Home Best of Atlanta 2013

Best of Atlanta 2013

Bungalow Classic

1197 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA, 30318

404-351-9120

A Westside stalwart, Bungalow shines especially bright (pardon the pun) with its selection of stylish, affordable light fixtures.

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Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co. – Virginia-Highland

1064 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta, GA, 30306

404-892-8202

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.

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Cardamom Hill

1700 Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30318

404-549-7012

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.

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Centennial Olympic Park

265 Park Avenue West, Atlanta, GA, 30313

404-223-4412

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.

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Chaos Conditioning

325 East Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, 30305

404-590-5852

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.

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DragonCon

Downtown Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, 30303

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.

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East Pearl

1810 Liddell Lane, Duluth, GA, 30096

678-380-0899

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.

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Empire State South

999 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA, 30309

404-541-1105

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.

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Fabu Face Spa

335 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, Decatur, GA, 30030

404-377-6363

There’s nowhere better for a customized facial. Add the $20 herbal eye treatment for a transformative reduction in dark circles.

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Fay Gold

760 Tenth Street, Atlanta, GA, 30318

404-625-9094

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.

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Five and Ten

1653 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA, 30606

706-546-7300

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.

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Flatz

314-A Pharr Road, Atlanta, GA, 30305

404-963-1668

Part of us thinks heels are the devil, which is why we fell for this new store on Pharr Road.

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FLO2S

427 Moreland Avenue, Suite 800, Atlanta, GA, 30307

678-856-8060

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.

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Ford Fry

914 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA, 30318

What’s his secret? The man knows how to dazzle with design without going too glitzy, and he traffics in comfort foods with a dash of novelty.

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Four-Handed Massage, Mind & Body Day Spa

5250 Windward Parkway, Alpharetta, GA, 30004

678-366-7825

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.

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Foxtale Book Shoppe

105 East Main Street, Woodstock, GA, 30188

770-516-9989

Perched on the edge of downtown Woodstock, FoxTale is the quintessential community bookstore.

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Freedom Park Trail

Boulevard and Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30312

This paved, mostly shaded route offers a glimpse of the city without the crowds of the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail.

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George’s

1041 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta, GA, 30306

404-892-3648

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.

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