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The Best Restaurants in Atlanta Right Now

Published On 10/03/2017 Published On 10/03/2017
ANDREW THOMAS LEE
Andrew Thomas Lee

Staplehouse

Old 4th Ward

Staplehouse has seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients, and an inventive kitchen that make for a rotating chef’s tasting, and a la carte menus that are complex, unique, and delectable. Plus, proceeds benefit the Giving Kitchen, which provides aid to industry folks in need. Pro tip: don’t miss out on their perfectly executed wine pairings.

Courtesy of Ticonderoga Club

Ticonderoga Club

Inman Park

This quiet new restaurant in the corner of Krog Street Market has a seafood and poultry-heavy menu with standouts like the clam roll and dry-aged roasted duck, but their cocktails are the true attractions. Belly up to the bar and sip on everything, including their signature Ticonderoga Cup: a ridiculously good combination of rum, cognac, sherry, pineapple, lemon, and mint.

We Suki Suki

We Suki Suki

East Atlanta

The delicious Vietnamese eats like pho, banh mi, and more you’ll find inside this tiny hidden gem not only rival those found along Buford Highway, but save you a trek as well -- plus, they have some of the friendliest service and most reasonable prices in the city.

Sebastian Davis/Thrillist

Home Grown

East Atlanta

While everything Home Grown makes is worth sampling, their Comfy Chicken Biscuit (crisp and juicy fried chicken atop a buttery biscuit and drowned in creamy sausage gravy) is noted as the best thing to eat in the entire state of Georgia. So yeah, get that if you HAVE to pick just one.

Marcel

Marcel

Midtown

Settle into one of the deep booths in the beautiful and spacious dining room at this upscale brasserie and prepare for some serious bliss in the form of a couple of courses, including the foie gras with fig terrine, escargot, and the L’Entrecôte steak with frites and insanely flavorful sauce verte.

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Fat Matt's Rib Shack

Piedmont Heights

Bless Fat Matt’s for their fall-off-the-bones-tender ribs, rich and gooey-as-hell macaroni & cheese, and rum baked beans. All this (plus live music and zero pretense) are the things that our dreams are made of.

Flickr/T.Tseng

Gunshow

East Atlanta

It’s pretty hard to nab a non-10pm reservation for Gunshow, but if you do, order as much as you can, and pay special attention to the newest menu addition: charcoal-grilled veal sweetbreads, creamed kale, cotechino, maple-braised rutabaga, pickled persimmon, and pecan gremolata.

Brita Britnell/Thrillist

The Mercantile

Candler Park

Mercantile is an unassuming deli with delectable build-your-own sandwiches, prepared meals, and gourmet wares (including a surprisingly large selection of wines), all for you to take home.

Courtesy of Andrew Thomas Lee

King + Duke

Buckhead

Churning out rustic, Southern-inspired cuisine with an easy touch, this place is universally raved about. Get there asap for a table and be sure to try their legendary deviled eggs, duck legs, and kale caesar salad for a delicious touch of healthy greens.

Karen Pagano

Saltyard

Buckhead

With delicious, international-inspired small plates, excellent craft cocktails, a solid mostly-domestic wine and beer selection, and a gorgeous, ambient setting, Saltyard has gained a cult following for good reason. Their seasonal offerings vary, but arguably peak in summer when they rely on fresh Georgia peaches. We can’t get enough of their creamy, homemade Burrata accented with lemon, thyme, and chili flakes served alongside pickled peaches, crispy country ham, and delectable cornbread crumbs. It may well be the city’s best sophisticated Southern dish.

Chris Watkins

1Kept

Buckhead

Known among many ATLiens as the city’s best kept secret, 1Kept slings some of the city’s finest meat-based dishes. From pork loin to steak frites and more, their meats are all melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Maybe even more impressive? Some of their most beloved dishes are meatless (or easy on the meat). Don’t let the delectable pimento cheese board, with its grilled, crusty sourdough and pumpernickel breads, assorted jams, and homemade pickles pass you by. And for a dose of healthy greens, check out the warm kale salad with spicy chorizo, quinoa, carrots, and sweet, plump golden raisins tossed in a spicy chili oil vinaigrette.

