New for 2019 Atlanta Restaurants and Hotels to Try
This booming Southern city should be on your must-visit list for these great new food and shelter options.
Photo By: Patrick Heagney
Photo By: Halsa
Photo By: J Ashley
Photo By: Velvet Taco
Photo By: Pancake Social
Photo By: ASW Whiskey Exchange
Photo By: Karen Pagano
Photo By: Heidi Geldhauser
Photo By: Shannon Cole
Photo By: Shannon Cole
Photo By: Shannon Cole
Photo By: Shannon Cole
Photo By: City Tap
Photo By: Moxy Hotel
Photo By: Heidi Geldhauser
Photo By: The Johnson Studio
Photo By: Johnson Studio
Photo By: Grana
Photo By: Barrelhouse
Photo By: Mia Yakel
Photo By: Nowak's
Photo By: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Photo By: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
Atlas Restaurant and the Tavern at Atlas
What do you get when you combine works from a billion dollar art collection and a decadent, seasonal menu masterminded by French Laundry vet and executive chef Christopher Grossman? You get one of Atlanta's most memorable nights out in the tony Buckhead neighborhood. Atlas, on the ground floor of the St. Regis hotel has been open since 2015 but coming in late spring 2019, the restaurant debuts a gorgeous glassed-in "outdoor" dining room reminiscent of vintage European train stations or Paris's Ritz dining room. Additional dining and bar space will bring the spirit of a fresh, green oasis to this Buckhead favorite. There is live music in the Tavern Wednesday through Friday, so plan on giddy dancing and general merriment, next to a subdued main dining room where you can dine beneath a Picasso or Chagall. Locally-sourced ingredients pay homage to Georgia farms' red clay bounty and inventive, indulgent dishes like a foie gras jus with agnolotti and black truffles and trout with garlic-braised kale and mushrooms alongside pastry chef Christian Castillo's desserts make for destination dining. Oneophiles should check in with personable sommelier Samuel Gamble who offers more than 80 wines by the glass and can expand your vino knowledge exponentially in an evening.
Clean food with a pedigree, Iris and Ritz-Carlton Buckhead vet Nicolas Bour leads the new Halsa restaurant at Serenbe. Calling itself "polished casual" this Swedish-inspired restaurant features Scandi-chic design Halsa and a delicious Tuna Poke bowl along with a host of build-your-own bowls, local bubbly waters from Atlanta's locavore Montine, juices, smoothies and a menu perfectly in keeping with the healhy-living focus of the new Serenbe Mado community. The building also hosts a spa with an infrared sauna, a yoga studio and wellness practitioners of every stripe.
Smith Hanes Studio designed the earthy-chic on-trend interior of clean-food restaurant Halsa at the Serenbe sustainable community south of Atlanta, in graphics and soft pastel shades (and a mural by local artist Tommy Taylor). A day trip to Serenbe to check out their newest wellness community Mado is a worthwhile detour if you are visiting Atlanta.
A fun brunch, lunch and dinner and late-night spot (open until 3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday to capture the clubbing crowd) in the heart of Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood, this cool Dallas-based taco mecca specializes in highly unconventional taco fillings like the exceptionally good spicy tikka chicken (nothing better than a restaurant not afraid of a little burn), chicken and waffle tacos and a Nashville hot tofu for the vegetarian crowd.
The new Atlanta restaurant Pancake Social at the buzzy Ponce City Market features breakfast all day and is helmed by a powerhouse local restaurant team including James Beard award-winner Anne Quatrano, Dan Jacobson, Steven Chan and Tony Riffel whose Octane Coffee locations have been the go-to cult coffee spots for local coffee achievers. Pancake Social features eight types of pancakes from savory to sweet as well as healthier, hipster brekkie options like a chia seed pudding and... you guessed it, avocado toast. The booming number of local farmers and specialty food purveyors will supply much of the ingredient list for this comfort-concept restaurant. And coming soon is another paired Pancake Social and coffeehouse outpost in south Atlanta’s booming Pinewood Forest development, neighbor to the Pinewood Atlanta Studios, which churns out Marvel movies and a host of Hollywood fare.
