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Best Of Atlanta 2009 Oral Pleasures Large


Oral Pleasures

Best chef

Linton Hopkins Restaurant Eugene

Best Chinese

Tasty China Tasty China
Like many Chinese restaurants, TASTY CHINA has gone through numerous chefs and staff changes — the charmingly abrasive hostess Phuong departed this year under mysterious circumstances. But, like a phoenix, the Marietta Szechuan restaurant manages to rise triumphant from every transition. Skipmore...
Like many Chinese restaurants, TASTY CHINA has gone through numerous chefs and staff changes — the charmingly abrasive hostess Phuong departed this year under mysterious circumstances. But, like a phoenix, the Marietta Szechuan restaurant manages to rise triumphant from every transition. Skip the “American” menu and go straight for the good stuff — anything made with Sichuan peppercorns. The french fry-like batons of dry-fried eggplant are as crispy and addictive as ever. The “Shan City chicken” — a pile of boneless or bone-in chicken fried to a crisp with toasted peppercorns and dried red chilis — will have your mouth tingling long after you depart. If the heat is too much to bare, dishes such as the “Slice fish and sour cabbage soup” — a silky and tangy broth swimming with tender pieces of white fish — are mild enough for tamer palates without sacrificing any of the wow factor. 585 Franklin Road, Marietta. 770-419-9849. less...

Best Japanese and Best sushi

Sushi House Hayakawa
SUSHI HOUSE HAYAKAWA is one of those rare Japanese restaurants that does exceptionally well on two fronts: The sushi and sashimi is expertly cut, fresh and fabulous, and the hard-to-find home-style Japanese dishes and nightly specials elevate Hayakawa to destination-restaurant status. Golden-fried squidmore...
SUSHI HOUSE HAYAKAWA is one of those rare Japanese restaurants that does exceptionally well on two fronts: The sushi and sashimi is expertly cut, fresh and fabulous, and the hard-to-find home-style Japanese dishes and nightly specials elevate Hayakawa to destination-restaurant status. Golden-fried squid legs served with Japanese mayo, crispy croquettes with a creamy center, roasted gingko nuts, seductively slippery seaweed salads and an assortment of noodle dishes are perfect with an ice-cold carafe of sake from the restaurant’s small, but excellent selection. 5979 Buford Highway. 770-986-0010. www.atlantasushibar.com. less...

Best restaurant for late-night dining

Taqueria El Rey Del Taco
Finding something to eat in the wee hours of the morning can be a tough task if greasy spoons aren’t your thing. But Buford Highway has plenty of ethnic options serving food designed to soak up for a belly full of alcohol. TAQUERIA EL REY DEL TACO is one of the best taquerias in Atlanta thatmore...
Finding something to eat in the wee hours of the morning can be a tough task if greasy spoons aren’t your thing. But Buford Highway has plenty of ethnic options serving food designed to soak up for a belly full of alcohol. TAQUERIA EL REY DEL TACO is one of the best taquerias in Atlanta that just so happens to be open daily from 10 to 5 a.m. Handmade tortillas, an abundance of taco fillings, large seafood cocktails and some stellar salsa with serious kick are just as good at 4 in the morning as they are at lunchtime. And the occasional group of rowdy Latina drag queens only adds to the already colorful scenery. 5288 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-986-0032. less...

Filthy Pick: Best recession dining deal

Shaun’s Restaurant
SHAUN’S RESTAURANT has been a favorite Inman Park hangout since it opened in 2007. But chef Shaun Doty’s recent debut of his family-friendly Sunday night pasta dinners has lured droves of new customers and long-time regulars alike. For a mere $12, diners receive a three-course meal, which includesmore...
SHAUN’S RESTAURANT has been a favorite Inman Park hangout since it opened in 2007. But chef Shaun Doty’s recent debut of his family-friendly Sunday night pasta dinners has lured droves of new customers and long-time regulars alike. For a mere $12, diners receive a three-course meal, which includes a family-style salad, a heaping portion of pasta from a handful of choices — the spaghetti and meatballs may be Atlanta’s best — and a dessert. Affordable carafes of extremely drinkable wine selections are sold by the half-liter or liter. The rest of the menu is also available, but why bother when you can get such great food on the cheap? 1029 Edgewood Ave. 404-577-4358. www.shaunsrestaurant.com. less...

Best French

Au Rendez Vous
For all the upscale, high-falutin’ French places in town, our favorite is the decidedly homey AU RENDEZ VOUS, tucked into a residential neighborhood in Brookhaven. The cash-only, Vietnamese-owned restaurant serves exactly the kind of food you’d find in a real working-class French neighborhoodmore...
For all the upscale, high-falutin’ French places in town, our favorite is the decidedly homey AU RENDEZ VOUS, tucked into a residential neighborhood in Brookhaven. The cash-only, Vietnamese-owned restaurant serves exactly the kind of food you’d find in a real working-class French neighborhood – traditional recipes cooked with love. You won’t go wrong with any of the crepe appetizers, or rich, hearty meat entrees (try the rabbit cooked with red wine). The diminutive prices and feeling of eating in someone’s jumbled living room only add to the appeal. 1328 Windsor Parkway. 404-343-4983. less...

