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Best of Atlanta 2017 Index

Poets Critics Dolls Main Large





2017 Index of Winners

Best mural

Hosea Williams by Fabian Williams (at Studioplex)

Best museum

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art

Best play

Invasion: Christmas Carol Dad's Garage Theatre

Best film made in Atlanta

Baby Driver

www.babydriver-movie.com

photo by: Wilson Webb

Best curator

Karen Comer Lowe Chastain Arts Center
KAREN COMER LOWE, director of the Chastain Arts Center, has been putting in great work for years, but she made major waves this summer when she curated a buzz-worthy exhibition for celebrated artist Hebru Brantley. With the show, titled Clay Pigeons, Lowe was able to coax the Chicago-based Clark Atlantamore...

KAREN COMER LOWE, director of the Chastain Arts Center, has been putting in great work for years, but she made major waves this summer when she curated a buzz-worthy exhibition for celebrated artist Hebru Brantley. With the show, titled Clay Pigeons, Lowe was able to coax the Chicago-based Clark Atlanta University graduate to mount his first solo exhibit in the ATL in four years — one that tackled social issues like police brutality and racism in ways he’d never displayed before. But helming Clay Pigeons was just the latest major move for Lowe, who’s built a career on throwing shine to super-talented artists — such as Yanique Norman, Fabian Williams and Fahamu Pecou — early in their artistic development. And with a lauded new collection featuring the work of Cosmo Whyte currently hanging at the Center, she shows no signs of slowing down or changing course. www.ocaatlanta.com/chastain.

art by Hebru Brantley

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best comic book writer

Van Jensen
VAN JENSEN started out his career in comics nearly 10 years ago writing off-kilter indie comics, but it didn’t take long for him to snag assignments writing big-time superhero comics for the mainstream publishers. This year, however, he made a return to his offbeat roots with a handful of choice gigsmore...
VAN JENSEN started out his career in comics nearly 10 years ago writing off-kilter indie comics, but it didn’t take long for him to snag assignments writing big-time superhero comics for the mainstream publishers. This year, however, he made a return to his offbeat roots with a handful of choice gigs from a gaggle of comic houses: the science fiction series Fallen Suns (out this month), a graphic novel adaptation of the James Bond classic Casino Royale (to be released in October), and the Deep South crime thriller Two Dead he’s creating with March illustrator Nate Powell (coming in 2018), among other projects. He also carved out time to direct his first short film, titled Pisser, about a guy’s mission to take a spatter-free, well, piss. And, on top of all that, the guy even works with local schools, teaching kids how to make their own comics. So, while he may not being writing about spandex-clad heroes at the moment, he’s banging out a superhuman-level workload — and we’re all better as a result. www.twitter.com/van_jensen. less...

Best brunch

Atlanta Breakfast Club

Best Indian

Masala Indian Cuisine

Best Mexican

Nuevo Laredo Cantina Nuevo Laredo Cantina

Best pizza

Antico Pizza

Best OTP newcomer

Spring
Praise be the OTP restaurant that makes intowners (not to mention out-of-towners) jealous. Marietta’s SPRING is such a place. Chef Brian So, formerly of Sobban, crafts elegantly simple compositions — like a recent sweet corn risotto with charred padróns and a scattering of local chanterelles —more...
Praise be the OTP restaurant that makes intowners (not to mention out-of-towners) jealous. Marietta’s SPRING is such a place. Chef Brian So, formerly of Sobban, crafts elegantly simple compositions — like a recent sweet corn risotto with charred padróns and a scattering of local chanterelles — that showcase our region’s bounty as well as any farm-driven ITP mainstay does. The rustic dining room, converted from an old train depot, makes good use of exposed brick and old wood beams, reminding you that you’re in the heart of a place with history — a feeling that’s increasingly hard to find among Midtown’s construction cranes. But be warned: Bon Appétit recently selected Spring as one of the 50 best new restaurants in the U.S., which will surely spur visits from well beyond Marietta’s bounds. 83 Church St., Marietta. 678-540-2777. www.springmarietta.com. less...

Best career move

Michael Hendricks Staplehouse
Chef and home cooks alike used to arrive early to Peachtree Road Farmers Market to get first dibs on forager MICHAEL HENDRICKS’ found edibles. This year, however, after nine years of working closely with Staplehouse’s Ryan Smith, Hendricks took a forager’s dream job, searching through the woodsmore...
Chef and home cooks alike used to arrive early to Peachtree Road Farmers Market to get first dibs on forager MICHAEL HENDRICKS’ found edibles. This year, however, after nine years of working closely with Staplehouse’s Ryan Smith, Hendricks took a forager’s dream job, searching through the woods full-time for chef Smith’s award-winning restaurant. Besides mushrooms, he brings in ramps, daylily shoots and buds, wood sorrel, Japanese knotweed and violet leaves. That dreamy chicken liver tart recently came tweezered with Hendricks’ golden chanterelles, and marrying their skills together is the basis Staplehouse was born upon: “health, happiness, and longevity through what we eat,” as Hendricks puts it. He can take a little credit for that edible flower in your cocktail, too, as he also cares for the herb garden out back. Staplehouse, 541 Edgewood Ave. S.E. 404-524-5005. www.staplehouse.com. less...

Best long-awaited recognition

Steven Satterfield Miller Union
Root to leaf to medal: After five consecutive years of nominations for one of the restaurant industry’s highest honors, Miller Union’s STEVEN SATTERFIELD was finally named Best Chef: Southeast of 2017 by the James Beard Foundation. In a ceremony last spring in Chicago, fellow titleholder Anne Quatranomore...

