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100 Hottest Restaurants 2017

In a major foodie city like Atlanta, it takes more than a perfect bite or a pretty plate to impress—although those factors are certainly important. A-Town diners also want the skinny on the see-and-be-seen spots, the happy-hour must-hits, the A-list clientele and the Instagram-worthy backdrops (we’re looking at you, Little Trouble!). That’s why we’ve compiled this 2017 edition of JEZEBEL’s 100 Hottest Restaurants, which takes into account not only the dishes we can’t stop dreaming about, but also the concepts that are drawing posh patrons week after week. Combining your votes with our editorial team’s expertise, we’ve created a list that reflects what’s happening now in Atlanta’s savvy eat and drink scene. Read on, and start making reservations! 

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

KIMBALL HOUSE

KIMBALL HOUSE (#9)

Oysters are a Kimball House specialty, served over ice on elegant pewter trays 

KIMBALL HOUSE

STAPLEHOUSE (#1) 

Walk-ins are always welcome at the eight-seat bar featuring honorary chairs 

photo by andrew thomas lee

KIMBALL HOUSE

AMERICAN CUT & THE REGENT COCKTAIL CLUB (#2) 

The chili lobster has a Sriracha kick 

photo by melissa hom

KIMBALL HOUSE

GUNSHOW (#3) 

A cart bearing an array of a la carte dishes is wheeled around the restaurant for guests to select whatever tickles their fancy.

photo by austin holt

KIMBALL HOUSE

UMI & HIMITSU (#4) 

Local mixologist T. Fable Jeon shakes up exquisitely crafted sips in swanky lounge Himitsu.

photo by heidi geldhauser 

KIMBALL HOUSE

SOUTH CITY KITCHEN (#5) 

The cured meat board, meant to be enjoyed family-style.

photo by heidi geldhauser 

KIMBALL HOUSE

CHOPS LOBSTER BAR (#6) 

Lobster Bar’s vaulted, tiled ceilings are a favorite of VIP patrons

photo by sara hanna 

KIMBALL HOUSE

8ARM (#7) 

8Arm’s minimalist dining room

photo by heather fulbright 

KIMBALL HOUSE

GYPSY KITCHEN (#8) 

Seafood paella with clams, mussels, shrimp, peas and red pepper-chorizo salazon

photo by heidi geldhauser 

KIMBALL HOUSE

O-KU (#10) 

Lobster temaki handrolls made with asparagus, red beets and black volcano salt 

photo by heidi geldhauser

KIMBALL HOUSE

AMER (#94) 

AMER’s Smoke & Chill cocktail

photo by dan durnell 

11. LE FAT 
935 Marietta St. NW • Westside
404.439.9850 • @lefatatl • $11-$22 • R P

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 cocktails like the L’oiseau Bleu, with blueberry and bay leaf shrub, sparkling rosé, mint and lemon oil.

12. BARCELONA WINE BAR 
Multiple locations • Inman Park, Westside
@barcelonawinebar • $5-$27 • B R P F

With two locations—Inman Park and the new Westside Ironworks—drawing crowds both inside and out on the festive patios, Barcelona’s a go-to for celebrating a birthday with the whole crew or spending an intimate night with a hot date. Pair your favorite tapas like patatas bravas, hanger steak or albondigas (spiced meatballs) with a glass—or pitcher—of red or white sangria for an extra authentic Spanish meal. The plates may be small, but they pack some seriously huge flavor.

13. BEETLECAT 
299 N. Highland Ave. NE • Inman Park
678.732.0360 • @beetlecatatl • $15-$28 • B R P

The eccentric little sister to The Optimist, BeetleCat is an “oysterette” bringing the coastal life to the big city. Located near the BeltLine, it’s the perfect place to watch seasons unfold over a Painkiller cocktail and a lobster roll in the upstairs dining room or below deck at the downstairs bar. With a kitschy vibe and a perfected oyster platter, it’s the ideal spot to drop anchor.

14. ATLAS & THE TAVERN AT ATLAS 
88 W. Paces Ferry Road NW • Buckhead
404.600.6471 • @atlasbuckhead • Atlas, $28-$70; Tavern, $6-$19 • R

ATLiens are definitely clued in on The St. Regis’ suave dining spot, Atlas, but now the artwork-clad restaurant is welcoming the city’s more casual set into its swanky new after-four lounge—The Tavern. Grab your #girlsquad or man clan and pull up an oversize, ubercomfy chair while you nosh on light bites like the Atlas sliders with ground wagyu and smoked gouda-pimento cheese, or throw back a few Midnight Aviator martinis at the bar over the latest office gossip.  