Robert Gunn

Chai Pani

Decatur

Their food is legendary, but now, their service model has changed, which makes impatient patrons love this place even more. Instead of dodging servers in their charming dining area, you can place your order at the counter, take a seat, and wait leisurely for your meal. No matter what you get, don’t even think of missing out on their signature matchstick okra fries. That said, it’s impossible to go wrong with the Maharaja Lamb Burgers: a thick, juicy lamb burger flavored with ginger, mint, garlic, pistachio, and more. And then wash it all down with a Lime Rickey.

Sebastian Davis/Thrillist

Palookaville

Avondale Estates

Pallookaville is a perennial ATL favorite because they make any number of fried meats on a stick -- from regular corn dogs to meatsticks loaded with Italian sausages, Kielbasa, and more. Add to that their legit sandwiches and sides (like a mammoth Reuben and the mac and cheese topped with Cheez-Its) and boozy milkshakes, and you have what may very well be the most unique spot in Atlanta.

BOCADO Atlanta

Bocado

West Atlanta

With two 3 oz patties made of short rib, brisket, and ground chuck topped with American cheese and butter pickles, it’s no wonder Bocado makes the second best burger in the entire city--but they also make some other great eats, too. Their deviled eggs rival your grandmother’s and their grilled cheese and bacon sandwich, if distributed worldwide, could likely help engender an international peace treaty. The same goes for their lobster roll, which is only available on Saturday nights, and which will instantly make you feel like someone who summers in the Hamptons….or at least someone who eats like they do.

Andrew Thomas Lee

Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall

Old 4th Ward

Arguably the most popular Beltline-adjacent spot in town, Ladybird is the rare restaurant whose menu and ambience are both exceedingly amazing. Their outdoor, pet friendly patio is the perfect spot for people watching, eating their outrageously good eats like chicken fried chicken (or, for brunch, their French toast or chicken biscuit), and tossing back cocktails like their Fool in the Rain, a unique blend of Old Fourth Ward vodka, smoky brandy, sweet pear, and prosecco with a hint of earthly thyme. Regulars and newcomers alike will be pleased to know they’ve recently opened an outdoor “Grove” space, featuring a bar inside a vintage, painted camper, comfy Adirondack chairs, string lights, Ping-Pong tables, and a lot more.

Aviva by Kameel 

Aviva by Kameel

Downtown

Hankering for Mediterranean? Head to this downtown institution located in the Peachtree Center food court and make yourself comfortable, because you’re gonna get a TON of food regardless of what you order. Portions and flavors are huge -- and even better, their prices aren’t. The beef and lamb kabob plate is remarkably good, as is the hummus, creamed spinach, and lamb schwarma. Whatever you do, don’t leave without at least one order of baklava. The catch? Good luck finding a seat among their notoriously crowded tables.

Miller Union

Miller Union

West Atlanta

Consistency earns respect in Atlanta’s culinary community, and Steven Satterfield’s talent with preparing organic local goodness has kept him and the Miller Union team in the city’s top tier of places to feast. In other words, not many places could pull off having a seasonal veggie plate and housemade pork sausage that are equally popular, along with other super-authentic regional meals, from smoked rabbit mousse starters and shrimp/andouille gumbo at lunch to sauteed quail w/ smoked beets and Vidalia onions. Their wine list, curated by sommelier/GM/partner Neal McCarthy, is one of the top 100 in the US, according to Wine Enthusiast, and their dessert menu includes a peach and buttermilk cake.

Tomas Espinoza/Thrillist

Hampton & Hudson

Inman Park

Billy Streck is the Parker Lewis of the Atlanta dining scene, and H+H is further proof that the owner of GRAIN and Cypress Street is on top of his game. Walking into the just-opened subterranean Inman Quarter tavern, just past the cascading water wall near the patio, creates great separation from the bustling movement just above on N. Highland. Getting inside and ordering the secret housemade beef jerky, duck ham sourdough toast, the Nashville hot oyster po’boy, or the perfected fried flounder and herb shoestring fries is confirmation that maybe it was worth demolishing the corner where the old Dad’s Garage once stood if all the old spots found new homes and this amazing new community restaurant-bar was made possible. Oh, and they have Tropicalia on draft! Get there quickly!

