With groovy new shops, a bustling arts scene, and of course, so many amazing, critically acclaimed restaurants, Atlanta has flourished into becoming a city on the verge of exploding into life. Armed with a dynamic culture, you’ll arrive here and notice its strong migrant flavours and cultures, informing its varied food scene as they call Atlanta their new home. As a cultural and economic hub of the South, you’ll find not only traditional Southern food plentiful and available in Atlanta but a cosmopolitan selection of flavours amidst its quirky neighbourhoods and multi-ethnic enclaves. Here’s our list of the best restaurants in Atlanta you cannot afford to miss when visiting, and will leave your tastebuds hungry for more culture and gastronomic delights this vibrant city has to offer.
Gunshow is a five star dining experience you won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Headed by Chef Kevin Gillespie, this restaurant offers a comfortable, creative dining environment, cooking to order and surprising you with their monthly menu. Don’t be worried, just make sure you give them your dietary requirements, and prepare to be wowed with the courses they dish out at lightning speed while indulging in the comfy community feel of the cosy restaurant. This is one of the absolute best the South has to offer.
Address: 924 Garrett St, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
Bachanalia derives its name from the festival celebrating the Roman god Bacchus, and suggests hedonism and debauchery. Here, the restaurant has taken it up a notch and becomes a must-visit for extra special occasions, with locally sourced New American cuisine that will completely up your view of ‘Western’ cuisine with world class service and tastes that border on divine. Set in a refurbished industrial building, there’s a prix fixe menu that will satisfy you to no end, and is an absolute foodie’s delight no matter what you order. This is certainly a restaurant that will have you creating the fondest of memories and raising standards across the board.
Address: 1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
3. Antico Pizza
Located within Westside’s Little Italia district, Antico Pizza serves up some of the best damn pizza you can ever hope to eat. Always thronging with long queues and repeat customers daily, you’ll be trying some tasty wood fired pizza fresh from the oven all the way till night, when the kitchen finally runs out of dough, and still want to come back again for seconds.
Address: 1093 Hemphill Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
Website: Antico Pizza
4. The Optimist
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Considered a seafood heaven and a haven for anyone who loves food in general, The Optimist by Ford Fry certainly lives up to its name and has positive vibes aplenty to give out. With a menu that ranges from serving hush puppies to delicious top notch cocktails, the service here is attentive and stellar. Meanwhile, set in a former ham curing factory, hipsters will delight at how this place has transformed into an elegant dining establishment, well worth the time and money spent on these glorious dishes.
Address: 914 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
Website: The Optimist
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Also by Ford Fry, Marcel is a loving tribute to the traditional American steakhouse, where you’ll find food from the midcentury in all its classic glory. From steak Diane to a special order of beef Wellington, you can be sure that the meat served up here is only of the finest quality. Ground up into burgers or otherwise, the ornate setting at Marcel even comes with geometric chandeliers, high ceilings, and custom china to make you feel like you’ve truly stepped into another time while still enjoying the wonders of traditional American fare.
Address: 1170 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
6. Holeman and Finch
If you’re looking for classic pub grub, then the only place you should be checking out is Holeman and Finch as they serve up Southern favourites from fish and chips to deviled eggs. If you’re going to fork out for something a little fancier, you can even try the chef specials like foie gras terrine. With a fun, communal environment and tasty food, the chefs at Holeman & Finch will ensure that every guest will leave satisfied.
Holeman and Finch
Address: 2277 Peachtree Road Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
Website: Holeman and Finch
Left behind by late chef Ryan Hidinger, this is new American cuisine at its finest. Expect all your senses to be pushed to their limits as you get served with creative fusion dishes with fascinating new ingredients. Armed with a quaint neighbourhood feel and aesthetic, the proceeds from this restaurant even go towards benefitting restaurant workers in need through the local nonprofit The Giving Kitchen. Dining here is by reservation only, though walk ins can still dine at the 8-seat bar.
Address: 541 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA
8. Miller Union
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Located at the ‘unpretentious’ outlet of Knight Park and Howell Station, Miller Union is headed by chef Steven Satterfield who goes the extra mile in attempting to craft innovative New American cuisine that works on the basis of fantastic, farm to table cuisine smacking of Southern history and culture. At the same time, the modern, rustic space is sure to create a keen sense of intimacy in this fine dining establishment, and will definitely appeal to those looking for a happy medium of classic and modern.
Address: 999 Brady Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
Website: Miller Union
Owned by chef Bruce Logue (formerly at New York City’s Babbo), BoccaLupo is always packed to the brim at this gem of a restaurant located in Inman Park. With homemade pastas and a modern take on classic Italian cuisine, Logue realizes these ideas to perfection in both visuals and taste, paired nicely with a stellar cocktail menu and well versed staff, the experience is perfected and lives up to the chef’s star turn and hype surrounding his restaurant.
Address: 753 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
10. Restaurant Eugene
Considered sophisticated New American style dining, Restaurant Eugene offers some incredible chef-driven menus from Linton Hopkins, and his most dedicated fans rave about the incredible service and intimate environment that gives them such a pang in their heart for the many flavours he brings to his customers. Leaving them raving, customers always come back again and again each time there’s a new menu, and you can expect only the pinnacle of sophistication from this wonderful establishment.
Address: 2277 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
Website: Restaurant Eugene
A full belly
The restaurants of Atlanta will fill you with joy as you taste your way through its history and culture. Whether you’re noshing on classic Southern cuisine or trying new versions of old favourites, you’ll soon find yourself completely in love with all the wonderful gastronomy that Atlanta has to offer. Beyond these 10 restaurants, there’s still plenty we haven’t recommended, and we trust that you’ll take the experience from here and go on to discover these yummy other eateries yourself.
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