In a major foodie city like Atlanta, it takes more than a perfect bite or a pretty plate to impress. A-town diners also want the skinny on the see-and-be-seen spots, happy hour must-hits, A-list clientele and Instagram-worthy backdrops. That’s why we’re bringing back JEZEBEL’s 100 Hottest Restaurants list—our expertly curated guide to conquering Atlanta’s restaurant scene. Read on, and start making your reservations!
Address: 1197 Peachtree St. NE Instagram: @5churchatlanta Neighborhood: Midtown
Born in Charlotte, this Midtown hot spot brings an exciting new twist to your traditional steak-and-potatoes dinner. With the vibe of a hip and happening lounge and the menu of a top-notch resto (thanks to executive chef Whitney Thomas), we can’t help but make this our go-to Saturday night spot. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the famed 60 Second New York strip steak and pair it with one of the restaurant’s 200 bottles of wine for a meal whose ending you’ll lament. New this season: Good things are headed to Buckhead with 5Church’s second location slated to open at the start of 2022.
Address: 587 Ralph McGill Blvd. Instagram: @amanoatl Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward
This charming neighborhood bistro prioritizes quality and community, bringing the two together by providing guests delectable Italian dishes made with a keen attention to detail. The Old Fourth Ward resto offers a variety of pastas and meats, from its creamy carbonara to the tender duck breast. With walk-in and delivery options, enjoy tasty dishes alfresco on the covered, heated patio or indoors. Limited reservations are also available for dinner only. New this season: Hot cocktails for winter, seasonal dishes and new weekly specials
Address: 887 Spring St. NW Instagram: @thecheetah.atl Neighborhood: Midtown
Engage in fine dining with a risqué twist at Alluvia, located at The Cheetah in Midtown. Perfect for a guys’ night out, this gentlemen’s club specializes in dishes that are just as steamy as the performances. Head over for a late-night dinner, as the restaurant stays open till 2AM, to indulge in blackened lobster tail with cheesy grits and fried okra, then end with a slice of bourbon pecan pie. How’s that for a Southern meal?
Anis Cafe and Bistro
Address: 2974 Grandview Ave. Instagram: @aniscafebistro Neighborhood: Buckhead
A cozy nook on a quiet Buckhead side street, Anis brings a taste of the Provence countryside to Atlanta. From the handlaid brick patio to the thick, country pate to the vintage, tiny Euro car out front, Anis is a little French getaway in the city. Opened by Arnaud Michel, Jean-Frederic Perfettini and Jacuqes Houtral in 1994, the restaurant boasts a loyal following, particularly among the international set. Daily blackboard specials feature seasonal ingredients, and staples like the moules marinieres, salade niçoise and escargot au pastis are available year-round. If a romantic date spot is what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
Address: 470 Flat Shoals Ave. SE Instagram: @argosyeav Neighborhood: East Atlanta
Known for its great beers on tap, local ingredients and killer burgers, Argosy is the neighborhood hangout of your dreams. Come for the funky East Atlanta environs and stay for the wood-fired pizza cooked in an open-air oven. The White Whale pizza with labneh (strained yogurt), garlic, EVOO, white anchovies, locally sourced mozzarella, fried lemon, thyme, arugula, capers and red chile flakes gets our vote. Try one of its unique IPAs or stay late and indulge in some pizza with friends.
Beets from Aria; photo by Jeff Moore
Address: 490 E. Paces Ferry Road NE Instagram: @ariaatlanta Neighborhood: Buckhead
An upscale culinary oasis, Aria delivers striking modern American cuisine courtesy of chef Gerry Klaskala in its cozy, hip dining area, with both a la carte and tasting menus available. Of course, no meal is complete without a sweet treat from pastry chef Kathryn King. New this season: The Aria happy hour burger is available daily during happy hour at the bar and on the patio, and the new Aria happy hour lobster roll is made with Maine lobster and bits of celery and fresh lemon aioli on a brioche bun and served with steak fried potatoes and a dill pickle on the side.
Arnette’s Chop Shop
Address: 2700 Apple Valley Road, Ste. 55 Instagram: @arnetteschopshop Neighborhood: Brookhaven
A farm-to-table expression of the classic American steakhouse, this modern, upscale restaurant features custom wood and leather booths, an open kitchen and a contemporary yet warm bar. The menu highlights local and sustainable ingredients in modern takes on classic steakhouse specials, such as oysters, caviar, shellfish and, of course, prime cuts of steak. Enjoy mouthwatering USDA prime chops in every imaginable size while dining in custom chef’s booths located in front of open-flame hearths.
Address: The St. Regis Atlanta, 88 W. Paces Ferry Road NW Instagram: @atlasbuckhead Neighborhood: Buckhead
Under renowned culinary leadership of executive chef Freddy Money, Atlas brings a fresh and innovative approach to traditional cooking. Inspired by partnerships with local farms, the menu serves as a journey, focusing on ingredients, provenance and texture. New this season: Expect seasonal dishes such as white truffle fettuccine topped with Parmesan foam, a traditional warm and creamy butternut risotto, and a winter salad made with toasted pumpkin seeds. Also new: Seasonal herbs, such as purple sweet potato leaves, hibiscus leaves and coriander blossoms.
A delicious main from Aziza; photo courtesy of Westside Provisions District
Address: 1170 Howell Mill Road NW, Ste. P10b Instagram: @azizarestaurant Neighborhood: West Midtown
The brainchild of proprietor Tal Baum, Aziza’s modern Israeli dishes with a twist—the creative work of executive chef Luis Guevara Salgado—feature influences from Moroccan, Lebanese and Persian kitchens. New this season: For winter, Aziza will offer a variety of seasonal dishes, including lamb leg with a Northern bean cassoulet, baby carrots, turnips, cippolinis and an herb salad.
A seasonal plate option from Bacchanalia; photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Address: 1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd., Ste. A Instagram: @starprovisions Neighborhood: West Midtown
Since its opening in 1993, Bacchanalia has become one of the city’s most celebrated restaurants. Serving contemporary American cuisine from chefs-owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, the storied restaurant features a seasonal four-course prix fixe menu that relies entirely on organic ingredients—many sourced from Quatrano and Harrison’s farm, Summerland—and is ever-evolving. Must-try this season: Crab fritter; Summerland farm egg; pasture-raised lamb; chocolate with toasted marshmallow gelato and graham; and profiterole with delicata squash spiced gelato, warm maple and crispy pepitas
Address: 550 Pharr Road NE Instagram: @bangkokstationatlanta Neighborhood: Buckhead
Bringing authentic, heirloom Thai cuisine straight into the heart of Atlanta, Bangkok Station creates an immersive dining experience. Each flavorful dish is served in a ceramic dish imported from Thailand in a setting reminiscent of Thai cuisine’s history.
Banshee’s interior, photo courtesy of Banshee
Address: 1271 Glenwood Ave. SE Instagram: @banshee_eav Neighborhood: East Atlanta
This relaxed restaurant and bar is located in the trendy East Atlanta Village and offers new American cuisine. Opened by partners Peter Chuala, Nolan Wynn, Katie McDonald and Faielle Bolzan Stocco, Banshee boasts a cocktail-driven bar that also flaunts a fleet of local beers and a diverse selection of wine. On Friday and Saturday nights, the hot spot turns into the perfect place to enjoy music after-hours. Must-order this season: Cavatelli with mushroom Bolognese, miso, fonduta and chives; blistered shishitos with chorizo vinaigrette and queso; classic cheesecake with fresh honeycomb and candied hazelnuts; and pepperoni butter (trust us)
Address: 75 14th St. NE Instagram: @barmargotatl Neighborhood: Midtown
The swanky, full-service restaurant inside Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta serves an eclectic menu of flavorful food and creative cocktails, and is open daily for lunch and dinner. New this season: Chef Chad “Sosa” Hester has debuted his winter menu, featuring seasonally fresh flavors to elevate traditional favorites like plum burrata and pistachio butter, pumpkin gnocchi and garam masala lamb, Maine lobster thermidor and a grilled 16-ounce ribeye topped with crimini mushrooms and a bourbon truffle cream jus.
