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Best of Atlanta 2005 Oral Pleasures

 

Best Of Atlanta 2005 Oral Pleasures Large


Oral Pleasures

Best Signature Cocktail

Eclipse di Sol Cafe 640
Poised beneath the Highland Inn, ECLIPSE DI SOL is as equally suited for party couples to launch their evenings as it is for same duos to radiate bed-head and post-coital bliss. And the drink that will impress that special someone the night before and/or help revive them the morning after is the mint-garnishedmore...
Poised beneath the Highland Inn, ECLIPSE DI SOL is as equally suited for party couples to launch their evenings as it is for same duos to radiate bed-head and post-coital bliss. And the drink that will impress that special someone the night before and/or help revive them the morning after is the mint-garnished GRAPEFRUIT AND ROSEWATER MARTINI. Sugary yet tart, this adult martini features a discernible floral bouquet that can cut through the smell of last night’s clothes like sex musk. In other words, it brings a dewy grin to your face. less...

Best Thai

Tamarind
The carefully crafted cuisine at sweetly plain TAMARIND has a memorable complexity, even though it’s not giddily garnished with an orchid spray, a la Tamarind’s nearby swanky sister, Nan. Much of the food appears on the surface to be the same as you find in the countless Thai restaurantsmore...
The carefully crafted cuisine at sweetly plain TAMARIND has a memorable complexity, even though it’s not giddily garnished with an orchid spray, a la Tamarind’s nearby swanky sister, Nan. Much of the food appears on the surface to be the same as you find in the countless Thai restaurants in Atlanta — nua nam tok, basil rolls, pad Thai — but, believe us, one taste will quickly dispel your long-held belief that all Thai food tastes the same. less...

Best Biscuits

Pastries a go-go
PASTRIES A GO-GO has located to sunnier digs across the street from its original location on Ponce, and now the weekend breakfast line ripples even farther out the door. Famished? Here’s a tip: Fight your way to the counter and order a biscuit with sausage, egg and cheese to go. In less thanmore...
PASTRIES A GO-GO has located to sunnier digs across the street from its original location on Ponce, and now the weekend breakfast line ripples even farther out the door. Famished? Here’s a tip: Fight your way to the counter and order a biscuit with sausage, egg and cheese to go. In less than five minutes you’ll have a fluffy, flaxen beauty in your hands that is layered with just the right amount of wake-you-up ingredients. Just don’t smirk too broadly as you dodge envious looks on your way out the door. less...

Best Breakfast

Radial Cafe Radial Cafe
Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, not cutthroat. RADIAL CAFE is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table isn’t a professional sport. The space is cozy but not too cramped, and funky art on the walls could perk up even the most bleary-eyed night owl. Don’tmore...
Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, not cutthroat. RADIAL CAFE is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table isn’t a professional sport. The space is cozy but not too cramped, and funky art on the walls could perk up even the most bleary-eyed night owl. Don’t miss the hearty buckwheat pancakes and the giant breakfast burrito topped with spicy salsa, black beans and a drizzle of sour cream. less...

Best Burger

U.S. Cafe Express U.S. Cafe Express
Diehard burger fiends in the know agree that the best versions of this most American of all meals can be had at U.S. CAFE EXPRESS. Beef burgers — available as hearty single combinations (with the usual topping suspects of lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon) or as hefty, gotta-squash-’emmore...
Diehard burger fiends in the know agree that the best versions of this most American of all meals can be had at U.S. CAFE EXPRESS. Beef burgers — available as hearty single combinations (with the usual topping suspects of lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon) or as hefty, gotta-squash-’em doubles — deliver pure red-meat gratification. But it’s the turkey burgers that are unexpectedly supreme. The thick, juicy burgers are as rich as their beef brethren and as satisfying to your meat-craving animal heart, but almost completely fat free. Until you slather them with mayo, that is. less...

Best Expense Account Lunch

Nan Thai Fine Dining
How can you tell where the power brokers dine? Check out a restaurant’s parking lot around noon. If the cheapest car on the blacktop is a 3-year-old Mercedes Benz, you’ve got a mergers-and-acquisitions-over-lunch winner. The cars driven off by the valet look mighty shiny at NAN THAImore...

How can you tell where the power brokers dine? Check out a restaurant’s parking lot around noon. If the cheapest car on the blacktop is a 3-year-old Mercedes Benz, you’ve got a mergers-and-acquisitions-over-lunch winner. The cars driven off by the valet look mighty shiny at NAN THAI FINE DINING, where Midtown movers and shakers rub Brooks Brothers-suited shoulders over lovely Thai cuisine. Prices are the same day and night, with entrees running up to $32. Elegantly understated yet thoroughly royal, Nan’s dining room is the perfect spot for those who like to make people listen by whispering, not shouting.
1350 Spring St. 404-870-9933.

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Best French Fries

Woodfire Grill Woodfire Grill
French fries are hot right now, have you noticed? And not just at the city’s burgeoning burger joints: Every serious eatery around seems to be slicing potatoes into sticks and cranking up the deep fryer. But we can eat Michael Tuohy’s meaty, crispy/floppy pommes frites at WOODFIRE GRILLmore...

French fries are hot right now, have you noticed? And not just at the city’s burgeoning burger joints: Every serious eatery around seems to be slicing potatoes into sticks and cranking up the deep fryer. But we can eat Michael Tuohy’s meaty, crispy/floppy pommes frites at WOODFIRE GRILL by the fistfuls (and have, unfortunately). Though typically served with his succulent roasted chicken and steel pan greens, if you ask nicely the staff will bring you a side of frites and a bit of aioli for dipping. Somehow they seem to complement most everything on Tuohy’s kaleidoscopically seasonal menu.
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road. 404-347-9055. www.woodfiregrill.com.

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Best FrouFrou Martini

Roy's Hawaiian Martini

Best Mexican

Taqueria La Oaxaquena

Best Mojito

Park 75 Lounge and Terrace
As if the Cuban drink-of-the-moment didn’t go down easily enough in its classic mint-and-rum incarnation, the passion fruit mojito at the PARK 75 LOUNGE AND TERRACE is an addictive wonder. The refreshing elixir features passion fruit puree, dark rum, mint and soda for one of the best combinationsmore...

As if the Cuban drink-of-the-moment didn’t go down easily enough in its classic mint-and-rum incarnation, the passion fruit mojito at the PARK 75 LOUNGE AND TERRACE is an addictive wonder. The refreshing elixir features passion fruit puree, dark rum, mint and soda for one of the best combinations since vodka, limes and tonic. Smooth as they may be, the mojitos are also deceptively potent. Best to take delicate sips of this heavenly nectar while seeing and being seen at the Four Seasons’ swanky, newly remodeled lounge.
Four Seasons, 75 14 St. 404-881-9898. www.fourseasons.com.

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Best Tapas

Pura Vida Pura Vida
Hey, do y’all know where the tapas craze originally came from? They were invented by the Spanish as an inexpensive taste to accompany wine. There are classic, straightforward tapas — a taste of serrano ham, for example — but tapas are often playful experiments, too, and thusmore...

