Atlanta’s got plenty to offer the food lover – barbecue, farm-to-table fare, gourmet burgers, upscale southern cuisine, meat-and-three restaurants, and the infamous Ghetto Burger.

Here’s our favorites:

1. Antico Pizza Napoletana

Antico Pizza

 

Antico Pizza Napoletana is real Napolitano pizza thin and crispy crust with tart, pungent, San Marzano tomato sauce and Bufala Mozzarella Cheese cooked to perfection in a wood-burning oven. It’s all about the pizza here – eating in the restaurant is no-frills and can be loud. Orders are placed, then the pizza is delivered on a metal tray. Paper plates and paper towels and used for eating. Bring your own wine – read more here (Photo by Jason Riedy)

2. Holeman & Finch Public House

Holeman and Finch

 

Holeman & Finch Public House is an Atlanta gastropub with enticing cocktails and craft beers. They are famous for their 24 double-patty, gourmet cheeseburgers on homemade buns that are offered at 10PM on a first come/first served basis. Chef Linton Hopkins was a pioneer in bringing the nose-to-tail concept to Atlanta. In addition to butchering whole hogs, they also made their own tonic water for their carefully-crafted cocktails – read more here (Photo by Roger Salz)

3. Miller Union

Miller Union

Miller Union is a restaurant built on relationships with local farmers, and the enlightened southern fare is a product of the local ingredients available. The Midtown restaurant is intimate, light, and modern, with reclaimed wood, galvanized metal, and large windows, and it was named one of Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants 2010” – read more here (Photo by Nate Steiner)

4. Cakes and Ale

Cakes and Ale

Cakes and Ale Chef Billy Allin and his wife, Kristen, opened Cakes and Ale in 2006, and moving to Decatur from San Francisco in order to start a family and be closer to extended family. At the time, there were no farm-to-table restaurants in the Atlanta area, so Cakes and Ale both started a trend and filled a niche in the Atlanta dining scene. Today, there are plenty of farm-to-table restaurants, but the Atlanta original still shines and is consistently named as one of the top restaurants in town – read more here (Photo by T.Tseng)

5. Leon’s Full Service

Leon's Full Service

Leon’s Full Service is a former gas station that now offers everything you desire for a wonderful afternoon or night out – if you love an extensive beer list, inspired cocktails, honest and earthy bar snacks and meals, and a bocce ball court. The garage doors open to reveal a large and popular patio. Truthfully, good food and drink is the key here, but Leon’s also possesses a urbane, comfortable vibe, which makes it an excellent destination for spending a couple of hours of quality time – read more here (Photo by Carl Black)

6. Mary Mac’s Tea Room

Mary Mac's Tea Room

 

Mary Mac’s Tea Room has been serving comforting Southern cooking and down-home charm on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown Atlanta since 1945. A tradition that goes back to the beginnings of the restaurant is that customers write down their own orders on a pad left at the tables – that way it is not the waitress’ fault if the order is wrong. In addition to their southern cooking and famous Sweet Tea, the restaurant also has a full bar with specialty drinks such as a Mint Julep Martini and a Peach Martini – read more here (Photo by Emilee Rader)

7. Fox Bros Bar-B-Q

Fox Bros Bar-B-Q

 

Fox Bros Bar-B-Q features classic southern pork barbecue and Texas beef brisket that is, arguably, the best barbecue in Atlanta. There’s a good mix of traditional BBQ choices, plus some unique takes on the classics. Unlike many barbecue places where all of the focus is on the meat, the sides at Fox Bros are also quite good. In 2013, Fox Bros Bar-B-Q was deemed one of the “Top 10 Most Popular BBQ Joints” by ABC News – read more here (Photo by Nathan Cardozo)

8. FLIP Burger Boutique

Flip Burger

FLIP Burger Boutique can be described as a hip, chef-driven restaurant that specializes in gourmet hamburgers. The beef is organic and high-end, the condiments are made in house, and the highly acclaimed milkshakes are made with the help of liquid nitrogen. The eighteen different hamburger variations include everything from Chicken Fried Beef Patty to Raw Tuna Tartare – read more here (Photo by Chris Schrier)

