade pastas highlight chef Adams’ Italian mastery (a stint at Michelin-starred Locanda del Saint’Uffizio doesn’t hurt either). Sip on a classic Campari spritz or negroni while savoring every heavenly bite of gnocchi dusted with Gorgonzola cheese and crispy speck; or ravioli filled with roasted duck and fontina, and coated in brown butter, sage and pecans.

3035 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.939.9845 | @atlsoutherngent | $14-$45 | B R P

Thanks to the seersucker window treatments and rotating cocktails like the Grit & Grace and the strawberry-infused Scarlet Belle, The Southern Gentleman has become a go-to drink and eat spot for ladies and gents across the city. As the name implies, this resto is all about nods to what makes the South so sweet. For example, chef Matthew Ridgway serves up a menu of delicious dishes like braised Creekstone Farm beef cheeks with bread dumplings and pickled Brussels sprouts salad. And don’t forget the Monte Cristo and the anadama toffee waffles on the Sunday brunch menu. It’s almost as good as your mama makes it.

Multiple locations | $18-$22

When every celeb in town (Conan O’Brien, Drew Barrymore, Owen Wilson and more) flocks to the Westside (and now Alpharetta’s Avalon location too) for a slice of Giovanni Di Palma’s pizza, you know it must be good. Throw in a mention on Food Network’s Best. Pizza. Ever. and it’s time to pull up a communal chair in the space’s open-air kitchen, where authentic Italian pies are served straight out of the wood-burning oven. The San Gennaro (Italian sausage, sweet red pepper, Bufala cheese and cipolline onions) remains a crowd fave, but we’re also partial to the cheesy Blanca pie (fior di latte, ricotta, Bufala and pecorino). The slice is right, indeed.

Continue to Hottest Restaurants 26-40 >>

-Dinner entree price range
-Brunch available [times vary]
-Reservations accepted [restrictions may apply]
-Patio dining
-Furry friends welcome

3424 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.846.0644 | @newyorkprime | $6-$98 | R P

Owner Greg Greenbaum, Managing Partner Bobby Donlan and Operating Partner Michael Smith continue to wow year after year (since 2003 to be exact) with a top spot on our “100 Hottest Restaurants” list. Whether it’s the swank atmosphere (that draws some of ATL’s most elite) or the high standards its steaks must meet (USDA prime, then aged, cut and charred on a special 1700-degree Southbend broiler), New York Prime is not to be missed. Start with prime beef tenderloin carpaccio; order a New York Strip (with cheese mashed potatoes, of course); then sweeten the deal with white-chocolate banana cream pie. Food coma, commence!

3365 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.842.0011 | @chamagaucha | $27-$45 | R P

This Buckhead newbie makes its debut on JEZ’s “100 Hottest” list for good reason. A sprawling 50-person patio and prime spot on Piedmont beckon, while dry-ice cocktails and charcoal-grilled meats cut tableside mean you’ll be staying awhile. Founded in San Antonio, Texas, the impressive space’s centerpiece, designed by Restaurant Consulting Group, is an over-the-top salad bar brimming with smoked salmon, cilantro-sprinkled shrimp cocktail, tabbouleh and more than 30 fresh items hand-picked daily. And about that meat, it’s seasoned and cooked to perfection (think picanha, filet mignon, prime sirloin and rack of lamb). Steak your claim!

28. HAL'S
30 Old Ivy Road NE | Buckhead | 404.261.0025 | $40-$60 | R P

This old-school steakhouse and lounge boasts a New-Orleans-inspired menu that continues to draw loyal patrons and new diners year after year. While signature dishes like the swordfish steak, roasted chicken, prime bone-in rib-eye and the blackened filet are divine, it’s the atmosphere that really makes this steakhouse a star in its own right. Snack on mussels bathed in white wine sauce or fried calamari while sipping on classic cocktails and rubbing elbows with Buckhead’s elite. Falcons star Matt Ryan has been known to grace the tables of “The Steakhouse” (as it’s been dubbed) a time or two.

3393 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.481.2980 | @truefoodkitchen | $13-$24 | B P

You want to hit the brunch scene post-Barre class, but where can you go that won’t undo all the hard work you’ve just put in? Head to True Food Kitchen. Founded by Dr. Andrew Weil in partnership with Phoenix restaurateur Sam Fox, this spot’s menu highlights anti-inflammatory foods that happen to be delicious. During warm months, grab a spot on the patio and sip on the Kale-Aid, made with kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger. The roasted seasonal vegetable board with avocado green goddess dip is perfect for sharing, and the “Inside Out” quinoa burger topped with hummus, tzatziki and feta is one of our all-time faves.

3060 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.477.3500 | @kingandduke | $18-$87 | B R P

Ford Fry’s wood-fired fete, King + Duke, continues to showcase itself as in instant classic in the Atlanta dining scene. From its nods to classic literature to its contemporary-cool motif, K+D is a modern throwback to a way of cooking that lets the ingredients tell the story. The meat-laden menu of duck, lamb, pork and, of course, steak are all cooked to unadulterated perfection over the warm embers of the resto’s 24-foot open-fire hearth. JCT. Kitchen & Bar alum and Executive Chef EJ Hodgkinson’s sustainable sensibility and creativity into locally sourced dishes propel the palate into unknown territory that’s truly delicious.

31. STK
1075 Peachtree St. | Midtown | 404.793.0144 | @eatstk | $25-$48 | R

Dying for a melt-in-your-mouth steak served up in a chic Midtown lounge? Then, STK (which has locations sprinkled in top cities around the globe) is the answer to your meat-loving prayers. Sip a Tickle Me Ginger cocktail while grooving to the tunes of the resto’s live DJ. Tempt your taste buds with the clever creations of Executive Chef Mark Alba, which range from bite-sized lil’ burgers made with wagyu beef to lobster mac and cheese. And head to the weekly Lip Service party on Thursdays to enjoy bubbly Magnum specials and an all-night happy hour menu. After all, at STK, Thursday is the new Friday.

32. 1KEPT
2293 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.254.1973 | @1kept | $18-$30 | R P F

Atlanta’s best kept secret for sexy, seasonal and locally sourced American comfort food is 1KEPT. Soak in the utterly cool vibes of this South Buckhead nosh spot that’s brimming with elusiveness and creativity from owner Thaddeus Keefe (of Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft fame), who’s more than willing to take chances in the kitchen. Expand your palate with inventive fare like fennel pork meatballs, confit duck leg and sweetgrass mussels before indulging in the decadent chocolate and marshmallow creme brulee. Oh, and don’t miss the black truffle popcorn dusted with Parmesan that we’d happily eat by the bucket.

