Home to great weather, dozens of Fortune 500 corporations, convenient transportation, historic grandeur, great entertainment, and unique foods, Atlanta is not only an ideal city to host a meeting or event, but is also a foodie haven. Whether you’re in Atlanta for business or pleasure, you’ll want to treat your tongue’s 10,000 tastebuds to some true Atlanta cuisine that embodies the cities unique spirit. We’ve compiled a list of the top 7, must-visit restaurants in the Big Peach.
1. The Optimist
Located in Atlanta’s Westside, the Optimist brings a seaside fish camp experience to visitors. Award-winning celebrity chef, Ford Fry owns and operates the Optimist and serves guests fresh oyster from the Alabama coast, whole roasted trout, beach-food classics like lobster rolls and hush puppies, among other Southern coastal cuisines. With an airy nautical design and the fresh, local seafood, no wonder why locals and tourists alike visit the Optimist.
To read more about the Optimist, check out our exclusive interview with the restaurant.
Photo Credit: The Optimist
If you’re a Chinese Sichuan food enthusiast, then you’ll want to visit Masterpiece with an empty stomach. Masterpiece is owned and run by chef Rui Liu, a certified master chef who was born in northeastern China and was granted an O-1 U.S. visa (only given to people with “extraordinary achievement”). The menu features over 125 different dishes, some of the most popular including the Dry-fried Eggplant and Dong Po Pork. With so many different dishes to try using local produce and cooked to perfection, you may have to visit the Masterpiece more than once.
Photo Credit: AJC
3. Miller Union
Rated the number one must-visit restaurant by the Atlanta Magazine and winner of the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast, Miller Union showcases the best of Southern cuisine. Founded in 2009, Miller Union is located in a refurbished warehouse, giving the restaurant a rustic, and modern ambiance. Some of the most talked-about dishes on the organic, authentically Southern menu include Farm Egg baked in celery cream and served on grilled bread, Coffee and Chile rubbed brisket, the Seasonal Veggie Plate, and apple-walnut tart. This welcoming beacon of Southern hospitality and comfort is a must-visit for any visitor.
Photo Credit: Miller Union
Calling all burger lovers. Celebrity chef, Richard Blais, who won Top Chef All-Stars in 2011, opened Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta. Flip delivers a unique burger experience that will flip how you think about the American classic. Some of the menu’s most talked-about foods include the Deep-Fried Southern Burger, the Sweetbread Nuggets, and the Nutella Milk Shake. Whether you order one of Flip’s Black Angus blended beef burgers with house-made condiments, locally farmed pork, one of the restaurant’s innovative, top-rated N2 milkshakes, or a signature cocktail, your taste buds are sure to thank you.
Photo Credit: Flip Burger Boutique
Are you looking for a restaurant that breaks all the rules? Then Brain So’s Spring, located in Marietta, is the place for you! So how does Brain So’s break the rules of restaurants? Their menu! Brain So’s only serves four starters (Persimmon Salad, Potage Parmentier, Foie Gras Torchon, and Fluke Crudo), four main courses (Garganelli, Pan-Seared Halibut, Roasted Pork Loin and Belly, and Roasted Ribeye Cap and Braised Short Rib), and four desserts (Panna Cotta, Tarte Tatin, Sorbet, and Baked Alaska). Spring strikes the perfect harmony between a small-town neighborhood feel, seasonality, simplicity, and sustainability.
Photo Credit: Atlanta Eater
Regarded as one of Atlanta’s boldest, most spirited restaurants, Gunshow is Top Chef contestant’s Kevin Gillespie restaurant located in Omewood Park. Gunshow boasts metal tables, spotlights, loud rock music, a moving bar cart, and eight chefs who personally deliver your plates to your table. Diners can accept or reject the chef’s dishes, which change weekly, if not nightly. If you’re looking for a highly interactive, unique dining experience, then Gunshow is the perfect place for you.
Photo Credit: Gunshow Facebook Page
7. Tiny Lou’s
Located inside of the Hotel Clermont and named after the popular 1950’s dance, Tiny Lou’s is Jeb Aldrich’s French-American restaurant. Tiny Lou’s serves French favorites sourced from local, seasonal ingredients and French wines. Make sure you order dessert, like the Ode to Blondie or the Cranberry-Orange Crepe Cake, created by pastry chef Claudia Martinez. If you’re looking for a playful, authentic French restaurant in Atlanta, then Tiny Lou’s is a must-visit.
Photo Credit: Tiny Lou’s Facebook Page