Old Fourth Ward
541 Edgewood Ave., Old Fourth Ward
One of the hottest restaurants to open in Atlanta in recent years, the idea for Staplehouse began in 2009 as a supper club run by the late chef Ryan Hidinger and his wife Jen. The couple initially played hosts to ten guests at their home every Sunday, and later, as many as two hundred came for a Labor Day backyard feast. Ryan, who was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer in 2012, passed away in 2014. A little less than two years later, Jen opened Staplehouse with her sister Kara and an incredibly talented chef, also named Ryan—last name Smith—and an outpouring of support (monetary and otherwise) from their community. The profits from the restaurant go to the nonprofit that the family established, called The Giving Kitchen, which helps Atlanta restaurant workers in the midst of unexpected crises. Make no mistake: This restaurant has an incredible story (which merits more space than it is getting here), and a wonderful family vibe. But served from any kitchen, the food here would deserve to be on any best-of-Atlanta list. Everything is meant to be shared, it’s all seasonal, and the dozen dinner dishes…
659 Auburn Ave., Old Fourth Ward
Aviary offers haircuts, massage, and waxing, but we like it best for the facials. Founder Amy Bransford uses a whole slew of goop-favorite products (Coola, Drunk Elephant), and the space features plenty of exposed brick and a gorgeous wooden wall installation. It’s worth it to spring for the microdermabrasion treatment.