Want a seat at the cool kids’ table? Check out these uber cool cafes, pubs, speakeasies, bars, joints and exotic fine dining rooms in Atlanta. Sample some soul food, watch belly dancing, or order a tasting menu with a chef’s table experience.
Casual or chic — this awesome Georgia city has it all. Here are 19+ cool restaurants in Atlanta that we know you’ll love!
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COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN ATLANTA
- Best in Buckhead. Intuitively constructed with an efficient use of space, and with a focus on sustainability, Element Atlanta Buckhead helps you stay connected and feel balanced while you’re there. You’ll love the indoor saltwater pool, complimentary breakfast, and on-site fitness center.
- Best in Downtown. Set in Downtown Atlanta, just steps away from Centennial Olympic Park, The Candler Hotel Atlanta, Curio Collection by Hilton offers accommodations with a fitness center, private parking, a restaurant and a bar. Breakfast is available every morning, and includes continental, Full English/Irish and American options.
- Best in Midtown Atlanta. Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Midtown features a fitness center, shared lounge, free bikes, a restaurant and bar in Atlanta. This awesome hotel is located just across from the historic Fox Theatre.
GLOBAL CULINARY ADVENTURES
Carrying the weight of the world gets tiresome. Take a well-deserved break at Atlas.
The sophisticated spot at the St. Regis Atlanta offers a charming cultural dining room adorned with an extraordinary collection of 20th century modern art. Even the food is artistic and authentic, inspired by partnerships with local farms with seasonal ingredients. Each composed dish tells a story.
Try the cured and smoked salmon starter, the dover sole as a main, and the apple tatin for dessert.
Chef Freddy Money creates culinary collaborations with global geniuses, like Michelin Star Guest Chef Nicolai Tram. Tram brought his culinary talents from Sweden, offering a taste of the forests of Sweden, and served on a culinary adventure in the woods, with each course highlighting the freshest ingredients from the natural surroundings.
Take the road to Morocco. Enjoy the exquisite dishes of Moroccan and international food at Imperial Fez on Peachtree Industrial Blvd in Berkeley Lake. Immerse yourself in a beautiful Mediterranean-style atmosphere with traditional low seating, enlivened with the sensual magic of belly dancing.
The multilingual staff engages guests with English, French, Spanish and Moroccan, so that your exotic encounter with unique flavors is unforgettable. Sample the authentic sensations of North Africa, with the best lamb and chicken tajines, as well as Atlanta’s most famous couscous.
Discover a mixture of flavors and sensations presented in an exotic and exquisite five-course tasting menu, which begins with one of the oldest Moroccan traditions, the previous washing of the hands with a “Tass”, a silver Moroccan bowl and pitcher set filled with warm water and fresh lemon and rose water.
Aloha! Get ready to “tai” one on at Trader Vic’s. In 1944, after success with several exotic rum drinks, restaurateur Victor Bergeron created a new drink. He took down a bottle of 17-year-old Jamaican J. Wray Nephew rum, added fresh lime, some Orange Curaçao from Holland, a dash of rock candy syrup, and a dollop of French Orgeat, for its subtle flavor.
He added a generous amount of shaved ice and vigorously shook the cocktail by hand, finishing with half of a lime shell that went in for color along with a branch of fresh mint. A friend from Tahiti who was seated at the bar sampled the drink and said, “Mai Tai – Roa Ae”. In Tahitian this means “Out of this World – The Best”. This is the origin story of the Mai Tai, concocted at Trader Vic’s.
Escape to Trader Vic’s Atlanta for international cuisine, tropical cocktails and an unforgettable ambiance featuring hand-carved tikis, palm-thatched ceilings, and south pacific décor. Located on the lower level of the Downtown Hilton Atlanta, Trader Vic’s hosts an ever-evolving menu featuring dishes from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, and Japan.
Taste the world at Trader Vic’s and enjoy the subtle smoky flavors imparted by their Chinese wood-fired ovens, an ancient cooking method dating back to the Han Dynasty, with dishes like Indonesian rack of lamb or their fork-tender BBQ spare ribs.
Want to experience more restaurants in Atlanta? Try one of these fun tours!
- Enjoy this Atlanta Food and Cocktail Tour. Indulge in an eclectic array of cuisines and paired alcoholic beverages on this insider’s walking food tour of the chic, classy Atlanta neighborhood of Midtown.
