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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 local food advocate BOA Award Winner

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

Best local food company BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
King of Pops Worldwide HQ
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best locally brewed beer BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Creature Comforts Downtown Taproom and Brewery

Best Mexican BOA Award Winner

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

Best Middle Eastern BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Rumi's Kitchen Sandy Springs

Best mixologist BOA Award Winner

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

Best nachos BOA Award Winner

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

Best new restaurant BOA Award Winner

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

Best OTP restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Seed Kitchen & Bar

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

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

Best oysters BOA Award Winner

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

Best patio dining BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall

Best pho BOA Award Winner

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

Best pizza BOA Award Winner

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

Best place to dine alone BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Grindhouse Killer Burgers - Piedmont
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best place to fill your growler BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Hop City Craft Beer and Wine - The Krog District
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best ramen BOA Award Winner

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

Best restaurant design BOA Award Winner

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

Best restaurant for a first date BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Eclectic Bistro & Bar

Best restaurant for late-night dining BOA Award Winner

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

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 » 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 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 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 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 » Reader's Pick
Barcelona Wine Bar

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 french fries BOA Award Winner

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

Best fried chicken BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Busy Bee Cafe
Crunch through the salty, crackly crust of BUSY BEE CAFÉ’s famous fried chicken to reveal a trove of juicy meat thanks to the restaurant’s top-secret brining process. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Best fried chicken BOA Award Winner

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

Best frozen yogurt ("fro yo") BOA Award Winner

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

Best gluten-free options BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Bantam + Biddy - Lenox
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best hamburger 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 'hood for food lovers BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Inman Park
How many new and noteworthy restaurants can one neighborhood hold? INMAN PARK is testing the limit. Now one of the city’s most culinarily robust hamlets, food lovers have more options than they know what to do with. From the impeccable Italian gem that is Bocca Lupo to Krog Street Market’s foodmore...
How many new and noteworthy restaurants can one neighborhood hold? INMAN PARK is testing the limit. Now one of the city’s most culinarily robust hamlets, food lovers have more options than they know what to do with. From the impeccable Italian gem that is Bocca Lupo to Krog Street Market’s food hall filled with goodies, this area is now a bona fide destination for locals as well as visitors. Bread & Butterfly is the European bistro we want to linger in, and Beetlecat is the nautical port to throw one’s anchor. From quirky, often unexpected dishes at One Eared Stag to traditional Spanish tapas at Barcelona to pristine nigiri and sashimi at MF Sushi, there is a little something for everyone. And there are drinks, too! AMER and Ticonderoga Club are unique hidey-holes gaining national attention. Craving dessert? Head to Little Tart Bakeshop or Jeni’s Ice Cream at Krog Street Market. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, Inman Park is in, man. www.inmanpark.org. less...

Best hot dog BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
The Varsity (7 ATL Locations)

Best ice cream BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best ice cream (and a show) BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
8 Fahrenheit Ice Cream
Grab your place in line at 8°F ICE CREAM, the new Thai ice cream sensation on Buford Highway that’s keeping Atlanta kids and adults cool. Much like Coldstone Creamery, the ice cream is assembled on a chilled slab. The real difference here is that the ice cream is made to order by spreading a liquid-ymore...
Grab your place in line at 8°F ICE CREAM, the new Thai ice cream sensation on Buford Highway that’s keeping Atlanta kids and adults cool. Much like Coldstone Creamery, the ice cream is assembled on a chilled slab. The real difference here is that the ice cream is made to order by spreading a liquid-y base on the cold surface and then ice cream is formed into little cylinders that look like rolled carpets placed upright. If you aren’t feeling creative, the store has plenty of creations you can order. less...

