SECRET’S OUT: 35+ ALPHARETTA RESTAURANTS LOCALS LOVE

When you think of world-class dining, you don’t normally think of the suburbs. But the Alpharetta restaurants on this list are dining destinations that coax even city-folk to travel.

In addition to comfortable national and local chains, there are a host of chef-driven and family-owned restaurants in Alpharetta GA. that you don’t want to miss. Try inspired Southern cuisine, or experience a traditional steak house. Prefer Asian flavors or an Indian Restaurant? Alpharetta has those too.

ALPHARETTA RESTAURANTS - bacon jam carson's kitchen
The award-winning Bacon Jam appetizer from Carson’s Kitchen at Alpharetta City Center photo credit: Chris Wessling.

For progressive dining, there are four main dining hubs: For a hometown, Main Street feel, the Downtown Alpharetta restaurants are a perfect choice. Plus from April through October you can also take advantage of the abundance of shopping and seasonal events every week in the area. Avalon Alpharetta restaurants are extremely walkable, with plenty of upscale shopping and activities nearby. There are also some great choices of restaurants near North Point Mall (it’s not all fast food), and some restaurants along Windward Parkway are hidden gems.

So before you discount the dining scene beyond the big city, read through our list for the perfect culinary experience, no matter the occasion.

The * means you’ll find these establishments only in Awesome Alpharetta.

ICONIC ALPHARETTA RESTAURANT FAVORITES

Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar.
Courtesy of Secreto

South Main Kitchen*. For a more relaxed date night that still leaves you glad you came, head to the rooftop at South Main Kitchen overlooking downtown Alpharetta, GA for a drink and the Brussel sprouts appetizer. Don’t like sprouts? You will after trying these. After dessert, enjoy a stroll through Main Street.

Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar.  A cool space with southern food favorites that doesn’t disappoint, so hang up the diet for tonight. Start off with the warm pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes. It will loosen up your waistband for the main dish: southern fried chicken that will make you slap your mama. Top it all off with some warm carrot cake and you have a Southern evening to remember. Chances are, you’ll get a visit from Chef Boyd before the night is out, too.

Rumi’s Kitchen. Spice up your date with a visit to Rumi’s for authentic Persian cuisine. The open kitchen gives the restaurant a lively atmosphere, and the food is stellar. Try the Barg and Koobideh with rice, or if you need something a little more familiar, the salmon is a great choice.

Lapeer Seafood*. Named one of the hottest restaurants in Atlanta for 2019 by Eater Atlanta, Lapeer is a welcome newcomer to the burgeoning food scene in downtown Alpharetta.

Vinny’s on Windward*. One of the top restaurants on Windward Parkway for a special occasion, Vinny’s is a homegrown favorite owned by locals Chris and Michele Sedgwick. The fare is billed as California Italian and runs the gauntlet from wood-fired pizza to chicken scallopini.

Nahm Fine Thai Cuisine*. Where tradition inspires innovation. Nahm Thai is a unique Thai restaurant with beautiful inside decor and a Patio on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta offers a glimpse of traditional Thai culture, where balance and harmony come together in a relaxing, elegant atmosphere.

FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH

Superica - The yummy southwestern fare is perfect for a relaxed date or as a family-friendly affair.
Courtesy of Superica

Cabernet Steakhouse*. Cabernet is a Zagat-rated traditional white tablecloth steak house that is a favorite on Open Table.  One of the top Alpharetta steak restaurants, Cabernet also has an impressive wine list and liquor menu. The exemplary service means it’s a good place to entrust with your most special of occasions.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. A solid corporate-owned chain that sits in a shopping center across from the Avalon restaurants. Chef/owner Donte Youmans cooks up American classics with wide appeal. This is a popular lunch spot, so get there early.

Superica –  Chef Kevin Maxey and Ford Fry deliver in Alpharetta at Avalon with Superica. The  yummy southwestern fare is perfect for a relaxed date or as a family friendly affair. Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

Crust Restaurant Alpharetta*.  Not your average pizza joint, Crust has a more upscale feel, perfect for when you want something nice, but casual. In addition to pizza, they also serve pasta, salads and crustwiches – served on the pizza crust bread.

Biltong Bar – The South African-inspired Biltong Bar gives OTPers another reason to skip the drive into Atlanta. In addition to the sit-down restaurant, the Avalon restaurant also offers counter service where to-go orders can be purchased. The location boasts a large retail section with cured meats, cheeses and house-made spices and rubs, as well as a trendy rooftop patio with relaxed lounge seating.

LUNCH WITH FRIENDS

Ceviche Taqueria & Margarita Bar
Courtesy of Ceviche

Jerusalem Bakery & Grill.  A locally-owned gem, Jerusalem Bakery & Grill isn’t necessarily the first place you think of for vegan restaurants in Alpharetta, but they do have lots of vegan options. I have a friend that can’t stop talking about the hummus. A perfectly healthy lunch spot, there is also a middle eastern grocery attached, so you can take some fresh made fluffy pita and that house-made hummus home for later.

Ceviche Taqueria & Margarita Bar. Ceviche is Alpharetta ‘s casual, locally owned Mexican eatery. The mainstay order here is the fish tacos, which you can get for only $2 on Taco Tuesday. Beyond tacos, you can’t go wrong with Elsa’s chicken enchiladas Verde, washed down with a handmade margarita.

Maple Street Biscuit Company.   They had me at ‘biscuit’, but they kept me coming back with an impressive variety of flavors from sweet to savory stuffed between those fluffy scratch made puffs of heaven. I mean we have breakfast for dinner, why not for lunch too.