Hey, do y’all know where the tapas craze originally came from? They were invented by the Spanish as an inexpensive taste to accompany wine. There are classic, straightforward tapas — a taste of serrano ham, for example — but tapas are often playful experiments, too, and thus also reflect contemporary tastes. The closest we get to real Spanish style is PURA VIDA. Chef Hector Santiago’s menu is pan-Hispanic as well as Spanish, including everything from earthy Peruvian mofongo and Chilean salmon ceviche to Spanish omelets with pearl onion confit and a kinky Mex-style shrimp cocktail with calabaza squash and coconut-ginger habanero sauce.
656 N. Highland Ave. 404-870-9797. www.puravidatapas.com.

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Best 24-hour Restaurant

Majestic Diner Majestic Diner
For all the debauchery and bleary-eyed clubbing that ordering a plate of hash browns at 4 a.m. entails, THE MAJESTIC is the only place to go. However, um, altered a state you might be in, the seasoned waitresses have seen it all. Delightfully greasy burgers, eggs, grits and other diner favorites stavemore...
For all the debauchery and bleary-eyed clubbing that ordering a plate of hash browns at 4 a.m. entails, THE MAJESTIC is the only place to go. However, um, altered a state you might be in, the seasoned waitresses have seen it all. Delightfully greasy burgers, eggs, grits and other diner favorites stave off oncoming hangovers and settle woozy, boozy tummies. Stone-cold sober? This Atlanta institution can provide all the inspiration you need to write that picaresque novel. less...

Best Barbecue

Swallow at the Hollow
The folks at SWALLOW AT THE HOLLOW may not be purists, but that’s the reason we crave their ’cue. The chopped pork, scrumptious without any adornment, can be dressed up with three vastly different regional sauces (the South Carolina mustard gets slathered most thickly on our pig). Themore...
The folks at SWALLOW AT THE HOLLOW may not be purists, but that’s the reason we crave their ’cue. The chopped pork, scrumptious without any adornment, can be dressed up with three vastly different regional sauces (the South Carolina mustard gets slathered most thickly on our pig). The mac-n-cheese has a gutsy crust, and the Brunswick stew hums with porcine goodness. Vegetarians, you even reading this? Swallow has one of finest sandwiches in the state for you: smoked portabella with gouda and fried green tomatoes. It might even make the carnivores covetous. less...

Best Bar Food

The Earl The EARL
Fattening, messy, burger-centric: These are all the things good bar food should be about. And it’s exactly what THE EARL dishes out while some of the area’s best bands crowd the hyper-popular East Atlanta spot. Not only do the staffers serve up chili dogs and burgers that cushion themore...

Fattening, messy, burger-centric: These are all the things good bar food should be about. And it’s exactly what THE EARL dishes out while some of the area’s best bands crowd the hyper-popular East Atlanta spot. Not only do the staffers serve up chili dogs and burgers that cushion the belly for a long evening out, but their rockin’ brunch is heaven-sent if your Saturday night lasted well into Sunday morning. The steak sandwich loaded with peppers, onions, provolone and mushrooms is as much sloppy fun as making out in one of the bar’s dark booths.
488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.

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Best Comfort Food

What a Crock!
A woman we know going through a tough divorce swears the chicken potpie at WHAT A CROCK! saved her sanity. Indeed, the super-rich, flaky-crusted pies are better than a kiss on the forehead from Mom during times when only a hot, bubbling-from-the-oven dinner and “Sex and the City” rerunsmore...

A woman we know going through a tough divorce swears the chicken potpie at WHAT A CROCK! saved her sanity. Indeed, the super-rich, flaky-crusted pies are better than a kiss on the forehead from Mom during times when only a hot, bubbling-from-the-oven dinner and “Sex and the City” reruns will do. Loaded with white meat chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas, the pies are available in quarters or halves for those wishing to exercise more restraint. The more psychically distressed can order whole pies a day in advance to be reheated at home while you hide under your blanket.
406 Church St., Decatur. 404-687-3311.

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Best Fried Chicken

Watershed
We might as well retire this category — at least until WATERSHED stops offering its Tuesday night fried chicken special (which we pray won’t be anytime soon). Who else will ever possibly win? Executive chef Scott Peacock’s signature dish is a masterwork of Southern traditionmore...
We might as well retire this category — at least until WATERSHED stops offering its Tuesday night fried chicken special (which we pray won’t be anytime soon). Who else will ever possibly win? Executive chef Scott Peacock’s signature dish is a masterwork of Southern tradition developed with his mentor, Edna Lewis. The bird is brined, soaked in buttermilk and then fried in lard that has been flavored with bacon. With mashed taters, garlicky green beans and biscuits with honey, it’s Dixie on a plate, y’all. Just remember to show up by 8 p.m. before they run out. less...

Best Indian

Madras Saravana Bhavan

Best Japanese

Soto Japanese Restaurant
A year after the exultant reopening of SOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT, chef/owner Sotohiro Kosugi recently made another intriguing change to his Japanese fusion format. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to the classic a la carte format of pristine sushi and wild creations like lobster in a lotusmore...
A year after the exultant reopening of SOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT, chef/owner Sotohiro Kosugi recently made another intriguing change to his Japanese fusion format. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to the classic a la carte format of pristine sushi and wild creations like lobster in a lotus root cage. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant now serves a multi-, MULTI-course meal of mind-opening dishes (think many small tastes of brilliance). Personally? We’d rather dodge the pandemonium and come for the weekend prix-fixe meals. Sotohiro is certainly more relaxed then. less...

Best Korean

Hae Woon Dae
Several terrific Korean soup shops exist around town, but when we crave Korean barbecue, we head to HAE WOON DAE. Located in a shopping center that includes the city’s only porn theater, this restaurant stays open later than any other in town — until 6 a.m. You cook your selected meatmore...
Several terrific Korean soup shops exist around town, but when we crave Korean barbecue, we head to HAE WOON DAE. Located in a shopping center that includes the city’s only porn theater, this restaurant stays open later than any other in town — until 6 a.m. You cook your selected meat — everything from highly seasoned tripe and mackerel to chicken, short ribs and classic bulgogi beef — at your table, over a grill in which an attendant dumps red-hot charcoal. Take friends. It’s a great place for a party. less...

Best Local Brew

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale
TERRAPIN RYE PALE ALE was first introduced in Athens in April 2002 at the Classic City Brew Fest. Later that year, it won an American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Suddenly, everyone wanted a taste of Terrapin. The beer’s distinctive flavor comes from rye added tomore...

TERRAPIN RYE PALE ALE was first introduced in Athens in April 2002 at the Classic City Brew Fest. Later that year, it won an American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Suddenly, everyone wanted a taste of Terrapin. The beer’s distinctive flavor comes from rye added to the hops and malts in the brewing process. The result is a fruity, refreshing brew. You can’t find Terrapin everywhere — only a handful of Atlanta spots carry it, the Vortex, Meehan’s and Smith’s Olde Bar among them — but it’s worth hunting for.
www.terrapinbeer.com.

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Best Male Actors

Cast of Take Me Out
No single male performance knocked it out of the park like the CAST OF TAKE ME OUT at Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage. The nine-man team included the seemingly ubiquitous Daniel May, local stalwarts such as Brik Berkes and Isma’il ibn Conner, the reliably hilarious Matthew Myersmore...
No single male performance knocked it out of the park like the CAST OF TAKE ME OUT at Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage. The nine-man team included the seemingly ubiquitous Daniel May, local stalwarts such as Brik Berkes and Isma’il ibn Conner, the reliably hilarious Matthew Myers and Bill Murphey, and relative rookies Brandon Dirden and Travis Young, who reached new career highs. As the diverse members of a scandal-plagued baseball team, Take Me Out’s all-star ensemble even managed to upstage its own shower scenes. less...

