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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!
56 | Smash Kitchen & Bar
804 Town Blvd. | Brookhaven | 404.841.4221 | $12-$34 | @smashatl | B R P
We hadn’t heard anything from Tom Catherall in a little while, but it turns out he’d just been working on his next, well, smash hit, so to speak. Tucked smack-dab in the middle of Town Brookhaven, Catherall’s answer to the classic American chophouse is fancifully outfitted, but never gaudy—it certainly meshes well with a menu of faves like baby back ribs that fall off the bone, and a bacon and pimento-outfitted SKB burger. A separate bar area and Sunday brunch have solidified Smash as a favorite among Brookhaven locals and early CinéBistro patrons.
57 | Yebo
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.467.4988 | $7-$19 | @yeboatl | R P
Head to Phipps Plaza for a taste of South Africa. Yebo, the second resto from 10 Degrees South owner Justin Anthony, is a chic safari-style tapas spot with delicious indigenous dishes and wines. Go traditional with plates like biltong, a South African beef jerky, and bobo, a bread bowl filled with curry and topped with an egg, all of which pair perfectly with, what else? South African wine. But the real highlight? The melt-in-your-mouth fried chicken with peri-peri sauce, bacon collards and corn puree. The Parmesan popcorn and truffle oil-slathered french fries are close seconds.
58 | Del Frisco’s Grille
3376 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.537.2828 | $7-$39 | @dfgrille | B R P
While the carnivorous cuisine is delicious, it’s Executive Chef AJ Buchanio’s lighter fare that has us flocking to this Buckhead destination. Ahi tuna tacos with avocado and spicy citrus mayo, and cheesesteak egg rolls with sweet and spicy chili sauce, are the perfect complement to Del Frisco’s signature VIP cocktail: sweet Hawaiian pineapple-infused Svedka clementine vodka. This summer, we’ll be hitting up the two-story patio for the Triple Threat: a grilled prime cheeseburger with classic frites and a spiked milkshake. Plus, catch live music the last Friday of every month. Music to our ears!
59 | Double Zero Napoletana
5825 Roswell Road | Sandy Springs | 404.991.3666 | $13-$32 | @doublezeroatl | R P
Double Zero brought Neapolitan-style pizza to Sandy Springs, and for that, we’re grateful. Outdoor dining is the way to go here: it’s the perfect setting to snack on wild mushroom arancini with a truffle Gruyere fondue, while sipping a selection from a seasonally rotating craft cocktail list. The namesake pie—the Double Zero Napoletana—is a masterpiece with garlic, flor di latte, arugula, prosciutto di parma, Pecorino Gran Cru and basil; all drizzled with olive oil and fired over flavorful wood. P.S. don’t miss dessert, we’re crazy for the hand-dipped cannoli and Nutella gelato!
60 | Buckhead Diner
3073 Piedmont Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.3336 | $16-$30 | @buckheaddiner | B R
With its stylishly old-school decor and modern menu, it’s easy to see why A-Town can’t get enough of the Diner. And they’re not the only ones: The walls of this resto are lined with shots of celebs who’ve dined there. (Hopefully they did so on Wednesdays or Sundays, the only nights the famed fried chicken is served.) Other faves include Maytag blue cheese chips, veal and wild mushroom meatloaf and the James Beard Award-winning white chocolate banana cream pie. Pair with a signature Peartini and toast to the good life!
61 | Chicken and The Egg
800 Whitlock Ave. NW | Marietta | 678.388.8813 | $10-$20 | @chickandtheegg | B R P
Though it’s hard to understand why anyone would deviate from beloved staples, there is more to Marc Taft’s Marietta dining room than crispy buttermilk-fried chicken. This eatery was among the first to revamp the Marietta dining scene, bringing fresh cuisine to an environment that conjures up images of being back home on the farm. If you’re planning on a visit from ITP, the banana pudding is reason enough, and a roster of seasonal cocktails rounds everything out. Marietta residents? You already know all this.