Multiple locations | @tinlizzys | $4-$10 | P

Eats that are low on cost and high on flavor? Head to one of Tin Lizzy’s Cantina’s numerous ATL locations. Start with an order of the Three Amigos (guacamole, queso and salsa—aka the Holy Grail) before ordering a Low Country Boil taco (grilled shrimp, spicy chorizo and Tater Tots?!) or Korean barbecue pork nachos (what calories?). Warm skillets are also a top pick (Southern Comfort-, Mediterranean-, cantina-, churrasco- or fajita shrimp-style), and a pitcher of refreshing housemade margaritas is always a good choice. Throw in some live music, sports-blaring TVs and Tin Lizzy’s is a party in itself.

34. YEBO
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.467.4988 | @yeboatl | $8-$20 | B R P F

10 Degrees South’s hip younger brother, Yebo (a trendy American-Southern-meets-South Africa small plates spot), is going off to college this spring when it moves from its Phipps Plaza location to an intimate home off West Paces Ferry (the former Coast space, for foodies keeping score at home). Expect many of the same inventive tapas (think peri peri Parmesan popcorn; The Gatsby, a french fry and sirloin sammie; and ostrich sliders with rosemary aioli), but thanks to a much larger kitchen, an expanded menu (look for peri peri prawns!) and craft cocktail program will coincide with the move, alongside a sweeping patio.

900 Third St. | Alpharetta | 678.722.8335 | @collettaatl | $15-$30 | R P F

Avalon got a major upgrade when this Italian eatery from the owners of O-Ku moved in last winter. Following a summer sojourn in the boot-shaped nation, Executive Chef Michael Perez returned with loads of inspiration, whipping up seasonal pizzas (try the Brussels sprouts with fontina, pecorino romano and apples), housemade pastas (the pappardelle is a dream) and dishes like half chicken, all roasted in a wood-burning oven in full view of the glittering, white-brick dining room. The Affogato de Colletta is divine anytime, but return weeknights for happy-hour specials or Sundays for a wine flight and light bites ($16). Clink!

500 Pharr Road | Buckhead | 404.237.2941 | @pricciatlanta | $15-$44 | R

Wanting an eatery where you’re as likely to find housemade mozzarella made with milk sourced from a local dairy as you are to find hand-sliced prosciutto from Parma, Italy? Then you’ll love Buckhead mainstay Pricci, which features white tablecloth tastes and deco— minus the pretention. Chef Piero Premoli, a third-generation Italian chef from Milan, has been delighting patrons for years with dishes like handmade pastas, risottos and wood-fired pizzas. And if you’re looking for the perfect girls’ night or dinner-date option, don’t miss Pricci’s Jazz Thursday. With half-price bottles of wine and live jazz, it’ll leave you saying “grazie!”

800 Whitlock Ave. | Marietta | 678.388.8813 | @chickandtheegg | $10-$18 | B R P

Modern farm-to-table cuisine is alive and well at neighborhood nosh spot Chicken and the Egg. Full of Southern charm, the concept delivers a new modern take on sustainable cuisine. From tufted black leather banquettes to reclaimed wooden tables, this contemporary farmhouse isn’t your typical farmstead. Just try the shrimp and grits with smoked Gouda and tasso ham, or the roasted and buttermilk fried chicken that your grandmother will be jealous of. A bevy of spirited cocktails like the seasonal rum-heavy spiked sweet tea liven up the night, while old-fashioned doughnuts and Snickerdoodle French toast sweeten the morning brunch menu.

4199 Paces Ferry Road SE | Vinings | 770.432.2663 | @canoeatlanta | $8-$37 | B R P

Looking for the perfect spot to celebrate an anniversary, birthday or just being plain fabulous? Head to Canoe, Vinings’ 20-year riverside mainstay where Executive Chef Matthew Basford is making taste buds sing. The house-smoked salmon appetizer with crispy potato cake and Vermont goat cheese is a must, while entrees like slow-roasted rabbit with mushroom and goat cheese ravioli or the duck ’n’ beef burger with truffle pommes frites make it impossible to visit just once. Finish the meal with the popcorn ice cream sundae sprinkled with homemade Cracker Jacks. Divine!

299 N. Highland Ave. NE | Inman Park | 678.732.0360 | @beetlecatatl | $15-$30 | P

Sometimes there’s nothing better than noshing on a lobster roll—while grooving to the sweet sounds of the ’70s. Behold BeetleCat, the latest addition to Ford Fry’s food empire. Head to the Inman Park hot spot to enjoy a bevy of fresh oysters and savory seafood cooked up by chef Andrew Isabella (formerly of Decatur’s no. 246) in the nautically inspired upstairs dining room. Or sip on a Sex on the Beach while hanging out below deck at the downstairs bar. There’s even a late-night menu (try the shrimp chips featuring lime creme fraiche and sweet and spicy pineapple with a Sea Breeze sipper) for night owls looking for a hip spot to roost. All aboard!

691 14th St. NW | Westside | 404.996.2623 | @cooksatl | $26-$74 | R P

Nevermind the posh interiors and cool mosaic tile; this Basque-inspired eatery from Castellucci Hospitality Group makes a faithful—and tasty—tribute to the cuisine of Spain’s France-bordering region, right from the ground floor of Elan Westside. Chef Landon Thompson, who cut his teeth under the likes of Richard Blais, Linton Hopkins and Tom Colicchio, keeps dishes like Georgia white shrimp fideuà paella, black truffle bikini grilled cheese and vegan tomato “tartare” coming to the tables of the swarthy patronage, who tend to favor the late Friday- and Saturday-night “Pintxos” menu, which serves up a selection of Spanish bites on toasted bread.

Continue to Hottest Restaurants 41-55 >>

-Dinner entree price range
-Brunch available [times vary]
-Reservations accepted [restrictions may apply]
-Patio dining
-Furry friends welcome

950 Third St. | Alpharetta | 678.722.8333 | @oakatlanta | $8-$60 | B R P F

The Indigo Road restaurant group continues to churn out new ATL winners this year (see Colletta and O-Ku Atlanta,) and Oak Steakhouse is no exception. Executive Chef Eric Zizka is celebrating local ingredients with a menu chock-full of innovative classics, including duck confit potato gnocchi, Grassroots Farms GA buttermilk fried chicken, Atlantic market cod and lobster donuts. Share plentiful sides such as duck crackling mac and cheese; or fingerling potatoes with bacon cream, aged white cheddar and chives, before diving fork first into coconut layer cake or seasonal bread pudding.

