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How to find good restaurants in Atlanta /Georgia

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  • POY Mar 14, 2011 05:33 AM
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After 40 years of eating and drinking fine food and wine in Europe, we are coming home. I do not know where to start to find good restaurants, markets, etc. in the Atlanta area. We will live in PTC and as far as I can tell, there is not much info about restaurants south of Atlanta. I need a guide to not only good food in metro Atlanta but in Georgia. Viamichelin, my stand by for years, is useless and googling restaurants in Georgia is hit and miss.
Is there a guide/ source to help guide us as we explore this part of America for good food and wine?

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  1. Unfortunately, besides Zagat and this board, there isn't really anything I'm aware of (besides the articles published by restaurant critics for the AJC, Atlanta Magazine, etc). It's only been relatively recently that Atlanta even got its own board here on Chowhound. Prior to that, we were just lumped into the Southeast board.

    I'm afraid after 40 years of dining in Europe, you are likely to go through withdrawals (maybe even depression?) due to our restaurant options in Atlanta. There are a handful that are very good (Bacchanalia, Aria, Restaurant Eugene come to mind, some might also throw in Woodfire Grill), but most are not of a calibre that would stand up to Michelin 3-star restaurants in Europe.

    On the plus side, thanks to Delta, you can easily get from Atlanta to New York, Chicago, San Francisco -- or back to Europe -- when you're craving a really spectacular meal.

    -----
    Restaurant Eugene
    2277 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

    Woodfire Grill
    1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324

    1 Reply
    1. re: edwardspk

      Ed, I'm sorry, but I disagree, and I'm frankly pretty bummed to see you suggest that someone actually has to leave the Southeast to find a good meal. Atlanta has some wonderful restaurants! I would add a few of my favorites to your list -- Miso Izakaya, Miller Union, Top Flr & Spoon are ones I frequent. They might not be fine dining, but certainly good food. Heard good things about Empire State South and Cakes and Ale, too, but haven't yet tried them out.

      OP also asked about markets -- I love the Dekalb International Farmers Market. It's worth a trek for breadth of products and price, but fair warning on the massive crowds: I refuse to go after 10am on the weekend. Buford Highway Farmers Market is wonderful, too, but it's even farther from PC. Farmers markets pop up in most intown neighborhoods every May, and we have some great CSAs for fresh produce.

      More of the problem might be that Peachtree City is not in Atlanta. It's really a town 35 miles away -- in 20 years in Atlanta, I've never had the occasion to go down there and couldn't give any recommendations for the area.

    2. This is a great business opportunity for someone, as I live south of Atlanta and have been unable to find a good online resource for restaurants.

      That said, try the restaurants in the town of Serenbe (The Hil and The Farmhouse), Founder's Restaurant in Senoia, and Grind and Wines in Peachtree City. I can recommend all of those wholeheartedly!

      -----
      Hil Restaurant
      9110 Selborne Ln Ste 110, Palmetto, GA 30268

      1. You will find some additional help at 285foodies.com - in addition to the excellent advise from Chowhound participants.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Milt

          Thanks for the suggestions. I know we will have to make adjustments but we are up to the challenge.

        2. Also look at Chowdown Atlanta, Blissful Glutton, and other similar blogs that have good reviews.

          1. i also use tripadvisor.com--- pick out the city and look on the left for restauarnts.I dont hink they are as acurate as to quality as Chohound is, ie a cheap restaurant, with large protions may score high in the ratings--but its a good start--i uesd them on arecent trip to Amelia island, and they were pretty accurate

            1 Reply
            1. re: bobstripower

              I prefer Roadfood.com by Jane and Michael Stern. They wrote the book - literally - on such places.

            2. The Serenbe Community near you has a very good bakery, a farmer's market, and fine dining.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Milt

                Update: On a three day trip to PTC this May, we tried Grind and Wine and I had my first fish taco; very impressive. We move back next month and have the Serenbe area on our list. I think I will make a journal of our finds and get back to those of you interested in good eating south of Atlanta.
                The other challenge we found is to find a good house wine for less than $8. We usually drink Languedoc wines at home but those are not affordable in the States. We are not familiar with the South American wines and will be exploring those and other reasonably priced wines.

