New restaurants debut on the dining scene every month, both inside and outside the perimeter, but some establishments hit the ground running right out of the gate and stand out above the rest. These are the new restaurants generating serious buzz at the moment among avid Atlanta diners. While the Eater 38 highlights Atlanta restaurant institutions, old standbys, and neighborhood essentials, this map spotlights the new places people are flocking to right now. Here are the new restaurants and pop-ups to check out this month around Atlanta.Read More
The 15 Hottest New Restaurants Around Atlanta, December 2023
From fresh takes on barbecue and French cuisine to a prix-fixe menu of steak frites, tacos filled with succulent al pastor, and a must-visit chefs counter experience
Owens and Hull at Grand Champion
Backed by pitmasters Robert Owens and Secret Pint BBQ owner Bryan Hull, and located in what was the Smyrna location of Grand Champion BBQ, Owens and Hull merges Texas- and Carolina-style barbecue smoked over Georgia oak on the menu. And the restaurant is already generating serious buzz amongst barbecue enthusiasts in Atlanta. Owens and Hull doesn’t feature a set menu of barbecue standards, but rather a specific menu served each day. This includes a smoked burger topped with White Castle onions and American cheese on Thursdays, reserving sliced brisket and turkey for service on Fridays and Saturdays, and regularly serving the popular sausages from Secret Pint’s pop-ups (Think sausages stuffed cheddar cheese and jalapenos or roasted poblano peppers and Oaxaca cheese.) Only open Thursday through Sunday, expect weekly specials, too, and a rotating selection of side dishes.
Bovino After Dark @ Hop City West End
Located inside the bar at Hop City in West End, this underground supper club comes from former Gunshow chef Chris McCord, bartender and butcher Alex Sher, and former Miller Union chef Mykel Burkhart. The intimate chefs counter experience seats between 10 and 12 people, offering five courses served omakase style, with optional wine and caviar pairings (You’ll want both.) Sher serves as host and sommelier, which helps give Bovino After Dark a dinner party vibe among the strangers seated at the bar. It also allows McCord and Burkhart to work their magic while diners watch in anticipation of the next course. Think courses of Funyun funnel cake over watermelon granita and Manchester quail stuffed with farro verde garnished with crispy pecans. Dessert offers playful takes on the final course of the meal, including tres leches and persimmon bread pudding topped with trifoliate ice cream drizzled with candy roaster caramel. With limited seating available for dinner on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, reservations are gobbled up fast. But those who stalk Bovino After Dark’s Instagram feed can often snag last-minute reservations due to cancellations. $65 per person. Wine pairings and caviar optional for an additional charge. Reservations required.
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Little Sparrow and Bar Blanc
Backed by Ford Fry, the name Little Sparrow refers to French singer Edith Piaf — an affectionate nickname given to the songstress due to her diminutive stature. She was also the lover of French boxer Marcel Cerdan, who is the inspiration behind the name of Fry’s steakhouse at Westside Provisions District. Order the Le Petit Martini to start, described as a “small yet truly exceptional ice-cold” drink made with either gin or vodka. Next, order a bowl of French onion soup with a thick layer of bruleed cheese or some crispy frites drizzled with cheese sauce, part of the restaurant’s raclette service. Move on to steak hache or the poitrine de porc (pork belly) with fennel, apple, and jus. The poulet frites stuffed with black truffles and brioche is prepared table side, as are desserts like the creme caramel, Basque-style cheesecake, and cherries jubilee. Cocktails come with a French bistro twist, too, such as a take on the Manhattan in the Pigalle with bourbon and calvados. Upstairs at Bar Blanc, expect cocktails, a French-leaning wine list, and a prix-fixe menu at $49.50 per person of steak frites, salad, and bread for the table within a date-worthy, intimate space. The bar here also serves the multi-layered digestif Pousse Cafe (“push coffee” in French) — a colorful 19th-century layered shot of liqueurs meant to aid in digestion. Reservations encouraged for Little Sparrow. Bar Blanc walk-ins only.