1085 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.500.2383 | @okuatlanta | $12-$100 | R P

Though it’s one of the Westside’s newest eateries, it’s quickly becoming an Atlanta institution for impeccable sushi in a sophisticated yet not overly swank setting. Creative presentations from Umi alum Jackie Chang include fried oysters and otoro spoons laden with tuna tartare, truffle oil and caviar. We’re also hooked on the half-off sushi happy hours (Monday and Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm) and the 45-piece Jackie Kase tasting platter—perfect for sharing with a group or solo adventuring. Libations like the passionfruit-puree Sugar & Spice martini are ideal companions for rooftop nights.

154 Krog St. | Inman Park | 404.524.5600 | @rathbuns | $35-$85 | R P

Garnering numerous accolades since opening in 2007, Kevin Rathbun Steak is the essential Atlanta fine dining experience from restaurant titan Kevin Rathbun. Chef de Cuisine Andre Gomez showcases USDA selections of prime beef in surrounds adorned with stained glass artwork and tree-branch lighting. Dry-aged to the pinnacle flavor, these beauties come out of the gate sizzling while shrimp, crab and lobster keep things chill. Take on the expansive wine menu or find your sweet spot with the pièce de résistance, the baked Alaska featuring peanut butter crunch; banana parfait; and chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice creams.

3035 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 470.809.9201 | @shakeshack | $3-$10 | P F

Shake Shake has exploded in the last two years and ATL was lucky enough to get its own location at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. This two-story, eco-friendly Shack pays homage to the original location in NYC, with walls clad in reclaimed industrial pine and tabletops made from recycled bowling alleys. But lest we can’t forget the food. In addition to its famous burgers, Shake Shack recently released a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, the Chick’n Shack. Pair it with the Pecan Pie Oh My (aka, really thick frozen vanilla custard with a slice of H&F Bread Co. pecan pie), and you’ll never go back to Chick-fil-A again. Try it if you don’t believe us!

45. ECCO
40 Seventh St. | Midtown | 404.347.9555 | @eccoatl | $13-$50 | R P

Picture fried goat cheese coated in honey and black pepper, piquillo peppers stuffed with braised beef, and pappardelle with braised pork all served up in a sexy and intimate eat spot—thanks to Executive Chef Michael Patria, these are just a few of the reasons Ecco continues to be a go-to for celebs and ATLians alike. It even appears in the Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman flick The Change-Up. When the weather warms up, enjoy a bottle of rosé on the perfect patio. Or on those icier nights, try a nightcap at the cozy bar inside. It’s the ideal way to end a Midtown day. Bonus: Buckhead will soon get its own Ecco location in mid-2017.

Multiple locations | @capitalgrille | $31-$60 | R

Sure, it’s a chain—but a darn good one at that. Optimally located adjacent to Perimeter Mall, the Dunwoody outpost is the ideal place to unwind with a Manhattan 46 afterhours, if you work in or around the King and Queen (or just want to mingle with the well-groomed business travelers, ladies). If Buckhead is your post-work stomping ground, sidle up to the bar and place an order of pan-fried calamari with hot cherry peppers to share while enjoying views of the skyline. At either location, you’re sure to find strong drinks, friendly bartenders and a heck of a steak—though the sushi-grade sesame seared tuna with gingered rice is a close second.

1311 Johnson Ferry Road | Marietta | 678.214.6888 | @eatatseed | $12-$29 | B R P

Get an ITP experience without ITP prices at this ai3-designed resto helmed by chef-owner Doug Turbush. Known for its spectacular service and multicultural fare, Seed is a place you can be honest with your server if you don’t like your order—though that’s highly unlikely. Apps like iron skillet cornbread or pimento cheese crostini kick things off on a Southern note, and entrees such as chicken schnitzel or gulf shrimp and grits continue the theme. Don’t throw in the napkin until you’ve tried at least a bit of the hot chocolate chunk skillet cookie, topped with homemade vanilla ice cream and hot fudge.

1570 Holcomb Bridge Road | Roswell | 770.641.8877 | $13-$28 | R P

Don’t let its OTP location fool you: FSE is bumpin’ on the weekend, and the crowd gets better as the night goes on. Credit the absinthe cocktails (try a FSE Reviver)—you’ll see everyone from casual bachelorettes to new parents out on their first post-baby date unwinding at this contemporary Roswell hot spot. Dress casual and come for chef-owner Mel Toledo’s housemade fettuccini with chicken bolognaise, herbed ricotta and arugula; stay for FSE “Twix,” Pastry Chef Kaley Hill’s clever take on the popular candy bar. Toledo cut his teeth in the kitchen of Bacchanalia, so you know it will be worth the trek up 400.

1238 DeKalb Ave. NE | Candler Park | 404.577.4030 | @foxbrosbarbq | $9-$30 | P

When it comes to smokehouse ’cue, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q always satisfies with its finger-lickin’ good ribs, wings, beef brisket, smoked chicken and pulled pork. And it’s not just the entrees that this family-owned biz do right (brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox are co-pitmasters and chefs). Sides like macaroni and cheese, Brunswick stew and spicy stewed green beans can all stand on their own. Add in a supercasual environment and you’ve got a perennial winner in our book. But don’t take our word for it—even Guy Fieri had to get a bite of the famous Fox. Bros brisket burger on an episode of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.

684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. | Old Fourth Ward | 404.458.6838 | @ladybirdatlanta | $14-$24 | B P F

If that long walk down the BeltLine has left you dying of thirst and hunger, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall has got you covered with its elevated campfire cuisine and craft cocktails. Do a happy hour hang Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 7pm on the killer patio, which will soon expand to include an outdoor “grove” with a bar, and sip on the shareable Patio Punch or go solo with a California Chrome. Or grab one of the mess hall-esque tables inside and order yourself some grub (the drunken mussels or “chicken fried” chicken can cure all that ails you). And don’t forget dessert. The triple chocolate s’mores will leave you ready for the happy trails ahead!

99 Krog St. NE | Inman Park | 470.428.2733 | @cockentrice | $14-$29 | B R P

Meat lovers looking for a respite after a day on the BeltLine, rejoice. Located in Inman Park’s Krog Street Market, this resto aims to celebrate charcuterie and meat cookery, something near and dear to Executive Chef Kevin Ouzts’ heart (he’s best known for his other biz, The Spotted Trotter). The Cockentrice features an on-site butcher and amazing tastes like rum-braised pork shoulder and beef shank- and brisket-stuffed onion (perfect to pair with a half price Wine Wednesday deal). Looking for something lighter? Head to Thursday night’s half-price charcuterie happy hour from 5:30 to 7:30pm. You’ll be in hog heaven.

