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.

The Blackened Tuna Burger from Coalition Food and Beverage *Photo Credit Randi Curling

For progressive dining, there are four main dining hubs: For a hometown Main Street feel, the Downtown Alpharetta restaurants are the perfect choice. 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 Winward Parkway are hidden gems.

So before you discount the dining options 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

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 for a drink and the brussels 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.

La Casa Italian*. Take your special someone to Italy with dinner at La Casa, a local Italian favorite (winning several Open Table awards) located in an historic house in downtown Alpharetta.  Owner/Chef Pasquale Cardamuro is a native of Naples Italy and each dish at La Casa is an authentic Italian recipe. You may think pasta when you choose Italian, and they do have good noodles here, but seafood is the house specialty.  All the fish comes fresh from the docks. May we suggest the stuffed salmon?

Enter to win your very own gourmet getaway to Alpharetta! Contest runs from August 1 – October 31, 2018. Click here or more information.

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.

Atlantic Seafood Company*. In a land-locked city, you may wonder where to eat in Alpharetta that has great seafood. This is the place. Locally owned this restaurant has one of the best sushi menus in the city, as well as a dinner menu that lets the flavor of the fish shine vs. lots of sauce.

Vinny’s on Windward*. One of the top restaurants on Winward 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.

For a Business Lunch

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.

Wildflour Cafe*. Show your savvy in finding hidden gems. Michael Field is the owner/chef behind this eclectic family owned cafe off Windward Parkway. The go to lunch selection – a grouper sandwich with tomato basil soup. Field sources from three different seafood vendors to ensure the freshest, highest quality ingredients.

The El Felix Tex Mex. Restaurateur Ford Fry is behind this upscale Tex-Mex eatery located in Avalon. You can’t go wrong ordering anything with the Mexican butter. In fact, if it doesn’t come with it, ask for it.

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.

District III*. This Avalon restaurant serves up Vietnamese food. The pho tai chin is a stand out menu item, but you can’t go wrong with the spring rolls either.

Mexican Alpharetta Restaaurants

Tacos from Cerviche. Photo from Facebook.

Lunch with Friends

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 perfect 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. Bonus: Like them on Facebook for a free sopapilla dessert.

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*. 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 ginger-lemon mayo, marinated cucumber, and red onion sandwiched between a sesame bun, and it is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite (or maybe that’s just my favorite).

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 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.

Alpharetta Restaurants

Chef Taylor Neary in the kitchen at Restaurant Holmes.

Top Restaurants in Alpharetta for Sunday Brunch

Oak Restaurant Alpharetta*. The go-to steak house in Avalon, Oak uses locally-sourced beef prepared in an open kitchen. Your first thought may be to visit here for a special dinner or business meeting, but they have a Sunday brunch too. I can’t think of a better way to start the week than a special meal at Oak Steakhouse.

Ray’s Killer Creek Restaurant*. Billed as a casual but elegant choice in Alpharetta, Ray’s is best known for the incredible Sunday brunch. In addition to an extensive seafood menu, they also serve prime steaks. But don’t forget the sides, these shine just as much as the main course, and will make you enjoy eating your vegetables.

Madras Chettinad*.  A solid Indian choice judging from the Sunday waits for the buffet. Madras Chettinad has both a la carte and buffet options.

Pappadeaux. Come hungry for their Sunday cajun seafood brunch. Lots of buffet items, as well as made to order omelettes, waffles and pancakes.  And if there is a wait, grab a cup of fresh coffee to sip on while you wait.

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

Restaurant Holmes*. The first restaurant to open at the new Alpharetta City Center by Morris & Fellows, Restaurant Holmes is a neighborhood establishment, owned and operated by Chef Taylor Neary (recently of Marcel and St. Ceclilia). 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 & Boyou*. 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 forgot the cocktail for a beer from their impressive brew options. Whatever you choose, it tastes better with the hot pretzels and the rooftop view.

Brine Modern Seafood Shack*. Another great restaurant option in Avalon. You can’t beat a sunny Atlanta afternoon slurping down oysters on Brine’s rooftop.

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!)

Alpharetta Restaurants

Sliced beef brisket from SmokeJack BBQ. Photo from SmokJack BBQ.

Where to Bring the Kids

Smokejack BBQ*.  You can’t mention restaurants in any Southern town without mentioning a 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-fire Neapolitan pizza made with fresh imported ingredients. Oh, and do save room for the limocello cake. You are welcome.

La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant. La Parrilla is a chain of Mexican restaurants that are super kid- friendly. I like to go for the chips and salsa, my kids like to get the teddy grahams tied to the balloon. Soccer fans will like the fact that La Parrilla is the official Mexican Restaurant of the Atlanta United. So now you know where to catch the game if you can’t make it to Mercedes Benz stadium.

American Girl Bistro*. Weekends can be quite busy here, which is why we suggest afternoon tea, (only served on weekdays). The food comes served so sweetly on a tiered tray, and is followed by heavenly dessert like mini cupcakes and chocolate pudding. And don’t forget your hair tie..it’s around your napkin!

Tara Humata Restaurant*. Food = good. Tequila selection = awesome! Hidden in a strip mall on Windward Parkway, it’s easy to by-pass this restaurant. Saturday night may be for adults, but Sunday kids 12 and under eat free.

Alpharetta Restaurants with Kids

Top it All Off with Some Amazing Dessert

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.

Pin This:
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. Find out what the locals already know. Many of the restaurants listed here are only found in Alpharetta.

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. Find out what the locals already know. Many of the restaurants listed here are only found in Alpharetta.

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 will make you look like the hero at your next business lunch. So go ahead and say you'll pick the place, then look through this list for the best option to impress.

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. Want a locally owned Mexican restaurant? We have a few to suggest.

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 - and some welcome kids too. So don't sacrifice taste because of the kids, we have your new favorite place listed here.

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. Find the brunch restaurants the locals don't want you to know about.

Sue Rodman | Co-Founder

Sue came to Atlanta after finishing the Walt Disney World College Program where she was a tour guide then guest relations hostess (and no she did not moonlight as Snow White). Sue spent 25 years in PR before adding freelance travel writing to her resume. Prior to 365 Atlanta Traveler, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue for eight years, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. Her favorite place to visit is anywhere with her husband and three sons. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories. @SueRodman

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