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Dragon Con

Trophy Case

Atlanta. 1987. A small group of sci-fi fans joined forces to create what has become arguably the supreme gathering of geeks and nerds in the world. All kneel before Dragon Con. Every Labor Day weekend, Jedis, Dr. Whos, and Klingons descend upon Downtown and, after taking over the city’s most iconic street with a parade rivaled only by Pride, party in hotels. When not showing off costumes, attendees sit in panel discussions about filking, participate in live-action role-playing, and pack Q&As with the cast of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and other popular series. If you’re able to squeeze yourself into one of the host hotels to party alongside them, you have a wonderful night ahead of you. Thank you for being a geeky friend that enlivens our city and pumps millions of dollars into our local economy, Dragon Con.

Best act of civil disobedience

Moral Monday Georgia Protestors

Every week during the 2014 legislative session, MORAL MONDAY GEORGIA PROTESTERS took to the Georgia State Capitol to call attention to issues ranging from Georgia’s »more

Best album

Faun and a Pan Flute

No album better embodies young Atlanta’s passion for drawing out the undeniable beauty tucked away in the city’s forgotten corners than FAUN AND A PAN »more

Best art event series

Sumptuary

This spring’s SUMPTUARY was part mixer, part surprise party, part dance club, and part gallery opening. There’s no one way to represent Atlanta’s art scene, »more

Best artist response to censorship

Ruth Stanford

As the much-anticipated spring 2014 grand opening of Kennesaw State University’s Zuckerman Museum of Art neared, many local artists and art enthusiasts regarded the $3-million, »more

Best Atlanta legacy act

Black Lips

Few groups can claim to have not only left a profound mark on the local music scene that spawned them, but also to have altered »more

Best back rub

Jazmin Spa

The full body massage is a fine art, one that JAZMIN SPA in Little Five Points has mastered. The best back rubs require communication but »more

Best band

Mastodon

In June, MASTODON released its sixth album, Once More ’Round the Sun. It arrived as a slab of hooky hard rock and immediately became the »more

Best band that can’t find enough hours in the day

Small Reactions'

SMALL REACTIONS’ normal routine would be enough to give most dedicated musicians their fill of local scene participation. The group plays around town enough and »more

Best band to blow the roof off of the joint

The Wolfpack

When determining how badass a band truly is, its live show can’t just be good. The sheer physicality of its performance must force patrons to »more

Best band to sharpen post-punk’s teeth and claws

Dasher

DASHER is still a bit of a homegrown secret, but that shouldn’t last long. Dasher made its vinyl debut in May to rave reviews with »more

Best bartender

Miles Macquarrie

What does it take to classify a bartender as “best”? There’s the obvious: his or her skill at making drinks, creating cocktails, naming cocktails. There’s »more

Best bets for getting into some funny business: Comedian

Rob Haze

Even though ROB HAZE has been a rising Atlanta comedy star for a couple of years, this past one has been particularly notable. He opened »more

Best bets for getting into some funny business: Monthly comedy show you’ve never been to

WonderComedy

Originally started by Jake Head, WONDERCOMEDY has grown since Andrew Michael took it over in July 2013. Held on the third Friday of every month »more

Best bets for getting into some funny business: Promising development for the advancement of Atlanta comedy

Rotknee Presents Records

The Star Community Bar’s free Monday night comedy show has been running 10-plus years and is frequently pointed to as the best open-mic night in »more

Best bets for getting into some funny business: Weirdo relentlessly fucking with the form

Keenan Burton

Perhaps the best way to describe KEENAN BURTON’s oddball comedic sensibility is to point to his YouTube clip “THE ORIGINAL Cheese and Crackers song.” In »more

Best bizarro local news story

Winter Storm Leon

WINTER STORM LEON, the catastrophic (and hilariously named) winter storm that brought Atlanta to a screeching halt, showed us the best and worst of the »more

Best boutique record shop

Sunbrimmer Records

In March Mike Tyson, a former employee of Athens’ Wuxtry Records, opened SUNBRIMMER RECORDS in Avondale Estates. It seemed a risky venture at first. Avondale »more

