The Best Restaurants in Atlanta

Atlanta’s culinary scene is exploding, with everything from humble eateries to James Beard Award winners popping up all over the city. Restaurants here bring together the cuisines of international cultures, creating a melting pot of flavors.

924 Garrett St, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
After helming Woodfire Grill, starring on Top Chef, and writing his first cookbook (which was nominated for a James Beard Award), chef Kevin Gillespie opened Gunshow in 2013. He named the spot after a Sunday tradition with his father but created an entirely unique concept for the menu, combining elements of Chinese dim sum and Brazilian churrascaria. Here, diners pair small plates like Japanese bacon-and-shrimp pancakes, Caribbean red snapper crudo, and Southern-style banana pudding with quirky cocktails, made with ingredients like asparagus vodka and shishito syrup. Popular with locals, Gunshow is also a favorite of celebrities, so make a reservation to avoid waiting.
541 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA
Named 2016’s best new restaurant in America by Bon Appétit, Staplehouse is still Atlanta’s hardest reservation to score. Husband-and-wife team Ryan and Jen Hidinger dreamed up the restaurant after a series of successful supper clubs, which they hosted in their own home. Before they could open, however, Ryan was diagnosed with stage IV gallbladder cancer. Atlanta’s restaurant community rallied around the couple, raising money for Ryan’s treatments and eventually founding the Giving Kitchen charity. Eventually, the Hidingers leased a space and brought in Ryan’s sister Kara and her boyfriend, Ryan Smith, to run the restaurant. Ryan passed away in 2014 but his legacy lives on at Staplehouse, where Jen now serves as the business manager. While Ryan’s story is at the heart of the restaurant—a portion of the proceeds goes toward his charity—it’s Smith’s seasonally inspired menu that has kept Staplehouse on top.
224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA
If you ask anyone who’s visited Atlanta for restaurant recommendations, they’ll almost certainly suggest Mary Mac’s Tea Room. While the spot is a favorite of tourists—and celebrities, for that matter—it’s also a classic American eatery that locals frequent for special occasions. The space itself is sprawling, covering dozens of rooms and feeling much like a teahouse—although the only tea you’ll be drinking here is sweet and cold. The menu has remained relatively unchanged since Mary Mac’s opened in 1945 and includes hearty portions of fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and Georgia peach cobbler. Go with a group, order several items to share, and don’t be alarmed when goodwill ambassador Jo Carter comes by your table to rub your shoulders. It’s all part of the experience here.
2277 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
In a city full of burger joints, Holeman and Finch Public House stands out for its extensive drink selection and Southern twist on farm-to-table fare. Tucked into the back of an apartment complex on Peachtree Street, the popular spot serves specialty cocktails and what seems like every obscure beer, wine, and liquor that exists. In fact, H&F also owns a bottle shop, where it sells many of its rarest selections. To pair with your drink, the restaurant offers a signature burger with two patties, cheese, onions, pickles, and a side of fries. What makes it so fantastic, however, is the bun, which H&F bakes in-house and even sells to other restaurants. It was originally available only after 10 p.m. nightly or during Sunday brunch, and the restaurant once made just 24 each day. To make matters more complicated, H&F doesn’t take reservations, so it’s not uncommon to find a line out the door and a wait time of up to 2.5 hours. Plan accordingly.
1238 DeKalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
One of Atlanta’s most popular barbecue joints, Fox Bros. is packed every day, rain or shine. Locals jam the Little Five Points favorite for Texas-style fare like pulled pork and Flintstone-size ribs, best paired with sides like macaroni and cheese, tater tots, and Brunswick stew. You might have to loop around the block to find a parking spot, but it’ll be worth the wait. If the weather allows, sit outside on the patio.
5000 Buford Highway Northeast
Located on the international culinary corridor that is Buford Highway, Food Terminal brings the flavors of a Malaysian food market to Atlanta. Here, Amy Wong and Howie Ewe (who also own Sweet Hut Bakery and Café and Top Spice, a Thai and Malaysian chain) cook family recipes, drawing from memories of their homeland. Grab a seat in the modern space and choose from a menu of numbered noodle and rice dishes. The Grandma Wonton BBQ Pork Noodles—served with fried pork wontons, tender pork belly, egg noodles, bok choy, and a fried egg—are a favorite, but the Hainanese chicken and roti canai are also popular.
290 Elizabeth St NE F, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
A favorite for weekend brunch, this French-inspired bistro in Inman serves flaky croissants, avocado toast, and brioche topped with scrambled eggs and smoked trout. Later in the day, it also offers ratatouille, beef tartare, and steak frites. Complete with stamped ceilings, bistro tables, and green-tiled walls, the intimate spot is even great for dessert and a drink, whether you’re after a negroni, a glass of chenin blanc, or a locally brewed beer. For drink specials, come during the week when B&B offers its version of happy hour, called L’Apéro. Note: Bread & Butterfly does not take reservations.