62 | Cibo e Beve
4969 Roswell Road | Sandy Springs | 404.250.8988 | $11-$34 | @ciboatlanta | B R P F
From the owners of Food 101 and Meehan’s Public House sprung this authentic Italian trattoria helmed by the deft hands of chef Linda Harrell. The ai3-designed space takes its name from the boot-shaped country’s words for “food” and “drink.” For cibo, crispy Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon, poached egg and pecorino are the perfetto side to gluten-free lasagna marchegiana with Bolognese. A lighter dish like the Tuscan kale and cannellinibean soup is a must-have that seems to never leave the seasonal menu. For beve, make Ernest proud and try a Hemingway daiquiri.
63 | Antica Posta
519 E. Paces Ferry Road NE | Buckhead | 404.262.7112 | $18-$35 | @anticaposta
Authentic Tuscan cooking is the name of the game at Antica Posta. While seasonal specials delight (think veal scallopini with porcini mushrooms in a lemon butter caper sauce, risotto with fresh Tybee Island shrimp and oven-roasted chicken breast with fresh summer truffle sauce), the wine pairings really bring it home—you can peruse the resto’s wine shop, open every day at 4PM, or ask for a rec from your server. Looking to mix up your Friday night? Chef Marco Betti hosts a Chef’s Table dinner where attendees can sample several courses of summer specials at $35 a pop. Pure perfezione!
64 | Leon’s Full Service
131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. | Decatur | 404.687.0500 | $8-$23 | @leonsdecatur | P
A stylish patio and bocce-ball court, plus upscale bar bites like goat cheese stuffed peppadews and to-die-for pomme frites with your choice of two inventive sauces, are just some of the many reasons customers flock to Decatur resto Leon’s Full Service. From the brains behind Brick Store Pub just down the street, the locally driven concept is brought to life by chefs Robert Lupo and Eric Ottensmeyer, and a level of customer service harkening back to the days of full-service gas-station attendants (which inspired its name). We’re not complaining.
65 | La Tavola Trattoria
992 Virgina Ave. NE | Virginia-Highland | 404.873.5430 | $8-$23 | @latavolaatl | B R
Bursting with aromas from the open-air kitchen and sexy-chic decor, this Va-Hi destination is date-night done divine. Executive Chef Brent Banda (a Fifth Group Restaurants vet since 2004) dishes out epic Italian iterations, complete with gluten-free options. Wholeroasted branzino with arugula-fennel salad satisfies without leaving you feeling stuffed; ricotta with swiss chard tortellini melts in the mouth; and squid-ink linguine is adventurous enough to surely impress your dinner mate. Got a sweet tooth? Tiramisu with a hazelnut-praline crunch soaked in espresso is the perfect happy ending.
66 | Livingston Restaurant + Bar
659 Peachtree St. NE | Midtown | 404.897.5000 | $10-$28 | @livingstonatgt | B R P
Brunch at this Midtown hot spot has become as famed as the building it’s housed in (well, so has dinner, for that matter). This dining room at The Georgian Terrace was named for a former mayor who, we’re informed, knew how to have a good time. That spirit of revelry is carried forth by chef Michael Semancik, who knows his way around signature dishes like grilled rabbit wings with blue cheese grits, and cast-iron oxtail marmalade with raclette cheese. Stop in for a craft cocktail and have a go at the theater brunch buffet, which is fast becoming a pre-matinee tradition.
67 | The Capital Grille
Multiple locations | $28-$49 | @capitalgrille | R
Enter the white linen-tablecloth dining room and you’re sure to witness power lunches, first dates and anniversaries galore. Here, sophisticated moments happen around plates of bone-in kona-crusted sirloin that’s been dry-aged and slathered in shallot butter, or seared tenderloin with butter-poached lobster tails. It’s just that kind of place. At lunch, if you don’t order the lobster roll with truffle Parmesan fries, you’ll spend the rest of the meal wishing you had. Master Sommelier George Miliotes is the brains behind the brawn of this 300-deep wine list, so don’t be shy in asking for a recommendation. Cheers!
68 | Little Alley Steak
955 Canton St. | Roswell | 770.998.0440 | $16-$60 | B R P
North of the city, a wood- and brick-lined spot with great meat and an endless Scotch bar has become a staple of Roswell dining. Tony Manns Jr. Has risen through the ranks fast, from sous to OTP chef extraordinaire, and takes a classical French approach to quintessentially American cuisine (we’re looking at you, Colorado lamb shank with cippolinis, vichy carrots and fingerling potatoes). Stay for the steak: custom cuts like a transcendent cowboy rib-eye take center stage. Then, head back for brunch the next morning for chicken and waffls slathered in maple butter.
