Best of Atlanta 2011 - Atlanta Magazine
Who serves the best ramen? What's the hottest neighborhood for nightlife? Our annual list features standout restaurants, shops, entertainment, services, people, and treats.

Dine & Drink
Best New Restaurants: Gu's Bistro, Heirloom Market BBQ, No. 246, One Eared Stag, Viande Rouge
Falafel Sandwich: Best Bread Baking Company
Introduction to Afghani: Shami Kabab
Introduction to Filipino: Fil-Am Star Cafe and Bakery
Introduction to Nepalese: Kathmandu Kitchen & Grill
Local Goat Cheese: Decimal Place Farm
Macarons: Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co.
New Asian Market: Mega Mart
New Banh Mi: Huy's Sandwich
New Beer Store: The Beer Growler
New Booze Boutique: H&F Bottle Shop
New Brewery: Jailhouse Brewery Company
Newfangled Cocktails: Escorpion
New Farmers Market: Grant Park Farmers Market
New Food Impresario: Michaela Graham
New Food Trucks: The Fry Guy, Honeysuckle GelatoIbiza Bites, Rattletrap, Slider UTamale Queen, Tex's Tacos, W.O.W!
New Hole in the Wall: EeRecipe Rice Crepes House
New Pig-out: Double Zero Napoletana
New Sweet Shop: Sugar-Coated Radical
New Takeout: Casseroles
Pies and Tarts: The Little Tart Bakeshop, The Pie Hole, Pie Shop, Red Queen Tarts
Ramen: Miso Izakaya
Restaurant Event: Restaurant Eugene's Author Series
Restaurant of the Year: Empire State South
Restaurant Relocation: Cakes & Ale
Rising Star Bartender: Paul Calvert
Traditional Cocktails: H. Harper Station

Dress & Nest
Arm Candy: Honesty Jewelry
Contemporary Furnishings: Switch Modern
Decor Outlet: Ballard's Backroom
Designer Addition: Henri Bendel
Designer Shoe Shop: Emly Benham
Furniture Store: Room & Board
Hot Consignment: Doubletake
House Plants: Garden
Inspiration: Redefined Home Boutique
Inventive Designer: Caroline Mae Heidenreich of MAE Couture
Local Fashion Blogger: Cameron Adams of Atlanta Street Fashion
Makeover: Westside Foundry
Online Shopping Experience: Les Nouvelles
Pair of Secrets: Stanton Home Furnishings and Provenance Antiques
New Gifts & Home Accessories: Jonathan Adler
Party Destination: Festivity Boutique
Prep in Your Step: Ann Mashburn
Spandex Expansion: Deka Atlanta
Sustainable Style: Bee
Trendy Kicks: Epitome

Play & Thrive
Cutest Point of Civic Pride: Zoo Atlanta's Newborns
Day Spa for Day-Trippers: Château Élan
Dog Park Worth the Drive: Newtown Dream Dog Park
Kitchen Sink Spa: Exhale
Massage-as-minivacation: Aviary
New Blowout: Blo Beauty Bar
New Tri and Cycle Spot: Decatur Bikes
New Urban Oasis: Historic Fourth Ward Park
No Excuse Exercise: Walk for Lunch
Postholiday Workout: BLAST900
Social Sport: Atlanta Bocce League

See & Scene
Arts Mashup on the Dial: WMLB 1690 The Voice of the Arts
Band to See Live: Lucy Dreams
City Art Project: Living Walls: The City Speaks
Comedic Talent on the Rise: Mike Kaiser
New Digs: Museum of Design Atlanta
New Movie House: CineBistro
New Nightclub Hopping: Reign Nightclub and Vanquish
Nightlife Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward
Place to Watch Comics Watch Comics: Rotknee Presents
Scavenger Art: Catlanta
Singer-Songwriter: Nic Cowan
Social Media Stunt: CDC's Zombie Apocalypse
Social Politician: Kwanza Hall
Stage under the Stars: Serenbe
Tumblr with Sass: Peachtree Keen
Unsung Curator: Carol Thompson
Venue on the Rise: The Goat Farm Arts Center
Our annual celebration of the city's best restaurants, shops, people, and activities is available in digital form for just 99 cents!

Hall of Fame

  1. WonderRoot

    Since opening in 2004, this inspirational nonprofit committed to advocating for arts, artists, and social change has hosted more than 1,000 music shows and 700-plus classes for artists.

  2. Clermont Lounge

    The real strength of Atlanta’s oldest strip club is that it rejects all attempts to co-opt the hipster scene.

  3. Andisheh Nouraee on Twitter

    Nouraee tweets about the serious to the absurd. He’s the city’s premier microculture critic, with his tongue firmly planted in cheek.

  4. Johnny's Hideaway

    This thirty-two-year old spot promises an unforgettable night out of drinks, dancing, and the best people-watching in town.

  5. Jonpaul's

    “Manly” and “spas” don’t normally coalesce, but Jonpaul’s and its country club aura excel in equating the two.

  6. Atlanta Botanical Garden

    This urban arcadia has augmented its plant collections with the gorgeous Kendeda Canopy Walk, an edible garden, and outdoor kitchen.

Photo Album

Eight Great New Food Trucks
The City of Atlanta still makes food-truck vending on public land nearly impossible. Legislation that passed in September, however, did make it easier for trucks to park on multiple privately owned properties—closer to brick-and-mortar restaurants than previously allowed. Despite the challenges, ambitious new mobile culinarians continue to appear almost weekly. Follow these eight standouts via their websites, Facebook, or Twitter for details on their next stops.