ASW Whiskey Exchange Distillery in Atlanta's West End
The booming West End of Atlanta, home to the expanding BeltLine Westside Trail has brought an infusion of new businesses including the newest outpost of local distillery ASW. Craft spirits venue ASW—home to Resurgens Rye, Fiddler's bourbon and a host of other locally-distilled spirits—already has a location in Midtown, but is opening a hip new tasting room and liquor destination for Atlanta's Southside.
Italian Market Maestros
A Buckhead neighborhood Italian spot from Pietro Gianni and Mike Patrick (pictured), tiny Storico Fresco is a favorite for its elevated Italian market offerings, with charcuterie and cheese, fresh and dried noodles, Italian condiments and sauces and prepared meals offered to pick up and make at home. The in-house restaurant is a great option to grab a glass of wine (take a recommendation from the knowledgeable wait staff) and enjoy some delicious appetizers or pasta. Coming in 2019, Forza Storico is a variation on that theme with an Italian provisions and dining spot on Atlanta's on-fire Westside, one of the city's go-to spots for great restaurants.
The scene-y Bully Boy in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward, is modeled after a favorite childhood restaurant with the same name, fondly remembered by Concentrics Restaurants owner Bob Amick whose restaurant group operates a number of ATL and national restaurants. Combining shareable plates from chef Michael Bertozzi, a beachy vibe and a very low key ambiance (translation: service can be spotty and the check-in at the hostess station needs work), this new Atlanta restaurant in the shadow of another Concentrics spot, the beloved Two Urban Licks, is definitely worth a try for its unique combo of memorable seafood dishes and Bertozzi's globally-inspired fare with nods to his Peruvian roots. The blue crab fried rice is a must.
A chef with fine-dining street cred from studies at Sydney's Le Cordon Bleu and a stint at New York City's Le Bernardin, chef Ron Hsu brings his brilliant food chops, international perspective and a down-to-earth vibe to his highly anticipated Candler Park, tasting menu restaurant Lazy Betty. Atlanta is increasingly becoming a multicultural mecca, whose chef-driven foodie temples compete with the equally notable Mom and Pop cuisine on Atlanta's international dining strip, Buford Highway. Chef Hsu blends the humble (his family ran a string of suburban Atlanta Chinese restaurants when Hsu was growing up and his influences are Asian, Southern and French) and the high born in dishes that are as beautiful and conceptual as they are delicious. Lazy Betty had a year-long test run as a series of pop-up dinners, which allowed Hsu to build excitement and refine his menu of unexpected but exceptionally complex food from cucumber cannelloni to a brilliant, fun, typically inventive narrative dish "Truffle hunting in the Georgia terroir" featuring edible "dirt."
Decadent Dining at Lazy Betty
As inspiring to look at as it is to taste, the inventive far at Lazy Betty, like this dish of foie gras, preserved gooseberries and petite salad exhibits the international influences of chef Ron Hsu.
Clean lines and memorable food define Atlanta's new tasting menu and chef-driven restaurant Lazy Betty which combines chef Ron Hsu's Asian, French and Southern influences.
Fine dining that is never stuffy, Atlanta's brand new tasting menu restaurant Lazy Betty (which will feature an a la carte menu in spring 2019) combines Southern, Asian and French influences and a dining concept all its own.
City Tap House, Atlanta
This national chain City Tap opened an Atlanta outpost in the heart of Midtown this year featuring some of what the gastropub concept does best: relaxed, casual dining, a selection of craft beers from an array of locavore sources (Monday Night Brewing, Orpheus Brewing, Wild Heaven Beer, SweetWater Brewery and New Realm Brewing) and a globalist menu featuring baked oysters, tandoori kabobs, elote street corn dip (pictured here), and a rotating menu of weekly dinner specials as well as the expected burger and pizza fare.