An assortment of food and drink from Bar Mercado; photo courtesy of Bar Mercado
Address: Krog Street Market, 99-V Krog St. NE Instagram: @barmercadoatl Neighborhood: Inman Park
Paying homage to executive chef Raul Dominguez’s heritage, Bar Mercado’s menu celebrates Latin American and Spanish cultures through playful and authentic takes on street food, and is rooted in shared plates as well as a selection of tapas, empanadas, ensaladas and platos grandes. Must-order menu items: Shishito peppers with soy, black mint, aji Amarillo, sesame seeds and chuleta; pork chop with rice, pebre, watercress, jicama, watermelon radish, tomatillo and mango-lime vinaigrette; and glazed ribs with Brussels and pear slaw, and a tamarind glaze.
Barcelona Wine Bar
Addresses: 240 N. Highland Ave. NE; 1085 Howell Mill Road NW Instagram: @barcelonawinebar Neighborhoods: Inman Park and West Midtown
With two locations—Inman Park and Westside Ironworks—drawing crowds both inside and alfresco to its festive patios, Barcelona Wine Bar’s divine selection of tapas, featuring Mediterranean, South American and Spanish influences, and its extensive list of nearly 400 wines make it the perfect spot for group birthday celebrations, double-date nights or even a romantic evening for two. Pair your favorite tapas like patatas bravas, hanger steak or albondigas (spiced meatballs) with a glass—or, better yet, a pitcher—of red or white sangria and treat your taste buds to a night in Spain.
Bartaco Chastain Park; photo courtesy of Bartaco
Addresses: 3802 Roswell Road NE; 299 N. Highland Ave. NE; 969 Marietta St. NW Instagram: @bartacolife Locations: Chastain Park, Inman Park, West Midtown
Inspired by a healthy, outdoor lifestyle, bartaco combines fresh, upscale street food with a coastal vibe in a relaxed environment. The rustic design complements the menu’s spirited bold flavors, including freshly prepared tacos and “not tacos,” freshly squeezed juices and more. New this season: The fan-favorite #bartacosecret mojo pork carnitas taco returns (through Jan. 17), featuring crispy and juicy shredded pork seared with a tangy, sweet and spicy mojo sauce, topped with tomatillo sauce and garnished with onion and cilantro.
Address: 299 N. Highland Ave. NE Instagram: @beetlecatatl Neighborhood: Inman Park
A trendy, shore-style bar, lounge and restaurant, BeetleCat’s dishes run the gamut of beachside snacks, refreshing crudos, raw bar features and wood-oven cooking. Inside, the upstairs dining room’s nautical influences instantly transport diners to a seaside fish camp, while below deck, the “Den” greets you with ’70s-inspired surf shack vibes. Must-orders this season: From the brunch menu (Saturdays and Sundays), the Bobbin’ for Apples and Baked Alaska doughnuts, and from the dinner menu, the Hot & Numbing chicken thighs with chili arbol and cilantro, and the whole roasted flounder
One of The Betty’s fresh seafood dishes; photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Address: 374 E. Paces Ferry Road NE Instagram: @thebettyrestaurant Neighborhood: Buckhead
Inspired by the glamorous supper clubs that dominated the mid-1900s, The Betty instantly transports guests to a bygone era when drinking and dining demanded a certain level of luxury. The menu nods to midcentury supper clubs with a contemporary twist, featuring seasonally rotating dishes such as beef cheek stroganoff with black pepper gnocchi, shrimp cocktail with preserved lime, and salt-baked fish for two with artichoke and truffle. New this season: Chef is particularly excited about two upcoming menu additions, the striped bass with local pepper conserva, artichokes, cauliflower puree and panisse, and the pork belly with apples and endive. Bar manager Justin Wilson is also working on a roundup of new warmer winter drinks, ranging from hot buttered rum to an Irish coffee.
Big Sky Buckhead
Address: 3201 Cains Hill Place NW Instagram: @bigskybuckhead Neighborhood: Buckhead
The words Big Sky might jog foggy memories of wild nights of the past, but this Buckhead bar doesn’t stop at the boozy delights. Chef Hector Santiago knows how to serve up tasty bar eats that widely surpass typical bar-food expectations. Grab a seat on the second-floor patio and toast to the good life and good food as you take in those stunning skyline views. Talk about a total Insta Story moment.
Address: 3344 Peachtree Road NE Instagram: @bistroniko Neighborhood: Buckhead
Curb your craving for authentic Parisian comfort cuisine at this Buckhead bistro with modern French fare—think veal tenderloins chasseur, roasted chicken bourgeois and coq au vin. Oysters on the patio pair perfectly with a little ATL sunshine and a whole lot of vino; or, if brunch is more your scene, opt for the restaurant’s Sunday eats like the quiche Florentine or brioche French toast with a side of Pano’s Private Reserve coffee. Oui, s’ il vous plaît!
Address: 1820 Peachtree Road NW Instagram: @boticaatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
Opened November 2020 in the former Watershed space in Brookwood Hills, Botica is helmed by chef Mimmo Alboumeh, the former owner of Red Pepper Taqueria. The menu centers on street-style tacos and the flavors of Mexico and Spain in dishes like Spanish octopus, wagyu carpaccio and carne asada, as well as features ingredients and creations reminiscent of the chef’s life growing up in Lebanon, Italy and Spain. Expect smoked meats, made-from-scratch dressings and, our favorite part, a next-level brunch with bottomless mimosas.
A selection of Buena Vida’s dishes; photo by Milk & Butter Social
Buena Vida Tapas & Sol
Address: 385 N. Angier Ave. NE, Ste. 100 Instagram: @buenavidatapas Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward
If BeltLine access wasn’t enough, Buena Vida Tapas & Sol also has a killer menu of Spanish-inspired small plates and refreshing cocktails, making it the ultimate #patioszn hangout. Bonus points for the supercute atmosphere and plethora of Instagrammable moments.
Cafe Agora strives to live up to the Greek meaning of agora, a marketplace and a forum for the citizens of a polis. With locations in Midtown and Buckhead, Cafe Agora brings the flavors of Turkey, Greece and the Mediterranean to town via dishes like lamb salad and its vast selection of gyros and kebabs.
Address: 6125 Roswell Road, Ste. 200 Instagram: @casicieloatl Neighborhood: Sandy Springs
Serving dishes inspired by Oaxaca, Mexico, and packed with both unique and locally grown ingredients, executive chef Juan Ruiz has created a menu that reflects the combination of cultures and a new age of artisanal cuisine. Added bonus: Casi Cielo houses the largest mezcal collection in Atlanta, second only to Oaxaca, the mezcal capital of the world. New this season: The Mero Macho, a 10-ounce grouper with salsa del mar, crujiente pasilla de Oaxaca and rice
Chai Yo Modern Thai
Address: 3050 Peachtree Road NW, Ste. R-8 Instagram: @chaiyomodernthai Neighborhood: Buckhead
Chai Yo Modern Thai—from the brains behind Nan Thai Fine Dining, Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft and Tamarind Seed—brings a chef-driven Thai concept to Buckhead, showcasing chef DeeDee Niyomkul’s modern take on traditional recipes. The authentic interiors (everything, including the wood, was shipped from Thailand) are stunning, and the mouthwatering food and expertly poured drinks create an incredible dining experience. Opt for the 12-hour sous vide beef cheeks in panang curry; lobster tom kha soup; or the Nam Dok cocktail, a delicious color-changing drink. New this season: Imbibe its new fall and winter cocktail list boasting specialty cocktails concocted with made-in-house ingredients.
The Chastain interior; photo courtesy of The Chastain
Address: 4320 Powers Ferry Road NW Instagram: @thechastainatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
Opened winter 2020, this new American neighborhood bistro still conjures quite the buzz. Set on the edge of Atlanta’s historic Chastain Park in a former roadside country store, The Chastain is helmed by executive chef and operating partner Christopher Grossman and serves unique takes on classic comfort food incorporating locally sourced ingredients and seasonal harvest, some of which comes from the on-site garden. New this season: This holiday season, The Chastain will be offering the following select treats in rotation: chocolate babka for Hanukkah; Christmas sandwich cookies; and cranberry orange bread packed with cranberries, orange and pecans.
