490 East Paces Ferry Rd., Buckhead
Aria has been around for fifteen-plus years, but its beautiful 2016 revamp by Atlanta firm Seiber Design has generated a lot of renewed interest. As ever, this is a white-tablecloth restaurant; there were a few bright oak tabletops added to the upstairs dining room, which is flanked by a leather banquette. The new bar, handsomely backed in dark wood panels, serves the full, seasonal dinner, and is a good option if you’re a pair without a reservation.
88 West Paces Ferry Rd., Buckhead
Inside the St. Regis is Southern-inspired Atlas, whose menu is overseen by Aria’s Chef Jerry Klaskala, and directed by Executive Chef Christopher Grossman, who cut his teeth at French Laundry. What’s great about Atlas, beyond the food, is their art collection: be it Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, or works by local SCAD Atlanta students gracing the walls, it all adds beautifully to the experience.
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.
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.
King + Duke
3060 Peachtree Rd., Buckhead
Another of Ford Fry’s creations, King + Duke’s menu is all about the huge open hearth that Fry installed in the kitchen, and which cooks navigate with a series of grills that can be moved around on pulleys. Most dishes see the hearth at some point, be they vegetables, like a whole-roasted cauliflower, or ambitious meats like the juicy, charred New York strip for two. The modern-yet-warm interior isn’t dissimilar from Ford’s other spaces, featuring bold brass light fixtures above the bar, worn leather barstools, and moody, dark walls. In the warmer months, try to grab a seat on the huge open-air patio, which is shaded by yellow-and-blue striped canopies in the sunshine and lit by twinkle lights in the evening.
3035 Peachtree Rd. NE, Buckhead
An outpost of the longstanding uptown NYC French bistro (there’s also a Dallas location), Le Bilboquet is inside the retail center sometimes referred to here as The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. Come for the classics—moules-frites, beef tartare—served inside a bright dining room, and outside, on Le Bilboquet’s sidewalk patio, designed after a Parisian café.
2277 Peachtree Rd., Buckhead
This is our pick for a fine-dining, white-tablecloth experience in Atlanta—Chef Linton Hopkins is known for locally sourced ingredients, delicate plating, and sophisticated flavor profiles, all delivered by a supremely knowledgeable and attentive staff. While ordering à la carte is an option, you’ll be in good hands with their seven-course tasting menu.
3455 Peachtree Rd., Buckhead
The first thing you’ll love about St. Cecilia is the décor: The restaurant is set in a lofty three-story space with tall ceilings and wide windows, with a lengthy (and stunning) marble bar that spans the length of the room. Behind the bar, liquor bottles, wine, books, and artfully placed knick-knacks are stacked library-style on tall, mirror-backed shelves, which have the effect of making the entire space seem even larger than it is. The menu skews coastal European with French and Mediterranean influences; star dishes include wood-grilled octopus, cacio e pepe, and a whole-roasted branzino.
3850 Roswell Rd., Buckhead
This is one of those places that immediately transports you somewhere else: in the case, Austin, Texas. In addition to the endless patio outside, there's a stage for live music inside, and the décor is wonderfully Texan, with a big star behind the bar and a classic longhorn mount. If you're there for drinks, get the guacamole, queso, and a Vampire Weekend, their house horchata cocktail. They also have a location in Cabbagetown.
3050 Peachtree Rd., Buckhead
Chef Fuyuhiko Ito’s Umi in Buckhead books weeks in advance—so plan a bit ahead for a dinner table here. The sushi is outstanding, as are the other carefully crafted Japanese dishes. The interior, done by ATL artist Todd Murphy, has cozy wood flooring matched by darker wood walls and sleek, minimalist tables and half-booths.
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