Atlanta Restaurants

This is a city known for its food; many a trip to Atlanta is planned around meals in its barbecue shacks, upscale diners, and chic urban eateries. Traditional Southern fare—including Cajun and creole, country-style and plantation cuisine, coastal and mountain dishes—thrives, as do Asian fusion, traditional Ethiopian, creative vegan, and mouth-scorching Indian food. Catch the flavor of the South at breakfast and lunch in diners and other modest establishments that serve only these meals.

Many restaurants will accept you just as you are; dress codes are extremely rare in this casual city, except in the chicest of spots. Although many restaurants accept reservations, some popular spots operate on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends. Waits at some hot dining locales can exceed an hour, especially if you arrive after 7 pm.

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  • 1. Cakes & Ale

    $$$$ | American

    Fresh, seasonal veggies frequently take center stage at this crisp, upscale farm-to-table restaurant, and they often come from chef-owner Billy...Read More

  • 2. Colonnade

    $$ | Buckhead | American

    For traditional Southern food—think fried chicken, ham steak, and turkey with dressing—insiders head to Colonnade, a local institution since...Read More

  • 3. Empire State South

    $$$$ | Midtown | American

    Southern ingredients get the fine-dining treatment without the pretension at the Midtown favorite owned by celebrity chef Hugh Acheson. Empire...Read More

  • 4. Flying Biscuit

    $ | Candler Park | American

    There's a long wait on weekends at this spot, which is famous for its biscuits served with cranberry-apple butter. Dinners may include roasted...Read More

  • 5. Horseradish Grill

    $$$ | Buckhead | American

    Once a horse barn, this establishment has arched windows across the front that brighten the space. It may be a little noisy, but it's a good...Read More

  • 6. JCT Kitchen and Bar

    $$$$ | Midtown | American

    This comfortable, airy restaurant—with pale wood, white, and silver accents—is part of the now-bustling Westside Provisions District. JCT, a...Read More

  • 7. Mary Mac's Tea Room

    $$ | Midtown | American

    Local celebrities and ordinary folks line up for the country-fried steak and fried chicken here. In the Southern tradition, the servers will...Read More

  • 8. Old Lady Gang Atlanta

    $$$ | Castleberry Hill | American

    Kandi Burruss-Tucker (of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame) brings the flavors and hospitality of her Georgia upbringing to this Castleberry...Read More

  • 9. South City Kitchen

    $$$ | Midtown | American

    The culinary traditions of South Carolina inspire the dishes served at this cheerful restaurant. This is the place in the city to try out Southern...Read More

  • 10. Watershed on Peachtree

    $$$$ | Buckhead | American

    Indigo Girl Emily Saliers and three of her friends originally launched this casual restaurant in Decatur, and it eventually became an Atlanta...Read More

  • 11. 4th & Swift

    $$$ | Old Fourth Ward | American

    The industrial-chic decor of 4th & Swift's cavernous dining space offers a cool visual contrast to its impeccably plated offerings—comfort...Read More

  • 12. Thelma's Kitchen

    $ | Sweet Auburn | American

    Head to this cheerful spot for favorites like okra pancakes, fried catfish, slaw, and macaroni and cheese, all of which are among the best in...Read More

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