Root to leaf to medal: After five consecutive years of nominations for one of the restaurant industry’s highest honors, Miller Union’s STEVEN SATTERFIELD was finally named Best Chef: Southeast of 2017 by the James Beard Foundation. In a ceremony last spring in Chicago, fellow titleholder Anne Quatrano placed the coveted and well-deserved medal around Satterfield’s neck. And collectively, we in Atlanta cheered because Satterfield has long been a dedicated champion of both our local farmers and our bellies, churning out seasonal, veggie-focused food (not to mention an impeccably curated wine list, which was also nominated this year) at eight-year-old Atlanta gem Miller Union. You earned it, chef. Miller Union, 999 Brady Ave. N.W. 678-733-8550. www.millerunion.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best food spectacle

Gunshow Gunshow
Get your tickets to the GUNSHOW because there is no place quite like it. Kevin Gillespie’s Glenwood Park hot spot is the rare collision of cool concept meets exceptional food. There are no menus with set courses; rather, dishes audition for your choosing as chefs come to the table and present itemsmore...
Get your tickets to the GUNSHOW because there is no place quite like it. Kevin Gillespie’s Glenwood Park hot spot is the rare collision of cool concept meets exceptional food. There are no menus with set courses; rather, dishes audition for your choosing as chefs come to the table and present items both homey and exotic. A mashup of dim sum and Brazilian churrascaria, where a wide-open kitchen sets the stage for maximum chef-diner interaction, Gunshow is never the same place twice. Executive chef Joey Ward carefully curates a scene of clever, heartfelt and playful food. Cocktails come by way of a rolling cart, where your conductor, Mercedes O’Brien, mixes and stirs right in front of you. 924 Garrett St., Suite C. 404-380-1886. www.gunshowatl.com. less...

Best little chocolate factory in Atlanta

XOCOLATL
Nestled inside Krog Street Market sits the tiniest chocolate factory in Atlanta — and maybe the nation. Husband and wife team Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt opened XOCOLATL back in 2014 and have been steadily churning chocolate bars (and their highly addictive drinking chocolate — hot in the wintermore...
Nestled inside Krog Street Market sits the tiniest chocolate factory in Atlanta — and maybe the nation. Husband and wife team Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt opened XOCOLATL back in 2014 and have been steadily churning chocolate bars (and their highly addictive drinking chocolate — hot in the winter and frozen in the summer) out of their miniscule 250-something-square-foot space ever since. The couple is serious about ingredients and sourcing. All bars are single origin and start with a base of just cane sugar and pure cacao from South and Central America. Be sure to try their latest offering: Love & Happiness, made with Peruvian cacao beans, fresh raspberry and blood orange. 99 Krog St. N.E. 404-604-9642. www.xocolatlchocolate.com less...

Best beer festival

Decatur Craft Beer Festival

Best service

Atlanta Breakfast Club

Best Chinese

Golden Buddha Restaurant

Best Italian

Bambinelli's

Best Middle Eastern

Imperial Fez

Best playground

Noguchi Playscape Piedmont Park

Best hiking trail

Chattahoochee River trails

Best weed warrior

Allen Peake
A handful of politicos pushed pot policy reforms this year, but only one of those efforts bore fruit. State Rep. ALLEN PEAKE passed legislation that expanded the list of ailments a person must have to be eligible for a medical cannabis oil prescription. The THC limit is still capped at 5 percent, somore...

A handful of politicos pushed pot policy reforms this year, but only one of those efforts bore fruit. State Rep. ALLEN PEAKE passed legislation that expanded the list of ailments a person must have to be eligible for a medical cannabis oil prescription. The THC limit is still capped at 5 percent, so patients aren’t exactly getting stoned just yet. But Peake is also a proponent of establishing an in-state cultivation model, so Georgia could start regulating its own bud market. We’ll have to wait until the next legislative session to see how that shakes out. Meantime, state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, and Councilman Kwanza Hall are driving local efforts to relax weed laws in Atlanta. Stay tuned. www.allenpeake.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis/ CL File

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Best co-working space

Switchyards Downtown Club Switchyards Downtown Club
The era of the co-working space is in full effect in Atlanta these days,, but all these startup-focused spots are not created equal. Leading this increasingly crowded pack is SWITCHYARDS DOWNTOWN CLUB, although it’s not totally because of its cool work areas, funky auditorium, espresso bar or ping-pongmore...

The era of the co-working space is in full effect in Atlanta these days,, but all these startup-focused spots are not created equal. Leading this increasingly crowded pack is SWITCHYARDS DOWNTOWN CLUB, although it’s not totally because of its cool work areas, funky auditorium, espresso bar or ping-pong table. None of that matters as much as the fact that SDC seems to cultivate and nurture a vibe that is uniquely Downtown: creative, down-to-earth, more about substance and less about flash. In the process, drawing entrepreneurs — like Bhargava and Anu Chiluveru of the art-focused e-commerce startup fourofour, and Tallia Deljou and Kate Gremillion of the women-centric career development company Mavenly + Co. — who share those same values to work and create there. 151 Ted Turner Drive N.W. www.switchyards.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis/ CL File

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Best natural hair salon

The Good Hair Shop

Best nail salon

Lark and Sparrow

Best spa

Jeju Sauna Jeju Sauna

Best gym

The Rack Athletic Performance Center

Best liquor store

Green's Beverages

Best CSA

Bliss Farm

Best veterinarian clinic

Tucker Animal Hospital

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