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Best of Atlanta 2017 Index

Poets Critics Dolls Main Large





2017 Index of Winners

Best OG comic book shop

Oxford Comics
The metro Atlanta area is rife with comic book shops, both old and relatively new, but when it comes to sheer selection and diversity of products, OXFORD COMICS is the leader of the pack. Pop in the shop on any day of the week, and you’ll see for yourself: tons of brand-new comics from mainstream andmore...
The metro Atlanta area is rife with comic book shops, both old and relatively new, but when it comes to sheer selection and diversity of products, OXFORD COMICS is the leader of the pack. Pop in the shop on any day of the week, and you’ll see for yourself: tons of brand-new comics from mainstream and indie publishers, old-school back issues, trade paperbacks and hardcover graphic novels, hard-to-find action figures, trading cards, DVDs, T-shirts, posters and even snacks. And there’s more comic-related stuff where that came from in stock for both hardcore fans and casual customers. 2855 Piedmont Road N.E. 404-233-8682. www.facebook.com/oxfordcomicsandgames. less...

Best karaoke

10 High at Dark Horse Tavern

Best music festival

Shaky Knees Music Festival

Best door person

Scott Schweitzer

Best artist to humanize the struggle

Donald Glover
Whether you preferred his work as DONALD GLOVER or Childish Gambino, no one put on for Atlanta quite like the 33-year-old Stone Mountain native. As writer, producer and actor Donald Glover won Golden Globes for his contributions to the runaway FX hit show "Atlanta." While accepting one of the two awardsmore...
Whether you preferred his work as DONALD GLOVER or Childish Gambino, no one put on for Atlanta quite like the 33-year-old Stone Mountain native. As writer, producer and actor Donald Glover won Golden Globes for his contributions to the runaway FX hit show "Atlanta." While accepting one of the two awards on the night „ Glover himself won the category of Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy, while the show itself took home the honor of Best TV Series Musical or Comedy „ he was also able to serve as Migos promo man of the year while springing what was already the biggest Atlanta hit in recent memory to an even broader audience. For most, that would be enough, but let's not forget he also released what many consider his best Childish Gambino project with Awaken, My Love! Glover had a massive year by any standard, and he made sure that as his star rose, his city followed. www.facebook.com/donaldglover. less...

Best songwriter

Faye Webster
FAYE WEBSTER possesses the kind of singular musical talent that comes along only so often in life. A songwriter with a capital "S," Webster knows the power of crafting lyrics from just a few words that are benign at a glance, but every subtle nuance lingers in the subconscious mind long after the songmore...
FAYE WEBSTER possesses the kind of singular musical talent that comes along only so often in life. A songwriter with a capital "S," Webster knows the power of crafting lyrics from just a few words that are benign at a glance, but every subtle nuance lingers in the subconscious mind long after the song is over „ each word meaning something different to anyone within earshot. For proof, look no further than songs such as "She Won't Go Away," "Say It Now" and "It Doesn't Work Like That" from her self-titled sophomore album, released this year via Awful Records. And while an underground hip-hop label seems an unlikely home for Webster's laid-back country and folk numbers, placing her sound palette and her swelling heart croon „ a discomfiting mix of secret seduction and rye humor „ alongside such left field hip-hop acts as Ethereal and Lord Narf only places her poetic allusions to politics, both personal and social, in a modern context. Webster breaks the mold of singer-songwriter tropes by paying respect to her craft while boldly reaching beyond the social and musical trappings of her natural musical genre's history and constructs. www.fayewebster.com. less...

Best gangster and a gentleman award

21 Savage
The 21 SAVAGE glo-up is real. In 2015, 21 was rapping gritty bio-tales about whipping work in Givenchy threads. Fast-forward to 2017 and he's laid up on a private jet with Amber Rose in matching Space Jam hoodies. Hey, even Slaughter Gang has to have a soft spot, right? Not only did the East Atlantamore...
The 21 SAVAGE glo-up is real. In 2015, 21 was rapping gritty bio-tales about whipping work in Givenchy threads. Fast-forward to 2017 and he's laid up on a private jet with Amber Rose in matching Space Jam hoodies. Hey, even Slaughter Gang has to have a soft spot, right? Not only did the East Atlanta native let back the curtain on his personal life, but with his debut album, ISSA, he revealed a social awareness many early critics assumed didn't exist. On "Nothin New," a stand-out from the project, he provides an expert's take on the crippling anxieties affecting communities like his across the United States, providing a rather nuanced thought from an artist whom too often is written off as shallow. www.21savage.com. less...

