What Now Atlanta - Elite 100
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WNA's Picks of ATL's Best.

Restaurants and retailers that earned a spot on our Elite 100 are "everyday elite" businesses located in Metro Atlanta that meet this criteria: affordable, consistent, and excellent.

Subjective? Sure. That's the idea.

And look, we get it, Bacchanalia is the nectar of the Gods. But we're looking for places you can go to without taking out a second mortgage.

Did your favorites make the list or did we miss something? Do you disagree with our picks or think we're right on the money? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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R. Thomas Deluxe Grill

Owned by Richard Thomas, the founder of Bojangles', this brightly-colored South Buckhead eatery is by far Atlanta's quirkiest restaurant: open 24 hours, has a dozen exotic birds, and has been serving health food since the mid-80s.

Sit Down Restaurant

Arepa Mia

This authentic Venezuelan arepa bar inside Sweet Auburn Curb market serves the best arepas this side of the Americas.

Quick Service Restaurant

Chai Pani

The menu’s selection of authentic Indian street snacks is as colorful as the interior of this Decatur outpost that was a gas station in a past life. Try the Kale Pakoras, the Maharaja Lamb Burger, or the Parsi Chicken Burgers. Better yet, try everything!

Sit Down Restaurant

Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand

This snack shack from Delia Champion, the creator of Flying Biscuit, serves all-natural chicken sausage food stuffs into the wee hours of the night (open 24 hours Friday - Sunday). "The Hot Mess" has saved many a would-be hangovers on the WKND in EAV, and the Westside outpost offers stunning views.

Quick Service Restaurant

Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party

Bookshelves line the walls of this Candler Park cafe that serves beverages, pastries and sandwiches, and features a sizable amount of books available for purchase at 99 cents each. When we want to feel classy, we reserve a spot at one of Dr. Bombay's high tea events.

Food Retail

Kabob Land

Kabob Land's Chicken Barg is easily the best in Atlanta (possibly in the Southeast) and the house-made pistachio baklava will keep you coming back.

Quick Service Restaurant

Little’s Food Store

This Cabbagetown neighborhood store opened for the first time in 1929. The outpost sells snacks, beer, deli, produce as well as freshly-cooked burgers, hot dogs, fries and onion rings.

Food Retail

Lottafrutta

This quirky restaurant (it seats like, seven) has fruit so fresh and so big James Cameron wanted to use it in Avatar but didn't think anyone would believe it. Our favorite combo: The Cremolatta fruit cup and the Pavo del Ocho panini polished off with a Mexican Coca-cola.

Quick Service Restaurant

MetroFresh

The daily-changing house-made soups and salads from long-time Hollywood actor Mitchell Anderson are drama-free: fresh, simple, delicious.

Quick Service Restaurant

Spice To Table

This Old Fourth Ward Indian "patisserie" from Chef Asha Gomez serves up French-style breakfast and lunch fare with South Asian influence. The space blurs the line between restaurant and cafe with its homey decor and bright industrial space.

Quick Service Restaurant

Star Provisions

This bakery and retail concept from Anne Quatrano is a West Midtown favorite serving up sandwiches like the Shrimp Po-boy and bakery items like the famous Chocolate Chess Pie.

Quick Service Restaurant

We Suki Suki

You don’t need to make a trip to Buford highway to enjoy some rockin’ Banh Mi. This East Atlanta Village restaurant serves up some of the best sandwiches and pho in town.

Sit Down Restaurant

Yeah! Burger

Natural and organic burgers with an array of fixing, also featuring shakes, cocktails, and beer. Gotta try Yeah! Burger's flash-fried organic cauliflower with house seasoning.

Quick Service Restaurant

4th & Swift

4th & Swift made O4W cool before it was cool. The restaurant serves up contemporary American fare dishes with regionally-sourced ingredients, and Chef Jay Swift even grows his own urban garden nearby.

Sit Down Restaurant

Ah-Ma's Taiwanese Kitchen

Small but bold in its approach to its menu items, the Midtown restaurant is inspired by both the comfort of traditional Taiwanese cooking as well as the country’s street food. DON'T go Wednesday. Ah-Ma's is closed. You'll be left at the door, craving the beef noodle soup.

American

Barcelona Wine Bar

A chic, industrial space in Inman Park near the Beltline features an inviting wrap-around patio, outdoor fireplace, and tapas menu. The patio is so well heated, you'd forget it was winter in the middle of Atlanta Snowmageddon.

Sit Down Restaurant

Bartaco

When Bartaco first opened its West Midtown outpost in 2014, the beach-like taco joint with soothing blue and white surroundings, became an instant hit with its simple eats and craft cocktails.

Sit Down Restaurant

Better Half

This Home Park establishment has garnered a cult-like following on Instagram for its photogenic, visually inspiring menu items. Better Half features a five course tasting menu, an homage to the restaurant’s roots as a supper club, Push Start Kitchen.

Sit Down Restaurant

Blossom Tree

Don't let its unsuspecting Downtown storefront fool you. Inside Blossom Tree you'll find the best Korean tacos, entrees, and service around...without any fuss.

