Loading...
 

Best of Atlanta 2017 Index

Poets Critics Dolls Main Large





2017 Index of Winners

Best casual steakhouse BOA Award Winner

The steakhouse genre too often comes in the form of overly stuffy bastions of masculine excess. THE FEDERAL does no such thing. It’s tempting to call Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere’s new Midtown spot a simple bistro, but the steak offerings at the heart of the menu stretch the definition. From hand-cutmore...
The steakhouse genre too often comes in the form of overly stuffy bastions of masculine excess. THE FEDERAL does no such thing. It’s tempting to call Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere’s new Midtown spot a simple bistro, but the steak offerings at the heart of the menu stretch the definition. From hand-cut Iowa filets ordered by the ounce to massive yet attractively priced porterhouses, the Federal tempts with well-sourced cuts cooked simply in cast iron. Plus, there’s the option of expertly prepared sauces like au poivre, béarnaise and chasseur on the side. A three-course steak frites prix fixe for $30 offers the best bargain on the menu, available from 5-7 p.m. at the bar, Monday through Fridays only. 1050 Crescent Ave. N.E. 404-343-3857. www.thefederalatl.com. less...

Best dessert revolution BOA Award Winner

Sweet, Sweet Syria
Last year, after fleeing war-torn Syria, Ruwaida, Khaled and their two young children came to Atlanta through local refugee resettlement nonprofit New American Pathways. As they struggled to acclimate to their new surroundings, they found community in a new neighbor, Amanda Avutu, who wrote a Modernmore...
Last year, after fleeing war-torn Syria, Ruwaida, Khaled and their two young children came to Atlanta through local refugee resettlement nonprofit New American Pathways. As they struggled to acclimate to their new surroundings, they found community in a new neighbor, Amanda Avutu, who wrote a Modern Love essay for the New York Times about the tight bond that eventually developed between them. Over the past months, that bond has led to SWEET, SWEET SYRIA, a supper club and bakery. Already a skilled chef in her home country, Ruwaida now hosts pop-up dinners and sells traditional Syrian cookies based on her mother’s recipe. The company is working on setting up an e-commerce system on their website, but cookies are currently available by preordered pick-up at Decatur’s Kavarna on a weekly basis. Stay tuned to the Sweet, Sweet Syria website and Facebook page for updates and future pop-ups. www.sweetsweetsyria.com. less...

Best local political figure BOA Award Winner

John Lewis
johnlewis.house.gov

Best local sports team BOA Award Winner

Atlanta United FC

Best podcast BOA Award Winner

"Sis & Tell"

Best scam BOA Award Winner

Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Sure, MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM is shiny and new, and we’d be fine with it if it was done strictly with private money. But the use of at least $700 million of public money that will primarily benefit a football team owner with a net worth upward of $3.4 billion seems shady at best, especially when so manymore...
Sure, MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM is shiny and new, and we’d be fine with it if it was done strictly with private money. But the use of at least $700 million of public money that will primarily benefit a football team owner with a net worth upward of $3.4 billion seems shady at best, especially when so many local projects could benefit from that type of funding. While the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has “donated” upward of $20 million to the impoverished Westside neighborhoods next to the stadium, that hardly makes up for the hundreds of millions of dollars in public money that has gone to the stadium construction increasing the value of the Atlanta Falcons. At the end of last year the Falcons had already inked deals worth $900 million in stadium sponsorships! Imagine the impact if the public money used for construction was directed to neighborhood organizations in the poorest areas of the city. Or imagine the impact on Atlanta if 700 small businesses were given $1 million each to grow their businesses. We can only dream of a society where individuals and small businesses are more important than large corporations and billionaires. less...

Best thing to come out of the new stadium deal BOA Award Winner

Westside Works
Like we said, the deal to build Mercedes-Benz Stadium was incredibly lopsided in favor of the rich guys, but one good thing did come out of it: WESTSIDE WORKS. The long-term training program was designed to prepare residents of Westside neighborhoods (such as Vine City, Castleberry Hill and more) formore...
Like we said, the deal to build Mercedes-Benz Stadium was incredibly lopsided in favor of the rich guys, but one good thing did come out of it: WESTSIDE WORKS. The long-term training program was designed to prepare residents of Westside neighborhoods (such as Vine City, Castleberry Hill and more) for jobs in construction, the culinary arts and education, among other fields. And according to data captured by Westside Works, it looks like the program is having a positive impact, with more than 500 people receiving training and 78 percent of them retaining a living wage after one year. Time will tell if these changes will truly alter the lives of the students who have participated and the neighborhoods they live in, but for now, it’s looking like a success story. www.westsideworks.org. less...