A CASUAL EVENING WITH THE GIRLS (OR THE GUYS)

Coalition Food & Beverage
Courtesy of Coalition

Coalition Food & Beverage*. You know the team from Table & Main? They’ve done it again, this time in Alpharetta! Our menu pick here: the Blackened Tuna Burger. It’s made with wasabi ginger aioli, marinated cucumber, onion, radish, and carrots, on a milk bun.

Antico Napoletana Pizza. It’s awesome when you can bring some in town favorites to the north side of town. This location of Antico is part of the Avalon Alpharetta restaurants. I love the communal tables and of course the crisp Naples-style pizza.  My favorite is the Margherita. And did we mention Antico is routinely rated as one of the best pizzas in the world? Yes, I said the world.

Salt Factory Pub. You can’t go wrong at this casual American gastropub located in the downtown Alpharetta restaurants district. Mussels are a favorite appetizer, and the burger is a specialty. And the beer selection, well, let’s just say you can choose between 50 different drafts or bottled brews.

Bite Bistro & Bar*. Two words here…Lobster Rolls. Ok. review over. Thank me later.

Pappadeaux. Come hungry for their humongous cajun seafood concoctions. You can’t go wrong with their crab legs dripping with butter and the mason jar banana pudding for dessert. There may be a wait, but it’s worth it!

TOP RESTAURANT IN ALPHARETTA FOR SUNDAY BRUNCH

The Nest Cafe
Courtesy of The Nest

The Nest Cafe*. Get your morning jolt with a specialty coffee, made from local Atlanta roasters Batdorf and Bronson. But you can’t live on coffee alone (no, you can’t) so get the California croissant, or if you prefer lunch, the turkey and brie panini. And they have a dog-friendly patio too!

TOP RESTAURANTS FOR A COCKTAIL

Flatlands Bourbon & Bayou and their Voodoo Bar
Courtesy of Flatlands

Restaurant Holmes*. The first restaurant to open at Alpharetta City Center, Restaurant Holmes is a neighborhood establishment, owned and operated by Chef Taylor Neary (recently of Marcel and St. Cecilia). The eclectic American menu changes often, so if you find something you like, go back soon for more. Top off every meal with seasonal soft serve ice cream made in-house.

Flatlands Bourbon & Bayou*. You can’t go wrong with a glass of bourbon from the Voodoo Bar. They have standard brands like Jim Beam, to finer pours like Angels Envy, voted by Liquor Magazine as bourbons best high roller. This downtown Alpharetta restaurant is located in an old house, and the cajun vibe is evident throughout. From the alligator that greets you on the porch to the catfish Pontchartrain on the menu.

Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar*. Maybe switch your usual cocktail for a beer from their impressive brew options when you visit Barleygarden Kitchen. Whatever you choose, it tastes better with the hot pretzels and the rooftop view.

Colletta Restaurant*.  Yes, the food at Colletta Italian Food & Wine is delicious, (you have to try the meatballs), but what we love about this Avalon Alpharetta restaurant is sitting at the bar for fancy drinks (think dry ice on Halloween!)

WHERE TO BRING THE KIDS

Where to bring the kids to eat
Courtesy of Charinga

Smokejack BBQ*. You can’t mention restaurants in any Southern town without mentioning a south city kitchen BBQ joint. Smokejack has award-winning que, made from scratch daily, and a decent craft beer selection. My suggestion, however, is the smoked sliced beef brisket. My mouth is watering as I type. I like to load up on the meat, but if you are a sides person, get the mac and cheese.

Campania. Can’t go wrong crisp wood-fired Neapolitan pizza made with freshly imported ingredients. Oh, and do save room for the limoncello cake. You are welcome.

Chiringa. Everything is better at the beach, right? Now there’s no need to leave Alpharetta to catch that beachy vibe. Chiringa is a casual counter-service dining experience offering clean proteins, fresh fish, and a full-bar including fresh-squeezed juices. The open-air setting provides a terrific gathering spot that is super chill and relaxing. Want to be wowed? Try the Dole Whip soft serve.

True Food Kitchen. Clean food that tastes amazing! It can be done. Seasonally-inspired. Locally sourced. You will rethink what “healthy” should taste like after coming to True Food Kitchen.

TOP IT ALL OFF WITH SOME AMAZING DESSERT

Alpharetta bakery

Scream’n Nuts*. What’s better than a scoop of ice cream? How about a scoop sandwiched between two yeast-raised donuts and drizzled with toppings. Choose between some seriously weird flavors too -Doritos ice cream? Charcoal ice cream? Yup. Taste them all if you like. And everything at Scream ‘n Nuts is made in-house, from the donuts to the ice cream.

Cafe Intermezzo. We used to go to the old location on Peachtree Road and I’d just stare into the cases, mouth watering for pretty much EVERYTHING. The perfect dessert stop located in Avalon Alpharetta. Bring a friend, that way you can split two desserts. Oh and I hear some people come for the coffee, latte, and espresso too.

Jeni’s Ice Cream.  You can’t go wrong with Jeni’s, the perfect break after (or maybe before) a day of serious shopping at Avalon.

Alpine Bakery. Because whenever I go to a restaurant, I always look at the dessert menu first. This New York style bakery is the real deal. If you aren’t sure what to get, I suggest the snicker cannoli. And the food is good too, so bonus.

Crave Pie Studio. Because you can’t really go wrong with a handmade pie, add Crave Pie Studio to your Alpharetta ‘must try’ list. All of their pies are made from scratch using the finest ingredients available. Maple Bacon? Lemon Chess? Peanut Butter Cream? The options are endless. (Seriously. They are able to create a concoction just for you!) Also look for quiche, pot pies, frozen pie crusts and coffees.

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