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100 Best Restaurants 2014
By The Editors with contributions from Wendell Brock and Austin Holt | Photo: Angie Mosier | July 9, 2014
Our buzzing list of the top eateries in A-Town, plus Best of the City awards. Take a bite!
11 | Rathbun's
112 Krog St. | Inman Park | 404.524.8280 | $15-$42 | @rathbuns | R P
From sea scallop benedict to crispy duck breast, dishes at Rathbun’s are anything but ordinary, thanks to Chef de Cuisine Nick Anderson and owner Kevin Rathbun. Plus, the cocktail menu is just as fab: Try a Bell Tolls for Thee featuring hibiscus-infused Shellback silver rum. Both the dining room and the patio offer up industrial-inspired decor with a glam twist, so whether you indulge inside surrounded by exposed brick walls and the hum of a bustling bistro, or on the patio under the cover of the Stove Works portico, you’re in for a treat.
12 | Aria
490 E. Paces Ferry Road | Buckhead | 404.233.7673 | $26-$38 | @gerryklaskala R
There are some things you just don’t want to alter. If it’s amazing the first time around, why mess with success? Aria has been carrying some of the same tried-and-true classics since it opened in the ’80s, but much of the menu changes nightly. Stalwart staples like lobster-smashed potatoes, seared Hudson Valley foie gras, and pork shoulder cradled on cheese risotto shine brightly, even after all these years, thanks to culinary mastermind Gerry Klaskala. Plus, be on the lookout for a new dining room designed by The Johnson Studio set to arrive this summer.
13 | Pricci
500 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.237.2941 | $20-$30 | @pricciatlanta R
Since cropping up in Buckhead more than 25 years ago, award-winning Pricci has been a staple dining destination for locals and visitors alike, as well as for private dining, soirees and more. Credit it to chef and Milan native Piero Premoli, who landed in ATL after stints in Miami, New York City and throughout Europe. Premoli, along with new Pastry Chef Christian Castillo, are serving up fine Italian eats including standouts like barre di limoncello with caramel-vanilla kumquats, and fennel salad with tangerine vinaigrette; and inspired sides, charcuterie ops and hearty meat entrees to boot.
14 | Bone's
3130 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.237.2663 | $26-$98 | R
This old-school steakhouse has been one of Atlanta’s most beloved haunts since 1979. Out-of-this-world steaks, a Rat Pack-esque decor and exceptional service are the norm at this chophouse, which is also a favorite with the Buckhead power-lunch crowd. Expect classic steakhouse dishes like a wedge of iceberg lettuce, dry-aged bone-in rib-eye and sauteed spinach or mushrooms. The famed grit fritters are a must-try, and the wine list is a lengthy ledger full of perfect pairings for any meal. Not in the mood for vino? Order a dry martini and make a toast to dining like Sammy and Dino.
15 | The General Muir
1540 Avenue Place | Druid Hills | 678.927.9131 | $14-$22 | @thegeneralmuir | B R P
We’ve all waited an hour for a table at West Egg Cafe. It’s just something you do, because West Egg is that good. So why wouldn’t we be all over The General Muir, the splendid Emory offering from the same crew? Half Jewish deli and half modern Southern resto, The General is a place that balances bagels, schmear and coffee, with skirt steak, potato puree and a glass of Malbec. At 7AM or 10PM, it’s awesome: A laundry list of best restaurant nods, from James Beard to GQ, seem to think it’s top-notch, and we agree!
16 | Bacchanalia
1198 Howell Mill Road NW | Westside | 404.365.0410 | $85 prix fixe | @starprovisions | R
The Jamison Farm lamb is sliced artfully aside farm-fresh summer squash and spring onion. The oil hisses with Gulf crab fritters before it’s crowned with avocado and grapefruit. The sommelier is advising and pouring Bordeaux, Chablis and Grüner Veltliner. The five-course ever-changing prix-fixe menu leaves you in the deft hands of Executive Chef David A. Carson, who is forever under the influence of culinary virtuosos Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. Yes, everything’s still a serious standout at Atlanta’s fine-dining maven, even after more than 20 years on the scene.
