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100 Best Restaurants 2014

Our buzzing list of the top eateries in A-Town, plus Best of the City awards. Take a bite!

Seared scallop with saffron butter, one of the many dishes from Umi's celeb-beloved menu

These recently opened restos are making a sizzling summer impression.

True Food Kitchen
3393 Peachtree Road NE | 404.481.2980 | @truefoodkitchen

Ditch the food court and grab a healthy plate at Lenox Square’s new True Food Kitchen, a no-guilt post-shopping spot with a menu based on the principals of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. The globally inspired fare includes a wide selection of vegan, vegetarian, organic and gluten-free ops for brunch, lunch or dinner. Highlights include the Inside Out quinoa burger, salmon dip, summer market salad and more. Wash it all down with a Kale-Aid, or cocktail it up with an acai blueberry mojito. Yum!

Varuni Napoli
1540 Monroe Drive NE | 404.709.2690 | @varuninapoliatl

In a year flush with new Neapolitan pizza joints, Varuni Napoli was a slice above, thanks to co-owners Luca Varuni and Giancarlo Pirrone’s killer combo of authentic, fresh Italian food (cooked up in genuine Neapolitan ovens) and sleek-meets-communal decor. Pro tip: Order the famed Reginella—a fried calzone stuffed with fior di latte mozzarella, Italian ricotta, pomodoro corbarino, salami, cicoli, basil, extra virgin olive oil and black pepper—that’s light as air and one of the tastiest bites we’ve ever tried.

Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar
3393 Peachtree Road NE | 404.963.9611 | @zinburger

Who knew mall dining could be so delicious? Lenox Square’s new Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar is serving up mouthwatering burgers (both Angus and Kobe style), sinfully yummy shakes (hello, salted caramel) and a wine list that features 18 varietals by the glass. Not into beef? Order one of the resto’s veggie or vegan options. Comfortable and stylish, the dining room feels miles away from the shopping crowds, plus an enormous bar and patio are the perfect escape after hours on your feet. Burgers, wine... what more could you want?

The Bishop
124 N. Avondale Road | 404.692.5454

Though it just opened its doors in May, The Bishop is already making strategic menu moves, gaining the advantage with dishes such as North Carolina clams with Andouille sausage drenched in SweetWater beer with griddled bread. Knighted as one to watch, the new Avondale Estates neighborhood bistro is the first venture of owner and longtime local Luellen Marshall. Marshall is keeping things ecofriendly, all-natural and locally sourced—neighboring butcher Pine Street Market lends their thickcut applewood-smoked bacon to the fried green tomato BLT, while Avondale’s Wild Heaven brewery leads the draft list.

Ration & Dram
130 Arizona Ave. NE | 678.974.8380 | @rationanddram

Andy Minchow raised the garage door on this Kirkwood outpost this spring. Turns out this godfather of ATL’s craft-cocktail revolution also has a real gift as a restaurateur. The kitchen keeps it clever with bacon-bread French toast and choose-your-own-adventure grits at brunch, while a cast-iron pie with pastured chicken and mirepoix at dinnertime is delectable. Bonus: All the meats and produce are locally grown and free of pesticides and hormones. Nice. Pull up a seat at one of three bars for an ideal summer’s eve with one of Minchow’s brilliant cocktail creations in hand.

Smokebelly BBQ
128 E. Andrews Drive | 404.848.9100 | @smokebellybbq

Put the brains behind The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails and The Fur Bus (no, really) together, and you get a killer new barbecue spot called Smokebelly. Helmed by chef Darrell Rice (formerly of Canoe and Aria, among others) the kitchen offers up signature snacks in a jar, apps such as fried pickled okra, a hefty variety of barbecue plates, and even some skinny fixin’ ops. Grab a brew or specialty ’tail and kick back on their A+ patio featuring supersoft faux grass

Foundation Social Eatery
1570 Holcomb Bridge Road | 770.641.8877

Venture beyond the Perimeter to try one of Roswell’s newest culinary outposts, where chef Mel Toledo—formerly of intown fave Bacchanalia—and his wife are churning out high-end eats at a wallet-friendly price. Dishes like scotched black olives with house-made sausage, potato gnocchi with thick-cut bacon, and sauteed scallops with a sweet and savory carrot puree will no doubt have even the most hardcore intown-dining devotees making the 11-mile journey again and again.

265 Peachtree St. NE | 404.460.6425 | @polarisatlanta

Last month, ATL’s historical outpost Polaris reopened with the flair and celebration that it first garnered in 1967. The Johnson Studio (also responsible for KR SteakBar and Rathbun’s) gutted the space and reimagined it as Don Draper’s after-hours hangout. Expect Executive Chef Martin Pfefferkorn’s menu to change every couple of weeks, but for now, small plates such as white asparagus soup and steak Oscar with bernaise and Dungeness crab are on the lineup, with bacon popcorn arriving as its signature snack. One thing that will always be signature? The classic peach daiquiri—a nod to this iconic restaurant’s storied past.