- Try this Food Tour of Inman Park and the Atlanta BeltLine. Enjoy lunchtime dining at 6 locally owned award-winning restaurants, experiencing the best of Southern food today. See Victorian houses in Atlanta’s first suburb and iconic murals along the Eastside Trail.
- Go on a Ponce City Market 2.5-Hour Weekend Food Tour. Taste the best of Atlanta’s street food without the streets, or the humidity, in Atlanta’s largest food hall—Ponce City Market. Enjoy a filling lunch over 5 restaurants at this trendy hotspot which lies adjacent to outdoor murals on the Eastside Trail.
DINING ROOMS WITH A VIEW
THE GARDEN ROOM
Have a Snow White moment in the enchanted forest. Step away from the noise of city life with a calming botanical dining experience at The Garden Room. Savor unforgettable chef-driven cuisine and indulge in innovative cocktails while surrounded by lush florals for your decadent date night in Atlanta.
The exclusive Buckhead space is reserved only for special occasions. Host a beautiful brunch with unique flavors and gastronomic concoctions like vanilla parfait infused with a liquid nitrogen rose, black truffle pillows, and chef-mde tomato gnocchi.
Enjoy dinner and a show at Gunshow. Along with an innovative dining experience in Glenwood Park, you’ll find that the restaurant’s design is also unique. The Top Chef competitor’s dining room is an extension of the kitchen with few walls, where guests are seated at communal tables in view of the kitchen.
Gunshow has created a sense of transparency throughout the entire dining experience. Cocktails are prepared tableside on a rolling bar cart where diners can converse with the bartender about the craft cocktails being prepared for them.
Chef Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant offers a bold, interactive take on the traditional dining experience. Dishes are presented to guests, at their tables, by the chef that prepared the dish. Diners receive eight to ten dishes, each intended for sharing between two people.
The name Gunshow is a tribute to Chef Gillespie’s family. Growing up in Georgia, Kevin’s father worked seven days a week to provide a better life for his family. On the rare Sunday afternoon, he had off, father and son would often go to a gun show.
SUN DIAL RESTAURANT BAR & VIEW
Raise a glass with a rooftop view. One of Downtown Atlanta’s most romantic restaurants is situated on Peachtree St. on the uppermost floors of The Westin Peachtree Plaza. The Sun Dial Restaurant and Bar offers unparalleled views and a distinct dining experience that highlights the city’s proximity to local, farm-to-table ingredients.
A tri-level complex, The Sun Dial features an upscale restaurant, a cocktail lounge and an observatory level with a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the magnificent skyline from 723 feet above the hustle and bustle.
Menu items include appetizers like crab cakes and shrimp and grits, along with signature entrées, like Iberico pork tenderloin, braised short ribs, and fresh Maine lobster tails. Select a special vintage from the wine list and enjoy the spectacular scenery. You can find the Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View at 210 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303.
Round and round you’ll go. Polaris is Atlanta’s favorite legendary rooftop restaurant & lounge, serving chef-inspired shared plates and classic, hand crafted cocktails in a unique rotating lounge at the downtown Hyatt with amazing panoramic views of the city.
Polaris partners with more than 70 local purveyors for the best and freshest ingredients, and operates its own rooftop Bee Garden producing fresh honey for signature cocktails and entrees.
Polaris has hosted celebrities, special occasions and everyday memories for more than 50 years. Take a ride on the famous glass elevators, step into the breathtaking space, and enjoy amazing food while making special memories of your own.
9 MILE STATION
Shout it from the rooftops: Al fresco dining is in season. Located in the heart of Atlanta on the top floor of Ponce City Market, 9 Mile Station is a sleek indoor-outdoor space offering sweeping unobstructed views of Atlanta’s skylines spanning from Buckhead to downtown.
The rooftop restaurant serves classically-prepared cocktails, a carefully curated wine list and delicious, American grill-style cuisine.
MEALS WITH THRILLS
RED PHONE BOOTH
London may not be calling, but you can call for entry from an iconic British antique phone booth to gain access to the Red Phone Booth. To enter the secret 1920s style speakeasy located somewhere in the iconic Dailey’s building in downtown Atlanta, dress to impress and secure a secret phone number and give them a ring.
Red Phone Booth is a prohibition experience featuring classic turn-of-the-century craft cocktails like the Sazerac, Old Fashioned, and Boulevardier. The authentic cocktail experience features hand-chipped double reverse osmosis ice. The pure ice is molded and showcased into spheres and diamonds using Taisin ice molds. All juices are fresh-squeezed daily, and there are several house-smoked cocktails that are infused with mesquite or hickory wood chips to create intense flavors.