17 | Kimball House
303 E. Howard Ave. | Decatur | 404.378.3502 | $6-$27 | @kimballhousebar
Come for the oysters and the Absinthe cocktails—stay for the vintage ambience and the daily rotating menu from Executive Chefs Jeffrey Wall and Philip Meeker. As a former train depot-turned-craft-cocktail emporium, this spot has become an instant favorite, with a packed house on most nights and an always-bustling wood-and-brass bar, where some of the city’s top mixologists pour. The a-la-carte oyster selections are always impeccably fresh, while those ordering elsewhere on the menu will be delighted by dishes like grilled trout with root vegetables harvested from the resto’s garden.
18 | Cakes & Ale
155 Sycamore St. | Decatur | 404.377.7994 | $22-$38 | @cakesandale_ | B R
Now that they’ve fully settled into Decatur Square, Cakes & Ale seems as focused as ever on chef-owner Billy Allin’s mission of bringing a changing menu of sustainable, local cuisine to the ATL masses. In addition to adding Sunday brunch to their roster, the rustic, earth tone-splashed space rotates much-loved dishes like seasonal gnocchi or whole-roasted trout with unexpected eats like mahi with eggplant puree and toasted hazelnuts. Head in to snag a sweet bite from Pastry Chef David Garcia, and be on the lookout for their next Sunday supper, held every three months.
19 | Barcelona Wine Bar
240 N. Highland Ave. | Inman Park | 404.589.1010 | $4-$25 | @barcelonawineba | B R P F
Serving small and large Spanish plates and some of the most fabulous cocktails in town, this Inman Park resto offers up something for every palate. With this year’s addition of chef Eyhab “Happy” Hatab, tantalizing tapas like sunchokes a la plancha and Moorish kebab with frisee, jalapeno and lime are new standouts. If you’re dining with a group, try the paella, which feeds two or more. The first-come, first-seated patio is always packed, so plan ahead for an alfresco dining experience, or take a seat in the dark, sultry wooden bar area and order a signature cocktail like the Summer St. Sling.
20 | STK
1075 Peachtree St. | Midtown | 404.793.0144 | $24-$89 | @stkatlanta | R
The chef may be new, but this Midtown hot spot’s swanky-sexy vibe still ushers in some of ATL’s hottest on the reg, by poppin’ Magnum bottles of Champagne every Monday and dishing out some to-die-for fare. Executive Chef Mark Alba is revamping STK’s seasonal menu, while signature dishes will remain on offer as well. The beef tartare and grilled Spanish octopus are flavor-packed, while the strawberrycobbler cocktail (with a graham-cracker rim) and desserts like the Bag o’ Donuts (apple-cider donuts with caramel and bourbon sauces) provide a perfectly sweet finish.
21 | Watershed on Peachtree
1820 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.809.3561 | $18-$34 | @watershedatl | B R P
This temple to all things Southern, owned by Indigo Girls’ Emily Saliers and helmed by Executive Chef Joe Truex, is a must-try. The handsome toque’s Louisiana roots are evident in the Smith Hanes decor (rustic wood finishes, industrial details), and his Sunday Creole jazz brunch includes sugar-dusted langue de boeufs (Cajun-style beignets) and pimento-cheese cornbread. But don’t let its laid-back vibe fool you; Watershed throws a raucous late-nighter one Saturday a month with DJ Yvonne Monet spinning. Oh, and did we mention Jennifer Lawrence is a huge fan of their fried chicken?
22 | No. 246
129 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. | Decatur | 678.399.8246 | $12-$28 | @no_246 | B R P
Chef Drew Belline wanted to boil things down to the basics when putting together the menu for Ford Fry’s Italian job in Decatur. Categories like toasts, meat and cheese, and flour and water prove that simple is best—a philosophy that’s ever-present in the hand-cut pastas and crispy pizzas that dot the menu (the artichoke with Italian long peppers, salumi and roasted garlic is a delectable pick). And fresh news: 246 is doing brunch on the weekends (there’s a breakfast pizza, and yes, it’s amazing), so expect to see us there at 12:30PM promptly.
23 | Ocean Prime
3102 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.846.0505 | $25-$48 | @oceanprimecmr | R P
At first, you’ll take a shine to the bar with its sexy blue-swathed decor, frothing cocktails and addictive bar bites (spiced king-crab dip is a do!), but explore further and you’ll find a lively scene in the white-tablecloth dining room. The nautical-inspired space plays up the “surf” in this Buckhead surf ‘n’ turf outpost. A serious raw bar, yellowfin tuna and jumbo lump crab cakes will satisfy any seafoodies, but landlubbers will discover the “turf” from Executive Chef Mitch Brumels is just as enticing with steaks dressed in black truffle butter or Maytag blue cheese crust—foodie fashionable!