1001 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, USA
The Flying Biscuit, owned by waitress and chef Delia Champion and Indigo Girls member Emily Saliers, opened in 1993 and since then has expanded its original Candler Park location and franchised all around town. At least 5,000 of their famous biscuits are made every day at each location. As you can tell, those biscuits are the main attraction. They’re sweeter than the standard biscuit and are served with cranberry apple butter. Also recommended: an omelet with a side of their “creamy dreamy” grits or the Eggstra-Ordinary Breakfast, pictured here.
1544 Piedmont Ave NE #301, Atlanta, GA 30324, USA
Calling itself a “chicken rotisserie,” this is far from Kentucky Fried. Bantam + Biddy truly showcases poultry in all of their menus. Brunch is certainly one of the most popular times to visit, as you can get bites like chicken and waffles, pictured above, French toast and pastries from Sublime Doughnuts. For lunch and dinner, you can get a whole chicken with all the fixings. Head to the original location in Ansley Mall or visit the ones in Midtown, Alpharetta or Lenox. Get there early to avoid a wait!
4199 Paces Ferry Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339, USA
Also located on the Chattahoochee River, Canoe provides beautiful views of the water and celebrates local seafood and other ingredients. The restaurant showcases Springer Mountain chicken, Carolina rabbit, and Enchanted Springs rainbow trout as some of the most popular dishes. Outdoor live music adds to the ambiance.
3130 Slaton Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, USA
As the stomping grounds for ladies who lunch, bridal luncheons, and baby showers, the Swan Coach House has been a Buckhead staple since 1965. A group of ladies opened the restaurant, gift shop, and art gallery to raise money for the arts while serving their family recipes on their own plates and silverware. Since then, the restaurant has become well known for Southern staples like their chicken salad, frozen fruit salad, cheese straws, and champagne punch. Be sure to visit the lavish Swan House at the Atlanta History Center while you’re there.
684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA
Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall is located on the Beltline, with a large porch and space to park either your car or your bike. The summer camp vibe is a great hangout to share some bites with friends, like their massive spatchcock chicken platter. They have a great selection of craft beer and cocktails, including the Wishing Well, made with local Old Fourth Distillery vodka. Bring your pals to hang on the lawn or stake out the shuffleboard table.
3060 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, USA
Named for characters from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, King + Duke is the next “it” restaurant in Atlanta. Inspired by hearty meals, King + Duke keeps it simple with entrees like hearth roasted fish, pasture leg chicken, and ratatouille. The outdoor patio and bar make you feel like you’re at a resort, but in the best possible way.
3400 Around Lenox Road, #217, Atlanta, GA 30326, USA
Calling themselves “craft food and drink,” Seven Lamps focuses on unique creations like artisan cheeses, cured meats, and locally inspired entrees. Vegetables are gathered from their outside garden and incorporated into dishes. They also make their own sodas, “beer-tails” and cocktails for those in the mood for something different. Seven Lamps also offers The Cook’s Table, a unique dinner, and wine pairing experience.
999 Brady Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, USA
Miller Union may seem like just another follower of the farm-to-table trend, but that’s not what made it one of Bon Appetit’s Best Restaurants in America. The humble decor of this former warehouse in Atlanta‘s Westside provides the ideal environment for Chef Steven Satterfield’s food. Start off with one of the well crafted cocktails, specifically the Miller Thyme, a gin and lemon drink garnished with thyme, or the Pimm’s Teacup, which incorporates Earl Grey tea. The dinner menu changes monthly, but if possible try the Lowcountry Boil, a southern favorite, or the goat cheese ravioli.
303 E Howard Ave, Decatur, GA 30030, USA
Kimball House is one of Atlanta‘s top rated restaurants and it doesn’t take long to learn why. Every detail is impeccable, from the excellent service to the carefully crafted cocktails to the meals themselves. Set in an old train depot in Decatur, dinner at Kimball House is a splurge you won’t soon forget. Start with a few oysters, their main attraction, and a cocktail in a vintage glass. If your group is feeling adventurous, try the bottled old fashioned, which serves 4, or the full absinthe service, complete with sugar cubes and all the fixings. Beer and wine are also options. The menu changes seasonally, but always offers some form of fish, meat and vegetables, as well as steak and caviar. They don’t take reservations, so you’ll have to be patient or go early. They also have outdoor seating for when the weather is nice. Named for the former Kimball House Hotel, the interior of the restaurant is the star, so don’t forget to look up from your meal.
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