Mighty tasty, Atlanta food scene scores high

Atlanta came in fourth in Southern Living magazine’s lineup of the South’s 10 tastiest towns.

Editors identified the most compelling food destinations across the region and allowed readers to vote for their favorites once per day from Jan. 10 to Feb. 28. The poll comes out in the April 19 edition.

Durham, N.C., with four chefs drawing semifinalist nods from the James Beard Foundation Awards and its mix of farmers, brewers, bakers and baristas, took home the top award.

Atlanta impressed editors and voters as a city whose cuisine has a feel of tradition infused with global punch. Getting mentions are Linton Hopkins at Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House. The magazine also singles out dishes created by Stephen Satterfield at Miller Union, Ford Fry at the Optimist and Asha Gomez at Cardamom Hill.

“Tastiest Towns in the South”

1. Durham, N.C.: Artisans devoted to coffee beans, brews, and the craft of humble foods.

2. Memphis, Tenn.: A bountiful crossroads of barbecue, crops and rising culinary stars.

3. Asheville, N.C.: Intrepid casual fare from a tightknit, indie-chef community.

4. Atlanta: Tradition infused with global punch thanks to heritage-minded chefs.

5. Austin, Texas: Where smoke and swagger meet urban ethnic style with a twang.

6. Charleston, S.C.: Hyper-attention to local sourcing and indigenous heirloom ingredients.

7. Greenville, S.C.: Internationally inspired food with a locally owned, Main Street sensibility.

8. Louisville, Ky.: Refined fare without pretense, in a town where bourbon is king.

9. Miami: A culinary Mrs. Robinson (mature, refined, sexier than ever) with a Southern accent.

10. New Orleans: A masterful, provocative gumbo of oysters and innovators.