Best record label

DKA Records
Since its conception and growth out of the seasonal Sisters of Turkey Goth Danse Parties, DKA RECORDS has used its platform as a home for music to suit those who feel ostracized and who dwell in the shadows „ those who grow tired of stand-around rock shows, but who are also weary of mainstream musicalmore...
Since its conception and growth out of the seasonal Sisters of Turkey Goth Danse Parties, DKA RECORDS has used its platform as a home for music to suit those who feel ostracized and who dwell in the shadows „ those who grow tired of stand-around rock shows, but who are also weary of mainstream musical gatherings with no fog machine clouds in which to dance away their woes. Founded in 2013 by friends and DJs Chris Daresta (Anticipation), James Andrew Ford (Tifaret) and Matt Weiner (TWINS), DKA has released artists from around the world, from Northampton, Massachusetts' cold wave duo Boy Harsher to Brisbane, Australia's EBM innovator Multiple Man. The label's most recent addition, Berlin-based Sally Dige, puts a fine point on the group's modern take on goth and industrial-flavored synth pop. Dige's Holding On LP comes on the heels of the label finalizing a deal with Omnian Music Group for distribution. This gives Daresta, Ford and Weiner more time to focus on their own music and further expansion as they curate more sounds within the tiers of goth, dark electronic, industrial, electro-post-punk and EBM. www.dkarecords.bandcamp.com. less...

Best listening room for the sophisticated rocker

The Vista Room
Step inside THE VISTA ROOM and it's as though the air changes shape. The wood on the walls, the tables, the stage and the building itself feel as though they've been expertly crafted to serve the impeccable sound system. Standing adjacent to Napoleon's Grill, a gastro pub in Decatur's Oak Grove neighborhood,more...
Step inside THE VISTA ROOM and it's as though the air changes shape. The wood on the walls, the tables, the stage and the building itself feel as though they've been expertly crafted to serve the impeccable sound system. Standing adjacent to Napoleon's Grill, a gastro pub in Decatur's Oak Grove neighborhood, the Vista Room has hosted performances by everyone from Col. Bruce Hampton and the Swimming Pool Q's to Glenn Phillips, the reunited Hydra and Drivin' N Cryin', just to name a few. There's plenty of prog rock, bluegrass, country, folk and straight up rock 'n' roll occupying the stage throughout the week. The underlying theme tying it all together is called experience. The room is the fruit of Sean Keenan and Mike Rizzi's labors. Keenan is a restaurant entrepreneur, and drummer Rizzi (Five Eight) is a long-standing Georgia music veteran who's played in just about every musical environment one can imagine. With the Vista Room they've channeled the highs and lows of life on the road and an unending devotion to music into a comfortable and perfectly calibrated listening room that's all about bolstering the music, for the artists and for the audience. 2836 LaVista Road, Decatur. 404-321-5000. www.thevistaroom.com. less...

Best dance company

Zoetic Dance Ensemble

Best muralist

Fabian "Occasional Superstar" Williams
Even if you don’t know the name FABIAN “OCCASIONAL SUPERSTAR” WILLIAMS, you’ve more than likely seen, or been impacted by, the artist’s work. His massive, vibrant murals — such as his fluorescent portrait of Hosea Williams, which was completed in July, adorn buildings across the city andmore...

Even if you don’t know the name FABIAN “OCCASIONAL SUPERSTAR” WILLIAMS, you’ve more than likely seen, or been impacted by, the artist’s work. His massive, vibrant murals — such as his fluorescent portrait of Hosea Williams, which was completed in July, adorn buildings across the city and serve as both eye-catching visual treats and as multilayered, often-whimsical political statements. And the North Carolina native’s artistic efforts this year extended beyond just creating it: Joining forces with a number of his fellow muralists, Williams successfully battled the City in court over the right to have paintings displayed on private party without excessive government interference. But whether we’re talking advocacy or the creative process, Atlanta’s a better place with Williams here doing his thing. www.occasionalsuperstar.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best internet satirist, or troll with a heart of gold

Zach Lamplugh
Likes, retweets, comments, threads: The internet can be a hot spot for important discussion, but it’s more often a place for people to scream slurs at a meme. Reactionary rage and transparent bids for attention are what inspires ZACH LAMPLUGH and his meta faux-news network Please Share. The comedianmore...
Likes, retweets, comments, threads: The internet can be a hot spot for important discussion, but it’s more often a place for people to scream slurs at a meme. Reactionary rage and transparent bids for attention are what inspires ZACH LAMPLUGH and his meta faux-news network Please Share. The comedian (who’s one-third of the Ladie’s Night sketch group) releases videos on Please Share’s social media platforms where nothing humans do is good enough. Is creating infographics the best way to combat racism? Are unicorn frappuccinos enforcing gender roles? Nah, but Lamplugh makes a hilarious case for it all. Generating millions of views, the good-at-heart satirical videos have succeeded in making Facebook laugh as well as confusing the hell out of the angry web-masses including alt-right garbageman Gavin McInnes. Gavin might not get it, but we do. www.twitter.com/secretgrampuh. www.facebook.com/pleasesharenews. less...

