As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. We've already covered restaurant standbys, top newcomers, 2013 in one word, best dining neighborhood, biggest dining surprises, single best meals, and restaurant breakups. Now it's time for 2014 headline predictions. Readers, please leave your thoughts in the comments.
Krog Street Market. [Photo: SRS Real Estate Partners]
Q: What are your headline predictions for 2014?
Austin Louis Ray, writer:
I predict that our city will continue to have amazing food and more beer than ever before. I predict some people will get fired, others will get hired, some new places will open, others will close, and that the internet will take everything far more seriously than it should. We'll be fine, though. It'll be great.
Laura Scholz, Eater Atlanta contributor:
More mini-empires [a la Ford Fry and Giovanni Di Palma]
Jennifer Maley, Eater Atlanta contributor:
More "Southern fusion," small plates, bistro-casual, upscale hearth/comfort cooking.
Beth McKibben, Twisted South Magazine food editor:
Continued ethnic cuisine evolution for sure, leaning Middle Eastern perhaps.
I think vegetables may take the lead this year as mains and maybe more game meat in the protein department.
I feel 2014 will be the year of experiments and creativity.
Bob Townsend, Atlanta Journal Constitution:
I don't do predictions but I'm guessing that suburban Atlanta will continue to welcome better dining options and that highly anticipated destinations like Avalon, Krog Street Market, and Ponce City Market will be big stories, whether it's delays or openings.
James Oxendine, food writer:
2014 will be the year that glamour returns to the ATL's dining experience. The renovations at Nikolai's Roof, Aria, and the reopening of the Paces 88 space at The St. Regis Atlanta Hotel are just the tip of the iceberg that is bringing some new cool projects to our town.
Christiane Lauterbach, Atlanta Magazine and Knife & Fork:
More ethnic restaurants inside the Perimeter; more play time for great healthy food; better and better restaurants in suburbia; huge impact of projects such as Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market
John Kessler, Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Stale Cronut fells Clermont Lounge patron." Or maybe an announcement that a big out-of-town name (Donald Link, John Besh, Sean Brock) will venture into Ponce City Market.
Jennifer Zyman, Creative Loafing:
Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market transform the Atlanta food scene.
Broderick Smylie, Savory Exposure:
Atlanta Restaurants Embrace Local Beer - I think that 2014 will be a big year for local beer, and I think that the pressure will be on for restaurants to embrace it. We'll see even more breweries come online (Second Self, Eventide, Wild Heaven & Creature Comforts among others) along with new opportunities for pairing dinners and educating the local palate.
Grant Goggans, Marie, Let's Eat
LOUDMOUTH ON FOOD NETWORK PREGNANT WITH BAT BOY'S TWO-HEADED BIGFOOT SPACE BABY. I'm thinking late February.
John Mishler, Eater Atlanta contributor:
I have two predictions for 2014: I think the former Aurora Coffee space in Virginia-Highland will be occupied very soon and I think the wood-fired pizza market will reach maximum capacity, if it hasn't already.
Chris Watkins, Eat Drink Repeat:
St. Cecilia will be restaurant of the year.
Angela Hansberger, Fiddlehead Foraging:
Restaurant goers flock to Krog Street Market.
Jimmy Sobeck, Eat It, Atlanta:
If you think kale has reached critical mass, just wait until the hysteria of Swiss chard drops