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Atlanta’s restaurant scene is quickly gaining international attention for its mixture of haute culinary excitement and quality down-home eateries. Home to some of the region’s best New Southern cooking, the city also offers an amazing array of ethnic eats along Buford Highway, where Chinese, Vietnamese, Latin American and Korean populations showcase their culinary chops.

Top Restaurants in Atlanta


Zagat’s repeated pick as the city’s best eatery, Bacchanalia melds freshness, flavor, and earth-friendliness in its contemporary American cuisine prepared by chefs/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. Housed in a former meatpacking factory with 20-foot ceilings, the restaurant specializes in a four-course, prix-fixe dinner that rotates with seasonal offerings, from crab cake appetizers to hand-poured artisanal cheeses to wood-grilled local pork loin.

1198 Howell Mill Rd., GA, 404-365-0410,
Tags: expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | new american


This Atlanta institution is as famous for its succulent steaks as it is for its reputation as a perennial favorite among wealthy Atlantans and celebrities, whose caricatures decorate the walls of the bar area. Everything about the establishment is top-notch, from the impeccable service to the menu – featuring hand-cut, Iowa-bred prime beef and succulent seafood – to rich desserts like mile-high pie and cheesecake with berry compote. The staggering wine list features a California- and France-heavy, 500-bottle selection.

3130 Piedmont Rd. NE, GA, 404-237-2663,
Tags: expensive | notable wine list | steakhouse


Celebrity chef Tom Coliccio, who became a household name through the popular reality show Top Chef and has a stronghold in New York, brings his signature simple style to Atlantan palates with the opening of Craftbar. The informal sister restaurant to Colicchio’s Craft, housed upstairs, Craftbar features contemporary American cuisine that reflects Colicchio’s philosophy of fresh ingredients and unfussy recipes, cooked to perfect on a wood-burning grill. Small plates and appetizers like polenta fritters and pecorino fondue dominate the menu and are perfect for sharing, playing up the relaxed vibe that’s made the New York location a neighborhood hit.  

3376 Peachtree Rd. NE, GA, 404-995-7580,
Tags: moderate | notable chef | american

Doc Chey’s Noodle House

For more than 10 years, this funky noodle house has been serving up affordable, tasty pan-Asian food to hungry Atlantans, its popularity reflected in a slew of awards. Each of the two in-town locations embodies the restaurant’s “Peace. Love. Noodles.” mantra, and it’s impossible not to catch the feel-good vibe the minute you step in the door, from made-to-order dishes to friendly servers to a spacious, sunny patio. The menu includes noodle bowls, stir-fries, and crisp salads, in sizes plenty big enough for sharing – not that you’d want to, though.

1424 North Highland Ave., GA, 404-777-0888,
Tags: great value | asian

Holeman and Finch

Owner/bartender Greg Best teamed with owner/chef Linton Hopkins to open this Southern gastropub where food and drink are given equal attention. Hard to find liquors and inventive cocktails like Spring Fever (a compelling combination of Miller's Gin, fresh mint, bitters, lemon, and tonic) pair with house-made charcuterie, meticulously crafted bar food, and head-to-tail specialties such as pigs ears or bone marrow.

2277 Peachtree Rd NE, GA, 404-948-1175
Tags: moderate | trendy | southern

Kevin Rathbun Steak

Iron Chef champion, Kevin Rathbun, has single-handedly turned this industrial neighborhood into a dining destination with his three restaurants – Rathbuns, his New American flagship establishment, Krog Bar, the tiny and charming wine bar, and now Kevin Rathbun Steak – a modern steakhouse that perches prettily alongside an old railroad track. In a handsome post-industrial warehouse setting, prime, dry-aged, chophouse steaks are served with a choice of delectable side sauces, including black butter truffle sauce and stilton bleu cheese butter. Classic sides, like creamed corn, are jazzed up with ingredients like jalapenos.

154 Krog St, GA, 404-524-5600,
Tags: expensive | editor pick | steakhouse | new american

No Más! Cantina

The sprawling and gorgeously authentic Mexican creation of longtime local furniture importers Walt Bilinski and Steve MacNeil, who naturally also preside over the adjacent home-décor bonanza No Más! Hacienda; try the Camarones Alhambres and the Cuatro Leches Cake.

Tags: mexican

Nuevo Laredo Cantina

When founder Chance Evans opened this off-the-beaten path restaurant, his goal was to offer authentic Mexican food to lunch patrons of the nearby industrial plants. But word quickly spread, and Nuevo Laredo has built a cult following for tasty Mexican mainstays like chicken mole and enchiladas. Parking is a challenge and you’ll more than likely wait for a table, but it’s nothing a strong margarita and some chips with the restaurant’s addictive salsa can’t take care of. 

1495 Chattahoochee Ave. NW, GA, 404-325-9009,
Tags: budget | local favorite | mexican

Ria's Bluebird

With dishes like country fried tempeh, owner Ria Pell lovingly serves up her modern take on classic Southern cooking; the homemade pancakes with real buttermilk and vanilla are a perennial crowd pleaser.

421 Memorial Dr. SE, GA, 404-521-3737,
Tags: budget | breakfast | southern

Son's Place

For a true taste of Atlanta soul food, Son’s Place is a must. Fried chicken, collard greens, and peach cobbler made from peaches so fresh they come straight from the tree outside, are all served cafeteria style in one of the most diverse dining rooms in the city. The bright, clean, and friendly restaurant only takes cash, but you don’t need a lot of it to fill up.

100 Hurt St. NE, GA, 404-581-0530,
Tags: budget | editor pick | great value | southern

Spice Market

The pioneer in New York-based restaurants opening in Atlanta, Spice Market is the first Southern venture for renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The theme is Asian street food, and your taste buds are indeed in for a global journey with flavors from Thailand, India, and Indonesia woven through every dish. Entrees like onion and chili-crusted short ribs over egg noodles and cod with Malaysian chili sauce are surefire winners, but you can easily make a meal out of any of the delectable appetizers. Don’t miss the ginger fried rice, which is topped with an egg that servers mix into the dish tableside.

188 14th St. NE (inside the W Hotel), GA,
Tags: moderate | asian


This modern, sleek space – which occupies 14,000 square feet and three levels of a skyscraper in the heart of Midtown – earned one of Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurant awards in 2007, and for good reason. While scenesters will lap up the ultra-cool minimalist vibe, serious foodies will savor the modern French fare with a classic brasserie style – think saffron bouillabaisse swimming with scallops, mussels, and shrimp, or a delectable sole Parisian. The gorgeous downstairs bar is a glam spot for a drink – try one of the 11 champagnes by the glass, or ask master mixologist Eric Simpkins to concoct one of his signature Prohibition cocktails.

1180 Peachtree St., GA, 404-815-3337,
Tags: expensive | notable chef | french

West Egg Café

In just a few years, this hip breakfast and lunch spot in the city’s booming west Midtown neighborhood has created quite a following, and – once you sink your teeth into a fluffy biscuit or a scrumptious fried egg sandwich – you’ll see why. Nestled adjacent to a historic loft building, the atmosphere is a blend of grandmotherly schlump (sagging but comfy couches in the waiting area) to industrial chic (soaring ceilings and massive windows). On weekends, come early or late to avoid long waits for brunch, and do your sweet tooth a favor by snagging some delectable treats from the bakery, like Coca-Cola cupcakes, if they’re not already sold out.

1100 Howell Mill Rd., GA, 404-872-3973,
Tags: cafe | breakfast | brunch | bakery

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