Once a month or so, Joe and I like to splurge on a slightly higher priced meal, you know, for research. We try to center it around a life event i.e. anniversary, birthday, mother’s day, Wednesday night, something like that.
Unfortunately for us, all familial holidays fall within April-June. April-June is a very expensive time for us. This last month we tried out Staplehouse for our anniversary. We liked it so much I got tickets for my birthday (if you want the tasting menu you purchase in advance). I digress. Based on our “research” I have compiled this Atlanta Dining Guide for you.
What I Look For When I Eat Out
When we aren’t splurging, we love chill vibes with good seasonal local ingredients (we’re not cliche at all) and delicious drinks. The list I provide here is a conglomeration of those.
Atlanta has a burgeoning food scene and a lot of talent. Many chef’s are coming into vogue and really good food, along with award winning food can be found in almost every neighborhood in the city. This past year Atlanta dominated the James Beard award nominations. Go Hotlanta!
The Atlanta Dining Guide Map
Click on the tab beside Atlanta Dining Guide to see the master list.
- Octane. Five locations, they also serve beer, wine and cocktails after 4.
- Joe’s. Right by our house in funky EAV. Lots of freelancers work out of here, very chill (they’re so chill they don’t even have a real website).
- Inman Perk Coffee. In the Inman Park neighborhood (duh), good coffee, good neighborhood feel.
- Dancing Goats. Amazing coffee and great atmosphere at both of their locations, plus their own in house roasting co, Batdorf & Bronson.
- Revolution Doughnuts. One of the top 23 doughnuts in America. You will almost always wait 20 minutes in the line that wraps around the building.
- Homegrown. We have not eaten here yet, even though it’s right beside our house. However, everyone raves and it consistently stays on all the Atlanta lists as a great breakfast joint.
- The Flying Biscuit. An Atlanta staple. Good southern meal and I don’t hate their mimosas.
- Bread and Butterfly. From the restauranteurs of Cakes & Ale (see dinner options) simple menu and delicious food. I love the avocado toast!
Atlantans know how to brunch. Almost everyone has a brunch menu in Atlanta. If you don’t like any of these options, almost any restaurant listed here probably has a brunch option for the weekends.
- Ria’s Bluebird. Full disclosure, I am not a big fan. However, apparently I am the only person in Atlanta with that opinion. Go here and decide for yourself.
- West Egg Cafe. One of the few places I’ll venture to the west side for (don’t hate). When I’m pregnant I eat their hamburgers for breakfast.
- Sun in My Belly. They serve breakfast all week. And have a great kids menu.
- We Suki Suki. There is no other sandwich I love more in the world than the Pork Bahn Mi from We Suki Suki. It is delicious. It is everything you’ve ever dreamed of in a bahn mi. Your world is askew until you’ve eaten here. (Only open to 4 Monday-Saturday).
- Victory Sandwich. Delicious sandwiches and do not leave without ordering a Jack and coke slushie. So yum. Multiple Atlanta locations.
- Superica. The salsas. The margaritas. The handmade tortillas. Get into my belly.
- Carroll Street Cafe. Right down the street from Joe’s office, lunch here is not infrequent.
- Ammazza. such delicious pizza. Such chill vibe. Pay for the food and then sit down, they also have a bar for cocktails. If you have a kid, they make glitter pizza. Everyone loves glitter pizza.
- Holy Taco. Yummy tacos. yummy margaritas. In chill EAV, bring your dog and sit outside.
- Argosy. delicious, local, seasonal ingredients. Also a wood burning oven for pizzas. Thursdays-Saturday they open the back room and you can play skee ball, pool and other fun arcade games. Great craft beer selection
- Minero. Sean Brock’s newest endeavor in Atlanta. He spent time in Mexico City preparing to open this restaurant. It’s delicious. Located in Ponce City Market. Try all the tacos.
- Ladybird. Along the Eastside Beltline at mile marker 9.25. Purchase a picnic basket and a cocktail and sit and watch the locals trek the Beltline.
- The Optimist. Wes True of recent Top Chef fame, also a Ford Fry restaurant. Get the Shrimp a la Plancha and don’t look back.
- Cakes & Ale. Consistently on the top 38 eater list for Atlanta restaurants and for good reason. They deliver good food, every time. Gone are the days of fine dining, giving way to dive bar feel and farm to table menus. This place gives you the fine dining feel without losing the farm to table menu.
- Holeman and Finch Public House. Known originally for their burger, much of their meat is either cured or ground in house. There are a couple of tables and a very large communal table running down the center of the restaurant. If you can’t get a reservation, go join the masses at the common table. Or even if you can, treat yourself to the company of strangers who may not be strangers when the meal is over.
- Rathbuns. Could easily make it in to the $50-$100 plates, but it’s possible to eat more conservatively here. Your bill really depends on how much you drink. Kevin of Iron Chef fame has done a masterful job with the ambiance and the delicacies his kitchen prepares.
- Gunshow. I could wax eloquent about this place for hours, one of my favorites. It’s playful, innovative and interesting. Read more here.
- Staplehouse. I love this spot because not only are they producing excellent food, but they’re doing some good while they’re at it. They are a subsidiary of the Giving Kitchen and recently nominated for a James Beard. Truly one of the more delicious meals I’ve had lately.
- Restaurant Eugene. One of the best restaurants in Atlanta, Linton Hopkins is well respected across the nation.
- Bacchanalia. One of the other top Atlanta restaurants. It’s lost some of it’s luster for me, but still deserves to be included.
