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Oral Pleasures

Best Overall Restaurant: Bacchanalia

Staff Pick

BACCHANALIA continues to bedazzle as the consummate Atlanta fine dining destination. This town digs a little industrial grit with its foie gras terrine, so we love that Bacchanalia’s regal setting has its roots in a meatpacking plant. A savvy window separates the subtly elegant room from the bustling kitchen, allowing us to satisfy our voyeuristic urges without shattering our eardrums. But it’s Clifford Harrison and Anne Quatrano’s accessibly seasonal food that really makes us yearn for a special occasion to celebrate. Sure, you can choose superlative signatures (blue crab fritter, poached chicken with summer truffles) from the oft-changing prix-fixe menu, but choose a dish like sweetbreads or celery-anchovy salad to sample the kitchen’s daring versatility.

Best 24-hour Restaurant

Majestic Diner

For all the debauchery and bleary-eyed clubbing that ordering a plate of hash browns at 4 a.m. entails, THE MAJESTIC is the only place to »more

Best Appetizers and Best Pizza

Fritti

Appetizers are a transcendental experience at FRITTI. Anyone who has ever ordered the funghi fritti (fried mushrooms) knows what we’re talking about. Just thinking about »more

Best Bakery

Bread Garden

Katharine Krasnow’s BREAD GARDEN is not the biggest bakery in town. But it’s been our favorite since it opened and instantly transferred 15 pounds of »more

Best Bar Food

The Earl

Fattening, messy, burger-centric: These are all the things good bar food should be about. And it’s exactly what THE EARL dishes out while some of »more

Best Barbecue

Swallow at the Hollow

The folks at SWALLOW AT THE HOLLOW may not be purists, but that’s the reason we crave their ’cue. The chopped pork, scrumptious without any »more

Best Biscuits

Pastries a go-go

PASTRIES A GO-GO has located to sunnier digs across the street from its original location on Ponce, and now the weekend breakfast line ripples even »more

Best Breakfast

Radial Cafe

Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, not cutthroat. RADIAL CAFE is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table »more

Best Burger

U.S. Cafe Express

Diehard burger fiends in the know agree that the best versions of this most American of all meals can be had at U.S. CAFE EXPRESS. »more

Best Burrito

Matilda Bean

Though some might still say there is no such thing as a good burrito in Atlanta, others get on I-85 and head south to MATILDA »more

Best Carryout and Best Cookies

Star Provisions

After peeking through half-covered windows for months, we were giddy to finally traipse through the gleaming take-out expansion of STAR PROVISIONS, nicknamed Provisions to Go. »more

Best Cheap Eats

Food Court at Chinatown Square

Got a hankering for a giant bowl of brothy seafood noodles? How about some soy-lacquered duck that melts in your mouth? The FOOD COURT AT »more

Best Chef and Best Resaurant When Someone Else is Paying

Guenter Seeger at Seeger's

Hey, why didn’t anyone tell us before that there’s a picture of GUENTER SEEGER in the dictionary next to the word “genius”? Not that we’re »more

Best Chinese Barbecue

BBQ Corner II

If barbecue isn’t something you’ve ever associated with Chinese cuisine, it’s time you became initiated. There’s no smoky, sweet sauces or traditional sides (other than »more

Best Coffeehouse

Joe's East Atlanta Coffee Shop

It’s a rare coffeehouse in Atlanta that serves an A-plus cup of java and features ambiance that wasn’t ordered from a corporate headquarters. But JOE’S »more

Best Comfort Food

What a Crock!

A woman we know going through a tough divorce swears the chicken potpie at WHAT A CROCK! saved her sanity. Indeed, the super-rich, flaky-crusted pies »more

Best Cuban

Las Palmeras

We lost our chance at the Pulitzer for investigative reporting when we announced earlier this year, quite wrongly, that LAS PALMERAS had closed. For once, »more

Best Cupcakes

West Egg Cafe

Cupcakes are springing up on more and more menus these days, but the best of the bunch can be found off Howell Mill at WEST »more

Best Deli

Muss & Turner's

The perennial complaint of New York transplants is the lack of a good deli in the Atlanta area. Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner changed that »more

Best Desserts

Aria

Since the day chef/owner Gerry Klaskala’s ARIA opened, his secret weapon has been pastry chef Kathryn King. Her sweets have an unerring sense of harmony »more

Best Dim Sum

China Delight

With Canton House just emerging from renovation and Oriental Pearl transformed into a buffet, it might seem that CHINA DELIGHT would win the dim sum »more

Best Expense Account Lunch

Nan Thai Fine Dining

How can you tell where the power brokers dine? Check out a restaurant’s parking lot around noon. If the cheapest car on the blacktop is »more

