Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Atlanta >
Apr 23, 2013 02:41 PM

Atlanta's top 10

Hi Chowhound,

Please recommend Atlanta's top 10 fine dining restaurants, with #1 being the best. I'm from the northeast and frequently dine at Michelin-star quality restaurants, so that's what I am hoping to match. This inquiry isn't just for me - it's for my soon-to-be in-laws as well. Please do your best. I really appreciate it. As for location, commuting is no problem as long as it is within a 50 mile radius from the center of Atlanta.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Look around the board, there's all kinds of discussions here. Check Eater for a list of what's hot now. Are you looking for BBQ? Korean? Pizza? New Southern? Burgers? Tapas? Szechuan? This is a pretty open ended question and hard to answer without more specifics.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hungree

      Just about any restaurant in the Buckhead Life Group is excellent. Of those, my favorites are: Chops Lobster Bar (steak/seafood), Bistro Niko (French), Kyma (Greek), Atlanta Fish Market, Pricci (Italian).

      Also, in the Perimeter area, McKendricks Steak House is excellent.

      Bacchanalia is consistently in the Top 5 each year, if not #1 in Atlanta.

      That should get you started on a few......

      1. re: hungree

        I don't think the OP is looking for pizza, BBQ, burgers, etc., as he/she specified "fine dining". Although I agree that a perusal of this board is a good idea.

        I'd recommend Empire State South and Ecco, although I'm not sure if they meet the OP's standard of "fine dining".

      2. Probably the best meal I've had was the Chef's Table at No. 246 with Chef Drew talking to us the whole time.

        Not really in order...
        Restaurant Eugene (another top top meal)
        Bacchanalia (over-hyped I think)
        Woodfire Grill
        4th and Swift
        The Optimist
        Empire State South
        Holeman and Finch (another outstanding experience but not fine dining)
        Antica Posta
        Cake's and Ale
        Sotto Sotto
        I find the Buckhead Life restaurants hit and miss. Probably like Kyma the best.
        Also, folks might push for Kevin Rathbun's restaurants, but I've never been really impressed.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rcburli

          agree with rcburli, esp on the comment on Rarhbuns.Id add McKendricks steak house--i like it better than Bones but theyre both great.Nikolais roof is outstanding--Bistro Niko very good.Id say my best overall experience was at Arias

            1. re: spikedds

              McKendrick's is the best in the city. We've been to Bones, Chops, Capital Grille, etc. McKendrick's has always been consistent in all of their dishes. But their steaks.......yummmmm

        2. Woodfire Grill's tasting menu and service is the closest I've had to fine dining in ATL (as compared to French Laundry or Daniel in NYC).
          Bacchanalia and Quinones Room are good (but not great) and disappointing, respectively. The associated Star Provisions deli counter is excellent for lunch or take-out.
          Restaurant Eugene is very good and the service level is close to what you're looking for. Same with Sotto Sotto. There are others on rcburli's list that I have not been to.
          Cakes and Ale has amazing drinks and a very good bakery (croissants!), but it's crowded and I don't love the food.
          Ecco has addictive fried goat cheese balls in honey and very good drinks - not fine dining, but a good pre- or post-theater place.
          Optimist is all right food-wise, but not amazing as an experience. Same with Empire State South and Holeman and Finch. And none are fine dining service level.
          I like Rathbun's, but only in the wine room or outside, as the main space is too noisy. Very good food and service, but not fine dining.
          Hope that helps...

          1. Fine dining is pretty limited in Atlanta; however, some of the better dining establishments/food focused places are as follows (no particular order)
            - Bacchanalia
            - Quinone's at Bacchanalia
            - Floataway Café
            - JCT Kitchen
            - The Optimist
            - No 246
            - Miller Union
            - Bocado
            - 4th and Swift
            - Sotto Sotto
            - Woodfire Grill
            - ECCO
            - Empire State South
            - Restaurant Eugene
            - Holeman and Finch
            - Local Three
            - Muss and Turners
            - Cakes and Ale
            - The Bakery at Cakes and Ale
            - One Earred Stag
            - The Shed at Glenwood
            - The Hil at Serenbe
            - Bones
            - Aria
            - Tomo
            - Taka
            - Sushi house Hayakawa
            - Honey Pig
            - Cardamom Hill
            - Violette
            - General Muir
            - Watershed
            - Miso Izakaya
            - Shoya Izakaya
            - Canoe
            - VG Bistro
            - Little Alley Steaks
            - Table and Main
            - Vingenzo's
            - Antico
            - Ammazza
            - Desta
            - Seven Lamps

            2 Replies
            1. re: Franklin Smith

              surprisd McKendricks didnt ake your exhaustive list

              1. re: bobstripower

                I like McKendrick, it's one of the better places in the Perimeter Center area. And clearly, I struggle with where to draw the line...I live in Brookhaven and left off several neighborhood gems, such as Haven, Valenza and K pub. As well, many comparable places in Alpharetta (e.g. - Vinny's, Cabernet, Kosmos, etc) what can I say, it's an ever growing, evolving list.