Best breath of fresh air

Lusca

Who would have guessed that a slice of edgy East Atlanta Village would find its way to a home on posh Peachtree Road? LUSCA done »more

Best chef

Robert Phalen

One Eared Stag’s relatively bashful chef/owner ROBERT PHALEN flies under the radar, stewing in his own creativity and introspection. There is no other chef in »more

Best chef-to-table restaurant

GUNSHOW

Things are usually quirky, frequently disorienting, and almost always delicious at chef Kevin Gillespie’s GUNSHOW. The dim sum-style Glenwood Park restaurant serves rustic, new American »more

Best comeuppance by a public official

Stacey Kalberman

The only thing better than proving someone wrong is when it comes with a cash prize. STACEY KALBERMAN, the former executive director of Georgia’s ethics »more

Best creative diner food

Sobban

Leave it to the mad Korea-meets-the-South fusionists of Heirloom Market BBQ to convert a vintage-looking former Arby’s location into the contemporary Korean-Southern diner SOBBAN. What, »more

Best DIY electronic act

10th Letter

Jeremi Johnson, better known as experimental producer 10TH LETTER, is a jewel hiding among the excesses of Atlanta’s EDM nightlife. His style encapsulates the burst »more

Best dose of realness in an email by a city official

Hans Utz

City Hall was in a state of chaos upon learning that the Braves had decided to leave Atlanta. It all began Nov. 11, 2013, at »more

Best experimental music motivator

Mission Trips

Christopher White’s one-man experimental music act Magicicada had been making noise around Atlanta for nearly 15 years before he realized his calling as a leader »more

Best food for a cause: Fresh-food-for-everyone advocates

Wholesome Wave Georgia

Give it up for the people who are fighting for equal access to good food for all. WHOLESOME WAVE GEORGIA was established in 2009 to »more

Best food for a cause: Friend of the farmers

Georgia Organics

Sometimes, we forget or don’t know how the food came to our table or farmers market. GEORGIA ORGANICS helps encourage and sustain simple, organic farming »more

Best food for a cause: Pace changers

Slow Food Atlanta

City folks want everything fast. Even when it’s fast, it’s not fast enough — especially when it comes to our meals. Amid the hustle and »more

Best food for a cause: Service industry support group

The Giving Kitchen

Atlanta nonprofit THE GIVING KITCHEN was formed in May 2013 to establish a fund that benefitted restaurant workers in need of financial assistance — for »more

Best food porn

@BetterHalfCook

They don’t call it an Instagram “feed” for nothing. We like to eat with our eyes by following @BETTERHALFCOOK, Better Half restaurant owner/chef Zach Meloy’s »more

Best forum for fostering DIY culture

Atlanta Zine Fest

As the driving force behind the indie/punk tape label Big Blonde and the annual ATLANTA ZINE FEST, Amanda Mills has spent the last two years »more

Best gatherings of the masses: Free event

Atlanta Streets Alive

Banning cars from the streets and allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to roam free? Blasphemy, right?! Not so thanks to ATLANTA STREETS ALIVE, a daylong celebration »more

Best gatherings of the masses: Neighborhood festival

Inman Park Festival

Atlantans love few things more than walking around shoulder-to-shoulder with their fellow city dwellers, looking at trinkets and landscapes drawn on saws, while eating gyros. »more

Best gatherings of the masses: Race for a cause

Atlanta Mission's Race to End Homelessness

You can say someone should do something to help the city’s homeless. Or you can lace up your shoes and pound the pavement in Downtown »more

Best grace note

Jamie Barton

It would be difficult to pick the coolest thing about Atlanta resident JAMIE BARTON’s year. The lustrously voiced mezzo-soprano and Shorter College grad made headlines »more

Best Haircut in Town

The SWAG Shop

The staff at THE SWAG SHOP works under the notion that when you hop out of the chair, you’re a walking, talking work of art. »more

Best hip-hop event host

David "Fort Knox" Freeman

What do we want when seeing live hip-hop? We want positive energy. We want creativity. We want a sense that what we’re seeing and hearing »more

