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We get to only have ONE dinner in Atlanta......where should we eat? PS...we have three kids...

We are big foodies but we don't want restaurants that are chains........where is the best place to eat that we will have great food memories despite that we have three kids with us? Regional? What is Atlanta known for? I know its a broad general question....but if you only had one night...where would you go? Then we get one breakfast...before we leave? Where is the best thing you ever ate for dinner and for breakfast in Atlanta?

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  1. I have three kids too (7,5,2) so that's a big consideration....what ages? With older kids you would have more options I'm guessing.

    1. I would suggest Mary Mac's or The Collonade for a regionally appropriate meal with something for everyone. What part of Atlanta is also a major consideration for suggestions.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Milt

        We have no clue on what part of Atlanta....the kids are 6, 4, 3 and very well behaved. When we travel, we love to research what the "best" thing to eat there... I know that's a wide range...but sort of like the Food Network Show...always looking for the Best Item on the menu that we will talk about forever. thanks for your help. PS it could be steak, I noticed Asian food seems to be big and people refer to Wildfire Grill as well.

        1. re: Pinkwasabi

          Pitty Pat's Porch would be fun and regional.

          Kids always love The Varsity.

          And we just saw Daddy D'z BBQ on the Food Network this week, and will be trying it soon.

          Daddy D'z
          264 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

          1. re: tracyre2

            Daddy D'z is great! Enjoy.

            Daddy D'z
            264 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

          2. re: Pinkwasabi

            I think you mean Woodfire Grill. That would be a good choice for one meal in Atlanta.
            JCT Kitchen (very good southern, and I would take my kids there)
            FLIP Burger
            Fritti (pasta and pizzas)
            Nuevo Laredo Cantina

            As for breakfast, Thumbs Up Diner, Java Jive, Bakeshop

            Nuevo Laredo Cantina
            1495 Chattahoochee Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

            309 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30307

            Woodfire Grill
            1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324

            1. re: rcburli

              I might add Original Pancake House to the breakfast list, especially if the kids like pancakes. They have the Dutch Baby also which is a unique dish for Atlanta as far as I know. They are available elsewhere I'm sure. OPH originated in Oregon.


              There are three stores in Atlanta but two may be too far out for you. The closest to in-town is the Lavista/Cheshire Bridge store (12 min., 8 mi.). I ate there yesterday and was a little dissapointed, compared to my usual experience. I usually go to the Memorial Drive store because it is not far from where my office is located. That's strange, because otherwise, Memorial Drive/Stone Mountain, outside the Perimeter Hwy. (20 min.,12 mi. drive from downtown) is a wasteland for most everything else. But the lady who owns OPH there is top notch, runs a tight ship, and the place is clean, bright and more inviting (though smaller) than the Cheshire Bridge store which seemed a little worn-out. My thick bacon yesterday at CB OPH was a little greasy too - should have asked for it crispy. The buckwheat pancakes seemed to be a somewhat different mix of ingredients from what I get on Memorial. The sunny side up eggs were great as usual. That was my one and only visit to the Cheshire Bridge store which is actually closer to Lavista Road.

              The Alpharhetta store is relatively new and probably fine but that's a long drive north from downtown. Just off Highway 400 so if the highways are not jammed it's 35 min, 28 mi. - too far unless you are already up that way. Avoid in weekday rush hour.

              OPH is slammed on weekends. Late weekday mornings (possibly early too) on Memorial Drive, no wait.

              If you want to stay in-town I will second Thumbs Up. Not familiar with the other two.

              Original Pancake House
              2321 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

              1. re: JHLI

                Thanks for the info...we have OPH......love the Dutch babies...any other ideas for great breakfasts?

              2. re: rcburli

                Woodfire is not very kid-friendly but I agree that the tasting menu would be one of my top choices for one meal in Atlanta.

                You might consider Watershed in Decatur, if you can go on the early side (6 or 6:30). Their Fried Chicken is amazing.

                For breakfast, Flying Biscuit is lots of fun, and my daughter loves the biscuits and cranberry butter that come with them. Thumbs Up is also great, as is Highland Bakery. Thumbs Up doesn't take credit cards (they have an ATM there though) and both of those places often have a long wait, so be sure to get there early.

                Flying Biscuit Cafe
                1655 McLendon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

          3. I don't recommend the Varsity, it is definitely not regional food, nor does it serve "the best" anything. (maybe "the best" people watching...maybe)

            My brother, sister , and I are all in college now, but we have always enjoyed going to The Buckhead Diner for brunch. They feature nice, local flavors and have a broad selection of items on the menu.

            I suggest going to Relish for dinner, its in Old Roswell so it may be sort of a trek for you, but I had the best cucumber lemonade and krispy kreme bread pudding I've ever eaten there.