Best restaurant trend

Offal
Mmm, livers. Yuumm, tripe. Sweetbreads? Oh, yeah. More and more restaurants are jumping on the OFFAL bandwagon, and that’s just fine with us. While many upscale restaurants (as well as ethnic spots) have been serving organ meats for years, the past year has seen an explosion in whole-animalmore...
Mmm, livers. Yuumm, tripe. Sweetbreads? Oh, yeah. More and more restaurants are jumping on the OFFAL bandwagon, and that’s just fine with us. While many upscale restaurants (as well as ethnic spots) have been serving organ meats for years, the past year has seen an explosion in whole-animal cooking, most notably at Holeman & Finch Public House and at Abattoir, the new restaurant from Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. The good news is that the public seems to be gobbling it up with gusto, meaning this is a delicious trend that’s not going away anytime soon. Chicken hearts, anyone? Yes, please … . less...

Best steaks

When chef Laurent Tourondel’s Atlanta outpost of his successful New York restaurant opened, people were skeptical that any Frenchman could make a steak better than our local institutions. But BLT STEAK (short for Bistro Laurent Tourondel) does beef proud. The restaurant’s blazing-hot oven broilsmore...
When chef Laurent Tourondel’s Atlanta outpost of his successful New York restaurant opened, people were skeptical that any Frenchman could make a steak better than our local institutions. But BLT STEAK (short for Bistro Laurent Tourondel) does beef proud. The restaurant’s blazing-hot oven broils each steak — the New York strip is tops — until the surface is caramelized and crispy with char. Each steak is served in a sizzling cast iron pan, topped with a round of herbed butter and pierced with a whimsical plastic cow pick indicating its temperature. The long list of sides changes daily, but the gooey perfection of the potato gratin must be ordered when available. Chef Tourondel’s signature complimentary Gruyere popovers arrive piping hot from the oven alongside soft butter and an oversized metal salt shaker. 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. (inside the W Atlanta downtown). 404-577-7601. www.bltrestaurants.com. less...

Best brunch and Best burger

Holeman and Finch Public House Holeman and Finch Public House
Every night at 10, HOLEMAN AND & FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE begins serving the famous Holeman burger. Only 25 are made each day, and if you get there past, oh say, 10:02, you’re likely to have missed out. People go nuts for this burger, and for good reason – it hints at all the childhood comfortmore...
Every night at 10, HOLEMAN AND & FINCH PUBLIC HOUSE begins serving the famous Holeman burger. Only 25 are made each day, and if you get there past, oh say, 10:02, you’re likely to have missed out. People go nuts for this burger, and for good reason – it hints at all the childhood comfort of a regular fast-food burger, but it’s made with the best ingredients, combining the two powerful forces of nostalgia and good taste. Even if you’re no night owl, there’s hope for you to get your hands on one of these beauties – the restaurant serves it in almost unlimited quantities at Sunday brunch, and you can even get one to go from the host. But the burger isn’t the only reason to visit for brunch – other Sunday fare is just as good, including the city’s best (moist, hulking, flavorful) pancakes. 2277 Peachtree Road. 404-948-1175. www.holeman-finch.com. less...

Best ice cream

Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream & Desserts
In the year since opening, MORELLI’S GOURMET ICE CREAM & DESSERTS has gained national attention, being listed in Bon Appetite as one of the top 10 ice cream stores in the country. And for good reason – the constantly rotating list of ice creams, sorbets and now gelatos are as creativemore...
In the year since opening, MORELLI’S GOURMET ICE CREAM & DESSERTS has gained national attention, being listed in Bon Appetite as one of the top 10 ice cream stores in the country. And for good reason – the constantly rotating list of ice creams, sorbets and now gelatos are as creative as they are delicious. Standard flavors, such as strawberry and chocolate, are fantastic, but look out for the wackier concoctions that come and go. Recent winners have been the chocolate and Guinness ice cream and the peach champagne gelato. 749 Moreland Ave. 404-622-0210.www.morellisicecream.com. less...

Best Mexican

La Oaxaquena Taqueria
Dining at LA OAXAQUENA TAQUERIA used to sometimes be difficult because of the limited seating. But the restaurant has moved to an expansive new location where there’s plenty of seating and parking. The salsa and condiment bar is full of the same pristine choices. The sopes have the requisitemore...
Dining at LA OAXAQUENA TAQUERIA used to sometimes be difficult because of the limited seating. But the restaurant has moved to an expansive new location where there’s plenty of seating and parking. The salsa and condiment bar is full of the same pristine choices. The sopes have the requisite qualities of greatness — a crispy crust, soft masa center and fresh toppings. And there are tacos galore. But the restaurant’s famous tlayudas — a specialty of Oaxaca resembling a large pizza made with a crunchy tortilla base and topped with chewy strings of Oaxacan cheese — are impossible to pass up. 605 Mt. Zion Road, Jonesboro. 770-960-3010. less...

Best pizza

Pizzeria Fortunato Pizzeria Fortunato
Pizza is one of the most convenient comfort foods. And like most comfort foods, people’s pie loyalties are extremely personal. Consistency, however, is a common expectation. Over the past few years, PIZZERIA FORTUNATO has proven itself as a reliable and excellent New York-style pizza joint. The classicmore...
Pizza is one of the most convenient comfort foods. And like most comfort foods, people’s pie loyalties are extremely personal. Consistency, however, is a common expectation. Over the past few years, PIZZERIA FORTUNATO has proven itself as a reliable and excellent New York-style pizza joint. The classic Neapolitan pizza never disappoints. They are massive, which means each person gets that trademark length and girth of a NYC street slice. The crust has the ideal balance of saltiness, sweetness, crunch and tug. The concentrated acid of tomato in the sauce and strings of chewy mozzarella cheese complete the harmony of pizza perfection. And Fortunato’s passes the day-after test with flying colors — chilled or room temperature. 5350 United Drive, Smyrna. 770-432-7454. www.pizzeriafortunato.com. less...