With a hip lobby dominated by a mural from local artist Greg Mike the party-central new Moxy Hotel is next door (with connecting indoor hallways) to the more business-oriented AC Hotel. Take your pick: both feature thoughtful design details and curated features like an elegant, European style breakfast buffet at AC and the Moxy-branded cocktail-upon-check in and photo booth, adult rec room ambiance that the brand is known for. Situated in the walkable Midtown neighborhood, the location of both hotels guarantees you will always be at the center of the action. The High Museum and Museum of Design Atlanta are within walking distance and there are restaurants galore a step away on Peachtree Street.
A supersized, glam new branch of their always buzzing Midtown restaurant, Ecco Buckhead features some of the things that have made this Atlanta new Italian spot such a staple including great, knowledgeable service, an extensive wine list and cravable fare that can quickly elevate a business dinner to a satisfying, homey food coma experience. Don't miss the crispy fried cerignola olives stuffed with sausage, the fried goat cheese with honey and black pepper or the inventive pastas and flatbreads.
Johnson Studio is the go-to design team for local restaurants and diners can check out their latest work at Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia in Atlanta's Dunwoody suburb. As in most American cities, with rising foodie expectations has come a need for hotel restaurants—notorious bastions of sad singleton businessman meals and forgettable food—to up their game. Parkwoods is going the Southern-influenced comfort food route (a very safe bet since most hotel guests are probably looking for comfort over experimentation) with cheddar biscuits, fried chicken, braised collard greens and red eye gravy in the mix. A beer garden, Backyard at Parkwoods, will open in late spring 2019.
Another on-trend concept at Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter, Lightwell capitalizes on the new eating-in-the-center-of-the-action hotel trend in this chic lobby restaurant with a workspace thrown in. The cafe offers all day Italian-inspired food and drink (negroni's on tap!).
Grana Chef Pat Pascarella
Casual Italian restaurant Grana, opening in late summer 2019, will feature a "meatball program" (we're officially intrigued) and authentic Italian specialties including homemade pasta and wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas from chef Pasquale "Pat" Pascarella. Grana will be located in the Piedmont Heights neighborhood of Atlanta near beloved boozy milkshake and custom burger place Grindhouse Killer Burgers and old school classic Fat Matt's Rib Shack.
A new pub in Atlanta's booming Old Fourth Ward, the Barrelhouse features bar favorites like wings, sliders, chicken tenders as well as more esoteric Southern fare like pimento cheese fritters and fried pickles.
Nina & Rafi
A new family-style Italian spot located on Atlanta's popular BeltLine walking trail, Nina & Rafi features meatballs, rice balls and bruschetta starters, pizza, heroes and classics like lasagna and chicken parm.
Nowak's is a new spot in Atlanta's cozy Morningside-Lenox Park neighborhood offering specials on bar food staples like Po' Boys, chicken wings, burgers and, of course, beer.
Kimpton Overland Hotel
Rebranded in 2019 as the Kimpton Overland Hotel, this Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport-adjacent hotel was designed by the architecture firm, HOK (which also designed Atlanta's 1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium). Amenity-loaded, the hotel has an indoor pool, on-site gym and free Wi-Fi and a memorable dining and drinking destination, the stylish Apron restaurant. More chef-driven and imaginative than your usual hotel spot, Apron features a dog-friendly patio (recommended when the weather is nice), with both tables and lounge-type seating with an impressive view of the airport flight path. Cocktails and craft beer offerings are imaginative and often feature local distilleries like Old Fourth Distillery and ASW as well as Jekyll Brewery, Terrapin and Hapeville's own Arches Brewery so diners can sample some locavore flavor. With the Experience Kimpton opening special, book by April 30, and get 25% of your stay through December 30, 2019. For details click here.
Rooftop at the Overland
Aviation nuts will love the new Kimpton Overland Hotel's Rooftop at the Overland with its bird's eye outdoor perch. Overlooking both Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the Porsche Experience Center track, the forthcoming rooftop bar has a Jetsons-meets-Space Age vibe. When it opens in mid-April the rooftop bar will feature craft cocktails and a menu of local charcuterie and cheese and Asian-inspired snacks including Vietnamese summer rolls, pork belly steamed buns and watermelon poke.