3201 Cains Hill Place NW | Buckhead | 404.228.8856 | @bigskybuckhead | $7-$16 | B P F

Elevated bar bites are all the rage at Big Sky Buckhead thanks to acclaimed chef Hector Santiago (of Ponce City Market’s El Super Pan). Day-drink to your heart’s content on Saturdays and Sundays while soaking up the bevs with buttermilk waffles (in naked, boozed or crunched varieties) or the chicken sandwich featuring a housemade bacon jalapeno biscuit. The food frenzy continues into the evening with pork belly steamed coconut buns and slow-cooked beef barbacoa. Word to the ladies: Food is half off just for you on Tuesdays! We’re also partial to #BigSkyTrivia on Wednesdays and 60-cent wing night on Thursdays—just sayin’.

887 Howell Mill Road NW | Westside | 404.815.1399 | @bocadoatlanta | $13-$24 | R P

Bocado has been all about providing the Westside with delicious bites (and beverages!) since 2009. Simplicity is the name of the game at this resto, which is housed in a former woodworking shop. Thanks to Executive Chef Adam Waller (a former Sotto Sotto star) you can relish creative taste wants with dishes like monk fish with cranberry beans and Brussels sprouts. Or head to Bocado on Tuesdays where you can snag the mouthwatering double-stack burger smothered in American cheese paired with garlic herb or traditional fries (your pick!) with a pint of draft beer for the bargain price of $13. Sometimes basic is just better.

112 Krog St. NE | Inman Park | 404.524.8280 | @rathbuns | $7-$50 | R P

Unforgettable meals take place at this Inman Park staple where owners Kevin Rathbun, Kirk Parks, Al Parnel and Cliff Bramble and Chef de Cuisine Nick Anderson have concocted a menu that makes our mouths water just reading it. Yaya’s eggplant fries with sugar and Tabasco are the perfect place to start, while sea scallop Benedict, roasted spaghetti squash, lobster tacos and a whopping 20-ounce cowboy rib-eye (with Maytag blue cheese butter and onion rings) await on the entree side. If you can’t bare to undo the button on your pants, keep it light with the equally delicious sweet corn soup, watermelon crudo or Greek wedge salad.

1198 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.365.0410 | @starprovisions | $28-$62 | R

For more than 20 years, Bacchanalia has been a choice spot for engagements, birthdays, anniversaries and more thanks to chef-owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. While prix fixe dining has been the name of the game at this Star Provisions staple, Executive Chef Joseph Schafer is now serving the full menu a la carte (that’s right, no prix fixe dinners required!). Choice options include crab fritters, sweetbreads, 28-day dry-aged New York strip, Jamison lamb and gulf red snapper. And don’t forget dessert. Grapefruit souffle, shaker lemon pie and chocolate cake are all fab finales.

Continue to Hottest Restaurants 56-70 >>

-Dinner entree price range
-Brunch available [times vary]
-Reservations accepted [restrictions may apply]
-Patio dining
-Furry friends welcome

121 Sycamore St. | Decatur | 404.371.8800 | @iberianpig | $10-$35 | R P F

The Iberian Pig dazzles with flavorful Spanish tapas, craft cocktails (don’t miss Black Hearts & Sunshine or In the Wind) and Spanish wines. The handsome space is an intimate one resonating with conversation and heavenly smells. Tables sit closely together and fill with a vibrant array of Executive Chef Eric Roberts’ cured meats, tapas and cheeses (you can’t go wrong with the Iberian burger, braised veal shank ravioli or the pork cheek tacos). And did we mention the bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with manchego, walnuts and romesco sauce? Heavenly. When the weather warms, tables out front offer up choice views of Decatur Square.

Multiple locations | @sckmidtown | @sckvinings | $12-$36 | B R P

There is a reason why every A-lister passing through town dines at South City Kitchen (we’re looking at you Kim Kardashian). Both the Vinings and the Midtown location exude Southern charm and offer Southern-style favorite dishes like the fried green tomatoes and the Springer Mountain Farms fried chicken. The bar is also a lure with its premium bourbon, whiskeys and blends; local and regional beers; and an award-winning wine list. In fact, SCK is so popular, a Buckhead location will launch this year right on Peachtree at One Capital City Plaza. Don’t miss its epic patio!

Multiple locations | @varasanospizza | $14-$19 | R P F

Pizza places come and go on the daily in the A, but few stand the test of time (and expand!) the way Varasano’s Pizzeria has, thanks to co-owners Jeff Varasano and Brett Holtzclaw. After all, if The New York Times says you’re top-notch, who are we to argue? While the Buckhead outpost is still prime for views of Peachtree, we’re uberexcited about the new Perimeter Mall locale, which boasts an epic patio and TVs galore. Pull up a seat; tune in to the latest game; and try a slice of the pancetta garlic (chef’s fave!), wild mushroom truffle or spicy mussels pies—and save room for the tiramisu.

265 Peachtree St. NE | Downtown | 404.460.6425 | @polarisatlanta | $15-$35 | R

A revival of one of Atlanta’s most infamous hangouts, this Mad Men-esque lounge looks like a spaceship landed atop the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Rotating 360 degrees around the Downtown skyline every 55 minutes, it offers four zones for enjoying chefs Thomas McKeown and Rodney Ashley’s ever-changing cuisine, which includes steak Oscar, Benton’s bacon popcorn and a blue Polaris flourless chocolate cake that looks like its namesake. Wash it down with an Old Fashioned featuring the restaurant’s resident bourbon or lovely cocktails sweetened with honey harvested at the hotel’s rooftop bee garden.

3500 Peachtree Road | Buckhead | 404.844.4810 | @daviosatlanta | $8-$51 | B R P F

After an afternoon of retail therapy, there’s nothing that hits the spot like a glass of cab and some Kobe meatballs at this elegant but intimate Phipps Plaza pick. And don’t forget to stop by Monday through Friday as well, when Davio’s holds happy hour court from 4 to 7pm, offering half-priced hors d’oeuvres at the bar. Chef Timothy Magee (who has also manned the cooktops at White Oak Kitchen and Southern Art) has created a menu for Davio’s that will leave everyone from steak- to pasta-lovers smiling. Have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss the warm chocolate cake. Delizioso!