Best restaurant design

Livingston
The massive redo of the Georgian Terrace hotel gave Atlanta a chic place to stay in the heart of Midtown, but it also gave us one of the most stunningly beautiful new restaurants to come along in years. Design company the Puccini Group gave LIVINGSTON all the old-world glamour of the original space andmore...
The massive redo of the Georgian Terrace hotel gave Atlanta a chic place to stay in the heart of Midtown, but it also gave us one of the most stunningly beautiful new restaurants to come along in years. Design company the Puccini Group gave LIVINGSTON all the old-world glamour of the original space and updated it just enough to make a vintage-modern masterpiece of a dining room. High ceilings, columns, and wrought iron flank the main dining room with its comfortable, modern leather chairs. The stunning bar area is all marble and swanky velvet banquettes. And the patio, facing the Fox Theatre and decked out with fat wicker club chairs and canvas umbrellas, is the height of sophistication. 659 Peachtree St. 404-897-5000. www.livingstonatlanta.com. less...

Best soul food

Busy Bee Cafe Busy Bee Cafe
The term “soul food” refers to more than just fried chicken and greens. It’s the feeling behind the cooking and the pulse of the restaurant. Atlanta has loads of places that make great soul food, but there’s a reason BUSY BEE CAFE is always packed with a line out the door. The placemore...
The term “soul food” refers to more than just fried chicken and greens. It’s the feeling behind the cooking and the pulse of the restaurant. Atlanta has loads of places that make great soul food, but there’s a reason BUSY BEE CAFE is always packed with a line out the door. The place has history, heart and damn fine food. Any of the fried items — such as pork chops, chicken and fish — are crackly and full of flavor. A serving of baked chicken with hot gravy and a corn muffin exudes the coziness of your mom’s cooking when you can’t get the real thing. And the long, long, long list of side dishes provides more than enough choice for the pickiest of folks. Hot cobbler is made with seasonal fruit when it’s available, but the brightly colored slices of homemade cake at the register are a great takeaway for a sugary snack. 810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 404-525-9212. www.thebusybeecafe.com. less...

Best Thai

Spoon Spoon
Whether you’re a lover of smooth red, fiery green or mellow yellow, it’s easy to appreciate the balance of heat — and heart — that goes into each of the curries at SPOON. And while we can gush all day about the addictive qualities of the Kang Dang with tofu or themore...
Whether you’re a lover of smooth red, fiery green or mellow yellow, it’s easy to appreciate the balance of heat — and heart — that goes into each of the curries at SPOON. And while we can gush all day about the addictive qualities of the Kang Dang with tofu or the Panang with shrimp, Spoon’s noodles and specials (most notably the soft shell crabs) manage to live up to the hype that’s hogged by the signature curry dishes. Lucky for the residents of Ormewood Park, Grant Park and East Atlanta, 2009 saw the arrival of Spoon’s Eastside location, meaning they now have to-die-for Massaman within stumbling distance. 768 Marietta St., 404-522-5655; 749 Moreland Ave., 404-624-4713. www.spoonatlanta.com. less...

Best barbecue

We’ve always liked ROLLING BONES, but since chef Todd Richards took over, our affections have grown. Richards has updated the ’cue – the sandwiches are less sloppy, the meat has more of the limelight – and is serving some seriously cool new items, including duck barbecuemore...
We’ve always liked ROLLING BONES, but since chef Todd Richards took over, our affections have grown. Richards has updated the ’cue – the sandwiches are less sloppy, the meat has more of the limelight – and is serving some seriously cool new items, including duck barbecue and smoked trout. Sides have also been given special consideration – the creamy potato salad with Benton’s bacon has just the right mix of creaminess, smoke from the bacon and celery crunch, with none of the sugary undertones of lesser potato salads. Don’t miss the duck sandwich with fig preserves. 377 Edgewood Ave. 404-222-2324.www.rollingbonesbbq.com. less...

Best Korean

Honey Pig
For many years, Atlantans equated Korean barbecue with beef and only beef. But HONEY PIG changed everything. This Duluth restaurant is all about the pork — especially the belly. The prices may seem high, but don’t fret. That price includes a gluttonous amount of food. Instead of a regularmore...
For many years, Atlantans equated Korean barbecue with beef and only beef. But HONEY PIG changed everything. This Duluth restaurant is all about the pork — especially the belly. The prices may seem high, but don’t fret. That price includes a gluttonous amount of food. Instead of a regular grill grate, the servers cook the meat on a sizzling-hot cast iron dome with butter. The meat — which comes with a load of side dishes and wrappers — is followed by bean sprouts tossed with chili paste, mushrooms and fermented cabbage. At the end of the meal, a long piece of octopus is curled around the tip of the dome, and snipped to pieces before being tossed with a large bowl of rice and the remaining bits of meat and vegetables. Best. Fried. Rice. Ever. 3473 Old Norcross Road, Duluth. 770-476-9292. less...