Flickr/COVERT NINE

Atlas

Buckhead

It will be you that shrugs when other guests of this titan-inspired restaurant marvel at the amount of newly added pounds you carry after eating at this European-inspired American supper house. Advised by Gerry Klaskala (the founder of superstar ATL restaurants Aria and Canoe), and run by Christopher Grossman, who Klaskala trained at Aria and swiped from Napa Valley’s The French Laundry (which Anthony Bourdain calls “the best restaurant in the world”), Atlas gets its food exclusively from local farms, changes its menu weekly to spotlight seasonal goodness, and even has an exquisite collection of curated 20th-century art. So what the burger is $29? It’s so damn good that you’d willingly carry the chefs on your shoulders for all eternity.

South City Kitchen Buckhead

South City Kitchen Buckhead

Buckhead

There’s no such thing as a bad South City Kitchen location, but Chef Jason Starnes has made a major impact with the Buckhead spot, offering a location-exclusive menu that fits well with the area’s demanding culinary clientele. If you insist on having the famous fried chicken, shrimp-'n’-grits, or any of the other favorites from the Vinings or Midtown locations, it's available. But don’t miss out on the Southern Plates menu where an amazing bone-in ribeye, poultry (including seared sour cherry-sauced duck and spice-grilled quail), and seafood dishes from pan-seared cobia to Georgia mountain trout are waiting for you to tastefully gorge upon. You are in Buckhead now; show a little class.

Courtesy of Taiyo Ramen

Taiyo Ramen

Decatur

Everybody loved Makan’s ramen dishes, so it rebranded as Taiyo, focusing its kitchen efforts on craft versions of the hottest noodle in the game. Taiyo's doubled its ramen menu options, so you can now have seven styles of ramen including tonkotsu, pork shio (pork belly in chicken broth), kimchi beef, and more. There are also “Flavor bombs” for added garlic, herbal and spicy tastes, as well as an assortment of dumplings and buns if you’d rather be a renegade.

Muss & Turner

Muss & Turner's

Smyrna

The highly respected deli/bistro is one of the most consistently delicious dining destinations in town. Whether you’re lunching on one of the city’s best burgers (grilled on a Big Green Egg), handling the corned beef brisket reuben, or participating in a sly jab at ATL’s most famous chicken chain by eating the “Open on Sunday” fried chicken sandwich, you'll leave happy. You'll have to wait in line a few minutes, but take comfort in the fact that there’s no danger of M&T's going out of business anytime soon.

8arm

8 Arm

Virginia Highland

When Octopus Bar founders Nhan Le and Angus Brown closed Lusca, they clearly decided to simplify things a bit to not lose those of us who aren’t used to their talents with fine seafood dining. With 8 Arm, the menu -- which always changes but can be kept up with on Instagram -- is based on a few standard recipe styles that use alternating proteins. Whatever they put in it from day to day, try the tagliatelle. And then look for the main meat or seafood dish of the evening, which could be lamb shoulder, grouper, a porterhouse, or kinda anything. Just trust that it’s delicious.

ERIK MEADOWS

Superica

Old 4th Ward

You knew Ford Fry would get you sooner or later. Superica has survived freshman year by not only having the same energetic vibe that all Fry’s restaurants have, but also seriously superior Mexican food. Tacos can be puffy, but we recommend the plain ol’, super-crispy hard shell, which doesn’t fall apart when you bite into chicken tinga or picadillo. You know once you’ve tested the taco that the bigger time bites like the slow-braised short rib w/ chipotle molasses, wood-grilled shrimp fajitas, crispy whole fish, or mesquite-grilled quail will excel.