Best Falafel

Ali's Mediterranean

Although its name has changed and the interior has undergone a much-needed redecoration, ALI’S MEDITERRANEAN is still a one-man operation run by owner Fakhir Ali. »more

Best French and Best Wine List

Joel

“Will you trust me?” master sommelier Philippe Buttin often inquires of intrepid wine adventurers at JOËL. If you give the nod, Buttin will slip away »more

Best French Fries

Woodfire Grill

French fries are hot right now, have you noticed? And not just at the city’s burgeoning burger joints: Every serious eatery around seems to be »more

Best Fried Catfish

Geraldine's Fish & Grits

Few foods evoke a flood of memories in a Southerner as much as fried catfish. At GERALDINE’S FISH & GRITS, this flaky-tender favorite is delicately »more

Best Fried Chicken

Watershed

We might as well retire this category — at least until WATERSHED stops offering its Tuesday night fried chicken special (which we pray won’t be »more

Best FrouFrou Martini

Roy's Hawaiian Martini

Say aloha to ROY’S HAWAIIAN MARTINI. The heady mix of plain vodka, vanilla vodka and coconut rum is punctuated with a chunk of fresh pineapple »more

Best Ice Cream

Hank's

We’re blessed with some irresistible ice cream and gelato shops, but ever since we tasted the rose-petal ice cream at HANK’S last Valentine’s Day, we’ve »more

Best Indian

Madras Saravana Bhavan

No matter how you mispronounce it, MADRAS SARAVANA BHAVAN continues to serve unequalled South Indian cuisine. Yeah, yeah, it’s all vegetarian. But if you eat »more

Best Intown Beer Selection

Brick Store Pub

The beer list at Decatur’s BRICK STORE PUB is so extensive that you have to download a PDF file to view it online. The outstanding »more

Best Italian

Sotto Sotto

SOTTO SOTTO has won Critics’ Choice for six years now, but try as we might, we can’t come up with another place that can touch »more

Best Japanese

Soto Japanese Restaurant

A year after the exultant reopening of SOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT, chef/owner Sotohiro Kosugi recently made another intriguing change to his Japanese fusion format. Mondays, Tuesdays »more

Best Korean

Hae Woon Dae

Several terrific Korean soup shops exist around town, but when we crave Korean barbecue, we head to HAE WOON DAE. Located in a shopping center »more

Best Local Brew

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale

TERRAPIN RYE PALE ALE was first introduced in Athens in April 2002 at the Classic City Brew Fest. Later that year, it won an American »more

Best Male Actors

Cast of Take Me Out

No single male performance knocked it out of the park like the CAST OF TAKE ME OUT at Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage. The »more

Best Mexican

Taqueria La Oaxaquena

TAQUERIA LA OAXAQUEÑA serves some of the most soulful Mexican food we’ve ever had the good fortune to shovel in our mouths. The draw may »more

Best Middle Eastern

Imperial Fez

At IMPERIAL FEZ, chef/owner Rafih Benjelloun asks you to take off your shoes, lounge on pillows on the floor and eat his multicourse, prix-fixe Moroccan »more

Best Mojito

Park 75 Lounge and Terrace

As if the Cuban drink-of-the-moment didn’t go down easily enough in its classic mint-and-rum incarnation, the passion fruit mojito at the PARK 75 LOUNGE AND »more

Best New Restaurant

The Globe

Govantez Lowndez is a restaurateur who learns from his past. Where his defunct Commune was tucked away in a dark (though admittedly sexy) back corner »more

Best Overall Restaurant

Bacchanalia

BACCHANALIA continues to bedazzle as the consummate Atlanta fine dining destination. This town digs a little industrial grit with its foie gras terrine, so we »more

Best Patio Dining

Piebar

Thank God someone finally did something interesting with the futuristic Trust Company bank branch that’s been decaying on Monroe for a decade. Local restaurateur Bob »more

Best Restaurant for a First Date

Pura Vida

Candlelight, cozy tables and sultry Latin music make PURA VIDA an especially good choice for a first date. Chicken-stuffed empanadas, cremini mushrooms in chipotle-garlic butter »more

Best Restaurant to Take Visitors

Two Urban Licks

Eating at TWO URBAN LICKS is as much about the spectacle as it is about the meal. With so much competing for your attention — »more

Best Sandwich/Sub

Fabiano's Italian Deli

There’s so much to love at Midtown’s FABIANO’S ITALIAN DELI, but you can’t do any better than the “#1.” A double-fister of a sandwich, the »more