Best desserts

Sweet Charlie's

Best Caribbean

Papi's Cuban and Caribbean Grill

Best Japanese

Nakato

Best oysters

Kimball House Kimball House

Best local farm

Love is Love Farm

photo by: Joeff Davis

Best late-night hangout

Bon Ton Bon Ton
Midtown’s BON TON is as seat-of-the-pants as a restaurant gets. The mode here is house party, and the décor is pure kitsch in the retro den of fictional founder Hoa Nguyen and his most interesting mashup of Louisiana-meets-Vietnam cookery. A cheeky neon sign reads “Fancy Service” as fried basketsmore...
Midtown’s BON TON is as seat-of-the-pants as a restaurant gets. The mode here is house party, and the décor is pure kitsch in the retro den of fictional founder Hoa Nguyen and his most interesting mashup of Louisiana-meets-Vietnam cookery. A cheeky neon sign reads “Fancy Service” as fried baskets of seafood, boiled peanuts and banh mi sandwiches roll through the dining room until 2 a.m. Maybe Prince comes through the speakers, maybe Otis Redding. All music pairs well with their frozen versions of Pimm’s Cups and Vietnamese Irish coffee, served in color-changing plastic vessels, of course. Though the Bon Ton family tragically lost their head bartender, the talented Patrick Kuhen, late last month in a road accident, they celebrated his life in true Nola fashion: with a second line led by a brass band through the streets of Midtown. 674 Myrtle St. N.E. 404-996-6177. www.bontonatl.com. less...

Best new café

Petit Chou Petit Chou
In a recently restored, periwinkle-painted edifice on Memorial Drive in Cabbagetown sits PETIT CHOU, a French-meets-Southern café that backs up its cozy ambiance with a serious commitment to local sourcing and a deeply felt mutual respect between management, staff and customers. Chef Diana Presson Ellermore...
In a recently restored, periwinkle-painted edifice on Memorial Drive in Cabbagetown sits PETIT CHOU, a French-meets-Southern café that backs up its cozy ambiance with a serious commitment to local sourcing and a deeply felt mutual respect between management, staff and customers. Chef Diana Presson Eller has called it her “little idealistic, egalitarian-dream, feminist anarcafé” and serves up an array of sandwiches, salads and house-made craft sodas with ingredients like hyssop and cardamom. At breakfast, there are hearty grit bowls, avocado toast and Croque Monsieurs, and the chicken liver mousse — available any time of day and served with house preserves, toast and seasonal produce — is a must-order. Currently open only for breakfast and lunch, Petit Chou will eventually expand to dinner hours with a full bar program. 662 Memorial Drive S.E. 470-270-8996. www.petitchouatl.com less...

Best unsung hero

Decatur’s Kimball House has a dedicated oyster room with a viewing window. In this lovely nook, about 5,000 oysters from around the world are shucked each week, and more than half of those (like, 3,500) get shucked by a hero. No really: His given name is HE RO, and for obvious reasons, he goes by Hero.more...

Decatur’s Kimball House has a dedicated oyster room with a viewing window. In this lovely nook, about 5,000 oysters from around the world are shucked each week, and more than half of those (like, 3,500) get shucked by a hero. No really: His given name is HE RO, and for obvious reasons, he goes by Hero. Part of the Karen ethnic group, Hero was born in war-torn Burma but spent most of his childhood in a Thai refugee camp near the border before arriving in the U.S. at age 15. Watching him swiftly and deftly open bivalves today, it’s hard to imagine Kimball House without him, and one would never guess he’d never even touched an oyster before joining Kimball House in September of 2013. So, next time you are slurping during oyster happy hour (5-7 p.m. every weekday) clink a glass for our culinary hero, Hero. 303 E. Howard Ave., Decatur. 404-378-3502. www.kimball-house.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best brunch

Rising Sun
Whether you’re hankering for a pile of pork chops with two eggs and grits or a healthful vegan grain bowl with seasonal veggies, the search ends at RISING SON, tucked away in the Tudor village of Avondale Estates. This mellow spot is soaked in familial comfort, with husband-and-wife team Kathryn andmore...

