Restaurants

Atlanta has some world-class restaurants and remarkable bargains but, unlike New York, Chicago, or many other cities, the good restaurants are not located in one area but spread all over the city.  This guide will steer you to restaurants so that you can use the time you have most efficiently.

Restaurants very close to the Emory Conference Center are few and will be considered first.  The areas of Decatur, GA and Buckhead (a section within the city limits of Atlanta) are the two areas with the greatest concentrations of good restaurants in Atlanta and close enough (15-20 minutes) to the Emory Conference Center to make a car or cab trip worthwhile.  A few eateries listed outside of these areas are worth a special trip.  The following information is from the Zagat Guide for Atlanta Restaurants with their Zagat scores (where available). Consideration has been given to listing restaurants in a variety of price ranges.

So close, you can easily walk: Emory Point

The recent opening of this mix of upscale residential, retail, and restaurants has offered a wide variety of eating options close enough for an easy walk, either for a quick lunch or a causal sit-down experience. The different buildings in Emory Point are quite close so that the options will be grouped by a whether you want a seated, restaurant experience or a quicker lunch option. Those listed were open at the time of this writing but several other spots are scheduled to open this spring.

Fresh to Order

Emory Point Tower Building
(404) 844-2020

Website: http://www.fresh2order.com

Food

Decor

Service

Cost

22

17

19

$15

Fast service and great selection” make for “high-quality” dining at this “budget-priced” local American chain where the food is “fresh” and the decor “sleek and modern”; it’s counter-service only when ordering, but the “meal is brought to your table” when it’s ready.

Which Wich? Superior Sandwiches

Emory Point
Tower Building
(404) 549-8889

Website: http://www.whichwich.com

Redefining the made-to-order sandwich with more than 50 varieties of customizable “wiches”. You select your sandwich, and then choose the bread, cheese, spreads, and veggies. Your wich is prepared just the way you want it and delivered in your personalized sandwich bag. You can order on line, by phone or in person.

Bonefish Grill

Emory Point
Point Building
(404) 235-4024

Website: http://www.bonefishgrill.com

Food

Decor

Service

Cost

24

21

22

$33

 “Impressed” OTPers make “no bones about it” – this “chain among chains” is a “trustworthy” option for “moderately priced”, “above-average” seafood with lots of “healthy” grilled options dispensed in “white-tablecloth” settings; since there can be “crazy waits”, “reservations are a must”, and even if it “lacks any local identity in a city that loves local”, it’s still “highly recommended.

La Tagliatella

Emory Point
Point Building
(678) 608-4210

Website: http://latagliatella.us/location/detail/emory-atlanta.html

With 130 restaurants in Europe, chose Emory Point for its second American outpost, (first is in Midtown Atlanta at the Shops at Metropolis). Most dishes are priced under $20 and served in portions meant to be shared. Salads and starters include Insalata Tagliatella with shrimp, ham, lump crab, mixed greens, veggies and hardboiled egg with choice dressings ($15.50). Among the 400 pasta and sauce combos, find signatures such butternut squash-filled pasta with a walnut and Gorgonzola cheese sauce ($16.50). The pizza kitchen turns out 20-some specialty thin crust pizzas

The General Muir

Emory Point
Point Building
(678) 927-9131

Website: http://www.thegeneralmuir.com

A Jewish Deli with breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Each meal shows attention to detail and quality; an emphasis on bagels and egg dishes for breakfast, pastrami and other deli sandwiches for lunch; more adventurous plates for dinner.  Somewhat expensive for a pastrami sandwich with the slices that are a thicker cut than those who are used to NY-style delis.  

Marlow’s Tavern

Emory Point
Tower Building
(404)343-3283

Website: http://www.marlowstavern.com/locations/emorypoint

American tavern grub served in a modern atmosphere. The menu offers a diverse combination of typical pub fare (burgers, sandwiches, etc.) that are updated and elevated to gourmet level. The closest establishment to an English Pub in Emory Point.

