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Oysters at Watchman’s Seafood & Spirits in Krog Street Market
Oysters at Watchman’s Seafood & Spirits in Krog Street Market
Andrew Thomas Lee

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Atlanta Dining Experts Name the Best New Restaurants of 2018

The shining stars on the city’s dining scene this year

The year is drawing to a close and, as is tradition, Eater Atlanta has surveyed several Atlanta food writers and dining experts on everything from their best meal in 2018 to their food headline predictions for 2019. Responses are cut, pasted, and (mostly) unedited. The experts have already given their restaurant standbys when dining off duty.

Now Atlanta’s food authorities name the year’s top restaurant newcomers.

Let us know the new restaurants you loved dining at this year in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


Mara Davis — Radio and TV personality for WABE, The Bert Show, and Atlanta Eats

  1. White Bull in Decatur: Simple, creative and delicious.
  2. Tiny Lou’s: I have not been yet, but literally ever single person who has gone raves about how fantastic it is.
  3. Watchmen’s Seafood & Spirits: Tasty cocktails with great decor.
  4. Mary Hoopa’s Fried Chicken and Oysters: Fun concept in an emerging neighborhood.

Mara Shalhoup — Deputy editor for Atlanta Magazine

My absolute favorite of the year is Watchman’s Seafood & Spirits. It checks all my boxes: creative food (that’s neither heavy nor heavy-handed), creative cocktails (I could drink that Air Mail all day), creative design (that doesn’t look like it’s trying to hard), and oysters, oysters, oysters! I also adore Banshee; it’s the kind of polished yet eccentric restaurant that’s long past due in East Atlanta.

Left to right: Sapelo clams, grilled pork with fig olivada, braised duck mezzelune, herbed taglierini, fry bread, delicata squash, scallop crudo, and coconut sticky rice with mango puree at Banshee
Left to right: Sapelo clams, grilled pork with fig olivada, braised duck mezzelune, herbed taglierini, fry bread, delicata squash, scallop crudo, and coconut sticky rice with mango puree at Banshee
Ryan Fleisher

Gray Chapman — Freelance food and drinks writer at New York Times, Atlanta Magazine, Atlas Obscura, Vice, and Vox

When it comes to restaurants, I tend to spend more time on barstools than in banquettes, and I spent a lot of time posted up in front of Adrienne at Watchman’s this year. Turns out, I could easily subsist off of raw oysters, crab fritters, and pulls from the Chartreuse shot machine.

Mike Jordan — Digital program director for V103, Thrillist Atlanta editor, Eater Atlanta contributor

I really, really enjoyed Tiny Lou’s. Also great were The Brasserie at Bazati, Bully Boy (eat all the crab fried rice you can), and The White Bull in Decatur Square. And, I haven’t had a chance to get there since it opened very recently, but I’m also looking forward to AIX -- chef Nick Leahy is no joke.

Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor

There were a lot of great restaurants that opened this year. This includes the aforementioned The White Bull in Decatur, Watchman’s Seafood & Spirits, and Tiny Lou’s at Hotel Clermont. I’m also really enjoying the vibe, food, wine, and cocktails at Banshee in East Atlanta Village. However, the restaurant ticking all of the boxes for me and bringing something truly special to the Atlanta dining scene this year is the delightful Snackboxe Bistro in Doraville, run by Thip Athakhanh and Vanh Sengaphone. Snackboxe is a love letter to Laos and to Atlanta’s diners who have shown up in droves to this little restaurant in the Super H Mart complex. I want to give a shoutout to recent newcomers the lounge-y, unpretentious LLoyd’s in Inman Park and Nick Leahy’s Aix and Tin Tin for bringing a true wine bar and Provençal food to Westside.

Aix

Hotel Clermont

789 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (470) 485-0485 Visit Website

Snackboxe Bistro

6035 Peachtree Road, , GA 30360 (770) 417-8082 Visit Website

Watchman's Seafood and Spirits

99 Krog Street Northeast, , GA 30307 (404) 254-0141 Visit Website

The Brasserie at Bazati

550 Somerset Terrace Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 795-8342 Visit Website

Banshee

1271 Glenwood Avenue Southeast, , GA 30316 (470) 428-2034 Visit Website

Bully Boy

828 Ralph McGill Boulevard Northeast, , GA 30306 (678) 904-5607 Visit Website

Tiny Lou's

789 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (470) 485-0085 Visit Website

Mary Hoopa's House of Fried Chicken & Oysters

2371 Hosea L Williams Drive Southeast, , GA 30317 (404) 254-5236 Visit Website
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