The opening of Southern National is a homecoming for owners chef Duane Nutter and Reggie Washington, who worked together for years at One Flew South at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, before departing the city in 2016. They would go on to open Southern National in Mobile, Alabama, (Washington’s hometown) but hinted at a return to Atlanta. The partners officially closed the Mobile location in 2022 to relocate the restaurant to Summerhill. Food leans into Nutter’s travels in the Northwest, Kentucky, and Louisiana, where he was born, as well as the South and Atlanta. The menu features a few of the Mobile location’s most popular dishes, like the mussels and collard greens, along with several new dishes such as herb butter broiled red fish over smoked turkey smothered green beans and field peas and Creole-cured salmon and potato blini. Look for Nutter to bring his signature sense of humor to the menu, too, in desserts like peanut butter panna cotta topped with chunks of Nutter Butter cookies. Nutter and Washington reunited with two longtime friends and former colleagues in Southern National, partnering with Ticonderoga Club owners and critically acclaimed bartenders Greg Best and Paul Calvert, who developed the cocktail program for the restaurant. Reservations encouraged.
Darren Carr and Eric Simpkins closed the Lawrence earlier this year, promising to breathe new life into the space with a restaurant befitting the neighborhood as it is today. It appears they’ve done just that with their latest addition to Midtown — Rwby (pronounced “Ruby”) — a welcome respite and spot to unwind over dinner and drinks away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. No one cuisine type dominates the menu, offering a variety of dishes with broad appeal that also stick to the seasons. Dishes are easily shared, like the roasted carrot dip with garlic confit, steamed mussels, and steak tartare. Entrees see seasonality come into play in dishes like roasted acorn squash stuffed with red quinoa, kale, carrots, and fried oyster mushrooms or tangy Flemish beef cheek stew with saison Dupont, oyster mushrooms, and roasted potatoes and carrots. Expect cocktails leaning less toward heavy, dark, and stirred drinks and into lighter, brighter, and less boozy concoctions. The Amarcord Spritz, for instance, sees Cappelletti aperitivo and melon rind-infused vermouth topped with prosecco and club soda. But if you’re seeking a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, people who’ve frequented any of Simpkins’s bars in Atlanta know they can get stellar versions of those at Rwby, too. Currently open for dinner, with hours expanding in the future. Covered outdoor seating available.
Critically acclaimed restaurant Brush Sushi reopened in the former American Cut space at Buckhead Village in August, after closing last year in Decatur ahead of a planned relocation to a larger space. Unlike in Decatur, which included several izakaya-style dishes, the Buckhead location centers on a la carte sushi and prix fixe sushi options, along with grilled dishes cooked over Binchotan charcoal. The modern, elegant design in Buckhead is set off by large wooden panels featuring intricate carvings of hinoki (a Japanese cypress tree), with a private dining room offering more intimate omakase tastings led by chef and owner Jason Liang. Look for both classic and original cocktails from the bar, an expanded Japanese whisky selection, and a broader focus on sake in Buckhead. Open for lunch and dinner. Reservations encouraged.
Long Snake Wine Bar
After taking over the kitchen at Whoopsie’s on Wednesday nights for three months, the forthcoming wine bar from former 8ARM beverage director Josh Fryer landed a longterm residency in the Georgia Beer Garden space. Named for the PJ Harvey song “Long Snake Moan”, Fryer brings together his love of music, natural wine, and food in dishes like grilled quail with a muscadine-sage gastrique, smashed summer salad dressed with orange blossom vinaigrette, and whole roasted Virginia croaker served with a creamy watercress salad. Look for desserts like lavender chess pie. With good tunes spinning on the turntable, seasonal dishes using fresh, local ingredients, and a solid bottle list boasting funky finds, Long Snake has already become a go-to for Atlanta wine lovers. Thursday - Saturday, 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. Snack menu available in the garden. Dinner menu only available in the dining room and at the bar.