You can walk but not so easily…

Thaicoon Sushi Bar 

Sage Hill Shopping Ctr.
1799 Briarcliff Rd. NE (Johnson Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30306 
(404) 817-9805

Website: http://www.thaicoonsushiatlanta.com

Food Decor Service Cost
23 18 22 $23

Sushi and Thai food may strike some as an “odd combination”, but “it works” at this “innovative” Asian duo in Emory and Marietta that’s touted for its “impressive presentations” and “quick”, “smiling” service; it’s also a “pleasant lunch stop” for a “thoroughly pleasant” meal.

Pig-N-Chik

1815 Briarcliff Rd. (Clifton Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30329 
(404) 474-9444

Website: http://www.pignchik.net

Food Decor Service Cost
22 11 18 $15

“Predictable enjoyment” lies ahead at this “no-frills” BBQ trio in Chamblee, Emory and Sandy Springs, where the “ample portions” of reasonably priced ’cue is “served fast” – a bonus given that the facilities are “not much to look at” and it doesn’t take reservations.

A short drive (<15 Minutes) from the Emory Conference Center

Thai Chilli

Thai | Emory
2169 Briarcliff Rd. NE (Lavista Rd.)
Atlanta, GA
(404) 315-6750

Website: http://www.thaichilicuisine.com

Food Decor Service Cost
24 15 22 $24

Despite a location in a “nondescript” Emory strip mall, this “solid”, family-owned Thai is touted for “high-quality” cooking that’s “spiced to your liking” and served in “generous portions”; service is “great”, and repeat visitors attest it’s “worth the money and worth multiple trips.”

Floataway Café

Floataway Bldg.
1123 Zonolite Rd. NE (bet. Briarcliff & Johnson Rds.)
Atlanta, GA 30306 
(404) 892-1414

Website: http://www.starprovisions.com

Food Decor Service Cost
25 22 24 $43

For a “top-notch” dinner “without emptying the piggy bank”, aficionados recommend this “less formal” Emory sibling of Quinones and Bacchanalia, where chef Drew Belline incorporates “amazingly fresh local” produce into his “fabulous” “casual” French-Italian fare, paired with “one of the most interesting wine lists in town”; the service is “attentive” and “unpretentious”, and recent renovations “reduced” the “noise”, making it even easier to “float away from reality” here.

Taqueria del Sol

2165 Cheshire Bridge Road
Atlanta, GA
(404) 321-1118           

Website: http://www.taqueriadelsol.com

Food Decor Service Cost
24 14 14 $14

“Dirt-cheap”, “fast-ish” fare that’s “better than most slow food in town” sets off a veritable “stampede” of sol-jahs to this Mexican-Southwestern trio where “gourmet tacos” are “made fresh to order” and you can chase them down with “terrific margaritas”; the lines are “long” but “fast-moving”, the digs “sparse but classy” and while parents complain of “surly” servers who are so “not family-friendly”, wags insist the staff does “like kids – preferably fried or boiled.”

Woodfire Grill

1782 Cheshire Bridge Rd. (Piedmont Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 347-9055

Website: http://www.woodfiregrill.com

Food Decor Service Cost
27 22 26 $58

Foodies swoon over this “stunning” Cheshire Bridge “splurge” where “sweetheart” Kevin Gillespie, a “Top Chef who actually works in the kitchen”, produces “phenomenal” American “farm-to-table” fare on the “tantalizing” eponymous grill; servers make guests “feel beyond welcome” in the “unpretentious” setting, and though a few lament “micro portions” at “macro prices”, overall this “not-to-be-missed” experience is “well worth it.”

Atmosphere

1620 Piedmont Ave. (E. Morningside Dr. NE)
Atlanta, GA 30324
(678) 702-1620

Website: http://www.atmospherebistro.com

Food Decor Service Cost
25 21 21 $38

Francophiles fawn over this “magnifique” Midtown boîte for its “impressive”, “authentic” modern French cuisine, including the “best duck confit” “on this side of the pond”, and “terrific” service; housed in a “charming cottage” with a “perfect” patio, it’s a “superb alternative” for an “intimate evening with your sweetie”, a “hassle-free” “dinner with friends” or even a weekend brunch; P.S. “live jazz is a plus.”