Chido & Padre’s
Address: 128 E. Andrews Drive Instagram: @chidoandpadres Neighborhood: Buckhead
Immerse in the vibrant flavors of Mexico’s heartland. New this season: The mole-rubbed, cast iron-seared bone-in KC strip served with smashed fingerling potatoes, black garlic aioli, pickled mushrooms and mole coloradito; and the red and gold beets salad with house labneh, pasilla chile macadamias, blood orange, opal basil oil, pear vinegar and watercress.
Chops Lobster Bar’s steak topped with onions and mushrooms; photo courtesy of Chop's Lobster Bar
Chops Lobster Bar
Address: 70 W. Paces Ferry Road Instagram: @chopslobsterbar Neighborhood: Buckhead
This old-school Atlanta steakhouse continues to please patrons’ palates more than two decades after opening. A two-in-one concept keeps things exciting and fresh: Upstairs, Chops boasts a dimly lit, dark-wood dining room complete with white tablecloths and elegant booths; while downstairs, Lobster Bar offers an uber-exclusive speakeasy experience (the lighting is so excellent here that many film crews request to use it in TV shows and movies!). Must-order this season: Two words: “surf” and “turf.” On the turf side, opt for the genuine A5 Miyazaki wagyu Kobe Japan filet or 42-ounce dry-aged porterhouse, and on the surf side, the famous steamed and cracked South African lobsters is always the right answer.
Address: Avalon, 900 Third St., Alpharetta Instagram: @collettaatl Neighborhood: Alpharetta
Italian for “collection,” Colletta’s cuisine draws influence largely from Northern Italy, putting a twist on treasured classics and introducing modern culinary techniques with the changing of the seasons. Housemade pastas, cheeses and other handcrafted ingredients abound in the from-scratch kitchen. New this season: The popular 12 Days of Nutella returns this holiday season (Dec. 12 through 24), featuring delectable Nutella, topped to perfection with bananas, marshmallows and powdered sugar. Colletta also introduces a new lunch menu and dinner specials from executive chef Travis Kirkley with notables being the lump crab farfalle, capellini pomodoro and prosciutto pizza with poached pear.
Cooks & Soldiers’ Basque cheesecake; photo courtesy of Cooks & Soldiers
Cooks & Soldiers
Address: 691 14th St. NW Instagram: @cooksatl Neighborhood: West Midtown
Never mind 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. Cooks & Soldiers recently celebrated the homecoming of executive chef John Castellucci, who’s whipping up dishes like pulpo à la Gallega, Ibérico albondigas and shareable dishes from the wood-fire grill, including chuleton ribeye and pescado à la parilla.New this season: Fig pintxo; citrus-cured yellowtail crudo with piquillo, fennel, guindilla and radish; and verdes de otoño with local greens, pears, idiazabal, golden raisin, Carmen pepper, pecan and choricero vinaigrette; plus, pulpo à la Gallega with pimenton, Canary Island potato, piquillo pepper and crispy garlic; and arroz caldoso, a bomba rice stew with shrimp, chorizo, spring peas and smoked mushrooms
Dash & Chutney
Address: 1235 Chattahoochee Ave. NW Instagram: @dashandchutney Neighborhood: Upper Westside
From celebrity chef Palak Patel (Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, Food Network Star, Money Hungry), Dash & Chutney introduces plant-based, Indian street food to Atlanta. Patel transports guests to memories of her childhood, from visiting the vibrant street food markets of India to family recipes passed down through the years, in a counter service spot within the walls of Chattahoochee Food Works. The fully vegan menu leaves no flavor undiscovered with traditional chaats, sandwiches and even mango lassi. New this season: Chik’n Curry—a vegan version of the dish Patel beat Bobby Flay with—made with cumin rice and cucumber and tomato salad, alongside a lentil bowl and beyond spicy seekh kebab slider flavored with coriander, cumin, mint and lime mayo
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
Address: Phipps Plaza, 3500 Peachtree Road NE Instagram: @daviosrestaurant Neighborhood: Buckhead
The popular Northern Italian steakhouse features handmade pasta, prime aged steaks, fresh seafood and salads, as well as a full gluten-free lunch and dinner menu. New this season: The Mistletoe Martini prepared with Reyka vodka, Gin Agricolo Evra, Cherry Heering and fresh lime juice, served in a martini glass with a half sugar rim, and garnished with two cranberries skewered with a fresh rosemary sprig.
Interiors at Delbar; photo courtesy of Delbar
Address: 870 Inman Village Parkway NE, Ste. 1 Instagram: @delbaratl Neighborhood: Iman Park
Translating to “heart, captured” in Farsi, this Middle Eastern restaurant and bar delivers a menu of classic Persian cuisine with Israeli, Turkish and Lebanese touches, many of which are drawn from owner and native Iranian Fares Kargar’s family recipes. Enjoy shareable spreads such as hummus, garnished with baby carrots, watermelon radish and sumac, or mazzi (small plates) like Omani prawns with Persian dried lime, sour orange, herbs and labneh, as well as housemade condiments and made-from-scratch taftoon bread and other bakery items. Other highlights include the bold beverage program, centered on Persian flavors and crafted with ingredients and spices imported directly from Iran. New this season: Duck leg with sweet and sour duck jus, barberry and pistachio; halloumi fesenjoon, halloumi cheese and spaghetti squash on a bed of pomegranate and walnut fesenjoon; and lamb belly grilled with shawarma spice.
Address: 1 Interlock Ave. NW Instagram: @drawbaratl Neighborhood: West Midtown
This upscale American tavern-inspired restaurant and lounge pays homage to the area’s rich railroad history. Indulge in Southern, contemporary cuisine and classic tavern fare with a twist, alongside beautifully handcrafted cocktails and breathtaking skyline views in Drawbar’s trendy, upbeat environment. New this season: Drawbar’s newly debuted seasonal menu reveals dishes like peach ricotta toast and crawfish sweet corn hush puppies, but the most notable additions are the two augmented reality cocktails, dubbed The Bellyard Bound and The Betti. Also on offer through the holidays is the peppermint espresso martini.
Address: 40 Seventh St. NE Instagram: @ecco.atl Neighborhood: Midtown
Nestled on the corner of Seventh and Cypress streets in the heart of Midtown, the European-inspired eatery is known for its build-your-own cured meat and cheese boards, taste and share plates (including the iconic fried goat cheese), wood-fired flatbreads, pastas and chef-driven entrees. New this season: Potato gnocchi with lamb shoulder red wine jus, shallot and sage; crispy duck breast with Swiss chard, kohlrabi, smoked apple puree and pomegranate; and buckwheat casarecce with butter braised cabbage, Emmental, mustard and caraway
Eight Sushi Lounge
Address: 930 Howell Mill Road NW, Ste. B Instagram: @eightsushiatl Neighborhood: West Midtown
All that glitters is gold—including the beautifully crafted sushi at this Westside hot spot. Modern Japanese cuisine combines flavors of East and West in dishes like the blue fin chutoro roll, sprinkled with caviar and edible gold flakes; award-winning pork ramen; and miso-glazed ribeye steak. Must-order this season: What better way to celebrate the holidays than with Eight Sushi’s omakase dinner, available by reservation.
A pasta dish from Forza Storico; photo by Jose Pereiro
Address: Westside Provisions District, 1198 Howell Mill Road, Ste. 020 Instagram: @forzastorico Neighborhood: West Midtown
The Roman dining concept from Atlanta’s prized pasta-maker Mike Patrick, Rome-born Pietro Gianni of Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante and partner Stephen Peterson, Forza’s menu focuses on Rome’s greatest hits and includes traditional dishes ranging from a large selection of antipasti and cibo di strada (street food), such as fried artichokes and fried cod, to classic Roman pastas like amatriciana, carbonara and cacio e pepe. Also on offer: entrees like saltimbocca and coda alla vaccinara (braised oxtail).