Best zen nature spot within 17 miles of Downtown Atlanta BOA Award Winner

A quick drive west on I-20 from the connector delivers you to a serene environment that feels far, far away from the chaos of Atlanta’s urban center. At SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK you can find your bliss in myriad ways: Rent a canoe and go out on the 215-acre reservoir and contemplate the interconnectednessmore...

A quick drive west on I-20 from the connector delivers you to a serene environment that feels far, far away from the chaos of Atlanta’s urban center. At SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK you can find your bliss in myriad ways: Rent a canoe and go out on the 215-acre reservoir and contemplate the interconnectedness of us all or take a hike and praise the creator of your choice (or none at all, if that’s your thing). The best hike combines the White Trail with the Red Trail, leaving the visitor center and heading counterclockwise for a 4.5-mile loop jaunt. Starting with a warning not to disturb rattlesnakes about a mile in before winding through a forest past a turtle pond and climaxing with a roughly 2-mile ramble on the red trail, hugging the whitewater swells of Sweetwater Creek beside you. The sounds alone will provide salvation. Bathe in the water for a rebirth, with plenty of deer checking you out in the brilliant afternoon light. Whatever your chosen journey, Sweetwater Creek will deliver the zen you seek. 1750 Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs. 770-732-5871. www.gastateparks.org/SweetwaterCreek.

(Courtesy of gastateparks.org/PressRoom).

less...

Best hope for fighting homelessness BOA Award Winner

Affordable Housing
AFFORDABLE HOUSING. We need more of it. Like, a lot more. And mandatory inclusionary zoning — something, perhaps, to watch for in mayoral candidates’ commitments — is legislation that, in other cities, has been a catalyst for the creation of affordable housing. Such an ordinance would mandate thatmore...
AFFORDABLE HOUSING. We need more of it. Like, a lot more. And mandatory inclusionary zoning — something, perhaps, to watch for in mayoral candidates’ commitments — is legislation that, in other cities, has been a catalyst for the creation of affordable housing. Such an ordinance would mandate that some percentage, generally between 10 and 30 percent, of housing be affordable, which has been defined as 60 percent of Atlanta’s area median income (or $60,219). Now, some say “affordable” should be based not on area median income but on what someone who works full-time making minimum wage can actually afford. But we’ve got to a draw a line in the sand at some point. Let’s get this done. less...

Best local clothing designer BOA Award Winner

Rabble and Rouse

Best aesthetician BOA Award Winner

Amy Shufflebeam

Best spin class BOA Award Winner

Flywheel

Best tattoo studio BOA Award Winner

photo by: Lindsey Max

Best store for your all your occult needs BOA Award Winner

ATL Craft
Witches take note: Nestled on Edgewood Avenue (next to Sister Louisa’s Church Murch store), ATL CRAFT is a shop that owner Haley Murphy boasts is stocked with “everything you need for spell work”: we’re talking oils, crystals, ritual bath supplies, meditation masks, jewelry and more. Along withmore...
Witches take note: Nestled on Edgewood Avenue (next to Sister Louisa’s Church Murch store), ATL CRAFT is a shop that owner Haley Murphy boasts is stocked with “everything you need for spell work”: we’re talking oils, crystals, ritual bath supplies, meditation masks, jewelry and more. Along with the magical aides, the spot also sells work by a number of local healers and artists — like Kat Shaw from Herbalista, Orion Crook and Maddy Barreto, among others — and, perhaps most importantly, provides a one-of-a-kind space for learning, support and fellowship for people whose belief systems typically fall outside of the status quo. 489-B Edgewood Ave. S.E. www.atlcraftshop.com. less...

Best boutique for discounted couture BOA Award Winner

Labels
LABELS has so many discounted goods for sale — with four different locations on the same street, by category, for your bargain-hunting needs: Separates; Dress and Shoe; Children; and Men’s. Each of the four collections is housed in an English-style cottage, and you can park at one shop and easilymore...
LABELS has so many discounted goods for sale — with four different locations on the same street, by category, for your bargain-hunting needs: Separates; Dress and Shoe; Children; and Men’s. Each of the four collections is housed in an English-style cottage, and you can park at one shop and easily walk to the others. Brands range from high-end designers like Chanel, Prada and Jil Sander to contemporary favorites such as Theory, Alice + Olivia and Rag & Bone. You’ll also find a wide variety of clothing up for grabs, from everyday button-downs and trousers for work to more elaborate fare, like a decadent Dior gown or costume jewelry. 3202 Paces Ferry Place. 404-841-8444. www.labelsrb.com. less...