- Jeni’s. The only ice cream I love more than Jeni’s is Rori’s (but I can only eat there when I’m in California, wah wah). Multiple Atlanta locations.
- Honeysuckle Gelato. Tasty gelato, an easy win.
- Cafe Intermezzo. I don’t like to recommend this place because it has a chain feel to it (even though it’s only in Atlanta). But they’ve got so many great cakes and cheesecakes, and they’re open late and they’re downtown. Fun to sit with friends on the sidewalk and watch the city. Multiple Atlanta locations
- King of Pops. They have a cult following (that includes the entire city) and for good reason. They’ve got carts all over the city, but their walk up window in Inman Park is my favorite spot. They’re always playing with new flavors and I love almost every single one I try.
- Little Tart. All of their pastries and desserts are delicious. One shop out of Octane on Memorial and another out of Krog Market. Both favorites.
- Proof Bakeshop. Cakes & Ale owners for the win. All three of their spots make this list. Really more of a cookie, brownie type place. But still oh so tasty.
- Shake Shack. The hype is real. Go here. (Full disclosure, I own Shake Shack stock. However, I own stock in them, because they’re amazing and I believe in buying companies I think are amazing).
- Fred’s Meat & Bread. Voted best hamburger in Atlanta in 2015.
- H&F Burger. Food and Wine says they make one of top burgers in the America (along with Shake Shack). Decide for yourself.
- Little’s. Don’t let their website fool you. They define “dive bar.” Only, if you want a beer to go with your burger, you have to buy it (they’re also a convenience store), take it outside, pour it in a styrofoam cup and tell the server it’s coke with a wink and a smile. Little’s is a cult classic in Cabbagetown. It remains untainted by tourist ilk. I am telling you about them under strict instructions that you do not go and behave like anything but the chill-I-don’t-care-I’m keeping-Cabbagetown-shitty person that you are. Because that’s Cabbagetown’s motto, “Keep Cabbagetown Shitty.”
- Farm Burger. All their burgers are delicious and root beer on draught, so yum. Multiple Atlanta locations.
- Octopus Bar. Angus Brown and Nhan Le are doing cool things with food right now. Caters to the restaurant industry. Open from 10:30pm- 2am, operates out of So Ba Vietnamese. Right around the corner from our house. Can you tell we love our neighborhood?
- Midway Pub. Open until 2:30am. Great patio seating, craft beers and tasty eats. Try the chicken tenders!
- Yalla. Laffa, shwarma, say no more.
- Las Brasas. Peruvian food, one of my favorite take out places. Pollo las brasas, lomo saltado, anticucho, ceviche. You deserve this food.
- Nicks Food To Go. Best gyros in Atlanta.
- Sweet Auburn Barbecue. Southern meets Asian in this Southeast Asian flared barbecue joint. Here’s a more in depth review.
- Fox Brother’s BBQ. Arguably the best barbecue in Atlanta. Will not disappoint.
- Heirloom Market BBQ. Koreon flared barbecue, different style than Sweet Auburn. Also delicious.
- Barcelona. Delicious Spanish style food as well. We love to go sit at the bar and get a cocktail (Joe) and a glass of wine (Me).
- Murphy’s. Great wine bar (in addition to brunch). They also do wine tastings, you can purchase tickets on their website.
- Krog Bar. right across from it’s sister restaurant Rathbun’s. Enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail before popping over for dinner.
- The Mercury. Classic cocktails that can’t be beat.
- If you’re able to make it a little farther north, North Georgia has a couple of vineyards making some delicious wine. Check out Yonah Mountain Vineyards (personal favorite) or Wolf Mountain Vineyards (good friends getting married here next year).
- Brick Store Pub. 29 rotating beers on tap, countless bottled beers and a beer engine. Comes highly acclaimed by both ratebeer.com and Beer Advocate.
- Wrecking Bar Brewpub. They make delicious food and their own beer in the historic Kriegshaber mansion. If you like beer, you’ll love this spot.
- Porter Beer Bar. In Little Five Points, they carry over 800 beers. Also rated highly by Beer Advocate.
- Monday Night Brewery. Originally a small bible study and they started brewing beer together.Now they are one of the best breweries in Atlanta. Love their Fu Manbrew. Their newest IPA is called Slap Fight. Joe loves it. Also it’s in a pretty can.
- Sweetwater Brewery. Sweetwater Blue is one of my all time favorites. Love this craft brewery.
- Eventide Brewery. Great place to meet up with friends in historic Grant Park.
Places I haven’t been but can’t wait to try
- Le Fat. Vietnamese, yes please.
- Chai Pani. Indian street food. First one was opened in Asheville.
- Botiwalla. Chai Pani’s child in Ponce City Market. Every time I go there’s a long line.
- Biltong. Having spent a lot of time not only in the company of many South Africans, but the country itself, I’ve been dying to see if they live up to the goodness of the food I had while in South Africa.
- Spice to Table. I follow Asha Gomez on instagram and love seeing the creations she makes. I clearly have been craving Indian food if you can’t tell.
- Illegal Food. I’ve heard great things about their burger, but have yet to try it.
- Bocado. Their burger and fries are supposed to be killer. I still haven’t gotten a chance to try them.
- Ton Ton. just opened, they are supposed to have the best ramen around.
- Revival. Kevin Gillespie’s latest venture, if it executes with the same excellence as Gunshow, I’m all in.
- Miller Union. Multiple James Beard nominations. I’m ashamed I haven’t eaten here yet.
- Kimball House. The oysters are supposed to be fantastic. Also has a James Beard nomination.
- Cooks & Soldier. Also a highly rated restaurant I should have eaten at and have not.
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