Best Indian BOA Award Winner

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

Best Italian BOA Award Winner

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

Best Japanese BOA Award Winner

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

Best juice bar BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Arden's Garden Little 5 Points
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Korean BOA Award Winner

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

Best Latin oasis BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Xela Pan Cafe
Few places do breakfast as well as XELA PAN CAFÉ, located on Buford Highway just south of where the road intersects with I-285. Don’t miss the desayuno chapin, which is a hearty helping of yellow rice, puréed black beans, eggs, fried plantains, homemade corn tortillas, and a chunk of fresh whitemore...
Few places do breakfast as well as XELA PAN CAFÉ, located on Buford Highway just south of where the road intersects with I-285. Don’t miss the desayuno chapin, which is a hearty helping of yellow rice, puréed black beans, eggs, fried plantains, homemade corn tortillas, and a chunk of fresh white cheese. The restaurant seems to do a lot of take-out business for homesick people who routinely pop in for orders of Xela’s excellent rice tamales mixed with chicken. less...

Best liquid lunch BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Tasty 21 Mini Hot Pot
Shabu Shabu is normally associated with Japanese food, but Koreans also have a love of this style of cuisine in which meat, vegetables, and noodles are cooked in bubbling stock. At TASTY 21, there is an endless amount of proteins, vegetables, dumplings, and noodles to cook on your personal tabletop burner.more...
Shabu Shabu is normally associated with Japanese food, but Koreans also have a love of this style of cuisine in which meat, vegetables, and noodles are cooked in bubbling stock. At TASTY 21, there is an endless amount of proteins, vegetables, dumplings, and noodles to cook on your personal tabletop burner. Sauces, including the spicy sesame, are all Korean, and the friendly staff will make you feel right at home in the space next to Karaoke Melody. less...

Best local brewery BOA Award Winner

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

Best local farm BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Love is Love Farm at Gaia Gardens

Best local food advocate BOA Award Winner

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

Best local food company BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
King of Pops Worldwide HQ
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best locally brewed beer BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Creature Comforts Downtown Taproom and Brewery

Best Malaysian BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Mamak
MAMAK retains the same pep in its step it’s had since it opened in fall 2014. The cozy Asian Square Malaysian restaurant is a go-to for bold stewed curries, stir-fried noodles, and Malaysian specialties such as smoky kway teow — fat, chewy noodles tossed with shrimp and squid in a smoking-hot wok.more...
MAMAK retains the same pep in its step it’s had since it opened in fall 2014. The cozy Asian Square Malaysian restaurant is a go-to for bold stewed curries, stir-fried noodles, and Malaysian specialties such as smoky kway teow — fat, chewy noodles tossed with shrimp and squid in a smoking-hot wok. Crowd-pleasers such as roti canai flatbread served with amber-gold curry for dipping and nasi lemak, a platter filled with hunks of stewed chicken, potatoes, and a dome of coconut rice, will make for a delicious introduction. less...

Best Mexican BOA Award Winner

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

Best Middle Eastern BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Rumi's Kitchen Sandy Springs

Best mixologist BOA Award Winner

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

Best nachos BOA Award Winner

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

Best new beer BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Three Taverns Craft Brewery
It started as a draft-only, taproom-only member of Three Tavern Brewery’s Sour Asylum series. Lacto-fermented and matured on fresh raspberry purée, slightly tart and sporting a highly sessionable alcohol-by-volume (5 percent), RAPTUROUS quickly became a favorite of the Decatur beermaker’s tours.more...
It started as a draft-only, taproom-only member of Three Tavern Brewery’s Sour Asylum series. Lacto-fermented and matured on fresh raspberry purée, slightly tart and sporting a highly sessionable alcohol-by-volume (5 percent), RAPTUROUS quickly became a favorite of the Decatur beermaker’s tours. With more requests for the beer came more beer, and with more beer came a proper market release that brought glasses of the pink deliciousness to various watering holes all over the Atlanta metro area. These days, it’s not uncommon to find it at hip, varied restaurants and bars like Chai Pani, Argosy, and Gaja. Better still, Creative Loafing’s best new beer of 2016 started showing up in cans this August. Pro-tip: Those cans pair exceedingly well with the final dregs of the Georgia summer. less...

