Atlanta bleg

Where should I eat tomorrow night?


Chick-Fil-A, obviously.

Second the Varsity. Food is only ok but go for the experience.

Varsity, no question.

The Varsity. Almost the best Chili dawgs in the world, second only to the one in Athens (GA) that is.
If you insist on sans-bun then Aria.

Hands down, Two Urban Licks. 820 Ralph McGill Blvd (right across from The Carter Center). (404) 522-4622. Some very interesting dishes (try the gouda grits!)

Sycamore Grill, Stone Mountain, GA (short distance outside of town). Also see the DeKalb International Farmer's Market on the way. Amazing place.

Or, for some of the better barbecue in the city, try Fat Matt's Rib Shack

You should find the best restaurant in Hampton Roads, and then you should write it up so I can find it. (I moved hear after my wife was pregnant, so we don't get to go out and try new restaurants all that often).

James C

PS. I know this isn't helpful, but is about the same thing you are doing. You are either asking for new information, or trying to abdicate the responsibility for choice.

PSS. I was told to run a regression and report on the results on data I knew was suspect, so I am a little snarky today.

I was taken to the OK Cafe when visiting Atlanta. It's a pretty cool diner with a Harper Lee connection.

When I was down for a conference in 2003 there was a small place called Noodle (or something like that) not far from the Fed. Tasty little place.

Enat Ethiopian Cafe (, authentic Ethiopian on an otherwise sad stretch of road. I think you'd like it, though it isn't in a strip mall.

Antico Pizza Napoletana on Hemphill Ave. just a few blocks north of Georgia Tech. Just ate their last Friday. You watch them throw the pizza into huge ovens in the back while standing around and waiting (not long) on some piping hot authentic Neopolitan pizza.

Hal's off Old Ivy in the center of steak in the city and other dishes are pretty amazing too. A good bit cheaper than Bone's. I was born and raised in Atlanta for what it's worth. And LaGrotta is some of the best Italian food in the city.

Pick a random restaurant on Buford Highway, somewhere within a couple miles north or south of I-285. This is the Chamblee area, aka Chambodia. There is a blog devoted to restaurants on this street. It's your kind of stuff; you're well-equipped to choose wisely and enjoy the meal.

Atlanta is the home of Waffle House and Chick-fil-A; both have their original locations and corporate headquarters here. Every Waffle House is essentially identical, and the ones here are no different. The original Chick-fil-A, however, is unique - known as "The Dwarf House", it has a full-service diner with a different menu, a dwarf-sized door, and a motorized mural with a blatant violation of the Disney copyrights. It's near the airport.

Visit the Varsity. Don't eat the food. It's utterly delicious, especially the onion rings (heaven on earth!), but your delicate sensibilities won't appreciate it. Near Georgia Tech, close to downtown.

The best ribs in town are at Fat Matt's. Dinner comes with live blues. A little ways north of downtown.

Actors and local politicians (including Jimmy Carter) eat at Manuel's Tavern near Little Five Points. A short ways east of downtown.

Drop by my place and I'll fix somethin' up for ya! Always welcome!

Also, call around to see if Alton Brown will take you grocery shopping while you're in the area, maybe wrangle a dinner date or something. You'd make great dinner companions. You could swap autographed books.

First, the people who say Varsity are simple screwing with you. Same with Fat Matt's. Ignore them. These are both perfect reasons for the phrase "it doesn't have to be good to be a classic". Woodfire Grill has a lot to be said for it, but has gone downhill. I live three blocks from Ann's Snack Bar, and it is simultaneously great and revolting. My recommendations are Pura Vida in midtown (modern tapas with thought and humor), Udipi Cafe at Lawrenceville Highway (great vegetarian Indian), but your best bet is probably Cakes and Ale in downtown Decatur (the smartest menu in the southeast, no question).

I agree with Eddie's Buford Highway recommendation (in addition to my previous recommendations).