24 | Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.844.4810 | $9-$46 | @daviosatlanta | B R
This Phipps Plaza staple is a fave of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. It’s easy to see why: Executive Chef Richard Lee has perfected each meal, from brunch (prime top sirloin with over-easy eggs and sweet-potato hash) to classic Italian dinner dishes (the Philly cheese steak spring rolls and center-cut filet mignon have cult followings). Head in for their Sunday Local for Locals special, a shareable meal for the whole fam, or to sample a glass from their extensive wine menu—the resto recently invested in a Coravin, a steel contraption that keeps opened wine preserved for months on end. Bottoms up!
25 | Kyma
3085 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.0702 | $26-$44 | @kymarestaurant | R P
Fresh seafood and authentic regional cuisine have made Kyma a Greek-chic jewel in the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s crown for years. Dine alfresco on the sheltered patio or under the LED-lit starry-sky ceiling in the dining room, done up in Grecian-inspired interiors. Order a round of small plates, or Meze, to indulge in a sampling of some of chef Pano Karatassos’ finest fare, like saganaki (pan-fried kefalograviera cheese, Barbayanni ouzo). Feelin’ extra hungry? Order up a grilled whole fish: Select your favorite fresh catch and dig in. Wash it all down with a refreshing Thirsty Philosopher. Opa!
26 | 4th & Swift
621 North Ave. NE | Old Fourth Ward | 678.904.0160 | $12-$35 | @4thandswift | B R P
Jay Swift has taken his penchant for farm-totable eats (he grows most of the veggies you’ll see on the menu), and transformed an O4W warehouse into one of Atlanta’s most celebrated eateries. Along with son/Chef de Cuisine Jeb Aldrich, Swift guides his menu through the seasons with plates like hand-rolled potato gnocchi and cucumber fennel gazpacho. Mind the sides: From herb-roasted fingerlings to summer squash, this kitchen doesn’t miss. A full bar concocts exceptional libations, while wine fans will be greeted with a list that isn’t afraid to branch out.
27 | JCT. Kitchen & Bar
1198 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.355.2252 | $15-$30 | @jctkitchen | R P
After seven years, Ford Fry’s Westside resto continues to please locals with its menu of modern Southern cuisine. The truffle Parmesan fries are an indulgence that can’t be passed up, while the angry mussels are a game-changing app, thanks to the addition of serrano chilis. True to Southern form, the fried green tomatoes and deviled eggs are killer, and the famed fried chicken is so good you have to arrive early to get a piece. After dinner, head up to the chic second-story bar for a signature Southern Belle, and be sure to check out the schedule of weekly live music on the terrace.
28 | Tomo Japanese Restaurant
3630 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.835.2708 | $8-$34 | @tomobuckhead | R P
Artful plating, chic environs and superfresh eats are flown in twice a week from the renowned Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, then prepared by master chef and owner Tomohiro Naito—what more could you ask for in a Japanese resto? Naito opened Tomo with the desire to man his own kitchen and serve up contemporary dishes with handpicked, global ingredients. The menu is chock-full of traditional plates like black cod with sweet miso and yellowtail nigiri, while more adventurous palates can opt for the squid rings with ginger dashi sauce or the sea-urchin sashimi. Chopsticks up!
29 | Atlanta Fish Market
265 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.3165 | $10-$31 | @atlfishmarket | R P
This perennial fave serves some of the freshest catches in town, thanks to Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s own boutique seafood company that keeps a steady supply swimming in on the daily. The main dining room is filled with Cape Cod seafood house-style wooden tables and a glowing jellyfish tank. The made-to-order sushi bar serves some of the best in town. And having owner Pano Karatassos’ market onsite means you can order up fresh seafood to experiment with at home. (Though we have a feeling you’ll have a tough time recreating AFM’s signature Maine lobster roll.)
