Diner Most-Loved

The 35 Most Popular Restaurants in Atlanta

Because "Hotlanta" refers to the food scene.

13 min read
3/7/2022
Cav Blog - Most Popular ATL - Fox bros

To say that Atlanta is a food city is an understatement. Within its borders you can find some of the country’s best Southern, barbecue, fried chicken, and meat and threes, but also ramen, tacos, pizza, and vegetarian delights. Here are some of the most popular restaurants in Atlanta that just so happen to deliver on Caviar — ranked based on what you order most.

1. Big Dave's Cheesesteaks

When you’re craving a taste of Philly or just a really good sandwich, Big Dave’s is the place to go. This Black-owned business is helmed by chef Derrick Hayes who was born and raised in Philadelphia. Go classic with the Beef Cheesesteak or try your luck with the Fried Chicken Philly Fries. One thing is for sure: You won’t be hungry when you’re done. 

2. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

Twin brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox are bringing a taste of Fort Forth, TX, to Atlanta. That means barbecue that goes heavy on the beef and sausage instead of pork. The Combo Plate is always a good choice to sample two meats and sides. The mac & cheese and mustardy potato salad steal the show. 

3. Upbeet

If you’re looking for a little less meat, Upbeet’s bowls are the answer. The West Midtown restaurant is big on vegetables and responsibly sourced protein. Everything is customizable from the grains to greens to toppings. Go wild, but we like their vegan and gluten-free Pesto Manifesto and Macro Bowls. 

4. Fred's Meat & Bread

We think classic when we think Fred’s. The hip Krog Street market vendor from the General Muir team is all about the satisfying comforts of heros, cheesesteaks, and hand-cut fries. Our go-tos are the Cheesesteak or the Italian Grinder, but if we’re feeling a little adventurous, we’ll go for the Korean Cheesesteak. Never forget a side of their garlic fries with Ranch. 

5. Little Rey

There is nowhere better for Tex Mex than Little Rey. It’s just one of superstar chef Ford Fry’s 10-plus restaurants in the area. We’re very happy they deliver because they are perpetually packed. You have to get tacos. Maybe a carne asada or chicken al carbon? And we can never not recommend the guacamole or the chile con queso. Share … if you want. 

6. Atlanta Fish Market

The name says it all: This is the city’s go-to for any and all seafood cravings. We’re talking jumbo lump crab cakes, pecan-crusted salmon, trout filet, and lightly fried Rhode Island calamari. The fish are flown in daily, and it’s the largest selection in the Southeast, so go ahead and order anything, even the sushi. 

7. Nakato Japanese Restaurant

If Japanese is what you’re after, Nakato is the spot. The family-owned and -operated restaurants have been around since 1972. The menu is filled with classics like miso soup, hamachi sashimi, spicy tuna rolls, and all kinds of tempura you could dream of. 

8. Grana

For a taste of down-home Southern Italian cooking, very few do it better than Grana. Chef Pat Pascarella learned all the tips straight from his Nonna. We like to start with a baby gem Caesar, then move on to a pizza like the Margherita Classico. And if we’re extra hungry, maybe a cavatelli too. 

9. Pricci

Pasta, like in Italy, minus the plane ride is Pricci. Chef Piero Premoli started to cook at 14 in his native Milan. The menu is a carb-lovers dream with everything from the tomato basil-y spaghettini, sausage, and broccoli rabe-dotted orecchiette and of course the veal lasagna espressa. It could be a good idea to order a tiramisu for dessert too. 

10. The General Muir

With three locations, The General Muir is a new Atlanta institution. Owners Jennifer and Ben Johnson opened their first concept back in 2004 and have been expanding ever since. The menu here is inspired by the Jewish delis that Jennifer’s family frequented when they immigrated to New York in 1949. We’d recommend the potato latkes and the pastrami, but you really can’t go wrong here.