Best ice cream

Jen's Splendid Ice Cream

JENI’S SPLENDID ICE CREAM relies on hand-selected, often local ingredients of the highest quality to create the smoothest, creamiest indulgence in the land. No artificial »more

Best in tattoo shops: All-around

Only You Tattoo

Since opening back in 2009, ONLY YOU TATTOO has become a go-to ink haunt for everyone from grandmothers and frat boys to Brooklyn-based indie rockers »more

Best in tattoo shops: Local tat incubator

West End Tattoo

There’s a reason why owner Tyrone “RED” Cooley calls his tattoo shop “the jewel of West End.” For more than two decades, WEST END TATTOO »more

Best in tattoo shops: New modern style tattoo shop

City of Ink

For nearly a decade, CITY OF INK has served as ground zero for an underground creative culture that circumvented the urban mainstream while directly influencing »more

Best in tattoo shops: Private tattoo experience

Southern Star Tattoo

SOUTHERN STAR TATTOO’s Ponce de Leon Avenue digs come equipped with individual artist booths, so customers can have a little privacy when they’re getting that »more

Best in up-and-coming fashion: Boutique to feed your shoe fetish

Epitome

Sneaker shops can be so sexist. But EPITOME, with its combination of men’s and women’s shoes is anything but. The inventory has included everything from »more

Best in up-and-coming fashion: Effort to help local fashion designers

Factory Girls

In the 1960s Andy Warhol had the Factory, where he assembled revolutionary works of art and formed an iconic entourage of creative minds. A comparable »more

Best in up-and-coming fashion: Jewelry for the ladies

Crafts and Love

Courtney Weil pairs geometric brass pieces with vibrant gemstones, both vintage and new, for her CRAFTS AND LOVE jewelry line, currently carried at several Atlanta »more

Best in up-and-coming fashion: Men’s accessories

Messrs. R/R

Whether you’re dressing for date night or a trip to Bourbon Country, MESSRS. R/R caters to the distinguished gentleman you are (or aspire to be). »more

Best instrumentalist

Chris Childs

As one member of Atlanta’s not-so-nouveau hippie indie underground, CHRIS CHILDS is a leader among the city’s most intrepid musical explorers. The marimba is his »more

Best Kickstarted small business

Taproom Coffee

Jonathan Pascual dreamed of one day bringing a coffee and beer oasis to downtown Kirkwood. With a little crowd-sourced funding from the neighborhood and a »more

Best legal Hail Mary

Sue and block the stadium deal

English Avenue, Vine City, and Castleberry Hill residents had exhausted nearly all their options in blocking the construction of the proposed Atlanta Falcons stadium in »more

Best local bookstore

A Cappella Books

Since 1989 A CAPPELLA BOOKS has been a staple for rare and out-of-print titles, as well as new and used books. Although small, this cozy »more

Best local communities: Family-oriented neighborhood

City of Decatur

CITY OF DECATUR, how far you’ve come. Once just another suburb, now affluent families are throwing ’bows to find a place to live in the »more

Best local communities: Neighborhood for porch life

Cabbagetown

The Europeans might have mastered how to design cities but Americans mastered the porch. And the South has perfected the art of relaxing on those »more

Best local communities: Neighborhood for walking and biking

Midtown

It’s not always easy to live car-free in Atlanta. But it’s enjoyable in MIDTOWN. The neighborhood that offers both skyscrapers and single-family residential streets also »more

Best local gift shop

The Beehive

Located in the Edgewood Retail District, THE BEEHIVE brings local entrepreneurs and designers together under one roof. Dozens of local vendors sell everything from jewelry »more

Best local produce fix

Freedom Farmers Market

This year, we found a new reason to get out of bed early on Saturday mornings. Aptly named for its location on the Freedom Park »more

Best local renaissance man

Sean Fahie

It’s a wonder SEAN FAHIE is able to get any sleep. The St. Croix-born transplant by way of Savannah calls himself an “artist and purveyor »more

Best local residency

Leap Year

Finding your place as an emerging artist in the city’s arts scene can be hard. That’s where MINT Gallery’s LEAP YEAR residency comes in. The »more