Quick Service Restaurant

BoccaLupo

Italian-American fare in a relaxing, low-key neighborhood-like environment. If you're up for something spicy, you've gotta try the charcoal-colored spaghetti (dyed from squid ink) tossed with shrimp, breadcrumbs, and spicy Calabrese sausage. Molto Bene!

Sit Down Restaurant

Bone Garden Cantina

The Vortex’s sister concept (yup!) serves Mexican cuisine that is authentic in its roots, yet inventive. Enjoy Bone Garden's tamales in its Día de Muertos themed dining room where larger-than-life skeletons stare down at you from the murals lining the walls.

Sit Down Restaurant

Buttermilk Kitchen

Locals love the chicken biscuit which is perfected by the Buttermilk's signature roasted red pepper jelly. Be sure to check out the restaurant's monthly "BYOB Fancy Fried Chicken Dinner."

Sit Down Restaurant

Carroll Street Cafe

This quaint Cabbagetown neighborhood favorite offers half-price tapas Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m, should you want or need your middle-of-the week to go by a little faster.

Sit Down Restaurant

Cypress Street Pint and plate

This Midtown establishment has given Georgia Tech sports enthusiasts a great place to go on game day. The space features a cozy patio with a fireplace, 14 beers on tap and 40 bottle selections, and a burger with sublime doughnuts as the bun. It's serious, ya'll!

Sit Down Restaurant

Desta Ethiopian Kitchen

If you’re ever feeling adventurous enough to try raw meat for the first time, this is the place to do it. There is something for everyone in the restaurant’s authentic Ethiopian menu, including plenty of vegetarian options, and enough injera to wrap the perimeter around twice over.

Sit Down Restaurant

Dish Dive

This low-key eatery inside a small, converted home, is one of Kirkwood’s best-kept secrets, serving impactful dishes like the Shakashuka (crushed tomato, bell peppers, okra, jalapeño, corn, sweet purple potato puree, feta, fried egg, flat bread) which is a no-brainer at $13.

Sit Down Restaurant

Ecco

The food isn’t the only thing that’s artful here. The Midtown building that houses this contemporary European restaurant won an award from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission. Grab a glass from the award-winning wine list, and try the fried goat cheese balls coated in honey and black pepper.

Sit Down Restaurant

Egg Harbor Café Buckhead

There's something for everyone to love in this South Buckhead breakfast and brunch restaurant's extensive menu. The harbor potatoes are dangerously delicious!

Sit Down Restaurant

H & F Bread Co.

H&F Bread Co, the most low-key member of the H&F empire, sells fresh bread, pastries, and more. It’s not a coincidence that some of your favorite burgers, from Little's Food Store to Muss and Turner’s, are all on a bun that was baked at H&F.

Food Retail

Homegrown

200 of this breakfast spot’s famous "Comfy Chicken Biscuits" flew out of the kitchen the FIRST day Chef Kevin Clark added the item to the menu in 2011. The comfy reminds us of home, but we always go for the used-to-be-a-secret "Grant Stacks" named after Grant Henry of Sister Louisa's CHURCH.

Sit Down Restaurant

Iberian Pig

Best tapas in the metro area. Try the double-fried Patatas Bravas. You'll be ordering seconds (and thirds.)

Sit Down Restaurant

JCT Kitchen

A West Midtown staple, this refined Southern eatery from Ford Fry features a beautiful upstairs bar with skyline views. The "Sunday Supper" can easily become a weekly tradition.

Sit Down Restaurant

Le Fat

This West Midtown eatery blends Vietnamese, French and Cantonese influences in an artful space.

Sit Down Restaurant

Murphy's

This tried and true go-to for thirty plus years in the middle of the Virginia-Highland has a cafe, bakery and wine shop in an expansive space. We can always count on Murphy's!

Sit Down Restaurant

Noni's Bar and Deli

We can’t think of any other place that serves delicious, quality Italian food while seamlessly transitioning into one of the city’s favorite places to dance at night.

Sit Down Restaurant

O-Ku

Inventive sushi with a Southern twist. Try the Uni Spoons while you enjoy the beautiful skyline views on the roof deck.

Sit Down Restaurant

Ok Cafe

This old-fashioned Southern diner is an Atlanta institution where deals are made, and brunch is had. Try Ok Cafe's tried-and-true staples and specials, like the Roast Turkey and Rotisserie Chicken.

Sit Down Restaurant

Ray’s On The River

Featuring pristine views of the Chattahoochee River, Ray’s serves up elevated sea food dishes from restauranteur veteran Ray Schoenbaum.

Sit Down Restaurant

Revival

Chef Kevin Gillespie boasts a “proper” version of the traditional Sunday dinner, family-style. Bring your eating pants!

Sit Down Restaurant

Rise-n-Dine

“Cute” is one word many Atlantans have used to describe this quasi-retro breakfast spot in Emory Village. Yes, we're willing to wait several hours on the weekend for an A.M. Tacos and Nutella Pancakes brunch.