Best new restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Bread & Butterfly
Few restaurants have wooed Atlanta diners as swiftly as Inman Park’s BREAD & BUTTERFLY. The French-inspired eatery from Billy and Kristin Allin has infused the neighborhood with a lovely bit of Parisian charm. The restaurant serves everything from breakfast to lunch to snacks to dinner. Seemingly simplemore...
Few restaurants have wooed Atlanta diners as swiftly as Inman Park’s BREAD & BUTTERFLY. The French-inspired eatery from Billy and Kristin Allin has infused the neighborhood with a lovely bit of Parisian charm. The restaurant serves everything from breakfast to lunch to snacks to dinner. Seemingly simple dishes such as pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and butter and a French-style omelet served with a vinegary simple salad are transformed into mouthwatering, soul-satisfying treats. A towering burger layered with caramelized onion, Swiss cheese, mayo, and grain mustard on a buttery brioche bun is gooey, tender, and tangy in all the right ways. And don’t miss the drool-worthy display of croissants, cookies, cakes, bread, and more from sister bakery Proof Bakeshop that bedeck the restaurant’s pastry case. A short but strong wine list curated by Cakes & Ale veteran Jordan Smelt and a classic, well-executed cocktail program round out Bread & Butterfly’s impressive offerings.  less...

Best new restaurant BOA Award Winner

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

Best OTP restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Seed Kitchen & Bar

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Staplehouse
Even amid all its high-profile accolades — including being named Bon Appétit’s No. 1 Best Restaurant 2016 — it’s easy to feel at home at STAPLEHOUSE. The Old Fourth Ward restaurant is a family affair helmed by chef Ryan Smith, plus Smith’s wife Kara and sister-in-law Jen Hidinger, who servemore...
Even amid all its high-profile accolades — including being named Bon Appétit’s No. 1 Best Restaurant 2016 — it’s easy to feel at home at STAPLEHOUSE. The Old Fourth Ward restaurant is a family affair helmed by chef Ryan Smith, plus Smith’s wife Kara and sister-in-law Jen Hidinger, who serve as welcoming hosts. At Staplehouse, Smith’s cooking is prodigious without being overwrought. Dishes such as tender charred cabbage served in a smoky sausage broth or his signature chicken liver mousse tart demonstrate this balancing act with ease. The tart’s ever-changing rotation of seasonal accoutrements such as fermented peach and dandelion greens in the summer adds depth and variety. Staplehouse routinely offers impeccable meals that delight the eyes as much as they please the palate. Some of Smith’s more ambitious creations such as sunchoke custard with supple smoked sable fish, wild juniper, and ricotta foam, gently challenge you and then give you a happy embrace. Just like family. That the restaurant’s profits go to its sister organization the Giving Kitchen, which provides support to Atlanta restaurant workers facing unanticipated crises, creates even more incentive to keep Staplehouse fans coming back. less...

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

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

Best oysters BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Kimball House
Decatur train depot turned haute saloon KIMBALL HOUSE boasts the best damn raw bar in the city (maybe the South!). Pull up a stool near the kitchen to catch a glimpse of the intense expert shucking in the dedicated oyster room. Under the direction of co-owner Bryan Rackley, Kimball’s raw bar menu letsmore...
Decatur train depot turned haute saloon KIMBALL HOUSE boasts the best damn raw bar in the city (maybe the South!). Pull up a stool near the kitchen to catch a glimpse of the intense expert shucking in the dedicated oyster room. Under the direction of co-owner Bryan Rackley, Kimball’s raw bar menu lets guests in on much more than a varietal’s relative size and saltiness. His daily selection of 15-20 oysters guides willful slurpers with insightful tasting notes that match the tone of a high-end wine list and bring the idea of the bivalves’ flavors to life. Skilled barkeeps are trained to know what beverages to pair with each. For oyster fiends, the weekday happy hour from 5-7 p.m. is a virtual candy store and Rackley is your Willy Wonka. less...