A beautiful cocktail from The Garden Room; photo by Vanessa Boy
The Garden Room
Address: Buckhead Plaza, 88 W. Paces Ferry Road NW Instagram: @thegardenroomatlanta Neighborhood: Buckhead
The immersive garden bar and dining experience offers diners an enchanted escape from reality, with whimsical cocktails—complete with cheeky names like Bend and Snap and Send Noods— and inventive small plates curated by the chefs of Atlas if you get peckish. The talented landscape artists of Boxwood Gardens work throughout the year to create seasonal floral and decor installations. New this season: Holiday cocktail specials by bar manager Cole Johnson: the Gingerbread Man, with Bulleit bourbon, Averna Amaro, creme de cacao, gingerbread dram, cream; and Santa’s Little Helper, with Menthe Pastille, Godiva chocolate liqueur, Ketel One, Aztec chocolate bitters, white chocolate rim
Address: 1835 Piedmont Ave. Instagram: @granaatl Neighborhood: Piedmont Heights
This Piedmont Heights hot spot has all aspects of beloved Italian cuisine covered, from pizza to wood-fired entrees to fresh pasta. Six types of meatballs dot the menu—meatball flights are available for the chronically indecisive. To complement, many types of mozzarellas are on offer, as well as traditional-size servings of pastas, for which chef Pat Pascarella has become known at White Bull. Rounding out the menu is a robust selection of proteins. Cooking classes; festivals; and two wood-burning ovens, named after Pascarella and business partner Brian Ferris’ daughters, Sophia and Monte, respectively—Grana has it all for those seeking a modern Italian dining experience.
The General Muir
Address: 1540 Avenue Place, Ste. B-230 Instagram: @thegeneralmuir Neighborhood: North Druid Hills
Chef Todd Ginsberg along with Jennifer and Ben Johnson (owners of The West Egg) have collaborated on one of Atlanta’s best casual restaurants. The concept is a classic New York Jewish deli with traditional favorites like house-cured and smoked pastrami, kettle-boiled and handrolled bagels, impeccable brisket and corned beef hash. The General Muir also gets a surprising Asian makeover at the start of each week as guest chefs take over the kitchen for Monday Night Ramen. Think spicy miso ramen with chicken, scallions, black radish, Swiss chard and egg, or an imaginative spin on the classic latke befitting the theme, with bonito, furikake, okonomi and kewpie. Of course, regular menu items like corned beef sandwiches and matzoh ball soup still keep folks lining up every day too.
Address: Buckhead Village, 3035 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. a209 Instagram: @gypsykitchenatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
Drawing inspiration from the culinary riches of Spain, Gypsy Kitchen serves Iberian fusion plates infused with Moroccan traditions and Indian influences. The popular resto also recently welcomed two new industry trailblazers to the team: executive chef Banks White and general manager Thomas Allen. New this season: Three tempting holiday tipples hit the menu this December: Sleigh Smoke (mezcal, apple, lemon, sherry, cinnamon and salt); Rockin Around the Rosemary (gin, grapefruit, rosemary, cardamom, pepper and seltzer); and Gold from the Desert Tree (rum-based pistachio and honey horchata).
Hampton + Hudson
Address: 299 N. Highland Ave. NE Instagram: @hamptonhudson Neighborhood: Inman Park
This Inman Park hot spot serves lunch, dinner, brunch and late-night bites with a focus on locally sourced, seasonal and elevated pub fare, plus an ever-rotating menu of classic cocktails with a twist, 21 craft beers on draft, seven unique wines on draft and two specialty draft cocktails. Co-owned by husband-and-wife team Billy and Jenn Streck—he a New York native but a “Southerner at heart”; she an Atlanta native—Hampton + Hudson brings together the duo’s Northern and Southern influences.
Address: Village Place Brookhaven, 1441 Dresden Drive, Ste. 160 Instagram: @haven_restaurant_ Neighborhood: Brookhaven
This upscale neighborhood eatery, the first from Brookhaven restaurateur Michel Arnette, has served as a go-to on Dresden Drive for 18 years, having recently celebrated its anniversary. Executive chef Stephen Herman prepares fab dishes like braised short ribs, roasted Scottish salmon and truffle potato hay. The Wine Library Wall features wines from America’s top vineyards, and if you head over for Sunday brunch, enjoy scrumptious traditional breakfast dishes.
Address: Two Buckhead Plaza, 3050 Peachtree Road NW Instagram: @himitsuatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
The moody and glitzy space from acclaimed designer Tom Dixon screams exclusivity, and part of the fun is the enigmatic process of gaining entry to the, fittingly, reservation-only bar. One you’ve secured your spot inside, relish in the grandeur as you imbibe the meticulously crafted cocktails, sip bespoke Japanese whiskies and nosh on some of the most incredible sushi this city has to offer.
The Iberian Pig Buckhead
Address: 3150 Roswell Road NW, Ste. A3 Instagram: @iberianpig Neighborhood: Buckhead
The second outpost of the Castellucci Hospitality Group flagship, the modern Spanish restaurant combines the tastes of Spain with an eclectic social atmosphere. The menu, helmed by executive chef Josue Pena, focuses on traditional charcuteria and quesos, and tapas designed for socializing around the table. Classic Iberian flavors and modern techniques can be found in signature menu items like the bacon-wrapped dates and pork cheek tacos. New this season: Spiced apple cider sangria; fig pintxo with figs, cana de cabra, pistachios and burnt honey; batata: confit sweet potatoes, lemon curd, burrata mojo picon, hazelnuts; and chuleta, a grilled Berkshire pork chop, ciderbraised apple and mustard, and potato parsnip puree
Kale Me Crazy
Locations: Aria Village, Brookhaven, Buckhead, Decatur, Grant Park, Inman Park, Midtown, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Smyrna, Toco Hills, Vinings, Virginia-Highland Instagram: @kalemecrazy
The superfood kitchen delivers a menu of cold-pressed juices, made-to-order smoothies and acai bowls, organic salads, wraps, toast and poke bowls. The cultfavorite health food joint now has 13 locations across metro Atlanta. New this season: Six new specialty hot drinks just in time for cold weather
Octopus from Kyma; photo by Francesco Tonelli
Address: 3085 Piedmont Road NE Instagram: @kymaatlanta Neighborhood: Buckhead
The contemporary seafood tavern from culinary icon executive chef Pano I. Karatassos, Kyma offers an inventive yet approachable menu that stays true to its Mediterranean origins with pristine seafood dishes and fresh, healthy Greek-influenced creations—including a slew of vegetarian and vegan options—as well as its extensive wine, cocktail and ouzo lists. New this season: Caviar and oysters, prepared with roasted oysters, Paramount caviar and Champagne emulsion; The Mykonos Platter (perfect for sharing), which features beef ribeye, chicken “souvlaki,” three bone pork ribs and lamb chops, all basted and grilled and served with tzatziki and caramelized fennel; and The Kyma Seafood Tower with whole Nova Scotia lobster, giant prawns, cold-water oysters and truffle scallop tartare
La Grotta Ristorante
Address: 2637 Peachtree Road NE Instagram: @lagrottaatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
La Grotta is one of the most notable Italian restaurants in Atlanta—there’s a reason the distinguished spot has earned “best Italian restaurant” for 18 consecutive years, after all. Since 1978, its fine Italian cooking, intimate dining room and breathtaking courtyard garden have been the destination for hungry Italians and Atlantans alike. Must-try this season: Ask your waiter about adding rare black and white truffles atop your entrees—or any dish you’d like. And absolutely don’t leave without ordering the mushroom risotto—it may look big enough for sharing, but trust us, you won’t be sharing with anyone after that first bite.
La Tavola Trattoria
Address: 992 Virginia Ave. NE Instagram: @latavola.atl Neighborhood: Virginia-Highland
Seasoned Atlanta diners know that La Tavola is the spot to be for the best of the best in authentic Italian fare. Located in the thriving Virginia-Highland neighborhood, the Italian powerhouse wows with its fresh Bolognese, savory slow-roasted whole chicken and indulgent tiramisu. And let’s not forget about its cozy, charming atmosphere, perfect for a romantic date night. Bellissimo!
Address: 1530 Dekalb Ave. NE Instagram: @lazybettyatl Neighborhood: Candler Park
Helmed by executive chef Aaron Phillips, the high-concept restaurant serves innovative tasting menus featuring a variety of cuisine and incorporating modern culinary techniques and the highest-quality ingredients. New this season: This winter, Lazy Betty debuts a 10-course menu that includes both new dishes and retired fan favorites. The restaurant also unveils its seasonal cocktail menu featuring drinks with classic winter flavors and health-forward ingredients.