Community Q BBQ

1361 Clairmont Road,
Decatur, GA
(404) 633-2080

Website: http://www.communityqbbq.com

Food Decor Service Cost
21 14 19 $14

You are in the South and need some BBQ, huh?  At owner David Robert's Community Q table runners pinch your kids' cheeks, seem genuinely concerned whether you're enjoying your meal, and just "get" what it means to make someone feel at home in an establishment. And the food definitely doesn't hurt the impact. Pleasantly imperfect hand-cut french fries with slivers of skin left on are fried to a golden brown before being showered with a savory, sweet and smoky seasoning.The meat is tender and moist with that ethereal ring of pink and a nice coating of blackened bark. Brisket is so fork-tender it only takes a mere tug of the teeth to cut it. And to finish off the meal, there's always some sort of homespun dessert like chocolate-dipped Rice Krispies Treats displayed on a cake stand just like your mom would.

Bhojanic 

1363 Clairmont Rd,
Decatur, GA 30033-5311
(404) 633-9233

Website: http://www.bhojanic.com

Food Decor Service Cost
21 17 19 $17

This Indian restaurant is tucked away in a little strip on Clairmont, near N. Decatur Road. Inside is like an oasis, tastefully decorated, with cushy booths and tables with crisp linens. The best bet (unless you're an Indian food guru) are the combination platters (with choices of number and kinds of meats and vegetables.) The choices are overwhelming, and the waitperson will guide you through. Be advised - you'll get lots of delicious, amazing dishes that were not listed on the menu! A "1 meat, 2 vegetable plate" will come out on a tray with about 8-10 different items, and it included 2 kinds of bread - naan and some crispy bread that was laid on the biranyi rice. 

In the Virginia-Highland neighborhood (5-10 minutes by taxi)

Babette’s Café

 573 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

(404) 523-9121

Website: http://www.babettescafe.com

4/5 stars

Babette’s Café is generally recognized as one of Atlanta’s finest restaurants.  It specializes in rustic French cuisine, with a diverse menu and excellent wine list.  Though the food is generally excellent, highly recommended options include the lamp chops, scallops, beef tenderloin, and chicken breast provencale.  In addition, they offer excellent cocktails and have highly reviewed dessert options.  One of the most expensive restaurants in the area, prices for entrees range from $25-30 dollars.

Fontaine’s Oyster House

1026 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

(404) 872-0869

Website: http://nnnwcorp.com/fontainesmain.…

3.5/5 stars

Fontaine’s is a beloved neighborhood hangout and one of Atlanta’s best oyster houses.  Their speciality is oysters, but their seafood dishes are all excellent.  The atmosphere is more relaxed and the cuisine more self-consciously southern than nearby Goin’ Coastal.  Highly recommended entrees include their shrimp and oyster buckets, po boys, scallops, and lobster.  They also have highly regarded chicken and steak dishes.  The bar is extensive, with excellent bear and wine options.  Prices for entrees range from about $10-15.

Goin' Coastal

1021 Virginia Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

(404) 941-9117

Website: http://www.goincoastalseafood.com

4/5 stars

Goin’ Coastal is one of the area’s best seafood restaurants, specializing in local, organic cuisine.  Highly recommended items include the scallops, lobster, swordfish, and oysters, though reviewers also consider their steak to be excellent.  They also feature an extensive bar, with excellent beer, wine, and cocktails.  Prices for main courses range from $15-25. 


Highland Tap

1026 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

(404) 875-3673

Website: http://www.highlandtapatlanta.com/

3.5/5 stars

An Atlanta landmark, Highland Tap is one of Atlanta’s finest steakhouses.  The menu specializes in steak, burgers, and seafood.  Recommended entrees include the prime rib, the “steakburger,” and the crab cakes; the restaurant also includes an ample beer selection, and its martinis come “highly recommended.”  Prices for burgers are around $10, while prime rib, chicken, and seafood entrees range anywhere from $17-40.  This is a good option for those who want to enjoy steak and “bar food” in a more upscale atmosphere than Manuel’s.