Best Seafood

Kyma

“Where can we go for good seafood?” is the most common restaurant question we field. And we always have the answer: KYMA. The Buckhead Life »more

Best Signature Cocktail

Eclipse di Sol

Poised beneath the Highland Inn, ECLIPSE DI SOL is as equally suited for party couples to launch their evenings as it is for same duos »more

Best Soul Food

Son's Place

The routine at SON’S PLACE is classic: Grab your tray, pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, and get in line for fried chicken, meatloaf, »more

Best Southern

Greenwood's on Green Street

When we want the culinary equivalent of old-time religion, we make a beeline up Ga. 400 to chow down at the church of Bill Greenwood. »more

Best Southwestern

Agave

There was a time when if someone mentioned Cabbagetown, you thought of our own little slack-jawed patch of Appalachia in south Atlanta. No more. The »more

Best Steaks

Bones

BONES. The name says it all. Macho. Old school. Meat. When the primal urge arises to violate your wallet and spend a week’s pay on »more

Best Sunday Brunch

Watershed

WATERSHED is, and has been for the past several years, the final word in Sunday brunch. Airy, light-filled and baby-friendly, the dining room hosts families »more

Best Sushi

MF Sushi

Atlantans can throw down on some sushi. We even snap up California rolls at Publix when we’re on the fly. But when it’s time to »more

Best Taco

El Rey Del Taco

Tacos — mini-tacos, no less — are king at EL REY DEL TACO. The hard-to-beat price of around $1 each allows you to munch on »more

Best Tapas

Pura Vida

Hey, do y’all know where the tapas craze originally came from? They were invented by the Spanish as an inexpensive taste to accompany wine. There »more

Best Thai

Tamarind

The carefully crafted cuisine at sweetly plain TAMARIND has a memorable complexity, even though it’s not giddily garnished with an orchid spray, a la Tamarind’s »more

Best Traditional Southern Cocktail

Floataway Cafe

The mint julep is mistakenly thought of as genteel, but a poorly poured mint julep can be either too strong or too syrupy. Thankfully, lively »more

Best Vietnamese

Com Vietnamese Grill

There are dozens of Vietnamese restaurants in our city, including those that cater to gourmet-minded American palates. This year, we have to cite COM VIETNAMESE »more

Best Waitstaff

Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead

The DINING ROOM AT THE RITZ-CARLTON BUCKHEAD may be searching the globe for a new powerhouse chef to helm its kitchen, but that’s no reason »more

Best-Looking Waitstaff

Thompson Brothers Barbecue

The gosh-wow handsome brothers who own THOMPSON BROTHERS BARBECUE take your order, chop the saucy pork and ring you up with flawless, heartfelt smiles. Although »more

Best 24-hour Restaurant

Majestic Diner

For all the debauchery and bleary-eyed clubbing that ordering a plate of hash browns at 4 a.m. entails, THE MAJESTIC is the only place to »more

Best Appetizers and Best Pizza

Fritti

Appetizers are a transcendental experience at FRITTI. Anyone who has ever ordered the funghi fritti (fried mushrooms) knows what we’re talking about. Just thinking about »more

Best Bakery

Bread Garden

Katharine Krasnow’s BREAD GARDEN is not the biggest bakery in town. But it’s been our favorite since it opened and instantly transferred 15 pounds of »more

Best Bar Food

The Earl

Fattening, messy, burger-centric: These are all the things good bar food should be about. And it’s exactly what THE EARL dishes out while some of »more

Best Barbecue

Swallow at the Hollow

The folks at SWALLOW AT THE HOLLOW may not be purists, but that’s the reason we crave their ’cue. The chopped pork, scrumptious without any »more

Best Biscuits

Pastries a go-go

PASTRIES A GO-GO has located to sunnier digs across the street from its original location on Ponce, and now the weekend breakfast line ripples even »more

Best Breakfast

Radial Cafe

Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, not cutthroat. RADIAL CAFE is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table »more

Best Burger

U.S. Cafe Express

Diehard burger fiends in the know agree that the best versions of this most American of all meals can be had at U.S. CAFE EXPRESS. »more

Best Burrito

Matilda Bean

Though some might still say there is no such thing as a good burrito in Atlanta, others get on I-85 and head south to MATILDA »more

Best Carryout and Best Cookies

Star Provisions

After peeking through half-covered windows for months, we were giddy to finally traipse through the gleaming take-out expansion of STAR PROVISIONS, nicknamed Provisions to Go. »more

Best Cheap Eats

Food Court at Chinatown Square

Got a hankering for a giant bowl of brothy seafood noodles? How about some soy-lacquered duck that melts in your mouth? The FOOD COURT AT »more