Best metal band

Hellgoat

The dark drone, the demonic roar, and the symphony of society gone mad that open the black metal assault of HELLGOAT’s “Demonic Worship of the »more

Best mixtape

Pulp Fiction

Miloh Smith is blessed with the gift and curse of having multiple musical personalities. The Marietta MC and singer/songwriter’s 2013 debut, Suite 404, was promising, »more

Best modernization of a modern art space

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

For its 40th birthday, the ATLANTA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER got a $600,000 face-lift. It nipped the old resource room and redesigned the lobby. It tucked »more

Best movers and shakers: Dance company to unite a village

The Lucky Penny

Luckily for Atlanta, choreographer Blake Beckham’s conceptual and choreographic inspirations found a perfect partner in production designer Malina Rodriguez’s technical know-how. The duo behind contemporary »more

Best movers and shakers: Proof that collaborative performance isn’t meh

Meh Meh

For what will be one of the last and most memorable performances held at Druid Hills Baptist Church, five male artists explored issues of power, »more

Best movers and shakers: Romantic dance moves

Roméo et Juliette

The oft-told tale of Romeo and Juliet seemed fresh and new in the Atlanta Ballet’s 2013-2014 season production of ROMÉO ET JULIETTE. Lead dancers Christian »more

Best movers and shakers: Series to keep Atlanta talking about dance

Tanz Farm

In its second season, the gloATL/Goat Farm co-sponsored TANZ FARM series surpassed itself, presenting internationally renowned choreographers such as Ballet Hispanico’s Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and »more

Best music venue

Terminal West

A well-ventilated and well-maintained venue, with clean facilities, solid staff, a decent bar and plenty of parking, and it’s not a sterile, super-corporate spot? Yep, »more

Best neighborhood restaurant

BoccaLupo

More than a year after Bruce Logue, La Pietra Cucina’s former executive chef, struck out on his own at BOCCALUPO, his debut restaurant is still »more

Best new attraction

National Center For Civil and Human Rights

Since the 1996 Summer Olympics, Downtown has evolved into Atlanta’s mainstream tourism hub, a place where visitors can sample Coca-Cola from India and ogle beluga »more

Best new bike whisperer

Fixie Bicycle Gallery

If you can dream your perfect bicycle, then these guys can build it. Located at the heart of Old Fourth Ward on Edgewood Avenue, FIXIE »more

Best new gallery

Gallery 72

The latest addition to Atlanta’s legacy of municipal galleries doubles as a testament to the value of rehabilitated urban spaces. By turning the bottom floor »more

Best new hip-hop superstar

Young Thug

Following in the footsteps of fellow Atlanta superstars Rich Homie Quan and Future, East Point’s eccentric YOUNG THUG sets himself apart with hooky beats, as »more

Best new restaurant

Kimball House

We take our booze seriously in the South. Almost more seriously than we take our food. Newcomer KIMBALL HOUSE is impressive on both fronts. One »more

Best nightlife district

Edgewood Avenue

In four years, the nightlife on EDGEWOOD AVENUE has exploded into a scrappy, authentic, fun, sweaty, irreverent, welcoming, and young half-mile of late-night trouble. Whether »more

Best of local beer: Beer advocate under the Gold Dome

Brett Harrell

Though most Georgia legislators are, at best, ignorant about craft beer and the Peach State’s restrictive laws surrounding it, or, at worst, in the pockets »more

Best of local beer: Beer festival

Georgia Craft Beer Festival

Held in March by the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild at Red Brick Brewing, the GEORGIA CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL turned out to be the most exciting »more

Best of local beer: New beer

Atalanta

Orpheus brewmaster Jason Pellett loves sour beers. While making ends meet as a trumpet player and part-time teacher, he realized no one in Georgia was »more

Best of local beer: New brewery

Orpheus

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about ORPHEUS, which opened in late May. It’s located on the Beltline in Morningside/Lenox Park, a stone’s »more

