Atlanta Restaurant Scene

The best reviewed metro Atlanta restaurants of 2016 and 2017

Looking to update your must-eat-at list of metro Atlanta restaurants? Check out these spots, most new to the local dining scene, some old favorites we revisited, that made our list of most highly reviewed restaurants of 2016 and 2017.

Do you have burning questions about the Atlanta dining scene? Find out some of the answers in the AJC Fall Dining Guide 2017.

Three Stars:

Bacchanalia: "If someone at the table doesn’t start the night with those crab fritters, you’ve all missed out on the finest you might ever taste." -- Ligaya Figueras

1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 404-365-0410, starprovisions.com/bacchanalia

 

Bread &; Butterfly makes one of Atlanta's most simple, eloquent renditions of a classic omelet. / Photo: Beckystein.com

Bread & Butterfly: "Oh, but that omelet! Bread & Butterfly serves it at almost any time of the day or night. It is the genuine article, a French omelet, classic in every way." -- Wyatt Williams

290 Elizabeth St., Atlanta. 678-515-4536, bread-and-butterfly.com

Wood Grilled Branzino with charmoula, seven herb salad, charred lemon at Drift. (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)

Drift Fish House and Oyster Bar: "Drinks, food, service. No wonder the wait time in the main dining room on a Thursday is two hours. Or that the bar and patio are equally packed. Drift is not drifting at all." -- L.F.

4475 Roswell Road, Marietta. 770-635-7641, driftoysterbar.com

 

Oxtail french onion soup with cave-aged Gruyere cheese at The Federal. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

The Federal: "But, really, let’s talk about that oxtail French onion soup. It is rich and decadent, a deep brown, velvety liquid full of falling apart leaves of onion capped with a thick, broiled slab of Gruyere and crusty bread." -- W.W.

1050 Crescent Ave., Atlanta. 404-343-3857, thefederalatl.com

 

Food Terminal Cheese N Cheese fried rice with rice, egg, cheese, bacon, spam, corn, onion, shallots, onions, and bell peppers in hot cast iron. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Food Terminal: "But even if you go with no plan, like we did that first night, know that there’s no reason to be a skeptic. Whatever lands on your table will be a happy destination." -- W.W.

5000 Buford Highway, Chamblee. 678-353-6110, foodterminal.com

 

Crab and Avocado toast with lemon dijon dressing and shaved spring radishes at Murphy's.(Beckysteinphotography.com)

Murphy's: "When I take a seat at Murphy’s I am getting a lot for a reasonable price, and far better than any other “neighborhood” restaurant I know. Like I said, I want to move in." -- L.F.

997 Virginia Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-872-0904, murphys-atlanta-restaurant.com

 

Puerto Rican fried pork chop “Can Can" at Porch Light Latin Kitchen. Photo Credit- Mia Yakel. Styling Credit- Chef Andre Gomez

Porch Light Latin Kitchen: "It is an impressive accomplishment for a young chef’s first restaurant. Atlantans, take note of chef Andre Gomez. I believe you’ll be talking about him for a long time." -- W.W.

300 Village Green Circle, Smyrna. 678-309-9858, porchlightlatinkitchen.com.

 

The puffs at Staplehouse are an addictive appetizer. (BECKYSTEIN.COM)

Staplehouse: "The words “with gratitude” are printed at the bottom of the menu. I felt the gratitude — for customers, for fresh food, for exciting cooking, for life." -- L.F.

541 Edgewood Ave., S.E., Atlanta. 404-524-5005, staplehouse.com .

 

Pi fasacc at Storico Fresco Alimentari e Ristorante in Buckhead. / Photo credit: Chris Hunt

Storico Fresco: "The early bites tend to be simple, indulgent pleasures: a creamy ball of bufala mozzarella and a board of flawless prosciutto, pork meatballs swimming in red gravy and dripping with more bufala, squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta and fried to a light crisp." -- W.W.

3167 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. 404-500-2181, storicofresco.com

 

 Two Stars:

Beef tenderloin Cobb salad at 101 Steak.

101 Steak: "Just as the name suggests, 101 Steak covers the basics. The menu, aside from a few twists, follows the architecture of raw bar and salads, big steaks and rich sides." -- W.W.

3621 Vinings Slope, Vinings. 770-805-8855, 101steakatl.com

 

9292 Korean BBQ: "The way to order at 9292 is to choose from one of several combination or all-you-can-eat meals, each of which will provide a handful of different cuts of meat to sear across that tabletop charcoal." -- W.W.

3360 Satellite Blvd., Duluth. 678-938-7979, Facebook: 9292 Korean BBQ

 

 

A Mano: "When chef Chandler Cottingham hits his note, the results can be pretty great." -- W.W.