Best Middle Eastern

Imperial Fez
At IMPERIAL FEZ, chef/owner Rafih Benjelloun asks you to take off your shoes, lounge on pillows on the floor and eat his multicourse, prix-fixe Moroccan cuisine with your hands. While you eat sweet-savory b’stella and a fragrant tagine — the most authentic in the city — bellymore...
At IMPERIAL FEZ, chef/owner Rafih Benjelloun asks you to take off your shoes, lounge on pillows on the floor and eat his multicourse, prix-fixe Moroccan cuisine with your hands. While you eat sweet-savory b’stella and a fragrant tagine — the most authentic in the city — belly dancers undulate about you, candles balanced on their heads. You’ll be tempted to good-naturedly pull out your water gun and use the candles for target practice. less...

Best Patio Dining

Piebar
Thank God someone finally did something interesting with the futuristic Trust Company bank branch that’s been decaying on Monroe for a decade. Local restaurateur Bob Amick has re-imagined the flying saucer-like building as chic pizzeria PIEBAR. The adjoining patio is particularly eye-catching.more...

Thank God someone finally did something interesting with the futuristic Trust Company bank branch that’s been decaying on Monroe for a decade. Local restaurateur Bob Amick has re-imagined the flying saucer-like building as chic pizzeria PIEBAR. The adjoining patio is particularly eye-catching. The building’s original drive-thru “pods” are now rooftop dining, covered by a giant white circus tent. At night, blue and purple lights illuminate the tent, creating an ethereal and undeniably glamorous vibe.
2160 Monroe Drive. 404-815-1605. www.piebar.com.

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Best Southwestern

There was a time when if someone mentioned Cabbagetown, you thought of our own little slack-jawed patch of Appalachia in south Atlanta. No more. The Boulevard entrance to the former cotton mill village is now occupied by AGAVE, which has become a citywide destination. Greg Herndon, chef/owner of themore...
There was a time when if someone mentioned Cabbagetown, you thought of our own little slack-jawed patch of Appalachia in south Atlanta. No more. The Boulevard entrance to the former cotton mill village is now occupied by AGAVE, which has become a citywide destination. Greg Herndon, chef/owner of the defunct Tiburon Grill, has joined owner Jack Sobel in the kitchen, and the two are cooking con gasolina. Recent menu additions are a fab riff on New Mexico-style fare, such as a lobster and crab timbale in a pool of tomatillo gazpacho, and a veal and chorizo meatloaf fired up with renowned green hatch chilies. less...

Best Appetizers and Best Pizza

Fritti Fritti
Appetizers are a transcendental experience at FRITTI. Anyone who has ever ordered the funghi fritti (fried mushrooms) knows what we’re talking about. Just thinking about those crunchy morsels tinged with rosemary makes us close our eyes and smile. And then there’s the gossamer friedmore...
Appetizers are a transcendental experience at FRITTI. Anyone who has ever ordered the funghi fritti (fried mushrooms) knows what we’re talking about. Just thinking about those crunchy morsels tinged with rosemary makes us close our eyes and smile. And then there’s the gossamer fried calamari. Forget the heavy dipping sauces. A spritz of lemon is all they need. But wait! Don’t fill up on apps and forgo the Neapolitan-style pizzas. A blistered, crackery crust supports well-paired toppings — pancetta with caramelized onions and taleggio cheese with apples and pairs are two standouts — though the staff has softened over the years and lets you concoct your own combos as well. less...

Best Burrito

Matilda Bean
Though some might still say there is no such thing as a good burrito in Atlanta, others get on I-85 and head south to MATILDA BEAN. The decor is bright and lively, and service is fast and friendly. Stuffed with chicken and pork or steak, the Tony Montana burrito is many a downtown worker’s favoritemore...
Though some might still say there is no such thing as a good burrito in Atlanta, others get on I-85 and head south to MATILDA BEAN. The decor is bright and lively, and service is fast and friendly. Stuffed with chicken and pork or steak, the Tony Montana burrito is many a downtown worker’s favorite little friend. Vegetarians certainly aren’t left out. The enormous Mean Green burrito is hefty with grilled onions, peppers, rice, sour cream, spinach and salsa. less...

Best Carryout and Best Cookies

Star Provisions
After peeking through half-covered windows for months, we were giddy to finally traipse through the gleaming take-out expansion of STAR PROVISIONS, nicknamed Provisions to Go. The menu varies slightly each day, but count on seductively constructed sandwiches like homemade meatball hoagie with buffalomore...
After peeking through half-covered windows for months, we were giddy to finally traipse through the gleaming take-out expansion of STAR PROVISIONS, nicknamed Provisions to Go. The menu varies slightly each day, but count on seductively constructed sandwiches like homemade meatball hoagie with buffalo mozzarella; freshly made pizzas; side dishes like cucumber-tomato salad and family-size containers of mac-n-cheese; and entrees like grouper escabeche and beef tenderloin with salsa verde. Of course, jewel-like desserts are also on display (the space was formally the bakery), including a treasure trove of the loveliest cookies in town. Try the star-shaped shortbreads that are pure crumbly heaven, and the deep, dark chocolate meringues that are meant for savoring, not gobbling. less...

Best Cheap Eats

Food Court at Chinatown Square
Got a hankering for a giant bowl of brothy seafood noodles? How about some soy-lacquered duck that melts in your mouth? The FOOD COURT AT CHINATOWN SQUARE offers six outstanding fast-food spots to satiate your Asian cravings for right around $7. Yanmi Yanmi offers a quirky Chinese take on Japanese dishes,more...

Got a hankering for a giant bowl of brothy seafood noodles? How about some soy-lacquered duck that melts in your mouth? The FOOD COURT AT CHINATOWN SQUARE offers six outstanding fast-food spots to satiate your Asian cravings for right around $7. Yanmi Yanmi offers a quirky Chinese take on Japanese dishes, while some of the best green onion pancakes can be had at China Kitchen. All wonton soup should be like Ocean Garden’s. Hong Kong Barbecue’s display of mahogany-skinned roasted birds will make you drip and drool. Chongqing Hot Pot specializes in what its name suggests — a Chinese meat and vegetable broth fondue. Trouble deciding? Close your eyes and pick a spot. You can’t miss.
5383 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee. 770-458-6600.

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Best Chinese Barbecue

BBQ Corner II
If barbecue isn’t something you’ve ever associated with Chinese cuisine, it’s time you became initiated. There’s no smoky, sweet sauces or traditional sides (other than white rice), and you probably won’t see families chowing on a slab of rose-tinged roastedmore...

If barbecue isn’t something you’ve ever associated with Chinese cuisine, it’s time you became initiated. There’s no smoky, sweet sauces or traditional sides (other than white rice), and you probably won’t see families chowing on a slab of rose-tinged roasted pork in the park. But what Chinese barbecue does have in common with the American kind is its ability to glorify meat. BBQ CORNER II’s Chinese barbecued meats — like the supple roast duck, earthy soy sauce chicken and buttery spare ribs — are superlative examples of their kind. Their whole barbecued suckling pig will make you want to host a Chinese banquet.
5150 Buford Highway, Suite C-100, Doraville. 770-451-2888.

