If you’re a regular reader of Atlanta magazine, you might have noticed that every year around this time we highlight the city’s best new restaurants. A few months ago our food editor, Bill Addison, came to me with some depressing news: For whatever reasons—the economy, fickle diners, onerous liquor laws—new restaurants weren’t opening in metro Atlanta at the pace they traditionally have. We couldn’t anchor a cover devoted entirely to great new places to eat; there just weren’t enough of them.
As we talked, it dawned on us that it has been years since the magazine stepped back and sized up all of Atlanta’s dining scene, writ large. So our idea was simple: Let’s name the best restaurants in the whole metro region. It was overdue. After all, in a city that’s constantly reinventing itself, nowhere is the churn faster than in the restaurant business. Last year’s must-dine destination is this year’s afterthought. But how long should our list be? Fifty seemed like a good number—big enough to incorporate different cuisines, regions, ambitions, but small enough to still feel exclusive. Plus, it’s the magazine’s fiftieth anniversary this year. Kismet.
Sounds simple, right? But not when you consider the number of restaurants in metro Atlanta. No one, to my knowledge, has tallied that number, but my educated opinion puts it at approximately eight bazillion. Bill, of course, was undaunted. Until I made a request. “Let’s rank them!” I said. He looked at me the way I’ve seen him look at deviled eggs, the only food on the planet he truly detests. “I can’t do that,” he said. “That’s a cheap gimmick. How do I say one restaurant ranks forty-five and one ranks forty-six?”
So we settled on ranking just the top ten—the best of the best. And Bill was excited to be able to answer, unequivocally (at least for the moment), a question he’s asked all the time: Where’s the best place to eat in Atlanta? For his answer, turn to page 58.
Of course, this is just one critic’s list. Is your top dining destination on here? If not, tell us. Make your case persuasively enough and we’ll treat you and a friend to dinner with Bill at his favorite place.
Speaking of dining, I would be remiss if I didn’t also direct your attention to a feature story on Scoutmob, the discount app that, if you’re like me, you probably have on your smartphone. In the past year and a half, Scoutmob has grown from a two-man operation in Castleberry Hill to an idea that is so popular it’s changing the landscape of Atlanta dining.