69 | Noche
Multiple locations | $4-$11 | @nochevh_atl | R P
There’s a reason this buzzy tapas spot from Here to Serve Restaurants has locations dotted all over ATL. From the beloved margaritas to the Spanish-inspired shareable plates, you’ll be hard-pressed to walk in with a date or group of pals and not have a blast. The Trailer Park taco with queso and fried chicken is nearly impossible to pass up, while seafood ops like chipotle mango barbecue salmon, along with meat-free items like garlic mushrooms, mean there’s something to please every palate. Add daily drink specials and $2 tacos every Monday, and what’s not to love?
70 | Cardamom Hill
1700 Northside Drive NW | Westside | 404.549.7012 | $9-$27 | @cardamomhill | R
What did we do before Asha Gomez? This gal has been working magic with Southern Indian cuisine, and has created her own little niche in the process—we haven’t seen Indian in Atlanta like this before. The food of Gomez’s native Kerala is dished out from the kitchen of this unassuming but intimate little nook on Northside, and those lucky enough to have sampled her fried chicken or fish curry attest that it’s a perf pick for something unexpected and wonderful. A craft cocktail program, customsuited for the carefully spiced fare, takes the whole idea of Indian dining up a notch.
71 | Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Multiple locations | $25-$52 | @ruthschrisatl | R
When the quality of your steak earns you more than 100 locations across the globe (three in the ATL), you’re doing something right. For the true devotees, there is no substitute when it comes to Ruth’s Chris’ classic take on the American steakhouse: The meat is aged and cooked to perfection, whether it’s the rib-eye or the filet mignon; the wine list is outstanding; and the service is always toptier. The chophouse menu is rounded out by standbys like shoestring fries, tempura onion rings and sweet-potato casserole. Hit up the Downtown location on the way to see the Hawks or a concert.
72 | Table & Main
1028 Canton St. | Roswell | 678.869.5178 | $14-$27 | @tableandmain | R
We’ve got to hand it to Roswell and its burgeoning resto scene. At the peak of this renaissance is Table & Main, and Restaurant Eugene alum Woolery “Woody” Back and Ted Lahey, who’s amped-up, hyperlocal interpretation of classical Southern fare is divine. Dishes like the cornmeal-crusted catfish and the grilled 12-ounce pork chop with barbecued Sea Island peas are absurdly simple, but prepared impeccably. If all this isn’t enough, owner Ryan Pernice has cobbled together what may very well be the best bourbon bar outside the perimeter.
73 | Alma Cocina
191 Peachtree St. NE | Downtown | 404.968.9662 | $10-$36 | @almaatl | R
Every now and then, Downtown has the ability to surprise us. So imagine our pleasure a few years back, when this upscale Mexican joint moved into the ground floor of 191 Peachtree, boasting a friendly atmosphere of deep reds and rough-hewn hardwoods. On the table, roasted chicken mole Oaxaca and lobster tacos anchor the main plates, while a delectable lineup of ceviches will put a smile on the face of the biggest seafood stickler. Have a chat with the barkeep about their margaritas: Alma has its own label of aged tequila, marked by its earthy, spicy and spectacular flavor.
74 | Brick Store Pub
125 E. Court Square | Decatur | 404.687.0990 | $8-$15 | @brickstorepub | P
Beer is more than just a happy-hour bev here—way more. Opened 17 years ago by a trio of Athens brewheads, the bi-level Decatur staple has attracted casual drinkers and hardcore beer enthusiasts with a menu that’ll make your head spin: a bevy of suds on tap at any given time, hundreds of bottled beers and 120-plus Belgian-style brews. Just don’t expect typical bar bites to go along with them; rather, opt for the bourboncaramel popcorn with roasted pecans and peanuts (dubbed “tittle pop”), the sausage with grit croquettes and tomato jam, or salted Bavarian pretzels served fresh from the oven.
