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Lazy Betty
Ryan Fleisher

15 Atlanta Restaurants to Splurge for a Special Occasion

Whether celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or recent promotion or new job, restaurants often play a central role in marking a special occasion

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Lazy Betty
| Ryan Fleisher

Whether celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or recent promotion or new job, restaurants often play a central role in marking a special occasion or life achievement. The following list features several Atlanta restaurants in which to splurge on a lavish meal or even on elaborate to-go options. Some restaurants listed are open for dine-in and patio service, while others are going above and beyond offering fancy feasts for takeout.

Don’t see a favorite special occasion restaurant listed? Send Eater Atlanta an email via the tipline.

Disclaimer: A number of restaurants on this map have resumed dine-in service. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the Georgia Department of Health. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Spring Restaurant

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36 Mill St
Marietta, GA 30060
(678) 540-2777
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The critically acclaimed restaurant, owned by chef Brian So and partner Daniel Crawford, reopened for curbside service in August and now offers one of the most well-appointed takeout menus in metro Atlanta. Fully prepared dishes range from pâté de campagne and cider-glazed duck, to meal kits in order to finish the restaurant’s beef bourguignon at home. There’s an option to order carefully selected wine pairings for each week’s menu. Don’t skip dessert. Order online for curbside pick-up, Tuesday - Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Open for lunch and dinner.

2. Canoe

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4199 Paces Ferry Rd SE
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 432-2663
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Canoe in Vinings has been serving farm-to-table cuisine since before that term was first coined. The riverfront, fine dining restaurant includes an unusual menu item for Atlanta: peppercorn-crusted kangaroo. The dish is an homage to executive chef Matthew Basford’s Australian roots. Come here for brunch and order the pastry basket and cornmeal pancakes. Seating available in the dining room and in the garden patio overlooking the river. Open for dine-in service. Reservations required. Masks highly encouraged.

3. Bacchanalia

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1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW Suite 1
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 365-0410
Visit Website

Fine dining stalwart Bacchanalia and its epic tasting menu are better than ever after over 20 years on the Atlanta dining scene. Located next to its market and cafe Star Provisions on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, reservations are necessary for a table here. Don’t have reservations? Head to the bar for cocktails, a glass of wine, and the a la carte menu. For those looking to create the Bacchanalia experience at home, the restaurant also offers a lavish, four-course takeout menu that includes dishes such as Maine lobster, New York strip, cheeses, and dessert. Open for dine-in service. Masks required. Order online for takeout.

4. Gather Picnic Co.

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For those looking to celebrate a special moment with family and friends outdoors, consider an elaborate and themed affair from Gather Picnic Co. Each travel-themed, three-hour picnic spread features set-up and breakdown of decor, table settings, and furniture, flowers, and umbrellas for shade. There is also a romantic picnic set-up for two. Food can be catered privately or provided by Gather from Graze Atlanta charcuterie boards with the option to add dessert. Book online.

5. La Grotta Ristorante

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2637 Peachtree Rd
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 231-1368
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This Buckhead fine dining Italian restaurant is so beloved by its regulars, they took up a collection for the staff early on in the pandemic that amounted to $50,000. Now back open for dine-in service and curbside takeout, people can once again dine on carpaccio all’Italiana, calamari fra diavolo, a wide variety of rich pasta dishes, and desserts like tiramisu or chocolate torte. Make sure to order a bottle of wine, too. Dine-in service. Masks highly encouraged. Call to order curbside pick-up.

6. Little Bear (private dinner in the dining room)

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71 Georgia Ave SE Unit A
Atlanta, GA 30312
(404) 500-5396
Visit Website

When chef Jarrett Stieber opened Little Bear in Summerhill at the end of February, the coronavirus had yet to reach global pandemic status. Just three weeks later as COVID-19 began spreading throughout Georgia, Stieber closed the restaurant and pivoted to takeout. Little Bear remains closed for dine-in service, but it’s doing a brisk takeout and to-go cocktail and wine business. Stieber and his team are now offering private parties in the dining room of no more than 15 people. Meals are prepared and delivered to the table for family-style dining. Make sure to add wine and cocktails to the dinner party. Email littlebear@littlebearatl.com for pricing and more information. Order online for pick-up. Follow on Instagram for updates. Masks required. Communal seating and tables scattered in parking lots and patios along Georgia Avenue.

7. The Garden Room

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At Buckhead Plaza, 88 West Paces Ferry Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 600-6471
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This small plates restaurant and bar, part of Atlas in Buckhead, serves dinner and drinks Wednesday through Saturday on West Paces Ferry Road within a lush and romantic garden setting. The menu includes dishes like a yellowtail and citrus salad, a lobster roll, a wagyu coulotte, and desserts, including Madeleines and daily sorbet. Pair it all with champagne and cocktails. Open for dine-in service. Masks required. Reservations highly encouraged. Dress code.

8. Chops & Lobster Bar

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70 West Paces Ferry Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 262-2675
Visit Website

For those who want to indulge in fancy surf and turf, head to Chop’s Lobster Bar just south of the luxe neighborhood of Tuxedo Park on West Paces Ferry. The menu offers everything from generous porterhouses to pricy filets of Kobe wagyu beef. Garnish that steak with accompaniments like foie gras, truffle butter, or Béarnaise sauce. Open for dine-in service. Masks highly encouraged. Reservations highly encouraged. Order online for curbside pick-up.