15. HAMPTON + HUDSON 
299 N. Highland Ave. NE • Inman Park
404.948.2123 • @hamptonhudson • $10-$25 • B P F

Located in the Inman Quarter complex, this New York-inspired resto from husband-and-wife restaurateurs Billy and Jenn Streck is bustling from the moment it opens for weekend brunch until last man standing at closing time. We recommend any of the clever concoctions on draft like the Hemmingway Old Fashioned, paired with the Hampton hot chicken biscuit sliders or steak tartare tacos, creatively housed in a potato-chip shell.

16. BISTRO NIKO 
3344 Peachtree Road • Buckhead
404.261.6456 • @bistroniko • $21-$39 • B R P

Curb your craving for authentic Parisian comfort cuisine at this Buckhead bistro, where oysters on the patio pair perfectly with a little ATL sunshine and a whole lot of Muscadet. If brunch is more your scene, opt for the restaurant’s Sunday eats like the omelet au fines herbs or brioche French toast with a side of live jazz. Oui, s’il vous plaît!

17. LITTLE TROUBLE 
1170 Howell Mill Road • Westside
404.500.4737 • @littletroubleatl • $5-$16

Delicious food and sips aside, this Blade Runner-inspired spot’s Instagram-worthy neon-red-lit entrance is unlike any other. Once you’ve made it past the door, opt for the swarming bar scene, or take a seat and sit a spell in the quieter restaurant half of the space for a piping-hot bowl of ramen. And, the Six Wings with Sriracha ginger are as hot and spicy as the scene.

18. BREAD & BUTTERFLY 
290 Elizabeth St., Ste. F • Inman Park
678.515.4536 • @bread_and_butterfly • $9-$24 • B R P F

A pastry is only as good as the French cafe in which you eat it, so it’s safe to say the croissants, muffins and freshly baked breads at Bread & Butterfly are superb. If the weather’s nice, we recommend snagging a patio seat with a latte in hand for some prime-time people-watching. Whether you’re in for a full spread of fresh fare or a light bite paired with your favorite Champagne cocktail, you’ll want to take a seat and stay a while at this adorable place.

19. LE BILBOQUET 
3035 Peachtree Road NE • Buckhead
404.869.9944 • @lebilboquetatlanta • $26-$41 • B R P F

Dining is elevated to a new level at Le Bilboquet, where the posh pewter bar and sidewalk seating designed a la French cafe are some of the neighborhood’s hottest places to see and be seen. Saturday brunch is always a party here—whether you’re in the mood for fluffy pancakes or a rich omelet, be sure to wash it down with a glass of bubbly or rosé on tap and your pup sitting next to you.

20. GRAIN 
856 N. Peachtree St. NE • Midtown
404.881.5377 • @grainbaratl • $7-$25 • P

Making a lot from a little, Midtown fave Grain—from alums of Cypress Street Pint & Plate and Seven Lamps—serves up a dynamic menu of eclectic bar bites highlighting the ambiance of its cocktail bar. Whether patrons visit pre-dinner (we see you, $1 oysters during happy hour!) or for a late-night snack, Grain offers an intimate setting for the cocktail connoisseur in all of us. Weather permitting, step outside for the ultimate patio-sippin’ experience.

21. YEBO BEACH HAUS & YEBO SKI HAUS 
111 W. Paces Ferry Road NW • Buckhead
404.869.1992 • @yeboskihaus • $7-$33 • R P

Yebo has taken “seasonally rotating” to a whole new level, with two delicious concepts in one very chic space. Through April 1, 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.

22. VENKAMAN'S 
740 Ralph McGill Blvd. • Old Fourth Ward
470.225.6162 • @venkmansatl • $13-$24 • B R P F

Venkman’s has what everyone wants: dinner and a show. Serving up a tasty menu from executive chef Nick Melvin, the restaurant also acts as a live music venue covering all genres of music, especially ‘70s funk tunes from Peter Olson and Nicholas Niespodziani, owners and front men of Yacht Rock Revue. Rocking food, rocking music, rocking atmosphere—you’ll find it all here.