Best beauty bargain BOA Award Winner

Nail Mall
If you want to bring the nail salon experience home, there’s no better place to start than NAIL MALL, a Buford Highway shop featuring rows upon rows of manicure goods. Brand-name polishes, such as Essie and OPI, line the walls in every shade (and opacity), and go for $4 and $4.75, respectively —more...
If you want to bring the nail salon experience home, there’s no better place to start than NAIL MALL, a Buford Highway shop featuring rows upon rows of manicure goods. Brand-name polishes, such as Essie and OPI, line the walls in every shade (and opacity), and go for $4 and $4.75, respectively — or about half of what they’ll cost you at the corner drugstore. Plus you can pick up wholesale-size bottles of lotion and cuticle oil, or even salon-style chairs and nail-drying machines (typically only found in wholesale-only stores) at discounted prices. 5338 Buford Highway, Doraville. 678-547-0098. www.nailmall.com. less...

Best place to get your car fixed at an affordable price BOA Award Winner

Roger Jordan Garage
ROGER JORDAN GARAGE was opened in 1943 in the same Inman Park location it currently operates out of by the Roger Jordan — who later passed it down to his two sons. One son, Don, still works there, along with nephews and even more family. “I don’t pay myself much and don’t work very hard,” Donmore...

ROGER JORDAN GARAGE was opened in 1943 in the same Inman Park location it currently operates out of by the Roger Jordan — who later passed it down to his two sons. One son, Don, still works there, along with nephews and even more family. “I don’t pay myself much and don’t work very hard,” Don says. The place is everything you always wanted in a car repair shop. One of the Jordans (or a tattooed mechanic) will listen to your sob story, empathize and then give you a great deal. You might have to wait a little bit to get it done — the disclaimer displayed at the garage’s entrance flat-out states that they make no promises on when your car will be finished — but it’s worth the wait. 1152 DeKalb Ave. N.E. 404-688-2692. www.rogerjordangarage.net.

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best local stage director BOA Award Winner

Rebekah Suellau

Best dance company BOA Award Winner

Zoetic Dance Ensemble

Best poet BOA Award Winner

Jessica Katoff

Best muralist BOA Award Winner

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

less...

Best internet satirist, or troll with a heart of gold BOA Award Winner

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 local punk act BOA Award Winner

Black Lips

Best local classical music BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Best concert venue BOA Award Winner

The Tabernacle

Best band to turn up and drown out current national politics BOA Award Winner

Art School Jocks
No, nobody should ignore the sinking ship that is the Trump presidency. But sometimes coming up for air, in the form of catchy protest pop (post-)punk, is what's needed to continue forging ahead. That's where ART SCHOOL JOCKS come in. With a well-crafted eponymous EP released in June via Father/Daughtermore...

No, nobody should ignore the sinking ship that is the Trump presidency. But sometimes coming up for air, in the form of catchy protest pop (post-)punk, is what's needed to continue forging ahead. That's where ART SCHOOL JOCKS come in. With a well-crafted eponymous EP released in June via Father/Daughter Records, the foursome of scene veterans combines various influences (post-punk, Britpop, emo) with socially aware lyrics. Hit 'Just a Gwen, which garnered the group national attention via NPR, Stereogum and Mother Jones, explores and denounces the dark irony of victim-blaming culture Ñ don't dress that way, watch your drink Ñ around sexual harassment and assault. This music is the perfect salve for these hard times. www.artschooljocks.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best local promoter BOA Award Winner

Zero Mile
Over the last few years, Atlanta has witnessed a dramatic spike in the quantity and quality of music being booked across the board. From corporate behemoths to DIY guys booking smaller rooms, competition among promoters is thick. When the management and promotions teams behind Terminal West (led by Scottmore...
Over the last few years, Atlanta has witnessed a dramatic spike in the quantity and quality of music being booked across the board. From corporate behemoths to DIY guys booking smaller rooms, competition among promoters is thick. When the management and promotions teams behind Terminal West (led by Scott Orvold and Alan Sher) and Agon Entertainment announced they'd partnered to launch ZERO MILE, the new organization took over booking for Athens' Georgia Theatre, and Atlanta's Variety Playhouse and Terminal West, while working with other venues, as well. Working together, Zero Mile put into place a network that allowed for all three venues to flourish together as a viable independent operation. Since May, Zero Mile has booked everyone from Waka Flocka Flame to Gillian Welch, tackling a broad range of musical terrain. Zero Mile will also oversee booking and promotion for the music venue being built as part of the upcoming Atlanta Dairies development on Memorial Drive. As Atlanta continues its dominance as one of the most vibrant cities in the Southeast, Zero Mile's ingenuity and dedication to building from the ground up has positioned the organization as a major player, primed for expansion and growth as a leader of Georgia music. www.zeromile.com. less...

