City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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The Atlanta 50: Where to Eat

Rye pasta with (B

A taste of springtime from Bacchanalia (photo by Becky Stein)

The AJC Spring Dining Guide – with our updated list of the Atlanta 50 – drops today in all of its printed, tablet optimized and mobile-device friendly formats.

Here on the computer box, we’ve got you covered, too.

To see the whole shebang on a mighty pretty webpage, go here.

To see pictures of dishes from The Atlanta 50 restaurants, go here.

To search The Atlanta 50 by cuisine or by neighborhood, go here.

To look at a gallery of the Atlanta Twitterverse weighing in with pictures of deliciousness, go here.

To go in the kitchen with Steven Satterfield of Miller Union, go here.

Hope y’all like it.

– John Kessler, Jenny Turknett, Jon Watson for the Food and More Blog

30 comments Add your comment

[...] The Atlanta 50: Where to Eat [...]

Giovanni Di Palma

April 26th, 2013
11:28 am

I’m so proud of the cultural diversity and ethnic variety of the food featured in the Spring Guide. I’m going to try them all! It makes Atlanta a real city, culinary wise. Rewarding authenticity and originality allows for more ethnic artisans to bring flavors from around the world to the city. Atlantans will enjoy the best food in the world and the city will continue to prosper. Great job AJC!

CT in CP

April 26th, 2013
12:28 pm

Great list. Minor geographic edits: Fox Brothers is in Candler Park (not Grant Park). 4th and Swift is in Old Fourth Ward.

Jamila Robinson

April 26th, 2013
4:23 pm

Thanks CT in CP. We’ll fix


April 26th, 2013
4:57 pm

KR Steakbar is really bad


April 27th, 2013
1:33 am

Rumi’s Kitchen has been closed for months and somehow still made it on this list. Amazing.


April 27th, 2013
8:27 am

I like the list and appreciate the time and effort it took to put this together. Kudos to you John and Jenny and Jon. However, with the AJC really pushing its latest attempt at an on-line pay-per-view paper, getting to the actual reviews is as cumbersome as I’ve seen in years; “related content”?? Really??


April 27th, 2013
9:15 am

Hey bc, Rumi’s old location is closed! However about 100 yards away is the newer and nicer Rumi’s location. I eat Rumi’s 2-3 times per month. It’s phenomenal but only issue is little pricey.


April 27th, 2013
9:39 am

One more comment on the ease of access… Once you do find the actual restaurant reviews, the link to find this blog doesn’t work. It’s too bad such a nice product is stuck in such a poor “window front”.


April 27th, 2013
4:50 pm

Kimchee, duck,pork bellies? I looked at all dishes recommended by.these foodies and there were maybe 4 I would have even tried. Why do foodies think exotic foods have to be highlighted instead of other dishes real people would eat? Where will I find the city’s best meatloaf, chicken-fried steak, or Mac n’cheese? I don’t know anyone who has ever eaten kimchee, duck, or pork bellies. Why not highlight dishes real people will eat?


April 27th, 2013
6:40 pm

@Steve – You’ll find your fried chicken and meatloaf at one of the top 50 restaurants highlighted on this list – Greenwood’s on Green Street.


April 27th, 2013
6:49 pm


Thank you for the suggestion. However, I have tried greenwoods and it wouldn’t make my top 50 in Atlanta. Open to any other suggestions.



April 27th, 2013
10:17 pm

Steve – I would’ve never considered kimchee, duck, or pork belly to be exotic. Where you been man?! Methinks its time you expanded your palate – this top 50 list would be a good place to start! There’s a world of incredible food right here in your own city that’s waiting for you.


April 27th, 2013
10:50 pm


I have very simple tastes, been to France numerous times for works and have never had a good meal in Paris yet. I have tried expanding my palate, but few things taste better than a hamburger at George’s or the chicken and dumplings at Mary Macs.

We need more recommendations of real food, not food most people would never go near. I have been to many/most of the top restaurant on the list but typically struggle to find one item to even order, much less like. I would be happier with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before I would eat 90% of the items on this list.