Best Chef and Best Resaurant When Someone Else is Paying

Guenter Seeger at Seeger's

Hey, why didn’t anyone tell us before that there’s a picture of GUENTER SEEGER in the dictionary next to the word “genius”? Not that we’re »more

Best Chinese Barbecue

BBQ Corner II

If barbecue isn’t something you’ve ever associated with Chinese cuisine, it’s time you became initiated. There’s no smoky, sweet sauces or traditional sides (other than »more

Best Coffeehouse

Joe's East Atlanta Coffee Shop

It’s a rare coffeehouse in Atlanta that serves an A-plus cup of java and features ambiance that wasn’t ordered from a corporate headquarters. But JOE’S »more

Best Comfort Food

What a Crock!

A woman we know going through a tough divorce swears the chicken potpie at WHAT A CROCK! saved her sanity. Indeed, the super-rich, flaky-crusted pies »more

Best Cuban

Las Palmeras

We lost our chance at the Pulitzer for investigative reporting when we announced earlier this year, quite wrongly, that LAS PALMERAS had closed. For once, »more

Best Cupcakes

West Egg Cafe

Cupcakes are springing up on more and more menus these days, but the best of the bunch can be found off Howell Mill at WEST »more

Best Deli

Muss & Turner's

The perennial complaint of New York transplants is the lack of a good deli in the Atlanta area. Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner changed that »more

Best Desserts

Aria

Since the day chef/owner Gerry Klaskala’s ARIA opened, his secret weapon has been pastry chef Kathryn King. Her sweets have an unerring sense of harmony »more

Best Dim Sum

China Delight

With Canton House just emerging from renovation and Oriental Pearl transformed into a buffet, it might seem that CHINA DELIGHT would win the dim sum »more

Best Expense Account Lunch

Nan Thai Fine Dining

How can you tell where the power brokers dine? Check out a restaurant’s parking lot around noon. If the cheapest car on the blacktop is »more

Best Falafel

Ali's Mediterranean

Although its name has changed and the interior has undergone a much-needed redecoration, ALI’S MEDITERRANEAN is still a one-man operation run by owner Fakhir Ali. »more

Best French and Best Wine List

Joel

“Will you trust me?” master sommelier Philippe Buttin often inquires of intrepid wine adventurers at JOËL. If you give the nod, Buttin will slip away »more

Best French Fries

Woodfire Grill

French fries are hot right now, have you noticed? And not just at the city’s burgeoning burger joints: Every serious eatery around seems to be »more

Best Fried Catfish

Geraldine's Fish & Grits

Few foods evoke a flood of memories in a Southerner as much as fried catfish. At GERALDINE’S FISH & GRITS, this flaky-tender favorite is delicately »more

Best Fried Chicken

Watershed

We might as well retire this category — at least until WATERSHED stops offering its Tuesday night fried chicken special (which we pray won’t be »more

Best FrouFrou Martini

Roy's Hawaiian Martini

Say aloha to ROY’S HAWAIIAN MARTINI. The heady mix of plain vodka, vanilla vodka and coconut rum is punctuated with a chunk of fresh pineapple »more

Best Ice Cream

Hank's

We’re blessed with some irresistible ice cream and gelato shops, but ever since we tasted the rose-petal ice cream at HANK’S last Valentine’s Day, we’ve »more

Best Indian

Madras Saravana Bhavan

No matter how you mispronounce it, MADRAS SARAVANA BHAVAN continues to serve unequalled South Indian cuisine. Yeah, yeah, it’s all vegetarian. But if you eat »more

Best Intown Beer Selection

Brick Store Pub

The beer list at Decatur’s BRICK STORE PUB is so extensive that you have to download a PDF file to view it online. The outstanding »more

Best Italian

Sotto Sotto

SOTTO SOTTO has won Critics’ Choice for six years now, but try as we might, we can’t come up with another place that can touch »more

Best Japanese

Soto Japanese Restaurant

A year after the exultant reopening of SOTO JAPANESE RESTAURANT, chef/owner Sotohiro Kosugi recently made another intriguing change to his Japanese fusion format. Mondays, Tuesdays »more

Best Korean

Hae Woon Dae

Several terrific Korean soup shops exist around town, but when we crave Korean barbecue, we head to HAE WOON DAE. Located in a shopping center »more

Best Local Brew

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale

TERRAPIN RYE PALE ALE was first introduced in Athens in April 2002 at the Classic City Brew Fest. Later that year, it won an American »more

Best Male Actors

Cast of Take Me Out

No single male performance knocked it out of the park like the CAST OF TAKE ME OUT at Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage. The »more

