Atlanta Restaurant Reviews

20 Best Atlanta Restaurants to Visit in 2016

restaurant-690975_1280We are breaking protocol to share with our readers what’s on the menu for 2016. Our regular readers know that we never give a restaurant advance notice of our intent to review but we cannot help ourselves from sharing what’s in store for the New Year!

If you decide to check out one of these restaurants or have visited there recently, please let us know about your dining experience. Ready? Let’s eat!

Hugo’s Oyster Bar, Roswell – When you love seafood as much as we do, a trip to Hugo’s is inevitable. Roswell has become a hotbed of great restaurants and we are SO looking forward to this one! [Read our review of Hugo’s Oyster bar, Jan 29 2016]

il Giallo Osteria & Bar, Sandy Springs – Chef Jamie Adams, former Executive Chef at Veni, Vedi, Vici, and his business partner Leonardo Moura opened Il Giallo in 2015, we knew that something great was in store for Atlanta. We cannot wait to experience what they have to offer! [Read our review of il Giallo Osteria & Bar, Jan 22 2016]

Staplehouse, Old Fourth Ward – This for-profit arm of The Giving Kitchen sounds interesting with it’s offering of a 5 course Chef’s tasting. Shut up and take my money!

Restaurant Eugene, Peachtree Battle – Our readers can’t say enough great things about this restaurant. But can Chef Linton Hopkins do anything that’s other than pure excellence?

Babette’s Café, Poncey-Highlands – If there ever was a food critic’s dream, this one looks like it. Nestled in a converted cottage, we hear nothing but great things coming out of this restaurant.

Horseradish Grill, Chastain Park – Can you believe we haven’t made it here yet? We’ve been trying to get this on our schedule for six months – put it on yours for 2016!



Community Smith, Midtown – Just looking at their menu makes me want to run to car the car and drive to Midtown! We can’t wait to try this place!
[Read our review of Community Smith, Feb 5, 2016]

Seed Kitchen & Bar, East Cobb – Our readers in East Cobb keep telling me I have to check out Seed and we are going in 2016. Their menu looks absolutely fabulous! [Read our review of Seed Kitchen & Bar, Jan 15 2016]

Watershed on Peachtree, Atlanta – We have been waiting to experience the Sunday Jazz Brunch but sadly we’ve never gotten there. This is the year we’re going to get to experience all that Chef Zeb Stevenson has to offer!

Canoe, Vinings – A legacy in Atlanta fine dining it’s inexcusable for us not to have been here yet. We’re excited to experience Canoe for ourselves!

Smokebelly BBQ, Buckhead – We’ve been here a few times in 2015 but never have done an official review. Looking forward to returning and gazing at the sauce selections!
[Read our review of Smokebelly BBQ, Feb 5, 2016]



Superica, Krog Street Market – I’m a Ford Fry fan so the next time I can con Melanie into a little Tex-Mex it’s GAME ON! Buena suerte! [Read our review of Superica, Jan 22 2016]

W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, Ponce City Market – When Star Provisions announced this restaurant we were so excited! Seafood lovers such as ourselves cannot wait to get down to Ponce City Market and check this place out! [Read our review of W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, Feb 26 2016]

Thumbs Up Diner, Decatur – Yes, there’s five other locations in Atlanta, but for us Thumbs Up in Decatur will always be home. Put this one down as one we’ve eaten at and never reviewed. That’s going to change in 2016.

Seven Lamps, Lenox – When it comes to that trendy, industrial chique look Seven Lamps looks near the top and so does their menu. Expect a visit from us in the New Year!

Henry’s Louisiana Grill, Acworth – Readers have been scolding me to get the Henry’s and we’re planning on doing just that in 2016. Just be gentle Chef Henry with Melanie’s oh-so-sensitive palate.

Food 101, Sandy Springs – We are suckers for good Southern food, so we cannot wait to try out Food 101. Personally, I’ve got my eye on that Carolina Swordfish and Red Quinoa!
[Read our review of Food 101, Feb 5, 2016]



South Kitchen + Bar, Athens – Like many of our readers, we’re frequent visitors to the Classic City and we’ve never been able to get into South – they’re always packed! 2016 will be our year to experience this place – fo sho! [Read our review of South Kitchen + Bar, Jan 15 2016]

NoToSo’s , Decatur – I get excited about new restaurants, but Le Cordon Bleu trained David Simmons has really got me crazy to check out his talent! Seeing his post about “feeding the hungry and the homeless” sealed the deal – this guy has some HEART and we’re betting that kind of love is going to show up strong in his restaurant.

Urban Cannibals, Midtown – After the move from East Atlanta Village to Midtown, Calavino Donati and Doria Roberts are cooking with gas! To move a restaurant and open another two in one year, these ladies already have our respect! Can’t wait to eat there! [Read our review of Urban Cannibals, Feb 12 2016]

Now, are you as excited as we are about 2016? There is good food and good times to be had for all with these 20 Best Restaurants in Atlanta to visit! Guten appetit!

Looking for something more romantic? Check out Most Romantic Atlanta Restaurants list!

