If you're interested in trying new things to eat in Atlanta you could just drive down Buford Highway until you find something good, or you could try cooking for yourself. Hahaha... just kidding! Definitely don't do that. Instead, try hitting ATL's 11 best new restaurants of 2014:
Southbund's continually evolving menu always surprises and pleases with its mastery of soul food classics like catfish, fried green tomatoes, and pimento grilled cheese, which will always have first billing. There's also a boatload of bourbon cocktails that're bound to make things go South quickly if you have too many.
Their name says it all: awesome tacos, awesome bar. The former features everything from wild boar to fried oysters and falafel. The people behind the latter are prepping margaritas and mojitos that come by the carafe, so bring friends. Or make new ones.
We're reluctant to heap any more praise on Ford Fry’s much-heralded Italian/seafood masterpiece because getting a reservation's already darn near impossible. The the smart move is just telling everyone that the place blows. Just kidding! The smart move is actually finding a spot at the bar and feasting on clams, oysters, roe, and hamachi. A couple of their custom gin creations are sweet moves, too.
Burritos the size of your forearm fill the menu with combinations of meat, cheese, beans, squash (?), and more. A massive patio and very respectable tequila selection make it your lunch/dinner/whenever eating and drinking spot on the Eastside.
The late-night boys from Octopus Bar have entered the daylight hours with their Buckhead spin-off, where excellent seafood (complemented by a slew of liqueurs, cordials, and wines) is, of course, the star, but they've also got things like pork chops and rib eye on the menu, too. Just in case.
Buckhead’s BBQ party boys have given the neighborhood that smoky, meaty ambience it’s always needed thanks to overnight beef brisket meets a pimento BLT meets your mouth kind of menu that no 'cue aficionado can resist. At the bar, ask for the moonshine. Worry about whether they got it legally later.
This Spanish spot from the dudes behind Big Ketch and Tin Lizzy's shares a kitchen/staff with The Southern Gentleman, but unlike that soon-to-open gastropub, this wood-heavy spots is plating refined Iberian eats like a Majorcan-style whole branzino w/ potatoes & piquillo pepper or a 32oz strip steak, plus there're some solid 'tails from behind a bar that's surmounted by a massive bull statue.
Avondale Estates is built on neighborhood places, and now there's new king. Local beers set the scene for turnt up comfort foods, like Knife and Fork Deviled Eggs (which are loaded with bacon and will actually make you like deviled eggs) and Braised Brisket Sliders, with enough horseradish to clear you sinuses so you can properly smell that beef.
George Yu has given Decatur the Asian comfort food that your Hong Kong Grandmother would have made. Fresh, local, seasonal ingredients run through the food and beverage menus. You’ve also probably never had Ramyun (Korean ramen), so it’s time to check that off the list.
Old Fourth Ward
The rustic trading post on the BeltLine is a lot more than granola and trail mix. Bacon-infused burgers join seafood and country-fried ham steaks to give you a campfire feeling, while moonshine cocktails add more interesting flavors to that white lightning that usually comes in a Mason jar.
Old Fourth Ward
Asha Gomez instantly became an ATL food celebrity when this Westside attraction opened. Lunch and brunch -- which boast fresh takes on samosas, flatbreads, and vindaloos -- are packed every day, and no matter when you go, don’t think you’ll be able to plan ahead... ST boasts a new menu every day.
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1. Southbound5394 Peachtree Rd, Chamblee
2. Bartaco969 Marietta St NW, Atlanta
3. elmyriachi1950 Hosea L Williams Dr NE, Atlanta
4. Lusca1829 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta
5. Smokebelly BBQ128 E Andrews Dr NW, Atlanta
6. Gypsy Kitchen3035 Peachtree Rd NE Suite A209, Atlanta
7. The Bishop124 N Avondale Rd, Avondale Estates
8. Makan, Restaurant & Bar130 Clairemont Ave, Decatur
9. Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE, Atlanta
10. Spice to Table659 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta
People might not be used to peanuts boiled in pork broth or using avocado as a base for their chicken salad, but they better start liking it soon because Southbound is all about soul food with a twist.
This taco joint serves some of the best tacos in Westside, and we suggest trying the chef’s sampling of pork belly, duck, fried oyster, and whatever the hell else he can find meat-wise and slam between those luscious tortilla cheeks.
From the geniuses that created Elmyr, this Kirkwood location knows it's burritos. We suggest the Jimmy Mucho -- s meat-laden giant that comes with your choice of meat (we recommend going with the brisket) and is topped in BBQ sauce and curtido.
From the guys who brought you the Octopus Bar, get ready for some kick-ass seafood and fantastic cocktails. Plus, this spot is open before 10pm so you can enjoy breakfast/lunch.
Buckhead's Smokebelly BBQ is a celebration of the South through soulful, belly-warming barbecue with a contemporary twist. And you’ll find iterations of Texas, Tennessee, and Carolinas barbecue traditions alongside the hometown style. Barbecue comes in tapas (brisket disco fries and cherry cola ribs), plates, and on sandwiches. Dieters, rejoice! Quinoa bowls and salads are also on offer, but if it were me, I’d go for the Pit Masters Platter: smoked turkey, pulled pork, or brisket with four sides, because three is just never enough.
Their beef tenderloin tips with pepper/potato hash of varying types, blue fondue cheese for dipping, and a pile of steak are definitely worth a try, but then again so is the rest of the of this Buckhead joint's menu.
Local beers set the scene for turnt up comfort foods, like “Knife and fork” deviled eggs loaded with bacon that will make you actually like deviled eggs.
Makan builds upon Chinese and Korean recipes with locally-sourced ingredients to create some seriously delicious Asian fusion comfort foods. Its ramen is rich and silky and its pork buns have an unmistakable touch of Southern charm in their pecan sugar topping. Aside from dinner, Makan also serves weekend brunch that's part dim sum, part ramen slurp-fest.
Named after Lady Bird Johnson --a First Lady known for her fondness for the outdoors -- Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall is a modern, outdoor-themed bar and restaurant in the Old Fourth Ward. Enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner in one of five aptly-named “mess halls,” including the outdoor "Grove" space sporting Adirondack chairs and ping pong tables to match the restaurant’s campfire motif. Ladybird’s menu has decidedly Southern bent, with dishes ranging from "trail snacks" like Navajo fry bread and pimento cheese fritters, to the shared camaraderie of large format "basecamp" dining with dishes like the Butcher’s Board (smoked ribs, grilled steak, beef cracklin, and sides). Pair your large-format feast with wine... by the jug. An outpost for sophisticated summer camp dining (upscale s’more included) in a cavernous, laid back atmosphere, Ladybird is a frontrunner on the BeltLine.
This Old Fourth Ward spot is on a mission to introduce spice to the American palette in familiar forms and accessible flavors. The pastries at this casual Indian patisserie span the sweet-savory spectrum, and you should make it a point to nibble on bites both like the sweet mango upside-down cake and the earthy curry chicken samosa pocket to capitalize on Spice to Table’s full experience. Be sure to go on a Friday or Saturday when Chef Asha is cooking up her nationally acclaimed Kerala Fried Chicken, which is rubbed with a secret spice blend, drizzled with coconut oil and fresh mango sauce, and finished with roasted curry leaves.