April 28th, 2013
6:50 am

Sounds like you just need to stay home with the Campbell’s soup Steve.


April 28th, 2013
7:44 am

Hey Steve…curiously, are you overweight? BMI ? burgers and chicken/dumplings? I used to eat all that stuff but there’s WAY healthier food out there for ya, dude. Do you exercise daily? It’s all about
lifestyle adjustments …

BBQ Guru

April 28th, 2013
10:11 am

Steve – if you haven’t had the Kimchi coleslaw topping the Spicy Korean Pork Sandwich at Heirloom Market BBQ you are missing out on life dude!

Greenwoods is on the list and has outstanding Fried Chicken.

If you want plain old chicken Steve then go to KFC. If you want some outstanding culinary treats then give a try to a few of the places on this list.

Ferris Bueller said it best…”‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” IOW, get out and try NEW things Steve!


April 28th, 2013
10:25 am

All you have to do is turn on the TV and you can get all the recommendations for “real food” that you want. O’Charley’s, Longhorn and Chili’s advertise heavily. I’m no foodie and I do appreciate the Atlanta Top 50.


April 28th, 2013
11:39 am

and have never had a good meal in Paris yet.
I believe this is impossible unless you are going to McD’s or KFC…


April 28th, 2013
7:04 pm

Fredly, no not overweight, maybe a few extra pounds but I work out 3-4 times a week. I am a native atlantan, I grew up on everything fried and my veggies well cooked (not steamed and not crunchy). I evade “healthy eating”, seafood, and as many veggies as SWMBO will let me get away with. I have been to 6 of the 7 continents and as I said earlier, I travel to France regularly. I love France, but again hate the food. I don’t want beef liver, snails, or any of a number of things they have tried to get me to eat. When I eat a salad I want a salad dressing other than oil and vinegar. I want the food prepared the way I want/like it, not the way they think it should be served.

As mentioned earlier, I am simply looking for some recommendations of good, real food. I take clients out to restaurants all over town. I would like to try some new places and was very disappointed in the 50 shown. 90% of them I would not choose to try.

It is obvious no one, except for Ann (thank you), seems to want to help, but rather cast aspersions. I am a simple guy with simple tastes and do not care to try exotic dishes such as most of those shown. I understand that some (and yes, more than I thought) like these exotic foods. No one in my sphere of family/friends does and again I can’t understand the overwhelming number of such exotic (and yes, they are exotic to me) foods shown and so little normal foods excluded.

I love my BBQ, Brunswick stew, chicken-fried steak, fried chicken, etc.


April 28th, 2013
7:15 pm

BBQ guru,

I have tried Greenwoods and it was a disaster, long wait to get in, order was “forgotten” and took forever, and then the food was mediocre at best. Yes, I like KFC original better than that. For fried chicken, I like paschal’s and Mary macs.


April 29th, 2013
7:27 am


How about busy bee cafe?

Sheriff John Brown

April 29th, 2013
12:36 pm

Any top 50 anything related to dining in ATL that does not include Taqueria del Sol lacks creditability, and the star scoring system is a farces

Ptc dawg

April 29th, 2013
4:27 pm

I would suggest this food blog is not for everyone, I enjoy it myself.

Thanks nick

April 29th, 2013
8:36 pm

Thanks nick. I have never heard of the busy bee cafe. It looks just what I was looking for.

Beauregard Fulton

April 30th, 2013
1:23 pm

I know what you’re thinking, and I’m gonna go ahead and say it: “Derp, derp, derp, the fried chicken and something something casserole is the best” and “I love the derp, derp, french fries at Yeah Burger.”

