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, their picks for the city’s best new restaurants, and they’ve summed up dining this year in one word.
Now Atlanta’s food authorities name the city’s best dining neighborhoods of 2018.
Mara Davis — Radio and TV personality for WABE, The Bert Show, and Atlanta Eats
Inman Park, because there are so many terrific choices. Krog Street Market (where the locals go, tourists go to PCM), Bread & Butterfly, the always consistent and amazing Sotto Sotto, BoccaLupo, Fritti, Barcelona Wine Bar, Bartaco, and One Eared Stag.
Mara Shalhoup — Deputy editor for Atlanta Magazine
East Atlanta Village. Other neighborhoods have a higher concentration of stellar restaurants, but they don’t have a concentration of realer restaurants. Specifically: Banshee, Octopus Bar, Gaja, Argosy, and everything at We Suki Suki a Global Grub Collective.
Gray Chapman — Freelance food and drinks writer at New York Times, Atlanta Magazine, Atlas Obscura, Vice, and Vox
Mike Jordan — Digital program director for V103, Thrillist Atlanta editor, Eater Atlanta contributor
West Midtown, for sure. Donetto, Cooks & Soldiers, Ford Fry’s triple threat of JCT Kitchen & Bar, Marcel, and The Optimist, and O-Ku. And, you can’t speak about the area without insisting that people hit Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, because chef Deborah VanTrece had a killer year and is a great ambassador for our city’s unique culinary aptitude. Also, whether it’s acceptable or not as a serious restaurant, I LOVE Little Trouble.
Ryan Hughley — Eater Atlanta contributor, freelance food writer
The restaurants I frequent most are without a doubt due to my neighborhood. I may be biased but, the Old Fourth Ward has some of the best food around — or it’s about a five minute drive away. If I want an incredible drink, it’s nothing to pop into Biltong Bar (the absolute best, most underrated bar in the entire city) at Ponce City Market. If I’m craving romance and Italian, newcomer A Mano is always there for me with a giant bowl of bucatini alla bolognese and a glass of wine to wash it down.
Beth McKibben, Eater Atlanta editor
Buford Highway. Ok, it’s not a neighborhood but, this stretch of road and its adjacent side streets represent so much of what is truly wonderful about our dining scene in Atlanta. I travel up and down Buford Highway multiple times a week, never tire of it eating along it, and so enjoy meeting the restaurant owners who feed people from all over the ATL. Other neighborhoods I’m watching right now: Summerhill, Grant Park, and Westview/West End.