Best of local beer: Sign for Georgia beer’s future

Georgia Craft Brewers Guild

Although it was unsuccessful in its efforts to reform state beer legislation, the GEORGIA CRAFT BREWERS GUILD spent the last year raising awareness and signing »more

Best of the fests: Best homegrown success fest

ONE Musicfest

The vision of Atlanta promoter Jay Carter, urban music-focused gathering ONE MUSICFEST brings a message of unity to the tune of Erykah Badu, Goodie Mob, »more

Best of the fests: Day trip to see OutKast

CounterPoint Music Festival

Held on an expansive piece of farmland on the outskirts of Rome, Ga.’s Kingston Downs, the COUNTERPOINT MUSIC FESTIVAL attracts dance music fans, hip-hop heads, »more

Best of the fests: Excuse to put on 
fuzzy boots and dance
 till you drop

TomorrowWorld

One of the world’s largest electronic music festivals, TOMORROWWORLD is a three-day rave in the wilds of Chattahoochee Hills that happens every fall. Put on »more

Best of the fests: Reason to hang out at Atlantic Station

Shaky Knees

At the very least, we oughta love SHAKY KNEES because after years of drought here in Georgia, the two-year-old event has a knack for opening »more

Best of the fests: Reason to rediscover your love of hip-hop

A3C

Since 2004, A3C has grown by leaps and bounds. What began as a modest gathering of friends and tour mates has expanded to cover the »more

Best of the fests: Rock ’n’ roll blowout

Mess-Around

The MESS-AROUND is the city’s premier annual blowout for all things punk, garage, and rock ’n’ roll. Since 2008, the Mess-Around has taken over East »more

Best overall restaurant

The General Muir

Last year, our pick for best new restaurant in Atlanta was THE GENERAL MUIR. Twelve months later, our love for the upscale deli has only »more

Best pack of scarf-wearing, ball-kicking hooligans

Terminus Legion

The best ideas often start from the bottom and rise to the top. It happened with the Atlanta Beltline, which was borne from a Georgia »more

Best paid view of the city

SkyView Atlanta

Nestled amid at least five different tourist attractions, the 200-foot-tall SKYVIEW ATLANTA is one ride every local should do at least once. Rising above Centennial »more

Best pizza

Don Antonio by Starita

In a town where pizza choices abound, New York import DON ANTONIO BY STARITA won us over the minute we saw the cooks spinning fresh »more

Best place for a séance

Westview Cemetery

Where better to break out the Ouija board than WESTVIEW CEMETERY, built atop a Civil War battlefield and now the final resting place of 100,000 »more

Best place for artists to stock their creative arsenal

Sam Flax

Being armed with the right materials when inspiration strikes makes all the difference. SAM FLAX has everything you need to create your next masterpiece or »more

Best place to commune with nature

Constitution Lakes Nature Preserve

Down Moreland Avenue past the Starlight Drive-In sits the CONSTITUTION LAKES NATURE PRESERVE, a former brick factory turned verdant nature getaway. Follow a winding bike »more

Best place to eat slutty Mexican food without feeling like a slut

Elmyriachi

You know that craving for the salt, the fat, a touch of delicious sleaze, all wrapped in a tortilla? You can fulfill the need without »more

Best place to get lost in the sauce

Decatur Package Store

Downtown Decatur has become ground zero for booze lovers in metro Atlanta. It currently is home to at least a half-dozen of the city’s best »more

Best place to get tipsy in a UFO

Polaris

Settling in for drinks within the Hyatt Regency’s blue-domed revolving restaurant POLARIS is an ideal escape from the city hustle. The relentlessly retro vibe, the »more

Best place to get your dog’s hair did

Park Pet Supply

It can be tough to find the perfect one-stop shop for both pets and their owners. The folks over at PARK PET SUPPLY in East »more

Best place to hear a reading

Kavarna

While it’s generally true that content trumps form when it comes to a reading, it’s hard to argue with what KAVARNA’s got going on. Manager »more

Best place to learn long-lost life skills

The Homestead Atlanta

Does watching “The Walking Dead” leave you lamenting your lack of survival skills? Look to THE HOMESTEAD ATLANTA for classes that will make you as »more

Best place to maintain your Hooptie

Roger Jordan Garage, Inc.