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Best Dim Sum

China Delight
With Canton House just emerging from renovation and Oriental Pearl transformed into a buffet, it might seem that CHINA DELIGHT would win the dim sum race by default alone. Yet just one visit and you’ll see that this spot does dim sum as the finest houses in Hong Kong do. In a glittery setting,more...

With Canton House just emerging from renovation and Oriental Pearl transformed into a buffet, it might seem that CHINA DELIGHT would win the dim sum race by default alone. Yet just one visit and you’ll see that this spot does dim sum as the finest houses in Hong Kong do. In a glittery setting, servers push carts loaded with steamed scallop dumplings, flaky taro cakes, creamy rice porridge and turnip cakes studded with sausage and griddled crisp. Don’t miss out on the magical tofu pudding, a custardy bowl of quavering tofu doused with a ginger-laced syrup.
2390 Chamblee-Tucker Road, Doraville. 770-986-0898.

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Best Falafel

Ali's Mediterranean
Although its name has changed and the interior has undergone a much-needed redecoration, ALI’S MEDITERRANEAN is still a one-man operation run by owner Fakhir Ali. Crunchy, earthy and deeply spiced, Ali’s falafel gained a devoted following when the restaurant was formerly known as Submore...

Although its name has changed and the interior has undergone a much-needed redecoration, ALI’S MEDITERRANEAN is still a one-man operation run by owner Fakhir Ali. Crunchy, earthy and deeply spiced, Ali’s falafel gained a devoted following when the restaurant was formerly known as Sub & Shish Kabob. Cram your pita with the shaped and fried-to-order falafel, lettuce and hummus or baba ghanoush and you will be amazed by just how glorious the seemingly lowly chickpea can be.
2825 E. College Ave., Avondale Estates. 404-297-0029.

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Best Fried Catfish

Geraldine's Fish & Grits
Few foods evoke a flood of memories in a Southerner as much as fried catfish. At GERALDINE’S FISH & GRITS, this flaky-tender favorite is delicately dusted with cornmeal and kissed with cayenne. Those who can’t eat their catfish without a helping of grits will be pleased to find thismore...
Few foods evoke a flood of memories in a Southerner as much as fried catfish. At GERALDINE’S FISH & GRITS, this flaky-tender favorite is delicately dusted with cornmeal and kissed with cayenne. Those who can’t eat their catfish without a helping of grits will be pleased to find this marriage beautifully consummated at Geraldine’s. Say yes to a sprinkling of cheese in your grits, and save room for catfish’s other best friend, hush puppies. less...

Best Ice Cream

Hank's
We’re blessed with some irresistible ice cream and gelato shops, but ever since we tasted the rose-petal ice cream at HANK’S last Valentine’s Day, we’ve been returning to this tiny shop across from Zoo Atlanta. Run by people who treat children with amazing patiencemore...

We’re blessed with some irresistible ice cream and gelato shops, but ever since we tasted the rose-petal ice cream at HANK’S last Valentine’s Day, we’ve been returning to this tiny shop across from Zoo Atlanta. Run by people who treat children with amazing patience — and there are always children at the shop — Hank’s is as big-hearted as it is generous with portions. Caramel-pecan is our routine selection. We didn’t know it was possible to get so many pecan halves in one scoop of ice cream. The banana-nut is also heavenly, though the butter-pecan seems to be everyone’s fave.
753-A Cherokee Ave. 404-622-0007.

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Best-Looking Waitstaff

Thompson Brothers Barbecue
The gosh-wow handsome brothers who own THOMPSON BROTHERS BARBECUE take your order, chop the saucy pork and ring you up with flawless, heartfelt smiles. Although their addictive smoked bologna surely has its legions of male fans, this place is pure eye candy for the ladies. Photos of the charming brothersmore...

The gosh-wow handsome brothers who own THOMPSON BROTHERS BARBECUE take your order, chop the saucy pork and ring you up with flawless, heartfelt smiles. Although their addictive smoked bologna surely has its legions of male fans, this place is pure eye candy for the ladies. Photos of the charming brothers adorn the walls, providing fodder for countless fantasies. One Thompson brother stands ready by an Air Force plane, zipped into a flight suit; another, muscles rippling, commands the field in a UGA football match. Denzel hasn’t got a chance.
2445 Cobb Parkway, Smyrna. 770-818-9098.

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Best Overall Restaurant

Bacchanalia Bacchanalia
BACCHANALIA continues to bedazzle as the consummate Atlanta fine dining destination. This town digs a little industrial grit with its foie gras terrine, so we love that Bacchanalia’s regal setting has its roots in a meatpacking plant. A savvy window separates the subtly elegant room from themore...
BACCHANALIA continues to bedazzle as the consummate Atlanta fine dining destination. This town digs a little industrial grit with its foie gras terrine, so we love that Bacchanalia’s regal setting has its roots in a meatpacking plant. A savvy window separates the subtly elegant room from the bustling kitchen, allowing us to satisfy our voyeuristic urges without shattering our eardrums. But it’s Clifford Harrison and Anne Quatrano’s accessibly seasonal food that really makes us yearn for a special occasion to celebrate. Sure, you can choose superlative signatures (blue crab fritter, poached chicken with summer truffles) from the oft-changing prix-fixe menu, but choose a dish like sweetbreads or celery-anchovy salad to sample the kitchen’s daring versatility. less...

Best Restaurant for a First Date

Pura Vida Pura Vida
Candlelight, cozy tables and sultry Latin music make PURA VIDA an especially good choice for a first date. Chicken-stuffed empanadas, cremini mushrooms in chipotle-garlic butter and tender hanger steak drizzled with chimichurri (bring mints if you’re planning to steal a kiss later) are all primemore...
Candlelight, cozy tables and sultry Latin music make PURA VIDA an especially good choice for a first date. Chicken-stuffed empanadas, cremini mushrooms in chipotle-garlic butter and tender hanger steak drizzled with chimichurri (bring mints if you’re planning to steal a kiss later) are all prime dishes for sharing. A mojito or two to take the edge off, and next thing you know, you’re feeding each other bites of ceviche. less...

Best Sandwich/Sub

Fabiano's Italian Deli
There’s so much to love at Midtown’s FABIANO’S ITALIAN DELI, but you can’t do any better than the “#1.” A double-fister of a sandwich, the #1 is a daunting stack of prosciutto, capicola and pepperoni with provolone or fresh mozzarella and paper-thinmore...

There’s so much to love at Midtown’s FABIANO’S ITALIAN DELI, but you can’t do any better than the “#1.” A double-fister of a sandwich, the #1 is a daunting stack of prosciutto, capicola and pepperoni with provolone or fresh mozzarella and paper-thin slices of tomato. Don’t count calories, just go with it. Eating this sandwich is a mood-altering experience — try it on one of our frequent rainy days.
985 Monroe Drive. 404-875-0500. www.fabianosdeli.com.