4183 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 404.705.8870 | @10degreessouth | $22-$42 | R P

With the rise of exotic restaurants in the A, it’s easy to forget that former soccer star-turned-restaurateur Justin Anthony opened not only the city’s first, but America’s first South African restaurant way back in 1998. The Buckhead hot spot got a makeover in 2014—thanks to Anthony’s designer-to-the-stars wife Kelly Wolf-Anthony—upgrading the cozy dining room with modern finishes that hold court with the stellar menu. The highlights: sweet ground beef curry with chutney, giant grilled butterflied prawns bathed in lemon butter, tender red-wine-laced ostrich medallions and one of the city’s most extensive South African wine lists.

2277 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.948.1175 | @holemanandfinch | $8-$26 | B R

Whether it’s crispy buffalo skins, shrimp toast or a pot of chicken liver pate, Holeman & Finch Public House effortlessly executes delicious decadence. Owned by James Beard Award-winning chef Linton Hopkins, the modern menu is packed with offal, small plates and Southern-inspired cuisine. Make sure you arrive thirsty—H&F’s mixologists are constantly raising the bar on what we expect from cocktails. If you’ve heard about the resto’s legendary burger, don’t worry about waiting until 10pm to order it (the burger’s former serving time); these days, it’s a permanent fixture on the menu.

128 E. Andrews Drive NW | Buckhead | 404.848.9100 | @smokebellybbq | $8-$26 | P

Smokebelly has changed the course for what to expect from a barbecue joint. With tufted leather seating and warm polished wood decor, the chef-driven concept has become a modern game-changer for the Atlanta ‘cue scene, bringing savory barbecue plates to the glitz and glam of Buckhead. Executive Chef Nagib Sued delivers gut-busting and health-laden options packed with flavor, whether you’re devouring a plate of Cherry Cola baby back ribs, or a barbecue quinoa bowl. Add on 20 craft beers and cocktails like the moonshine-heavy Sucker Punch and tequila happy #BasicMargarita, and the party is just getting started.

2523 Caldwell Road NE | Brookhaven | 404.869.6988 | @onesushiplus | $11-$26 | R P

Sidle up to the ultraluxe blue-lit bar of this Brookhaven fave, where you’ll find expertly crafted sushi and innovative cocktails from owners Mali Hu and George Muh. Rolls all have cheeky names (think The #Selfie, Chanel Replica, Sex and the City and O.M.G.) and are just as tasty as they are clever. For those who aren’t a fan of raw fare, try the seared sweet miso duck, braised pork belly bun, spicy miso Korean-style soup or lemongrass lobster bruschetta. Then get your good libations on with flavored sake, wine, brews or cocktails like the Lychee saketini.

3073 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.3336 | @buckheaddiner | $12-$30 | B R A

Buckhead icon, this retro, upscale diner attracts celebrities, visitors and locals for its delicious dishes and bustling scene. Whether it’s a business lunch or a date night, diners revel in favorites like the warm Maytag blue cheese chips (now available as a to-go option) and the famous fried chicken. The corner booths and bar seats—which are hard to come by—are the most desirable spots in the house. Check out the new Monday burger and beer special, crafted by Executive Chef Charles Schwab. Oh, and don’t leave without a taste of the award-winning white-chocolate banana cream pie. To die for!

3717 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 404.941.3081 | @theivybuckhead | $10-$13 | B P

It’s no secret that The IVY draws in one of the best-looking crowds around any night of the week. While its cocktails, lively atmosphere and top-notch staff have made it a staple of Buckhead nightlife, its brunch and dinner menus are equally attractive. Throw down $15 for bottomless mimosas (12:30 to 5pm on Sundays) while digging into a plate of cheese grits with a chicken gravy biscuit or PB&J French toast. The aptly named Hangover burger awaits for those who are recovering from last night’s shenanigans, while salads and wraps are available for those working on their summer bod. Dinner and drinks, check and check.

500 10th St. NE | Midtown | 404.249.0001 | @parktavern | $7-$15 | R P F

Piedmont Park’s lush surroundings and prime people-watching don’t get any better than at Park Tavern. Where else can you fit a happening neighborhood bar, restaurant, events facility and brewery into one sweet package? With a menu that spans double-handed burgers, bright tacos, health-conscious salads and even a full sushi bar, there’s something for everyone—including your pooch—at one of the most awe-inspiring patio situations in ATL. Word to the wise: Keep your weather app handy—when it rains, drafts drop to $1. Plus, with liquor-heavy cocktails like Peach on the Beach, Sneaky Tea and The Bootlegger, afternoon delight is just a sip away.

659 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.897.5000 | @livingstonatgt | $6-$28 | B R P

The beautiful Georgian Terrace is home to this glamorous and contemporary restaurant where Executive Chef Michael Semancik wows with innovative American cuisine during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Supper highlights include crispy smoked chicken thigh, Bangs Island mussels, six-hour hanger steak frites and seared Maine diver scallops. Wash it all down with Caruso’s Garden (Bluecoat gin, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, muddled lime and basil leaves) before skipping across the street to take in the latest show at The Fox Theatre. Just come back for dessert—carrot-cake Twinkies, anyone?

3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.814.9640 | @tavernatphipps | $10-$29 | R P

A trip to Phipps Plaza wouldn’t be complete without stopping at The Tavern at Phipps, where the cocktails flow and the napkins fly high. Talented barkeeps turn happy hour into a full-blown party, thanks to impossible feats of pouring liquor into 10-plus glasses at a time and live music courtesy of the restaurant’s resident piano-playing singer. The food is equally exciting and the resto’s iterations of nachos (dubbed Tavern Chips) might as well be an Atlantan requirement (think barbecue chicken, Southwestern, spinach and more). Sink your teeth into the Carnegie deli pastrami sandwich and you’ll never want to leave.

1311 Johnson Ferry Road | Marietta | 678.214.6888 | @stemwinebar | $6-$15

Killer food and an impressive selection of wines await at this relaxed OTP concept. Owner and chef Doug Turbush’s vision for a neighborhood wine bar is complete in all aspects, from the oval-shaped marble bar to a menu bursting with flavor and vino. Chorizo stuffed medjool dates, citrus-cured salmon tartare, lamb meatballs, Georges Bank sea scallops and the decadent Stem burger (red wine-braised shortrib, pork belly, comte, tomato onion jam) paired with thrice-cooked fries are epic. Oenophiles, take note: High-end by-the-glass fills are available via the resto’s state-of-the-art Enomatic wine system. Wine about it!

Continue to Hottest Restaurants 71-85 >>

-Dinner entree price range
-Brunch available [times vary]
-Reservations accepted [restrictions may apply]
-Patio dining
-Furry friends welcome

1820 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.809.3561 | @watershedatl | $20-$25 | B R P

This Smith Hanes-designed space serves epic Southern cuisine and never disappoints. Chef Zeb Stevenson, who worked under Jean-Georges Vongerichten, continues to add new items and improve on longtime favorites such as the fried chicken, pimento cheese and chocolate cake, using locally sourced ingredients. The elegant centerpiece bar and intimate banquettes only add to the allure of the highly acclaimed restaurant, owned in part by Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls. Take note: Wednesdays are legendary thanks to the famous friend chicken and biscuits special. Just ask Jennifer Lawrence.