The Claremont Lounge is revolting, but I came very close to putting Alluvia (at the Cheetah Club) on my list of recommendations. Passable food, but classy example of Atlanta's frankly weird fondness for strip clubs. Like I said, decent food, cheap cover, and "five for the top, five for the bottom".

I also used to live in Atlanta.

For a really good meal, I second Two Urban Licks. If you want more casual, Fox Bros BBQ is the way to go (try the Mac&Cheese). Depending on where you're staying they can be a little out of the way, but worth the drive (especially TWO).

Skip the Varsity!!! For a burger you're better off going to Vortex or my preferred spot Front Page News (Front Page has a variety of good food, not just burgers- and a great atmosphere).

Enjoy, Atlanta is an underrated food spot, all the great restaurants are one of the things I miss most about living there!

Atlanta native here. I recommend Murphy's in Virginia Highland - unpretentious and always satisfying. I don't think I've ever been disappointed. Also in the "unpretentious but always great" category is Sotto Sotto in Inman Park. These are the two restaurants I go to when I want to celebrate something intimate with good friends.

Other thoughts - I completely agree with Dan about Fox Bros. Best ribs I've had in town, and you have to try the Tominator - tater tots topped with Brunswick Stew and cheese. Incredible. Also, the fried pickles are great.

Flip Burger was the real deal, as well. I haven't had the guts to try the Foie Gras milk shake, though. Two Urban Licks is also very good and you won't go wrong.

Buford Highway.

After being raised a redneck raised in the southern swampland, I learned to eat "Asian" food here.

Pasta da pulcinella! Haven't been in 7 years but I still fondly remember a ravioli dish made with apples. Given what you've written about DC restaurants declining after the tourists discover them, there is a possibility this may have happened here. Still, do get a few other opinions and see what you think:

PS Please keep updating that restaurant guide. China star's sichuan chili chicken was probably the best i've had outside of some old Hyderabad recipes (a lot of sichuan and other random chinese dishes are made in India as well)

Texan that lived in Atlanta.

For BBQ go to Fat Matt's. Get a rack of ribs and a pitcher of beer and go to work. Do not go to Fox Bros., the BBQ was subpar, but the mac & cheese and the wings were great.

For high-end dining there are a bunch of great places in the Inman Park area. Rathbun's is great. I also like 4th and Swift (not Inman Park but great concept and close).

Might also want to checkout Decatur is you are using the train for transportation. !) Cakes & Ales; 2) Watershed.

agree with Antico's.

agree with Antico's.

Six Feet Under in Grant Park. Lovely southern seafood and oyster shooters, complete with bloody mary. Can you really do better than that?

If you want incredible meat and three, go to Carver's Country Kitchen. Despite the name, it's in town. Only open about 12 hours a week, so you have to time it right.

Especially if you're at Emory:
go to Lawrenceville Highway for South Indian. Outside of NY, it's one of the few areas in the states where you can get good dosas. I especially like Udipi (veg). The Vietnamese and other east Asian cuisine on Buford Highway is good, but no better (probably worse) than what I've have in Northern Virginia.

Dantes Down the Hatch. Live Fondue and Jazz on a ship inside the restaurant surrounded by alligators.

This may be too late, but I second, third, and fourth anyone who's suggested Buford Highway. Drive up and down it. Stop wherever seems likely. I'm a fan of Havana, El Rey del Taco, Chef Liu's (soup dumplings and so on), and if you like banh mi, LEE'S BAKERY, near the corner of Clairmont and Buford.

Taqueria del Sol is lame tacos for hipsters.It closes early and has no plasma screen soccer. And the lines are too long. Also, the best thing I ever ate was at Bacchanalia: pan-fried sweetbreads. I still remember them four years later. But that place is expen$ive.

There are so many mediocre restaurants being recommended it makes me cringe!