30 | Kevin Rathbun Steak
154 Krog St. NE | Inman Park | 404.524.5600 | $19-$105 | @rathbunsteak | R
Before Krog Street Market was a twinkle in the city’s eye, Kevin Rathbun set up shop over in Inman Park. Seven years later, his modern steakhouse still inspires, but if there’s one thing we know, it’s that Rathbun knows his meat. The old warehouse plays host to a comfortable, upscale atmosphere that balances Old World and abstract: a perfect setting for dishes like venison carpaccio and a splendidly aged rib-eye. A competent wine selection has the bar booming, so have a glass and get ready to splurge. Feeling sweet? Try the salted-caramel bon bons.
31 | F&B Atlanta
3630 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.254.1797 | $7-$36 | @fandbatlanta | R P
At a little more than six months on the job, F&B’s star Executive Chef Philippe Haddad has turned the beloved bistro’s menu on its head—with a Belgian twist. Housed on the ground floor of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Atlanta, Buckhead, new menu ops include pomme frites, chicken paillard salad and Mussels from Brussels. Feeling fancy? Book two days in advance for a private off -the-menu dinner soiree ($120 per person), where Haddad will treat you and guests to a seasonal, four-course French meal paired with Champagne. Sign us up!
32 | Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano
1099 Hemphill Ave. NW | Westside | 404.347.3874 | $15-$43 | P F
Giovanni Di Palma, the man who is building his very own Little Italia in the middle of Westside, wants you to know something: His mom made really good chicken. Lemon chicken was her specialty, in fact, and since this is the guy who brought us Antico Pizza, he deduced that he had the street cred to recreate the recipe, with scarcely a dozen others, in the back of his Hemphill warehouse. Family favorites like the incredible scarpiello, with salsiccia, sweet piccantes and cipolline, are made with fresh ingredients imported from Naples. Truly authentic is the name of the game.
33 | Holeman & Finch Public House
2277 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.948.1175 | $4-$19 | @holemanandfinch | B
James Beard-winning chef-owner Linton Hopkins’ famed Buckhead haunt has been at the top of the ATL dining scene since opening in 2008. The bar gets just as packed as the dining room, thanks in part to the infamous H&F burger, which is available in limited quantities (24 of them, to be specific), starting at 10PM nightly and all day on Sunday. Not one of the lucky few? Never fear! The chicken liver pate with apple cider gelée and toast is a delicious way to expand your palate, while the carbonara with a farm egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano and pancetta is elevated comfort food at its best.
34 | Canoe
4199 Paces Ferry Road SE | Vinings | 770.432.2663 | $11-$35 | @canoeatlanta | B R P
Back when dining out in Atlanta involved a meat and three and not much more, Canoe opened its doors on the shores of the Chattahoochee. They’ve been perfecting their craft ever since. Newly minted Exec Chef Matthew Basford continues the tradition with dishes like cornbread-stuffed Vermont quail with chicken Andouille and crisped okra: they’re as simple as they are succulent. Wine aficionados have long been aware of the paramount wine selection. An impeccable quality of service and a stunning view of the riverfront make Canoe the perfect celebration spot, even after 19 years.
35 | Saltyard
1820 Peachtree Road NW | Buckhead | 404.382.8088 | $4-$24 | @saltyard | B R P
This newish Buckhead outpost is a fresh go-to for shared small plates—think heavenly cheddar bay biscuits, deviled farm eggs with bacon and hot sauce, and house-cured salmon chips with lemon-dill mascarpone, to name a few. Pro tip: Call ahead to find out if chef Nick Leahy is serving his crispy Brussels leaves, a tasty twist on Brussels sprouts, that only grace the menu as a special. And to toast the good life, order a signature cocktail like a Swift Kick in the Tito, or pick from the resto’s extensive beer and wine list. Don’t miss brunch, either; the mascarpone-stuffed French toast is a must-try.
36 | The Spence
75 Fifth St. NW | Midtown | 404.892.9111 | $9-$31 | @thespenceatl | R P
We’ve come to expect the unexpected from this hip, Richard Blais-helmed resto located in Tech Square. The daily changing menu boasts say-what dishes like bone marrow with tuna tartare and fried quail eggs, and roasted beets with salsa verde, avocado and marscapone. The Johnson Studio-designed space evokes warmth, with modern touches like cream tartans and pine tabletops. Pastry Chef Andrea Litvin whips up inventive desserts (where else can you get a liquid nitrogen ice-cream sundae?), while sommelier Joon Lim offers up a fresh, curated wine list.
