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Best of Atlanta 2018: Good Eats

Thousands of ballots were cast, and these are the victors—our readers’ local go-tos for everything from fashion to fitness to food.

 

Best Group Dining Spot: Babalu Tacos & Tapas
When you’re in the mood to order one of everything, invite your friends to this Midtown joint for Latin-inspired bites like albondigas, lamb sliders or camarones tacos, and do just that.
@babaluatlantamidtown 

 

Best New Restaurant: Donetto
This Westside newcomer has everything we could ever want in a dining destination: an inviting atmosphere, killer cocktails (try the Orange Is the New Crack), a top-notch team and, most importantly: seasonal Tuscan fare like sous vide octopus we can’t stop drooling over. @donettoatl

Best Asian Cuisine: Eight Sushi Lounge
Artfully crafted Japanese-inspired dishes—think nigiri, ramen, miso-glazed steak and more—deliver on this sushi spot’s promise of a truly contemporary culinary experience. @eightsushiatl

Best Barbecue: Char Korean Bar & Grill
Book it to Inman Park for a fun and flavorful meal at this hot new Korean concept, where you can cook anything from 28-day-aged bulgogi to spicy Heritage Farms pork belly right at your table as you bob your head to upbeat tunes. @charkorean

Best Brunch: The Southern Gentleman
This gastropub radiates Southern sophistication with vintage silverware, handsome tufted leather booths and—of course—a giant portrait of Mark Twain. Order the ricotta and lemon pancakes or New Orleans shrimp and grits paired with a Scarlett Belle for sipping, and enjoy some of the best brunch this side of the Mississippi. @thesoutherngentlemanatl 

Best Breakfast: Atlanta Breakfast Club
It’s the most important meal of the day, so, for your sake, head to this Downtown eatery where you can indulge in—wait for it—breakfast tacos made with French toast-battered flour tortillas. Yeah, we said it. 

Best Buford Highway Spot: Food Terminal
From the team that brought you Sweet Hut comes Food Terminal, where you can dine on the best in Malaysian and Asian street foods sans the overseas flight. @foodterminalatl

Best Burger: Ted’s Montana Grill
Would it really be Atlanta without Ted’s? Whether you order the classic bison burger naked or stacked with juicy toppings, your taste buds will thank you. @tedsmontanagrill

Best Casual Date: The Original El Taco
Impress without the stress with a table for two at this lively Virginia-Highland haunt (Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are fans), where a round of margaritas and a side of guac are sure to get you a second date. @fifthgroup

Best Cheap Eats: Taqueria Del Sol
Order up a pitcher of Westside margs for you and your crew while you wait in line, then snag a seat on the patio to indulge in tortilla chips and cheese dip followed by tasty tacos (check out the weekly specials)—without blowing through your entire paycheck. @taqueriadelsol

Best Doughnut Shop: Doughnut Dollies
Act fast to get to this locally owned Marietta bakery—the supercreative, mouthwatering flavors like birthday cake, lemon lavender and cereal bowl sell out quickly. @doughnutdollies

Best First Date: The Battery Atlanta
The bevy of bars, restaurants and entertainment ops—from the elegant C. Ellet’s to the intimate Coca-Cola Roxy concert hall to the happening Punch Bowl Social—at this SunTrust Park-adjacent hot spot is the perfect backdrop to let sparks fly. @batteryatl

Best SPOT for the Fam: Buckhead Diner
Toting a tot on your hip? Join the rest of the A’s millennial moms and dads at this iconic restaurant (which celebrated 30 years in 2017) boasting mammoth-size booths and big portions for sharing with the whole family. @buckheaddiner

Best Hole in the Wall: Northside Tavern
Promising live music seven nights a week, this rockin’ corner of ATL with a dive-bar vibe is a place where everybody knows your name. Did we mention it’s made an appearance in films like The Fate of the Furious and Anchorman 2

Best Italian cuisine: Colletta
An ever-changing, seasonal menu of traditional dishes plus new interpretations—like the delicious duck ragu papardelle—make this inviting spot with a wood-burning oven and chef’s counter overlooking the kitchen a gem among Avalon visitors. Don’t forget to swing by the bar window for a
glass of vino to sip while strolling the property. @collettaatl

Best Mexican cuisine: Alma Cocina
Hands down, executive chef Chad Clevenger serves up the best contemporary Mexican food in the city. We unapologetically have all the heart eyes for his fried avocado street tacos. @fifthgroup