587 Ralph McGill Blvd., Atlanta. 404-549-7727, amanoatl.com

Bo Luc Lac Shaking Beef at Ba Bellies in Norcross. (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)

Ba Bellies: "There is a youthful attitude in this menu, from silly entree names like Notorious P.I.G. to a beer list that would make any local craft brew geek happy. Most of all, there is that youthful disregard for the old boundaries." -- W.W.

6025 Peachtree Pkwy #9, Peachtree Corners. 770-710-0565, babellies.com/

Oysters- Cape Spear Salt and Gigamoto on the half shell -- at BeetleCat. (Beckystein.com)

Beetlecat: "Like a cruise, BeetleCat offers plenty of choices. But the menu needs adjustments to make the trip truly exciting and new." -- L.F.

299 N. Highland Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 678-732-0360, beetlecatatl.com

 

Bon Ton: " Bon Ton, a neon-lit, open-late seafood joint in Midtown Atlanta,is a great restaurant in the New Orleans style precisely because it isn’t trying to be from Louisiana or to do things exactly how they would be done there." -- W.W.

674 Myrtle St., Atlanta. 404-996-6177, bontonatl.com

Simple roast chicken is served in a pool of olive oil and herbs at Brezza Cucina. Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee

Brezza Cucina: "On a menu, you might sum that up in three dishes: the gnocchi, the roast chicken, the kale salad. Waxman has been serving some variation of those simple, single-ingredient-focused dishes throughout his career. At Brezza, it isn’t hard to taste why." -- W.W.

75 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-724-9700, brezzacucina.com

Brush up on the newest spot for sushi in Decatur. Chef Jasson Liang's Brush Sushi Izakaya offers dishes including yakitori and sustainable seafood.

Brush Sushi Izakaya: " Go to Brush Sushi Izakaya, sit at the sushi bar and order the omakase . You will be very pleased. It is as simple as that." -- W.W.

316 Church St., Decatur. 678-949-9412, brushatl.com

Prince Edwards Island Lemon Grass Mussels at Cape Dutch. (Beckystein.com)

Cape Dutch: "Cape Dutch has hits and misses, but those are entirely related to the food menu. Cape Dutch is more than food." -- L.F.

1782 Cheshire Bridge Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-343-0313, capedutchrestaurant.com

 

Cast Iron's Linus and Lucy hot toddy with bourbon, dry curaçao and cocoa-infused honey. Photo courtesy of Cast Iron

Cast Iron: "The fish was now steelhead trout, subtly smoked. It was moist and exploding with flavor. The field peas became a smattering of bright, tomatoey lentils, and the creamy corn was still there, thank goodness, because I’d been dreaming about those tiny kernels, bursting with cornsilk-scented sugar. It was a deft transition that made a very good dish into a great one." -- E.L.

701-5 Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-228-2005, castironatl.com

 

Dish Korean Cuisine: "What I really long for at Dish, though, are the bowls of jjigae stew that arrive molten-red and burbling at the edges." -- W.W.

5000 Buford Highway, Chamblee. 470-299-8886, Facebook: Dish Korean Cuisine

 

Cataplana- seafood stew from Emidio's. (Beckysteinphotography.com)

Emidio's: "Don’t come rushed. This is old-school European dining. Embrace the unhurried pace." -- L.F.

8610 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. 770-837-3373, emidios.net

 

Spicy Miso Ramen Hajime. / (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)

Hajime: "There are so many variations, so many of those elements, that getting it all right can feel a little like a Goldilocks quest. Hajime rarely gets everything right all at the same time, but it gets enough right enough of the time, that I find myself continuing to go back." -- W.W.

2345 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta. 470-428-2388, facebook.com/Hajime-1016030255116822/timeline

 

Kaiser’s Chophouse Prime Cowboy Ribeye is 20-ounces of dry-aged, bone-in steak. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Kaiser's Chophouse: "The spinalis is a decadent experience, especially if you have grown tired of the familiar steakhouse options." --W.W.

5975 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. 404-549-2882, kaiserschophouse.com

 

Fried pork chop over rice from La Mei Zi. / (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)

La Mei Zi: "There’s as much comfort as challenge available at La Mei Zi. You can decide. I’m glad I finally made it to the back of Asian Square." -- W.W.

5150 Buford Highway, Doraville, 770-676-0225, lameiziga.com

 

Mediterranea House Salad with Boston lettuce, watermelon radish, sweet onion, and pistachio. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Mediterranea: "Maybe it wasn’t the meal we had aspired to, but such is life. The Mediterranea we imagine is maybe impossible to find, but the real one is still quite good." -- W.W.

