Best restaurants in Atlanta
What is it: One of America’s best restaurants in more ways than one. In addition to serving outstanding food, the eatery raises money to provide emergency assistance to restaurant workers. Chef Ryan Smith, a 2017 James Beard award nominee, creates food so beautiful and delicious that diners literally swoon over it. Expect a bright atmosphere and friendly service as well.
Why go: It’s dinner theater in the best sense of the word—each course delighting the senses in exciting new ways.
What is it: Great Southern cooking, elevated. The menu runs the gamut, including appetizers that star farm eggs baked celery cream, one of the best grass-fed burgers in town, a duck breast to die for and must-try house-made ice cream sandwiches.
Why go: The restaurants is helmed by chef Steven Satterfield, who won the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast, a region crammed full of exceptional talent. Do you really need another reason to make a reservation?
What is it: Named after chef Kevin Gillespie’s dad, Gunshow is a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Watch the kitchen crew craft unique and often adventurous dishes in an open kitchen. A staff member will bring the plate to your table and, if it entices you, you’ll get to order it dim sum style. Not striking your fancy? Worry not, you can pass and wait for the next dish to come around.
Why go: Dim sum meets Southern haute cuisine under the diligent eyes of Top Chef favorite Gillespie. Warning, though: fans of quiet dinners will have to get used to the loudness of the dining room.
What is it: Dress up. Wear a tie. Learn which fork is the salad fork. This is a seriously luxe dining experience. Even though the restaurant has relocated from its original location to a newer spot not too far away, the sumptuous surroundings and signature dishes remain the same. The four-course tasting menu will surprise you in the best possible way.
Why go: Fine dining. This is the place to go to celebrate a happy occasion or enjoy a great meal with family, close friends or that special someone.
Price: Blow out
What is it: A cozy Adirondack cabin-inspired restaurant and bar hidden away in the back of trendy Krog Street Market. The staff has recently started serving brunch as well—great news for everyone, of course. The menu changes seasonally and combines inspired offerings with fan favorites such as the Ipswich whole belly clam roll.
Why go: The outstanding cocktail menu, anchored by the signature Ticonderoga Cup.
What is it: There is so much to love here. Nova lox and house-made bagels, matzo ball soup, pastrami poutine and chopped liver like Bubbie used to make but with just enough of a twist to keep things interesting.
Why go: The best and possibly the only place for homesick New Yorkers and others to get their fix of deli-inspired favorites that taste just like home, only better. Also: order the burger. Trust us on this one.
What is it: Empire State South delivers hip elevated takes on Southern food traditions. Unlike many other local fine dining establishments, this one serves a full breakfast menu during weekday mornings.
Why go: The location is ideal for those looking to explore midtown Atlanta pre- or post-food coma. The wine list is pretty awesome as well.
What is it: We’re oh-so-thankful for Jonathan and Justin Fox to have left their home in Texas to bring their BBQ skills to Atlanta’s legions of pulled pork and brisket lovers. Roll down your windows when you turn into the parking lot: the smell of smoking beef is intoxicating.
Why go: For darn good BBQ and lick-your-lips-good biscuits that get five stars from happy diners.
What is it: A beautiful dining room dominated by an impressive bar and dramatic lighting is the perfect setting for the creative tapas that impress all diners.
Why go: Dinner at Iberian Pig is fun. The variety of small plates is staggering and so is the wine list. Pace yourself and order in rounds to savor every dish.
What is it: Chinese master chef Rui Liu serves delicious Chinese food in an unassuming strip mall. Both adventurous and timid diners will find something to love here.
Why go: The shrimp and vegetable entrées, like the exceptionally good eggplant and string beans dish, dry pot shrimp and spicy mapo tofu.