La Tavola Trattoria

992 Virginia Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 873-5430

Website: http://www.fifthgroup.com

4/5 Stars

La Tavola Trattoria specializes in regional, seasonal Italian cuisine.  The restaurant has an award-winning wine list, and was included in Atlanta Magazine’s list of the best restaurants in Atlanta.  Reviewers cite it as “one of the best meals I ever had” and an ideal place for “my deathbed meal.”  Recommended dishes include their mushroom pasta, calamari, veal prosciutto, and squid linguine.  Prices for main courses range from $17-24.

 

Manuel's Tavern

602 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

(404) 525-3447

Website: http://www.manuelstavern.com

4/5 stars

Manuel’s Tavern is one of the oldest and most-beloved bar and restaurant in Atlanta.  The unofficial home of the city’s Democratic Party, Manuel’s is the place people go to watch politics, sports, or just the daily news.  It has an ample beer selection, and a well-rounded menu, with specialties in burgers and sandwiches.  Prices are very affordable, between $8-15 per entrée, and $5 per beer.  It is a great place to hang out for the night.

 

Osteria 832

832 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

(404) 897-1414

Website: http://www.osteria832.com

3.5/5 stars

Osteria is a Italian restaurant that is both fun and elegant.  The menu is reasonably priced and includes several excellent pasta options, as well as hand-tossed pizzas and classical Italian entrees.  Recommended entrees include their chicken piccata, chicken or eggplant parmigiana,  and all of their pasta and pizza dishes.  In addition, they have an excellent selection of beers, wines, and deserts.  Seating is spacious with an outdoor patio that is lovely if the weather permits.  Prices for entrees range from $8-15.

 

Rosebud

 1397 N Highland Ave
Atlanta, GA 30306

(404) 347-9747

Website: http://www.rosebudatlanta.com

 Rosebud is one of Atlanta’s most respected locations for upscale Classical American cuisine, with a southern twist.  Recommended entrees include the springer chicken, kobe burger, Georges Bank scallops, and fried chicken and waffles.  The atmosphere is elegant but relaxed, and the beer and wine selection is excellent.  Prices for entrees range from $16-26.  It is located in Morningside, but is just a 5 minute drive from the other Virginia Highlands restaurants.

 

Soul Vegetarian

 652 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

(404) 875-4641

4/5 stars

One of Atlanta’s most unique and beloved restaurant, Soul Vegetarian offers high quality, all-vegan soul food in a comfortable environment.  Diners can enjoy their “Divine Dinner” specials, which feature an entrée, two sides, and a salad.  Recommended entrees include the barbeque kalebone twists, country fried steak, and crispy tofu cutlets; their macaroni and cheese and sweet potatoes are also excellent.  In addition, they offer their own vegan ice cream and dessert options.  Service is always excellent and prices for dinner range from $7-15 dollars.


Surin of Thailand

 810 N Highland Ave
Atlanta, GA 30306

(404) 892-7789

Website: http://www.surinofthailand.com

 3.5/5 stars

 Surin is one of the best Thai restaurants in the Atlanta-area.  Highly recommended entrees include the pad thai, curried chicken and shrimp, barbeque chicken, and She Shu salmon, though the menu is very even throughout.  They also have excellent alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.  Prices range from $10-20 dollars for dinner entrees. 

In the Buckhead area  (15-20 minutes by taxi)

Buckhead Diner

3073 Piedmont Rd. NE (E. Paces Ferry Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 262-3336

Website: http://www.buckheadrestaurants.com

Food Decor Service Cost
23 20 22 $35

Though it’s “constantly reinventing itself”, this “favorite” from the Buckhead Life Group is as “reliable” as “Old Yeller”, delivering “terrific” “unique” “twists” on New American “comfort food” and “snappy” service from a “witty” staff in a “lively”, “charmingly retro ’50s” setting; the “wide-ranging clientele” makes for some “bizarre people-watching”, but for an “upscale family gathering” or “late” “after-the-show” dining, “it works”; P.S. “no reservations means long waits”, so it’s best to “call ahead to get on the list.”

