JCT. Kitchen & Bar
1198 Howell Mill Rd., Blandtown
Ford Fry’s first restaurant in Atlanta (he opened it back in 2007) occupies a comfortable corner of the Westside Provisions shopping district, making it a great lunch spot if you’re doing any shopping at Ann Mashburn, Billy Reid, or Seed Factory. There’s a hearty, comfort-food-focused menu (think shrimp and grits, meat and three, and fried chicken) downstairs, a limited menu with a full bar on the rooftop patio, where Fry has live music a few nights a week.
The Iberian Pig
121 Sycamore St., Decatur
Occupying a cozy, wood-lined space right on the main square and Decatur, the Iberian Pig’s Spanish-inspired menu is neatly divided into cheese, charcuterie, and tapas, with a wine list that leans heavily on Spain, Chile, and Argentina to match. While they do the classics really well, we love their fusion dishes, like the pork-cheek tacos and their extra-flavorful macaroni-and-cheese with charcuterie.
Holeman & Finch
2277 Peachtree Rd., Buckhead
When Holeman & Finch first opened, you could only order their famous burgers (which most people say are the best in Atlanta) after 10pm, and you had to be quick about it—only twenty-four were served each evening. In response to overwhelming demand, the chef finally made them a regular menu fixture a few years ago. The burgers and the rest of their pub-inspired menu are best experienced from the cozy bar at the back of the space.
1123 Zonolite Rd., Morningside-Lenox Park
Another of Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s long-standing restaurants (they opened this shortly after Bacchanalia, in 1998), the Floataway occupies an airy, industrial warehouse space. The menu is roughly European, with a focus on fresh ingredients, including a hearty vegetable section and a few great pizzas. We like to come in the summer, when you can eat in the outdoor courtyard space.
1879 Cheshire Bridge Rd., Morningside-Lenox Park
The Colonnade is a total Atlanta fixture at this point—it made national news when the restaurant started taking credit cards for the first time in its nearly 100-year history back in 2014. An old building off a busy-ish thoroughfare, the décor’s nothing to write home about, but this is hands-down the place to come for great, old-school fried chicken.
2140 Peachtree Rd., Buckhead
If you’re looking for amazing vegan and vegetarian food in Atlanta, look no further than Cafe Sunflower’s bright, unpretentious Peachtree Road location: The menu offers vegetarian takes on everything from pan-fried dumplings to lasagna to enchiladas. Their brunch menu includes fried “chicken” seitan waffles topped with mustard maple syrup and vegan whipped cream, pretty much guaranteeing any non-vegans present won’t have any gripes. Plus, in addition to their wine selection, there’s a rotating craft-beer menu.
Bread & Butterfly
290 Elizabeth St., Inman Park
Come for weekend brunch, or lunch during the week, and try the tomato soup, which comes with a fresh-baked, croissant-like pastry on top.
753 Edgewood Ave., Inman Park
BoccaLupo is an Inman Park Italian restaurant by Atlanta native chef Bruce Logue, who previously worked under goop-favorite Mario Batali at Babbo in NYC. The pasta—from the daily risotto to pan-fried shells, twenty-yolk tagliatelle with wild mushrooms, and black spaghetti with hot sausage and red shrimp—is expertly done. For good-weather days, there’s casual porch seating that extends the interior’s slightly industrial feel with roll-up, glass garage doors. (Note that the restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday.)
887 Howell Mill Rd., Marietta Street Artery
While simply done, the Bocado stack—two patties with American cheese and house pickles—is arguably the best burger in Atlanta. The menu is rounded out with other sandwiches, soups, and salads at lunch; entrees like roasted chicken served with braised collards and seared trout with succotash at dinner, and some veg-friendly plates—but, again, the burger is really the star of the show.
299 N. Highland Ave., Inman Park
Nautically themed, super-chic Beetlecat is part of Ford Fry’s Atlanta empire (Superica, St. Cecilia, King + Duke, Optimist, et al.). There’s a turquoise-seated bright oyster bar on the first level, and upstairs, a fun, 1970s vibe, complete with wood paneling and old-school leather couches. Prepare for a crowd and order the lobster roll.
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