This category encompasses both hipster hot spots and critically acclaimed chef-driven restaurants, in no particular order.
The Latin-inspired brick and mortar from the couple that fed us at PushStart Kitchen.
Beautiful industrial space where guests can almost always find chef and owner Scott Serpas in the kitchen preparing Louisiana-inspired small plates and gigantic entrees; don’t miss the tuna tartare and house salad with blistered grape vinaigrette.
Known for its Wednesday night fried chicken, chef Zeb Stevenson has elevated this once Southern-only menu to include stellar fusion dishes.
Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s quaint bistro serving savory dishes that have kept Atlantans coming back for years; try the roasted chicken with bread salad if it’s available.
Quirky spot at Krog Street Market with a fantastic cocktail menu from none other than partners Paul Calvert and Greg Best, with an equally awesome menu from chef and third partner David Bies.
More French than American, chef and owner Marla Adams still makes this list with her seasonal menu; the dried cherry tart is my favorite dessert on earth.
Vegetables fresh from the farm and humanely raised proteins are the hallmark of this Westside destination; farm egg in celery cream remains one of the best dishes in Atlanta.
Empire State South
After a disastrous birthday brunch a couple of years back, I will put ESS back on my list for it’s ultra-creative lunch and dinner menus focusing on organic produce.