If there's one thing you have to do this Summer, it's... well, these 12 things... but you should really also hit the 11 best new restaurants in Atlanta, including one that rotates, one where you can go bowling, and more:
Polaris (address and info)
Closed for 10 years, the giant blue dome atop the Hyatt is spinning once again. After a million-dollar renovation, which includes four distinct dining and drinking areas, this institution is ready for your proposals, graduations, and the meal before you take your buddy to the Clermont for the last time as a single man.
Bar Amalfi (address and info)
This seriously casual outdoor drinking destination is the perfect addition to the Westside’s ever-expanding Little Italy, thanks to a patio that practically begs you to unbutton a few on your shirt, sit back and swill Cipriani bellinis, or Amalfi limoncello, or nosh on bites like caprese salad, bruschetta, and wood-grilled prawns.
Southbound (address and info)
Chamblee makes the list thanks to twists on Southern classics that'll surprise even the most experienced soul food eater who may not be used to peanuts boiled in pork broth, or using avocado (?!) as a base for their chicken salad.
The Painted Pin (address and info)
The future of bowling has arrived, and it tastes like wood-fired pizzas, malted mini Waffle Dogs w/ sweet soy aioli, and hickory-smoked pork ribs w/ tart slaw, plus signature 'tails like a Moscow Mule Slushie, and a Bourbon Punch w/ lemon, orange oleo-saccharum, and Madeira.
Varuni Napoli (address and info)
The scent of traditional Neapolitan pies is wafting over Piedmont Park, thanks to signature numbers covered in Italian bacon, their meat-laden antipasti plate, or their fried food-loaded cuoppo which'll keep you away from the salad side of the menu for, like, ever.
MARBAR (address and info)
Casual Mexican tacos, mostly made w/ seafood, make this a bright oasis on the Decatur food scene, but don’t worry... they’re more than willing to throw bacon in with your tuna, shrimp, and swordfish. Oh, and muchas tequilas cocktail-as are on hand as well.
Smokebelly (address and info)
This Buckhead barbecue beast has all the meats, cheeses, and liquors you'd expect to find at a real Southern smokehouse. But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, their smoked salmon sandwich is a rich change of pace from the deep-fried fish you’re accustomed to.
Ratio Bakeshop (address and info)
This Decatur “speakeasy” bakery is not just sweets and other high-end office treats: grab a ham-stuffed croissant, a sausage quiche, or a bacon & cheddar sourdough, and you’ll be the hero of the Monday morning meeting.
Taproom Coffee (address and info)
Combining beer, coffee, and beer-infused ice cream, Taproom is making good on its Kickstarter promise to... um, combine beer, coffee, and beer-infused ice cream. But don’t worry if you didn’t donate first, they’ll still be happy to serve you some of the ATL's best coffee, and might even mix some alcohol in there as a sign of gratitude.
Kabob Land (address and info)
Buckhead now has an authentic Turkish spot to call its own, thanks to Metin Karasalih, who is baking the pita, prepping the yogurt, and gannoushing the Babagannoush daily.
1. Polaris265 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
2. Bar Amalfi1077 Hemphill Ave NW, Atlanta
3. Southbound5394 Peachtree Rd, Chamblee
4. The Painted Pin737 Miami Cir NE, Atlanta
5. Varuni Napoli1540 Monroe Dr NE, Atlanta
6. Smokebelly BBQ128 E Andrews Dr NW, Atlanta
7. MARBAR314 E Howard Ave, Decatur
8. Ratio Bakeshop755 Commerce Dr Ste T-100, Decatur
9. Taproom Coffee1963 Hosea L Williams Dr SE #R106, Atlanta
10. Lusca1829 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta
11. Kabob Land3137 Piedmont Rd, Atlanta
Polaris is a rotating restaurant on top of a Downtown hotel. Expect apps like brandy rabbit boudin with fried pork belly cracklings and caramelized Benton’s bacon popcorn, or entrees like cold-smoked Kurobuta pork tenderloin, or slow-stewed red chile chicken? It's THE place for proposals and graduations -- especially after the one-million-dollar renovation -- and rotates every 45 minutes.
If the limoncello selection isn't enough to get you to Bar Amalfi, try the small plates like a caprese salad or wood-grilled prawns. It's an open-air restaurant and the patio makes it a totally casual drinking spot.
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 isn't your average bowling alley with limp, greasy pizza and lukewarm hot dogs. No, The Painted Pin is serving up wood-fired pizzas and malted mini Waffle Dogs w/ sweet soy aioli. Plus they've got signature cocktails like a Moscow Mule Slushie that probably won't help your score but are totally worth it.
Varuni Napoli serves up classic Neapolitan pizza and street food. It's open kitchen design lets you get right into the action and see how real, Southern Italian food is made. What makes this Morningside-Lenox Park eatery so popular are its amazing specials, which include cheap appetizers, cheese plates, pizza, and wine.
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.
This Decatur patio is busting out a deep drink list featuring all sorts of tequilas and rums, plus Mexican-inspired eats heavy on the seafood, like their Mahi Mahi dorado taco.
It's all about the ratio of ingredients when it comes to baking, and Ratio Bakeshop has it down to a science. They've been serving Decatur some of the best sweets for years.
Taproom Coffee serves up specialty coffee and craft beer from breweries in Atlanta and elsewhere. The menu's full of pastries and snacks made fresh by Mae's Bakery.
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.