930 Howell Mill Road NW | Westside | 404.796.8888 | @eightsushiatl | $10-$26 | R P

It’s a family affair at Westside sushi house, Eight Sushi Lounge, where Executive Chef Handy Ho showcases traditional Japanese dishes with presentation that rivals an art gallery. Take in the brilliant wood interiors that are reminiscent of a high-end dojo and expect to find meticulously crafted bites of sushi, nigiri and sashimi. With a menu that includes beautifully crafted cocktails and sake, a bevy of rolls (try the filet mignon-topped Shinobi roll with crab salad and tempura crunch), and shareable treats like calamari ringlets and shrimp saku-saku, you’re in for something truly special at this sushi hot spot.

88 W. Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.563.7799 | @stregisatl | $16-$24 | P

A custom mural of a phoenix rising from the ashes is the signature mark of this hotel bar where singles and guests of the hotel gather for the cocktails, food and see-and-be seen vibe. Start small with bites such as sweet-potato tots, kettle popcorn and housemade lamb meatballs, then nosh on dishes like the St. Regis burger, made with a short-rib and brisket blend and the roasted pear and Brie flatbread. Champagne, cocktails and fine wines are all part of the menu, but daytime beckons for one of three famous Bloody Marys. Our pick? The West Paces Mary, made with a unique blend of spices and a pickled green tomato garnish.

3376 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.537.2828 | @del_friscos | $11-$45 | B R P

With a two-story home on Peachtree, complete with an indoor-outdoor bar on one of two covered patios, Del Frisco’s Grille is the perfect after-work happy-hour destination. Get the good libations going with an order of the whimsical Sangria Pop (a sangria popsicle in a wine glass of white sangria); then share a round of cheesesteak eggrolls and ahi tacos before saddling up for the main course. Choice options include the two-fisted grille prime cheeseburger, Bay of Fundy salmon or any of the crispy flatbreads (wild mushroom, please!). Head back Saturdays and Sundays for red velvet Belgian waffles and a build-your-own Bloody Mary.

Multiple locations | @thebigketch | $5-$30 | R P

Fresh seafood and a hot crop of patrons abound at this coastal eatery, where crab and shrimp dip, crisp hush puppies and Basil-Blue Moon mussels start the night off right. From there, dive fork first into a variety of fish entrees and signature dishes such as the Mediterranean quinoa bowl, jumbo lump crabcakes and the seasonal hot buttered lobster roll (order immediately when it’s available). In fact, this Buckhead go-to has caught on so much, the brand added a second location for the OTP set in Roswell. Don’t miss the weekday Oyster Hour (4 to 6:30pm in Buckhead and 5 to 6pm in Roswell) when the sandy suckers are half off!

3290 Northside Parkway NW | Buckhead | 404.968.2700 | @localthree | $22-$32 | B R P

Foodies and locals alike flock to this hard-to-find gem for its upbeat atmosphere, craft-cocktail menu and, of course, killer bites. Chef-owner Chris Hall and Chef de Cuisine Ben Barth use local ingredients for their ever-changing seasonal dishes that leave us salivating for more. Prepare yourself and bring your A-game appetite for the rotating Hungry Man dinner, served in a cafeteria- style tray, which currently includes an Angus short-rib stroganoff with iceberg wedge salad and thin beans. Skip the weekend crowd and book a res on Monday nights when your server will flip a coin for a $1 bottle of wine. You win—it’s a dollar. Game on!

77. KYMA
3085 Piedmont Road | Buckhead | 404.262.0702 | @kymarestaurant | $26-$46 | R

Prepare to be swooned by Kyma—from the dazzling constellation display on the ceiling and stunning blue and white interiors to the fresh seafood imported daily and served to perfection. Chef Pano I. Karatassos changes the menu regularly but always keeps the signature favorites available. In fact, the most popular dish, the grilled octopus, even impresses A-listers like Tom Cruise, who reportedly said he would be back for more. Insider tip: Grab some friends and indulge in small mezze-style bites and creative libations like the Morpheus martini in the newly designed Octopus Lounge.

1099 Hemphill Ave. NW | Westside | 404.347.3874 | $13-$17 | P

The two-and-a-half-year-old cafe from mercurial, mysterious Antico Pizza founder Giovanni Di Palma, keeper of all things cheesy and delizioso, is just one component of his folkloric Little Italy. Tucked into a back corner of this culinary compound, the classic Italian eatery serves up specials like Sorrento lemon chicken, savory panini and Zuppa Di Pollo (an exceptional pearl-pasta chicken soup that’s certain to cure whatever ails you). Round up the crew for a Sunday nosh fest, or hunker down on the adjacent patio for a quick picnic. Just make sure it’s not Monday, when this spot is sadly chiuso (closed).

1170 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.968.2033 | @ormsbysatl | $6-$23 | B R

Ormsby’s takes the traditional bar model and turns it on its head with a game selection that rivals the best toy store. Round up the crew and imbibe the night away with a selection of wine, beer and spirits while playing backgammon, bocce ball, darts, pool, shuffleboard and more. (You can even sign up to be in the official Atlanta Bocce League). After you’ve worked up a competitive sweat, reward yourself with pimento cheese and corn fritters, baked shrimp and crab dip, baja fish tacos and a bevy of sammies and hot dogs. Winner takes all with the epic fried PB&J sandwich with housemade whipped cream. Faint of heart need not apply.

80. VINE & TAP
2770 Lenox Road | Buckhead | 404.600.5820 | @vineandtap | $14-$22 | B R P F

Looking for a place where the delicious bites pair just right with the libations? If you’re in the Buckhead ’hood, head to this delectable destination. The beauty of the bistro is its chic but cozy surrounds (think weathered wood tables accented with comfy white leather chairs and cushy gray banquettes). Must-tastes from chef Brandon Peterson and Chef de Cuisine Doug Rouen include steak frites, charcuterie and daily fresh $1 oysters from 5 to 7pm. Or stop by just for the sips, which include an extensive wine list, cheeky cocktails, six taps of rotating local craft beer and more. Book a newly offered vino class while you’re at it!