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Best Soul Food

Son's Place

Best Taco

El Rey Del Taco
Tacos — mini-tacos, no less — are king at EL REY DEL TACO. The hard-to-beat price of around $1 each allows you to munch on roasted goat, beef tongue and cheek for the same price as a pint of beer. In addition to these slightly exotic offerings, El Rey del Taco’s more familiarmore...
Tacos — mini-tacos, no less — are king at EL REY DEL TACO. The hard-to-beat price of around $1 each allows you to munch on roasted goat, beef tongue and cheek for the same price as a pint of beer. In addition to these slightly exotic offerings, El Rey del Taco’s more familiar favorites, such as the intensely beefy barbacoa, savory carnitas and pulled barbecued chicken, are equally outstanding. Bonus: The corn tortillas these fantastic little tacos are served on are pressed fresh to order. less...

Best Bakery

Bread Garden
Katharine Krasnow’s BREAD GARDEN is not the biggest bakery in town. But it’s been our favorite since it opened and instantly transferred 15 pounds of buttery raisin scones from the display case to our abdominal region. Krasnow, given to amiably chattering to herself after powderingmore...
Katharine Krasnow’s BREAD GARDEN is not the biggest bakery in town. But it’s been our favorite since it opened and instantly transferred 15 pounds of buttery raisin scones from the display case to our abdominal region. Krasnow, given to amiably chattering to herself after powdering her face with flour, treats bread as the living presence it is. Her raisin-nut bread makes beautiful music with many cheeses. Her country Italian loaf loves to become a sandwich. Her pastries? The safest sex we’ve ever had. less...

Best Cupcakes

West Egg Cafe West Egg Cafe
Cupcakes are springing up on more and more menus these days, but the best of the bunch can be found off Howell Mill at WEST EGG CAFE. This west sider offers two irresistible flavors — red velvet and Coca-Cola — though you’ll find other creations like Key lime and Hummingbirdmore...
Cupcakes are springing up on more and more menus these days, but the best of the bunch can be found off Howell Mill at WEST EGG CAFE. This west sider offers two irresistible flavors — red velvet and Coca-Cola — though you’ll find other creations like Key lime and Hummingbird in the mix as well. The cupcakes sell out quickly, so if you come across these frosted beauties, snatch one up while you can. Crowned with a mini-marshmallow, the brown-sugary Coca-Cola cupcake in particular hits the delights-of-childhood button. less...

Best Restaurant to Take Visitors

Two Urban Licks TWO urban licks
Eating at TWO URBAN LICKS is as much about the spectacle as it is about the meal. With so much competing for your attention — the frenzied bar, the giant rotisserie, the wall of windows overlooking the Midtown skyline — it’s easy to get swept up in the scene. Small plates withmore...
Eating at TWO URBAN LICKS is as much about the spectacle as it is about the meal. With so much competing for your attention — the frenzied bar, the giant rotisserie, the wall of windows overlooking the Midtown skyline — it’s easy to get swept up in the scene. Small plates with cheeky names like “lamb lollipops” are good for sharing and make great conversation starters, too. Atlanta may not have much in the way of tourist attractions, but an over-the-top dining spectacle like Two more than makes up for it. less...

Best Seafood

Kyma Kyma
“Where can we go for good seafood?” is the most common restaurant question we field. And we always have the answer: KYMA. The Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s finest accomplishment conjures owner Pano Karatassos’ Greek homeland with its gutsy fare and its suavely nauticalmore...
“Where can we go for good seafood?” is the most common restaurant question we field. And we always have the answer: KYMA. The Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s finest accomplishment conjures owner Pano Karatassos’ Greek homeland with its gutsy fare and its suavely nautical decor. You want fish? It’s flown in daily from the Mediterranean and simply grilled with olive oil and lemon to show off its resplendent freshness. Begin with wood-grilled octopus or prawns baked in tomato and ouzo with melted feta. You’ll fall so in love with this place that eventually you’ll work through the menu to the excellent braised lamb. But start with the seafood. less...

Best Steaks

Bones
BONES. The name says it all. Macho. Old school. Meat. When the primal urge arises to violate your wallet and spend a week’s pay on a gorgeous hunk of prime beef, this is your destination. Time travel to Sinatra’s heyday as the maitre d’ shows you to a table in the “dogmore...
BONES. The name says it all. Macho. Old school. Meat. When the primal urge arises to violate your wallet and spend a week’s pay on a gorgeous hunk of prime beef, this is your destination. Time travel to Sinatra’s heyday as the maitre d’ shows you to a table in the “dog room,” order a stiff Manhattan, and don’t fill up too much on shrimp cocktail or smoked salmon. There’s a gloriously marbled, 1-pound-plus steak being grilled in the kitchen with your name on it. We love the brawny New York strip and the rib eye most, though more delicate sensibilities will certainly enjoy the filet mignon. less...

Best Sunday Brunch

Watershed
WATERSHED is, and has been for the past several years, the final word in Sunday brunch. Airy, light-filled and baby-friendly, the dining room hosts families who gather over massive ham steaks and banana fritters with molten, custardy cores. It’s an excellent place to take friends and relativesmore...
WATERSHED is, and has been for the past several years, the final word in Sunday brunch. Airy, light-filled and baby-friendly, the dining room hosts families who gather over massive ham steaks and banana fritters with molten, custardy cores. It’s an excellent place to take friends and relatives from other regions for a genuine Southern breakfast. The pimiento cheese and extravagantly rich and creamy grits might send you right into a backyard hammock for the rest of the day, but no finer brunch can be had anywhere in the city. Period. less...

Best Sushi

MF Sushi
Atlantans can throw down on some sushi. We even snap up California rolls at Publix when we’re on the fly. But when it’s time to slow up and mindfully consume this gastronomic art form, we don our black and head to perpetually hip MF SUSHIBAR. Chris “Magic Fingers”more...
Atlantans can throw down on some sushi. We even snap up California rolls at Publix when we’re on the fly. But when it’s time to slow up and mindfully consume this gastronomic art form, we don our black and head to perpetually hip MF SUSHIBAR. Chris “Magic Fingers” Kinjo and his crew prepare sushi with reverence while brother Alex works the room (when he’s not overseeing their other stellar venture, Nam, that is). Try some unagi (smoked eel), a lithe slice or two of kampachi (young yellowtail) and splurge on o-toro (the pricy fatty tuna belly). Let the focused servers direct you to the freshest picks, but if the Godzilla roll is a special of the day? Wrestle that monster. less...

Best Chef and Best Resaurant When Someone Else is Paying

Guenter Seeger at Seeger's
Hey, why didn’t anyone tell us before that there’s a picture of GUENTER SEEGER in the dictionary next to the word “genius”? Not that we’re at all startled. The man has been enlightening Atlanta with his profound, nearly philosophical take on food since hismore...
Hey, why didn’t anyone tell us before that there’s a picture of GUENTER SEEGER in the dictionary next to the word “genius”? Not that we’re at all startled. The man has been enlightening Atlanta with his profound, nearly philosophical take on food since his days at the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. A recent meal in May at his current home, SEEGER’S, included think pieces like Kumamoto oysters with curried cream and fennel pollen, farm egg custard with maple syrup and trout caviar, and Seeger’s chocolate dream with coffee granite, cardamom cappuccino and Utah mountain salt. Of course, the price of such exquisite pleasure, including wine, tax and tip, often rings in around $500 for two. If you’re not a captain of industry or a trust-fund baby, better create a momentous event to fete next time that wealthy relative swings into town. less...