For years ROGER JORDAN GARAGE, INC. was affectionately called “Oger Jord’n’s,” even years after the “R” and the “A” on the big sign over the »more

Best place to people watch

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

For the most bang for your voyeuristic buck, spend a few hours people watching at HARTSFIELD-JACKSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. ATL has been the world’s busiest passenger »more

Best place to prep for swole season

CrossFit Terminus

CrossFit gyms are everywhere. CROSSFIT TERMINUS stands apart thanks to the coaching of co-owners Ben Benson and Emily Bridgers. Both are certified CrossFit trainers. Bridgers, »more

Best place to ride your bike

Lionel Hampton and Southwest Connector Trails

You’ve ridden the Freedom Park bike trail too many times to count. You’ve slalomed past slow walkers and leisure pedalers on the Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside »more

Best place to see local music

529

Every now and then, a city is lucky enough to host a bar such as East Atlanta’s 529. Since 2008, the satellite of EAV’s most »more

Best places to wet your whistle: Boozing in a dark corner

Paper Plane

Tucked away down a Decatur back alley behind Victory Sandwich Bar, PAPER PLANE is a dark and sexy retreat for those who want to disappear »more

Best places to wet your whistle: Club night

Keep On Movin'

Get your Internet machine fired up and point it toward YouTube for some old “Soul Train” clips. Take those funky moves, add a dash of »more

Best places to wet your whistle: Dive bar

Tucker Saloon

TUCKER SALOON is a former farmhouse with graffiti-covered walls, grungy pool tables, poker nights, and a classic dive bar atmosphere of trouble — the kind »more

Best places to wet your whistle: Drag dinner theater

Lips Atlanta

LIPS ATLANTA combines flashy décor (crystal chandeliers, fishnet-clad legs mounted on pink leopard-print walls), an all-drag waitstaff, and cheeky and brilliant performers for one of »more

Best places to wet your whistle: Honky-tonk

Southern Comfort

Barely OTP watering hole SOUTHERN COMFORT is a honky-tonk haven for big-rig truckers and East Atlanta hipsters alike. There’s nothing ironic about the live »more

Best places to wet your whistle: Hotel bar

The Glenn's Skylounge

Hotel bars exist in a strange subcategory that seems to require that modifier regarding their locations. But hey, a good bar is a good bar, »more

Best places to wet your whistle: Indulge your mic-hogging karaoke self

Karaoke Melody

You could karaoke in Atlanta at one of the many intown bars that have special nights throughout the week, but you’ll probably have to wait »more

Best play

'Choir Boy'

By sheer happenstance, playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney won a prestigious MacArthur Genius grant on opening day of his play CHOIR BOY in Atlanta. The Alliance’s »more

Best pop-up

Eat Me Speak Me

Chef Jarrett Stieber crashes kitchens with abandon and seems particularly to enjoy small spaces. You might have caught him hanging out in a tight corner »more

Best pop-ups in a neighborhood on the come up

Downtown pop-ups

Downtown’s retail scene had a few new tenants this summer. Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District hand-selected more than a dozen local »more

Best pop/soul/acoustic music innovator

Marian Mereba

Whatever you do, don’t try to put MARIAN MEREBA into a box. The Atlanta-based songstress switches styles like other artists switch lace-fronts. Case in point: »more

Best post-punk salvo

Warehouse's 'Tesseract'

Warehouse dropped its debut album, TESSERACT, on the Fourth of July. Until the moment it appeared on Bandcamp, it had been the subject of much »more

Best reason to turn off terrestrial radio

Arts, Beats + Lyrics Radio

Let’s be real. Atlanta urban radio on the whole could use a new voice. With that said, the only person who doesn’t seem surprised by »more

Best rec league

Atlanta Silverbacks Park's Seven versus Seven League

The glory days of your soccer-playing youth can live on after high school and college. There’s always the hunt for the next big game, a »more