Best sandwiches

Muss & Turner’s
Chefs Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner have managed to do the impossible – get people to drive from intown Atlanta to Smyrna for sandwiches. But the sandwiches at MUSS & TURNER’S are no joke. The chefs use only the best ingredients — always local when possible — and cookmore...
Chefs Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner have managed to do the impossible – get people to drive from intown Atlanta to Smyrna for sandwiches. But the sandwiches at MUSS & TURNER’S are no joke. The chefs use only the best ingredients — always local when possible — and cook them extremely conscientiously. The creations are playful works of art large enough for the heartiest of appetites. You’d think these guys don’t take themselves too seriously with sandwich names like “Insult to Philly,” but you know they mean business when you see the ingredient list. Shaved Wagyu Kamado roasted beef with an au jus that takes 60 hours to prepare? Sold. Oh, and the “Chocolate Elvis” — griddled chocolate challah bread stuffed with natural peanut butter, premium chocolate and bananas — is both vegetarian- and sweet-fiend friendly. 1675 Cumberland Parkway, Smyrna. 770-434-1114.www.mussandturners.com. less...

Best vegetarian

Dynamic Dish

Rich Pick: Best overall restaurant

Bacchanalia Bacchanalia
Atlanta dining just keeps getting better, but BACCHANALIA still reigns supreme as the standard-bearer for excellence in the city. Chef/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison and executive chef Daniel Porubiansky are turning out extraordinarily refined food that retains the Southern roots of its local,more...
Atlanta dining just keeps getting better, but BACCHANALIA still reigns supreme as the standard-bearer for excellence in the city. Chef/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison and executive chef Daniel Porubiansky are turning out extraordinarily refined food that retains the Southern roots of its local, fresh ingredients. In the past year, the wine list has expanded and improved dramatically, and the room remains one of the Southeast’s best examples of luxury without gimmick or pretension. 1198 Howell Mill Road. 404-365-0410. www.starprovisions.com. less...

Best cocktails

Drinkshop DrinkShop
Sasha Petraske’s local location of his famous New York bar, DRINKSHOP, was not immediately embraced by Atlantans; it was dismissed by some as just another hotel bar with high prices. But few of those cynics noted that Eric Simpkins — an extraordinary local talent formerly mixing at Trois —more...
Sasha Petraske’s local location of his famous New York bar, DRINKSHOP, was not immediately embraced by Atlantans; it was dismissed by some as just another hotel bar with high prices. But few of those cynics noted that Eric Simpkins — an extraordinary local talent formerly mixing at Trois — is tending bar at the NYC import. Simpkins may be soft-spoken, but he’s a master at manipulating boutique liquors into artful cocktails that explode on the palate. While the menu is carefully crafted, your best bet is to place yourself in Simpkins’ capable hands. He finds out what you’re in the mood for, and then creates a progressive experience where each cocktail builds upon the last. The arm garters, ice cubes designed for certain drinks and old-fashioned stemware only make the bar a more unique destination for cocktail enthusiasts craving a little something different. 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. (inside the W Atlanta downtown). 404-582-5800. www.whotels.com/Atlanta. less...

Best coffeehouse

Octane
Try as we might, we just can’t find a better coffeehouse than the Westside’s OCTANE. They’ve got it all. Free Wi-Fi? Check. Cool, comfortable digs? Check. Great food? Check (love that house salad; adore that house-made granola). Friendly, community-conscious staff and owners?more...
Try as we might, we just can’t find a better coffeehouse than the Westside’s OCTANE. They’ve got it all. Free Wi-Fi? Check. Cool, comfortable digs? Check. Great food? Check (love that house salad; adore that house-made granola). Friendly, community-conscious staff and owners? Check. And most importantly: Great, expertly made, quality coffee? Absolutely. Octane makes all of its brewed coffee from Counter Culture beans fresh in press pots, and the baristas are the best in town. Watch this year for a spreading of the love – Octane has taken over Method near Emory, and there are more locations in the works. 1009-B Marietta St. 404-815-9886. www.octanecoffee.com. less...

Best general manager

Andres Loaiza Aria
The tone of a restaurant, the feel of a room, and the service you receive are usually the doing of that restaurant’s general manager. And at Aria, ANDRES LOAIZA sets a perfect example — warmth complemented by knowledge and professionalism. Need a wine recommendation? Loaiza is helpfulmore...
The tone of a restaurant, the feel of a room, and the service you receive are usually the doing of that restaurant’s general manager. And at Aria, ANDRES LOAIZA sets a perfect example — warmth complemented by knowledge and professionalism. Need a wine recommendation? Loaiza is helpful without the slightest hint of snootiness. Visit the restaurant once, and two years later he’s likely to remember your face, name, what you ordered and how much you liked it. His unmatched attention to detail makes him a master practitioner at the art of true service. 490 E. Paces Ferry Road. 404-233-7673. www.aria-atl.com. less...

Best new restaurant

La Pietra Cucina LPC
Nothing in Atlanta restaurants has come along in the past year that’s made us as excited as chef Bruce Logue’s cooking at LA PIETRA CUCINA. From the dreamy pillows of house-made ricotta that accompany the Procuitto de Parma and pineapple mostarda to the outrageous black spaghetti with hot caladresemore...
Nothing in Atlanta restaurants has come along in the past year that’s made us as excited as chef Bruce Logue’s cooking at LA PIETRA CUCINA. From the dreamy pillows of house-made ricotta that accompany the Procuitto de Parma and pineapple mostarda to the outrageous black spaghetti with hot caladrese sausage and rock shrimp to perfect wood-roasted fish, Logue’s bold vision of Italian is as thrilling as any genre of food happening in any restaurant in the city. 1545 Peachtree St. 404-888-8709. www.lapietracucina.com. less...