Multiple locations | @fadoatlanta | $10-$20 | B P

The yearly go-to for St. Patrick’s Day revelry, Guinness-charged soccer madness and UFC melees is Fado Irish Pub. Fado’s array of traditional Irish pub fare—like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and $6 snacks and drinks for happy hour—will make you think you’ve caught the luck of the Irish. Whether you’re in the house for feverishly fun team trivia on Wednesdays, rollicking live music Friday and Saturday nights or its weekend “rehab” brunch to get you back in the game after a night of whiskey shenanigans, Fado is an Irish-inspired party that doesn’t stop.

997 Virginia Ave. NE | Virginia-Highland | 404.872.0904 | @murphysatlanta | $14-$29 | B R P

From shrimp and grits to a mouthwatering burger served up in casual but chic surroundings, Murphy’s is Va-Hi’s go-to for comfort food. The neighborhood mainstay has held its spot in ATLians’ hearts for more than 35 years now, thanks to its taste-making menus. Head in to enjoy chef Ian Winslade’s signature Murphy’s brunch, which includes faves like crabcake Benedict and chilaquiles; then head back for dinner and indulge in the much-loved spinach and sausage meatloaf. Or, grab the girls and head to one of the weekly themed wine tastings at the resto’s wine shop. Cheers to that!

128 E. Andrews Drive NW | Buckhead | 404.931.2169 | $3-$12 | R

The Blind Pig Parlour Bar takes the party to the 1920s in this Prohibition-inspired speakeasy. Nestled behind Smokebelly BBQ, this intimate Victorian era lounge is draped in tufted leather and old tchotchkes that make you feel like you’re in a contemporary saloon. And in true speakeasy style, a password is required for entrance. Mosey on up to the bar and nosh on cubanitos, spicy tuna tartare toasts or herbed goat cheese while a seasoned barkeep preps a classic vesper or Sazerac cocktail. Feeling extra saucy? Play things loose with whiskey and black tea sipper Fine Thing to Say or the gincentric The Long Play.

4225 Roswell Road NE | Buckhead | 678.732.3274 | @buttermilkkitch | $8-$14 | B P

It’s worth the wait at this charming breakfast and lunch spot that serves up Southern dishes made from scratch featuring locally sourced ingredients. Chef and owner Suzanne Vizethann continues to keep regulars impressed with her ever-changing weekend brunch items. Must-try eats include the savory made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes and the signature chicken biscuit slathered with housemade red pepper jelly and served with pimento cheese grits and house pickles. The heated patio, open on the weekends, is reason enough to get up extra early to secure the best spot in the house.

675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE | Old Fourth Ward | 404.330.9933 | @bellinaatlanta | $15-$40 | P

Bellina Alimentari is an immediate welcome upon entering Ponce City Market’s gleaming Central Food Hall. Just ask visitor Owen Wilson. Inside, the Italian market and eatery brims with authentic products (olive oils, sauces, dried pastas) and entrees. Grab a prepared salad to-go from the counter, or sit at the bar and order from chef David Berry’s menu of comfort dishes, many of which feature housemade pastas. His pappardelle al ragù is hard to beat; so too is the bar’s wine program (featuring several orange vinos). Love rolling up your sleeves in the kitchen? Join Bellina’s Culinary Club for cooking classes, tastings and workshops.

Continue to Hottest Restaurants 86-100 >>

-Dinner entree price range
-Brunch available [times vary]
-Reservations accepted [restrictions may apply]
-Patio dining
-Furry friends welcome

111 Perimeter Center West | Dunwoody | 770.280.0990 | @lemeridienatl | $9-$39 | B R P F

After a day of shopping at Perimeter Mall, skip the food court and head to this stunning restaurant at Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter Hotel, where floor-to-ceiling glass walls and an epic outdoor terrace (fireplace included) await. Expect expertly crafted global fare from Executive Chef Fabien Biraud (a Parisian-born culinary whiz whose most recent stints include The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch and Half Moon Bay). Current highlights on the seasonal menu include homemade short-rib ravioli, braised lamb shank and ahi tuna. An array of wines make whiling away the hours a breeze.

87. LE FAT
935 Marietta St. | Westside | 404.439.9850 | @lefatatl | $10-$25 | R P

Vietnamese faves like pho and flash-fried whole fish with ginger, garlic and egg floss served up in picturesque surrounds—that’s the Le Fat recipe for success. Chef and restaurateur Guy Wong (of Miso Izakaya and the forthcoming Ton Ton Ramen + Yakitori Bar and Big Boss Chinese) created this Westside concept as a tribute to his mother’s Vietnamese roots. Head to the bar to enjoy cocktail creations like the Hotel Metropole, which features exotic ingredients like Darjeeling, curacao, and coconut water or the sweet Chelsea Flower. Come hungry and don’t miss Wong’s famous rotisserie chicken served with ginger scallion oil and jasmine rice.

270 Peachtree St. | Downtown | 404.524.7200 | @whiteoakatlanta | $26-$32 | R P

Think modern and palatial at this restaurant featuring high ceilings and a 360-degree bar, great for getting a much needed cocktail fast. Owners Cindy and Alan LeBlanc and Executive Chef Todd Richards turn out contemporary Southern fare that changes with the season. Nosh on small plates and entrees like the Cornish hen, hot chicken-style shrimp and lobster mac and cheese. The patio is the best spot in the house, and the extensive bar menu offers more than 70 whiskeys and an array of creative libations. Sweet tooth? Order the chocolate tasting (cake, pot de crème, white chocolate ganache and pistachio brittle).

Multiple locations | @ruthschrisatl | $30-$50 | R P

This traditional New Orleans steakhouse—where business deals are made and friends nosh on quality steak after a golf game—has upped the ante with a new menu, which includes fresh takes on classics like lobster mac and cheese. Don’t worry, the impeccable service, attention to detail and the most-popular dishes including the 40-ounce bone-in tomahawk rib-eye and chilled seafood tower all remain. We also suggest an order of the refreshing crab stack appetizer featuring colossal lump blue crab, avocado, mango and cucumber. And that’s just to get started! End with the decadent chocolate sin cake. No confessions required.

740 Ralph McGill Blvd. | Old Fourth Ward | 470.225.6162 | @venkmansatl | $5-$20 | B R

Take two parts rock ’n’ roll (the parts being Yacht Rock Revue band members Nicholas Niespodziani and Peter Olson) and two parts culinary genius (chef Nick Melvin of Rosebud, Parish and Empire State South fame; and bar master Pieter Guilbault of Restaurant Eugene), and you get Venkman’s, an eatery and music venue rolled into one. Concerts happen nightly and comfort food classics make the experience all the more enjoyable. Don’t miss smoked trout beignets, mushroom lettuce cups, and the custom tomato jam- and pickled slaw-topped burger served on a sweet-potato bun.

