When one thinks about food in Atlanta, Georgia, visions of the old South and southern comfort food come into mind. Fried chicken, smothered greens, fried green tomatoes, and more are common foods in the region, however in recent years, as the city of Atlanta has grown, the quality of its restaurants and its food has improved dramatically. Modern day Atlanta, Georgia restaurants are a far cry from the old, smoky barbecue joints and fried catfish restaurants that used to permeate the South. Chefs in Atlanta, Georgia restaurants are taking local and regional cuisine and updating them with modern twists and classical techniques, creating an exciting, new kind of Southern comfort food. While still drawing inspiration from their Southern roots, the new crop of restaurants are among the best restaurants in the nation, making Atlanta a burgeoning foodie city. The following are the top three Atlanta, Georgia Restaurants.
1. Goin’ Coastal
Located in a suburb of Atlanta called Canton, Goin’ Coastal is a unique restaurant even among trendy dining establishments. Goin’ Coastal is a seafood restaurant where every kind of fish and shellfish on the menu is sustainable, meaning that crops are easily maintained and not over-fished. Over-fishing is a large problem throughout the world, which is decreasing the amount of fish found in the ocean and driving some species to the brink of extinction. The owners of Goin’ Coastal believe that by using sustainable products, they can make a positive environmental impact, while serving the highest quality seafood available. Goin’ Coastal prepares traditional Southern seafood dishes like shrimp and grits and fried fish. However, they also serve dishes that have a French spin on them such as their Low Country Bouillabaisse that updates a Southern favorite with French techniques and flavors.
Bones is situated in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead neighborhood and draws a celebrity and power broker crowed. Perfect for a business lunch or dinner with important clients, Bones is perhaps Atlanta’s finest steak house. Like any traditional steak house, the main reason for coming here is to have the perfect steak. The beef at Bones is free range, corn fed, aged, and prime, producing the finest cuts of meat in the city. Steaks are hand cut to order and cooked perfectly to the desire of the patron. For those that do not eat beef, the lamb chops are an excellent alternative. Bones also features an excellent seafood selection, allowing diners to choose from a variety of fresh fish and shellfish options that change daily. Bones also has a world class wine list, featuring over 500 vintages from all around the globe. In short, Bones is the place to see and be seen in an Atlanta, Georgia restaurant.
Bacchanalia is consistently rated one of the best restaurants in Atlanta, having garnered national acclaim for its spectacular cuisine. Anne Quatrano and Cliff Harrison are both chefs and owners of Bacchanalia whose philosophy involves using locally produced foods in season to produce fine regional cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant obtains their produce and meats from local farms, ensuring the freshest and highest quality food possible. One of the signature dishes at Bacchanalia is the blue crab fritter with a Thai pepper essence. The dish is essentially a twist on a crab cake, loaded with succulent jumbo lump crab, little to no filler, and a sweet, yet spicy pepper sauce. Bacchanalia also offers a prix-fixe tasting menu. This multiple course menu highlights Southern ingredients at their finest. The tasting menus change weekly, so diners will always be in a surprise for what is on the menu. For example, one week may feature fresh Georgia trout, served with freshly grown Georgian tomatoes, while the next week may feature locally grown pork or freshly caught, Gulf seafood. Also not to be missed are Bacchanalia’s desserts. The restaurant’s most famous offering is its molten chocolate cake, a densely rich cake with a melted chocolate center. Bacchanalia’s wine list is extensive, featuring a wide variety of American wines. Diners wishing to eat at Bacchanalia should make reservations a month or more in advance because of the restaurant’s popularity. Even though they have moved from a small cottage in Buckhead to a larger space, reservations at this in demand restaurant are hard to come by.