Best bakery

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Runner-up
Highland Bakery
655 Highland Ave., 404-586-0772, www.highlandbakery.com

Best brew pub

5 Seasons Brewing

Runner-up


Twain’s Billiards & Tap
211 E. Trinity Place, Decatur, 404-373-0063, www.twains.net



Editor’s Note: The incorrect winner was previously listed. The error has been fixed as of 10/1/09.

Best Burger

The Vortex Bar and Grill

Runner-up
Flip Burger Boutique
1587 Howell Mill Road, 404-343-1609, www.flipburgerboutique.com

Best chef

Kevin Rathbun Rathbun's

Runner-up
Richard Blais of Flip Burger Boutique
1587 Howell Mill Road, 404-352-3547, www.flipburgerboutique.com

Best desserts

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Runner-up
Cafe Intermezzo
1845 Peachtree Road, 404-355-0411
4505 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, 770-396-1344
www.cafeintermezzo.com

Best fried chicken

Watershed

Runner-up
South City Kitchen
1144 Crescent Ave., 404-873-7358
1675 Cumberland Parkway, Smyrna, 770-435-0700
www.southcitykitchen.com

Best Indian

Bhojanic Bhojanic

Runner-up
Udipi Cafe
1850 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite 700, Decatur, 404-325-1933

Best-looking waitstaff

The Tavern at Phipps Tavern at Phipps

Runner-up
Apres Diem
931 Monroe Drive, 404-872-3333, www.apresdiem.com

Best restaurant to take visitors

Two Urban Licks TWO urban licks

Runner-up
Mary Mac’s Tea Room
224 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-876-1800, www.marymacs.com

Best restaurant trend

Organic/sustainable

Runner-up
Farm to table

Best restaurant when someone else is paying

Bacchanalia Bacchanalia

Runner-up
Kevin Rathbun Steak
112 Krog St., 404-524-5600, www.kevinrathbunsteak.com

Best sandwiches

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Runner-up
Star Provisions
1198 Howell Mill Road, 404-365-0410, www.starprovisions.com

Best seafood

Atlanta Fish Market Atlanta Fish Market

Runner-up
Six Feet Under
415 Memorial Drive, 404-523-6664
685 11th St., 404-810-0040
www.sixfeetunderatlanta.com

Best Southern

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

Runner-up
Colonnade
1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, 404-874-5642, www.colonnadeatl.com

Best Southwestern

Runner-up
Nava
3060 Peachtree Road, 404-240-1984, www.buckheadrestaurants.com

Best steaks

Kevin Rathbun Steak Kevin Rathbun Steak

Runner-up
Bones
3130 Piedmont Road, 404-237-2663, www.bonesrestaurant.com

Best Sushi

MF Sushibar

Runner-up
Ru San’s
1529 Piedmont Ave., 404-875-7042, rusans.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Thai

Little Bangkok Little Bangkok

Runner-up
Nan Thai Fine Dining
1350 Spring St., Atlanta, 404-870-9933, www.nanfinedining.com

Best Veggie Burgers

Houston’s

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
The Vortex Bar and Grill
438 Moreland Ave., 404-688-1828
878 Peachtree St., 404-875-1667, www.thevortexbarandgrill.com

Best veggie meal at a non-vegetarian restaurant

Watershed

Runner-up
The Vortex Bar and Grill
438 Moreland Ave., 404-688-1828
878 Peachtree St., 404-875-1667
www.thevortexbarandgrill.com

Best appetizers

Ecco Ecco

Runner-up
Eclipse di Luna
764 Miami Circle, 404-846-0449, www.eclipsediluna.com

Best beer selection

Brick Store Pub Brick Store Pub

Runner-up
Taco Mac
1006 N. Highland Ave., 404-873-6529, www.taco-mac.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best breakfast

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Thumbs Up Diner
573 Edgewood Ave., 404-223-0690, www.thumbsupdiner.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Chinese

Chin Chin

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Tasty China
585 Franklin Road, Marietta, 770-419-9849

Best coffee

Aurora Coffee

Runner-up
Starbucks
240 Peachtree St., 404-589-4522, www.starbucks.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best cookies

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Runner-up
Whole Foods
650 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-4853-1681, www.wholefoodsmarket.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Cuban

Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Grill

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
La Fonda Latina
2813 Peachtree Road, 404-816-8311, www.fellinisatlanta.com/lafonda.htm

Best Grits

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
West Egg Cafe
1168 Howell Mill Road, 404-872-3973, www.westeggcafe.com

Best Italian

Sotto Sotto

Runner-up
Alfredo’s Italian Restaurant
1989 Cheshire Bridge Road, 404-876-1380, alfredositalianrestaurant.com

Best Japanese

Nakato

Runner-up
Ru San’s
1529 Piedmont Ave., 404-875-7042, rusans.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Korean

Hae Woon Dae

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Honey Pig
3473 Old Norcross Road, Duluth, 770-476-9292

Best maitre d’ or general manager

Bobby Dolan at New York Prime New York Prime

Runner-up
Ryan Gallagher

Best Mexican

Nuevo Laredo Cantina Nuevo Laredo Cantina

Runner-up
Taqueria del Sol
359 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, 404-377-7668; and other metro Atlanta locations. www.taqueriadelsol.com

