clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Here Are the Results of Eater’s Atlanta Michelin Guide Reader Poll

Eater readers predicted the Atlanta restaurants they feel will receive star ratings, Bib Gourmands, and mentions in the new Michelin guide

A shot of the front window with decal sign reading “Michelin Tire Dining” and 2 and half tires at Little Bear in Summerhill Atlanta
Little Bear in Summerhill.
Ryan Fleisher
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

It’s been a week since news broke that Michelin was bringing its lauded dining guide to Atlanta, and the discourse that followed regarding which restaurants should make the cut and the designations each should be awarded ranged from pleasant back-and-forth discussions to heated debates and name-calling on social media.

Restaurants under consideration for a star rating are inspected multiple times a year, according to Michelin, and must consistently meet five key criteria to earn the designation. Michelin also grants restaurants with “best value for money” Bib Gourmand status and restaurants with excellent sustainable and environmentally friendly practices a Michelin Green Star. Other restaurants with exceptional wine, sake, and beer lists are recognized with a grape, sake bottle, or beer pint symbol or receive a mention in the guide for being a notable dining destination.

Michelin is working with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) to incur costs surrounding marketing and promotional campaigns for the new dining guide. Partnerships with tourism boards like ACVB are not unusual for Michelin and allow the guide to continually expand into cities around the globe. With these partnerships also comes controversy and accusations over the lack of diversity in the restaurant guide and pay-to-play by cities and countries vying for consideration. Michelin insists that while the guide works with tourism boards, these organizations do not hold sway over which restaurants dining inspectors consider or ultimately select.

It seems everyone in Atlanta is a Michelin dining expert now with their own hot takes on ATL restaurants — and some takes are much spicier than others. But as the debate raged on social media, Eater took the survey route and polled over 400 people on their restaurant predictions for the Atlanta Michelin guide. Beyond the restaurant picks, readers polled for the survey also felt strongly about Michelin inspectors taking into consideration the more causal approach to fine dining by Atlanta restaurants, along with the diverse dining scene Atlantans enjoy, which includes multitudes of restaurants representing countries from all over the world.

“There are so many restaurants that really immerse you into the culture of the cuisine’s origin and it has truly elevated the experiences,” one reader writes.

“You can find exceptional cuisine outside Atlanta proper. This is huge when you want a really nice meal but don’t want to have to go to the city,” another reader says in the poll. “There are many quaint historical [metro Atlanta] cities that have their own vibe and culture.”

“As a lifelong and native Atlantan, our restaurant scene is so special because of the diverse influence of cultures. While we may not have many traditional fine dining options, we do have amazing representations of culturally important food from Southern to Korean to Ethiopian,” a reader polled for the survey says. “Atlanta is culturally diverse and comforting. Some of the best food in the city is found right in shopping mall that’s been there since the 1980s.”

Here are the top five restaurants readers predicted for each star and Bib Gourmand designation, and the top ten restaurants readers say should be considered dining destinations in the Atlanta Michelin guide, based on the number of nominations received for each category in the poll.

One Michelin Star (in no particular order)

1.) Little Bear
2.) Lyla Lila
3.) Spring
4.) Gunshow
5.) Miller Union

Two Michelin Stars (in no particular order)

1.) Bacchanalia
2.) Mujo
3.) Lazy Betty
4.) Georgia Boy
5.) Aria

Three Michelin Stars (in no particular order)

1.) Mujo
2.) Atlas
3.) Bacchanalia
4.) Lazy Betty
5.) None

Bib Gourmand (in no particular order)

1.) Little Bear
2.) Masterpiece
3.) Talat Market
4.) BoccaLupo
5.) Heirloom Market BBQ

Green Star (in no particular order)

1.) Little Bear
2.) Miller Union
3.) The Chastain
4.) The Deer and The Dove
5.) None

Top Ten Michelin Mentions (in no particular order)

1.) Delbar
2.) Little Bear
3.) Talat Market
4.) Masterpiece
5.) Lyla Lila
6.) Home Grown
7.) Busy Bee Cafe
8.) Ticonderoga Club
9.) Lucian Books and Wine
10.) Woo Nam Jeong Stone Bowl House