37 | Woodfire Grill
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road NE | Lenox Park | 404.347.9055 | $8-$39 | @woodfiregrill | R
While this staple recently announced former Sous Chef Matthew Weinstein as executive chef, the quality of this Midtown mainstay proves for certain that some things never change (an ironic sentiment for a resto with a menu that changes every day). But rest assured, visiting patrons! Current summer menu faves like chilled Georgia peach soup, fried local zucchini and wood-grilled Cheshire-white pork chops delight. The bar also remains a favorite for the discerning pre-movie crowd as a reliable and comfortable place to unwind before heading over to the Tara.
38 | Cucina Asellina
1075 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.793.0141 | $11-$18 | @asellinaatl | B R P F
Tucked next door to big sister STK, this Italian eatery combines loose-tie elegance with a dogfriendly patio, so it’s no wonder that happy hour is huge here. Bistro tables line a vast, high-ceilinged space that straddles rustic and modern simultaneously, and the bar can stir up something crafty in its sleep. But it’s the kitchen that shines brightest: Chef Andrea Montobbio hand-rolls some of the best pasta in town—square spaghetti and burrata ravioli are perennial favorites. Don’t pay your bill without trying the lambstuffed Cerignola olives, though, and hit the resto on Sunday for a Bellini-infused DJ brunch.
39 | Osteria Mattone
1095 Canton St. | Roswell | 678.878.3378 | $8-$32 | @osteriamattone | R P
There’s a fine line between the anything-goes vibe of an osteria and the formal sensibilities of a trattoria, and this rustic, Old World Roswell dining spot walks it straight to our palates. Ted Lahey came over from Table & Main to open the new, Roma-inspired spot, and we have to say: For a guy who made us fall in love with simple, Southern fare, he sure knows his way around an Italian kitchen. (Neapolitan braised veal meatballs? Que bella.) And of course, there’s a menu of obscure, delightful wines from the old country to round everything out.
40 | Seven Lamps
3400 Around Lenox Road NE | Buckhead | 404.467.8950 | $7-$25 | @sevenlampsatl | R P F
Last year’s new kid in town has quickly become a Buckhead must-try. Chef Drew Van Leuvan, formerly of TAP and One Midtown Kitchen, serves up a lobster roll that can’t be beat, while the mussels in white wine with fennel butter and charred jalapenos are to die for. And because Van Leuvan has a passion for pastries, he makes sure his menu includes plenty of decadent desserts, including baked-to-order blueberry pie with sweet-corn ice cream. The cocktail menu is equally impressive, with inventive sips like Aphrodite’s Revenge, Ciao Bella, Ginger & The Bees and more. Drink up!
41 | The One Sushi +
2523 Caldwell Road NE | Brookhaven | 404.869.6988 | $11-$26 | @onesushiplus R P
At the end of the hip Dresden Drive strip sits this upscale sushi joint. Owners Mali Hu and George Muh, along with chef Jason Liang, are keeping fans like rapper Ludacris and TV chef G. Garvin coming back for superfresh sushi and creative faves, which include misoyaki Japanese black cod, pineapple shrimp and playful yellowtail jalapeno shots. Inside you’ll find a modern, blue-lit bar and sultry dining room with tabletops constructed from Taiwanese wood, tilted glasses and metal chopsticks. Outside, sip a lychee saketini on the patio and watch all of Brookhaven’s attractive revelers roll by.
42 | Local Three Kitchen & Bar
3290 Northside Parkway NW | Buckhead | 404.968.2700 | $10-$32 | @localthree | B R P
A hard-to-find doorway opens into a secluded space with reclaimed-wood walls and communal tables, filled with fans like bestselling author Emily Giffin. Like her, we adore this spot’s pig-themed menu. From the pork-belly pastrami to the Notorious P.I.G. charcuterie sampler to the ham-and-cheese popcorn—these meat masters have perfected the art of a playful pork-inspired lineup. Muss & Turners’ Ryan Turner and Todd Mussman, and chef Chris Hall are the... ahem, local three behind this upscale Southern food mecca with a laid-back attitude and a serious bourbon habit.
