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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 

56. THE TAVERN AT PHIPPS 
3500 Peachtree Road • Buckhead
404.814.9640 • @tavernatphipps • $11-$30 • R

As soon as you walk into this Phipps Plaza standby, you’ll be bombarded with heavenly smells radiating from the kitchen. With hearty and rich sandwiches ranging from the Carnegie Deli pastrami Reuben to the Tavern burger to the spicy shrimp stuffed baguette, you’d be smart to stick to that side of the menu. Additionally, happy hour is always a full-blown party at this happening spot, thanks to live music and talented barkeeps.

57. MURPHY'S 
997 Virginia Ave. NE • Virginia-Highland
404.872.0904 • @murphysatlanta • $14-$28 • B R P

An anchor in the charming Va-Hi neighborhood, this casual-chic eatery serves up Southern hospitality and droolworthy eats. Stop in for Murphy’s to-die-for weekend brunch and order a giant cinnamon roll or one of the delectable frittatas. It doesn’t stop there—the resto’s lunch and dinner menus and quaint wine shop are just another reason why Murphy’s will forever be one of our faves.

58. FOX BROS. BAR-B-Q 
1238 DeKalb Ave. NE • Candler Park
404.577.4030 • @foxbrosbarbq • $8-$30 • P

Take a walk on the Southern side, all the way down to Candler Park, for Guy Fieri-approved barbecue that’s fall-off-the-bone, finger-lickin’ good. Tip: Go for The Everything Plate for literally a taste of everything, from pulled pork and beef brisket to chicken wings and thick-cut ribs. Don’t forget to douse it all in Fox’s homemade sauce!

59. CAKES & ALE 
155 Sycamore St. • Decatur
404.377.7994 • @cakesandalerestaurant • $25-$36 • R

This bistro-cafe gem located off the square in Decatur delights with fresh baked goods, high-quality cuisine and an elegant dining room. Have the oysters, served with a tangy Champagne vinaigrette, and a carefully crafted cocktail, perfect for ’gramming on one of the marbled tables. Before you leave, stop by the cafe next door for a slice of cake imported from sister establishment Proof Bakeshop and one of the best cappuccinos in the city brewed with Counter Culture coffee.

60. CHAMA GAUCHA BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE 
3365 Piedmont Road NE, Ste. 1350 • Buckhead
404.842.0011 • @chamagaucha • $30-$50 • R P

Things Brazil gave us: samba music, Gisele Bündchen and the incredibly tender charcoal-grilled meats served at Chama Gaucha. Steaks including picanha (the house specialty), rib-eye and filet mignon are seasoned to perfection and cut tableside at this spacious Buckhead resto (be sure to check out the patio on warmer days), and the over-the-top salad bar is brimming with fresh toppings that are handpicked daily.

61. DOLCE ITALIAN 
3035 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. 201 • Buckhead
678.686.2267 • @dolce_italian • $13-$39 • B R P

Hats off to LDV Hospitality for gracing the Buckhead dining scene with this iconic Italian resto, whose flavorful crowd-pleasers like the Maine lobster ravioli have caught the attention of A-listers including Carrie Underwood. With leather-clad environs that mirror Rome circa 1960, the celeb-approved hot spot makes for an uber-romantic setup. (Hint, hint, fellas!)

62. DAVIO'S NORTHERN ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE 
3500 Peachtree Road • Buckhead
404.844.4810 • @daviosrestaurant • $9-$51 • B R P F

If you’re feelin’ Iggy-level fancy, this Phipps Plaza pick offers a mean melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon that looks even more elegant next to a glass of merlot. Speaking of wine o’clock, don’t miss out on happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7pm for post-work cocktails and half-priced hors d’oeuvres.

63. THE BIG KETCH SALTWATER GRILL 
Multiple locations • Buckhead, Roswell
@thebigketch_buckhead • $5-$27 • R P

Dining at The Big Ketch is like taking a trip to the beach, complete with tasty seafood, fruity boat drinks, live music on the breezy patio and feel-good vibes all around. Start things off with hush puppies served with Key lime honey mustard or crab and shrimp dip; then choose from a variety of fresh fish entrees prepared with house-style, blackened or jerk-style seasonings. Looking for something a tad lighter? The signature low-cal quinoa bowls give you flavor without the guilt.

64. RATHBUN'S 
112 Krog St. NE • Inman Park
404.524.8280 • @rathbunsrestaurants • $15-50 • R P

Rathbun’s is an Inman Park staple, where new-American entrees like roasted maple leaf duck breast, pinot noir-braised short rib and sea scallop Benedict entice. The small plates are just as good; bring your crew to indulge in a sampling of flavor-packed dishes like charred baby octopus, lobster tacos and Yaya’s eggplant fries. If you’re looking to upgrade your March Madness-viewing spot from the neighborhood dive, a TV, classic cocktails and full menu are available at Rathbun’s Bar.

65. ESTABLISHMENT 
1197 Peachtree St. NE, Ste. 517 • Midtown
404.347.5291 • @establishmentatl • $15-$40 • B R P

After its 2016 move from Buckhead to Midtown, Establishment made waves as one of the few ATL restaurants to have frozé, made with pinot noir rosé, strawberries and lemon, on tap. The cocktails (and cozy patio) are the main attraction, with the focus intently on fresh ingredients and high-quality spirits. Even the ice—handcarved and delivered daily—is a step above.

66. PARK TAVERN 
500 10th St. NE • Midtown
404.249.0001 • @parktavern • $7-$15 • R P F

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!