Le Bilboquet Atlanta
Address: 3027 Bolling Way NE Instagram: @lebilboquetatlanta Neighborhood: Buckhead Village
The infamous bistro and bar greets diners with a vibrant atmosphere paired with simple, classic French cooking, bringing a slice of Parisian cafe culture to the neighborhood. If there was ever a perfect spot to enjoy a croque monsieur or chilled bottle of rosé alfresco, Le Bilboquet is it. New this season: A rare delicacy at any Atlanta restaurant, for a limited time guests can experience the caviar and Champagne special, which includes two glasses of Lallier Champagne and 28 grams of handselected caviar complete with creme fraiche, capers, chopped boiled egg, parsley and lemon on the side.
Dinner entree and drink at Le Colonial; photo courtesy of Jamestown
Address: 3035 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. A201 Instagram: @lecolonialatlanta Neighborhood: Buckhead Village
From celebrated restaurateurs Rick Wahlstedt and Joe King comes Le Colonial, a celebration of the seductive spirit and vivid flavors of 1920s French Colonial Southeast Asia. The restaurant’s lavish dining room is flanked by a veranda with Parisian-style sidewalk cafe seating, while beyond that, an oversize bar and lounge await with top-notch libations. Also of note is The Lotus Room, the private chef’s dining room complete with its own specially designed tasting menu for up to 14 diners.
Address: 935 Marietta St. NW Instagram: @lefatatl Neighborhood: West Midtown
Housed in a gorgeous yet relaxed space that captures the joie de vivre of Southeast Asia from the 1920s, Guy Wong’s Westside concept is a haven for Vietnamese comfort-food faves with Chinese and French influences. Try the pho, curry chicken, or whole fish fried with egg floss, ginger and garlic; then wash it down with one of the refreshing signature sips like the L’oiseau Blue, made with blueberry and bay leaf shrub, sparkling rosé, mint and lemon oil.
Address: 3011 Buford Highway NE Instagram: @lipsatl Neighborhood: Brookhaven
Nothing beats dinner and a show. Whether you’re heading to ATL’s ultimate drag queen destination for one of its famous Saturday night Glitz & Glam shows or the crowd-favorite Dragalicious Brunch—complete with delicious brunch entrees, over-the-top performances and singalongs, and bottomless mimosas and bloody marys (add-on option)—the Queens and the delicious F&B will have you begging to stay for the next show. New this season: The Queens are back with their popular holiday spectacular show, on view every Thursday and Friday through the holidays. Plus, Saturday’s new late-night show, Taboo: The Dirty Show, hosted by Mistress of Seduction Taejah Thomas.
Little Alley Steak
Addresses: 3500 Lenox Road NE, Ste. 100; 955 Canton St. Instagram: @littlealleysteakatl Neighborhoods: Buckhead and Roswell
Whether you’re posted up at the Buckhead location or the rustic-chic Roswell space, there’s no better place to spend a Friday night—but get ready to be social. Little Alley Steak is known as the place to be seen on a buzzy evening. Whatever location you choose, it’s guaranteed to be a good night. Hey, bartender, we’ll have a bourbon, neat— and keep them coming.
Address: 71-A Georgia Ave. SE Instagram: @littlebearatl Neighborhood: Summerhill
The epitome of a quaint neighborhood restaurant, Little Bear serves up creative dishes with a focus on hyperlocal sourcing, as well as small-production wine and spirits, in a casual-cool atmosphere. And due to its commitment to sourcing locally, the Summerhill eatery constantly keeps diners on their toes with menu additions and changes almost daily.
Local Three Kitchen & Bar
Address: 3290 Northside Parkway NW Instagram: @localthree Neighborhood: Buckhead
Though hard to find, this Buckhead gem is known for its upbeat atmosphere. When the weather permits, take the party outside onto the lively patio, where you’ll nosh on killer bites featuring local ingredients while perusing the resto’s craft cocktail menu. The Yippee-Ki-Yay, Muddy’s Water!! is certainly a mouthful—literally—but worth the tongue twist for this sweet sip.
Address: 693 Peachtree St. NE Instagram: @lylalilaatl Neighborhood: Midtown
Lyla Lila is a southern European restaurant in the heart of Midtown. From executive chef Craig Richards comes a menu that evolves seasonally, reflecting local availability from vegetables to seafood. Expect crazy lasagna with duck, chicken liver and sweet potato ravioli doppio alongside ingredients ranging from sorrel to smoked ricotta. New this season: Handmade tajarin pasta with white truffles
Booth seating at Marcel; photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Address: Westside Provisions District, 1170 Howell Mill Road NW Instagram: @marcelatlanta Neighborhood: West Midtown
Inspired by the beefsteak dinner culture of the early 1900s, Marcel tips its hat to a bygone era when dining was a lingering social affair. The menu is an homage to the old-school mainstays of the past 40 years, and on both the menu and in executive chef John Adamson’s technique, guests enjoy inspiration from classic French cuisine as well as the overflowing plates found in an Italian kitchen in Brooklyn. New this season: Cote de boeuf, porterhouse for two, beef Wellington (order 24 hours in advance!), veal Parmesan, pommes aligot and pommes dauphinoise
Address: 999 Brady Ave. NW Instagram: @millerunionatl Neighborhood: West Midtown
This Westside restaurant embodies an authentic approach to farmstead-inspired cooking, in which ingredients drive the menu. Executive chef and co-owner Steven Satterfield’s style is simple, but creative and refined, with a lean on Southern history. General manager and co-owner Neal McCarthy’s acclaimed wine program complements the style of Satterfield’s cooking with a dynamic wine list that focuses on small producers with sustainable farming practices. New this season: Duck breast with pecan, plum, cauliflower, turnip and dandelion; grilled pork chop prepared with blue barley, butternut, apple, collard greens and cider demi-glace; apple spice cake with caramelized white chocolate, cream cheese frosting and topped with pecan ice cream; and Venezuelan dark chocolate mousse featuring flourless chocolate cake and passion fruit sorbet
Mission + Market
Address: 3550 Lenox Road, Ste. 550 Instagram: @missionandmkt Neighborhood: Buckhead
Contemporary American eatery Mission + Market boasts a uniquely designed menu, an expansive wraparound patio and a bar program cultivated with the freshest local ingredients and syrups made in-house. Indulge in the bright and refreshing Ode to Betty cocktail, a delightful blend of butterfly pea-infused vodka, grapefruit, lemon and soda. To share, order the grilled Spanish octopus with hazelnut romesco and shaved vegetables, or try the braised brisket topped with caramelized sweet onions, peppered avocado and mozzarella. New this season: Mulled wine whiskey and Gingerbread Old Fashioned
Address: 6450 Powers Ferry Road NE Instagram: @mojaverestaurantatl Neighborhood: Sandy Springs
This authentic Latin restaurant in Sandy Springs is changing the game with in-house family recipes and high-quality ingredients found in dishes like paella, park carnitas, pescado Veracruz and more. All dishes are made from scratch, including the corn and flour tortillas, tamales, desserts and in-house smoked pork, brisket and chicken. And don’t forget to order one of the craft tequila cocktails.
Address: 3424 Peachtree Road NE Instagram handle: @newyorkprime Neighborhood: Buckhead
Featured on all of JEZEBEL’s “100 Hottest” lists from 2003 until the latest rendition of the list in 2017, this Buckhead steak joint remains a top choice for the A’s elite. The popular steakhouse has been a favorite for years for its classic prime beef cuts—think New York strip, bone-in ribeye, filet mignon and porterhouse for two. Traditional sides like sauteed mushrooms, asparagus with hollandaise and lyonnaise potatoes never disappoint. If we had to guess what makes NY Prime so noteworthy, it’s probably the USDA prime-only menu that’s overflowing with tender meats like the double rib veal chop that’s simply b-e-a-utiful.
Nan Thai Fine Dining
Address: 1350 Spring St. NW, Ste. 1 Instagram: @nanfinedining Neighborhood: Midtown
This glamorous Thai restaurant from Bangkok native and executive chef Nan Niyomkul is both visually stunning and palate-pleasing. The menu focuses on traditional dishes such as satay and even kung pad thai, but go for the Kanom Jeeb (steamed Thai dumplings) to start. And you can’t go wrong with any of the curry dishes—many are made using recipes Niyomkul learned from her mother, who was a street vendor in Bangkok.
