The year is drawing to a close and, as is tradition, Eater Atlanta has surveyed a handful of Atlanta’s food editors on everything from where they love to eat when not in pursuit of a story to their best meal to the biggest dining grievance in 2017. Responses are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited. Here, the city’s food editors name their restaurant standbys for dining when off duty.
Julia Bainbridge, Atlanta Magazine food editor
The combination of this being my first year in Atlanta and having the job I do meant that 2017 was spent doing a lot of getting-to-know-you dining while simultaneously trying out new openings. There wasn't a lot of time for repeat action, or even for by-choice dining. That said, I basically lived at The Colonnade for a couple months while I was working on a feature story about the restaurant, and I came to crave that kind of homestyle Southern food. (I'm sure much of my fondness for the place has to do with the wonderful staff, though, to be honest.) I also found myself returning to Kimball House's bar again and again. Miles Macquarrie has developed a killer cocktail program over KH's four years, and the same goes for Bryan Rackley and the oysters. (I appreciate Rackley's dedication to the development of oyster farming in Georgia.) Otherwise, I hope to spend a lot more time in Duluth in the coming months; Atlanta's "Koreatown," if you can call it that, did not come to play.
Hilary Cadigan, Creative Loafing food editor
I moved to Downtown Decatur, so, I've been rediscovering the greatness of the unsung old faithfuls around here, like Cafe Lily, Cafe Alsace, and Wahoo! Grill. Oh, and Arepa Mia, which just relocated down the street to Avondale. I could eat there every day.
Mike Jordan, Thrillist Atlanta editor, Southern Kitchen associate editor
Little Trouble, Muss & Turner, Superica, South City Kitchen Buckhead, B's Cracklin Barbeque, Watershed, Kimball House, Ticonderoga Club, Bellina Alimentari, Simply Thai Dunwoody, Argosy, and Richard's Southern Fried. I gained weight.
Christopher Hassiotis, Zagat Atlanta food editor
I'm more often checking out new restaurants than I am circling back to my favorites, which is an admittedly nice problem to deal with, but these are the places I wish I ate at more frequently. I try to point people toward Better Half as much as I can, where Zach Meloy's food is smart, creative, good-looking, and fun. My favorite breakfasts (or breakfasts for lunch) are at Java Jive and Empire State South. Both Atlas and Aria, upscale and with top-notch food, drink, and, especially service, are reliable splurges for a night out in Buckhead. I always think everyone should eat at The Colonnade, and Tempo Doeloe has never done me wrong by serving the comforting Indonesian food I grew up eating. And, 2017 also saw chef Spencer Gomez really revitalize Holeman & Finch's food.
Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor
Off duty, you’ll often find me at places that feel like an extension of my home like Ticonderoga Club and Bread & Butterfly or the bars at Kimball House and Ration and Dram. Petit Chou has become a regular Saturday breakfast stop. I also frequent Nam Phuong, We Suki Suki, Gaja, Dish Dive, Chrome Yellow Trading Co., and Brash Coffee.