Food & Drink

The Coolest Bars and Restaurants in Town

Published On 11/12/2013 Published On 11/12/2013
Andrew Thomas Lee
Chris Watkins
Seven Lamps
Cook Hall
Del Frisco's Grille (Atlanta)
Courtesy of Chops Lobster Bar
KR Steakbar
The Barrelhouse
STK Atlanta
Mi Cocina
Edgar's Proof and Provision
The General Muir
White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails
Der Biergarten
Twenty-Two Storys Lounge & Bar
Kimball House
Elyse Albert/Thrillist
The Pinewood
Bone Lick BBQ
The Optimist
The Sound Table
Folk Art
Krog Bar
Courtesy of Seed Kitchen & Bar
Courtesy of Octopus Bar
The One Sushi +
Hugo's Oyster Bar
The ATL Burger Truck
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1. 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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2. 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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3. Stillhouse 56 E Andrews Dr NW , Atlanta, GA 30305

Handcrafted burgers made from oysters, duck, steak and chicken are par for the course at this Buckhead tavern where moonshine cocktails wash everything down.

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4. Seven Lamps 3400 Around Lenox Rd, Atlanta, GA 30326

This rustic resto is serving craft food and drinks, which means artisan cheeses, handmade pastas, and, naturally, things like their Smoked Bramlett Trout Mousse. Drinks run the gamut from jerk sodas to beer-tails to speciality 'tails.

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5. 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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6. Umi 3050 Peachtree Rd NE, Ste 1, Atlanta, GA 30305

In the heart of Buckhead, Umi features a 23ft sushi bar where Fuyuhiko Ito -- formerly of sushi house MF Buckhead -- slices and dices denizens of the sea for the citizens of Atlanta. Its white oak walls give the space a warm feel, as do the charred wood walls, which were hand-burned using the ancient Japanese application of Shou Sugi Ban. That kind of attention to detail is evident in the dishes, too, like the the assorted nigiri, spider and shrimp tempura rolls, and changing desserts that have included a Yuzu lemon meringue with blackberries and creme anglaise.

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7. Cook Hall 3377 Peachtree Rd NE, Buckhead, GA 30326

A global gastropub based in the W Atlanta-Buckehead, CH dishes out comfort food in a bar-centric environment where they even give you your own DIY kit to mix 'tails.

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8. Del Frisco's Grille 3376 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

Situated in the upwardly trending Buckhead neighborhood, Del Frisco's Grille is a bustling steakhouse serving premier steaks, fresh food, and an array of other gourmet fare. And with a glass of wine from its extensive stock, you can take it all in from one of its scenic patio.

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9. Chops Lobster Bar 70 W Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

Serving authentic Wagyu beef with a BMS (Beef Marbling Score) of 12 out of 12, Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead has cornered the surf n turf market. Step into this dark wood dining room, and you won't hesitate at ordering a bone-in filet or something from the fresh seafood menu, like Rockefeller oysters and lobster tails in a savory butter-sage sauce.

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10. KR SteakBar 349 Peachtree Hills Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Just one in a line of resto's establishing the legacy of chef Kevin Rathbun, KR SteakBar specializes in, wait for it... steak! It also offers up crafty cocktails and a menu full of Italian deliciousness.

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11. The Barrelhouse 22 5th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30308

The Barrelhouse is just a downright easy-going neighborhood pub that can satiate your appetite for anything from a snack, to a brew, to a full meal.

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12. STK Atlanta 1075 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA 30309

Celebrating the simplicity of a great steak by removing all those showy "vowels," STK boasts a porterhouse and a cowboy ribeye that'll fill you up, and a black truffle aioli tartare that should every meal. The restaurant is advertised as a steakhouse "for the stiletto set," though, so you'll also get the choice of plenty of salads, small plates, and three sizes of steaks, all served in a chic, glossy space.

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13. The Lawrence 905 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

The gang behind Sound Table and Top Flr has taken over the old Lupe space to open a minimalist, subway-tiled, primer-painted supper-house-meets-train-station. At The Lawrence, you'll find several creations made with house infusions (lavender mint tea vodka, cinnamon-chipotle-infused añejo tequila, lemongrass-infused rye) and other ass-kicking drinks like the Armagnac-mixed Brooklyn Social Scene.

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14. Mi Cocina 1080 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Face it, su cocina will never encompass two floors featuring a modern ambience, ornithological murals, crazy-good Tex-Mex grub, and cocktails that don't consist of only cheap rum and Mr. Pibb, so you should head over to Mi Cocina to get all of that and more.