Best Coffeehouse

Joe's East Atlanta Coffee Shop
It’s a rare coffeehouse in Atlanta that serves an A-plus cup of java and features ambiance that wasn’t ordered from a corporate headquarters. But JOE’S EAST ATLANTA COFFEE SHOP succeeds at both. A truly diverse crowd displays itself in the retro, comfy furnishings. The baristasmore...

It’s a rare coffeehouse in Atlanta that serves an A-plus cup of java and features ambiance that wasn’t ordered from a corporate headquarters. But JOE’S EAST ATLANTA COFFEE SHOP succeeds at both. A truly diverse crowd displays itself in the retro, comfy furnishings. The baristas are well trained. The Wi-Fi is free and you don’t have to engage in genteel battle for an electrical outlet: There are plenty. You can hear live music now and then. You can buy a book for a buck. And, hey, it’s in funkadelic East Atlanta.
510 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-521-1122.

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Best Cuban

Las Palmeras
We lost our chance at the Pulitzer for investigative reporting when we announced earlier this year, quite wrongly, that LAS PALMERAS had closed. For once, we were glad to be wrong, because this tiny Midtown restaurant continues to serve the best home-style Cuban cooking in the city. We love the garlickymore...

We lost our chance at the Pulitzer for investigative reporting when we announced earlier this year, quite wrongly, that LAS PALMERAS had closed. For once, we were glad to be wrong, because this tiny Midtown restaurant continues to serve the best home-style Cuban cooking in the city. We love the garlicky masitas de puerco, the kinky Cuban-style fried chicken, the juicy boliche, the shredded ropa vieja and the fried yucca. Don’t expect Ricky Ricardo-style glamour. Las Palmeras couldn’t be plainer, but the patio is especially a great spot to meet friends for an inexpensive and savory meal.
368 Fifth St. 404-872-0846.

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Best Signature Cocktail

One Midtown Kitchen

Best Bar Food (Tie)

The Earl The EARL
488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950 www.badearl.com

Best Chef

Kevin Rathbun Rathbun's

Best Coffeehouse

Starbucks Coffee

Best Cookies

Alon’s Bakery and Market
1394 N. Highland Ave. 404-872-6000 www.alons.com

Best Cuban

Havana Sandwich Shop

Best Cupcakes

Belly General Store Belly General Store

Best Hamburger

The Vortex Bar & Grill

Best Italian

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Best Local Brew

Sweetwater Brewing Company

Best Restaurant to Bring the Kids

Chuck E. Cheese’s

Best Veggie Burger

The Vortex Bar & Grill

Best Bakery

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Best Carryout Food

eatZi’s Market and Bakery eatZi's Market and Bakery

Best Chinese

Chin Chin

Best Japanese

Ru-San’s Ru-San's

Best Mexican

Nuevo Laredo Cantina Nuevo Laredo Cantina

Best New OTP Restaurant

Trattoria Monaco
5530 Windward Parkway, Suite 250, Alpharetta 770-664-0056 www.trattoriamonaco.com

Best Bar Food (Tie

The Vortex Bar & Grill

Best Burrito

Willy’s Mexicana Grill Willy's Mexicana Grill

Best Deli

Jason’s Deli

Best Desserts

Cafe Intermezzo Caf

Best Korean (Tie

Hae Woon Dae

Best Korean (Tie

Mirror of Korea

Best Kosher

Broadway Cafe
2166 Briarcliff Road 404-329-0888

Best-Looking Waitstaff (Tie

Hooter’s

Best Meat and Three

Mary Mac’s Tea Room Mary Mac's Tea Room

Best New Intown Restaurant

Two Urban Licks
820 Ralph McGill Blvd. 404-522-4622 www.twourbanlicks.com

Best Overall Restaurant

Rathbun’s Rathbun's

Best Soul Food

Soul Vegetarian

Best Waitstaff

Einstein’s
1077 Juniper St. 404-876-7925 www.einsteinsatlanta.com

Best Appetizers

Cafe Tu Tu Tango
220 Pharr Road 404-841-6222 www.cafetututango.c
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Best Signature Cocktail

Eclipse di Sol Cafe 640
Poised beneath the Highland Inn, ECLIPSE DI SOL is as equally suited for party couples to launch their evenings as it is for same duos to radiate bed-head and post-coital bliss. And the drink that will impress that special someone the night before and/or help revive them the morning after is the mint-garnishedmore...
Poised beneath the Highland Inn, ECLIPSE DI SOL is as equally suited for party couples to launch their evenings as it is for same duos to radiate bed-head and post-coital bliss. And the drink that will impress that special someone the night before and/or help revive them the morning after is the mint-garnished GRAPEFRUIT AND ROSEWATER MARTINI. Sugary yet tart, this adult martini features a discernible floral bouquet that can cut through the smell of last night’s clothes like sex musk. In other words, it brings a dewy grin to your face. less...

Best Signature Cocktail

One Midtown Kitchen

Best Thai

Tamarind
The carefully crafted cuisine at sweetly plain TAMARIND has a memorable complexity, even though it’s not giddily garnished with an orchid spray, a la Tamarind’s nearby swanky sister, Nan. Much of the food appears on the surface to be the same as you find in the countless Thai restaurantsmore...
The carefully crafted cuisine at sweetly plain TAMARIND has a memorable complexity, even though it’s not giddily garnished with an orchid spray, a la Tamarind’s nearby swanky sister, Nan. Much of the food appears on the surface to be the same as you find in the countless Thai restaurants in Atlanta — nua nam tok, basil rolls, pad Thai — but, believe us, one taste will quickly dispel your long-held belief that all Thai food tastes the same. less...

Best Bar Food (Tie)

The Earl The EARL
488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950 www.badearl.com

Best Biscuits

Pastries a go-go
PASTRIES A GO-GO has located to sunnier digs across the street from its original location on Ponce, and now the weekend breakfast line ripples even farther out the door. Famished? Here’s a tip: Fight your way to the counter and order a biscuit with sausage, egg and cheese to go. In less thanmore...
PASTRIES A GO-GO has located to sunnier digs across the street from its original location on Ponce, and now the weekend breakfast line ripples even farther out the door. Famished? Here’s a tip: Fight your way to the counter and order a biscuit with sausage, egg and cheese to go. In less than five minutes you’ll have a fluffy, flaxen beauty in your hands that is layered with just the right amount of wake-you-up ingredients. Just don’t smirk too broadly as you dodge envious looks on your way out the door. less...

Best Breakfast

Radial Cafe Radial Cafe
Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, not cutthroat. RADIAL CAFE is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table isn’t a professional sport. The space is cozy but not too cramped, and funky art on the walls could perk up even the most bleary-eyed night owl. Don’tmore...
Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, not cutthroat. RADIAL CAFE is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table isn’t a professional sport. The space is cozy but not too cramped, and funky art on the walls could perk up even the most bleary-eyed night owl. Don’t miss the hearty buckwheat pancakes and the giant breakfast burrito topped with spicy salsa, black beans and a drizzle of sour cream. less...