43 | Restaurant Eugene
2277 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.355.0321 | $12-$49 | @chefhopkins | R
There are a few restaurants you just know will be included on this list. It might be due to fresh, local fare that’s served in an atmosphere that practically invented Southern-chic. It might be a James Beard Award-winning chef like Linton Hopkins, who never stops pushing the envelope with a menu that evolves nightly. With offerings like marinated snapper and garlic scapes up for grabs, it’s no wonder the five-course tasting is legendary. Plus, the bar was ground zero for the craft movement in ATL: If you’re a truly great barkeep in Atlanta, you probably got your start here. Just sayin’.
44 | Hal’s
30 Old Ivy Road NE | Buckhead | 404.261.0025 | $40-$70 | R P
The atmosphere: relaxed elegance with a dash of New Orleans chic. The food: classics like baked escargots, oysters bordelaise and swordfish steak, washed down with an expertly crafted cocktail. You: there. Any questions? This old-school eatery keeps patrons of all generations coming back for more, with a sexy, intimate atmosphere, first-class service and throwback furnishings that evoke a vintage, black-and-white movie-style vibe. VIPs pack in on the reg (Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is a fan!) To get their drink and dine on. Don’t let the crisp white tablecloths fool you—Hal’s is far from stuffy.
45 | Ecco
40 Seventh St. NE | Midtown | 404.347.9555 | $7-$29 | @eccoatl | R P
Midtown’s go-to Euro bistro (for visiting celebs and locals alike) offers up modern takes on Old World Mediterranean dining. Chef Jonathan Beatty’s gastronomic gifts are on display in favorites like fried goat cheese with honey and black pepper, and braised beef-stuffed piquillo peppers. Fresh is never a question at Ecco, thanks to a rooftop garden that produces seasonal veggies all year long. This summer, Pastry Chef Eric Wolitzky is sweetening the deal with his Pastry Board; a selection of rotating handmade European pastries (among them a multilayer opera cake and a strawberry macaron). Ah, the sweet life!
46 | Nan Thai Fine Dining
1350 Spring St. NW | Midtown | 404.870.9933 | $18-$36 | @nanthaiatlanta | R P
Garnering a AAA Four Diamond Award eight years in a row is a ridiculous feat, but Charlie and Nan Niyomkul have done it again. It’s no surprise, really, when even native Thai guests declare dishes such as the larb kai—cooked minced chicken with ginger, lime, mint and roasted sweet-rice flavor— the best they’ve ever eaten outside their home country. #TrueStory. When not salivating over the lamb hung lay—chef Nan’s signature slow-braised lamb shank simmered in Northern Thai red curry—you’ll revel in the friendly and contagious nature of the staff. It’s no wonder we can’t get enough!
47 | Haven
1441 Dresden Drive NE | Brookhaven | 404.969.0700 | $17-$54 | @havenrestaurant | B R P
This Brookhaven bistro is the definition of an upscale urban eatery. Cozy up with a glass of vino from the extensive wine library (a wall of wines on display in the middle of the resto). Then, take in the open kitchen, which allows guests to watch Executive Chef Stephen Herman and his team work their magic on dishes like bacon-wrapped North Georgia trout, grilled Colorado leg of lamb and homemade ricotta tortellini. And save room for dessert! The banana pudding with Nilla wafers is a classic, while the fried sweet-potato pie with Nutella and butter-pecan ice cream is a craveworthy signature.
48 | Lure
1106 Crescent Ave. NE | Midtown | 404.817.3650 | $11-$30 | @lureatl | B R P
A one-stop bait shop for cool drinks and creative catches, the food here is hip and playful without ever being fussy. Summer highlights include pan-fried sole and whole Georgia rainbow trout. Libations are so big here the staff skips glasses and goes straight to punch bowls. Even the names of the drinks are tongue-in-cheek. The Old Habits cocktail mixes Bulleit rye, Berentzen apple and Benedictine. Oh, and don’t miss the sweet stuff. Try the warm coconut-guava cake or the citrusy key lime trifle. Stick a yum flag in that!