If you go to a new restaurant or any restaurant for the first time, get a steak. If they don’t do it right, you don’t have to eat it. Just push it over to the side and don’t go back.
That was my experience at 4th and Swift some time ago, but I have heard many people say they like it since then, and I noticed they made the list. I am sure if it had great service or a really cool setting I would probably give it another shot. But it doesn’t, so I won’t. Maybe I am missing out, but there are plenty of other terrific places in the ATL, so no biggy either way.
I mentioned 4th and Swift because it is on the top 50 list. Same with Miller Union. People always say they like it. I found it to be BORING. The food was fine, but the setting is so dull. Tablecloths and real chairs, people.
Here’s what I like, and please feel free to make fun: I like to sit at the bar and get great service and delicious appetizers, lots of apps. I like upstairs at JCT – more for the drinks and atmosphere than the food, but I would certainly recommend the full downstairs menu to anyone. I like Abbattoire, and I truly hope it always is what it is. Open, but not busy. Those may be mutually exclusive concepts, but I really enjoy showing up without a reservation, getting a seat right away and getting really good food.
I also like Optimist, but I really don’t want to encourage anyone else to go there. See above for the reason why.
I like Rathbun’s, the original. Everything is good, and they have lots of good Cali wines and real tablecloths.
I like Aria (when a client is paying) and Anis (Sunday lunch), and I like to sit at the bar at Flip Burger (Howell Mill) and drink martinis and ogle the pretty girls.
If I am feeling formal and/or with a large party, Chops has the best service.
If I want to have a good steak and get fall down drunk, I prefer Bones or Hal’s.
If I want to be adventurous, I like Chateau De Saigon on Buford Hwy.
So, there is a category of places where I go because I think I’m cool, and they have good drinks and/ or setting and their food is good enough but not the best: Holeman and Finch, Empire State South, Leon’s.
I saw Rumi’s on this list, and I have to say I couldn’t agree more. The food is delicious. The new location actually has real booze and doesn’t try to keep it secret.
Take your Persian friends there without fear of being embarassed – like you were when you took them to that awful place on Peachtree in South Buckhead near Watershed.
Take your mom to Canoe, Woodfire Grill or LaGrotta. She’ll love it. Take your date there if you want to bore her into submission.
I saw Antico Pizza on the list. It’s good, but at the end of the day, it’s just pizza. You can get good pizza at Fritti or Camelli’s or any number of other Neopolitan style places in ATL.
Which brings us to the one place that baffled me when I saw it on the list: Barcelona.
I have been more than once, only because the food wasn’t half bad the first time and because all the cool kids were going there and I didn’t want to feel left out. The bar is cool. The food is comparable to what you would get on a budget cruise line. If you like that kind of thing, then have at it. It really is a good place to cruise chicks or dudes or both.
I didn’t mention Bacchanalia because they serve skate wing. Also, I didn’t mention the Spence or Hemingways because they serve cauliflower.

Doc Hollidawg

April 30th, 2013
3:41 pm

Steve…perfect opportunity for you at Heirloom Market BBQ. The Spicy Korean….smoked pork with kimchi slaw. You will not be sorry and it would be a great first step in trying something a little different, but not too different. If not, their brisket, pulled pork, mac-n-cheese, collards, etc. are outstanding. But take that leap at the Spicy Korean…guarantee you will not be dissapointed.

And if not, the Chicken and The Egg is Marietta has very good “normal” food.


May 1st, 2013
4:59 am

Please don’t feed the troll. Let Steve exercise his narrow palate at Cracker Barrel and Golen Corral. He is the kind of American that visits Europe and makes the rest of us look bad. If you want American food, stay home. Or quit whining. You can always find roasted or grilled meats, fish and poultry in Europe. The best steaks I have ever had were Steak Frites in Paris and Bistecca alla Fiorentina in Florence. I have had delicious roast suckling pig in Majorca as well as beautifully grilled fish. I took my son to Spain with me when he was 14 months old and he was light years less picky than you. I get so tired of obnoxious Americans who complain the whole time they are in another country because it’s not like home. Duh! SMH.

Mike Henigan

May 2nd, 2013
9:10 am

C’mon people…do you really need to get on Steve for him expressing what he likes/dislikes? He is entitled to his opinion, as we are entitled to ours. Leave it at that. You go Steve, enjoy what you enjoy, simple as that. I tend to have simple tastes, but to like to try new places occasionally when the spirit moves me, but I visit places that I like and I continue to go to them, no matter what others say.


May 2nd, 2013
2:20 pm

Just to let you know, the Gu’s Bistro website link in the Top 50 article is bad, but they do have a website.