Cooks & Soldiers

Cooks & Soldiers

Westside

The name enough should draw you in. You almost expect a brawling gang of chefs in camouflage and red Rambo bandanas. But C&S is only at war with whack food, which it fights with “pinxtos,” or Spanish-French tapas inspired by the foods of Basque Country. For evidence, try the escabèche toast w/ Georgia white shrimp, Bayonne, chili-saffron oil, and marinated salad. Or go for small plates like grilled Spanish octopus, local rabbit, beef hearts from White Oak Pastures, and Berkshire and Ibérico pork meatballs. Regardless of your diplomatic tendencies, this is one culinary draft you’re not going to wanna dodge.

Empire State South

Empire State South

Midtown

There’s no way you can leave Hugh Acheson off a list of where’s-where in ATL’s eating scene -- not while the Canadian transplant is still proving his mastery of authentic Southern food from breakfast to dinner (and even during brunch). Just look at what he’s doing with catfish: In the mornings it’s smoked and slapped on a bagel, during lunch you can get a catfish banh mi hot dog with pickled trimmings, and for dinner it’s an entree served with Hoppin’ John, dashi, sweet potato, and cucumber. During weekend middays, it’s served with rice pudding, celery, tomato, and shrimp jus. Your grandma is jealous, and she’s an actual ATLien.

The Mercury

The Mercury

Ponce City Market

Take the spiral staircase from PCM’s Food Hall and you’ll find The Mercury, which unlike the Buick you drove in college, has proven to be reliable and unlikely to break down thanks to a space-aged mid-century American menu and some of the best cocktails in Atlanta. On the pasta side, the wild mushroom burrata ravioli is always a safe bet, as well as the Gulf shrimp carbonara. If you’re into cows and pigs be sure to order on the meatier side of things, since all beef is USDA Prime from Revere Meat Co. (straight outta Forest Park, GA) and you'll see just how great the Tomahawk pork chop w/ rosemary brandied apples sounds, and undoubtedly tastes. And regardless of what you eat, you can’t go wrong with a classic Aviation or Scofflaw cocktail -- and there are always large $60 cocktails for four, like the Glenlivet Rob Roy.

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1. Staplehouse 541 Edgewood Ave, Atlanta, GA 30312

From the founders of the Giving Kitchen -- a non-profit that helps restaurant workers in need -- Staplehouse is a James Beard Award-nominated communal dining experience. The Old Fourth Ward restaurant offers a few dining options: Ă  la carte service, for which reservations are encouraged; a pre-paid, reservations-required five-course tasting; and bar service, where walk-ins are welcome to eat. The menus change daily but you can always expect a mix of fresh produce, flavorful meats, and simple but rich desserts.

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2. Ticonderoga Club 99 Krog St NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Though its name suggests otherwise, Ticonderoga Club is a full-service restaurant with a menu full of well-crafted fish, steak, and poultry dishes. The Krog Street Market spot has a colonial-meets-Southern charm, and standouts like the massive steak -- dubbed The Chuck Wagon -- fit right in with the traditional club vibe. You should definitely take advantage of the inventive cocktail menu and try the signature Ticonderoga Cup, a strong blend of rum, cognac, sherry, pineapple, lemon, and mint.

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3. We Suki Suki 479 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

We Suki Suki is a simple Vietnamese sandwich shop in East Atlanta Village slinging creative banh mi that rival those found along Buford Highway. Expect traditional lemongrass chicken and pork-and-paté sandwiches, plus the house favorite made with tofu and eggplant. While the so-called Saigon-style subs are the main lure of We Suki Suki, a small selection of pho (available with beef, chicken, or mushroom & tofu) is available, but only for dine-in service (and for good reason -- noodles and broth taste best right when they're served).

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4. Home Grown 968 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

Home Grown is the kind of diner that will feed any and all cravings. The breakfast and lunch menu features diet-killing comfort plates like the Billy Boy, a whipped cream-topped stack of chocolate chip pancakes with a side of home fries and a Coke, ten kinds of biscuit sandwiches, and fried bologna on grilled Texas toast. While everything here is worth sampling, the open-faced Comfy Chicken Biscuit (crisp and juicy fried chicken atop a buttery biscuit and drowned in creamy sausage gravy) has been called one of the best things to eat in all of Georgia.

