Ann's Snack Bar, The favorite here remains a double cheeseburger with mayo only; it's under $5 and would fill a Great Dane. The masochistic order the Ghetto Burger, a plate-filling sandwich topped with chili, cheese, onions and bacon. Whatever you order, don't plan to move around much the rest of the day. $. L, D. 1615 Memorial Drive. 404-687-9207.
Carroll Street Cafe, The Diem Inc. outpost in Cabbagetown, this winebar-cum-cafe embodies all the Apres Diem style with Cabbagetown's eclectic sensibilities. Try the smoked salmon lox platter for breakfast or the Carroll Street BLT for lunch. B, L, D. $-$$. 208 Carroll St. 404-527-2700. www.apresdiem.com/carroll.
City Grill Three stars. The longevity of City Grill can in large part be attributed to the grand drama of the space. It caters like no other restaurant in town to the romantic notions of Atlanta's Southern gentility that persist in the minds of visitors. Stick to dishes such as the stuffed pork chop with wondrous Anson Mills grits, and the beef filet with the scallion-potato cake, and you'll be set. $$$. L, D. 50 Hurt Plaza. 404-524-2489. www.citygrillatlanta.com.
Dakota Blue, Dakota Blue in Grant Park actually encourages kids rather than tolerates them. A whole corner of toys and coloring books to keep your child occupied proves the point. The booths are made from squirm-friendly, wide wooden planks, and there's plenty on the menu that should be acceptable to finicky little eaters. At the very least, they should be pleased with the gooey home-style desserts. $-$$. L, D. 454 Cherokee Ave. 404-589-8002.
Dante's Down the Hatch, Candlelit tables perched inside and around a faux boat make this fondue spot a good place for a cozy, romantic dinner. $$$. D. 3380 Peachtree Road. 404-266-1600. www.dantesdownthehatch.com.
Duck's Cosmic Kitchen Three stars. This small cafe tucked in back of East Decatur Station serves killer sandwiches on freshly baked bread, a selection of pizzas and some of the best doughnuts we've ever tasted. Pair a Belgian ale with Duck's James Calvin sandwich (a delicious pulled pot roast with horseradish sauce and Dijon on walnut-leek bread) and you'll be in hearty heaven. All bakery items, including a luscious carrot cake and a variety of gooey cheesecakes (and don't forget those doughnuts) are made on site. $$. L, D. 111-D New St. 404-371-8823. www.duckscosmickitchen.com.
Eats, Jerk chicken, veggie plates and quickie pasta reign in this ultra-cheap indie mainstay. $. L, D. 600 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-888-9149. Best of: Cheap Eats
Einstein's, Long-running casual restaurant with popular patio that serves American cuisine and packs them in for weekend brunch. $$. L, D. 1077 Juniper St. 404-876-7925. www.einsteinsatlanta.com.
Food 101 Morningside Two stars. Upscale comfort food is the order of the day here. Look for such homey classics as fried chicken and the "famous" meatloaf to satisfy your nostalgic cravings, and appease your more sophisticated tastes with the red curry honey and shrimp bisque. $$. L, D. 1397 N. Highland Ave. 404-347-9747. www.food101atlanta.com.
Murphy's, For 26 years, Murphy's has been serving classic American fare in a breezy space at the corner of Virginia and Highland avenues. Also serving brunch, and with a bakery and wine shop attached. 997 Virginia Ave. $$. B, L, D. 404-872-0904. www.murphysvh.com.
Park Tavern, Casual eatery with amazing patio views of Midtown across Piedmont Park. $. D. 500 10th St. 404-249-0001. www.parktavern.com.
Paul's Two stars. Counted as one of Atlanta's culinary legends, chef Paul Albrecht delivers great Continental- and Southern-inspired food in his new restaurant. His signature fried lobster tails lead the eclectic menu, but try to avoid the modernist food for more regional dishes such as trout over black-eyed pea salad. $$$. D. 10 Kings Circle. 404-231-4113. www.greatfoodinc.com.
Shout, Über-trendy Tom Catherall offering has a menu of sushi, tapas and pizza, served in cabana-like rooms, but the big draw is the rooftop cocktail lounge with a magnificent skyline view. $$-$$$. L, D. 1197 Peachtree St. 404-846-2000. www.heretoserverestaurants.com.
Solstice Cafe Two stars. Solstice is in the location last occupied by Nayarit taqueria, and is obviously inspired by other intown casual spots like Carroll Street Cafe. Far-better-than-average art hangs on the dark walls and the music actually makes you stop chewing to listen. Fried calamari is tender and served piping hot with a marinara sauce. Beef carpaccio, streaked with a horseradish aioli, melts in the mouth. $$. B, L, D. 562 Boulevard. 404-622-1976.
Souper Jenny, The quaint and tasteful ambiance of Mom's kitchen is in full force at Buckhead's Souper Jenny. But it's the interaction of the familiar with the adventurous that makes it worth the traffic. Pick from a list of wholesome soups, tasty sandwiches and crisp salads. $$. L. 56 E. Andrews Drive. 404-239-9023. www.souperjennyatl.com.
The Varsity, Open since 1928, the V is America's largest drive-in restaurant, serving a staggering 300 gallons of chili, 5,000 fried pies, and two miles of hot dogs a day. The onion rings, orange Frosted and the formidable chili cheese slaw dog are local favorites. $. L, D. 61 North Ave. 404-881-1706. And other metro locations. www.thevarsity.com.
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