Best reclamation of an asphalt eyesore

Boulevard Tunnel Initiative

Boulevard Tunnel used to be a place most pedestrians avoided. The dark and creepy underpass that connects Old Fourth Ward and Cabbagetown had broken lighting, »more

Best recycled furniture

Reclaimed Atlanta

Back in 2011, RECLAIMED ATLANTA was still the dream of two girls who love and know their way around power tools. Local woodworkers and designers »more

Best redemption of the South

The Bitter Southerner

THE BITTER SOUTHERNER co-founder Chuck Reece once told CL, “Every culture needs its voices.” Back in 1995 when Andre 3000 told a booing crowd at »more

Best seafood

St. Cecilia

Ford Fry’s star restaurant ST. CECILIA opened in Buckhead this past January. The former Bluepointe space in Buckhead was renovated and transformed into a pulsing »more

Best songwriter

Eliot Bronson

Formerly one-half of folk rock duo the Brilliant Inventions, Baltimore transplant ELIOT BRONSON has become a fixture on the local songwriter scene. After the dissolution »more

Best startup that could actually change the world

Safichoo Toilet

The world needs a better toilet. Billions of people in developing countries lack basic bathroom facilities, and an estimated 3.4 million die each year from »more

Best street art

Origin of Feces

“It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine.” Apt advice from the father »more

Best student revolt

#SaveWRAS

Atlantans were up in arms last May when news broke that WRAS (88.5-FM), the longtime 100,000-watt student voice of Georgia State University, would flip formats »more

Best transit advancement

Clayton County's Push To Join MARTA

Charming as a Downtown streetcar may be, the real metro Atlanta transit progress is CLAYTON COUNTY’S PUSH TO JOIN MARTA. If voters approve the 1 »more

Best tree hugger

Sally Bethea

Flushing a toilet in Atlanta does a lot less environmental damage than it did 20 years ago, when SALLY BETHEA, the founding director of the »more

Best trend

Immersive theater

Some of the most intriguing and inventive theater in Atlanta this year actually happened outside the theater. Artists produced elaborate shows at unusual venues. Enthusiastic »more

Best trip-hop, Krautrock, psych-pop underdog

Where.Are.We

Over the last year, WHERE.ARE.WE has quietly left a mark on the local scene, carving out a musical niche as a pleasantly ramshackle electronic pop »more

Best trippy experience money can buy (legally)

Flöt SPA

Zoning out is rarely as easy or as good for you as it is at FLÖT SPA. The Midtown spa offers your typical relaxation experiences »more

Best underground 
yard sale

Highland Row Antiques

Chances are you didn’t realize you needed that ceramic Elvis head or vintage pair of ruby red slippers until you took a trip to HIGHLAND »more

Best visually minded hip-hop artist

Raury

Introductions can be awkward, even more so when the person at the other end of the greeting is a teenager. In the case of RAURY, »more

Best way to drink wine you can’t afford

Poppin' Bottles

Over the past few years, the Spence has become known for its racy, exotic wine list. It’s populated with lesser-known varietals like Mauzac, a fizzy »more

Best wearable response to Braves retreat from Atlanta

Fuck Cobb County

When 30-year-old Atlanta native Clay Bolton heard that the Braves were leaving the city limits for Cobb County, his response became the perfect T-shirt slogan »more

Best act of civil disobedience

Moral Monday Georgia Protestors

Every week during the 2014 legislative session, MORAL MONDAY GEORGIA PROTESTERS took to the Georgia State Capitol to call attention to issues ranging from Georgia’s »more

Best album

Faun and a Pan Flute

No album better embodies young Atlanta’s passion for drawing out the undeniable beauty tucked away in the city’s forgotten corners than FAUN AND A PAN »more

Best art event series

Sumptuary

This spring’s SUMPTUARY was part mixer, part surprise party, part dance club, and part gallery opening. There’s no one way to represent Atlanta’s art scene, »more

Best artist response to censorship

Ruth Stanford

As the much-anticipated spring 2014 grand opening of Kennesaw State University’s Zuckerman Museum of Art neared, many local artists and art enthusiasts regarded the $3-million, »more

