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Oral Pleasures Large Photo


Oral Pleasures

In new age circles and among Law of Attraction devotees you often hear the phrase “Thoughts become things.” The implication is that things in the physical world started out as a figment of someone’s imagination. When traced back to its roots, every great dish, food business, or restaurant concept started out as a vision. That is, a maker, chef, or restaurateur was inspired, dreamt up some blueprints, and ultimately transformed a vision into something tangible.

The people, places, and things we named best this year encompass the visions that had the most staying power. Things that remained visible amid Atlanta’s massive change and growth. They were the dishes and restaurants that were too consistent and too inspiring to fade away or lose their shine.

Places like the newcomer Staplehouse, brought us more than thoughtfulness in the form of edible art. The restaurant’s heroic inception taught us about passion and resilience, and, as a result, that food can be as much about love and community as it is about entertainment. This year we fell in love with the simple Parisian-inspired pleasures of Billy Allin’s Bread & Butterfly in Inman Park. We were wowed by Ticonderoga Club chef David Bies’ return to Atlanta, and we rejoiced in the promise of more favorable Peach State beer legislation for our beloved local brewpubs.

Collectively, Atlanta dining culture is a patchwork of individual ideas that a group of passionate people were compelled to make real. As the dreamers continue turning inspired thoughts into things, the look and feel of this cultural quilt morphs and grows — and we’re grateful to be around to see it.

— Stephanie Dazey

Best grits BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Flying Biscuit (13 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant to bring the kids BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
YEAH! BURGER
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant to take visitors BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Imperial Fez Mediterranean Restaurant & Lounge

Best restaurant trend BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Farm to table

Best restaurant when someone else is paying BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Bacchanalia

Best sandwiches BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Victory Sandwich Bar
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best seafood BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
The Optimist

Best service BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
BLT Steak

Best Sichuan BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Gu's Dumplings

Best soul food BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Busy Bee Cafe

Best soup BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Souper Jenny Westside

Best Southern BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Mary Mac's Tea Room

Best Spanish/tapas BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Barcelona Wine Bar

Best steaks BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Kevin Rathbun Steak

Best Sunday brunch BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
West Egg Cafe

Best supper club or pop-up restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Eat Me Speak Me - PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Best sushi BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Umi

Best tacos BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
El Rey Del Taco
EL REY DEL TACO’s traditional fillings and ultra-fresh homemade tortillas still can’t be beat. Go for the melty slow-braised goat or fatty and crisp pork carnitas dressed simply with cilantro and onion. 5288 Buford Highway N.E., Doraville. 770-986-0032. www.elreydeltacoatl.com.

Best tacos BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
bartaco - West Midtown
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Tex-Mex BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Superica

Best Thai BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Little Bangkok

Best tiki bar BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
The S.O.S. Tiki Bar
For those who like their drinks on fire in a cozy retro den filled with Polynesian vibes, S.O.S. TIKI BAR is the place. A short walk down an alley in Decatur leads you to an escapist environment dimply lit by topless, grass skirt-clad lady lamps. Banana leaf wallpaper, tropically attired servers andmore...
For those who like their drinks on fire in a cozy retro den filled with Polynesian vibes, S.O.S. TIKI BAR is the place. A short walk down an alley in Decatur leads you to an escapist environment dimply lit by topless, grass skirt-clad lady lamps. Banana leaf wallpaper, tropically attired servers and bartenders, and surfer tunes complete the time warp without feeling too over-the-top. Bobby Dudley and crew serve cocktails running the gamut from classics (Mai Tai!) to originals like the boozy Subtle Banana stirred with rye, cognac, Benedictine, and cinnamon and garnished with an orchid or plastic mermaid. The retro hangout also flaunts a fun menu of coconut shrimp, Polynesian spare ribs, and pu pu platters to complement the drinks and décor. It’s the kind of place where you might find yourself sitting next to a member of the National Swizzle Stick Society. less...

