What are the "must-not-miss" Atlanta restuarants?
Weekend in Atlanta and need some recommendations. We'll have a car, so general area doesn't really matter, just want some really good food. Fancy or hole-in-the-wall, doesn't matter as long as it's really good!
I'm a native, so I'm a bit biased. That having been said, here goes:
The Varsity (North Avenue) - greasy fast food. It's a "must" so you can say you did it. It's all about the atmosphere, and I admit it's probably an acquired taste. I think I had my first F.O. (frosted orange) while still in diapers. Order an F.O. with a chili dog and onion rings for the quintessential Varsity experience.
The Colonnade (Cheshire Bridge Road) - I've been eating here my whole life too. Huge menu, lots of Southern specialties, very stiff cocktails. They take cash only.
Restaurant Eugene (Buckhead) - the best of the New South. Also good if you're into great beer (I know it sounds strange, but check out their website). However, I have heard mixed reviews about their Sunday dinners.
La Grotta (Buckhead) - been eating here most of my life too. But if you're from "up North" (as we say), you may not find this the wonderful Italian experience we do. However, the service is wonderful and upscale.
Woodfire Grill - one of the most reliable and consistently eclectic of the newbrands (boy am I sounding old here).
Everyone raves about Bacchanalia (Howell Mill Road), but in my three visits in the last ten years, I've never felt the hype, the food, or the experience merited the price tag. I know it has many fans; please don't hate me, Bacchanalia fans. I do however like Floataway Cafe (Zonolite Road) by the same folks.
The closest thing we had to excellent French was Brasserie Le Coze. It has recently reopened downtown in a new incarnation: "FAB" (French American Brasserie). Haven't been yet. Looking forward to going.
Taqueria del Sol (two locations: one in downtown Decatur, the other on Howell Mill): there's always a long line, but it moves fast. Wonderful fun tacos (the BBQ taco and the fish taco are my favorites). A cheap, relatively quick meal that's much better than what you pay. I also like the spicy corn chowder.
And while we're in downtown Decatur, Watershed must be mentioned. It's Chef Scott Peacock (Google him for the deserved raves). I am a loyal fan, but I must admit it gets a bit noisy in there sometimes.
Downtown Decatur is also a nice place to spend an afternoon (cute boutiques, a few galleries), so you might consider that for part of your weekend jaunt.
Welcome to the ATL!
Ok, here's a little list I've compiled from suggestions here and elsewhere:
1.) Restuarant Eugene
2.) Taqueria Del Sol ( and beat $1.99 tacos)
4.) Alon's Bakery and Market
5.) Jave Jive? (just want a good coffee/breakfast place...nothing fanc, just muffins, granola, etc.)
7.) The Flying Biscuit
8.) MF Sushibar
9.) Baraonda or Enoteca Carbonari
10.) Brasserie Le Cozze (since we'll probably stop at Lenox Mall)
There are actually three taqueria del sol locations, although the third one is often called Taqueria Sundown. It serves the same great tacos though, and is located on Cheshire Bridge Rd. I've found the line to be a bit shorter, on average, at this location.
Also, I might be wrong, but I think Brasserie Le Cozze is closed. The folks behind it re-opened as FAB downtown.
Another downtown french option that I'll put in a plug for is Les Fleur de Lis Cafe. It is in the lobby of the historic Healey Building, and has a more authentic Parisian bistro feel. It is a tiny place, so reservations are a good idea, but the food is awesome, and you can bring your own bottle of wine, which I really like. Also, they have a killer sunday brunch.
Antica Posta (Italian - Buckhead)
Floataway Cafe (Northern Virginia Highlands - American/French bistro)
Kyma (Greek - Buckhead) - Some might think it's over-rated, but the Dover Sole is excellent. Wood Grilled Sardines and Octopus appetizers are excellent as well.
Little European Bakery (Sandy Springs) - you can get pastries, sandwiches. Mostly a "to-go" place, but they have some small café tables out front, and picnic benches on a little deck in the corner of the parking lot.
Pangaea - (Westside) Favorite item is Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches.
You want hole in the wall?? - Drive up and down Buford Highway for the most authentic and tasty asian foods in the city.