Best Burger

U.S. Cafe Express U.S. Cafe Express
Diehard burger fiends in the know agree that the best versions of this most American of all meals can be had at U.S. CAFE EXPRESS. Beef burgers — available as hearty single combinations (with the usual topping suspects of lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon) or as hefty, gotta-squash-’emmore...
Diehard burger fiends in the know agree that the best versions of this most American of all meals can be had at U.S. CAFE EXPRESS. Beef burgers — available as hearty single combinations (with the usual topping suspects of lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon) or as hefty, gotta-squash-’em doubles — deliver pure red-meat gratification. But it’s the turkey burgers that are unexpectedly supreme. The thick, juicy burgers are as rich as their beef brethren and as satisfying to your meat-craving animal heart, but almost completely fat free. Until you slather them with mayo, that is. less...

Best Chef

Kevin Rathbun Rathbun's

Best Coffeehouse

Starbucks Coffee

Best Cookies

Alon’s Bakery and Market
1394 N. Highland Ave. 404-872-6000 www.alons.com

Best Cuban

Havana Sandwich Shop

Best Cupcakes

Belly General Store Belly General Store

Best Expense Account Lunch

Nan Thai Fine Dining
How can you tell where the power brokers dine? Check out a restaurant’s parking lot around noon. If the cheapest car on the blacktop is a 3-year-old Mercedes Benz, you’ve got a mergers-and-acquisitions-over-lunch winner. The cars driven off by the valet look mighty shiny at NAN THAImore...

How can you tell where the power brokers dine? Check out a restaurant’s parking lot around noon. If the cheapest car on the blacktop is a 3-year-old Mercedes Benz, you’ve got a mergers-and-acquisitions-over-lunch winner. The cars driven off by the valet look mighty shiny at NAN THAI FINE DINING, where Midtown movers and shakers rub Brooks Brothers-suited shoulders over lovely Thai cuisine. Prices are the same day and night, with entrees running up to $32. Elegantly understated yet thoroughly royal, Nan’s dining room is the perfect spot for those who like to make people listen by whispering, not shouting.
1350 Spring St. 404-870-9933.

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Best French Fries

Woodfire Grill Woodfire Grill
French fries are hot right now, have you noticed? And not just at the city’s burgeoning burger joints: Every serious eatery around seems to be slicing potatoes into sticks and cranking up the deep fryer. But we can eat Michael Tuohy’s meaty, crispy/floppy pommes frites at WOODFIRE GRILLmore...

French fries are hot right now, have you noticed? And not just at the city’s burgeoning burger joints: Every serious eatery around seems to be slicing potatoes into sticks and cranking up the deep fryer. But we can eat Michael Tuohy’s meaty, crispy/floppy pommes frites at WOODFIRE GRILL by the fistfuls (and have, unfortunately). Though typically served with his succulent roasted chicken and steel pan greens, if you ask nicely the staff will bring you a side of frites and a bit of aioli for dipping. Somehow they seem to complement most everything on Tuohy’s kaleidoscopically seasonal menu.
1782 Cheshire Bridge Road. 404-347-9055. www.woodfiregrill.com.

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Best FrouFrou Martini

Roy's Hawaiian Martini

Best Hamburger

The Vortex Bar & Grill

Best Italian

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Best Local Brew

Sweetwater Brewing Company

Best Mexican

Taqueria La Oaxaquena

Best Mojito

Park 75 Lounge and Terrace
As if the Cuban drink-of-the-moment didn’t go down easily enough in its classic mint-and-rum incarnation, the passion fruit mojito at the PARK 75 LOUNGE AND TERRACE is an addictive wonder. The refreshing elixir features passion fruit puree, dark rum, mint and soda for one of the best combinationsmore...

As if the Cuban drink-of-the-moment didn’t go down easily enough in its classic mint-and-rum incarnation, the passion fruit mojito at the PARK 75 LOUNGE AND TERRACE is an addictive wonder. The refreshing elixir features passion fruit puree, dark rum, mint and soda for one of the best combinations since vodka, limes and tonic. Smooth as they may be, the mojitos are also deceptively potent. Best to take delicate sips of this heavenly nectar while seeing and being seen at the Four Seasons’ swanky, newly remodeled lounge.
Four Seasons, 75 14 St. 404-881-9898. www.fourseasons.com.

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Best Restaurant to Bring the Kids

Chuck E. Cheese’s

Best Tapas

Pura Vida Pura Vida
Hey, do y’all know where the tapas craze originally came from? They were invented by the Spanish as an inexpensive taste to accompany wine. There are classic, straightforward tapas — a taste of serrano ham, for example — but tapas are often playful experiments, too, and thusmore...

Hey, do y’all know where the tapas craze originally came from? They were invented by the Spanish as an inexpensive taste to accompany wine. There are classic, straightforward tapas — a taste of serrano ham, for example — but tapas are often playful experiments, too, and thus also reflect contemporary tastes. The closest we get to real Spanish style is PURA VIDA. Chef Hector Santiago’s menu is pan-Hispanic as well as Spanish, including everything from earthy Peruvian mofongo and Chilean salmon ceviche to Spanish omelets with pearl onion confit and a kinky Mex-style shrimp cocktail with calabaza squash and coconut-ginger habanero sauce.
656 N. Highland Ave. 404-870-9797. www.puravidatapas.com.

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Best Veggie Burger

The Vortex Bar & Grill

Best 24-hour Restaurant

Majestic Diner Majestic Diner
For all the debauchery and bleary-eyed clubbing that ordering a plate of hash browns at 4 a.m. entails, THE MAJESTIC is the only place to go. However, um, altered a state you might be in, the seasoned waitresses have seen it all. Delightfully greasy burgers, eggs, grits and other diner favorites stavemore...
For all the debauchery and bleary-eyed clubbing that ordering a plate of hash browns at 4 a.m. entails, THE MAJESTIC is the only place to go. However, um, altered a state you might be in, the seasoned waitresses have seen it all. Delightfully greasy burgers, eggs, grits and other diner favorites stave off oncoming hangovers and settle woozy, boozy tummies. Stone-cold sober? This Atlanta institution can provide all the inspiration you need to write that picaresque novel. less...

Best Bakery

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Best Barbecue

Swallow at the Hollow
The folks at SWALLOW AT THE HOLLOW may not be purists, but that’s the reason we crave their ’cue. The chopped pork, scrumptious without any adornment, can be dressed up with three vastly different regional sauces (the South Carolina mustard gets slathered most thickly on our pig). Themore...
The folks at SWALLOW AT THE HOLLOW may not be purists, but that’s the reason we crave their ’cue. The chopped pork, scrumptious without any adornment, can be dressed up with three vastly different regional sauces (the South Carolina mustard gets slathered most thickly on our pig). The mac-n-cheese has a gutsy crust, and the Brunswick stew hums with porcine goodness. Vegetarians, you even reading this? Swallow has one of finest sandwiches in the state for you: smoked portabella with gouda and fried green tomatoes. It might even make the carnivores covetous. less...

Best Bar Food

The Earl The EARL
Fattening, messy, burger-centric: These are all the things good bar food should be about. And it’s exactly what THE EARL dishes out while some of the area’s best bands crowd the hyper-popular East Atlanta spot. Not only do the staffers serve up chili dogs and burgers that cushion themore...

