Today, we continue discussing the 2019 dining scene with several Atlanta food writers and restaurant critics. The experts have already given their restaurant standbys when dining off duty, named the best new Atlanta restaurants, included their insights into the biggest food trends of 2019, and described Atlanta’s restaurant scene this year in just one word.
For the next installment, Atlanta’s dining experts discuss the biggest restaurant, dining, or food surprises of 2019.
Mara Davis — Radio and TV personality for WABE, the Bert Show, and Atlanta Eats
Mara Shalhoup — Deputy editor for Atlanta Magazine
I can’t say that it was a huge surprise, but the emergence of downtown College Park as a hub of black-owned restaurants is awesome.
Jennifer Zyman — Contributing writer and restaurant critic for Atlanta Magazine, Thrillist, Eater Atlanta, AJC
How amazing the food from Kamayan ATL is. Chef Mia Orino might be one of the most thoughtful and organized (not to mention warm) cooks in Atlanta. Every single dish she cooked me was perfectly seasoned. I am also psyched we have more representation of Filipino cuisine because it was sorely needed.
Mike Jordan — Thrillist Atlanta editor and contributing writer for Eater Atlanta, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Atlanta Magazine
How there were more than a few new places that were taking things seriously enough to create a new level of expectations, among themselves and among diners. Friends who’d call to ask where they should eat seemed to be visiting a lot of the places I’d recommend, so I had to dig deep to give them choices they didn’t already know about. That’s always a good sign for business — people are actually agreeing on the good spots and looking to see who else is raising the bar.
Beth McKibben — Eater Atlanta editor
Not a lot surprised me this year. Atlanta has always had something to say, and thankfully chefs and restaurateurs are pushing boundaries like never before and not feeling the need to continue replicating food being done in New York and LA. However, what caught me off guard this year are the number of mostly generic mixed use developments popping up around town and that real estate developers seem to be trying to drive neighborhood restaurant culture, not diners, chefs, or restaurant owners.
- All Year in Eater coverage [EATL]