75 | Bhojanic
Multiple locations | $9-$18 | @bhojanic | R P
A beloved Decatur Indian joint, Bhojanic migrated to Buckhead with a second location last spring. Less casual than the Clairmont Road outpost, this fancier iteration still has the same to-die-for pani puri, lamb curry, cold Kingfisher beer and homestyle Northern Indian fare that fans flock to experience. Indian ex-pats can be seen peppering the dining room (always a sure sign of authenticity), devouring owner Archna Becker’s chaat (street food) and traditional curries. Carb-lovers: Don’t skip drenching the chapati in fresh cucumber sauce—it’s totes worth the workout later.
76 | Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft
1745 Peachtree St. NE | Buckhead | 678. 539.6181 | $13-$21 | @tuktukatl | R P
Chef Dee Dee Niyomkul comes from good stock: Her parents own two of the premier Thai joints in town (Nan Thai Fine Dining and Tamarind Seed Thai Bistro, in case you were wondering). So if you’re a fan of Southeast Asian fare, you’re not going to find much better. Tuk Tuk’s menu focuses on Thai street food (noodle dishes, classic massaman curry and some spicy plates are tantalizing and fresh), all served in a sprawling space with one of the best above-street-level patios on Peachtree. The wine list is thorough, keeping pace with the menu at every turn.
77 | 10 Degrees South
4183 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 404.705.8870 | $21-$38 | @10degreessouth | R P
If you haven’t been to 10 Degrees South lately, you’re in for a surprise. South African restaurateur Justin Anthony has just given the cozy spot a complete overhaul for something more sleek and modern. We dig the new look, and, as always, are headover- heels for the menu. Ostrich medallions are pan-seared with wine and rosemary sauce for a sultry sweetness—a baseline for the native flavors the menu playfully touts. Speaking of which, the South African wine selection is the best in town. Jambo!
78 | Murphy’s
997 Virginia Ave. NE | Virginia-Highland | 404.872.0904 | $12-$29 | @murphysatlanta | B R P
This Va-Hi hot spot is known for fresh ingredients, inventive takes on American contemporary dishes and a to-die-for Sunday brunch. Chef Ian Winslade’s passion for cooking and his commitment to using only top-shelf ingredients shine through in entrees like Guinness-braised beef brisket and spinach and sausage meatloaf. Come Sunday morning, there’s a line around the block as diners pine for Eggs T. Murphy, and the decadent malted waffle with warm maple syrup, cinnamon butter and fruit compote. Trust us, there’s a reason they don’t take reservations during brunch hours.
79 | Taka Sushi
375 Pharr Road NE | Buckhead | 404.869.2802 | $10-$29 | @sushiandpassion | R P F
Chef, owner and Hiroshima native Taka Moriuchi founded his eponymous ATL restaurant on the ideas of passion, authenticity and, of course, serving seriously tasty sushi. A fave of Atlantans and A-listers alike, the menu shines—from apps and izakaya to sushi rolls and sake. Upon entering, globe-trotters will recognize the sleek, unassuming interior that looks like it could be a bona-fide sushi spot off a Tokyo street corner. Throw in a vertical plate piled with a Passion Roll (eel with spicy avocado paste, red tuna and orange salmon) or Norwegian mackerel nigiri, and you’re good to go.
80 | Varasano’s Pizzeria
2171 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.352.8216 | $14-$19 | @varasanospizza | B R P F
Pizza is competitive business in Atlanta. So, if you want to stand out so far that The New York Times gives you a nod, you’d better make sure your game is in top form. Such is the case with Varasano’s, a tidy and modern pizzeria right on Peachtree. Owner Jeff Varasano’s favorite offering is the Bufala and Coppa pie, but we suggest ordering up our current summertime pick: the light and succulent Nucci with garlic, olives and Emmentaler cheese. Bonus points for brunching on the patio while indulging in some perfect cannoli and a cup of espresso.
81 | Cuts Steakhouse
60 Andrew Young International Blvd. NE | Downtown | 404.525.3399 | $11-$39 | @cutsatlanta | R P
Owner Muzo Saritas has impressive credentials as a hotel manager and restaurateur, all of which he pours into this much-welcomed Downtown steakhouse. The 13,000-squarefoot space has a chic sunken dining room with hip ceramic deer heads, a designated sports bar and a sprawling patio. Executive Chef Donnie Wicker is bringing a subtle Southern touch to the menu through pecan-crusted salmon with chilled quinoa salad and goat cheese-risotto fritters along with requisite prime cuts and standout steakhouse fare. A cut above, indeed.