Best Mexican

Taqueria La Oaxaquena

TAQUERIA LA OAXAQUEÑA serves some of the most soulful Mexican food we’ve ever had the good fortune to shovel in our mouths. The draw may »more

Best Middle Eastern

Imperial Fez

At IMPERIAL FEZ, chef/owner Rafih Benjelloun asks you to take off your shoes, lounge on pillows on the floor and eat his multicourse, prix-fixe Moroccan »more

Best Mojito

Park 75 Lounge and Terrace

As if the Cuban drink-of-the-moment didn’t go down easily enough in its classic mint-and-rum incarnation, the passion fruit mojito at the PARK 75 LOUNGE AND »more

Best New Restaurant

The Globe

Govantez Lowndez is a restaurateur who learns from his past. Where his defunct Commune was tucked away in a dark (though admittedly sexy) back corner »more

Best Overall Restaurant

Bacchanalia

BACCHANALIA continues to bedazzle as the consummate Atlanta fine dining destination. This town digs a little industrial grit with its foie gras terrine, so we »more

Best Patio Dining

Piebar

Thank God someone finally did something interesting with the futuristic Trust Company bank branch that’s been decaying on Monroe for a decade. Local restaurateur Bob »more

Best Restaurant for a First Date

Pura Vida

Candlelight, cozy tables and sultry Latin music make PURA VIDA an especially good choice for a first date. Chicken-stuffed empanadas, cremini mushrooms in chipotle-garlic butter »more

Best Restaurant to Take Visitors

Two Urban Licks

Eating at TWO URBAN LICKS is as much about the spectacle as it is about the meal. With so much competing for your attention — »more

Best Sandwich/Sub

Fabiano's Italian Deli

There’s so much to love at Midtown’s FABIANO’S ITALIAN DELI, but you can’t do any better than the “#1.” A double-fister of a sandwich, the »more

Best Seafood

Kyma

“Where can we go for good seafood?” is the most common restaurant question we field. And we always have the answer: KYMA. The Buckhead Life »more

Best Signature Cocktail

Eclipse di Sol

Poised beneath the Highland Inn, ECLIPSE DI SOL is as equally suited for party couples to launch their evenings as it is for same duos »more

Best Soul Food

Son's Place

The routine at SON’S PLACE is classic: Grab your tray, pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, and get in line for fried chicken, meatloaf, »more

Best Southern

Greenwood's on Green Street

When we want the culinary equivalent of old-time religion, we make a beeline up Ga. 400 to chow down at the church of Bill Greenwood. »more

Best Southwestern

Agave

There was a time when if someone mentioned Cabbagetown, you thought of our own little slack-jawed patch of Appalachia in south Atlanta. No more. The »more

Best Steaks

Bones

BONES. The name says it all. Macho. Old school. Meat. When the primal urge arises to violate your wallet and spend a week’s pay on »more

Best Sunday Brunch

Watershed

WATERSHED is, and has been for the past several years, the final word in Sunday brunch. Airy, light-filled and baby-friendly, the dining room hosts families »more

Best Sushi

MF Sushi

Atlantans can throw down on some sushi. We even snap up California rolls at Publix when we’re on the fly. But when it’s time to »more

Best Taco

El Rey Del Taco

Tacos — mini-tacos, no less — are king at EL REY DEL TACO. The hard-to-beat price of around $1 each allows you to munch on »more

Best Tapas

Pura Vida

Hey, do y’all know where the tapas craze originally came from? They were invented by the Spanish as an inexpensive taste to accompany wine. There »more

Best Thai

Tamarind

The carefully crafted cuisine at sweetly plain TAMARIND has a memorable complexity, even though it’s not giddily garnished with an orchid spray, a la Tamarind’s »more

Best Traditional Southern Cocktail

Floataway Cafe

The mint julep is mistakenly thought of as genteel, but a poorly poured mint julep can be either too strong or too syrupy. Thankfully, lively »more

Best Vietnamese

Com Vietnamese Grill

There are dozens of Vietnamese restaurants in our city, including those that cater to gourmet-minded American palates. This year, we have to cite COM VIETNAMESE »more

Best Waitstaff

Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead

The DINING ROOM AT THE RITZ-CARLTON BUCKHEAD may be searching the globe for a new powerhouse chef to helm its kitchen, but that’s no reason »more

Best-Looking Waitstaff

Thompson Brothers Barbecue

The gosh-wow handsome brothers who own THOMPSON BROTHERS BARBECUE take your order, chop the saucy pork and ring you up with flawless, heartfelt smiles. Although »more

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