Nina & Rafi’s pizza; photo by Mia Yakel
Nina & Rafi
Address: 661 Auburn Ave. NE, Ste. 220 Instagram: @ninaandrafi Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward
Situated on the BeltLine, Nina & Rafi’s menu of Italian American comfort food includes famed Detroit-style and classic pizzas, Italian snacks to start, salads, heroes and Italian specialties like chicken Parmesan and tiramisu. Curated by beverage director Corey Phillips, the bar offers craft and Italian beers on draft and in cans and bottles, as well as a selection of Italian wines—red, white, sparkling, orange and rosé. A tight cocktail list rotates regularly, and the full bar features a very large selection of amara and Italian spirits. Outside, expansive steel-frame garage doors open to offer patio seating overlooking the Eastside Trail.
Nova Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro
Address: 3637 Peachtree Road NE Ste. 1 Neighborhood: Buckhead
Offering dine-in or take-out, Nova makes getting delicious, top-quality sushi easy as 1-2-3. Order the rock shrimp to start, followed by the spicy garlic edamame and Thai calamari. Then, pick form the sushi and sashimi a la cart, boasting everything from Albacore tuna to Tako to Suzuki. Of course, there’s also an extensive list of regular and hand-rolled sushi to pick from. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong. Happy eating!
Address: 1495 Chattahoochee Ave. Instagram: @nuevo_laredo_cantina Neighborhood: Buckhead
Opened in summer of ’92 by owner Chance Evans—who first brought authentic Mexican fare to Atlanta in the ’80s when he opened U.S. Bar Y Grill—the campy, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood cantina places diners right in the heart of Mexico thanks to authentic, home-cooked fare like Cebollitas Authentic, nachos asada, caldo de pollo and more.
O-Ku’s salmon crudo; photo by Heidi Harris
Address: 1085 Howell Mill Road NW, Ste. A3 Instagram: @okuatlanta Neighborhood: West Midtown
Sushi is elevated to an art form at glam Charleston import O-Ku. The Westside Ironworks hot spot with a killer rooftop patio overlooking the Midtown skyline—you’re lucky if you can snag a seat—provides an innovative, more cosmopolitan take on traditional Japanese sushi and cuisine, with executive chef Masa Hamaya at the helm. The curated menu boasts traditional sushi, sashimi and nigiri including wagyu, otoro and uni, along with starters and entrees such as miso salmon and otoro spoons sourced from premium seafood markets in Tokyo and Hawaii, as well as locally found specialties. New this season: Sashimi & Sparkling, a 12-piece assorted chef ’s selection of sashimi paired with a half bottle of Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs.
Address: 950 Third St., Alpharetta Instagram: @oakatlanta Neighborhood: Avalon
This upscale Avalon steakhouse, with a sister location in Charleston, is renowned for using Georgia-sourced ingredients to create innovative dishes like grilled and confit swordfish, buttermilk fried chicken and, of course, a variety of certified Angus beef signature steaks and chops. The resto also offers a range of delectable small plates, including truffle frites and baked three-cheese mac, that are sure to please. New this season: Highlights from executive chef Matt Weinstein’s refreshed seasonal menu include: oysters on the half shell; scallops with roasted parsnip puree and bark, black truffle vinaigrette and charred romanesco; and steak tartare. December also ushers in chef’s holiday specials (available Thursday through Sunday), which feature six-minute egg beef Wellington wrapped in prosciutto, mushroom duxelles and puff pastry and served with an arugula salad and topped with bearnaise.
Ocean & Acre
Address: Halcyon, 6290 Halcyon Way, Ste. 620, Alpharetta Instagram: @oceanandacre Neighborhood: Alpharetta
Brought to you by the Southern Proper Hospitality team, Ocean & Acre’s seafood and smoked meats menu and bright interiors will have you transported from Halcyon to the beach in no time. Look for inventive dishes like clams and ramen, or bone marrow and snails, among more traditional coastal fare like crab Louie and traditional seafood towers.
Address: 914 Howell Mill Road Instagram: @theoptimistatl Neighborhood: West Midtown
Although dinner at The Optimist is a treat in and of itself, it’s the oyster bar just off the main dining room that caught our eye. The menu includes a rotating selection of the freshest oysters—served on ice or roasted in the wood-fire oven—small plates and a killer Daily Punch. Bonus: Select oysters are $1 during Oyster Happy Hour (Monday to Friday, 5 to 6PM; Saturday, 3 to 4PM). Post-happy hour, enjoy a rousing game of putt-putt on the miniature outdoor course.
Address: 500 10th St. NE Instagram: @parktavern Neighborhood: Midtown
When you’re looking for a low-key spot to grab a beer and a bite to eat with friends and fur babies in tow, this Piedmont Park mainstay doesn’t disappoint. The dog-friendly patio is truly top-notch, and classic tavern fare including double-handed burgers, tacos and even sushi is hard to beat. And, in the words of Luke Bryan, rain is a good thing at Park Tavern—drafts are just $1 when drops start to fall. Bottoms up!
Address: 3199 Paces Ferry Place NW Instagram: @portofinoatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
The rustic yet refined neighborhood favorite in Buckhead features simple pastas and bistro-style Italian appetizers that change seasonally. And the charming streetside patio makes a prime spot for dining alfresco and sampling wine flights. Duck confit and porcini ravioli, grilled octopus and mussels fra diavolo are only the beginning. Inside, a grand dining room boasts vaulted ceilings and rich hardwoods, but we’d come just for the Steve Penley paintings adorning almost every wall.
Addresses: 661 Auburn Ave. NE; 1180 Peachtree St. NE, Ste. A Instagram: @pourtaproom_atlanta Neighborhoods: BeltLine and Old Forth Ward
This is the perfect place to test your bartending skills, with over 88 beers on tap, plus a selection of wine and cocktails. With the ability to pour anywhere from 1-ounce tasters to a full 12-ounce chug, you can easily discover your favorite stouts (you may even start referring to yourself as a beer aficionado at around the 15th taster—whether it’s warranted or not). To ensure you’re around for the long haul, Pour has partnered with local restaurants—the BeltLine location with cult-favorite Italian food and pizza joint Nina & Rafi’s, and Midtown with award-winning burger joint Mix’d Up—so you never have to leave. And the good news just keeps on coming: In early 2022, West Midtown gets its very own rendition of the popular bar concept. New this season: Try Pour Midtown’s new seasonal cocktails, which just launched at its cocktail bar located in the lounge on the top floor.
Redbird’s interiors; photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Address: (Westside Provisions District) 1198 Howell Mill Road Instagram: @redbird_atl Neighborhood: West Midtown
Celebrating two years this November, Redbird has without a doubt lived up to the intimidating notion that is taking on Bacchanalia’s former home at WSPD thanks to co-founders Zeb Stevenson and Ross Jones—plus a lot of kick-ass dishes. Meant to be shared, the menu progresses from cold small plates to larger, meatier entrees. The light-filled, industrial-looking restaurant, which pays homage to the area’s meatpacking history, gives Redbird enough distinct personality without distracting from the food, chef’s main focus. Must-try this season: Straight out of Redbird’s kitchen window, get your hands on chef Z’s Birdy Biscuits Saturday and Sunday from 11:00AM to 2:00PM—or until they’re gone.
Address: 1117 West Peachtree St. NW Instagram: @reverenceatlanta Neighborhood: Midtown
To the left of Midtown’s new food-centric hotel Epicurean Atlanta sits Reverence, the hotel’s signature restaurant, allowing views into the captivating open kitchen, where executive chef Ewart Wardhaugh’s team creates culinary magic. Reverence marries Wardhaugh’s global experience with the best local ingredients Atlanta has to offer, resulting in fresh, innovative cuisine that excites with every bite. Originally from Scotland, Wardhaugh has since embarked on a world tour of culinary experience, including time at Raffles in Singapore and the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The chef now imbues appreciation for Georgia’s garden-fresh farmstead offerings into Reverence’s seasonal menu, featuring fresh seafood and heritage meats. The chef’s recommendation? “Everything.”