82 | Salt Factory Pub
Multiple locations | $11-$28 | P F
Part of the buzzy F&H Food Trading Group family of restos, this upscale gastropub offers up pints and plates to please all palates. Chef Bob McDonough’s menu includes updated twists on comfort food staples like shepherd’s pie (braised lamb, pearl onions, corn, green beans, rosemary demi and cheddar potato puree) and burgers (order the Steakhouse, a prime beef patty topped with applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, fried onions, an over-easy egg and housemade barbecue sauce). Plus, the expansive beer and bourbon lists make it a haven for cocktail connoisseurs. Down the hatch!
83 | The Tavern at Phipps
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.814.9640 | $10-$29 | @tavernatphipps | R P
Whether you’re experiencing post-shopping fatigue, in desperate need of an after-hours cocktail on a spacious patio, or just like dining among some of the city’s hottest singles, The Tavern at Phipps has you covered. The see-and-be-seen set flocks here for the high-energy bar, live music and, naturally, the eats. Think a classic Reuben stuffed with Carnegie Deli pastrami, a pan-sauteed lump crabcake sandwich and their signature Tavern chips offered in flavors like Cajun, Thai chicken and more. Breeze through the revolving doors, into the shower of napkins, and prepare to be served.
84 | Stem Wine Bar
1311 Johnson Ferry Road | Marietta | 678.214.6888 | $7-$19 | @dougturbush
New to the JEZ list, this Marietta resto is one of the surprise hits of the year. Its front entrance is so subtle that it can get overshadowed by its full-size sister restaurant next door—Seed Kitchen & Bar. Order up the chorizo-stuffed Medjool dates—wrapped in bacon and bathed in smoky tomato sauce—which are simply a revelation. On the tapas side, go with the playful patatas bravas dressed up like little sushi rolls or the addictive blistered padron peppers sprinkled with Maldon salt. Ever-changing wine flights, with whimsical names like What Women Want, will keep you expanding your palate each time out.
85 | Southern Art & Bourbon Bar
3315 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.946.9070 | $19-$38 | @southernart | B R
Ever hear of the Oprah Blessing? Basically, anything the grand diva of daytime television waves her hand over turns to gold. This is no different for Art Smith’s resto, which has garishly redefined Southern cuisine (and wicked charcuterie) on the ground floor of the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta. Ask yourself: does your passion for bourbon-cured smoked salmon or perfect buttermilk-fried chicken rival that of O herself? If so, make a reservation—but arrive early to knock one back at Bourbon Bar while while sneaking bites of the Southern Art butcher’s board. Talk about divine swine!
86 | Octopus Bar
560 Gresham Ave. SE | East Atlanta | 404.627.9911 | $10-$30 | P
Once an underground foodie’s paradise, Octopus now holds a spot on every Atlantan’s culinary bucket list. The brainchild of chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le, Octopus opens its doors at 10:30PM Monday through Saturday. Hipsters and the haute crowd rub shoulders as they nosh on an everchanging, seasonally influenced menu. Favorites include Freshwater eel with congee and fried shallots, and Santa Barbara sea urchin with risotto. The drinks are just as daring. Test your limits with Fever Dreams featuring Belle Meade, Borghetti, cacao and Underberg. Bottoms up!
87 | White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails
270 Peachtree St. | Downtown | 404.524.7200 | $26-$32 | @whiteoakatlanta | R P
Under a pair of colossal Jenga-like chandeliers—made out of wood from the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn.—patrons are drooling over decadent plates of short rib, and monkfish with brown-butter sweet potato at this Downtown spot. Envision a bright, soaring space where the bourbon is plentiful and the crowd is chowing down on New South cuisine from owners Cindy and Alan LeBlanc. Think softshell crab, lamb burgers and rock-shrimp beignets. Then, sweeten up with a bourbon pecan bar with milk chocolate and mocha chantilly. Now that’s some mighty oak.