49 | Bocado
887 Howell Mill Road | Westside | 404.815.1399 | $8-$24 | @bocadoatlanta | R P
One of the pioneers of the Westside’s now fully fledged dining scene, casual burger joint Bocado keeps it fun and fresh. Think a seasonally changing menu of modern American eats with an eclectic twist, care of Executive Chef Adam Waller. The fried chicken sandwich is perfectly complemented with slaw, house pickles and spicy mayo, while the roasted poblano iteration with pimento cheese, applewoodsmoked bacon and fried green tomato takes Southern inspiration to the next level. Top it all off with a boozy Graffiti Sour cocktail with whiskey, Casoni liqueur, citrus and cherry.
50 | Bistro VG
70 W. Crossville Road | Roswell | 770.993.1156 | $7-$38 | @bistrovg | B R
An enduring epicurean outpost, this OTP gem was opened by Christopher and Michele Sedgwick in the early ’90s. Not afraid to update, the couple has changed with the times and given the space a modern East Hamptons-inspired update a few years ago. Executive Chef Eric Balderrama kept the beloved crabcake and white bean soup with truffle oil from the resto’s early days, but has crafted new faves like Meyer Ranch braised short ribs, wood-fired pizzas and brick-oven roasted oysters. The only thing that never changes? The bar spills out a lively scene almost every night.
51 | South City Kitchen
Multiple locations | $15-$36 | @sckmidtown | B R P
A longtime favorite of visiting A-listers (they love exceptional fried chicken, just like us!), SCK broke ground on modern/Southern fusion before the combination even existed. Years later, they’re still overhauling the local experience with Southern classics like fried green tomatoes and shrimp ‘n’ grits, all backed by a bar that was invented for brunchtime revelry. Speaking of brunch, call ahead—whether you’re hitting up Midtown or Vinings, South City is still one of ATL’s favorites for Sunday morning restoration, and you’re gonna have a wait if you show up unannounced. You’ve been warned.
52 | Antico Pizza
1093 Hemphill Ave. NW | Westside | 404.724.2333 | $18-$21
It doesn’t get much more auténtico than this, y’all—from foodies far and wide to A-list celebs, Antico is the real deal. As the first of several ventures owner Giovanni Di Palma has opened around A-Town (Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano and the brand new Bottega Luisa and Bar Amalfi), the Naples-style menu boasts pies (with fresh, Italian-sourced ingredients) baked in a 900-degree oven, brought out on silver trays in the snag-a-seat-when-you-can dining area that’s shared with the open-air kitchen. BYOB, sidle up to one of the communal tables and prep yourself for a true taste of Italy.
53 | Miso Izakaya
619 Edgewood Ave. SE | Old Fourth Ward | 678.701.0128 | $4-$16 | @guywongatl | R
Inventive dishes and a decidedly hip scene define this urban hot spot. Whether you’re craving sushi or jonesing for inventive ramen dishes, chef Guy Wong’s ever-changing menu of authentic, fresh options is always spot-on. Try the gyoza—steamed or pan-fried pork-filled dumplings with a sweet toasted sesame soy sauce—for a memorable and authentic experience. And don’t forget dessert! The matcha (green tea) brulee combines east and Far East. And for the daring, try a shot of shochu… this Japanese whiskey is a smooth way to kick off—or cap off—your meal.
54 | Blue Ridge Grill
1261 W. Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.233.5030 | $21-$49 | B R
Like a cabin where Ernest Hemingway would rendezvous with his pals, this Buckhead spot is the kind of classic place where you get your Scotch neat, and cozy up in a plush leather booth next to a stone fireplace under exposed-beam ceilings. Buckhead bigwigs stop in on the reg (on the way to their West Paces Ferry and Habersham homes) for hickory grilled Georgia trout with lemon butter and lobster club sandwiches with housemade potato chips. The scene is a throwback to a simpler time—only modern amenities like an iPad wine list remind you that you’re still in the 21st century.
55 | The Iberian Pig
121 Sycamore St. | Decatur | 404.371.8800 | $9-$36 | @iberianpig | R P
Tapas-style dining is always a good time. But in a class of its own, there’s The Iberian Pig, on the square in Decatur. This cavernous, woodlined space with a keen, laid-back demeanor conjures the ham-touting watering holes of the Spanish peninsula from which the restaurant derives its namesake. The flaky morcilla and mushroom toast is to die for; the aged, cured pork shoulder, shaved razor thin, is a must-have app; and a standout craft cocktail list rises to the standards set by the meticulously curated list of small-batch, fabulous vino.