So much to do – There’s Almost an Embarrassment of Riches in Metro Atlanta for Things to Do and Places to Eat
Atlanta has almost an embarrassing amount of fun things to do. From professional and college sports teams, to world-class museums, to parks, innovative restaurants, the BeltLine to concerts and festivals, we humbly admit that we have it all.
And, now even more! Yes, a number of new and exciting restaurants and activities have entered the city so that no matter where one is located — Westside, Eastside, Midtown, Buckhead and Downtown — there is more to do than ever to have a great time in the ATL.
Atlanta has a firm grasp on what’s happening in the restaurant biz. First off, let’s congratulate Terry Koval of the Deer and the Dove for being awarded the Restaurant industry’s Oscar. Koval was just named the 2023 Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation. Other local 2023 James Beard semi-finalists include: Clinton Gray, Derrick Moore and Emanuel Reed for Slim & Husky’s Pia Berria, Lyla Lila (for its wine program); Ticonderoga Club (hospitality); Buena Gente Cuban Bakery; and Ronald Hsu and Aaron Phillips (Lazy Betty), Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor (Heirloom Market BBQ), Sahar Siddiqi (Chai Pani) and Deborah VanTrece (Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours).
Among the big news for the area was the opening of Nobu, the famous celebrity-favored sushi restaurant, and the Nobu Atlanta hotel. Both became instant hits among locals and outof-towners. Nobu is located across from Phipps Plaza, one of the country’s most exclusive shopping malls, which recently underwent a renovation. Part of the renovation was the recently opened Citizens Market Atlanta, a 25,000-square-foot immersive culinary destination that includes a culinary market with eight chef-driven brands and a full, indoor and outdoor bar. The variety of food offerings are fast casual options ranging from modern American to Asian-fusion.
Speaking of celebrities, Marcus Samuelsson, the acclaimed chef behind restaurants including the Red Rooster Harlem, and winner of eight James Beard Foundation awards, recently opened Marcus Bar & Grille, which serves elevated comfort classics and signature dishes. Located in the funky neighborhood of Edgewood Avenue (don’t forget to go to the nearby Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium), the restaurant shows why Samuelsson has prepared dishes for former President Obama.
We’re excited by downtown’s R3 Rosendale Concepts, a restaurant by award-winning and Certified Master Chef® Rich Rosendale (only one of 72 in the country) with menus inspired from local cuisine, seasonal ingredients and the personal experiences of the R3 team. Everything about the restaurant is impeccable: the flexible and creative menu, the service as well as the decor. There’s also live music every night.
Deborah VanTrece continued her history of fabulous restaurants with the opening of La Panarda, which showcases her love of Italian cuisine, in the revitalizing Cascade Heights area. Follow the yellow brick road (literally) to Amore e Amore, a Ponce Highland restaurant that takes its themes, well, very seriously. Currently it’s a Wizard of Oz theme, complete with Dorothy, the Tin Man and lots of Wicked Witch hats decoratively and literally filling every inch of this great Italian restaurant. Themes change, so you must keep going back.
Other new restaurants making waves are: Zakia Modern Lebanese Restaurant in Buckhead, Brassica in the Waldorf Astoria, Wicked Wolf Sports Pub & Club and Johnny’s Chicken & Waffles, both in Midtown. Last but not least, we need to give a nod to the Fishmonger, named one of Esquire’s best new restaurants, with two locations.
Check out the Summerhill neighborhood near the former Turner Field, (now the Georgia State Stadium) for a variety of great food and drink options such as Little Bear for international fare, Wood’s Chapel BBQ or Halfway Crooks Beer for great craft beer.
Of course, we can never forget Atlanta’s favorites including the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, the Livingston Restaurant & Bar (which re-opened after three years), Bazati on the BeltLine, Ray’s in the City, Aria, Thumbs Up Diner, The Optimist, Atlas, and Nan Thai Fine Dining.
Pullman Yards, in the Kirkwood neighborhood, has come on strong lately as a fun spot with two great restaurants (Fishmonger and Dailies & Sides), pickleball, as well as concerts, and special events such as Jurassic World the Exhibition. But its latest addition is AlcoHall, a food hall for drinks. AlcoHall features seven stalls with different alcohol brands offering everything from wine, whiskey to beers on tap.
Föwling Warehouse, located on the Westside, is the only place in Georgia to play föwling, a combination football, bowling and horseshoe game. There’s also a great bar, games, pub food and has a dog-friendly outdoor patio. Located at The Works on the Westside, Your 3rd Spot has it all — great food and drinks and games — lots of games — more than 80, in fact. Explore the shops, restaurants and activities over at Atlantic Station.
PuttShack in the Interlock complex on the Westside still delights with tech-infused mini golf and great food and drinks. While on the roof is L.O.A. Rooftop, which offers some of the best views of the city, a beautiful pool (day pass or membership pass) and Restaurant L.O.A., a fantastic restaurant. Other new entertainment entries into Atlanta include the Sloomoo Institute, a slime and sensory play experience, Painted Pickle, a boutique bowling bar, Beat the Bomb and Flight Club Atlanta, an interactive social darts destination.
Explore the wonders of the ocean at the Georgia Aquarium where you can have an immersive shark, sea lion and ray interactions. The Aquarium inspires, educates and entertains guests about aquatic biodiversity through its hundreds of exhibits and tens of thousands of animals across seven galleries.
Westside Motor Lounge is a dynamic indoor-outdoor culinary and entertainment experience near the Westside BeltLine Connector. Westside Motor Lounge is an adaptive resuse project that features a restaurant We could go on and on… but we really (honestly) don’t want to brag.
Be sure to explore bustling Brookhaven where you will find a wealth of locally owned restaurants, exceptional shops and a vibrant arts scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to shop at Brookhaven’s Farmer’s Market. Open every Saturday morning, 9AM – 12PM at 1375 Fernwood Circle NE, 30319, stalls are filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and more. Brookhaven also sports Food Truck Nights. Join the crowds flocking to try the fare on the last Wednesday of the month and enjoy live music, food trucks, and activities for the kids. Be sure to bring blankets and chairs and check the weather before you head out.
Trendy restaurants, including Haven and Petite Violette, savvy shops and a fabulous vibe make Brookhaven the place to see and be see.