88 | Stillhouse Craft Burgers & Moonshine
56 E. Andrews Drive NW | Buckhead | 678.244.3601 | $8-$12 | @stillhouseatl | P
Since joining the ranks of the Andrews Entertainment District less than a year ago, Stillhouse has managed to make itself stand out. Could it be the burgers (including Apalachicola fried oysters and freshground duck with housemade confit iterations), piled high with locally sourced ingredients like green-tomato relish and pickled beets, topped with an upside-down bun? Probably. Or could it be the a bar stocked with 50-plus types of moonshine? Definitely. Add that to cozycushioned booths with whiskey-barrel tables—and we’ll see you at Stillhouse.
89 | Czar Ice Bar
56 E. Andrews Drive NW | Buckhead | 678.244.3601 | $6-$18 | @czar_icebar | R P F
A bar stocked with hundreds of vodkas: Check. A master chef (in this case, Master Sushi Chef Saito Saito): Check. A staff of eye-catching hotties and a prime spot in the heart of Buckhead: Checkmate. This Russian ice bar has it all. Have a seat at the bar or on one of the plush chairs or sofas, and choose from the laundry list of cocktail ops to go along with the expertly crafted sushi (trust us—you won’t even need soy sauce). And if you’re looking to heat things up, Tuesday is ladies night, complete with a DJ, sushi and drink specials.
90 | Buttermilk Kitchen
4225 Roswell Road NE | Buckhead | 678.732.3274 | $8-$13 | @buttermilkkitch | B P
There’s breakfast all day, then there’s breakfast all day done right—Buttermilk Kitchen falls in the latter category. Suzanne Vizethann (of ADAC’s The Hungry Peach and Chopped fame) upped the ante on ATL’s brunch scene when she opened this quaint spot on Roswell Road. The Mexican scramble and fried-egg BLT are not to be missed, while the weekday lunch menu boasts sandwiches, salads and a Southern-style lineup, such as the pimento-cheese starter and signature Brunswick stew. Waiting for a table? The front porch features rocking chairs perfect for that surefire food coma.
91 | Coast Seafood & Raw Bar
111 W. Paces Ferry Road | Buckhead | 404.869.0777 | $13-$28 | @coastatl1 | R P
This seafood fave is from the same Here to Serve Restaurants team behind Noche, Shucks Oyster Bar, Aja Restaurant & Bar and more. The seashanty ambience, while casual, still pulls in the well-heeled West Paces crowd who flock here for its coastal chill vibe. Chef Quentin Donnaud (who appeared on Chopped) can finesse lemon sole and blackened salmon just as well as he can handle addictive sweet-corn and jalapeno hush puppies. Two patios (a packed one in the front and a more private one in the back) keep the scene Jimmy Buffet song-ready all year long—and beachy drinks are worth dropping an anchor for awhile.
92 | Don Antonio by Starita
102 W. Paces Ferry Road NW | Buckhead | 404.844.2879 | $7-$25 | @donantoniopizza | R P
With the myriad of pizzerias cropping up around Atlanta, the ones with staying power know it’s about standing out. Such is the case with this authentic establishment housed in the former STG Trattoria space. Opened by Italian duo Roberto Caporuscio of NYC’s Kesté Pizza & Vino and Antonio Starita of Naples haunt Pizzeria Starita a Materdei, their first Southern venture dishes out paninis, antipasti and 60 traditional and innovative wood-fired Neapolitan pies. Plus, the cocktail menu shines with signature Italian cocktails made with 100-percent fresh fruit over at the bar.
93 | The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill
3279 Roswell Road | Buckhead | 404.474.9508 | $7-$24 | @thebigketch | R P
With a sand-in-your-toes philosophy, decor inspired by some of our favorite resort towns (think Rosemary Beach, The Hamptons and Nantucket) and a menu full of fresh seafood, The Big Ketch feels like destination-dining in the heart of Buckhead. Start with the hushpuppies or basil Blue Moon mussels. Then, move on to one of the fresh fish entrees or the Charleston-style lump crab cakes (grilled or blackened). And remember to do as the locals do: Hit the deck for boiled peanuts, cocktails and live music seven nights a week. Ahh, the good life.
