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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 

78. LIPS ATLANTA 
3011 Buford Highway NE • Buckhead
404.315.7711 • @lipsatl • $16-$28 • B R

Whether you’re heading to LIPS Atlanta for one of its famous Saturday night shows—drag shows, that is—or one-of-a-kind Sunday Gospel brunches featuring the Sisters of the Sequins (entrees include your choice of a bloody mary or mimosa), you will definitely want to stay a while. If you can believe it, this place is even livelier during the week—especially on Wednesdays, during the Twisted Broadway performances from LIPS’ most talented ladies!

79. SOUTHBOUND 
5394 Peachtree Road • Chamblee
678.580.5579 • @southboundatlanta • $8-$28 • B R P

Farm-fresh, local ingredients are at the heart of this Chamblee eatery in an old mercantile factory, as displayed in Southern fare like Cajun boiled peanuts, fried green tomatoes and smoked short rib. Don’t forget to end your meal with some whipped cream-topped banana pudding for a true down-home delight; then explore the wine list at the vintage wooden bar upstairs. On Wednesdays, stop in for Fried Chicken Night for a bite of the bird alongside cornbread, mashed potatoes and spicy collards.

80. BAR MARGOT 
75 14th St. • Midtown
404.881.5913 • @barmargotatl • $11-$58 • R

In collaboration with chef Ford Fry, Bar Margot—tucked into the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta—proves that a thoughtfully curated drink menu, and unique yet always comforting cuisine, goes a long way. For a simple drink packed with refreshing flavor, try the Lady Victoria (Hanger One vodka, lemon, Cocchi Americano and rosemary) served in a retro glass, along with the bright and lemony crab toast topped with avocado coulis, rooftop garden herbs and radish.

81. THE IVY BUCKHEAD 
3717 Roswell Road • Buckhead
404.941.3081 • @theivybuckhead • $8-$15 • B P

What was once a mansion is now home to one of the hottest nightlife spots in the heart of Buckhead. Stop by for brunch to watch your favorite teams play on one of the 28 flat screens, or enjoy a GNO while sipping cold drinks and nibbling on a plate of the Ivy blue chips topped with blue cheese, bacon and blue cheese dressing while taking in the scene on the spacious, buzzing patio.

82. 5CHURCH 
1197 Peachtree St. NE, Ste. 528 • Midtown
404.400.3669 • @5churchatlanta • $15-$85 • B R P

Born in Charlotte, N.C., this Midtown newcomer brings an exciting new twist to your traditional steak-and-potatoes dinner. Try executive chef (and contestant on the current season of Top Chef) Jamie Lynch’s famous 60-second prime NY strip for a cut that will truly blow your mind. Make sure to ask for a leftovers box—you’ll need it.

83. BACCHANALIA 
1198 Howell Mill Road • Westside
404.365.0410 • @starprovisions • $95 • R

There’s a reason that Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s upscale New American eatery, Bacchanalia, lands a spot on our list year after year—a creative prix fixe menu, exquisitely plated dishes, an extensive wine selection and the finest organic, locally sourced ingredients come together to make Bacchanalia a not-to-be-missed culinary experience for visitors and native Atlantans alike.

84. FADÓ IRISH PUB 
Multiple locations • Buckhead, Midtown
@fadoirishpub • $13-$20 • B R P

Come in around 4 to 7pm to experience the happiest of hours dressed in Irish craic. Fadó Irish Pub delivers delish sports pub fare and is the perfect gathering spot for friends to watch a game, dine or just grab a beer after a long day of work. Moscow mule lovers, don’t miss out on the Mega Mule—served in a giant copper mug, this massive drink is designed for splitting with up to 10 people.

85. HARD ROCK CAFE 
215 Peachtree St. NE • Downtown
404.688.7625 • @hardrockatlanta • $16-$48 • R

Come be “with the band” and get your VIP seat to Southern fare and rock memorabilia at Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta. Flooded with a variety of food and tunes, this rock ’n’ roll hub will quickly become your favorite place to dine and pregame while taking in the local music scene.

86. ST. CECILIA 
3455 Peachtree Road NE • Buckhead
404.554.9995 • @stceciliaatl • $16-$48 • B R

Serving coastal European food rooted in culinary tradition, St. Cecilia is every foodie’s dream. Specializing in a selection of handmade pastas, like rich gnudi with house ricotta and brown butter (um... yum!), the resto invites guests to relax and indulge in a classy yet unpretentious space. Pre-dinner, be sure to snag a spot at the 20-seat marble bar, where you’ll engage with ATL’s attractive social set.

87. FOUNDATION SOCIAL EATERY 
1570 Holcomb Bridge Road, Ste. 810 • Roswell
770.641.8877 • @foundationsocialeatery • $13-$27 • B R P

This bright, modern gastropub makes the trip OTP completely worth it. If menu items, including FSE spicy pork sausage, Carolina trout and housemade fettucini, aren’t enough of a reason to go, how about the top-notch patio and lounge areas? There’s not a better way to celebrate the start of spring than on Foundation’s stylish outdoor patio with an expertly curated cocktail in hand.

88. SOTTO SOTTO 
313 N. Highland Ave. NE • Inman Park
404.523.6678 • @sottosottoatl • $17-$38 • R

Somehow, this authentic Italian eatery manages to strike the perfect balance between delicious comfort food and five-star service. Perhaps it’s the fresh, handmade pastas in an upscale, living room-style space. Pair your delicious noms with an international red wine for a truly European experience.