Multiple locations | @taqueriadelsol | $3-$12 | P

Don’t be deterred by the ever-present line marking the front of Taqueria del Sol locations. This unique, low-key Mexican joint will have you fed and watered in no time. Chef Eddie Hernandez creates the menu of exceptional eats, including crowd-pleasers like the shrimp and corn chowder, the unexpectedly satisfying veggie taco (the queso and refried bean combo is a winner!) and the enchiladas (in cheese, brisket, refried bean and roasted chicken varieties). They pour the margaritas strong (try a pitcher of the Westside Specialty) and keep the prices low—hence that line out front.

3345 Lenox Road NE | Buckhead | 404.869.1888 | @katanaaTL | $15-$40 | R

Dining takes on a theatrical aspect when you’re chowing down at Katana Teppanyaki & Sushi. Modern, Japanese art-inspired interiors complement the stylish resto, which is divided into a teppanyaki room (each table is fitted with a grill and manned by an expert chef), a main dining room, a sake-stocked bar and a private events room. Just ask fan Selena Gomez. If you’re feeling like a show, watch your table’s chef slice, dice and sizzle choice cuts (think filet mignon or Chilean sea bass). Sushi fans, likewise, can indulge on made-to-order rolls crafted from seafood flown in fresh from Japan.

Multiple locations | @flipburger | $11-$30 | P

Food Network fave Richard Blais continues to please with this innovative burger joint that’s anything but predictable. And Blais takes the “flip” portion of the resto’s name seriously with upside-down tables that mimic the scene below. Start with sweets first and order a Nutella and burnt marshmallow or Cap’n Crunch milkshake; then go big with a butcher’s cut, lamb, shrimp, chorizo or turkey burger (and that’s just a sampling). Sides hold their own here as well with top marks going to the Dr. Pepper baked beans, sweet-potato tots and beef fat fries. Did we mention the pomegranate ketchup for dipping? How sweet!

215 Peachtree St. NE | Downtown | 404.688.7625 | @hardrockatlanta | $15-$30 | R

Dine like a VIP and drink like a rock star at Hard Rock Cafe located in the heart of Downtown. Chef Andrew Denaro sets the house on fire with American classics, including the much-desired Local Legendary burger, topped with an over-easy egg, hot sauce and a golden fried onion ring. A newly updated menu offers even more must-have dishes, such as the Twisted Mac, Chicken and Cheese; spinach artichoke dip; and Tupelo chicken tenders. It’s always a packed house—so check out the one-of-a-kind music memorabilia or take in live tunes while you wait for your table.

300 Marietta St. | Downtown | 404.521.2728 | @derbiergarten | $9-$98 | R P F

It’s Oktoberfest every day at this authentic German watering hole where the German draft beer flows freely and the schnitzel and sausages will take you on a trip through flavor town. Classic dishes such as Wiener schnitzel, rinderrouladen and Jägerschnitzel paired with sides like sauerkraut, spätzle and potato salad will instantly make you feel like you’ve hopped the pond. Serious drinkers can join the limited-membership stein club ($50), and sports enthusiasts will love the bevy of TVs dotting the walls. End the experience on a sweet note with warm apple strudel or German chocolate cake. Yum!

96. LURE
1106 Crescent Ave. NE | Midtown | 404.817.3650 | @lureatl | $18-$34 | B R P

Midtown is alive with a coastal vibe as soon as you step into upscale fish house Lure. The seafood-heavy Fifth Group Restaurants concept reels in the deliciousness and balances its casually cool bungalow facade with fine-dining moxie in the pristine offerings from Executive Chef Brent Banda. Oysters are always a good idea, especially topped with Mornay sauce, andouille and breadcrumbs, and don’t forget highly addictive grilled octopus and pork lettuce wraps. After sinking your teeth into a fresh-caught bounty of catfish, trout and swordfish, gather around the table for a communal punch bowl, perfect with friends and even better solo.

6017 Sandy Springs Circle NE | Sandy Springs | 404.303.8423 | @threesheetsatl | $8-$21 | R P

Live DJ every Friday and Saturday night? Check. Monthly five-course grilled cheese and wine dinners? Double check (and a hell yes for good measure). This Sandy Springs staple is much more than a restaurant, functioning as a happy-hour destination, lounge and date hot spot. An upstairs patio provides primo alfresco dining during warm months, while moody, velvet-clad interiors are the perfect surrounds for a sultry night out. Get the party started with The Cure cocktail or a blackberry julep; then order the shareable charcuterie and cheese board, ahi tuna wontons and mini ice cream sandwiches (for your sweet tooth).

98. ARTICLE 14
1180 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.443.8432 | $10-$29 | B R P

Occupying one of Midtown’s most coveted locations—the ground floor of the shining Symphony Tower—its name is an evident nod to legal culture (a theme that becomes evident once you glimpse the wall of attorney portraits). This bastion of business lunches and bourbon libations boasts a backlit bar to showcase the impressive selection of spirits, which are even found in the spiked bourbon pecan pie. But before dessert, chef Christopher Blobaum’s classic fare—think duck confit sliders and Angus burgers—are sure to impress. Return for Sunday brunch on the patio; the Eggs Savannah are even more scrumptious in spring air.

3011 Buford Highway NE | Brookhaven | 404.315.7711 | @lipsatl | $16-$28 | B R

Lips is the ultimate in entertainment dining. This colorful space is filled with drag queens and the nightly shows never fail to impress. Perfect for a girls’ night, Lips hosts a variety of fun events including Dinner With Divas hosted by Savannah Leigh, Glitz and Glam hosted by Mr. Charlie Brown and the Sunday Dragolicious Gospel Brunch. Whatever you choose, prepare to be wowed by the talent and the cuisine, featuring items like the popular crabcake and wild mushroom ravioli. No table reservations? No problem. Just head to the bar, where the view is just as good and the drinks come fast (and strong!).

Multiple locations | @cafeistanbulatl | $13-$24 | R P

Serving a delightful menu of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine created by chef Mustafa Dilekoglu, Café Istanbul, which first opened 20 years ago in Decatur, is the real deal. Belly dancers regularly perform in the dining room under the painted ceilings, and a sweet hookah scent fills the exotic air, transporting you to Turkey (no passport required). Fridays and Saturdays draw a big crowd with live DJs spinning international tunes, so bring your dancing shoes. Just cushion the evening with an order of the meze plate, a mix of apps served with zaatar bread, before starting the party with a sip of raki, the traditional Turkish cocktail.


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