9. Woodfire Grill

Woodfire Grill

Woodfire Grill is run by chef Tyler Williams, who works hard to incorporate local and seasonal offerings into his New American cuisine. The menu comes in either a la carte or in 5 and 7 course chef’s tasting menus. The restaurant originally opened in 2002 under Chef Michael Tuohy, who made a name for himself and the restaurant with his whole roasted free-range chicken over garlicky greens. Tyler Williams has continued and grew Woodfire’s tradition of strong, forward-thinking New American cooking –read more here (Photo by atl10trader)

10. JCT Kitchen and Bar

JCT-Kitchen-and-Bar

JCT Kitchen and Bar offers gourmet Southern comfort food with a side of big city flair, plus lots of bacon. They might just make some of the best fried chicken in Atlanta. The space is warm farmhouse meets big city. There is patio seating available, and the upstairs bar has great views of the Atlanta skyline. There is live music in the bar on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights – read more here (Photo by Julie, Dave & Family)

11. TWO Urban Licks

Two Urban Licks

TWO Urban Licks presents fun, creative food in a cozy and funky old warehouse in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Specialties include wood-fired meats and fish from their high-energy open kitchen. Executive Chef Todd Stein specializes in small plates and fun concepts, many of them cooked on the open grill in the center of the dining room. Their unique 26-foot tall wine wall holds 42 stainless steel barrels of wine that are dispensed by gravity feed. Above the bar, containers of house-made infused cocktails made with exotic fruits hang from the rafters. Old garage doors open up to a patio and beautiful views of the Atlanta skyline – read more here (Photo by TimothyJ)

12. Ecco

 

 

Ecco

 

Ecco is a European-inspired tapas and wine bar in Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood featuring meat and cheese board, house-made pastas, and wood-fired pizzas. The cuisine is Mediterranean – with an emphasize on Italian – and changes with the season. Executive Chef Craig Richards and his staff make the most of their space by growing much of the vegetables and produce on the roof of the restaurant. The fabulous wine list and small plates makes Ecco a good choice for happy hour. The stylish and elegant space also make it a good place for a date – read more here (Photo by Foodie Buddha, CC-BY-2.0.)

13. Fat Matt’s Rib Shack

Fat Matt's

 

Fat Matt’s Rib Shack has been serving fall-off-the-bone ribs slathered in house-made barbecue sauce in the Morningside neighborhood since 1990. They are known for their great pulled pork sandwiches, hearty Brunswick stew, and awesome mac-and-cheese. In addition to the barbecue, Fat Matt’s Rib Shack also has live, greasy, music at night featuring some of the best local and regional blues artists – read more here (Photo by Terry Robinson)

14. The Brick Store Pub

Brick Store Pub

 

At The Brick Store Pub, there are many beers. There are 11 beers that start with the letter “B” – and this is without even a Bud or a Busch. It’s located in Decatur, and it may be the best place in Atlanta – and maybe the country – for a beer lover. As a bonus, it’s got pub food that’s really better than pub food, with lots of the items made from scratch. Be sure to head upstairs to the Belgium Room, which has many Belgium beers – including many on tap, many of them high-alcohol and some Trappist-style – read more here (Photo by Lee Coursey)

15. Highland Bakery

Highland Bakery

 

Highland Bakery is a neighborhood cafe in an old brick building with made-from-scratch pastries and southern comfort foods. The building was actually the old Highland Bakery building and was established in 1931. In 2003, owner and chef Stacey Eames resurrected the name when she opened her bakery and cafe. It has since become one of Atlanta€™s favorite brunch spots, and great pride is taken in sourcing healthy ingredients and doing things the right way – read more here (Photo by Jennifer 8. Lee)

16. Octane

Octane Coffee

Octane opened in Atlanta in 2003 as one of the first of the new-generation of specialty coffee shops in the market. Tony and Diane Riffel started Octane as a way to be part of the burgeoning creative community in Westside, and their espresso drinks, French-press and pour-over coffee quickly won a loyal following. Octane sources, roasts, and serves some of the finest coffees available, and their expert baristas know how to make an excellent drink and be friendly to customers.The original is located in the Westside neighborhood, and there are other locations in Grant Park and Buckhead – read more here (Photo by Faruk Ates)

17. Bacchanalia

Bacchanalia

Bacchanalia restaurant is a foodie must on a trip to Atlanta. It’s romantic and upscale, with impeccable service (and prices) to match. Owner-chefs Clifford Harrison and Anne Quatrano opened in 1990, and many of their ingredients for their five course, prix fixe menu come from Summerland, their farm. The courses are small, but rich in detail and bold in flavor. Between courses, “gifts” of tiny morsels are served. Wine pairings are encouraged – read more here (Photo by atl10trader)