Kyma

3085 Piedmont Rd. NE (E. Paces Ferry Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 262-0702

Website: http://www.buckheadrestaurants.com

Food Decor Service Cost
25 24 24 $51

Serving “fish so fresh” you almost “expect to see a harbor out back”, this “superb” “haute Greek” from the Buckhead Life Group wins kudos for its “phenomenal” seafood-centric cuisine that’s paired with a “bountiful” wine list; “whitewashed walls” and “cool drapes” highlight the “stunning” room with a “festive”, yet “relaxing”, vibe, and the service is “out of this world”, which is why most agree this “truly unique” experience is “worth every penny – and it costs a few.”

Restaurant Eugene

The Aramore
2277 Peachtree Rd. NE (Peachtree Memorial Dr.)
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 355-0321

Website: http://www.restauranteugene.com

Food Decor Service Cost
28 26 26 $59

“There aren’t enough good things to say about” this “magnificent” South Buckhead establishment that draws “locavores” as well as “foodies” with “magical”, “world-class” New American cuisine with a “sublime” Southern drawl, including a “fantastic” “Sunday supper” that “warms the heart and soul and is a great value”; the wine list is “fabulous”, and an “enthusiastic” “mixologist” “whips up” “don’t-miss drinks”, while “point-perfect” servers “pamper” guests in the “elegant”, “wonderfully quiet” space; though it’s “aggressively priced”, most agree it’s “worth it” for “absolute perfection” “without a lot of attitude.”

Tomo

3630 Peachtree Rd. NE (Peachtree Dunwoody Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 835-2708

Website: http://www.tomorestaurant.com

Food Decor Service Cost
28 20 23 $49

This high-end sushi (and more) restaurant is located in a “luxury” residential building in Buckhead, but the “seriously sensational sushi” from its eponymous chef is all the rage, along with “impeccable” service and “premium sake” list; followers say it’s “like going to Nobu” but “without the NYC hassles”, even if “expensive”.

Bones

3130 Piedmont Rd. NE (Peachtree Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 237-2663 

Website: http://www.bonesrestaurant.com

Food Decor Service Cost
28 24 28 $66

“Hobnob” with the “who’s who” of Buckhead at this “old-school” “cathedral of steak” renowned for “phenomenal” chops “cooked to perfection” and served by a team so “stellar” that it’s been voted No. 1 for Service in Atlanta; “manly”, “power-broker” decor, a “private-club” feel and an “epic wine list” (“presented on an iPad”, no less) make the “platinum-card” prices easier to digest.

In Decatur, GA (about 15-20 minutes by taxi)

Willy’s Mexicana Grill

2074 North Decatur Road,
Decatur GA 30033
(404) 321-6060

Website: http://www.willys.com

Food Decor Service Cost
20 11 16 $11

“Lunchers with limited time to spare” and those who “don’t want to cook” appreciate this “cheap and cheerful” Mexican chain deemed the “best of the bunch” thanks to “better, bigger” burritos; “lines move quickly” through the “nearly self-service” drill in “unglamorous” but “clean” spaces, and the “primo location” of the Midtown outlet overlooking Piedmont Park makes it a “local favorite.” Multiple locations around Atlanta.

Cakes & Ale

155 Sycamore St,
Decatur, GA 
(404) 377-7994

Website: http://www.cakesandalerestaurant.com

Food Decor Service Cost
22 16 16 $19

Cakes & Ale is devoted to sustainable agriculture -- it buys local produce, humanely raised meats and un-endangered fish. Such practices add up to noticeably improved flavor. Chef/owner Billy Allin was formerly a sous chef for Scott Peacock at Watershed and the influence shows. The restaurant moved in 2011 to airier digs on Decatur Square, and brought on David Sweeney of Dynamic Dish fame to run the lunch service at the attached new bakery. Sweeney is turning out some of the most soul satisfying food in town - try the grain bowl or one of the intensely flavored soups.

