Best of Atlanta 2013
While other local confectioners craft pretty bon bons from couverture (a basic form of wholesale chocolate used to make truffles and pastries), Kristen Hard and her team make their world-class chocolate completely from scratch, starting with superior beans from places like Venezuela and Peru.
Chef-owner Asha Gomez takes her singular cooking in two directions. She re-creates the dishes of her childhood in Kerala, and she marries the flavors of the Indian South with the American South.
If there is a lasting and tangible remnant of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, it is Centennial Olympic Park. As grass and trees have filled in over the years, the park has evolved from a pile of commemorative bricks into a restful oasis.
The small but effective interval-training gym is well known for hosting bootcamp-style workout classes—think modified jump-roping, digs, squats, and push-ups—that leave you trembling and toned.
Every parade has bands and politicians, but this Labor Day extravaganza has bagpipers in steampunk gear and ruling-class representatives from Doctor Who and Game of Thrones.
Pinning down optimum dim sum is a never-ending hunt: The chefs at Chinese restaurants constantly hop from one kitchen to the next without warning. Right now we’ll put our money on Duluth’s East Pearl, oddly lodged in a faux Alpine chalet.
Neighborhood: Northeast Metro
Famed chef Hugh Acheson directs a talented crew who create a playground of ideas and an expansive vision of Southern food. Don’t miss the coffee counter, baked goods, and wine list.
Gold closed her gallery in 2009 but returned this summer with a new space in the Westside Cultural Arts Center, the exterior of which showcases a commissioned mural by HENSE and the 3,000-square-foot interior of which carries a mix of established and emerging talents.
Five & Ten put Hugh Acheson—and Athens—on the culinary map. He mingled the Southern lexicon (catfish over grits, Lowcountry Frogmore stew) with influences from France, Mexico, and Italy.
In a Little Five Points suite, FLO2S offers Atlanta’s only two commercial sensory deprivation tanks: Each holds body-temperature water, less than a foot deep, and 1,200 pounds of Epsom salts, dissolved to create ten times the buoyancy of the Dead Sea.
In the Alpharetta spa’s largest treatment room, a duo of practitioners work in tandem: They begin by unknotting the back with fluid, simultaneous motions, then one kneads the shoulders while the other works on the legs.
This paved, mostly shaded route offers a glimpse of the city without the crowds of the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail.
You can order loaded nachos or a salmon BLT, but the uncontested draw is the burger in a dozen variations. Sticklers who eschew toppings will appreciate the plain burger’s grilled smokiness.