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15. Proof and Provision 659 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

Tucked underneath the historic Georgian Terrace Hotel, Proof and Provision is a hip brick-columned basement where barrel-aged cocktails and scrumptious small plates take center stage. Whiskey is the name of the game here, and you really can't go wrong no matter what drink you choose -- we'd suggest The Truth, which uses their private label “Edgar’s Truth” bourbon and pineapple-citrus sour. Pair it with bites like black eyed pea hummus, mac & cheese, or the southern chicken biscuit.

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16. The General Muir 1540 Avenue Pl NE Ste B-230, Atlanta, GA 30329

The General Muir is an homage to the timeless New York-style deli, though the white subway-tiled space looks more like a demure bakery than a generations-old Jewish deli. The hallmark of the morning-to-night menu is, of course, the bagels, which are hand-rolled and kettle-boiled. Sandwiches are named after the streets of Alphabet City and served open-face with smoked fish spreads ranging from nova and schmear to trout salad. The rest of the menu reads like a combination of Katz's and Russ & Daughters: house-cured pastrami with chopped liver, latkes with apple sauce, and matzoh ball soup are all there. The only giveaway that you're not in New York is the friendly smiles from the people dining next to you.

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17. White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails 270 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails lives at the intersection of contemporary style and Southern tradition. The menu changes seasonally, but no matter when you stop in, you can expect a Southern tinge in each of the simple, yet elegant dishes, like a charcuterie plate with pimento cheese or deviled eggs with... pimento cheese. The bar is firmly rooted in the South as well, with a focus on wine, whiskey, and bourbon. With refined decor featuring (you guessed it) white oak wood and opulent chandeliers, the 300-seat restaurant is an airy, upscale space for date night, group dining, and private events alike.

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18. Der Biergarten 300 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

Indulge in all the schnitzel you seek at Der Biergarten, a festive 7,000sqft indoor/outdoor haven for Deutsch-y food & froth fanatics. This place is loaded with 3-D murals of the German countryside, a circular "Stammtisch" (table for regulars) with its own chandelier, and a German-made model train circling the interior's ceiling.

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19. Twenty-Two Storys 265 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

A relaxing American lounge with a beer and cocktail-heavy drink selectio, Twenty Two Storys is located in the lobby of the upscale Hyatt Regency hotel. After a few local craft beers in this luxurious spot with your friends, you'll add a few stories of your own.

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20. Kimball House 303 E Howard Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

Located on the former site of an old train depot on the south side of Decatur, Kimball House is a nationally lauded French restaurant and cocktail bar. Libations at this decidedly plush spot include modern, made to order reinventions of the classics, and a full service absinthe bar. High end fare like caviar, filet mignon and a raw bar are menu standouts -- but if you want the luxe experience without getting too spendy, stop in Monday through Friday from 5-7pm for $1 to $1.50 oysters.

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21. Leon's Full Service 131 E Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

Housed in an old gas station, Leon’s Full Service in Decatur practices the principle of southern hospitality, performing the restaurant equivalent of “full service,” while fueling you up with New American fare, not gasoline. Try sharing plates, charcuterie boards, larger plates, and hand-cut pommes frites, served golden-fried and ready to be outfitted with the most decadent of dipping sauces, including mango-peppadew ketchup, peppercorn gravy, and goat cheese fondue. The outdoor patio has tiny overhead lights and pebbled pavement, making for a delightful place to snack with friends and family.

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22. MAR 314 East Howard Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

Hit up this Mex-taurant for fish tostadas and tacos, as well as some serious 'tails like the Little Devil margarita.

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23. The Pinewood Tippling Room 254 W Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

At the sophisticated Pinewood Tippling Room, you'll find traditional Southern classics kicked up a notch, like chicken & waffles with a savory cheddar & herb waffle and crystal chicken gravy, and salmon with grilled corn & lady pea succotash, goat cheese mousse, and crispy prosciutto. You'll want to imbibe some whiskey cocktails inside this industrial-chic space, which are Pinewood's specialty, such as the Goonies Never Say Die! with Old Forester Bourbon, ginger, lime, Velvet Falernum, and grains of paradise.

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24. Bone Lick BBQ 1133 Huff Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318

Bone Lick's a saucy meat mecca with a recycled wood bar and skee-ball pointed out by a gigantic lit-up carnival arrow.