Farm Burger

410B W. Ponce De Leon
Decatur, Georgia 30030
(404) 378-5077

Website: http://www.farmburger.net

Food Decor Service Cost
24 18 19 $15

“Fancy”, “crave-worthy” burgers that are “perfectly cooked” turn up at this patty pair in Buckhead and Decatur that ropes in cowpokes with “grass-fed” beef, “delicious” sides, “nice buns” and “adult beverages” (i.e. beer and wine); “mellow” settings and “efficient” counter service from the “coolest folks” make up for the “daunting” prime-time lines and “limited” seating.

In Midtown (about 20-30 minutes by taxi)…

Nan-Thai Fine Dining

1350 Spring St. NW (17th St. NW)
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 870-9933

Website: http://www.nanfinedining.com

Food Decor Service Cost
27 27 26 $43

An “elegant place worthy of its stripes”, Atlanta’s No. 1 for Decor is this “sophisticated” Midtown Thai in a “stunning”, “sensual” Johnson Studio–designed space that feels like “another universe”, with “feng shui”–friendly bathrooms that are “worth the trip” “whether or not you have to use” them; “exquisite”, “upscale” dishes come in “beautiful” presentations that rival the “gorgeous”, “finely dressed” servers who make guests “feel like royalty”, and while it’s all predictably “pricey”, it’s the “complete package.”

Antico Pizza

1093 Hemphill Ave. (Northside Dr.)
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 724-2333 

Website: http://www.anticopizza.it

Food Decor Service Cost
28 17 19 $19

“Real-deal” ovens and “genuine Italian ingredients” make for “otherworldly” pizzas at this “family-run” The only Atlanta-area pizza joint, near Georgia Tech, that is worth a special trip.  “Heavenly” Neapolitan pies with “perfect crusts” have earned a “cult following”; “blaring” acoustics, “limited” communal seating and “hectic” weekend scenes come with the territory, but in return there’s “opera on the speakers”, “soccer on the telly” and a money-saving BYO policy.

Flying Biscuit Café

1001 Piedmont Ave. NE (10th St.)
Atlanta, GA 30302
(404) 874-8887

Website: http://www.flyingbiscuit.com

Food Decor Service Cost
19 15 17 $16

“You can’t call yourself a true Atlanta resident” unless you’ve “swooped on in” to this “lighthearted” Southern “legend” that’s “blossomed” into a chain, serving fans far and wide “delish” “all-day breakfast”, “addictive biscuits” and other “filling” “comfort food”; “sunny, happy people” in “eclectic early hippie” digs manage the “cattle call” of “Sunday morning brunch-goers”, and while some critics snort that “franchising” has caused it to “fall like a bad soufflé”, for others it remains an “old stand-by.”

And if someone on an expense account is taking you out…

Bacchanalia

Westside Marketplace
1198 Howell Mill Rd. (bet. 14th St. & Huff Rd.)
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 365-0410

Website: http://www.starprovisions.com

Food Decor Service Cost
29 26 28 $85

The “French Laundry of the South” is what devotees dub this Westside New American, Atlanta’s perennial No. 1 for Food that “lives up to its amazing reputation” with prix fixe and à la carte menus of “superb” cuisine crafted from the “freshest local ingredients”, “right-on” “wine pairings” and “excellent”, “personalized” service; the “industrial” space is “elegant without being stuffy” (a few find it “drafty”), but be prepared for tabs so “steep” that cronies quip “taking a date here says ‘you are the one – because I can’t afford anyone else.’”

Canoe

Vinings on the River
4199 Paces Ferry Rd. SE (Woodland Brook Dr.)
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 432-2663 

Website: http://www.canoeatl.com

Food Decor Service Cost
27 27 27 $50

“Beautiful scenery” meets “exceptional” food at this Vinings “superstar”, nestled in a “picturesque” setting overlooking the Chattahoochee River with “breathtaking gardens” that are a “gorgeous complement” to the “farm-to-table” New American cooking of “brilliant” chef Carvel Gould; “seamless” service and a “romantic” ambiance enhance the overall “sensational experience” that’s so “well above the watermark”, it’s “easy to overlook” the “upscale” pricing.