As another year ends, and as is tradition, Eater surveyed Atlanta food writers, industry insiders, and our readers on everything from their favorite new restaurant and best meal of the year to what they hope to start seeing on the Atlanta dining scene in 2024.
First up, we asked our dining experts and readers to share their favorite new restaurant to open or pop-up to launch in 2023. Check back Tuesday, December 26, and throughout next week for more Year in Eater 2023 feedback from our dining experts and readers.
Lia Picard, Eater contributor and Atlanta food writer
I was sad when Mighty Hans’s brunch residencies ended, but was excited to partake in owner Fu Mao Sun’s collaboration dinners with Humble Pie. The two groups came up with some fun pizza combinations, like a crab rangoon pie and Taiwanese sausage. I still think about dessert; a boba milk pie with a brûlée that shattered perfectly. I was also smitten with Brush Sushi’s new location in Buckhead with its elegant decor and artful approach to sushi (also more access to ChingYao Wang’s pastries!) The restaurant’s ambiance is soothing despite its location on Peachtree Road.
Mike Jordan, senior editor leading Black culture coverage at the AJC
Oaxaca. It’s one of those places people in Atlanta really like, but are kind of sneaking off to Chamblee to enjoy, while not telling anyone who’s not already following them on social media. Shady! I get it though, it still feels kind of like the Mexican restaurant version of a really good mixtape. I haven’t had their carnitas or the carne asada yet, but the beef cheek birria, the branzino, and the half chicken are damn good. I have to admit, I hadn’t gotten into Mexican wine before my first visit to Oaxaca. I also enjoyed hitting up Breaker Breaker multiple times since it opened. Each time I run into more than a few really cool people there. Some dishes are a bit pricey, particularly the gumbo, but man that gumbo is delicious, and they’ve got great drinks. It’s just fun. Chef Max Hines continues to show he can cook anything, and the Grindhouse Burger folks know how to make a lighthearted concept work in a city where we like to mix dining with fun, especially when the food’s good.
Jennifer Zyman, Atlanta restaurant critic and senior writer at Food & Wine
I am excited about Dos Burros, which just opened on the Beltline. It is from Nhan Le of Fishmonger, Octopus Bar, 8ARM, and Lusca, to name a few of his massive restaurant hits. I went a few days after opening and was impressed with the feel and look of the space. It has a quirky vibe. My initial meal showed a lot of promise, and I hope their position on the Beltline will bring them many years of success. Eater reported that this was a project Le dreamt up with his late partner chef Angus Brown, which makes the restaurant even more of a soft spot for any Atlanta restaurant lover who was around for those early Octopus Bar days.
Maximilian Hines, chef at Breaker Breaker and founder of pop-up Stolen Goods
My favorite pop-up or new restaurant this year was Bovino After Dark. It was such a cool and well-handled experience. Great food and great wine. Also have to shout out Mother’s Best as another dope pop-up I got to experience this year for the first time.
Beth McKibben, editor of Eater Atlanta
I can’t speak highly enough about the meals had at La Semilla in Reynoldstown in 2023. Interviewing Sophia Marchese and Reid Trapani earlier this year about their vegan Latin food restaurant inspired by Marchese’s Cuban-born grandmother, I knew it was going to be something special. You could hear the excitement in their voices. Trapani is a flavor and ingredient wizard and whips up vegan versions of Cuban sandwiches, queso dip, and ropa vieja empanadas nearly indistinguishable from meaty versions, and I’m here for it. Whoopsie’s is a triumph under chef Hudson Rouse and Tim Faulkner, who created a comfortable neighborhood bar where cocktails, food, and good vibes are found in equal measure. I’m also giving a shout out to Bovino After Dark. I happily stumbled upon this supper club at Hop City’s West End location three weeks after it opened at the counter of the beer bar. It’s innovative, fun, and the most affordable chef’s counter experience in the city. Grab a reservation when you see one.
Eater readers surveyed
Over 110 readers participated in the 2023 Year in Eater dining survey, with more than a few people listing Whoopsie’s, Breaker Breaker, Oaxaca, Best Sandwich Shop, AltaToro, and Bona Fide Deluxe as their favorite new restaurants to open this year.