                1. re: POY

                  A good house wine that I would recommend is Borsao, it's a spanish red table wine that is around $8 to $10 a bottle. I have been drinking it for about 10yrs (it was $6.99 when I started buying it) and it has only improved only the years going from very good to excellent.

                  1. re: samlev

                    Thanks, it is on our list.

                    1. re: POY

                      Let me know what you think of it when you try it. It is a little spicy, which can turn some people off, but is a solid red and meant to be drunk with high flavor profile foods. Something that Spain is noted for.

                      1. re: samlev

                        We tried the wine and liked it very much. We have lived in the area now for five months and I have relied on Chowhound, the Atlanta Magazine, Southern Living and a few Georgia guidebooks as well as Ga PBS. We have found Buford Hwy, brunch at the Ritz, DeKalb food market, local farmers in our area , and enjoyed a great trip up the Georgia Coast to Charleston. Good eating all the way using Chowhound as our guide.
                        We do miss our meals in Belgium and the trips to Italy but there is a lot to be said for buying what is local and eating at places with an established reputation. I am, however, still trying to like collard greens.

                        1. re: POY

                          In case you are still looking for good resources (in alpha order)
                          Blissful Glutton has sort of abandoned her post as a critical writer (in regards to restaurants). She now heads up Eater's Atlanta branch. But she was writing before pretty much anyone else in the city and has a plethora of things on her site. Just keep in mind - she, like Gene, has moved on so it's not as fresh as others.

                          Chloe (the girl who writes ChowDownAtlanta) is the queen of Buford Highway and its surrounding areas. Read her.

                          Eat It Atlanta doesn't do many restaurant reviews anymore, but his palate is good, his words wise, and he doesn't bs people.

                          Gene Lee's blog (Eat Drink Man) is also full of awesome information. He hasn't added to it much since he started working at AJC, but it's still a great resource.

                          Live To Feast now writes for the AJC as well - his stuff is good and funny.

                          There are some other independent food writers, but that list will catch you up with most everything.

                          Speaking to a restaurant in your neck of the woods - check out La Oaxaquena Taqueria for some mexican.

                          -----
                          La Oaxaquena Taqueria
                          605 Mount Zion Rd, Jonesboro, GA 30236

                          1. re: foodiebuddha

                            Thank you. This is excellent advice.

                            1. re: foodiebuddha

                              I would also suggest looking at 285foodies.com as a great resource for Atlanta eats.

                    2. re: POY

                      For PTC, Pascal's Bistro is excellent. One of South Atlanta's best. And for lunch, they have an all you can eat pasta station to let you build your own. Very good for the price. Haven't had anything I didn't like for dinner. I learned to like asparagus there. Veggies are served al dente. I abhor southern-style veggies. Pascal's is one of my veggie escapes to have them done right.

                      I second Grinds and Wines. Fish tacos are very good. They also make beef tenderloin medallions with a red wine reduction that is also very good. I've had that more than once. I'm privileged to have my office a stone's throw from G&W. I'm a regular there. Good afternoon wine specials. Take my team there often after work.

                      1. re: POY

                        I currently live in Peachtree City, have lived in this area all my life, and have traveled to and eaten in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria (as well as other countries in other continents, but just mentioned the European countries as they relate specifically to you). I am happy to give you suggestions to places anywhere from here to really anywhere in Georgia in addition to these if you'd like. Here are some of my very favorites:

                        Linger Longer, Gaby's by the Lake, Georgia's Bistro, and the Chiminea Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynold's Plantation (the phenomenal food, decor, and service as well as overall value make these more than well worth the 1 hour 45 minute drive): http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Propert...

                        City Cafe and Bakery in Fayetteville, GA (fantastic food and decor - sit on their wonderful patio): http://www.citycafeandbakery.com/inde...

                        Taqueria Iztaccihuatl (best authentic Mexican restaurant in Georgia): http://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-izta... and http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/9/806415/...