The walk-in humidor features an extensive cigar program with over 100 selections. Strict measures are taken to maintain air quality by bringing in 100% outdoor air. The Red Phone Booth’s wingback Italian leather sofas create a luxe ambiance that enhances the lounge.
Try signature small plates with Italian inspired appetizers, Neapolitan style pizzas and delightful desserts. Find tasteful food and drinks with fascinating folks.
Stalk a celebrity. The 1924 Hotel Clermont has been host to many interesting characters and entertainers. Find a cozy nook and make it yours at Tiny Lou’s lobby bar. Looking for a unique dining experience? The dark, comfy place also serves late night bites available after the show at the famous Clermont Lounge.
How low can you go? The independent female-owned Clermont Lounge, Atlanta’s first and longest continually operating strip club, opened in 1965 and still has live entertainment.
Many Hollywood stars and celebrities visit the infamous lounge where single dancers of a certain age select their own songs and put money in the jukebox before performing in the kitschy lounge that manages to seem almost wholesome. Anybody got a quarter?
57TH FIGHTER GROUP
Don’t put up a fight about it, just go when you are invited to Atlanta’s favorite World War II aviation-theme restaurant. The 57th Fighter Group restaurant has been part of the Atlanta restaurant scene for over 30 years. The family-owned operation located on Clairmont Road prides itself on hospitality and good food.
Whether you are craving award-winning prime rib, hand-cut steaks, delicious seafood or pasta, you won’t be disappointed. Veteran bartenders can guide you through the approachable wine selections to make a test flight of signature drinks.
They really have it all…an intimate dining room, a lively lounge with weekend dancing, and the best outdoor patio in the city with cozy fire pits and incredible views of PDK Airport.
LADYBIRD GROVE & MESS HALL
Get craft cocktails, wine, and local beers to share around the fire while telling tall tales of adventure without going off the grid. Located in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall was the first outdoor-oriented bar and restaurant to open along the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, at mile marker 9.25.
An in-town home away from home for Atlanta’s adventure seekers, Ladybird offers elevated campfire cuisine for dinner, lunch, and weekend brunch, focusing on shareable dishes that rotate based on local availability.
Go where everybody knows your name. Ormsby’s is a classic neighborhood tavern found on Howell Mill in Atlanta’s Westside Provisions District. The warm, welcoming and comfortable gathering spot with a full bar features an extensive craft beer selection and classic cocktails alongside a fresh pub menu.
At Ormsby’s you can enjoy a wide range of traditional games including backgammon, bocce, darts, pool and shuffleboard in the downstairs gameroom. Dine inside or grab a table on the new outdoor patio in the courtyard.
SOUL FOOD & SOUTHERN CLASSICS
FAT MATT’S RIB SHACK
Adam would think twice before offering you one of these ribs. Fat Matt’s Rib Shack is an electric and unpretentious blues and barbecue joint specializing in slabs of ribs slathered in homemade sauces and served with decadent sides.
Nothing goes better with barbecue than a heaping helping of southern blues served up nightly. Add a cold pitcher of beer and a slice of sweet potato pie. You will swear you are in hog heaven.
MARY MAC’S TEA ROOM
Coffee, tea, or meat and three? Mary Mac’s Tea Room opened with humble beginnings in 1945 at the end of World War II. Mary MacKenzie, an enterprising woman in search of a living and unable to open a restaurant, used the more refined name of tea room with one dining room that served up to 75 guests. Today, Mary Mac’s is the only original tearoom serving food in Atlanta that remains.
Mary Mac’s has six bustling dining rooms and a full service restaurant bar. The restaurant has expanded to 13,000 square feet, occupying several storefronts, and is one of the city’s five-largest restaurants. Though the restaurant has grown over the years, it’s still 1945 in the kitchen.
Every morning, they shuck bushels of corn, hand wash carefully selected greens, and snap fresh green beans by hand. They bake scrumptious breads and desserts, like old fashioned banana pudding, coconut cake, and fresh Georgia peach cobbler.
True to its name, Mary Mac’s brews up the best sweet tea often called the Table Wine of the South. Each first-time diner still receives a complimentary cup of pot likker and a cornbread muffin.
Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson, Vice President Al Gore, and Dr. Martin Luther King enjoyed Paschal’s fried green tomatoes, leafy greens and the “secret recipe” fried chicken.
Paschal’s Restaurant, a historic and soulful dining experience, features southern specialties like fried chicken, braised short ribs, and smothered pork chops, along with their award-winning peach cobbler.
Located downtown in the Castleberry Hill Arts District, Paschal’s has a rich history as the ‘meeting place’ for some of the most notable entertainers, Civil Rights leaders, politicians, and business people.
THE BUSY BEE CAFE
Let’s get busy! In 1947 self-taught cook Lucy Jackson decided to open her own restaurant and needed to come up with a name. While traveling in California, an illustration of a bee on a moving truck caught her attention and she decided to call her enterprise the Busy Bee Cafe.
Soon after opening, an African missionary was turned away at an upscale restaurant since she could not afford the prices. Someone told her to, “go down to the Busy Bee and Mama Lucy will feed you.”
The missionary took the advice. She was delighted with her hot meal with fried green tomatoes and was moved to offer encouragement to the aspiring entrepreneur. She believed that because of her kindness, Lucy’s business on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd would always be busy, and that it would always be blessed.
The Busy Bee Cafe still serves weary travelers and locals some of the best soul food in Atlanta.
The secret is out. Combine locally grown produce with fresh ingredients and offer a ridiculously low price for a tasty meal that delights your taste buds but won’t clog your arteries. That is the secret recipe for success at Home Grown restaurant.
Former school teacher Lisa Spooner and fine dining Chef Kevin Clark opened “the ‘next-gen’ meat-and-three” in Reynoldstown, a vibrant community in east Atlanta. Their quaint restaurant offers a welcome bright spot that blooms brightly in a drab strip of Memorial Drive, in the heart of working-class Atlanta. It not only brightens the landscape, it also nourishes the souls and bellies of everyone in the community.
Home Grown serves creative and delicious breakfast options and a hearty brunch menu on the weekend. Home Grown is a favorite neighborhood hangout spot for residents nearby and a mandatory stopping point for just about anyone else passing through East Atlanta by car, bike, scooter, motorcycle, or on foot.
Get pulled into The Vortex, Atlanta’s premier bar and burger joint, grilling up the best burgers in town, offering a huge selection of beer, spirits and specialty cocktails, and serving some ridiculously indulgent bar food. The two quirky little neighborhood bars in Midtown and Little Five Points have been referred to as the Godfather of Atlanta burger joints.
Try the disco taters, a big plate full of tots (or fries) topped with homemade white sausage gravy, shredded cheese and crumbled bacon bits.
Order a specialty sandwich or go all in with a Quadruple Coronary Bypass Burger, with a belt-busting calorie count of 9,606. Grab plenty of napkins and get ready to tackle four griddled patty melts combined as one burger.
The total ingredients include eight slices of Texas toast, four four-ounce griddled sirloin patties, two eight-ounce flame-grilled sirloin patties, 28 slices of American cheese, four fried eggs, 27 strips of bacon, grilled onions, diner relish and mayonnaise. Served with 20-ounces of fries & tots topped with Cheesy-Cheese Goo and bacon bits.
Manuel’s Tavern isn’t a “brass and fern” bar. Neither is it a place of anonymous bartenders and nameless, faceless customers. At any given time, a broad cross-section of Americans and visitors can be found rubbing elbows at the bar.
They are usually discussing the news of the day, watching the game and arguing the merits of a sports team, or espousing the idea of the century. Here a doctor, a plumber, a lawyer, an electrician, a student, a journalist, a salesman, a politician, or a construction worker can feel comfortable – accepted for who they are, known by their name or what they drink. They are “regulars,” the life-blood of the Tavern.
Manuel’s Tavern has an essence like no other place in Atlanta. The Northeast Atlanta watering hole serves pub classics for lunch, brunch and dinner.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO ATLANTA
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- ATLANTA: 53+ Things To Do In Atlanta You Should Not Miss (From A Local)
- DOWNTOWN ATLANTA: 29 Reasons This Will Be Your Family’s Next Favorite Vacation
- DATE NIGHT: 17 Best Date Night Restaurants Atlanta (+ An At-Home Romance Option)
- GAME BARS: 17 Game Bars And Arcades In Atlanta (Where You Can Do More Than Just Drink)
WHERE TO STAY IN ATLANTA
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