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Friends of Eater Recall Their Single Best Meals of 2013

As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. We've already covered the restaurant standbys, top newcomers, 2013 in one word, best dining neighborhood, and the biggest dining surprises. Now it's time for the single best meal of the year. Readers, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

BoccaLupo. [Photo: Alex Lassiter]

Q: What was the single best meal of 2013?
Beth McKibben, Twisted South Magazine food editor:
My birthday meal from Zach Meloy at Pushstart (now Better Half). No one has come close to matching it. It was sheer perfection right down to the after dinner moonshine shots.

John Mishler, Eater Atlanta contributor
For food alone, BoccaLupo. For food and a unique experience, Gunshow.

Jennifer Maley, Eater Atlanta contributor:
Team Hidi Event 2013.

Jimmy Sobeck, Eat It, Atlanta:
Miller Union
Out of town - Xiao Bao Biscuit (Charleston)

Laura Scholz, Eater Atlanta contributor
Tyler Williams's "welcome" dinner at Woodfire Grill was creative, playful, brilliant, and flawless.

Brad Kaplan, Creative Loafing and Thirsty South:
My first visit to Gunshow. It's not for everyone, but the food, the attitude, the relaxed atmosphere (and, at the time, the free wine corkage policy) all converged to make for a superbly enjoyable meal with friends.

John Kessler, Atlanta Journal Constitution
I had a meal at Bacchanalia earlier this year that reminded me why it's alone in its class in Atlanta.

Angela Hansberger, Fiddlehead Foraging:
Two of every oyster followed by caviar service at Kimball House. Was it freshness from the sea, impeccable service, or the company that made it so memorable?

Jennifer Zyman, Creative Loafing:
Every meal I had at One Eared Stag. Robert Phalen is our city's most innovative and under appreciated chefs. If you haven't been there or it has been a while, you need to go.

Chris Watkins, Eat Drink Repeat:
Opti-Burger at The Optimist

Grant Goggans, Marie, Let's Eat
Overall, it was a supper at Brooks Barbecue in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Locally, it might be the shrimp and grits at JCT Kitchen.

Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal Constitution:
This probably isn't fair, but the About South dinner at the History Center during the Atlanta Food & Wine festival was a total experience, with Atlanta chefs like Linton Hopkins, Gerry Klaskala, Duane Nutter and Anne Quatrano showing out with the likes of John Besh, John Currence, Edward Lee, and the presence of the wonderful Julian Van Winkle.

Broderick Smylie, Savory Exposure:
I attended Atlanta Food & Wine Festival "About South" opening dinner at the Atlanta History Center. It's not every day when you get a chance to eat dinner served by the best chefs in the south and I was absolutely full when I left.

Christiane Lauterbach, Atlanta Magazine and Knife & Fork:
Alas, it wasn't in Atlanta. I ate at Pakta in Barcelona and found some of the same creativity I remember from El Bulli

Sonia Chopra, Eater Atlanta editor:
I didn't have a single bad meal at BoccaLupo this year. And I had a fantastic dinner, complete with smart wine flights, great cocktails, and perfect service, at the bar at Stem in East Cobb last month.

One Eared Stag

1029 Edgewood Avenue Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 525-4479 Visit Website


924 Garrett Street, , GA 30316 (404) 380-1886 Visit Website

Woodfire Grill

1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324 Visit Website

The Optimist

1400 Adams Street, , TN 37208 (615) 709-3156 Visit Website


753 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 404 577 2332

Miller Union

999 Brady Avenue Northwest, , GA 30318 (678) 733-8550 Visit Website

Better Half

349 14th Street Northwest, , GA 30363 (404) 695-4547 Visit Website

Kimball House

303 East Howard Avenue, , GA 30030 (404) 378-3502 Visit Website


1460 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard Northwest, , GA 30318 (404) 365-0410 Visit Website