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5. Marcel 1170 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318

Settle into one of the deep booths in the beautiful and spacious dining room at this upscale restaurant and prepare for elegant courses like foie gras with fig terrine, escargot, and the L’Entrecôte steak with fries and insanely flavorful sauce verte. Don't be deceived by the French-leaning menu though, Marcel isn't a brasserie; it's a steakhouse, and the two-person Beef Wellington is a sight to behold (and requires 24-hour notice).

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6. Gunshow 924 Garrett St SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie’s Gunshow is a Brazilian churrascaria-meets-dim sum eatery in Glenwood with rock music and ticketed reservations. Diners sit at communal metal tables while chefs roll trolleys around the dining room featuring small plates from the open kitchen. Cocktail service follows suit with a roaming bar cart and tableside preparations (get the Toasted Old Fashioned). The menu rotates weekly but always features bold dishes like faux beef bone marrow, Buffalo chicken livers, French-style mussels with beef fat fries, and Vietnamese-style popcorn shrimp. An evening at Gunshow is like a night at dinner theater: take your seat, pick your poison, and enjoy the culinary show.

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7. The Mercantile 1660 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

The Mercantile is an unassuming deli in Candler Park with delectable build-your-own sandwiches, prepared meals, and a surprisingly large selection of wine. The gourmet grocery also offers a daily rotating menu of soups, roasted local chicken, and family-style casseroles to take home.

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8. King + Duke 3060 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

Named after characters from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, King + Duke is a storybook tavern in Buckhead with colonial-style cooking. The space is anchored by an open, 24ft hearth, where traditional American dishes like whole-roasted chicken and bone-in ribeye (it's called "The King," and you'll be having it for dinner) are cooked over wood-fueled flames. In keeping with the literary motif, the Southern-inspired craft cocktails reference literary classics, like plantation rum-based “On Stranger Tides” and “Drums of Autumn” with peach-infused bourbon. Dine inside, among aromas of a campfire, or on the expansive back patio, can of local brew in hand.

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9. Saltyard 1820 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

With delicious, international-inspired small plates, excellent craft cocktails, a solid mostly domestic wine and beer selection, Saltyard has gained a cult following for good reason. Its seasonal offerings vary, but arguably peak in summer when the kitchen relies on fresh Georgia peaches. We can’t get enough of the creamy, homemade Burrata accented with lemon, thyme, and chili flakes served alongside pickled peaches, crispy country ham, and delectable cornbread crumbs. It may well Atlanta's most sophisticated Southern dish.

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10. 1Kept 2293 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30309

1Kept slings some of Atlanta's finest meat-based dishes. From pork loin to steak frites and more, its meats are all melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Maybe even more impressive? Some of the most beloved dishes are meatless (or easy on the meat). Don’t let the delectable pimento cheese board, with its grilled, crusty sourdough and pumpernickel breads, assorted jams, and homemade pickles pass you by. And for a dose of healthy greens, check out the warm kale salad with spicy chorizo, quinoa, carrots, and sweet, plump golden raisins tossed in a spicy chili oil vinaigrette.

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11. Chai Pani 406 W Ponce de Leon Ave, Atlanta, GA 30030

People in Atlanta love Chai Pani, and for good reason. The casual Decatur spot, whose name translates to "tea and water" -- an Indian slang term that roughly means going out for a snack -- specializes in Indian street food. The menu is like a best hits collection of chaat, and it really is impossible to mess up your order. However, we highly suggest you get the matchstick okra fries and the Maharaja lamb burgers flavored with ginger, mint, garlic, and pistachio. There are plenty of refreshing beers to balance out the food's spice factor, including Indian ones like Kingfisher and Taj Mahal.