Fattening, messy, burger-centric: These are all the things good bar food should be about. And it’s exactly what THE EARL dishes out while some of the area’s best bands crowd the hyper-popular East Atlanta spot. Not only do the staffers serve up chili dogs and burgers that cushion the belly for a long evening out, but their rockin’ brunch is heaven-sent if your Saturday night lasted well into Sunday morning. The steak sandwich loaded with peppers, onions, provolone and mushrooms is as much sloppy fun as making out in one of the bar’s dark booths.
488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.

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Best Carryout Food

eatZi’s Market and Bakery eatZi's Market and Bakery

Best Chinese

Chin Chin

Best Comfort Food

What a Crock!
A woman we know going through a tough divorce swears the chicken potpie at WHAT A CROCK! saved her sanity. Indeed, the super-rich, flaky-crusted pies are better than a kiss on the forehead from Mom during times when only a hot, bubbling-from-the-oven dinner and “Sex and the City” rerunsmore...

A woman we know going through a tough divorce swears the chicken potpie at WHAT A CROCK! saved her sanity. Indeed, the super-rich, flaky-crusted pies are better than a kiss on the forehead from Mom during times when only a hot, bubbling-from-the-oven dinner and “Sex and the City” reruns will do. Loaded with white meat chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas, the pies are available in quarters or halves for those wishing to exercise more restraint. The more psychically distressed can order whole pies a day in advance to be reheated at home while you hide under your blanket.
406 Church St., Decatur. 404-687-3311.

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Best Fried Chicken

Watershed
We might as well retire this category — at least until WATERSHED stops offering its Tuesday night fried chicken special (which we pray won’t be anytime soon). Who else will ever possibly win? Executive chef Scott Peacock’s signature dish is a masterwork of Southern traditionmore...
We might as well retire this category — at least until WATERSHED stops offering its Tuesday night fried chicken special (which we pray won’t be anytime soon). Who else will ever possibly win? Executive chef Scott Peacock’s signature dish is a masterwork of Southern tradition developed with his mentor, Edna Lewis. The bird is brined, soaked in buttermilk and then fried in lard that has been flavored with bacon. With mashed taters, garlicky green beans and biscuits with honey, it’s Dixie on a plate, y’all. Just remember to show up by 8 p.m. before they run out. less...

Best Indian

Madras Saravana Bhavan

Best Japanese

Soto Japanese Restaurant
A year after the exultant reopening of SOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT, chef/owner Sotohiro Kosugi recently made another intriguing change to his Japanese fusion format. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to the classic a la carte format of pristine sushi and wild creations like lobster in a lotusmore...
A year after the exultant reopening of SOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT, chef/owner Sotohiro Kosugi recently made another intriguing change to his Japanese fusion format. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to the classic a la carte format of pristine sushi and wild creations like lobster in a lotus root cage. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant now serves a multi-, MULTI-course meal of mind-opening dishes (think many small tastes of brilliance). Personally? We’d rather dodge the pandemonium and come for the weekend prix-fixe meals. Sotohiro is certainly more relaxed then. less...

Best Japanese

Ru-San’s Ru-San's

Best Korean

Hae Woon Dae
Several terrific Korean soup shops exist around town, but when we crave Korean barbecue, we head to HAE WOON DAE. Located in a shopping center that includes the city’s only porn theater, this restaurant stays open later than any other in town — until 6 a.m. You cook your selected meatmore...
Several terrific Korean soup shops exist around town, but when we crave Korean barbecue, we head to HAE WOON DAE. Located in a shopping center that includes the city’s only porn theater, this restaurant stays open later than any other in town — until 6 a.m. You cook your selected meat — everything from highly seasoned tripe and mackerel to chicken, short ribs and classic bulgogi beef — at your table, over a grill in which an attendant dumps red-hot charcoal. Take friends. It’s a great place for a party. less...

Best Local Brew

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale
TERRAPIN RYE PALE ALE was first introduced in Athens in April 2002 at the Classic City Brew Fest. Later that year, it won an American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Suddenly, everyone wanted a taste of Terrapin. The beer’s distinctive flavor comes from rye added tomore...

TERRAPIN RYE PALE ALE was first introduced in Athens in April 2002 at the Classic City Brew Fest. Later that year, it won an American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Suddenly, everyone wanted a taste of Terrapin. The beer’s distinctive flavor comes from rye added to the hops and malts in the brewing process. The result is a fruity, refreshing brew. You can’t find Terrapin everywhere — only a handful of Atlanta spots carry it, the Vortex, Meehan’s and Smith’s Olde Bar among them — but it’s worth hunting for.
www.terrapinbeer.com.

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Best Male Actors

Cast of Take Me Out
No single male performance knocked it out of the park like the CAST OF TAKE ME OUT at Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage. The nine-man team included the seemingly ubiquitous Daniel May, local stalwarts such as Brik Berkes and Isma’il ibn Conner, the reliably hilarious Matthew Myersmore...
No single male performance knocked it out of the park like the CAST OF TAKE ME OUT at Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage. The nine-man team included the seemingly ubiquitous Daniel May, local stalwarts such as Brik Berkes and Isma’il ibn Conner, the reliably hilarious Matthew Myers and Bill Murphey, and relative rookies Brandon Dirden and Travis Young, who reached new career highs. As the diverse members of a scandal-plagued baseball team, Take Me Out’s all-star ensemble even managed to upstage its own shower scenes. less...

Best Mexican

Nuevo Laredo Cantina Nuevo Laredo Cantina

Best Middle Eastern

Imperial Fez
At IMPERIAL FEZ, chef/owner Rafih Benjelloun asks you to take off your shoes, lounge on pillows on the floor and eat his multicourse, prix-fixe Moroccan cuisine with your hands. While you eat sweet-savory b’stella and a fragrant tagine — the most authentic in the city — bellymore...
At IMPERIAL FEZ, chef/owner Rafih Benjelloun asks you to take off your shoes, lounge on pillows on the floor and eat his multicourse, prix-fixe Moroccan cuisine with your hands. While you eat sweet-savory b’stella and a fragrant tagine — the most authentic in the city — belly dancers undulate about you, candles balanced on their heads. You’ll be tempted to good-naturedly pull out your water gun and use the candles for target practice. less...

Best New OTP Restaurant

Trattoria Monaco
5530 Windward Parkway, Suite 250, Alpharetta 770-664-0056 www.trattoriamonaco.com

Best Patio Dining

Piebar
Thank God someone finally did something interesting with the futuristic Trust Company bank branch that’s been decaying on Monroe for a decade. Local restaurateur Bob Amick has re-imagined the flying saucer-like building as chic pizzeria PIEBAR. The adjoining patio is particularly eye-catching.more...

Thank God someone finally did something interesting with the futuristic Trust Company bank branch that’s been decaying on Monroe for a decade. Local restaurateur Bob Amick has re-imagined the flying saucer-like building as chic pizzeria PIEBAR. The adjoining patio is particularly eye-catching. The building’s original drive-thru “pods” are now rooftop dining, covered by a giant white circus tent. At night, blue and purple lights illuminate the tent, creating an ethereal and undeniably glamorous vibe.
2160 Monroe Drive. 404-815-1605. www.piebar.com.

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