94 | Aspen’s Signature Steaks
Multiple locations | $14-$44 | B R
Both Marietta outposts of this crowd-pleasing steakhouse have a lodge-y atmosphere that recalls of—where else?—Aspen. Have an après ski moment any time of year OTP when you stop in to spoon rich Maine lobster bisque with a crabmeat fritter or devour a lump blue crabcake with cracked mustard sauce. All of that awesomeness aside, the prime meat selection is what truly shines here. The 18-ounce bone-in cowboy steak, New York strip and saltcrusted prime-rib are must-trys. Plus, gluten-free options are plentiful—score!
95 | Highland Bakery
Multiple locations | $5-$13 | @highlandbakery1 | B P F
Here in Atlanta, you can’t talk about brunch without mentioning Highland Bakery. That’s because their menu has it all: super-thick French toast, shrimp and grits... you name it. The concept of the now five locations was created by owner Stacey Eames out of a love of coffee, quality-made pastries and fresh breads, and has grown into a beloved eatery with a fully functioning bake shop serving sweets, decorative cakes and more. Bonus: There are plenty of ops for the health conscious: think housemade granola, smoked salmon and light breakfast ‘wiches. Now that’s a weekend win.
96 | Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
1238 Dekalb Ave. NE | Candler Park | 404. 577.4030 | $8-$26 | @foxbrosbarbq | P
Long live the king—the barbecue king, that is. In this case, there are two of them: Texas-bred brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox, who’ve had the market cornered on ATL’s barbecue scene since opening doors in 2007. After a severe storm destroyed the patio, locals came together to help the Candler Park joint get back on its feet. The revamped outdoor seating is now primed and ready for settling in to enjoy signature dishes like chicken-fried ribs, smoked wings, brisket sandwiches and that ever-addictive Frito pie—don’t say we didn’t warn you.
97 | Jalisco Mexican Restaurant
2337 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.233.9244 | $4-$13
Good luck leaving with anything less than a smile on your face, and a satiated appetite, after a visit to Mexi-institution Jalisco. The yellow-drenched space features accents of red and green, with Mexican-inspired pieces dotting the bold walls. Get comfy and prep for classic fare you’d expect from an authentic hole-in-the-wall spot—done right, that is. Guacamole dip will be gone in a jiff, while the Mexican stew with chopped steak, peppers, onions and tomatoes simmered all together will leave a lasting palate impression. Order a signature sangria to wash it all down, and you’re good to go.
98 | Twist
3500 Peachtree Road NE | Buckhead | 404.869.1191 | $6-$38 | @twist_atl | R P
This longtime Phipps Plaza staple has something for everyone. A wide range of shareable tapas (including faves like fried artichokes with parsley aioli and capers, and harissa-spiked lamb burgers); a raw bar with some of the freshest oysters and shrimp this side of the coast; prime cuts of meat that give any steakhouse a run for its money; and one of the largest sushi menus we’ve ever seen. (Be sure to try the Tomahawk and Sinatra rolls!) Throw in a toastworthy collection of signature cocktails, and it’s easy to see why Twist’s expansive patio is packed from lunch until closing time.
99 | Nuevo Laredo Cantina
1495 Chattahoochee Ave. NW | Westside | 404.352.9009 | $8-$20 | R
When Chance Evans, formerly of The Coca-Cola Company, opened this authentic eatery on the Westside 22 years ago, it wasn’t about franchising or expanding. Rather, it was about making the cantina a prime spot for locals and visitors to enjoy homecooked Mexican dishes. And that he’s accomplished—the menu is packed with faves like chicken mole, lobster tacos and first-class refreshing margs and cervezas. Artifacts and handpicked items brought back from Evans’ many trips to Mexico give the interior an authentic feel, making for an all-around delicioso dining experience.
100 | Three Sheets
6017 Sandy Springs Circle NE | Sandy Springs | 404.303.8423 | $8-$21 | @threesheetsatl | R P
Things are heating up in Sandy Springs, and you can blame Three Sheets. This swank spot packs in a seriously sexy clientele on the reg, thanks to their grilled-cheese dinners, “flavor tripping” parties starring a miracle fruit that alters the taste of different foods, happy hour five days a week... the list goes on, y’all. Plus, this place loves to party—whether it be a Halloween soiree or a fire-and-ice ball. Head upstairs to the breezy patio for a bite (like fire-roasted tomato flatbread) and one of their signature cocktails (try a Spice of Life with honey vanilla vodka and you’ll be three sheets in no time!).