OpenTable has scoured its user reviews once again to determine America’s connoisseurs of Southern cuisine − from the specialists of shrimp and grits to the champions of chicken and waffles.
On Tuesday, the dining review site released its highly-anticipated list of the 50 best Southern restaurants in America for 2018, which span across 14 states and Washington, D.C. One of Atlanta’s favorite Southern and savory spots made it onto the elite list.
The top 50 list stems from OpenTable’s 12 million diner reviewers’ critiques of more than 27,000 restaurants. The compilation of restaurants, based off of reviews between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018, consider all restaurants in the “Southern” cuisine category with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration, according to an OpenTable press release. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to their overall food rating.
Southern states, as one would guess, dominated the list, with 10 states of the South making an appearance this year. Georgia has an impressive showing on the this year’s compilation, with four of the state’s best Southern eateries listed.
Atlanta’s own South City Kitchen, which opened in Midtown more than 20 years ago, was listed as one of the 50 best Southern restaurants in the country. With locations in Vinings, Buckhead, Midtown and recently opened Alpharetta, the restaurant has shown its taste and staying power in metro Atlanta. Apart of Atlanta’s Fifth Group, which includes restaurants like La Tavola Trattoria and Ecco, the restaurant offers a glimpse into “Southern cooking now,” Fifth Group partner Robby Kukler told the AJC in 2016.
“We’ve always said South City is authentic but it has some modern flair,” he said. “It’s also about Southern hospitality. We thought, especially in this big, high-rise glass building, that it was very important to bring some warmth and a homey feel that ties into that. And like in a home, you can experience different things in different rooms.”
OpenTable diners are feeling South City’s Southern hospitality.
“While winning restaurants are sprinkled throughout the nation, spots in southern states rightfully dominate the list, which works as a handy guide for travelers who want to eat their way through the region,” said Caroline Potter, OpenTable's chief dining officer said in a release.
Take a look at the entire list of the 50 best Southern restaurants in America in 2018, according to OpenTable diners, below:
Abel Brown – Augusta, Georgia
Acadiana – Washington, D.C.
Acre – Auburn , Alabama
Alligator Soul – Savannah, Georgia
Anson – Charleston, South Carolina
Antebellum – Flowery Branch, Georgia
Atchafalaya Restaurant – New Orleans, Louisiana
The Boil Waverly – New York
Boucherie – New Orleans, Louisiana
Brennan's of Houston – Houston, Texas
Cafe Dupont – Birmingham, Alabama
Carrollton Market – New Orleans
Circa 1886 – Charleston, South Carolina
Cured – San Antonio, Texas
Cypress Restaurant – Tallahassee, Florida
Distilled at The Sire Hotel – Lexington, Kentucky
Dogwood Southern Table & Bar – Charlotte, North Carolina
Fixe – Austin, Texas
High Street Caffe & Vudu Lounge – West Chester, Pennsylvania
Highball & Harvest – Orlando, Florida
Highlands Bar & Grill – Birmingham, Alabama
Hot and Hot Fish Club – Birmingham, Alabama
Ida Claire – Addison, Texas
Kitchen Notes - Omni Nashville – Nashville, Tennessee
The King's Kitchen – Charlotte, North Carolina
Langdon's Restaurant – Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Madison's – Highlands, North Carolina
Mandolin – Raleigh, North Carolina
Maple Tree Inn – Blue Island, Illinois
Merrick Inn – Lexington, Kentucky
Midtown Cafe – Nashville, Tennessee
Mozelle's Fresh Southern Bistro – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Mr. B's Bistro – New Orleans
Muriel's Jackson Square – New Orleans
The Olde Pink House Restaurant – Savannah, Georgia
Preserved Restaurant – St. Augustine, Florida
Rapscallion – Dallas, Texas
Restaurant IRON – Pensacola, Florida
Restaurant R'evolution – New Orleans, Louisiana
Restaurant Rebirth – New Orleans, Louisiana
Root & Bone – New York, New York
RT's Restaurant – Alexandria, Virginia
Rx Restaurant – Wilmington, North Carolina
South City Kitchen – Multiple locations
State of Grace – Houston, Texas
Stella's Bistro - Simpsonville – Simpsonville, South Carolina
Toutant – Buffalo, New York
Urban Grub – Nashville, Tennessee
Willa Jean – New Orleans
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Multiple locations
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.