67. THE FEDERAL 
1050 Crescent Ave. • Midtown
404.343.3857 • @thefederalatl • $28-$38 • B R

At this charming bistro (whose name pays homage to neighboring the Federal Reserve Bank), chefs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere nail classic French fare like steak frites with maitre d’ butter, but mix in surprising dishes such as West Texas venison with cheese pierogi and smoked trout with Anson Mills grits. And it totally works, as the eatery’s recent James Beard Award nom for Best New Restaurant proves. Before leaving, order the fun El Morro cocktail rimmed in sprinkles for a colorful addition to your Instagram Story.

68. BIG SKY BUCKHEAD 
3201 Cains Hill Place NW • Buckhead
404.228.8856 • @bigskybuckhead • $7-$16 • B P F

Atlanta’s socialites head to Big Sky when they’re looking for a wild night with friends. But it doesn’t stop at the boozy delights. Chef Hector Santiago knows how to serve up tasty bar eats that wildly surpass your typical bar food expectations. Toast to the good life on the second-floor patio as you take in the stunning view of the Buckhead skyline.

69. VICTORY SANDWHICH BAR 
Multiple locations • Decatur, Inman Park
@victorysandwichbar • $4-$9 • P F

As its name so accurately implies, Victory is the place to hit for a one-of-a-kind sandwich in a laid-back environment. Try the Tea Bird, a creative combo of chicken, ghost pepper jack cheese, tomato, lettuce and sweet tea mayo piled onto warm toasted bread; then wash it down with a must-sip Jack and Coke slushie on the picnic table-dotted patio.

70. SMOKEBELLY BBQ & THE BLIND PIG PARLOUR BAR 
128 E. Andrews Drive NW • Buckhead • 404.848.9100
@smokebellybbq • $5-$28 • R P

Barbecue lovers know that Smokebelly means business when it comes to smokin’ Southern dishes. Start with the brisket disco Q fries before moving on to classics like the Southern fried chicken sandwich, available in “Nashville hot” or “damn hot.” Wash it all down with a simple glass of sweet tea or a swig of the Plaid Shirt & Ankle Socks (a mix of Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red vodka and SweetWater 420). Then slip into The Blind Pig Parlour Bar, the intimate speak-easy behind the resto, for a Prohibition era-inspired cocktail.

71. LA TAVOLA TRATTORIA 
992 Virginia Ave. NE • Virginia-Highland
404.873.5430 • @fifthgroup • $13-$36 • B R P

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 vibrant Virginia-Highland ‘hood, this Italian powerhouse wows with its fresh Bolognese, to-die-for slow-roasted whole chicken and tasty tiramisu. Take your date night to the next level at this cozy, romantic charmer. Belissima!

72. MILLER UNION 
999 Brady Ave. NW • Westside
678.733.8550 • @millerunionatl • $23-$39 • R P

Simple goes a long way at this Westside delight. James Beard Award nominee Steven Satterfield’s Southern fare with a modern twist is served up for your tasting pleasure—from Georgia-grown veggies to cuts-like-buttah meats, it’s hard to get enough of this culinary masterpiece. The farmstead-inspired menu is updated on the reg, so every visit to the restaurant is a unique and always delicious experience.

73. THE IBERIAN PIG 
121 Sycamore St. • Decatur
404.371.8800 • @iberianpig • $10-$ 49 • R P F

Decatur’s most sought-out tapas spot? The Iberian Pig, hands down! Order from the unique menu featuring classic spins on the likes of mac ‘n’ cheese and pan-seared scallops, or walk on the wild side with more unexpected items such as B.W.D. (bacon wrapped dates, of course). With a diverse beverage program—say hello to vinos from Spain, Chile and Argentina—and an always social and eclectic ambiance, this resto’s a ringer for a festive night out.

74. BRANCH & BARREL 
Avalon, 4100 First St. • Alpharetta
678.436.5655 • @avaloninsider • $15-$23 • R P F

Branch & Barrel has become a favorite dining experience for Avalon shoppers after a long day of retail therapy—it’s hard to go wrong with an entree selection, since practically every dish is made from scratch (down to the ketchup). If you’re really hungry, be sure to order the Branch & Barrel loaded potato chips with pulled barbecued beef, pepper jack queso, lettuce and tomato—yum!

75. ORMSBY'S 
1170 Howell Mill Road • Westside
404.968.2033 • @ormsbys • $8-$25 • B

Known for its bustling scene and classic bar activities like darts, pool, shuffleboard and that strangely addictive ring-on-a-string game, Ormsby’s guarantees a good time whether you’re pre-gaming on a Friday night or enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Westside gathering spot offers a wide selection of craft beers alongside elevated pub fare like hand-dipped corn dog pups and pimento cheese and corn fritters—consider them your reward after winning a heated round of bocce.

76. CANOE 
4199 Paces Ferry Road SE • Vinings
770.432.2663 • @canoe_atlanta • $17-$37 • B R P

Perched on the banks of the Chattahoochee, Canoe is a picturesque spot for a celebratory, romantic evening. Swing by early for a pre-dinner glass of vino at the riverside bar before dining and imbibing to your heart’s content on flavorful meat and seafood dishes—think slow-roasted rabbit, red snapper and Hickory-grilled New York strip—paired with one of the restaurant’s many fine wines. It’s a classic ATL experience that only gets better with each visit.

77. LEON'S FULL SERVICE 
131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave. • Decatur
404.687.0500 • @leonsfullservice • $13-$45 • B P

The full service at this Decatur hot spot refers to friendly wait staff, lush drinks, delicious food and lively atmosphere. It’s perfect for a quick happy hour or a long Sunday Funday brunch. While the menu is a tour de force of land, sea and garden, the biggest must is the In the Bucket handcut pomme frites served with a variety of sauces like garlic aioli, house ketchup and goat cheese fondue (yes, really!).

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