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Verdure Kitchen & Cocktails
The social media hype is beginning to subside on this new Dutch Valley Road restaurant, which means chef and Ivory Coast native Jean-Louis Sangare (Le Bilboquet) can finally focus on what he does best: cooking thoughtful, flavor-packed food. Located on the ground floor of the Belvedere Condominiums, Verdure is dripping with greenery and mixes fine dining and French cooking techniques in dishes infused with ingredients found in countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Ghana. Start with appetizers such as the farro salad mixed with parmesan, shallots, dates, and candied pecans or the charred whole okra complemented by bursts of cherry tomatoes and crispy onions dressed with zesty lemon juice and berbere aioli. For entrees, try the comforting Senegalese chicken yassa in tangy mustard sauce or the whole pan-seared branzino garnished with tomatoes, onions, and kalamata olives atop a concasse tomato sauce. There’s also a bit of magic in the triple threat spice blend (the Spicy Trifecta) accompanying this fish dish. Entrees range between $35 to $65, but sharing will help keep the total down and allow the table to really experience a range of dishes from Sangare. While service is super friendly, it can be a bit uneven at times, but the food is worth the trip.
Chow a la Carte @ Uptown Kitchen
The team behind underground supper club Chow Club Atlanta recently launched a year-long chefs residency at the new Uptown Test Kitchen incubator space in Buckhead. Called Chow a la Carte, expect seven house chefs each week, along with guest chefs on the weekends, serving food from countries like Nigeria, Colombia, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Chow a la Carte also offers traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies and hosts monthly Chow Club Atlanta dinners, cooking classes, and grab-and-go meals at Uptown Test Kitchen. Open for lunch and dinner, Thursday - Sunday. Menus and chefs rotate every two weeks.
Punk Foodie at Ponce
Avid followers of Atlanta’s thriving pop-up scene are also likely followers of Punk Foodie, a website created by Sam Flemming with a database listing hundreds of pop-up chefs and underground food experiences found around the city and metro area. Now people can find Punk Foodie’s chefs and pop-ups at Ponce City Market in a new stall, where the menu is always rotating and meant to highlight Atlanta’s emerging culinary talents. Think of this food stall as a chef and restaurant incubator space, serving everything from Taiwanese-American comfort foods to takes on Bosnian fare with nods to the South and Atlanta. Chefs and pop-ups are offered short-term residencies at the Punk Foodie stall, which also serves weekend brunch and collaborative dinners on Mondays. It’s best to check the Punk Foodie website for the weekly pop-up lineup and for the calendar of pop-up events happening around town.
A rolling stone gathers no moss, and that old adage can certainly be attributed to Atlanta restaurateurs Nhan Le and Skip Engelbrecht, who’ve been rapidly expanding upon the success of Fishmonger with new locations over the last year. They’ve now added a new restaurant to their growing collection of establishments: Dos Burros. Partnering with Hopstix brewpub owner Andy Tan, Dos Burros takes over the space previously home to his restaurant Lady Ha at the Ford Factory Lofts on Ponce. Dos Burros is a deeply personal project for Le, named for a concept he and his late business partner chef Angus Brown (8ARM) talked about opening together. Dos Burros is both a restaurant and a margarita bar that also serves its own signature beers brewed locally at Hopstix in Chamblee by Tan. Led in the kitchen by Mexico native chef Domingo Galardo (So Ba, Octopus Bar), expect tacos filled with succulent al pastor, savory brisket, and braised lengua, along with vegetarian options like spicy corn rajas mixed with roasted poblano peppers and crema. Burritos come generously stuffed with protein of choice, as do the loaded nachos. Considering a cocktail? Try the dirty horchata spiked with rum or the house margarita. With its patio flanking the Eastside Trail, garage doors opening onto a breezy mezzanine level, and to-go drinks flowing, Dos Burros is poised to become a popular stop on the Beltline.