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29 Comments

  1. Margaret Copper
    December 31, 2015 at 9:49 am

    NoToSo’s in Decatur is a great restaurant. The food is delicious, it has such a warm & inviting atmosphere ( the type of place you feel so comfortable you just want to linger, even after you eaten). Your biggest mistake would be not to try it.

    Sunday nights Dinner & Jazz is awesome. Come see for yourself, you won’t be dissappointed.

  2. December 31, 2015 at 9:52 am

    We’ll be there!

  3. Phil
    January 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    The Horseradish Grill has seen better days … like the early 2000’s.

  4. January 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks for that heads up!

  5. Wendy
    January 1, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Oh. I love Superica. I highly recommend the not so short, short rib, and the house salad. Yes, I know, a salad, but it’s one of the best I’ve ever had.
    Also, I eat lunch at H Stiles at least twice a week. The Vietnamese crispy fish is amazing. Also, the oyster offerings are vast, and the pickled shrimp!!! ❤️

  6. January 1, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Thanks so much, Wendy!

  7. January 2, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you for the lovely mention of Babette’s Cafe. Just a note, there’s only one B In the middle.

  8. January 2, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks for that clarification. I’ll make sure to correct that.

  9. Mary Seagrave
    January 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Hugo’s has a warm, welcoming atmosphere and fantastic food. I have yet to have a meal I did not enjoy. We’ve gone there for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Their Bloody Mary bar makes for an entertaining and adventurous brunch. The oysters on the half shell are fresh and reasonably priced. The staff is always pleasant and in warmer weather you can’t beat drinks on the porch. Parking is limited, but they have a valet on busier nights.

  10. January 2, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    It all sounds delightful. Thanks for the comment!

  11. Jackie
    January 3, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I have been to Smokebellys a few times, in the altered words of Will Rogers famous song ….”never had a meal there I didn’t like ….”
    Almost as good as the unassuming Fireside Cafe in
    Sandestin …

  12. January 3, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Jackie, Yes, we’ve been there before – just never reviewed before. What I find is that it’s like watching a great movie over again, you pick up subtle things that you may have missed before. Thanks for the tip on Fireside Cafe in Sandestin. We love going to the Panhandle in October. Did you read our articles on our trip to Panama City Beach? There’s some GOOD EATING down there! Thanks for the comment! -=Randy

  13. JIMMY DURHAM
    January 4, 2016 at 11:10 am

    While Henry’s in Acworth is by far the most notable, another fine dining expereince can be had at Fusco’s Italian on Main Street. Come check them, Gabriel’s, and Center Street Cafe for a true dining destination.
    Jimmy Durham, Acworth.

  14. January 4, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Jimmy, Thanks for the recommendation! This really looks fabulous and we LOVE family owned and inspired restaurants. Great tip! -=Randy

  15. Laura Hess
    January 5, 2016 at 7:53 am

    You forgot Better Half!! A delightful, thoughtful and approachable take on some amazing food. Don’t miss it!

  16. January 5, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I didn’t forget it, I’m never heard of it. Thanks for the tip!

  17. Linda
    January 5, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve been going to Henry’s since the day it opened. Can’t recommend it enough!

  18. January 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Music awesome can’t wait to try it!

  19. Nick
    January 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    No Marietta Diner?!

  20. January 10, 2016 at 9:59 am

    It’s been years now, but we have reviewed Marietta Diner in the past. http://atlanta-food-critic.com/2011/01/marietta-diner-marietta-ga/

  21. Terry
    January 18, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Can’t wait to read your reviews on these restaurants. I love Food 101, they have something on the menu for everyone, wide assortment to choose from. You have to try the homemade potato chips. We always leave with an extra order to take home.
    Smokebelly’s has great BBQ and always seems to be consistent. I have a friend who lives in Indy, whenever she visits this is always her request to eat at.
    I’ll be curious to see what you think about Horseradish Grill. Years ago we loved going to before we went to concerts at Chastain, but over the years I thought the quality dropped. We haven’t been in about two years, so hopefully they made some improvements.
    Keep the reviews coming.

  22. January 18, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Thanks for your comment, Terry! This coming week we’ll be posting two more reviews from this list. Superica and Il Giallo. They’ll post Friday morning.

    Food 101 will be a first time for us but we’ve been to Smokebelly before and thought it was pretty darn good. We haven’t been to Horseradish Grill before but you’re not the first person to warn us that it used to be better than it is now.

    Keep reading – we’ll keep eating and writing! -=Randy

  23. Ron Leone
    January 21, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Try Little Alley or Salt in Roswell, you won’t be disappointed.

  24. January 21, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I think we were at Salt once but it’s probably been five years or so. I appreciate the comment!

  25. January 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm
  26. January 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Andy, Thanks much! I can’t wait to read them! -=Randy

  27. […] Link (Source): 20 Best Atlanta Restaurants to Visit in 2016 | Atlanta Food Critic Blog […]

  28. Bo
    January 24, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Restaurant Eugene is on an entirely different level than any of the other restaurants on this list. Not to say that the other restaurants on this list are not outstanding, but the wine-paired chef’s tasting menu at RE sets the standard for fine dining in the south. Outside of maybe Bachanalia, there is no comparison to any other restaurant in Atlanta.

  29. January 24, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks for the comment! That’s great to know! Randy

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