11. Hero Doughnuts & Buns

Hero started as a farmer’s market pop-up out of owner Wil Drake’s van and now has locations across three states. His menu is all about fun: tater tots, crinkle-cut fries, and sprinkle-covered doughnuts. We like to leave it up to the chef and order one of his G.O.A.T.S Boxes filled with the day’s best doughnuts and savory buns. 

12. Gusto!

This restaurant is a bowl-lover’s dream. It checks all the boxes: healthy, satisfying, and right where you need it to be, thanks to eight locations in the Atlanta area. Feeling a Middle Eastern vibe? Order the tahini cucumber feta bowl, or go Korean-ish with chile sesame BBQ. Grab a chocolate brownie for dessert. 

13. Thumbs Up Diner

This Atlanta legend has been open for nearly three decades. It’s as classic of a diner as you can get, and luckily you can find multiple locations to order from through the Atlanta area. You can assemble your own dream breakfast here: Ours includes the French toast, eggs, and a side of spuds, or the fried fish and grits if we’re feeling extra hungry. It comes with all the fixins, including eggs and toast. 

14. Mangos Caribbean Restaurant

Mangos, right in the heart of downtown Atlanta, serves Caribbean food with plenty of soul. Order the spicy jerk chicken plate or stewed oxtail. The best part is picking the sides: everything from plantains to rice and peas to baked macaroni and cheese. You’ll probably have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. 

15. Le Fat

You may not guess from its name, but Le Fat offers some of the city’s best Vietnamese. Named after one of its owners, the restaurant stars classics like beef pho, chilled vermicelli, and a tangy papaya salad. It’s always a good idea to order the crispy spring rolls to start. 

16. Atlanta Fish House & Grill

We don’t have to tell you that this spot is all about the fish. You’ll find everything from a fried jumbo shrimp platter to grilled Atlanta street salmon to fish tacos on this menu. But if seafood isn’t your mood, you can still be happy here: Order a bucket of wings or the crispy chicken sandwich. Whatever you’re getting, always remember an order of perfectly crispy hushpuppies. 

17. GoodFella's Pizza & Wings

At Goodfella’s it’s about more than just pizza and wings. Sure you can order a vegetarian or Meat Lover’s pie or a bucket of 20 wings, but jalapeño poppers and Buffalo tenders are the sleeper hits. The giant menu looks intimidating, but you can’t make a wrong turn.  

18. Farm Burger

At Farm Burger, it’s all about the grassfed beef, and quality is everything here. We’re talking local, seasonal, and scratch-made comfort foods like double bacon cheeseburgers, melty gouda-y chicken burgers, and the No. 1 — a classic beef Farm Burger. The sweet potato hushpuppies really bring it: they come with a house-made apple butter. 

19. Heirloom Market BBQ

At this restaurant, it’s about BBQ classics with a Korean twist. The two chefs behind this tiny gem melded their culinary backgrounds to create dishes like pulled pork marinated in miso and kimchi slaw. Brisket sandwiches and mac and cheese also top the list of favorites. 

20. DaVinci's Pizzeria

DaVinci’s might have opened in 2006, but it’s been on owner Jason Black’s mind since the 1970’s when he first dreamed of pairing restaurant-quality pies with easy delivery. Here, the Hawaiian is topped with prosciutto and the Davinci Deluxe comes with all the meats (and plenty of veg). You can always create your own pizza if you’re feeling fussy. There’s even a gluten-free crust.

21. E Ramen

The family behind E Ramen has been on the Atlanta restaurant scene for a minute with sister spots Rice and Eight Sushi Lounge. After competing in the Atlanta Ramen Festival and winning Best Bowl twice, they thought it was time to do ramen. If you want classic pork, it’s the E Signature Ramen you're after, but for something a little lighter, go for their Dirty Vegan with tofu, which is still satisfyingly rich. 

22. Blue India

A quick history lesson: Indian cuisine has been at the core of the British food scene since the mid-18th century when the East India Company first colonized the subcontinent. 

