HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >


Visiting Atlanta in 2 weeks

  • c

I'd be grateful for any restaurant recommendations; I don't want glitz, I simply want very good food.
In addition, if there is any good BBQ in Atlanta I'd love to know about it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have never been served anything less than wonderful at Woodfired Grill. Very food-focused and comfortable, not glitzy, reasonable prices. Kyma for wonderful, a bit pricy Greek food. A lot of places in Atlanta are totally hit or miss, unfortunately, so recommending a surefire hit can be difficult. For BBQ try Fat Matt's (pork ribs) or Harold's (chopped pork sandwich) both only at lunchtime. The problem with BBQ in Atlanta (and many other places) is getting the meat at the optimal time of day. Usually this is lunchtime, but it helps to call ahead to be sure.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LauraMBerg

      I'd follow jean9's suggestion on searching. There's reams of stuff on here. Laura's right that Woodfire is very good, and I agree on Kyma, though I might emphasize the pricey part more (and a healthy dose of glitz).

      I still haven't made it down to Harold's, and I'm still vehement in my dislike for Fatt Matt's. The grease on Fatt Matt's ribs should speak for itself. I don't know if the Fox Bros. stand alone restaurant on Memorial has opened or when it's expected to. If it's open, I'd give that a shot.

      Here's the result of a lot of Q eating I did last fall:


      1. re: ted

        Wow Ted!

        I can't believe I missed your original post ( I was in the hospital after having my daughter, so that is why). Thanks so much for all your effort in writing things up. Now we can just refer the inevitable ATL/BBQ question to this link.

        Drove by the future Smith's location the other day - doesn't look open yet, although I think he posted on Atlanta Cuisine that it was supposed to be up and running by now.

    2. You will find lots of Atlanta recommendations on this board if you search, a pain I know but I thought I would throw it out there.

      I was in Atlanta last september for the weekend and we went out to Decater for dinner at the Watershed. You can take the train there and then walk a few blocks to the restaurant. My meal was really good. The salad was amazing, a green leaf lettuce salad with a garlicky (spell?) vinegrette that wowed me in its simplicity. My sister had shrimp grits (stone ground grits with shrimp paste mixed in) that were excellent, buttery and rich.
      It is a little pricey, I think our bill was 120.00 or so but I really enjoyed the meal. The restaurant itself appears to be an old gas station or garage or something so it is pretty loud.

      1. I do love Harolds BBQ, but I really do like Pig 'n Chix they have two locations.
        I agree with Woodfire Grill, wonderful, I would also like to recommend Floataway Cafe.
        Good luck and Have fun!

        1. Atlanta is not a great BBQ town. If you live in a part of the country where you can get good BBQ, or visit such a part of the country often, don't waste your time on the local product. (If you insist, Harold's is the local institution (good brunswick stew), Rolling Bones and Daddy Dz are close to downtown and have interesting ribs. If you have a car, a tolerance for the wrong side of town, and access to a ton of napkins, definitely try D&D BBQ on Sylvan Rd. Their ribs are superb.)

          The thing to remember about Atlanta is that it is a city first and Southern second. the dining scene is rather sophisticated, full of glitz, and not strong on the home-style joints. There are a lot of places to get very good oriental food and good Mexican food. (Just drive out Buford Highway and pick a place that looks fun). But finding a place to get old fashioned Southern cuisine is surprisingly tough. Perhaps the best place to see that side of Atlanta for not too much money is the Colonnade on Cheshire Bridge Rd. The food there is more good than inspired. But the crowd in that restaurant is one of the more interesting mixes in town.

          1 Reply
          1. re: alonzo

            I wholeheartedly disagree that Atlanta is not a great bbq town. It may not have it's own style, but there are two great places that rival the best bbq I've had at Allen & Sons in Chapel Hill, Salt Lick in TX or Smitty's, Kreuz or Black's in Lockhart, TX. My favorites are the Fox Bros., which will soon have their own location and Sam & Dave's BBQ #1 (there's a #2 now too but I have not tried it yet). I don't know why everyone insists on steering people away from bbq in Atlanta. I guess to each their own, but I'm very pleased with my bbq choices in this town.

          2. Floataway Cafe... sooooo good!

            1. Can't help you on the BBQ, but you should try the Varsity. You can't go to Atlanta without eating there at least once.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hellsbelles

                Sorry but I (and my intestines) strongly disagree.

              2. I generally agree that Atlanta isn't great for BBQ. Having said that, I really enjoy the BBQ at Swallow at the Hollow in Roswell. It is very much worth the drive to the (relatively close in) northern suburbs for a terrific meal if BBQ is what you crave. There is ordinarily good music too. After dinner, walk across the street (10 feet) to Greenwood's on Green Street (owner chef is Bill Greenwood and has an ownership interest in Swallow at the Hollow). Greenwood's serves the biggest pies, if not the very best, in greater Atlanta. Great Southern food with a fun and funky vibe. One of my very favorite places to eat.

                Let us know how your trip went.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bananna slug

                  I agree about Swallow in the Hollow in Roswell- my parents have taken me there, and the few times I've been there the BBQ has been very good (not to mention the bread, if you're a carb lover like myself). Another restaurant my boyfriend and a few friends and I went to was Two Urban Licks and had a great time. Then again, since he and I live on the West Coast, any chance to get grits mixed into a little finer food always perks us up. (I agree with the sentiment on the Varsity- really, really pretty gross)

                2. If I could pick one place to eat in Atlanta, it would definitely be Rathbun's. Their food is amazing and the space is as well. Kevin Rathbun is a genius. www.rathbunsrestaurant.com

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: albrownatl

                    Just curious, when was the last time you were at Rathbuns? Despite a lot of good reviews, I have had three not so great experiences there over the past two years. Briefly - too salty, trendy scene, loud, and uncomfortable seats outside. Check out the local Blissful Glutton website (not mine) for a recent review.

                    1. re: LizATL

                      Never sat outside - often outside tables & chairs are awfully uncomfortable.

                      But, I've been in the past several months and it was great!! Went once right after New Year's after they'd been closed for a few days for a break and it was terrible service.

                      1. re: laurendlewis

                        I would suggest Collonade on Cheshire Bridge Road for fried chicken and yeast rolls, along with great people watching. For bbq, Rolling Bones, near downtown is very good. Sam & Dave's BBQ 1 on Lower Roswell Road just east of Johnson Ferry Road in Cobb County is excellent. Their beef brisket is the best in Georgia. The chopped pork, ribs, and chicken are also very good. Sam & Dave's sides are generally above average - and all are homemade. Swallow at the Hollow is also an excellent choice - especially for ribs. Chip's Country Cooking on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs is a great stop for southern meat and vegetables. Catfish with okra and black eyed peas is hard to beat.

                        1. re: Milt

                          I second the recommendation for Colonnade on Cheshire Bridge Rd. Their fried shrimp is the best. For barbecue, we like Daddy D'z on Memorial Dr. Other places you might enjoy:
                          Brick Store Pub in Decatur - pub food & wide selection of beers
                          Taqueria del Sol in Decatur, also on Cheshire Bridge Road
                          L'Thai in Tucker

                          1. re: potterybliss

                            The Colonnade is a great Atlanta institution and is very much worth the trip. Please note though that they are no longer open for lunch or won't be soon. Terrible loss for our town.

                  2. i have to agree with Sam and Daves being the best BBQ in that ATL area.
                    Another place to try is Dreamland on Peachtree Pkwy in Duluth (near the Forum shops) it is the real deal.