Sit Down Restaurant

Rumi's Kitchen

True-to-its-roots Persian cuisine that is inventive yet approachable at this Roswell Road spot. You won't find a better marinated and tender chicken kabob.

Sit Down Restaurant

Serpas True Food

The Cajun-inspired American cuisine is a nod to Chef Scott Serpas’ roots, and served in a lofty environment at Studioplex.

Sit Down Restaurant

Seven Lamps

This hidden gem among the Shops at Lenox serves up innovative handmade pasta dishes, house-made pickles, mortadella macaroons and a secret burger (no, really. It's not on the menu. You can thank us later.) that may one day not be overlooked as one of the best in Atlanta.

Sit Down Restaurant

South City Kitchen

Two points set this Fifth Group Restaurants establishment apart: its bungalow environment among Midtown skyscrapers, and the contemporary twist on the Southern cuisine served inside.

Sit Down Restaurant

Sun In My Belly

Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, in a casual yet charming atmosphere in Kirkwood.

Sit Down Restaurant

Superica

Tex-Mex establishment from Chef Ford Fry features an eclectic interior and the best tres leches cake you’ll ever taste.

Sit Down Restaurant

Tabla

A great place to dine whether you’re searching for reliable Indian food or more inventive spins on the cuisine.

Sit Down Restaurant

Venkman's

Wander off the Eastside Trail Beltline path to enjoy modern takes on Southern food at this restaurant, located in a building that was a soda bottling facility in a past life. Venkman’s regularly features live music acts, and we would expect nothing less from co-owners Peter Olson and Nicholas Nies

Sit Down Restaurant

Wrecking Bar Brewpub

This public house and brewpub in Little Five Points is located in the basement of a victorian mansion. The establishment serves its own beer and an extensive menu.

Sit Down Restaurant

Victory Sandwich Bar

The sandwiches at this hipster haven are some of the best cheap eats you’ll enjoy in town all at a price tag of $5 or less. As an added bonus, they also have fun names, like the Banh Apetit For Destruction. We go to Victory for the Jack and Coke Slushies alone.

Sit Down Restaurant

The Little Tart Bakeshop

The French-inspired bakeshop is the maker of the strawberry galette Atlantans wait for all year long.

Food Retail

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Virginia-Highland eatery serving homemade biscuits, whoopie pies and other southern snacks during daylight hours and midnight snacks on the weekends. Leave your diet at the door.

Food Retail

Dancing Goats

This coffee shop brewing Batdorf and Bronson was Ponce City Market's first tenant, and boasts one of Atlanta's greatest (if not THE greatest) patios.

Food Retail

Honey Bubble

Premium bubble tea and other beverages, french macarons, and ice cream in a cool Poncey-Highland space.

Food Retail

Honeysuckle Gelato

This food truck turned Ponce City Market brick-and-mortar serves ice cream sandwiches that are to. Die. FOR. Our personal faves are the brownie and pie crust cookies. YUM!

Food Retail

Hop City Beer & Wine

With an expansive selection of beer and wine featuring a growler station with over 40 options, we never leave thirsty.

Food Retail

Just Add Honey

This shop sells thoughtfully blended small batch teas, both freshly brewed and loose leaf, in Sweet Auburn Market.

Food Retail

Kale Me Crazy

The superfood cafe is everyone’s go-to for cold press juices, smoothies and acai bowls, and is arguably the fastest-growing food chain in Atlanta right now.

Food Retail

King of Pops

ATL’s most-loved popsicle comes in flavors you won’t find in a cardboard box at the grocery store like Banana Pudding, Thai Tea, and Arnold Palmer. Look for the rainbow umbrella at a corner near you, Whole Foods, its newly opened Ponce City Market brick-and-mortar, or the O4W Beltine walk-up.

Food Retail

Leon's Full Service

This new American modern eatery in Downtown Decatur features a patio, bocce court, and bar. Try the brisket sandwich and choose from several different sauces to go with your fries.

Sit Down Restaurant

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6 responses to “Introducing What Now Atlanta's Elite 100: The City's Best Restaurants and Retailers”

  1. So glad that MANY of my favorites made the list! Happy to see some places that I have never been to !!!! Glad there are consistent and reasonably priced restaurants on your list! How bout Zyka next year?

  2. This gonna be my Atlanta"#foodhunt2016map"! Excited to check all the places on this checklist, I've been to about 20 of them, all my love!

  3. My thoughts on this list..... Delete all the Ford Fry places on this list and add their best two St. Cecelia and Marcel. Add Shoya Izakaya (amazing Japanese restaurant), Busy Bee Cafe (Classic and real meat and three), El Rey Del Taco (Easily the best tacos in town) , Gaja (Awesome ITP Korean restaurant), Octopus Bar (hands down best late night food), Empire State South (top 10 restaurant in the city and amazing cocktails), Greenwood's on Green Street (best fried chicken in town) and Kimball House. (<3 <3 <3)

  4. Why do you list the Egg Harbor Cafe in Bulkhead only, and not the other locations? If it's because this location is better, you should explain that.

    • Thanks for your comment! Egg Harbor's Buckhead location made the list because it is currently the only location in Atlanta.

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