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12. Pallookaville 17 N Avondale Plz, Avondale Estates, GA 30002

Pallookaville is a perennial ATL favorite because it makes any number of fried meats on a stick -- from regular corn dogs to meatsticks loaded with Italian sausages, Kielbasa, and more. Add to that the roster of sandwiches and sides (like a mammoth reuben and Cheez-It mac & cheese) plus boozy milkshakes, and you have the best place in Atlanta to have a heart attack while eating the things you love.

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13. Bocado 887 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Bocado's burger -- two patties of blended short rib, brisket, and ground chuck, topped with American cheese and butter pickles -- is one of the best in Atlanta. You may very well come here for the burger but end up more than satisfied with the rest of the contemporary dishes, like deviled eggs that'll rival your grandmother's, a grilled cheese & bacon sandwich that's near impossible to recreate at home, and a lobster roll special that'll transport you to Cape Cod on first bite.

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14. Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall 684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

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.

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15. Aviva by Kameel 225 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

Tucked away in Muse’s Peachtree Center, Aviva by Kameel is serving fast-casual Mediterranean food to Downtown diners. The menu is based on heirloom family recipes, with house marinades and spice blends giving each item authentic flavor. Expect sandwiches, salads, and platters revolving around shawarma (chicken or lamb), falafel, and lamb kofta, plus familiar spreads like hummus and baba ghanoush. Fresh-squeezed juices push Aviva into healthy food territory, while The Beast, a burrito-like wrap filled with shawarma and falafel, is clearly not on any diet plan.

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16. Miller Union 999 Brady Ave, Atlanta, GA 30318

From its post on the Westside, Miller Union features unpretentious yet sophisticated New American cuisine with a Southern bent. The menu changes seasonally, but staples like the feta snack, butter bean or field pea hummus (availability depends on the season) with house-made lavash, and the celery cream-baked farm egg are indispensable starters (and if you happen upon the shrimp and andouille gumbo, add that to the list). The wine list is approachable, affordable, and organic with a global reach, though most of its attention leans towards the food-friendly wines of the old world. It’s also worth noting that the house-made ice cream sandwich is only available at lunch.

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17. Hampton + Hudson 299 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Located in a 3,500sqft space in the courtyard of the Inman Quarter building, Hampton + Hudson is a contemporary gastropub with a creative approach to New American cuisine. The pub’s decor features reclaimed wood accents, tufted booths, and an open kitchen anchored by a wood-fired grill, giving the modern space a comforting, turn of the century feel. The menu’s playful riffs on contemporary Southern pub fare are expressed through dishes like steak tartare tacos in potato chip shells with cured egg yolk, cool ranch chicharrones, and a wagyu pastrami and kraut sandwich. The cocktails -- both bottled and on draft -- are approachable tweaks on classics, and each menu item (save for the snacks) is replete with suggested beverage pairings.

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18. Atlas 88 W Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

Located in the St. Regis, Atlas is a titan of a restaurant inspired by all things Europe. The chef de cuisine is Christopher Grossman, an Aria-trained chef whose resume includes The French Laundry. Atlas sources its menu from local farms and the dishes change regularly to spotlight seasonal goodness, but you can always find a taste of familiarity in the burger, which is too damn good to leave the menu.

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19. South City Kitchen 3350 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

Chef Jason Starnes has made a major impact with South City Kitchen in Buckhead, offering a location-exclusive menu that fits well with the area’s demanding culinary clientele. If you insist on having the famous fried chicken, shrimp-'n’-grits, or any of the other favorites from the Vinings or Midtown locations, they're available. But don’t miss out on the Southern Plates menu where an amazing bone-in ribeye, poultry (including seared sour cherry-sauced duck and spice-grilled quail), and seafood dishes from pan-seared cobia to Georgia mountain trout are waiting for you to tastefully gorge upon. You are in Buckhead now; show a little class.

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20. Taiyo Ramen 130 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

Housed on the ground floor of the Courtyard Decatur Downtown Hotel, Taiyo Ramen is known for its namesake noodle soups, and Asian-inspired small plates and cocktails. There are various ramen styles on offer, with a section for “Flavor Bombs” and “Extra Toppings” if you so desire (but the broth is concocted overnight with pork, seafood, and chicken, and is a flavor bomb in itself). Start with the Traditional Asian Medicine cocktail, made with Japanese whisky and Islay single malt scotch, and an order of pork belly buns, which have a vaguely Southern twist thanks to a topping of pickled onion and pecan sugar. If you loved your meal, the menu encourages you to prove it... with beer: send a six-pack to the kitchen. Just do it.