Best New OTP restaurant: South City Kitchen Avalon
The Hotel at Avalon’s new dining spot is drawing attention for its tasty Southern eats, expansive bar—which has become quite the after-5 scene—and patio overlooking Avalon Boulevard that’s perfect for some post-shopping relaxation. @fifthgroup

Best OTP restaurant: Little Alley Steak
Though “little” is in the name, expect a lot of flavor at this upscale Roswell steakhouse (with a Buckhead location opening soon). Opt for the steak medley to try the New York strip, bone-in rib-eye, lollipop cut and tomahawk chop, and choose your favorite in one fell swoop. @littlealleysteak

Best Pet-Friendly restaurant: Park Tavern
At this resto sitting right on Piedmont Park, don’t be afraid to pop in for a burger and cold beer with your pup in tow—the spacious outdoor area welcomes all furry, four-legged friends. @parktavern

Best Pizza: Antico Pizza Napoletana
You may just forget you’re not in Italy when you arrive at Giovanni Di Palma’s beloved pizzeria. Take a seat at one of the community tables, uncork a bottle of wine (it’s BYOB) and chow down on a truly authentic slice—the San Gennaro is our fave. @gioantico

Best Rising Star Chef: Scotley Innis, 5Church Atlanta
His résumé touts positions at South City Kitchen and Ormsby’s, and now, the experienced executive chef is spicing things up at 5Church with creative dishes inspired by his knowledge of modern Southern cuisine and his Caribbean roots. @chefscotleyinnis; @5churchatlanta

Best Seafood: Atlanta Fish Market
Expect the largest selection of fresh wild-caught seafood found in the A (think live whole Dungeness crab, Maine skate wing and cedar-planked Scottish salmon) at this Buckhead institution. @atlantafishmarket

Best Southern Cuisine: South City Kitchen
More than two decades since coming onto ATL’s dining scene, the O.G. creator of the sophisticated fried-chicken dinner is still going strong. With four locations, SCK’s a go-to for date night, brunch with friends—and any time a craving for sweet tea and fried green tomatoes strikes. @fifthgroup

Best Hotel Restaurant: Bar Margot
Inside Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, this lounge pours mean cocktails to sip while you settle into one of the swanky velvet seats and peruse the menu chock-full of flavorful fare like lobster pasta and Cajun barbecue shrimp. @barmargotatl

Best Special Occasion Spot: New York Prime
A prime spot (pun intended) for raising a celebratory glass or lighting a cigar, this steakhouse with supper-club ambiance boasts high-quality cuts of beef and colossal seafood—just wait till you see Big Red wheeled out in a Radio Flyer wagon. @newyorkprime

Best Spot for Dining on a Diet: The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill
With fresh seafood delivered daily, tons of delicious salads and a special menu of signature low-cal bowls, The Big Ketch serves up coastal fare that won’t bump you up a pant size. @thebigketch_buckhead; @thebigketch_cantonstreet

Best Steakhouse: Chops Lobster Bar
Though this resto’s seafood is to die for, the steak is where the chefs’ talents really shine. May we suggest the tender 12-ounce filet with white truffle butter? A true Buckhead classic, indeed. @chopslobsterbar

Best Sushi: O-Ku
The sleek, modern atmosphere at this Westside Ironworks spot perfectly complements its inventive nigiri, sashimi and more—we highly recommend going all out with the O-Ku omakase, a multicourse tasting menu—with fish sourced from the
finest markets in Tokyo and Hawaii. @okuatlanta

Best Sweets Spot: Scream’n Nuts
It’s a magical world where gourmet doughnuts are stuffed with unusual ice cream flavors (all made in-house). Alpharetta dessert destination, or heaven? You tell us. @screamnnuts

Best Vegan restaurant: {SAMA} Food for Balance
Welcome to your new sanctuary. This ayurvedic cafe and meditation studio aims to cleanse the body, mind and soul with fresh juices and vegan offerings featuring superfoods like chia, maca and ashwagandha. @samafoodforbalance

Best Vegetarian Restaurant: Upbeet
It’s worth waiting in line at this low-key Westside spot for grain bowls and salads piled high with superfresh veggies. Bonus: Almost everything on the menu’s organic, and gluten-free too. @upbeet

Best View: Whiskey Blue
An elevator ride all the way to the top of the W Atlanta-Buckhead brings the A’s sophisticated set to this lively cocktail lounge, where the sweeping city views are just as Instaworthy as the drinks being served. @whiskeyblueatl 

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