Best trap music ambassadors BOA Award Winner

Migos
Are MIGOS really bigger than the Beatles? No. But Offset, Quavo and Takeoff are the de facto leaders of the new school. The album Culture received a massive boost by the success of "Bad and Boujee," and has since seen "T-Shirt" and the Gucci Mane-aided "Slippery" gain steam as legitimate mainstream hits.more...
Are MIGOS really bigger than the Beatles? No. But Offset, Quavo and Takeoff are the de facto leaders of the new school. The album Culture received a massive boost by the success of "Bad and Boujee," and has since seen "T-Shirt" and the Gucci Mane-aided "Slippery" gain steam as legitimate mainstream hits. The group's style of call-and-response ad-libs reminiscent of '50s era doo-wop groups have both innovated and redefined how melody is used in hip-hop across the board. A lot of young artists are direct descendants of the style that the Northside trio has been cultivating for years now, and the broader music world has finally taken notice. www.migosonline.com. less...

Best instrumentalist BOA Award Winner

Marquinn "Quinn" Masonry
On any given night of the week, MARQUINN "QUINN" MASONRY can be found playing music from Gallery 992 (his regular spot) and Aisle 5 to the wilds of the Atlanta Beltline, sputtering and blowing into an alto saxophone. Be it with the Convergence, the Wolfpack, Konda, Leo Project, Charolastra or some othermore...

On any given night of the week, MARQUINN "QUINN" MASONRY can be found playing music from Gallery 992 (his regular spot) and Aisle 5 to the wilds of the Atlanta Beltline, sputtering and blowing into an alto saxophone. Be it with the Convergence, the Wolfpack, Konda, Leo Project, Charolastra or some other spontaneously formed ensemble, Masonry is a tempestuous player looming over Atlanta's free jazz and improvised music scene. He's a MVP for anyone who's paying attention; the kind of player who doesn't have to show up for practice and still nail his performance every time. Masonry's thoughtful yet emotional performances pack in variety and passion, enough to transfix anyone within earshot, and his influence can be discerned not only in the work of his Best local music compatriots, but further afield via such icon musicians as Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Sonny Stitt and John Coltrane. Even when he's between parts, quietly listening to the rest of the musicians on stage, waiting for his cue, Masonry is dialed into his own wavelength. He lives the music he plays, and it's his sense of intuition that guides his music and leaves an impression on his fellow performers and anyone who has gathered to take in his presence.

photo by: Joeff Davis

less...

Best band sticking to its guns BOA Award Winner

Biters
BITERS tirelessly chase rock stardom in a world that doesn't know how much it needs rock stars. Even when mainstream rock music had a cleaner bill of health, the journey to the top was often fast-tracked by creative and aesthetic compromises. Fortunately, Biters aren't about to take a single shortcut.more...
BITERS tirelessly chase rock stardom in a world that doesn't know how much it needs rock stars. Even when mainstream rock music had a cleaner bill of health, the journey to the top was often fast-tracked by creative and aesthetic compromises. Fortunately, Biters aren't about to take a single shortcut. The band's dedication to classic punk and rock 'n' roll sounds is steadfast, so don't expect to ever hear singer Tuk Smith rap over artificial beats. They're never ditching the denim and leather or changing hairstyles, either. Each member is too dedicated to a look, a sound and a lifestyle to never sell out. www.bitersband.com. less...

Best desserts BOA Award Winner

Sweet Charlie's

Best Caribbean BOA Award Winner

Papi's Cuban and Caribbean Grill

Best Japanese BOA Award Winner

Nakato

Browse by Category

After Dark
After Dark
Cityscape
Cityscape
Consumer Culture
Consumer Culture
Index
Index
Oral Pleasures
Oral Pleasures
Poets, Artists & Madmen
Poets, Artists & Madmen