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21. Muss & Turner's 1675 Cumberland Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30080

Born out of two friends, Muss & Turner's is a sleek yet down-to-earth deli and bistro serving up stacked sandwiches, large plates of grilled meats, and a burger that consistently ranks among Atlanta's best. The Reason to Reuben sandwich features a picture-perfect stack of corned beef brisket, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on marble rye, while the turkey-filled Gobbler is made with decadent Ritz cracker stuffing. There's often a line, but take comfort in the fact that there's no danger of M&T going out of business anytime soon.

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22. 8 Arm 710 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

8ARM is a hybrid coffee shop-restaurant-bar in Virginia Highland from Chefs Angus Brown, Nahn Le, and Pastry Chef Sarah Dodge (all formerly of Octopus Bar and Lusca). The modern American café features small-batch coffee, counter-service breakfast and lunch, table service at dinner, and an outdoor patio bar that's especially suitable for late-night cocktails. Breakfast dishes include egg sandwiches, bagels and lox, and pastries. For lunch, soup, salad, and sandwiches are on offer, and for dinner, there’s an eight-item, vegetable-focused menu that changes with the seasons. 8ARM’s 45-seat space is inviting and suitable for your every craving, all day long.

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23. Superica 99 Krog St NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Krog Street’s elevated Tex-Mex restaurant, Superica, stands out among the many other Mexican spots nearby. Tacos can be puffy, but we recommend the plain ol’, super-crispy hard shell, which doesn’t fall apart when you bite into chicken tinga or picadillo. You know once you’ve tested the taco that the bigger time bites like the slow-braised short rib w/ chipotle molasses, wood-grilled shrimp fajitas, crispy whole fish, or mesquite-grilled quail will excel.

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24. Cooks & Soldiers 691 14th St NW Ste D, Atlanta, GA 30318

Westside’s Cooks & Soldiers is an upscale restaurant with a menu devoted to the culinary traditions of Spain's Basque Country. The menu serves tapas-like pinxtos and wood-fired asador dishes in convivial atmosphere reminiscent of Basque dining culture. Two per order and served on toast, the traditional pinxtos include skewered bites like pan con tomate (add jamon iberico, trust us) and tortilla de chorizo. From the asador, you’ll find larger format meats, like the Chuletón... that two-pound steak you’ll be having for dinner.

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25. Empire State South 999 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Empire State South is Hugh Acheson’s ode to Southern food, and despite its office building locale (and Acheson's Canadian roots) serves plates authentic enough to be home-cooked. It's rare to find a restaurant that excels at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but Empire State South manages to do so. The morning line-up boasts standouts like peanut brittle porridge and smoked catfish on an everything bagel, while lunch forces a corporate crowd to think outside the box with jars of baba ganoush, pimento cheese with bacon marmalade, and catfish mousse. Acheson fuses Southern ingredients to a new level at dinner, where the small plates-heavy menu features out-there dishes like rabbit boudin and grilled octopus on kimchee rice. Okay, maybe you can't recreate these recipes at home.

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26. The Mercury 675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

Julian Goglia and Chef Mike Blydenstein, co-owners of Decatur’s Pinewood Tippling Room, have gifted Atlanta with The Mercury, a mid-century modern restaurant and bar perched inside Ponce City Market with a penchant for cocktails and old-school flavor. Blydenstein’s menu highlights steaks & chops, pastas, and raw bar options; and standout dishes include wild mushroom burrata ravioli, Gulf shrimp carbonara, and the Tomahawk pork chop. The approachable but glamorous cocktail menu includes classics (Scofflaw, Aviation, French 75) plus tableside service for large format drinks like Rob Roy with Glenlivet 12-Year Scotch.