Atlanta is a vibrant city that brings the concepts of music, culture, art and entertainment to new and exhilarating heights. Perhaps one of the most notorious platforms when it comes to enjoying the city is its flavorful culinary scene. With delicious options around every corner, it’s a competitive field of flavors to choose from. Chad Salenius, founder and CEO of Atlanta Luxury Rentals, self-proclaimed foodie and lover of exquisite cuisine has put together a list of his top culinary must haves. Here are the top 25 best restaurants in Atlanta, according to Chad, that you must try when you’re looking to savor your time in Atlanta.
This all-American steakhouse brings the flavor and the flair with a style that screams old-world chic and a menu that is ultra-modern. Beyond the steak, guests will find everything from oysters to Foie Gras to please their palate. The friendly service, delicious mixed drinks and delectable atmosphere complete with leather seating and shining chandeliers puts it at the top of the list for must-try restaurants in Atlanta.
Where seafood meets an industrial-chic ambiance Bacchanalia hits the mark. Offering up a menu complete with scallops, steel-head trout and Jamison lamb, guests will want to make a reservation well in advance and get ready for a three-course experience in tantalizing tastes. An impeccable wine pairings list puts this place towards the top of the must-try list.
This fish camp and oyster bar brings the Oceanside directly to your plate in the heart of Atlanta. Serving up Maine Sea Scallops, oysters and more from the coast of Alabama, The Optimist prides itself on working directly with sustainable seafood suppliers. From smoked fish chowder to mouth-watering mussels, you can’t go wrong when you stop by The Optimist for dinner.
Snuggled into the chic Hotel Clermont, Tiny Lou’s is the perfect mix of French and American cuisine. This well-loved brasserie brings a unique Atlanta twist to some French menu favorites. With options like Vidalia onion soup and Blue Fin Crab crepe on the table, it’s not hard to imagine yourself immersed in cozy Parisian patio conversations while you’re sipping a Sauvignon Blanc in Atlanta.
5. Kimball House
When it comes to innovative eating, Kimball House reigns supreme. Built within the walls of a former train station, this urban eatery serves up fresh fare with a French countryside twist. Working on a model of farm to table delivery, Kimball House produces a menu that reflects the passion of its producers. Shrimp cocktail, Paddlefish and prime strip are readily available once you’re seated. Expect the menu to change seasonally and to be pleased with the results every time you’re here.
6. Sotto Sotto
Based on the best of Italy, Sotto Sotto serves up fine-Italian cuisine with a passion for flavor and an incredible attention to authentic detail. Comfortable, charming and savory, guests will have the option to taste everything from rich seafood spaghetti to Pesce Arrosto. Pair it up with an Italian white or red and you’ll have a meal to remember. Serving Atlanta since 1999, this is a fan favorite that always makes the list.
7. Rathbun Steak
A most memorable and modern steakhouse, Rathbun Steak brings a touch of romance to this tasty, urban locale. Serving up tender meats and savory seafood options, this location incorporates dim lighting as well as a unique balance between modern and classic décor to set the mood for any dinner time event. You’ll come for the thick-cut bacon but inevitably leave with a taste for Maine cut lobster tail as well.
Simple, sophisticated and savory, Umi is a contemporary masterpiece when it comes to serving delicious menu items that include sushi, lobster tempura and a wide selection of craft Saki. Delivering fresh fare in an environment that utilized earthy elements and clean-line design, Umi brings guests back to the simple pleasures while delivering big on complex flavor.
9. Cape Dutch
Developed using the unique vibe of the South African countryside, Cape Dutch is the ultimate stop when there is a need to satisfy a craving for signature steaks, seafood, vegetables and beyond. Incorporating the Hickory and Oak flavor that infuse the South African grilling process, menu items range from center cut filet to peri-peri chicken. Rich, flavorful and fine-tuned to an authentic South African taste, Cape Dutch is a must-try when you’re in Atlanta.
If you can’t hop the next flight to Venice, Valenza is your best bet for satisfying your canal-side cravings. From antipasti to risotto and the many rich and flavorful choices in between, Valenza brings Italy to guests with a side of incredible hospitality. Both cozy and classic, this restaurant creates an ambiance that perfectly balances the rich menu and wine list.
11. Restaurant Eugene
This renowned, upscale and urban eatery makes a fantastic mark on the city with a menu that takes on traditional fare in a unique fashion. Offering up farm fresh menu items, great attention is paid to sustainable suppliers and the results are a flavorful blend of taste and presentation. From citrus cured mountain trout to toasted caraway southern vegetables a taste of what Restaurant Eugene delivers brings an awe-inspiring artisanal flair right to the table.
12. Staple House
This for-profit subsidiary of Giving Kitchen offers guests a chance to eat something delicious with a higher purpose. An ever-revolving tasting menu can host anything from duck liver to hazelnut crab as well as ribeye to lobster mushrooms. As you enjoy your meal, the pleasure is magnified with the understanding that profits go towards assisting those in the culinary field who fall on hard times. Built on a philosophy of love and compassion, this is a restaurant worth stopping by again and again.