Blue India is an ode to that British-Indian cuisine, serving up classics like tikka masala, butter chicken and Punjabi samosas. Don’t miss the spiced Masala fries, which come with a house curry ranch dipping sauce. 

23. Mulan Asian Cuisine

Chef Master John Kuan draws influences from China, Thailand, and beyond to bring Pan-Asian delicacies to Atlanta. With his extensive menu, you really can get a taste of China with egg drop or wonton soup and then head to Japan for some sushi. 

24. Varuni Napoli

This Italian restaurant is all about simplicity and quality. Chef Luca Veruni makes his pizza dough daily with ingredients shipped directly from Naples. Order the Bastardo if you want spice or the Margherita for something simpler. Or one of each to please everyone. 

25. Dave's Cosmic Subs

Dave’s story began in Ohio back in 1997.  Now he’s expanded to both coasts, including, luckily, Atlanta. Like any good sub shop, Dave’s doesn’t take itself too seriously, with options like Dave's Far Out Chicken and The Crazy Dave (its version of an Italian cold-cut trio). Sandwiches come in regular and large sizes to feed appetites of all sizes. 

26. Edgewood Pizzeria

This Old Fourth Ward pizzeria is famously known for its King Slice, an extra-large slice of customizable pie. Choose from the usual suspects like pepperoni, onion, and mushroom, or go for something new-school like pesto and ricotta. Definitely order a side of wings, super hot if you dare. 

27. Surin of Thailand

Surin of Thailand has been dishing out Thai classics in the Atlanta area since 1990, which is more than enough time to prove their cred. We’re partial to the noodle dishes like broccoli-studded pad see-u. But an order isn’t complete without curry: go spicy with one of their green options. 

28. Ammazza

Ammazza is wood-fired pizza at its finest. We’re talking both red and white pies. Go extra meaty with their Carne Red or bigger on the cheese with the Cinque Formaggi. Good news if you’re looking for more veg because they have a whole vegan section. We love the Vegan Giardino with tons of fresh basil and tomato. 

29. Nova Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro

This restaurant is great for when you’re in the mood for a little bit of everything. Get more into the sushi side with a combo of three rolls or go Chinese-American with an order of General Tso's or lo mein. Hibachi, tempura, and teriyaki options also abound. 

30. Umai Sushi

If you’re in the Old Fourth Ward and after Japanese, Umai is great option. Go heavy on the appetizers, maybe some chicken yaki tori, vegetable tempura, and beef gyoza. But no sushi-joint order would be complete without a roll, right? Stay classic with a spicy tuna or California. 

31. Extreme Teriyaki Grill Express

As the name promises, this grill has all your teriyaki needs covered. Go straightforward and get the double chicken teriyaki or the beef & shrimp for a little surf and turf. If teriyaki isn’t your thing, the bento chicken hibachi comes with a little of everything. 

32. South City Kitchen Midtown

To get a fix of down-home southern staples like fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, South CIty Kitchen is one of the best places in town. It’s been an Atlanta institution since 1993. You’re going to want to go ahead and order the Springer Mountain Farms fried chicken because it’s epic — it also comes with smokey braised collard greens and creamy mashed potatoes. 

33. Kong's Kitchen

If you’re hungry for Chinese-American staples like egg rolls, fried rice, and lo mein, Kong’s has your back. It’s the type of food made for sharing, but if you’re solo, you can have a taste of it all with one of their combos, which comes with soup and an egg roll. 

34. The Original El Taco

Sometimes you need something melty, gooey, and cheesy, and that something is queso. This Tex Mex neighborhood staple specializes in two options, a classic Queso Blanco or a Queso Royale topped with beef and peppers. Their tacos and fajitas are not to be missed either: we like the fried chicken, which adds a little Southern flair.

Author

Kyle Beechey

Use the code SPOTLIGHT10 for $10 off your first order of $30 or more.