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Creative Loafing Best of Atlanta picks Holeman & Finch Public House for top honor

holemanLast Friday, the folks over at Creative Loafing came out with their annual “Best Of Atlanta” issue, and the food awards looked quite a bit different from years past. The critics gave up on the usual categories and proposed a smaller, more curated and far quirkier list of bests. However, readers did vote in more traditional categories.

The headliners: The critics’ pick for Best Overall Restaurant went to Holeman & Finch Public House. Their Best New Restaurant was Antico Pizza Napoletana. Bacchanalia? Not even mentioned.

“I tried to think about it differently,” said CL’s food editor Besha Rodell. “I asked myself, ‘What were the best things about this year? What did I get excited about?’ They weren’t places that fit into those traditional categories.”

Rodell said it boiled down to a question of relevance for her readers, and the fanciest restaurants weren’t necessarily the ones that her readers cared about. “We’ve always done those traditional categories in the past, but it tends to be the same stuff over and over. I wanted to give the awards to the stuff we were worked up about, that we wanted to eat over and over again.”

You can find the full list here.

What’s your best overall restaurant in Atlanta?

Holeman & Finch? Rathbun’s (the choice made by Creative Loafing readers)? Bacchanalia? Restaurant Eugene?

16 comments Add your comment

Midtown Marty

September 28th, 2010
9:47 am

The Flying Biscuit, of course.

Eddie The LongShanks

September 28th, 2010
10:28 am

Waffle House.


September 28th, 2010
10:37 am

It would come down to H&F and Rathbuns for me. The food is top notch at both. Very different styles, but both do it so well. What sets them apart is the drinks and since I prefer a great cocktail over a glass of wine, I’d have to go with H&F. Amazing how the Atlanta food scene has changed over the last few years. Never would have thought a place serving offal would get as popular as it has in such a conservative city. Change is good!!!

M. Johnson

September 28th, 2010
10:57 am

FAB – French American Bistro.


September 28th, 2010
11:20 am

I have to agree with Holeman & Finch; it never fails to please. From the wonderful and creative drink menu, to those famous burgers; top it off with a great and fun staff and you have the best!

Zack Smith

September 28th, 2010
11:41 am

Yep, CL got it right.

Food Fan

September 28th, 2010
3:44 pm

Restaurant Eugene has far surpassed Bacchanalia as far as the 5-star, multi-course menu goes here in Atlanta. It has a much more contemporary and progressive menu than Bacchanalia, which I feel like is still stuck in the same mode with the year they opened.

And you know you’ll always have a good meal at Rathbun’s – yes, it costs you $150 to go there, but there are many restaurants here in Atlanta where you don’t have the same quality of food or experience for that same amount of money.

Sophie's Choice

September 28th, 2010
5:07 pm

Nope. Still Bacchanalia, for me. Love Restaurant Eugene, but their food just isn’t on the same level as the Big B…for less “refined” dining, Watershed and Cakes & Ale.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Besha Rodell, ajcdinecritic, Sarah-Ann Soffer, Jeff Garrow, Elizabeth Drew and others. Elizabeth Drew said: @cehennessey we're do for a visit! Creative Loafing Best of Atlanta picks Holeman & Finch Public House for top honor [...]


September 28th, 2010
11:19 pm

This makes two major awards this month for H&F. Food Network Magazine awarded them an “America’s Best – American Classics” award (a nifty silver platter, suitable to hold a burger) for their 24 burger special. Alton gave the award, and was refused a burger.

Yes, the ‘24 burgers only’ is a cheesy, lame gimmick to promote an extraordinary establishment.
But it worked! Any PR is good PR. Except perhaps for Lindsey Lohan or David Hasslehoff.


September 29th, 2010
8:59 am

Sadly, both the awards from Food Network were for artificially restricted gimmicks: the Fried Chicken at Watershed and the elusive burgers at H & F. Why is Atlanta’s best relegated to phony marketing gimmicks?

Why are we given a superb new pizza place that has no plates and places their beautiful pies on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet that steams the whole thing to a soggy mess in the time it takes to eat it?


September 29th, 2010
9:47 am

This is a travesty. While I do like that it is one of the few gastropubs in the city, and they do have an interesting menu, but H&F is hardly the Best restaurant in ATL. Furthermore, how can they call themselves a “gastropub” with only a few beers in the joint? Much less, does it piss anyone else off that their beer menu is on torn, laminated corrugated box? And that they have the nerve to put beers like Miller Highlife right below a handful of beers that you’ve never heard of, some of which were apparently brewed in some Latvian’s crotch with the awful taste and $13 price tag.

Their hamburger is great, but I don’t understand a restaurant that builds scarcity on the only food item they do well. This place is without a doubt, not the best in Atlanta and it disgusts me that out of town travelers will read this article and say, “Hey, let’s go to H&F! It’s apparently the best restaurant in Atlanta!” Then they’ll go home to wherever they’re from and tell their friends that the best restaurant in Atlanta sucks and sits you at a communal table with douche bags like Steak Shapiro.


September 29th, 2010
5:53 pm

The Big B has been slipping in the eyes of the customers for a while. Now it is catching up to them.


September 29th, 2010
10:24 pm

No disrespect to H&F…I love the place and eat there frequently. I’ve had some really great dishes there, and they do make a mean hamburger. They are excellent at what they do.

But if I had sophisticated friends visiting from Paris, or London, or New York and they said “take me to the best restaurant in Atlanta” then lots of places would be on the list before H&F.


September 30th, 2010
9:47 am

Just tried a new gastro pub that opened on Ponce near the Whole Foods, Deckard’s Kitchen & Kegs. This is truly a gastropub, with great food and a extensive beer, cocktail and wine selection. Good to see the new places like Deckard’s opening in Midtown….


September 30th, 2010
3:42 pm

Has no one been to or heard of SERPAS!! Seriously, the best and my favorite restaurant for “foodies” and while not quite fine dining it ranks right up there. I have never had a bad meal there. Its great.