When it comes to the art of dining, Aria is completely dedicated to the ultimate evening experience. Serving up delicious menu items in a cozy, comfortable and modern atmosphere, Aria is a dinner-only establishment that regularly changes up their selection. Start with a shareable snack and move onto a main dish built on either seafood, salad or meat. If you come with a group, a seven-course tasting menu is offered on a regular basis.
14. Miller Union
Where the best of savory southern cooking and country fare collide, Miller Union thrives. A cozy place to dine for lunch or dinner, Miller Union provides the perfect locale for trying everything from okra to grit fritters. A touch of elegance in the decor scheme gives it a date-night feel when the weekend hits. Whether you’re in the mood for butter bean hummus or goat cheese ravioli, Million Union has a meal for you.
Delivering up a rustic atmosphere complete with tapas and Spanish-inspired fare on a daily basis, Barcelona is a modern and savory stop in Atlanta. An impressive wine list and cozy ambiance makes for a fun place to dine with friends as you make your way through a diverse menu of options. While the dishes may be small, the flavor is bold, and the choices are vast when you visit Barcelona right in the middle of Atlanta.
16. TWO Urban Licks
This transformed warehouse with a chic, modern twist and a knack for the Blues brings delicious rotisserie menu items to the table when you’re looking to satisfy a rich and flavorful craving. Wood-fired fare and live music makes this an exciting and flavorful restaurant stop any day of the week. For those looking to enjoy something a bit lighter, savory BBQ white shrimp and mussels grace the menu as well.
Built within the walls of a fully-restored factory, Superica delights the city of Atlanta with a menu that boasts of some of the most flavorful Tex-Mex meals around! Bright, colorful and energetic, the ambiance supports the bold taste the menu offers up. Options include everything from fajitas to enchiladas and a variety of tacos in between. Come for lunch, dinner or drinks to enjoy the vast selection.
This high-class steakhouse offering USDA choice cuts alongside savory seafood fare brings old-world style alongside delectable flavor. Setting the chic scene with dark wood paneling and arched ceilings, a stop at Chops is an experience in classic charm and unbelievable tastes. Whether you go with the filet barrel or the bone-in ribeye, Chops delivers exceptional quality to the table every time.
When it comes to delightful presentation, nobody does it better than Atlas. Working closely with local farms and traditional dishes, the team at Atlas works relentlessly to create aesthetic appeal among small-plates as a way of redesigning the dining experience. Meticulous, mesmerizing and delicious, guests will find great joy in trying everything from a classic burger to a veal striploin.
This midtown venue brings the best of old-world style alongside modern European menu selections. Bold flavors and a vast wine list make this a top-notch stop in Atlanta. Serving everything from pastas to cured meats and cheeses as well as flatbreads, seafood and lamb Ecco is a place that satisfies the taste buds and continuously brings friends together.
21. Whiskey Bird
Providing a laid- back atmosphere with bold, fun flavors, Whiskey Bird brings the best of international fusion to the table in a space made for sharing. Based on the tapas-style approach to dining, most of the menu is best served in the company of others. Try a taste of pork belly yakatori alongside smoked salmon wontons and don’t forget the crispy brussel sprouts before you go!
22. no. 246
Italian food is all about coming together with those you love and enjoying the experience and no. 246 in Atlanta gets it right every time. Menu items are locally sourced and combined to create delicious Italian dishes like chicken marsala and eggplant involtino that bring flavor and texture to the forefront of the table. Whether you go for the custom 5-course dinner option or choose to take part at the communal chef’s table you’re sure to find something that pleases the palate.
23. The General Muir
The best New York-style deli in Atlanta, The General Muir brings comfort food to new levels and completes the experience with walls that host subway tiles. From bagels to cured meats, salmon to chicken salad this place does city-style fare up right. With entire plates dedicated to the lower east side, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered the best Big Apple hideaway every time you step into The General Muir.
24. Rumi’s Kitchen
Named for the 13th century poet Rumi who spoke of peace, love and happiness this Persian cuisine locale is a paradise of tranquility and tastefully blended flavors. True to the Persian tradition, the menu offers up a variety of savory options including lamb sliders, falafel and kabobs. A light, airy and intimate setting provides the perfect background for enjoying an authentically Persian meal whenever you happen to drop by.
25. Ticonderoga Club
In the mood for late night drinks and food in a quirky environment? Ticonderoga Club meets all the criteria! Open daily from 5pm till midnight (except on Wednesdays), Ticonderoga Club serves delicious concoctions and club classics like mussels, steak tartare and cobb salad. Tucked in the back of Krog Market, TC is the perfect place for foodies, large groups of friends or anyone who is looking for a different Atlanta experience.
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