89. IL GIALLO OSTERIA & BAR 
5920 Roswell Road, Ste. B-118 • Sandy Springs
404.709.2148 • @gialloatl • $11-$42 • R

You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a little town in Italy after just one bite of the tagliatelle served under Italian sausage ragu. The pastas, all of which are handmade and responsibly sourced, represent the bold and rich flavors of Italy’s coastal cities, while the cured meats and cheeses hail from the country’s mountains and plains. Grazie, Giallo!

90. KING + DUKE 
3060 Peachtree Road NW • Buckhead
404.477.3500 • @kinganddukeatl • $21-$52 • B R P

Owned by chef and restaurateur Ford Fry, King + Duke is certainly fit for royalty. Come for the old-school American fare and stay for the cozy environs, including a wood-burning hearth, dark woods, warm color palettes and quirky touches that Mark Twain—whose novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, inspired the eatery’s name—would have found appealing.

91. LIVINGSTON RESTAURANT + BAR 
659 Peachtree St. NE • Midtown
404.897.5000 • @livingstonrestaurantandbar • $ 22-$32 • B R

Before heading to the Fox Theatre for a show, skip across the street to elegant The Georgian Terrace, which is home to Livingston Restaurant + Bar. Taking a cue from its historic yet glamorous space, the resto’s brunch, lunch and dinner menus offer a modern twist on classic cuisine. Sample the Creole scallop carbonara for bold flavor bursting in every bite.

92. CHICKEN AND THE EGG 
800 Whitlock Ave., Ste. 124 • Marietta
678.388.8813 • $10-$23 • B R

Welcome to a restaurant where “supper” means dinner, and Grandma’s home cooking has an eco-friendly twist. Don’t let the strip-mall setting fool you; restaurateur Marc Taft’s unique Marietta eatery offers a sustainable, organic, seasonal menu enjoyed by brunch-seekers all over Atlanta. Plus, the drink menu features a Thin Mint martini—who doesn’t love that?

93. LOCAL THREE KITCHEN & BAR 
3290 Northside Parkway NW • Buckhead
404.968.2700 • @localthree • $23-$33 • B R P

Though hard to find, this Buckhead gem is known for its upbeat atmosphere. When the weather permits, take the party outside onto the lively patio, where you’ll nosh on killer bites featuring local ingredients while perusing the resto’s craft cocktail menu. The Yippee-Ki-Yay, Muddy’s Water!! is certainly a mouthful—literally—but worth the tongue twist for this sweet sip.

94. AMER
299 N. Highland Ave. • Inman Park
404.600.5895 • @ameratl • Small plates, $3-$13; cocktails, $10-$14

AMER’s intimate cocktail bar is perfect for pre-gaming or for after-parties. Its boozy creations are unrivaled, especially when paired with delish bar snacks and small plates. The open and airy vintage atmosphere suits this up-and-coming neighborhood spot. Stop by during Sour Hour for $6 craft cocktails and unique sips.

95. BUTTERMILK KITCHEN 
4225 Roswell Road NE • Buckhead
678.732.3274 • @buttermilkkitchen • $8-$15 • B P

There may be a constant wait at this weekend brunch destination, but, trust us, it’s worth it once you take one bite of the deliciously fluffy made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes (flavors rotate seasonally) or heavenly chicken biscuits with housemade red pepper jelly served with pimento cheese grits. The casual Southern environs—Mason jars galore!—certainly add to Buttermilk Kitchen’s charm.

96. ALMA COCINA 
191 Peachtree St. NE • Downtown
404.968.9662 • @fifthgroup • $7-$30 • R

Sizzlin’ south-of-the-border flavor and plenty of fresh ingredients make for delish eats at this muy caliente haunt. Alma Cocina’s contemporary Latin and Mexican cuisine brings in the crowds—especially for fan favorites like the superior margarita and must-try fried avocado tacos. This Downtown resto is perfect for a weekday lunch or a night out on the town, especially if you’re heading to a show or game at Philips Arena.

97. THE ORIGINAL EL TACO 
1186 N. Highland Ave. NE • Virginia-Highland
404.873.4656 • @fifthgroup • $4-$17 • R P

El Taco may be famous for its savory and spicy Mexican entrees, but the desserts are equally as good—if not better. Our faves? The churro to-go and the fried apple pie. And for those with big appetites, por qué no los dos?

98. WHITE OAK KITCHEN & COCKTAILS 
125 Peachtree St. • Downtown
404.524.7200 • $9-$54 • R P

You may come for the kitchen, but you’ll stay for the specialty cocktails—especially since the 360-degree bar houses a collection of more than 70 whiskeys and bourbons. This place is all about merging contradictions in its menus, infusing complex with simple and innovative with traditional. Don’t believe us? Try the cornish hen with porcini gnocchi and wild mushrooms for an intriguing mashup of familiar Southern flavors.

99. RUTH'S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
Multiple locations
@ruths_chris • Prices vary by location • R

When it comes to a solid steak, Ruth’s Chris is the way to go. With four locations in the Metro Atlanta area, this steak joint is serving up some delicious selections, including filets, rib-eyes and New York strips—not to mention the always-fresh seafood and overwhelmingly decadent desserts.

100. CAFE ISTANBUL 
1850 Lawrenceville Highway • Decatur
404.320.0054 • @cafeistanbulatlanta • $13-$18

Located unassumingly in the outskirts of Decatur, Cafe Istanbul has nonetheless become a staple of the Atlanta culinary scene for its casual, lively environment and authentic Turkish-Mediterranean cuisine, coupled with fun additions like on-site tarot card readers, belly dancers and hookah—aka an ideal spot for a casual yet memorable night out with friends.

Originally published in the March issue of Jezebel