23. THE SOURTHERN GENTLEMAN 
3035 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. A208 • Buckhead
404.939.9845 • @thesoutherngentlemanatl • $14-$54 • B R P

This go-to eat and drink spot for ATL ladies and gents is nestled right in the heart of Buckhead. From its renowned drink menu (calling all whiskey and bourbon lovers!) to its Southern comfort classics, this resto located atop The Shops Buckhead Atlanta is a sure crowd-pleaser. Not to mention, there’s live music on the weekends to help ease your workweek stress.

24. STK
1075 Peachtree St. NE • Midtown
404.793.0144 • @eatstk • $31-$50 • R

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. Nosh on executive chef Andrea Montobbio’s crispy rock shrimp before sending your taste buds to hog heaven with one bite into a sizzling 16-ounce sirloin.

25. ANTICO PIZZA NAPOLETANA 
1093 Hemphill Ave. • Westside
404.724.2333 • @gioantico • $18-$27

Arguably the best pizza in A-Town, Antico Pizza serves up fresh ingredients atop authentic Italian-style pies until, well, they run out of dough. All pizzas come well-done and slightly charred to perfection, ensuring beyond-delicious bites for you and your date. Pair your meal with a bottle of one of the many wines, or take advantage of the B.Y.O.B. option. This ATL staple definitely has a pizza our heart!

26. THE OPTIMIST 
914 Howell Mill Road • Westside
404.477.6260 • @theoptimistatl • $22-$45 • R

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.

27. LADYBIRD GROVE & MESS HALL 
684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE • Old Fourth Ward
404.458.6838 • @ladybirdatlanta • $14-$55 • B P F

When you want to go camping without the effort (a la Troop Beverly Hills), Ladybird, located on the BeltLine, has you covered for brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour (try the seasonally rotating Patio Punch). Mess hall tables, games, family-style entrees, alfresco fire pits and a triple chocolate s’mores dessert will have you nostalgic for summer camp.

28. BOCADO 
887 Howell Mill Road • Westside
404.815.1399 • @bocadoatl • $13-$24 • R P

This popular West Midtown spot situated away from the hustle and bustle of town—in a former woodworking shop, actually—is top-tier when it comes to exquisite cuisine and unique libations. We love the striking flavor of the brandy-based Sudden Fall paired with the legendary Bocado burger stack and a side of crispy garlic herb or traditional fries (your pick!).

29. TICONDEROGA CLUB 
99 Krog St. NE • Inman Park
404.458.4534 • @ticonderogaclub • $16-$72 • B P

With cocktail buffs Greg Best and Paul Calvert manning the intimate eight-stool bar at this colonial era-inspired watering hole, the new go-to at Krog Street Market for nightcaps, mouthwatering seafood and the Chuck Wagon—a whopping 48-ounce hunk of meat in maitre d’ butter hailed as “enough to feed an army”—earned its first appearance on JEZ’s “100 Hottest” fair and square. Not to mention, the landing upstairs is the prime perch for people-watching.

30. COLLETTA 
900 Third St. • Alpharetta
678.722.8335 • @collettaatl • $14-$42 • R P

With a large open kitchen and crisp white tiles, Colletta, meaning “collection” in Italian, is the perfect place to gather with your own collection of friends and family. Along with enjoying a modern twist on traditional Northern Italian food, guests can also stop by the cocktail bar window and enjoy a drink while strolling the Avalon property.

31. ECCO 
Multiple locations • Midtown, Airport
@fifthgroup • $15-$32 • R P

Skip the jet lag, long flight and crowded streets by heading to Ecco for some dang good food that transports you straight to Italy. Opt for any of the wood-fired pizzas at this Midtown resto (which also has a location in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) for a true delicacy. We recommend the lamb merguez sausage for an extra kick of flavor on that crunchy, cracker-like crust. And be on the lookout, Buckhead: An Ecco outpost is coming your way later this year.

32. CAPE DUTCH 
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road NE • Buckhead
404.343.0313 • @capedutchatl • $16-$92 • R P

Justin Anthony’s South African wine country-inspired resto is just a little over a year old, yet still drawing a crowd every night for its stunning interiors (designed by Anthony’s superstylish wife, Kelly Wolf-Anthony) and flavorful menu items by executive chef Philippe Haddad, including the braised rabbit leg, elk chop and braai-grilled branzino (served with a side of crazy-good jalapeno sauce). Don’t forget to Insta a pic in front of the “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” canvas before leaving!

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