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Best of Atlanta 2017 Index

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2017 Index of Winners

Best oysters BOA Award Winner

Best local farm BOA Award Winner

Love is Love Farm

photo by: Joeff Davis

Best late-night hangout BOA Award Winner

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 BOA Award Winner

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 BOA Award Winner

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 BOA Award Winner

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 BOA Award Winner

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 BOA Award Winner

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 BOA Award Winner

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 BOA Award Winner

Papi's Cuban and Caribbean Grill

Best veggie burger BOA Award Winner

Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Best bizarro Best local news story BOA Award Winner

I-85 bridge collapse

Best local hero BOA Award Winner

John Lewis
johnlewis.house.gov

Best local athlete BOA Award Winner

Human Missile Crisis aka Nikita Raper

Best new local startup BOA Award Winner

sCAMPer Van

Best giver of all the damns BOA Award Winner

Asma Elhuni
ASMA ELHUNI’s name bubbled up in new outlets worldwide this year when she videotaped a man harassing her at local coffee shop because she’s Muslim. But beyond that incident, Elhuni — who serves as the outreach director for the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — hasmore...
ASMA ELHUNI’s name bubbled up in new outlets worldwide this year when she videotaped a man harassing her at local coffee shop because she’s Muslim. But beyond that incident, Elhuni — who serves as the outreach director for the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations — has been fighting the good fight in Atlanta for a while now, lending her time and platform to a number of causes. Case in point: Months ago she helped organize a variety of activists and organizations to fight the displacement of residents who live around Turner Field. The former baseball stadium is under development by Georgia State, and through a prolonged camp-in at a makeshift tent city, Elhuni and fellow concerned citizens worked to raise awareness about the downside of gentrification in that part of town. Her efforts underscore what she has identified as her personal mission to fight policies that discriminate against “the poor, immigrants, blacks, Muslims, people of color, trans, queer and nonbinary folks.” www.twitter.com/asmaelhuni less...

Best reason to get excited about the future of Downtown development BOA Award Winner

Newport US
Usually when developers announce plans for projects they have in the works, that news is met with a good deal of nervousness and skepticism by many Atlanta residents. But that’s not the case with NEWPORT US and its plans for South Downtown. The German-based company released renderings in July depictingmore...
Usually when developers announce plans for projects they have in the works, that news is met with a good deal of nervousness and skepticism by many Atlanta residents. But that’s not the case with NEWPORT US and its plans for South Downtown. The German-based company released renderings in July depicting what it has in store for eight blocks of the neighborhood marred by pockets of blight — and those plans call for transformation without destroying the character of the structures. So, look for restoration of buildings in the area, not demolition. The company has also built engagement with the community into the fabric of the project, and that’s a far cry from other developers who seem to be locked in conflict with residents and activists. less...

Best local craft market BOA Award Winner

Indie Craft Experience

Best dry cleaners BOA Award Winner

Sig Samuels

Best head shop BOA Award Winner

Starship Enterprise

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