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25. The Optimist 914 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318

The Optimist proudly brings premier sustainable seafood to Midtown Atlanta. The airy, modern, minimalist spot specializes in oysters, with over ten varieties from the East Coast, Mid-Atlantic, and Canada available on the half shell. Coastal, regional dishes (gumbo, clam chowder, fish& chips) make up the rest of the menu. For an after dinner treat, knock out a round of putt-putt on the restaurant's on-site course.

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26. The Sound Table 483 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

The Sound Table in the Old Fourth Ward offers the three D’s to success: dinner, drinks, and dancing. Sharing plates offer international flavors in shrimp-chorizo tacos, tuna tataki, and Belgian-style frites, and they’ll put just enough swing in your step to jam to the live DJs on the daily lineup. Add a couple of drinks, like the classic ST Boulevard Zombie, with Wray & Nephew rum, Goslings rum, lime, grenadine, and orange curacao, or a Penultimate, with Cimarron Blanco tequila, lime, St. Germain, and maraschino liqueur, and get on your feet.

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27. Rumi's Kitchen 6112 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30328

Rumi's Kitchen serves authentic, textually flavorful Persian dishes. Daily freshly baked bread, diverse list of international and domestic wines, and impeccable service make for a memorable dining experience.

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28. Grindhouse Killer Burgers 1842 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

Grindhouse Killer Burgers is kind of like the reading a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book, but it's better because there's food involved. Orders are customized from scratch from the meat (beef/turkey/veggie) to the size of the patties to the toppings (of which there are a dozen), but if you aren't feeling creative, there are a handful of burger "styles," like the Hillbilly with brisket chili and the bleu cheese-heavy Yankee. A lot of folks drop by and get theirs to go, but they miss out on the kung fu movies that are always playing on the flatscreen tvs.

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29. Folk Art 465 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Jason Hill of Wisteria's new daily breakfast/lunchery in Inman Park.

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30. Krog Bar 112 Krog St, Atlanta, GA 30307

An intimately styled wine bar, Krog Bar is the perfect place to impress your date with all those Rosetta Stone hours you put into studying the 'romantic languages.' If all else fails, you can set things back on track by ordering some of their outstanding list of Spanish cheese and wine.

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31. Wrecking Bar Brewpub 292 Moreland Ave, Atlanta, GA 30307

Founded by a home-brewing couple and located in the basement of Little Five Points' historic Victor H. Kriegshaber House, Wrecking Bar Brewpub is an award-winning neighborhood staple serving up a diverse range of approachable, comforting beers like the Sow Your Wild Oatmeal Porter, the pine-flavored Spruce Juice Pale Ale, and the bright, fruity Partition Rustic Urban Ale. Beers aside, Wrecking Bar Brewpub's also upheld for its house burgers, made with grass-fed beef and all the fixings.

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32. Seed Kitchen & Bar 1311 Johnson Ferry Rd, Marietta, GA 30068

Inside this sleek, light-filled Marietta spot, you can dig into creative takes on American cuisine, such as lemon & herb ricotta ravioli, chicken schnitzel, and hickory-smoked pork chop. The team here is offering up a solid cocktail menu, too, split into vintage and modern drinks -- from a classic Ward 8 (Rittenhouse Rye, fresh OJ, lemon, and homemade grenadine) to the inventive Delight Savings Time (Boosma, Parfait Amour, Salers, lemon, strawberry-rhubarb soda). You'll want to top it all off with the tres leches cake.

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33. 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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34. Octopus Bar 560 Gresham Ave, Atlanta, GA 30316

Featuring a menu that changes daily, Octopus Bar is a quality spot for late-night eats. But keeping in tune with their name, yes, you'll be able to order octopus on pretty much any day you're there.

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35. The One Sushi Plus 2523 Caldwell Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30319

The One Sushi Plus, located in Atlanta's Brookhaven neighborhood, wants you to know it's not a one-trick pony, its small plates, like its braised pork belly to its entrees assure you'll be praising many more than its acclaimed sushi rolls. Imported Japanese beers and handmade cocktails means the drinks are up to par as well.

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36. Hugo's Oyster Bar 10360 Alpharetta St, Roswell, GA 30075

From the guys behind C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar comes Hugo's, where live jazz, fresh seafood, AND your favorite sports games all come together for your casual enjoyment. Other noteworthy things: fried mac 'n cheese.

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37. Opulent 948 Canton St, Roswell, GA 30075

The Roswell date spot in the former INC Autentico space takes notes from the Roaring Twenties with a speakeasy-style decor and American-inspired bites.