Best oysters BOA Award Winner

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

Best patio dining BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall

Best pho BOA Award Winner

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

Best pizza BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Fellini's Pizza (7 ATL Locations)
We’ve fallen in love with FELLINI’S pizza all over again. If you haven’t been in a while, skip the basics and indulge in a doubly thick Sicilian slice. That first plunge into fluffy, slightly crisped dough topped with glistening cheese is one of the best bites around. And other metro Atlanta locations.more...
We’ve fallen in love with FELLINI’S pizza all over again. If you haven’t been in a while, skip the basics and indulge in a doubly thick Sicilian slice. That first plunge into fluffy, slightly crisped dough topped with glistening cheese is one of the best bites around. And other metro Atlanta locations. less...

Best pizza BOA Award Winner

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

Best place for a first date BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Gaja Korean Bar
What makes a place great for a first date? Engaging ambiance, strong drinks, and delicious food are clutch, and GAJA’s chill East Atlanta vibe covers all of the above. The raw industrial design scheme marked by concrete floors, elemental wood and stainless steel furnishings, and sparse décor keepmore...
What makes a place great for a first date? Engaging ambiance, strong drinks, and delicious food are clutch, and GAJA’s chill East Atlanta vibe covers all of the above. The raw industrial design scheme marked by concrete floors, elemental wood and stainless steel furnishings, and sparse décor keep the room from feeling too polished or precious. There are stylistic accents, such as vintage Korean film posters and food served on the quintessential Korean trays built to hold a plethora of small side dishes — or banchan. Gaja employs just enough Asian-hipster-foodie quirk to fuel conversation and ultimately foil any first-date awkwardness. Gaja’s playful East-meets-West dishes, such as a rice bowl topped with whatever veggies the kitchen has on hand, cucumber kimchi, and a hamburger patty proudly laced with M.S.G., and the addictive corn cheese (popcorn draped with shredded cheese) are conversation starters in their own right. Wash away any remaining nerves with shots of soju (potent Korean rice liquor) or a refreshing Hite beer imported from Seoul. less...

Best place to dine alone BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Grindhouse Killer Burgers - Piedmont
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best place to fill your growler BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Hop City Craft Beer and Wine - The Krog District
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best place to take visitors BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Ponce City Market
“Life. Well spent.” is an old Sears slogan that could be used today to advertise PONCE CITY MARKET’S CENTRAL FOOD HALL. Inhabiting 300,000 square feet inside the renovated former Sears, Roebuck & Co. headquarters, the mix of dine-in and grab-n-go eateries is equipped to accommodate a vast rangemore...
“Life. Well spent.” is an old Sears slogan that could be used today to advertise PONCE CITY MARKET’S CENTRAL FOOD HALL. Inhabiting 300,000 square feet inside the renovated former Sears, Roebuck & Co. headquarters, the mix of dine-in and grab-n-go eateries is equipped to accommodate a vast range of food preferences, moods, and tastes. Four James Beard Award recipients chose the Old Fourth Ward food hall for their chef-driven, fast-casual concepts: Sean Brock’s Minero, Anne Quatrano’s W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, Linton Hopkins’ H+F Burger and Hop’s Chicken, and Hugh Acheson’s Spiller Park. A fanciful stroll around the hall feels like a walking tour of global cuisine, no passport required. There’s playful Indian street food at chef Meherwan Irani’s Botiwalla, steaming bowls of Japanese ramen at Guy Wong’s Ton Ton, savory Pan-Latin sandwiches at Hector Santiago’s El Super Pan, all the tongue-tingling Sichuan cuisine you can handle at Jia, and more. Grab an adult beverage at the Mercury, City Winery, or the Tap on Ponce. Sweet tooth? King of Pops, Honeysuckle Gelato, or Collier Candy Co. has got you covered. There’s nowhere more buzzy and diverting than Ponce City Market in Atlanta right now, which makes it an ideal destination for entertaining hungry out-of-towners. less...