Best restaurant design

Two Urban Licks TWO urban licks

Runner-up
Flip Burger Boutique
1587 Howell Mill Road, 404-352-3547, www.flipburgerboutique.com

Best restaurant to bring the kids: Tie

Fellini’s Pizza Fellini's Pizza - Westside
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best soul food

Soul Vegetarian

Runner-up
Busy Bee Cafe
810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 404-525-9212, www.thebusybeecafe.com

Best Sunday brunch

Murphy’s Murphy's

Runner-up
Flying Biscuit Cafe
1001 Piedmont Ave., 404-874-8887, www.flyingbiscuit.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Vietnamese

Co’m Vietnamese Grill Restaurant

Runner-up
Nam
931 Monroe Drive, 404-541-9997, www.namrestaurant.com

Best Wine Bar

The Grape

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
Krog Bar
112 Krog St., Suite 27, 404-524-1618, www.krogbar.com

Best wine list

Ecco Ecco

Runner-up
Murphy’s
997 Virginia Ave., 404-872-0904, www.murphysvh.com

Best Cocktails

Holeman & Finch Public House Holeman and Finch Public House

Runner-up
Leon’s Full Service
131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, 404-687-0500, www.leonsfullservice.com

Best French

Atmosphere

Runner-up
Cafe Alsace
121 Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, 404-373-5622, www.cafealsace.net

Best overall restaurant: Tie

Bacchanalia Bacchanalia

Runner-up
Wahoo! Grill
1042 W. College Ave., Decatur, 404-373-3331, www.wahoogrilldecatur.com

Best Pizza

Mellow Mushroom Mellow Mushroom

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
Fellini’s Pizza
909 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-873-3088, www.fellinisatlanta.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant for late-night dining

Majestic Diner Majestic Diner

Runner-up
Waffle House
1701 Northside Drive, 404-355-5562, www.wafflehouse.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Tacos

Taqueria del Sol Taqueria del Sol - Westside

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
Holy Taco
1314 Glenwood Ave., 404-230-6177, www.holy-taco.com

Best vegetarian: Tie

Runner-up
Soul Vegetarian
652 N. Highland Ave., 404-875-4641
879-A Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., 404-752-5194
www.soulveg.net

Best barbecue

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

Runner-up
Fat Matt’s Rib Shack
1811 Piedmont Ave., 404-607-1622, www.fatmattsribshack.com

Best bar food

The Earl The EARL

Runner-up
Brick Store Pub
125 E. Court Square, Decatur, 404-687-0990, www.brickstorepub.com

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Best bakery

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Runner-up
Highland Bakery
655 Highland Ave., 404-586-0772, www.highlandbakery.com

Best brew pub

5 Seasons Brewing

Runner-up


Twain’s Billiards & Tap
211 E. Trinity Place, Decatur, 404-373-0063, www.twains.net



Editor’s Note: The incorrect winner was previously listed. The error has been fixed as of 10/1/09.

Best Burger

The Vortex Bar and Grill

Runner-up
Flip Burger Boutique
1587 Howell Mill Road, 404-343-1609, www.flipburgerboutique.com

Best chef

Kevin Rathbun Rathbun's

Runner-up
Richard Blais of Flip Burger Boutique
1587 Howell Mill Road, 404-352-3547, www.flipburgerboutique.com

Best Chinese

Tasty China Tasty China
Like many Chinese restaurants, TASTY CHINA has gone through numerous chefs and staff changes — the charmingly abrasive hostess Phuong departed this year under mysterious circumstances. But, like a phoenix, the Marietta Szechuan restaurant manages to rise triumphant from every transition. Skipmore...
Like many Chinese restaurants, TASTY CHINA has gone through numerous chefs and staff changes — the charmingly abrasive hostess Phuong departed this year under mysterious circumstances. But, like a phoenix, the Marietta Szechuan restaurant manages to rise triumphant from every transition. Skip the “American” menu and go straight for the good stuff — anything made with Sichuan peppercorns. The french fry-like batons of dry-fried eggplant are as crispy and addictive as ever. The “Shan City chicken” — a pile of boneless or bone-in chicken fried to a crisp with toasted peppercorns and dried red chilis — will have your mouth tingling long after you depart. If the heat is too much to bare, dishes such as the “Slice fish and sour cabbage soup” — a silky and tangy broth swimming with tender pieces of white fish — are mild enough for tamer palates without sacrificing any of the wow factor. 585 Franklin Road, Marietta. 770-419-9849. less...

Best desserts

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Runner-up
Cafe Intermezzo
1845 Peachtree Road, 404-355-0411
4505 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, 770-396-1344
www.cafeintermezzo.com

Best fried chicken

Watershed

Runner-up
South City Kitchen
1144 Crescent Ave., 404-873-7358
1675 Cumberland Parkway, Smyrna, 770-435-0700
www.southcitykitchen.com

Best Indian

Bhojanic Bhojanic

Runner-up
Udipi Cafe
1850 Lawrenceville Highway, Suite 700, Decatur, 404-325-1933

Best Japanese and Best sushi

Sushi House Hayakawa
SUSHI HOUSE HAYAKAWA is one of those rare Japanese restaurants that does exceptionally well on two fronts: The sushi and sashimi is expertly cut, fresh and fabulous, and the hard-to-find home-style Japanese dishes and nightly specials elevate Hayakawa to destination-restaurant status. Golden-fried squidmore...
SUSHI HOUSE HAYAKAWA is one of those rare Japanese restaurants that does exceptionally well on two fronts: The sushi and sashimi is expertly cut, fresh and fabulous, and the hard-to-find home-style Japanese dishes and nightly specials elevate Hayakawa to destination-restaurant status. Golden-fried squid legs served with Japanese mayo, crispy croquettes with a creamy center, roasted gingko nuts, seductively slippery seaweed salads and an assortment of noodle dishes are perfect with an ice-cold carafe of sake from the restaurant’s small, but excellent selection. 5979 Buford Highway. 770-986-0010. www.atlantasushibar.com. less...