American: Leon's Full Service, Murphy's
Chinese: Chef Liu, Bo Bo Garden
Korean: So Kong Dong, Honey Pig
Thai: Nan, Tamarind Seed
Malaysian: Penang
Indian: Bhojanic
Greek/Turkish: Cafe Agora
Tacos: Taqueria El Rey Del Taco
Pizza: Pizza Antico, Verasano's
BBQ: Community Q, Fox Brothers
Italian: Antica Posta (Atlanta is weak in Italian)
Southern: Carver's, Busy Bee (both lunch only), Colonnade

This list is a good start. Nan is the best combination of ethnic and fine dining in the city, and I would highly recommend it. I have taken several out of town guests to Bhojanic for Indian tapas, and it has never disappointed. Leon's is my favorite place to eat in Decatur right now, and it doesn't hurt that they have the best drink menu and bartenders in the entire Atlanta area. Pizza Antico and Verasano's have received A LOT of press attention, and for good reason. Atlanta finally has decent pizza.

Buford Highway is a great stretch of road for Asian food, I agree, and not too terribly far from Emory. If you had asked where to go to DRINK, then I would have suggested the Brick Store Pub in Decatur (it's also pretty close to Emory). It's probably the best pub in the Atlanta area.

I prefer Chick-fil-a for breakfast or lunch (not dinner). The original is near the airport. But you can eat this in VA or MD. Unless you want to go to the headquarters -- it tastes about the same in Atlanta as Tysons.

Mary Mac's Tea Room is a historical Atlanta establishment and great for traditional southern food.

No doubt that since you will be close to Emory you should go to Bhojanic. It is homestyle Indian food and Tapas.

If you're looking to skip the novelty of places like The Varsity and dig in to some of the genuinely unique foods Atlanta has to offer, these are some of my personal favorites:

Ria's Bluebird -
This place has the absolute best breakfast burrito I've ever had in my life. I personally go for the black-bean version.

Six Feet Under -
Alligator bites with horseradish sauce - simply incredible. For a main dish I'd go with the Big Tuna or BBQ Salmon. Spicy Rat Toes (stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon) and the raw Oyster bar are equally amazing.

Radial Café -
Everything at Radial is incredibly fresh and organic, so it's hard to make a bad choice. I personally go for the Leek Burger, which is delicious and I've never seen it anywhere else. Go for the pasta salad as the side, if you're lucky they may have potato salad which is great too.

Vickery's -
This place has what I consider to be the best plate of fried chicken. Ever. Though it's boneless, it carries the traditions of true southern fried food. Served with homemade penne mac'n'cheese which is to die for. I highly recommend subbing out the collards for the spinach. You will not be disappointed.

Nick's -
The absolute best gyro in Atlanta. Nothing else can be said.

La Fonda -
Amazing fish taco plate. I would recommend getting the tilapia. It's slightly crispy, pan-fried and delicious. You'll be hard pressed to find a better fish taco in Atlanta.

Ru San's -
There are way more posh sushi places in Atlanta. MF is overpriced. Nikiemotos is overcrowded. Ru San's is the best combination of good/cheap. They have a lunch buffet from 1-3 PM for $10. That's right, ten dollars. It gives you a chance to try out all that other sushi you were too scared to order and it's all really good.

I hope you enjoy your stay in Atlanta!

P.S. Seriously... skip The Varsity. It's overhyped greasy diner food that'll be sure to keep you glued to your hotel toilet the whole time you're here.

Peasant bistro, near downtown, by park.

I would agree with Bacchanalia for fine dining, more expensive than Peasant Bistro.

Work from this list:

So where did you end up going? And what are your comments?

I'd second Pasta da pulcinella. I was there maybe three years ago for lunch. Simple but surprisingly good.

Also, if you're looking for simple but fun try out the Elliot St Pub:

Just (awesome) sandwiches and beer but it's a great place to spending the evening, particularly if the weather is nice and you're able to sit out on the patio. About as far off the path as you can get downtown (it's buried in the middle of railroad tracks just west of downtown).

Oh, another Atlanta favorite:

"The Flying Biscuit".
Check out the website.
Go. Dee-lish.

Comments for this post are closed