Best pop-up incubator BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
We Suki Suki A Global Grub Collective
Quynh “Q” Trinh’s GLOBAL GRUB COLLECTIVE tucked in an East Atlanta Village nook is an international food hall bustling with aspiring restaurants in start-up mode. Trinh sees the collective as an homage to her parents, who came to the U.S. from Vietnam as refugees with their eight children. A youngmore...
Quynh “Q” Trinh’s GLOBAL GRUB COLLECTIVE tucked in an East Atlanta Village nook is an international food hall bustling with aspiring restaurants in start-up mode. Trinh sees the collective as an homage to her parents, who came to the U.S. from Vietnam as refugees with their eight children. A young couple in their mid-20s hosted the family of 10 until they were able to move into their own home a year later. By offering the pop-ups a base of operations, the collective helps the small-business owners hone their crafts and work out kinks as they grow. Trinh provides initial support so her partners have the infrastructure, capital, and experience to open their own successful brick-and-mortar restaurants one day. Currently, the Collective houses more than a dozen concepts, most of which flip daily or weekly. Among them are the Midnight Marauder, a late-night concept serving Spotted Trotter dogs; Mamoune’s home-style Haitian cuisine, featuring chicken or vegetables with rice and spicy cabbage; Chop Chop Next, which serves street food mashups like fusion dumplings and kabobs; and the Sunday-only Cuban rice bowl concept La Parada Cubana. Say good-bye to the days of fighting over where to eat; the Collective has just about everything. 479-B Flat Shoals Ave. S.E. 404-430-7613. www.wesukisuki.com. less...

Best ramen BOA Award Winner

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

Best reason to get out of bed early BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Breakfast tacos at Home grown
Two words: breakfast tacos. Home grown’s Reynoldstown dining room tends to remain full at breakfast time, but don’t let the crowd of people waiting for a table deter you. Your patience will be rewarded. Chorizo BREAKFAST TACOS AT HOME GROWN are an example of how simplicity and balance can transformmore...
Two words: breakfast tacos. Home grown’s Reynoldstown dining room tends to remain full at breakfast time, but don’t let the crowd of people waiting for a table deter you. Your patience will be rewarded. Chorizo BREAKFAST TACOS AT HOME GROWN are an example of how simplicity and balance can transform a handful of ingredients into a magical combination. Every point has a counterpoint. The spiciness from the ground sausage is mellowed out by dollops of silky sour cream. A sprinkling of fresh cilantro cuts through the fluffy, buttery eggs with a bright and herby pop. The warm corn tortillas tie everything together by adding some chewy heft and a whisper of sweetness to every bite. less...

Best restaurant design BOA Award Winner

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

Best restaurant face-lift BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Critics Pick
Aria
Thanks to ARIA’s sexy new reboot, the seasoned Buckhead establishment is better looking than ever. It’s still a white tablecloth affair, but the new ambiance is softer and a touch more casual. Seiber Design made the Buckhead darling so fresh and so clean, clean. Soft gray walls, leather banquettes,more...
Thanks to ARIA’s sexy new reboot, the seasoned Buckhead establishment is better looking than ever. It’s still a white tablecloth affair, but the new ambiance is softer and a touch more casual. Seiber Design made the Buckhead darling so fresh and so clean, clean. Soft gray walls, leather banquettes, and buttery yellow curtains replace the main dining room’s previous stark white theme. The new color palette also extends to the formerly red bar area, which was remade to feel more open and less like a shadowy cave. But not everything’s brand-new. Despite the visual updates, Aria’s attentive service staff, chef Gerry Klaskala’s refined menu, and the distinctive dandelion-esque chandelier that twinkles in the dining room remain. less...

Best restaurant for a first date BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Section » Print Features » Special Issue » Best of Atlanta » 2016 » Oral Pleasures » Reader's Pick
Eclectic Bistro & Bar

Best restaurant for late-night dining BOA Award Winner

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

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