Whether you’re hankering for a pile of pork chops with two eggs and grits or a healthful vegan grain bowl with seasonal veggies, the search ends at RISING SON, tucked away in the Tudor village of Avondale Estates. This mellow spot is soaked in familial comfort, with husband-and-wife team Kathryn and Hudson Rouse focusing on vegetables from local farms, friends and even their own garden. In season, their tomato sandwich tastes like home, and you can always order from the meat-and-three menu. Standouts include a fried chicken, bacon and cheddar biscuit; chorizo tacos; fried trout over cheese grits; and crispy breakfast dumplings with ginger, cilantro, and maple soy glaze. Rising Son is a calm oasis amid the chaos of Atlanta brunch culture: satisfying but not sloppy, sophisticated yet chill. 124 N. Avondale Road, Avondale Estates, 404-600-5297. www.facebook.com/RisingSonavondale.

photo by: Lindsey Max

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Best biscuits

Erika Council
Known for her famous pop-up Sunday Supper Club, ERIKA COUNCIL’s biscuit recipe (and perhaps her graceful charm) comes by way of her grandmothers. Lately, she has been popping up at B’s Cracklin’ BBQ, mixing and folding flour, butter, shortening (or B’s famous lard) and buttermilk into layersmore...
Known for her famous pop-up Sunday Supper Club, ERIKA COUNCIL’s biscuit recipe (and perhaps her graceful charm) comes by way of her grandmothers. Lately, she has been popping up at B’s Cracklin’ BBQ, mixing and folding flour, butter, shortening (or B’s famous lard) and buttermilk into layers by hand. The softest, fluffiest biscuits and her iced Cinn-rolls draw long queues and early sellouts. Council’s grace extends to her pretty blog, Southern Souffle, where she shares her recipes and stories of the South. We crown her our Biscuit Queen. www.southernsouffle.com. less...

Best Atlanta beer

Juice Willis IPA Series Wrecking Bar Brewpub
Perhaps the most-talked-about craft beer trend of 2017 was the New England-style India Pale Ale. An easy-drinking riff on craft’s most popular style, NE IPAs prioritize tantalizing hop aromas and juicy flavor profiles over bitterness and the “hoppy” wallop generally associated with IPAs. Wreckingmore...
Perhaps the most-talked-about craft beer trend of 2017 was the New England-style India Pale Ale. An easy-drinking riff on craft’s most popular style, NE IPAs prioritize tantalizing hop aromas and juicy flavor profiles over bitterness and the “hoppy” wallop generally associated with IPAs. Wrecking Bar’s one-off JUICE WILLIS IPA SERIES — which the Little Five Points brewpub started in January — has been a joy to behold in that regard. They’ve released a new beer every few weeks (nine variations and counting at press time), each time adding new recipe tweaks and a new Bruce Willis pun for the name. It’s rare to see a local beer that’s so on trend, delicious and admirably exemplifying brewing innovation all at once. Check @wreckingbarbrewpub on Instagram for the latest batch. Wrecking Bar Brewpub, 292 Moreland Ave. N.E. 404-221-2600. www.wreckingbarbrewpub.com. less...

Best new brewpub

Hopstix Hopstix
In burgeoning Chamblee, HOPSTIX brewer and owner Andy Tan has blessed us with a concept both inventive and unprecedented. His Asian fusion brewpub, with its wood-laced, rustic chic interior, boasts a tap list of Georgia craft breweries alongside an array of consistently solid IPAs, wheat beers, portersmore...

In burgeoning Chamblee, HOPSTIX brewer and owner Andy Tan has blessed us with a concept both inventive and unprecedented. His Asian fusion brewpub, with its wood-laced, rustic chic interior, boasts a tap list of Georgia craft breweries alongside an array of consistently solid IPAs, wheat beers, porters and pilsners that Tan brews onsite. But it’s the food that separates Hopstix from the rest of Atlanta’s many breweries, thanks to executive chef Dony Raymond. An exposed kitchen showcases professionally garbed cooks filleting five-foot-long cuts of tuna, robata-grilling numerous satay variations, plating fried rice topped with Alaskan king crab and rolling fresh sushi to pair with the brewpub’s impressive array of suds. 3404 Pierce Drive N.E., Chamblee. 678-888-2306. www.hopstixbrewing.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best Cuban

Papi's Cuban and Caribbean Grill

Best Ethiopian

Desta Ethiopian Kitchen Desta Ethiopian Kitchen

Best veggie burger

Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Best bizarro Best local news story

I-85 bridge collapse

Best local hero

John Lewis
johnlewis.house.gov

Best local athlete

Human Missile Crisis aka Nikita Raper

Best library

Decatur Library Decatur Library

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