Rowdy Tiger Whiskey Bar & Kitchen
Address: 866 W. Peachtree St. NW Instagram: @rowdytigeratl Neighborhood: Midtown
Named for the Free and Rowdy Party that fought to bring an end to Prohibition in Atlanta, Rowdy Tiger Whiskey Bar & Kitchen combines the free spirit of the Roaring ’20s era with the comforts of modern Southern cuisine alongside the finest and most interesting collection of whiskeys and whiskey-based cocktails in the city. The Rowdy Tiger Rooftop offers an unbeatable view of Atlanta and a variety of flexible spaces fit for casual weekends, special events and celebrations alike. New this season: Executive chef Andrew Thoms’ newly unveiled menu features standouts like Manchester Farms semi-boneless quail; Cajun crawfish and cheddar fritters; pan-roasted diver scallops; 16-ounce ribeye; maple leaf farms rendered duck breast; and PEI mussels.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Locations: Alpharetta, Buckhead, Downtown, Kennesaw Instagram: @ruthschris
When it comes to a solid steak, Ruth’s Chris is the way to go. With four locations in the metro Atlanta area, the internationally renowned Ruth’s Chris Steak House has been a favorite local dining destination for nearly two decades, featuring custom-aged USDA prime steaks, served with the signature sizzle, an award-winning wine list and legendary hospitality. And don’t sleep on its always-fresh seafood or decadent dessert lineup, either. Perfect for a business dinner or romantic date. Live OTP? The resto’s Alpharetta location is equally fab.
Serena Pastificio’s linguini vongole; photo by Angie Webb Photography
Address: 1197 Peachtree St., Ste. 140 Instagram: @serenapastificio Neighborhood: Midtown
The new resto taking Colony Square and Atlanta by storm, Serena Pastificio delivers some of the best Italian food in the city crafted before your eyes at the pastificio, a prominent pasta-making station where guests can observe the culinary team preparing pasta by hand. Nothing says love quite like Italian food. New this season: A just-launched seasonal menu featuring six new culinary items and four new cocktails. Notables are the ravioli di funghi anatra alla cacciatora, with wild mushroom Taleggio filling, duck confit, beech mushrooms and cacciatora sauce, and the bistecca al tartufo, a New York strip served with fingerling roasted potatoes, chianti poached shallots and black truffle jus.
Address: Shops Around Lenox, 3400 Around Lenox Road, Ste. 217 Instagram: @sevenlampsatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
This chic spot has killer food and a homey atmosphere to boot. Executive chef Robert Rambo’s lunch, dinner and late-night menus feature regionally inspired recipes and seasonal ingredients with dishes that range from handmade pastas, such as tortellini stuffed with butternut squash and paprika, to sandwiches, such as the crispy cheese sandwich with Gruyere and egg served at lunch. Its crowning feature, though, is the oasis of a patio space, complete with a fire pit and Adirondack chairs.
Address: 313 N. Highland Ave. NE Instagram: @sottosottoatl Neighborhood: Inman Park
Somehow, this authentic Italian eatery manages to strike the perfect balance between delicious comfort food and five-star service. Perhaps it’s the fresh, handmade pastas in an upscale, living room-style space. Pair your delicious noms with an international red wine for a truly European experience.
Fried chicken from South City Kitchen; photo by Heidi Harris
South City Kitchen
Locations: Avalon, Buckhead, Midtown, Vinings Instagram: @southcitykitchen.atl
This beloved Fifth Group Restaurants concept boasts four locations across Atlanta, all with the same charming quality and charisma of their successful sister spots. Of course, it wouldn’t be a meal at SCK without the classic fried green tomatoes or the mind-blowingly good Springer Mountain Farms fried chicken (at brunch, the fried chicken and malted buttermilk waffle is a must-order—trust us!), but Buckhead menu highlights like spice grilled quail and Georgia mountain trout—not to mention a special “For the Table” section featuring large plates to be shared family-style—are equally hard to resist.
The Southern Gentleman
Address: Buckhead Village, 3035 Peachtree Road Instagram: @thesoutherngentlemanatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
Thanks to the seersucker window treatments and rotating cocktails like the Don’t be such a Square 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, offering a fresh, modern take on traditional dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. On the beverage side, the bar program explores the artistry and history of classic Southern cocktails—everything from barrel-aged cocktails to bottled libations to adult beverages on tap, along with new-world wines and craft beers and the “perfect” mint julep. New this season: A festive cocktail menu showcasing drinks like Naughty or Spice; Red-Nosed Rouser; and Young Grasshopper, a peppermint patty eggnog.
Address: 3455 Peachtree Road NE Instagram: @stceciliaatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
The influence of the Italian coast surrounds you through ever meal at this Buckhead gem. A small plate of shrimp-stuffed cappelletti with picked herbs and sea urchin forth is the perfect step before moving to the main plates like Block Island swordfish or the tart, savory whole wood-grilled loup de mer.
Address: 793 Juniper St. NE Instagram: @steakmarketatl Neighborhood: Midtown
Midtown’s new-age steakhouse takes the fine-dining experience to new territory—and it’s drawing more attention than just from steak lovers. S&M offers a selection of premium meats and fresh, seasonal seafood options, with each item on the menu highlighting ingredients sourced through the restaurant’s partnership with local farmers. Complete with a live DJ, private VIP room and hidden cigar lounge for cigar and bourbon enthusiasts—not to mention its 300 different whiskey, bourbon and scotch varietals—S&M has gained recognition as Midtown’s quintessential dining destination for celebrations. Further, the two-in-one steakhouse and market concept also allows diners and locals to purchase and take home authentic Japanese, American and Australian wagyu beef, as well as premium dry-aged steaks, fresh breads, infused butters and more. New this season: Lychee & Rose Martini, Golden Lamb and S&M Special—head to the restaurant to find out more.
Address: 1075 Peachtree St. NE Instagram: @eatstk Neighborhood: Midtown
Lace up your thigh-high boots for a GNO at STK, where sexy meets sustenance with a menu chock-full of curated cocktails and savory steaks that are sure to have you happy-dancing to the live DJ’s mashups. The modern steakhouse and chic lounge all in one serves up reimagined American classics—think signature dishes like bite-size Lil’ BRGs made with wagyu beef, lobster mac and cheese, and, of course, only the highest-quality steaks, with options including beef and bigeye tuna tartare, and sliders; plus small, medium and large cuts of steak. New this season: For a limited time, try STK’s rare and opulent seasonal menu items: Wagyu from Around the World, caviar and the Steak & Bourbon 3D Tasting.
Storico Fresco’s tortelloni; photo by Karan Pagano
Address: 3167 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. S Instagram: @storicofresco Neighborhood: Buckhead
Wine and dine at Storico Fresco with a variety of wine selections and specialty homemade pasta. Try familiar menu favorites like carciofo fritto alla Romana (fried roman artichokes with lemon), polpette (Berkshire pork meatballs with mozzarella and pomodoro), lasagna alla Bolognese and pan-seared whole branzino. And don’t forget to pair with a glass—or bottle—from the list of handcrafted Italian wines. (Pro tip: Go on Mondays when wines are half off!) New this season: Storico’s newest addition, the signature Kitchen Table, allows diners to join the masters at work in the kitchen to watch the entire production at work. It’s also the perfect semiprivate space for any occasion, from birthdays and engagement celebrations to business dinners and office parties.
Address: Buckhead Village, 3065 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. B210 Instagram: @storicovino Neighborhood: Buckhead
A Venetian-inspired wine bar and full-service restaurant from the masterminds behind Storico Fresco and Forza Storico, Storico Vino’s menu finds its root,s in the northern coast of Italy, boasting traditional choices such as cicchetti (small bites), crudo, aperitivo, savory entrees and more. The perfect spot for enjoying a glass of bubbly with the gals—best if sipped on the heated, covered patio—or a full dining experience for double-date night, the popular haunt serves up immaculate vibes—and food and wine!—for any occasion. New this season: Aperitivo Hour (Monday through Friday, 4 to 6PM), offering a selection of cocktails, wines and beer for $9; Monday Flight Night (weekly, starting at 4PM): Choose from four flights—sparkling, rosé, white or red—and enjoy three pours for $15; half-priced wine Wednesdays; and Brodo, Booze & Burgers (Saturdays, 11:30AM to 4PM), a weekend celebration complete with a spritz bar, bowls of tortellini and brodo, and Italian burgers
Address: Colony Square, 1201 Peachtree St. NE Instagram: @sukoshisushi Neighborhood: Midtown
Where good, fresh ingredients create a bold menu of little bites for big appetites, from sushi rolls to bowls, salads and more, Sukoshi is changing the game in newly opened Colony Square, offering a sushi-on-the-go concept that fuses the quality of fine dining with the convenience of fast food. Elevating fast-casual to fine-casual—it’s pure genius. New this season: The holidays bring the addition of Japanese hot chocolate, chicken and veggie ramen, and curry katsu.