            1. Ooh, skip Pitty Pat's Porch -- gimmicky, pricey, and mediocre food.

              Atlanta is enormously spread out, and people often say Atlanta when they mean a suburb 20 miles (and thus 45 minutes to an hour) away. If you can narrow down to a large swathe of town (northern burbs, intown, Buckhead, etc.), that would help. That said, most of our local BBQ places are amazing and regional food -- my favorites are Fox Brothers BBQ and Daddy D'z.

              Atlantans also love breakfast and brunch. Check out Sun in My Belly (high-quality local farmey food in a cute neighborhood cafe) or Ria's Bluebird or the Silver Skillet for a throwback retro breakfast.

              Fox Brothers' BBQ
              1238 Dekalb Ave, Atlanta, GA 30307

              Silver Skillet
              200 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

              Daddy D'z
              264 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

              Ria's Blue Bird
              421 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

              Sun in My Belly
              2161 College Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30317

              2 Replies
              1. re: abbyloving

                OK Cafe 1284 West Paces Ferry Road Northwest (404) 233-2888 okcafe.com‎

                Please do your best to least take them by the Varsity and Krispy Kreme (downtown locations if you are staying "in-town" ) these are Atlanta "landmarks" more the 5-star meals... take it from someone who always loved taking visitors/relatives to both of these places when I was a kid...and they are still here so what does that tell you... your kids will thank you later...trust a true local.... hope you enjoy Atlanta.

                Krispy Kreme
                4320 International Blvd, Norcross, GA 30093

                1. re: abbyloving

                  We are staying Midtown....thanks for the great suggestions!

                2. i second OK Cafe! Fun, and kid friendly, feels like something special/local and good southern cooking.

                  1. Dinner - Fritti for pizza, The Vortex for burgers, The Varsity for chili dogs and everything else that goes with that experience. JCT IS very good as well, but just so loud....For breakfast, The Flying Biscuit, for sure, but only the original on McLendon.

                    Flying Biscuit Cafe
                    1655 McLendon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

                    309 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30307

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lclarknj

                      Can't do Vortex for burgers with kids. Smoking establishment so have to be 21+.

                      For pizza, I would go to Antico Pizza Napoletana near GaTech. Amazing authentic neopolitan pizza, some of the best I have had outside of Italy. Seating can be a little awkward and there can be a line so be aware.

                    2. second Buckhead Diner esp with the children--theyll love the bluecheese chips as an appetizer.Veal loaf is excellent as well. Crescent Moon in Decatur was good,but may have closed--also OK Cafe is good for breakfast.Agree Varsity is a must do for lunch, get served in the car, kids will ove the hats theyrll get,and the orange drink,and grilled cheese--my 3 grandkids 6,4,4 love it as a treat,Just recalled, the Silve Spoon near Ga Tech is a really good spot for breakfast--its been there forever and has alot of Tech students and profs in there.
                      PS, was just thinking again about dinner, and I think Priccis on Pharr Rd would e a good match--theyre good with families,and have a very good Italian menu--Their osso bucco is great,and the kids could have pizza.If you go, ask for Stebo for your waiter--hes from Slovenia and very interesting

                      Buckhead Diner
                      3073 Piedmont Road Northeast Atlanta, GA, Atlanta, GA 30305

                      1. Six Feet Under by Oakland Cemetery is kid friendly and a the food is solid. It's near the Zoo too.

                        I have kids in the under 6 set too and I would absolutely take them to Watershed if we got there early. Same with Cakes & Ale that is right up the street from Watershed. Both are in Decatur and most Decatur spots are pretty great with kiddos. Farmburger is nearby too. Excellent.

                        South City Kitchen is in Midtown and again, if you went early enough, kids would be okay there (although less so than the previous 3 spots.)

                        Rias, Sun in my Belly, Thumbs Up - all solid for breakfast. Rise & Dine in the Emory area is also fantastic.

                        Cakes & Ale Restaurant
                        254 W Ponce De Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030

                        Six Feet Under
                        437 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

                        1. Thank you for all the wonderful reports. We ended up at JCT Kitchen and had a terrific and sooo delicious dinner and they were so accommodating with our grandchildren. The fried chicken, the deviled eggs, the fish were excellent! The deviled eggs were absolutely creamy and silky..would order 2 orders next time. The kids ordered popcorn shrimp which it came excactly with popcorn...they were a bit amused by that. Next time we are in ATlanta...we are definitely going there as well as FLIP...heard terrific things about them as well.

                          1. Virginia Highland's, of course! Family friendly and smoke-free, you have many restaurants to choose from, and shops to stroll while taking in the sights.
                            Steaks, Martinis and BEST Burgers=Highland Tap
                            Italian=La Tavola
                            Tacos and Tapas=Noche
                            Burgers and Beer=George's and Moes and Joes
                            Ice Cream=Paolo's Gelato Italiano
                            Yeah Burger
                            Taco Mac