Best Atlanta legacy act

Black Lips

Few groups can claim to have not only left a profound mark on the local music scene that spawned them, but also to have altered »more

Best back rub

Jazmin Spa

The full body massage is a fine art, one that JAZMIN SPA in Little Five Points has mastered. The best back rubs require communication but »more

Best band

Mastodon

In June, MASTODON released its sixth album, Once More ’Round the Sun. It arrived as a slab of hooky hard rock and immediately became the »more

Best band that can’t find enough hours in the day

Small Reactions'

SMALL REACTIONS’ normal routine would be enough to give most dedicated musicians their fill of local scene participation. The group plays around town enough and »more

Best band to blow the roof off of the joint

The Wolfpack

When determining how badass a band truly is, its live show can’t just be good. The sheer physicality of its performance must force patrons to »more

Best band to sharpen post-punk’s teeth and claws

Dasher

DASHER is still a bit of a homegrown secret, but that shouldn’t last long. Dasher made its vinyl debut in May to rave reviews with »more

Best bartender

Miles Macquarrie

What does it take to classify a bartender as “best”? There’s the obvious: his or her skill at making drinks, creating cocktails, naming cocktails. There’s »more

Best bets for getting into some funny business: Comedian

Rob Haze

Even though ROB HAZE has been a rising Atlanta comedy star for a couple of years, this past one has been particularly notable. He opened »more

Best bets for getting into some funny business: Monthly comedy show you’ve never been to

WonderComedy

Originally started by Jake Head, WONDERCOMEDY has grown since Andrew Michael took it over in July 2013. Held on the third Friday of every month »more

Best bets for getting into some funny business: Promising development for the advancement of Atlanta comedy

Rotknee Presents Records

The Star Community Bar’s free Monday night comedy show has been running 10-plus years and is frequently pointed to as the best open-mic night in »more

Best bets for getting into some funny business: Weirdo relentlessly fucking with the form

Keenan Burton

Perhaps the best way to describe KEENAN BURTON’s oddball comedic sensibility is to point to his YouTube clip “THE ORIGINAL Cheese and Crackers song.” In »more

Best bizarro local news story

Winter Storm Leon

WINTER STORM LEON, the catastrophic (and hilariously named) winter storm that brought Atlanta to a screeching halt, showed us the best and worst of the »more

Best boutique record shop

Sunbrimmer Records

In March Mike Tyson, a former employee of Athens’ Wuxtry Records, opened SUNBRIMMER RECORDS in Avondale Estates. It seemed a risky venture at first. Avondale »more

Best breath of fresh air

Lusca

Who would have guessed that a slice of edgy East Atlanta Village would find its way to a home on posh Peachtree Road? LUSCA done »more

Best chef

Robert Phalen

One Eared Stag’s relatively bashful chef/owner ROBERT PHALEN flies under the radar, stewing in his own creativity and introspection. There is no other chef in »more

Best chef-to-table restaurant

GUNSHOW

Things are usually quirky, frequently disorienting, and almost always delicious at chef Kevin Gillespie’s GUNSHOW. The dim sum-style Glenwood Park restaurant serves rustic, new American »more

Best comeuppance by a public official

Stacey Kalberman

The only thing better than proving someone wrong is when it comes with a cash prize. STACEY KALBERMAN, the former executive director of Georgia’s ethics »more

Best creative diner food

Sobban

Leave it to the mad Korea-meets-the-South fusionists of Heirloom Market BBQ to convert a vintage-looking former Arby’s location into the contemporary Korean-Southern diner SOBBAN. What, »more

Best DIY electronic act

10th Letter

Jeremi Johnson, better known as experimental producer 10TH LETTER, is a jewel hiding among the excesses of Atlanta’s EDM nightlife. His style encapsulates the burst »more

Best dose of realness in an email by a city official

Hans Utz

City Hall was in a state of chaos upon learning that the Braves had decided to leave Atlanta. It all began Nov. 11, 2013, at »more

Best experimental music motivator

Mission Trips

Christopher White’s one-man experimental music act Magicicada had been making noise around Atlanta for nearly 15 years before he realized his calling as a leader »more