Superica’s delicious Mexican fare; photo by Andrew Thomas Lee
Locations: Avalon, Buckhead, Krog Street Market, The Battery Instagram: @supericatexmex
Tex-Mex is the game, Superica is the name. Now with four Atlanta outposts, nosh on a mix of classic and unique dishes, each paying homage to long-standing Texas traditions and recipes, as you relish in the resto’s Old West-inspired atmosphere, complete with tunes reminiscent of the Lone Star State. New/seasonal menu additions: Seasonal cocktails including the ginger margarita (Krog Street and The Battery), Orchard Outlaw (Avalon, Buckhead and The Battery) and Rio Estrella (Avalon and The Battery), as well as fresh dishes like spinach enchilada, mesquite grilled quail and the chalupa dinner.
Address: Buckhead Village, 280 Buckhead Ave. NE Instagram: @dinetaverna Neighborhood: Buckhead
This cozy neighborhood restaurant offers Buckhead Village dwellers and locals alike an authentic Italian dining experience without having to go far. Featuring farm-to-table cooking, Taverna’s celebrated team of chefs curated a menu of surprising dishes, influenced by Northern Italy and utilizing locally sourced ingredients—think fresh pasta, risotto and a delicate pan-seared sea bass. A taverna in Italy is a special place where customers become friends and family. New this month: A lineup of holiday cocktails such as the Peppermint Bark Martini with chocolate liqueur, vodka and candy cane, and the Jingle Juice, concocted with vodka, white cranberry and prosecco.
Address: 789 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE Instagram: @tinylousatl Neighborhood: Poncey-Highland
Named after the popular 1950s dancer in the Clermont Motor Hotel’s Gypsy Room, Tiny Lou’s is a swinging French American brasserie located downstairs at Hotel Clermont. Presenting a palate pleasing approach to French favorites, Tiny Lou’s uses seasonal and local provisions that are complemented by a French-focused wine list. New this season: Harvest Salad with port wine-poached pears; Corvina au poivre, a peppercorn-crusted swordfish; Gnocchi Parisienne, a classic preparation of Parisian gnocchi with all the childhood feels of broccoli and cheese; and Crepe Cake, an apple pie meets a candy apple with caramel and apple butter.
Address: 6017 Sandy Springs Circle Instagram: @treveleatl Neighborhood: Sandy Springs
From the team behind Mission + Market comes Tre Vele, Sandy Springs’ newest authentic Italian ristorante. Executive chef Giancarlo Ruiz’s classic Italian dishes feature modern twists, as seen through the starters, which celebrate fresh ingredients through dishes such as a classic caprese served with mozzarella di bufala, heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil and aged balsamic. The mains give choice between handmade pasta in dishes such as the cappelletti, filled with ricotta, Grana, spinach, brown butter and sage, and other Italian favorites, such as the grilled branzino fillet, served with layered potatoes, tomatoes and squash. Tre Vele also flaunts some of the best pizza in our city, particularly the prosciutto di Parma, not to mention to-die-for desserts (hello, tiramisu!). New this season: Homemade fettuccine with wild mushrooms in a porcini cream sauce
Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft
Address: 1745 Peachtree Road NW, Ste. Y Instagram: @tuktukthaifoodloft Neighborhood: Midtown
The small-plate-style dining at Tuk Tuk lets you experience a multitude of different Thai street foods and authentic flavors. The restaurant is run by the Niyomkul family (they also own Nan Thai Fine Dining) and features a dramatic open space and quirky design. Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft’s chef DeeDee Niyomkul showcases gourmet Thai street food, calling upon original recipes used by her grandmother, an original street food vendor in Bangkok. The mussel omelet, grilled pork skewers and mieng kum (spinach leaves topped with roasted peanuts, coconut, onion, bits of lime and slivered ginger) are all must-haves. Plus, the elevated skyline views from the third-story restaurant are some of the best in the city. New this season: Seared scallop pumpkin curry fried rice entree, available for a limited time
TWO Urban Licks
Address: 820 Ralph McGill Blvd. NE Instagram: @twourbanlicks Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward
TWO Urban Licks has kept Atlanta’s restaurant scene red-hot with its “fiery American cooking” since 2004. The incredible wood-fired cuisine, live rotating rotisseries and unparalleled skyline views create the trifecta—not to mention the live blues performances. Located on the BeltLine, diners can enjoy their acclaimed American cuisine for dinner every night of the week, plus brunch on Saturday and Sunday. New this season: TWO Urban Licks is hosting a TWO Tacky Takeover holiday pop-up bar on the patio. Guests can wear their favorite holiday sweater and sip on festive signature cocktails while enjoying fire pits, bites, live music and more.
Umi’s black cod misoyaki; photo by Sara Hanna
Address: Two Buckhead Plaza, 3050 Peachtree Road NW, Ste. 1 Instagram: @umisushiatl Neighborhood: Buckhead
To simply call Umi the best overall sushi restaurant in Atlanta would be an understatement and doesn’t do justice to the ethereal culinary undertaking executive chef Fuyuhiko Ito has created. While nigiri and sashimi are sliced with surgeonlike precision, and the freshest seafood is bathed in flavor only amplified by Ito’s French training, the complete aura of Umi’s elegant warmth is what draws patrons to this Buckhead sushi temple like moths to a flame. Always a packed affair, the scene that plays host to a deluge of Hollywood heavyweights, music royalty and sports icons too many to name was only compounded when the team lifted the veil on their exclusive, reservation-only bar next door, Himitsu.
Address: Village Place Brookhaven, 1441 Dresden Drive, Ste. 100 Instagram: @valenza_restaurant Neighborhood: Brookhaven
Another neighborhood gem from Brookhaven restaurateur Michel Arnette, Valenza’s menu, helmed by executive chef Matt Swicherath, features Northern Italian fare. Chef stays true to authentic Italian cuisine while still managing to be inventive and showcase extreme finesse. With outdoor seating onlooking charming Village Brookhaven, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered a charming European village for a short while. Nothing’s better than a little escape from reality, after all.
Address: Village Place Brookhaven, 1441 Dresden Drive, Ste. 120 Instagram: @vero_pizzeria Neighborhood: Brookhaven
Situated between sister restos Haven and Valenza, Vero, a Neapolitan pizzeria turning out wood-fired pies, is the third concept from Atlantan Michel Arnette. Expect farm-to-table and regional ingredients like island clams, wild mushrooms and cured meats on its artisan ’zas. Chef Matt Swickerath puts creative spins on traditional pizzas like the Americano white pizza, topped with Spotted Trotter pepperoni, mozzarella, caciocavallo, Parm crema, oregano and hot honey. Delicioso!
Address: 1409 N. Highland Ave. NE Instagram: @whiskeybird Neighborhood: Morningside
Owners Chad and Anthony met their freshman year in 2003 at Cornell University. Before long, the pair was throwing weekly dinner parties for their close friends, and word got around of the duo’s talent for cooking. Their shared passion for food and entertaining sparked an idea to one day open a restaurant. Insert: Whiskey Bird, a casual neighborhood eatery bringing together the vibrancy of Asian flavors with the diversity of new American tastes. The unexpected, uninhibited dishes perfectly embody the duo’s inventive and creative spirit. New this season: Bourbon barbecue salmon, panko-crusted chicken and the Whiskey Bird Vesper Martini
Yebo Beach Haus; photo by Samantha Whittman
Yebo Beach Haus & Yebo Ski Haus
Address: Andrews Square, 56 E. Andrews Drive NW, Unit 7 Instagram: @yebobeachhaus Neighborhood: Buckhead
Yebo has taken “seasonally rotating” to a whole new level, with two delicious concepts in one very chic space. Through spring, the buzzy Buckhead eatery is Yebo Ski Haus, a cozy gathering place for après-style comfort food (the beer cheese fondue is a must), fire pit lounging and, of course, shot skis at the bar. But, come late spring, the spot will transform back into Yebo Beach Haus, a relaxed South Africa-meets-Southampton destination where patrons can sip wine on the patio while enjoying superfresh coastal fare.