Best under the radar restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Dish Dive

Best value BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
La Mei Zi
On the left side of the well-loved strip mall that is Asian Square sits LA MEI ZI, a Modern Taiwanese restaurant that’s quietly serving up some great Chinese food. Taiwanese and Sichuan specialties abound, including mapo tofu, crispy fried chicken legs, colossal typhoon shelter prawns, and more. Servicemore...
On the left side of the well-loved strip mall that is Asian Square sits LA MEI ZI, a Modern Taiwanese restaurant that’s quietly serving up some great Chinese food. Taiwanese and Sichuan specialties abound, including mapo tofu, crispy fried chicken legs, colossal typhoon shelter prawns, and more. Service is quick and friendly and the English is plentiful so don’t be scurred to explore and try something new for lunch. less...

Best vegan BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Cafe Sunflower Buckhead
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best vegetarian BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Cafe Sunflower Buckhead
And other metro Atlanta location.

Best vegetarian cuisine from a non-vegetarian chef BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
The General Muir
For chef TODD GINSBERG, successful vegetarian cuisine needs to have plenty of texture and balance. The crave-worthy meatless dishes at Fred’s Meat & Bread and the General Muir are packed with both. The vegetarian banh mi sandwich at Fred’s, which was inspired by the chef’s travels around Vietnam,more...
For chef TODD GINSBERG, successful vegetarian cuisine needs to have plenty of texture and balance. The crave-worthy meatless dishes at Fred’s Meat & Bread and the General Muir are packed with both. The vegetarian banh mi sandwich at Fred’s, which was inspired by the chef’s travels around Vietnam, combines dense roasted cauliflower, creamy sliced eggplant, pickled carrots, jalapeño, and more for its gratifying heft, chew, and spice. For his vegetarian Reuben at the General Muir, Ginsberg kept the sandwich’s fundamental building blocks — sauerkraut, Russian dressing, rye bread — but employs fat slabs of smoky beets to replace corned beef’s meatiness. When it comes to vegetarian cooking, Ginsberg says there’s no precise formula that will yield perfect results every time, especially when diners naturally seem to crave protein. This can make cooking sans meat a challenge, but, for Ginsberg, it also makes creating veggie dishes that guests crave much more exciting. Fred’s Meat & Bread, 99 Krog St. N.E. 404-688-3733. www.fredsmeatandbread.com. less...

Best veggie burger BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Grindhouse Killer Burgers (5 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Vietnamese BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Lee's Bakery
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best weekly dining deal BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Grindhouse Killer Burgers (5 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best wine list BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Empire State South
When Empire State South first opened back in 2010, “Head Wine Cheerleader” Steven Grubbs got the town’s wine geeks buzzing with his witty wine menus packed with rarities not often found on Atlanta lists. Somehow, he has managed to keep Empire State South’s wine menu as eclectic, charming, andmore...
When Empire State South first opened back in 2010, “Head Wine Cheerleader” Steven Grubbs got the town’s wine geeks buzzing with his witty wine menus packed with rarities not often found on Atlanta lists. Somehow, he has managed to keep Empire State South’s wine menu as eclectic, charming, and informational as ever. Sample footnote: “It is a mildly kept secret that some of the best drinking you can do for the money these days is Beaujolais ... There may be no better time to obtain and drink the wines of the true legends, the magical geniuses, like those of Marcel Lapierre.” So yes, you can get a Lapierre Morgon or simply sit back and be thankful that Grubbs has a thing for Burgundy and Champagne and German Riesling. If Grubbs says a wine is good, the wine is good. less...

Best wine list BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Barcelona Wine Bar

Trophy Case BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Trophy Case
The General Muir
For years, Atlanta’s deli-starved craved something like THE GENERAL MUIR. At breakfast there’s a strong cup of coffee with a nosh from the bakery or a bagel platter. At lunch, sandwiches stacked with homemade cured meats and burgers reign. At dinner, chef Todd Ginsberg’s French training makes anmore...
For years, Atlanta’s deli-starved craved something like THE GENERAL MUIR. At breakfast there’s a strong cup of coffee with a nosh from the bakery or a bagel platter. At lunch, sandwiches stacked with homemade cured meats and burgers reign. At dinner, chef Todd Ginsberg’s French training makes an appearance. The Emory Point deli/brasserie has become an Atlanta institution because who doesn’t love a bagel? less...

Best bakery BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Alon's Bakery and Market - Dunwoody
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best desserts BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Cafe Intermezzo - Midtown
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best desserts BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Cafe Intermezzo
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best biscuits BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Flying Biscuit (13 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best grits BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Flying Biscuit (13 ATL Locations)
And other metro Atlanta locations.

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