Best-looking waitstaff

The Tavern at Phipps Tavern at Phipps

Runner-up
Apres Diem
931 Monroe Drive, 404-872-3333, www.apresdiem.com

Best restaurant for late-night dining

Taqueria El Rey Del Taco
Finding something to eat in the wee hours of the morning can be a tough task if greasy spoons aren’t your thing. But Buford Highway has plenty of ethnic options serving food designed to soak up for a belly full of alcohol. TAQUERIA EL REY DEL TACO is one of the best taquerias in Atlanta thatmore...
Finding something to eat in the wee hours of the morning can be a tough task if greasy spoons aren’t your thing. But Buford Highway has plenty of ethnic options serving food designed to soak up for a belly full of alcohol. TAQUERIA EL REY DEL TACO is one of the best taquerias in Atlanta that just so happens to be open daily from 10 to 5 a.m. Handmade tortillas, an abundance of taco fillings, large seafood cocktails and some stellar salsa with serious kick are just as good at 4 in the morning as they are at lunchtime. And the occasional group of rowdy Latina drag queens only adds to the already colorful scenery. 5288 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-986-0032. less...

Best restaurant to take visitors

Two Urban Licks TWO urban licks

Runner-up
Mary Mac’s Tea Room
224 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-876-1800, www.marymacs.com

Best restaurant trend

Organic/sustainable

Runner-up
Farm to table

Best restaurant when someone else is paying

Bacchanalia Bacchanalia

Runner-up
Kevin Rathbun Steak
112 Krog St., 404-524-5600, www.kevinrathbunsteak.com

Best sandwiches

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Runner-up
Star Provisions
1198 Howell Mill Road, 404-365-0410, www.starprovisions.com

Best seafood

Atlanta Fish Market Atlanta Fish Market

Runner-up
Six Feet Under
415 Memorial Drive, 404-523-6664
685 11th St., 404-810-0040
www.sixfeetunderatlanta.com

Best Southern

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

Runner-up
Colonnade
1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, 404-874-5642, www.colonnadeatl.com

Best Southwestern

Runner-up
Nava
3060 Peachtree Road, 404-240-1984, www.buckheadrestaurants.com

Best steaks

Kevin Rathbun Steak Kevin Rathbun Steak

Runner-up
Bones
3130 Piedmont Road, 404-237-2663, www.bonesrestaurant.com

Best Sushi

MF Sushibar

Runner-up
Ru San’s
1529 Piedmont Ave., 404-875-7042, rusans.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Thai

Little Bangkok Little Bangkok

Runner-up
Nan Thai Fine Dining
1350 Spring St., Atlanta, 404-870-9933, www.nanfinedining.com

Best Veggie Burgers

Houston’s

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
The Vortex Bar and Grill
438 Moreland Ave., 404-688-1828
878 Peachtree St., 404-875-1667, www.thevortexbarandgrill.com

Best veggie meal at a non-vegetarian restaurant

Watershed

Runner-up
The Vortex Bar and Grill
438 Moreland Ave., 404-688-1828
878 Peachtree St., 404-875-1667
www.thevortexbarandgrill.com

Filthy Pick: Best recession dining deal

Shaun’s Restaurant
SHAUN’S RESTAURANT has been a favorite Inman Park hangout since it opened in 2007. But chef Shaun Doty’s recent debut of his family-friendly Sunday night pasta dinners has lured droves of new customers and long-time regulars alike. For a mere $12, diners receive a three-course meal, which includesmore...
SHAUN’S RESTAURANT has been a favorite Inman Park hangout since it opened in 2007. But chef Shaun Doty’s recent debut of his family-friendly Sunday night pasta dinners has lured droves of new customers and long-time regulars alike. For a mere $12, diners receive a three-course meal, which includes a family-style salad, a heaping portion of pasta from a handful of choices — the spaghetti and meatballs may be Atlanta’s best — and a dessert. Affordable carafes of extremely drinkable wine selections are sold by the half-liter or liter. The rest of the menu is also available, but why bother when you can get such great food on the cheap? 1029 Edgewood Ave. 404-577-4358. www.shaunsrestaurant.com. less...

