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Apr 9, 2008 08:50 PM

Visiting Atlanta: A few chow insights, please.

I will be making my way to Atlanta in May and would like to get some insight on a few places to go for a great meal. Specifically, I would like to know:

1. A great place for Southern food.

2. The best Mexican food restaurant in Atlanta metro.

3. A solid to exceptional upscale restaurant were you can still get by wearing "resort casual" clothing. Or, a casual place that offers a bit more upscale food.

4. The best Sunday brunch in Atlanta.

5. Any "hidden gems" you would recommend.

Thanks in advance from a fellow Hound in Phoenix.

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  1. Of course, all of these are debatable...
    1. For "old school" Southern, try Thelma's on Auburn Ave, Son's on Dekalb or Mary Mac's on Ponce de Leon. For some really excellent "new" Southern interpretations, Restaurant Eugene on Peachtree and Watershed on Decatur are nationally-known and feature Beard Award-wining chefs.
    2. That's a tough one....I'll leave it to those that know Buford Highway better.
    3. Bacchanalia is considered the best in town. The Dining Room at the Ritz in Buckhead is tops as well, you'll need a jacket. Most upscale places in town tolerate, and welcome, anything from hipster wear to coat and tie. Rathbun's, Repast, Aria and Ecco are all worth looking into.
    4. Do NOT go to the Flying Biscuit. I like Carroll Street Cafe in Cabagetown, funky, quirky and the bloodies are a work of art.
    5. Top Flr in Midtown for great drinks and an interesting menu, go early, eat at the bar. For lunch, I had an amazing lamb burger at Gilbert's on 10th the other day. I was blown away, actually. Ann's Burger Shack on Memorial is best in the country. Again, go early and abide by Ann's rules. Anise in Buckhead might have the most charming patio in town. I think La Tavola for northern Italian in VaHi is completely underated.

    2 Replies
    1. re: aka frank


      Thank you so much for the input. It is greatly appreciated.

      1. re: aka frank

        But "resort casual" would not be acceptable at the Dining Room.

      2. 2. I hope somebody familiar with Buford Highway chimes in on this one...I'd love to know the answer.

        4. We had Easter Brunch at Chequers near Perimeter Mall and it was amazing!

        PS you forgot to ask about barbecue! There's great advice on here; search for threads.

        1. A few other thoughts:

          For Southern, there's also Colonnade on Cheshire and Greenwood's in Roswell. The latter is worth the trip. But I also ate at Colonnade last week and had 2 giant pork chops plus 2 sides for $14. Can't beat that, although the chops were a bit underseasoned, despite being perfectly grilled. At either place, you'll just about have enough for 2 meals.

          I have a hard time answering the Mexican question- there are lots of little taquerias on Buford Hwy, various Mex to Tex-Mex places, and a few places trying to be higher end (like Zocalo, although I've never been a huge fan, b/c it didn't seem like much of a value). My shortlist of places I'd consider includes: Pure Taqueria in Alpharetta (wife's been and loves it), Taqueria Los Hermanos in Tucker, Taqueria del Sol on Cheshire, Nuevo Laredo Cantina, Taqueria Los Rayos on Chamblee Tucker, and I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting.

          1. My favorite Mexican restaurant is in Tucker it is Taqueria de los Hermanos. It is the best!
            The best sunday brunch is The Dining Room at the Ritz Buckhead.
            Canoe can be nice too for the view.
            Floataway Cafe is not a hidden gem but it is great. So is Woodfire Grill.
            Have fun.

            1. Thanks, everyone, for the great input. Any other suggestions will be cheerful appreciated.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Seth Chadwick

                Here are a few suggestions:

                For great southern food go to Son's Place on Dekalb Ave near Inman Park. Cash only so be prepared. I disagree with a previous poster about Mary Mac's. I would avoid as it is unfortunately surviving on its past.

                Mexican, I would recommend Nuevo Laredo on Chattahoochee. Fantastic food, if they are serving them on special, I recommend the lobster tacos. The mole is very good as well. No reservations accepted and it gets very packed for lunch and dinner although even when packed the wait is not too bad as they turn tables quickly. Another is Agave, near Cabbage Town. Southern influenced Mexican/Southwestern food. Very interesting and quite good.

                The suggestions above for pricey dining are spot on and I will add a few more. Soto Soto very excellent italian. Kyma for greek.

                Wahoo, in Decatur, provides a very good Sunday brunch.

                For hidden gems, I would say Ann's Snackbar for burgers on Memorial and Harold's BBQ south of the stadium. Neither is really a hidden gem but Atlantans know and love them both.

                Let me know if you have any further questions as I would be more than happy to help.


                1. re: samlev

                  Thank you, sam. That is great info!

                  1. re: samlev

                    Agave is a good one. Haven't been there in a long time.

                    FWIW, it's Sotto Sotto. Might have trouble searching otherwise. And Kyma is very good, but IMHO very pricey.

                    1. re: ted

                      1. A great place for Southern food: Carver's is a good place, your quinessential meat and three.1118 W. Marietta St. N.W.
                      Atlanta, GA 30318

                      2. The best Mexican food restaurant in Atlanta metro: I'm a big fan of Nuevo Laredo Cantina off of Chatahoochee Rd. The brisket tacos are something that I enjoy there, as well as a few margaritas.

                      3. A solid to exceptional upscale restaurant were you can still get by wearing "resort casual" clothing. Or, a casual place that offers a bit more upscale food: Two Urban Licks is a fun casual place with some solid dishes, Restaurant Eugene is a delicious place.

                      4. The best Sunday brunch in Atlanta: I have enjoyed Canoe for Sunday brunch many a time, very pretty setting and relaxing. In Atlanta, you won't be able to order anything with alcohol until 12:30 on Sundays, so bloody mary's might not be in your future.

                      5. Any "hidden gems" you would recommend.

                      I really like Com in Dunwoody, a Vietnamese fusion place. Trois in Midtown, upscale different take on french cuisine.

                      Enjoy your trip.