18. The Vortex Bar & Grill

The Vortex Bar & Grill

The Vortex Bar & Grill is a burger and beer emporium unlike any other. Guests who enter discover a world that exists somewhere between a carnival funhouse and a rogue TGI Friday – the place overflows with kitschy and sometimes-lurid knick-knacks and wall art. The patrons are an eclectic mix of college students, slacker artistic types and bikers, and the servers are scantily-clad, tattooed, and body-pierced. Oh, yeah – The Vortex also serves one of the absolute best burgers around (made with thick, one-half pound of quality sirloin charbroiled over an open flame and served 21 different ways) and has an excellent selection of beer and single malt scotch – read more here (Photo by Hector Alejandro)

19. South City Kitchen

South City Kitchen

South City Kitchen in Midtown Atlanta elevates authentic southern comfort food to a higher level – upscale soulfood, maybe. The restaurant is located in a refashioned historic 1920’s bungalow, and natural light fills the space with warmth, giving the small rooms add a sense of intimacy. Chef Chip Ulbrich brings an expertise in the nuances of regional cooking to the kitchen, and, since opening in 1993, South City Kitchen has been regarded as a pioneer in the celebration and promotion of Southern cuisine – read more here (Photo by LWYang)

20. Rathbun’s

Rathbun's

Rathbun’s features modern American cuisine with a mix of menu favorites along with rotating specials in an industrial space with high ceilings and soft accent lighting. Chef Kevin Rathbun’s namesake restaurant was lauded as a “Best New Restaurant” by both Esquire and Travel + Leisure upon opening in 2004, and it has since become a bit of an Atlanta dining institution. It’s classy and romantic – perfect for a date night or special occasion – it can be a bit loud, however. There’s a well-tended wine list, and the service is top-notch – read more here (Photo by alt10trader)

21. Heirloom Market BBQ

Heirloom Market BBQ

Heirloom Market BBQ is a small barbecue joint with a combination of traditional Southern and spicy Korean smoked meats. The Korean influence comes from Chef Jiyeon Lee, who is a South Korean ex-pat – she was actually was of Korea’s most famous hip-hop artists before coming to America. Chef Cody Taylor brings the Southern influence – was born in Texas, raised in Tennessee. Both are serious chefs who spent time paying their dues in some of Atlanta’s finer restaurants. The meats come with a choice of 5 sauces, from sweet KB-Korean Style to fiery Hotlanta. Unlike many barbecue restaurants, the sides are not an afterthought – the kimchi slaw, spicy mac-and-cheese, and Brunswick stew are all very good – read more here (Photo by Chris Martin)

22. Empire State South

Empire State South

Empire State South offers honest new Southern cuisine in a modern Midtown space accented with rustic wood, leather, and muted colors. With an upscale meat-and-three atmosphere, Empire State South is appropriate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop and linger for a drink from the excellent coffee bar, of sip a cocktail while playing bocce ball are sitting in an Adirondack chair in the courtyard – read more here (Photo by T.Tseng)

23. Canoe

Canoe

Canoe serves new American cuisine with an emphasis on seafood in a picturesque rustic setting on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta’s Vinings neighborhood. From the open kitchen, executive chef Matt Basford puts together seasonal dishes featuring unique combinations and locally sourced ingredients . Be sure to sample the Georgia Pecan Sticky Buns. The vibe is upscale, but unpretentious, and the service is friendly. A lengthy wine list accompanies the food – read more here (Photo by Jeffrey Zeldman)

24. Ann’s Snack Bar

Ann's Snack Bar

 

Ann’s Snack Bar is a legendary, no-frills burger shack that’s been owned and operated by Ann Price since 1971. Ann’s Snack Bar is notable for at least 2 Things: (1) The Wall Street Journal named Ann’s “The Best Burger in America” in 2007. (2) Miss Ann runs Ann’s Snack Bar, takes the orders, and cooks the burgers. Pay attention and follow the rules, because if you don’t, she will yell at you – read more here (Photo by barry.pousman)

Featured photo by Jesse Budlong. All photos CC-BY-2.0.

See our list of the 49 best things to do in Atlanta here.

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