Best appetizers

Ecco Ecco

Runner-up
Eclipse di Luna
764 Miami Circle, 404-846-0449, www.eclipsediluna.com

Best beer selection

Brick Store Pub Brick Store Pub

Runner-up
Taco Mac
1006 N. Highland Ave., 404-873-6529, www.taco-mac.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best breakfast

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Thumbs Up Diner
573 Edgewood Ave., 404-223-0690, www.thumbsupdiner.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Chinese

Chin Chin

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Tasty China
585 Franklin Road, Marietta, 770-419-9849

Best coffee

Aurora Coffee

Runner-up
Starbucks
240 Peachtree St., 404-589-4522, www.starbucks.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best cookies

Alon’s Bakery and Market

Runner-up
Whole Foods
650 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404-4853-1681, www.wholefoodsmarket.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Cuban

Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill Papi's Cuban & Caribbean Grill

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
La Fonda Latina
2813 Peachtree Road, 404-816-8311, www.fellinisatlanta.com/lafonda.htm

Best French

Au Rendez Vous
For all the upscale, high-falutin’ French places in town, our favorite is the decidedly homey AU RENDEZ VOUS, tucked into a residential neighborhood in Brookhaven. The cash-only, Vietnamese-owned restaurant serves exactly the kind of food you’d find in a real working-class French neighborhoodmore...
For all the upscale, high-falutin’ French places in town, our favorite is the decidedly homey AU RENDEZ VOUS, tucked into a residential neighborhood in Brookhaven. The cash-only, Vietnamese-owned restaurant serves exactly the kind of food you’d find in a real working-class French neighborhood – traditional recipes cooked with love. You won’t go wrong with any of the crepe appetizers, or rich, hearty meat entrees (try the rabbit cooked with red wine). The diminutive prices and feeling of eating in someone’s jumbled living room only add to the appeal. 1328 Windsor Parkway. 404-343-4983. less...

Best Grits

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
West Egg Cafe
1168 Howell Mill Road, 404-872-3973, www.westeggcafe.com

Best Italian

Sotto Sotto

Runner-up
Alfredo’s Italian Restaurant
1989 Cheshire Bridge Road, 404-876-1380, alfredositalianrestaurant.com

Best Japanese

Nakato

Runner-up
Ru San’s
1529 Piedmont Ave., 404-875-7042, rusans.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Korean

Hae Woon Dae

And other metro Atlanta locations.


Runner-up
Honey Pig
3473 Old Norcross Road, Duluth, 770-476-9292

Best maitre d’ or general manager

Bobby Dolan at New York Prime New York Prime

Runner-up
Ryan Gallagher

Best Mexican

Nuevo Laredo Cantina Nuevo Laredo Cantina

Runner-up
Taqueria del Sol
359 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, 404-377-7668; and other metro Atlanta locations. www.taqueriadelsol.com

Best restaurant design

Two Urban Licks TWO urban licks

Runner-up
Flip Burger Boutique
1587 Howell Mill Road, 404-352-3547, www.flipburgerboutique.com

Best restaurant to bring the kids: Tie

Fellini’s Pizza Fellini's Pizza - Westside
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best restaurant trend

Offal
Mmm, livers. Yuumm, tripe. Sweetbreads? Oh, yeah. More and more restaurants are jumping on the OFFAL bandwagon, and that’s just fine with us. While many upscale restaurants (as well as ethnic spots) have been serving organ meats for years, the past year has seen an explosion in whole-animalmore...
Mmm, livers. Yuumm, tripe. Sweetbreads? Oh, yeah. More and more restaurants are jumping on the OFFAL bandwagon, and that’s just fine with us. While many upscale restaurants (as well as ethnic spots) have been serving organ meats for years, the past year has seen an explosion in whole-animal cooking, most notably at Holeman & Finch Public House and at Abattoir, the new restaurant from Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. The good news is that the public seems to be gobbling it up with gusto, meaning this is a delicious trend that’s not going away anytime soon. Chicken hearts, anyone? Yes, please … . less...

Best soul food

Soul Vegetarian

Runner-up
Busy Bee Cafe
810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 404-525-9212, www.thebusybeecafe.com

Best steaks

When chef Laurent Tourondel’s Atlanta outpost of his successful New York restaurant opened, people were skeptical that any Frenchman could make a steak better than our local institutions. But BLT STEAK (short for Bistro Laurent Tourondel) does beef proud. The restaurant’s blazing-hot oven broilsmore...
When chef Laurent Tourondel’s Atlanta outpost of his successful New York restaurant opened, people were skeptical that any Frenchman could make a steak better than our local institutions. But BLT STEAK (short for Bistro Laurent Tourondel) does beef proud. The restaurant’s blazing-hot oven broils each steak — the New York strip is tops — until the surface is caramelized and crispy with char. Each steak is served in a sizzling cast iron pan, topped with a round of herbed butter and pierced with a whimsical plastic cow pick indicating its temperature. The long list of sides changes daily, but the gooey perfection of the potato gratin must be ordered when available. Chef Tourondel’s signature complimentary Gruyere popovers arrive piping hot from the oven alongside soft butter and an oversized metal salt shaker. 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. (inside the W Atlanta downtown). 404-577-7601. www.bltrestaurants.com. less...

Best Sunday brunch

Murphy’s Murphy's

Runner-up
Flying Biscuit Cafe
1001 Piedmont Ave., 404-874-8887, www.flyingbiscuit.com
And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best Vietnamese

Co’m Vietnamese Grill Restaurant

Runner-up
Nam
931 Monroe Drive, 404-541-9997, www.namrestaurant.com

Best Wine Bar

The Grape

And other metro Atlanta locations.
Runner-up
Krog Bar
112 Krog St., Suite 27, 404-524-1618, www.krogbar.com

Best wine list

Ecco Ecco

Runner-up
Murphy’s
997 Virginia Ave., 404-872-0904, www.murphysvh.com

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