The Wurst Beer Hall
Located in a former Moe’s Southwest Grill, the Wurst Beer Hall is a refreshing addition to the restaurant and bar scene along Ponce. Backed by longtime Atlanta chef and owner of Bantam and Biddy, Shaun Doty, the Wurst is where people can indulge in sampler platters of Patak sausages and sauerkraut, giant Bavarian pretzels served with brown ale mustard, and entrees of currywurst, smoked Patak pork chops, and chicken schnitzel. Fans of Ayinger beers will find the brewery’s Bavarian pilsner and Brau-Weisse on draft here, along with local and other imported beers, which can come served by the pint or liter. Inside offers seating at high-top tables and the bar, with additional seating on a front deck facing Ponce and behind the building at picnic tables. The Wurst Beer Hall also resides next door to Doty’s new sandwich shop, aptly named Best Sandwich Shop. Head in for bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches and hash browns in the morning, followed by cold and hot subs in the afternoon, like the Enzo with city ham, spicy soppressata, and mortadella and the chicken parmesan dressed with San Marzano tomato meat sauce and Cappella mozzarella.
Bread & Butterfly
Chef Billy Allin stepped away from his Inman Quarter French cafe Bread and Butterfly after eight years. But instead of closing the restaurant, Allin handed the reins over to Brandon Blanchard and chef Demetrius Brown of Caribbean and Afro-American pop-up Heritage Supper Club. Many of the restaurant’s most popular dishes remain on the lunch and brunch menus, but Brown is now adding his own spin on French cuisine at Bread and Butterfly. Brown shines in the kitchen as he explores the foods of the African diaspora heavily influenced by French cuisine due to the colonization by France of African nations and the Caribbean over the centuries. This is especially apparent during dinner in dishes like the sweet and savory Haitian patty, a colorful layered potato salad mixed with Yukon gold potatoes, beets, peppers, and peas, and the pwason fri — a crispy fried snapper drizzled with Creole sauce. Order the banana beignets for dessert, which come with dollops of silky coconut custard and guava and papaya jams. Don’t skip the cocktails or wine here, which lean into French vintages, spirits, and flavors influenced by the Caribbean and West Africa.
Backed by the team behind Grindhouse Killer Burgers, think of Breaker Breaker as a trailside respite, where people pull up on foot or by bike for drinks and a grouper sandwich or fried fish basket before continuing on their way along the Eastside Beltline. Like the beach bars and seafood shacks dotting the Gulf and East coasts, the breezy design maximizes outdoor dining space, while also retaining some original items from the old Stein Steel plant that once resided on the property. Chef Maximilian Hines, formerly of the Lawrence and founder of supper club Stolen Goods, leads the kitchen and carries the coastal theme through on the menu. Look for everything from a blackened grouper sandwich and Gulf fish ceviche to a Cajun shrimp boil and fried vegan calamari. The latter is one of Hines’s signature dishes, which sees hearts of palm shaped like rings of calamari and fried enoki mushrooms meant to resemble tentacles. Expect cocktails like the Lot Lizard spritz with limoncello muddled with basil topped with sparkling wine and soda or a frozen take on the Mexican dessert mangonada called Mucho Nada with mango vodka, mango puree, chamoy, and a tajin rim. Order a banana ice cream sandwich for the road.
Omakase by Yun
After wowing sushi lovers at Chirori Japanese restaurant on 14th Street for over a year, chef Jonathan Yun is back behind the sushi bar at his own restaurant. Now open at Ashford Lane, Yun brings years of experience working with sushi at restaurants throughout Japan and New York City to Dunwoody. With seating for just 10 people at the sushi bar, expect an intimate 16-course omakase experience at one of two seatings per night, featuring masterful dishes by Yun using fish and other ingredients sourced both locally and from the waters of Japan. $185 per person. Reservations required.