332 Ormond St., Atlanta. 404-748-4219, mediterraneaatl.com

Prime Rib Sandwich at The Mercury. / (Beckysteinphotography.com)

The Mercury: "The safest bet at the Mercury is the prime rib sandwich served at lunch. Since it comes on crunchy but tender French bread and melting, paper-thin rings of onion, you’ll never know whether the ribbons of rich beef are a bit dry or not." -- W.W.

675 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-500-5253, themercuryatl.com

Homemade gnocchi in vodka sauce from Mezza Luna. / (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)

Mezza Luna: "The crowds here bear it out: Sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than a big, ugly plate of pasta and a glug of red wine." -- W.W.

1669 Spring Road, Smyrna. 770-319-0333, mezza-luna.net

Buta Kimchi Mini Rice Don at NEXTO. / (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)

Nexto: "Thin ribbons of seared wagyu sirloin from Snake River Farms paired excellently with a potent yuzu kosho sauce. A fillet of salmon was seasoned with furikake and cooked to caramelized crisp on the outside, flawless medium rare on the inside. Plated with diced persimmon and toothsome edamame, the dish was a real pleasure." -- W.W.

828 Ralph McGill Blvd., Atlanta. 404-809-3763, nextoatl.com

Yellow fin tuna crudo at Noble Fin. / (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)

Noble Fin: "You live intown and already have a go-to place for high-quality fish and seafood? Don’t worry about making the haul out to Peachtree Corners. But neighbors of Noble Fin should check out the new kid on the block." -- L.F.

5260 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners. 770-599-7979, noblefinrestaurant.com

 

Old Lady Gang: "All in all, this is the sort of food that inspires the thought, “Just fine!” Not great, not bad. Bring another round of drinks." -- W.W.

177 Peters St., Atlanta. 404-692-4407 , oldladygang.com

Chicken Fried Pork Belly with red beans, jasmine rice, and red onion jam at One Midtown Kitchen. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

One Midtown Kitchen: "There’s certainly creativity happening in the kitchen right now as Weinstein and his team give a modern spin to recognizable dishes and aren’t afraid to call on global influences." -- L.F.

559 Dutch Valley Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-892-4111, onemidtownkitchen.com

Spicy chicken sammy from Rising Son. / (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY)

Rising Son: "In a few years, Rising Son should be as well-worn and comfortable as the classic dishes coming out of the kitchen. Bet on it, this place will be around for a long time." -- W.W.

124 N. Avondale Road, Avondale Estates. 404-600-5297

 

Bangs Island Mussels with andouille, caper butter, and crusty bread at Scout in Oakhurst. / Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Scout: "In general, the kitchen is more than competent. The french fries, short, nearly matchstick size made from the celebrated Kennebec variety, are pleasantly crisp and salty." -- W.W.

321 W. Hill St., Decatur. 404-496-6863 , scoutoakhurst.com

"Meat + Potatoes" of braised short rib, onions, carrots, potatoes and pot roast juat The Shed. / (Chris Hunt/Special)

The Shed: "I think it’s about a chef finding his voice. And I’ll be back to eat up what (Chef Justin) Dixon has to say through food." -- L.F.

475 Bill Kennedy Way S.E., Atlanta. 404-835-4363, theshedatglenwood.com

Butternut squash salad with papaya, pomegranate, herbs, peanuts, dried shrimp and maple nuoc mam at Ticonderoga Club. / (beckystein.com)

Ticonderoga Club: "Ticonderoga Club, with all of its fun quirks and explorable food and drink menu, is on the right course. It’s just that the ship is listing slightly." -- L.F.

99 Krog St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-458-4534, ticonderogaclub.com

Barbecue shrimp with spoonbread, tomato, and Worcestershire from W.H. Stiles Fish Camp. / (Beckystein.com)

W.H. Stiles Fish Camp: "The shrimp po’boy, served simply dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickles and a spiked Cajun mayo, is as good as any sandwich Quatrano’s restaurants have ever served. You’ll be happy you got it." -- W.W.

675 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta. 678-235-3929, starprovisions.com/fish-camp.

 

Whiskey Bird Fried Chicken, Portobello, and Crispy Snapper sliders. Photo credit- Mia Yakel.

Whiskey Bird: "Double up on the octopus and pork belly. Order another round of cocktails and, remember, you’re enjoying the ancient, beautiful tradition of putting some meat on a stick." -- W.W.

1409 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, 404-600-5797, eatwhiskeybird.com

MORE:

2016 Atlanta dining scene: Year in Review

The AJC’s dining critics pick their 6 favorite dishes of 2016

6 of the biggest metro Atlanta food stories of 2016

44 dishes from metro Atlanta restaurants that rocked our world in 2016

The Golden Whisk Awards: The best recipes of 2016

10 best Atlanta cocktails of 2016

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