9. Aria

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490 East Paces Ferry Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 233-7673
Visit Website

Aria continues to be one of Buckhead’s top date night destinations. After years of serving classic, white-tablecloth fine dining, chef Gerry Klaskala remodeled his Buckhead staple restaurant to appeal to a younger generation of diners. Now it’s a bit more relaxed and casual — there’s a walk-in ready bar and lounge for drinks and snacks for an impromptu night out. The kitchen consistently cranks out Aria favorites, like butter braised lobster, slow braised pork, and lump crab cakes. Aria continues to carry one of Atlanta’s most comprehensive wine lists, too. Dine al fresco on Aria’s patio. Open for dine-in service. Masks required. Reservations required. Order food and wine online for curbside pick-up.

10. Tiny Lou's

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789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(470) 485-0085
Visit Website

Tiny Lou’s opened on the ground floor of the Hotel Clermont on Ponce in 2018. The French restaurant “above where the ladies dance” — aka the Clermont Lounge — has been a hit ever since. Chef Jeb Aldrich may lean into classic French dishes, like steak frites, foie gras, and fluke meuniere on the menu, but he skillfully weaves in the ingredients and flavors of the South in other dishes, as with a Tennessee rabbit cassoulet or Blue Ridge trout amandine with sourdough brown butter. Make sure to order dessert, created by the talented pastry chef, Claudia Martinez. Open for limited dine-in service. Masks required. Reservations highly encouraged. Order online for takeout or curbside pick-up.

11. Lazy Betty

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1530 DeKalb Ave NE ste f
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 975-3692
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Lazy Betty in Candler Park was built for date night and celebratory dining. The elaborate tasting menus here include the option to order a four, seven, or ten-course meal with wine pairings. Seating is available in the dining room or at the chefs counter. A vegetarian tasting menu is also available and must be reserved in advance. Wine pairings are optional. Open for dine-in and patio service. Reservations required. Masks required. Order online for takeout.

12. Gato

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1660 McLendon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 371-0889
Visit Website

While the dining room remains closed, owner Nick Stinson is still offering takeout at Gato. Stinson has also begun renting out the dining room for private dinner parties of no more than 12 people. The number of courses, menu, and beverage pairings can be discussed with Stinson by direct messaging him on Instagram or calling the restaurant directly. During the day, his small and inviting neighborhood restaurant on the corner of McClendon Avenue and Clifton Road in Candler Park offers a Southwestern-influenced breakfast and lunch. Dinner explores the regional food roots of southern Mexico and the Yucatán. Gato offers a tight selection of natural and biodynamic wines and cocktails on its menu, too. Curbside pickup and delivery within one-mile radius, Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Order and pay by phone.

13. Petite Violette

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2948 Clairmont Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 634-6268
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Billed as “Atlanta’s original French restaurant,” Petite Violette has been a favorite fine dining spot since 1974, when it was known as Petite Auberge. Over 45 years later, the restaurant continues to serve classic French dishes like foie gras au pommes, escargots, coq au vin, and trout amandine on its menu. Open for dine-in service. Reservations highly encouraged. Masks highly encouraged. Call to order takeout.

14. The Alden

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5070 Peachtree Blvd Suite B-140
Chamblee, GA 30341
(678) 395-6982
Visit Website

The Alden from Atlanta native chef Jared Hucks opened in 2018 at Parkview on Peachtree in Chamblee. The restaurant serves dishes on its dinner menu such as Maine sea scallops, sweet breads, tortellini primavera, and lavender baked chicken. For a special occasion, consider ordering the seven-course tasting menu with optional wine pairings at the chef’s counter. Open for dine-in service. Reservations highly encouraged. Masks highly encouraged. Patio seating available. A la carte menu available for takeout or curbside pick-up. Call to order.

15. Sushi Hayakawa

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5979 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30340
(770) 986-0010
Visit Website

Chef Atsushi Hayakawa’s Buford Highway sushi house continues to dominate Atlanta’s sushi scene. Reservations are required and should be made well in advance; especially for those who want to watch Chef Hayakawa prepare dinner himself. The two-and-a-half hour honkaku omakase is a one-on-one, 14-course sushi extravaganza with the chef. Reservations required. Masks required. Curbside takeout available. Order or reserve via Tock.

1. Spring Restaurant

36 Mill St, Marietta, GA 30060

The critically acclaimed restaurant, owned by chef Brian So and partner Daniel Crawford, reopened for curbside service in August and now offers one of the most well-appointed takeout menus in metro Atlanta. Fully prepared dishes range from pâté de campagne and cider-glazed duck, to meal kits in order to finish the restaurant’s beef bourguignon at home. There’s an option to order carefully selected wine pairings for each week’s menu. Don’t skip dessert. Order online for curbside pick-up, Tuesday - Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Open for lunch and dinner.

36 Mill St
Marietta, GA 30060

2. Canoe

4199 Paces Ferry Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339

Canoe in Vinings has been serving farm-to-table cuisine since before that term was first coined. The riverfront, fine dining restaurant includes an unusual menu item for Atlanta: peppercorn-crusted kangaroo. The dish is an homage to executive chef Matthew Basford’s Australian roots. Come here for brunch and order the pastry basket and cornmeal pancakes. Seating available in the dining room and in the garden patio overlooking the river. Open for dine-in service. Reservations required. Masks highly encouraged.

4199 Paces Ferry Rd SE
Atlanta, GA 30339

3. Bacchanalia

1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW Suite 1, Atlanta, GA 30318

Fine dining stalwart Bacchanalia and its epic tasting menu are better than ever after over 20 years on the Atlanta dining scene. Located next to its market and cafe Star Provisions on Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, reservations are necessary for a table here. Don’t have reservations? Head to the bar for cocktails, a glass of wine, and the a la carte menu. For those looking to create the Bacchanalia experience at home, the restaurant also offers a lavish, four-course takeout menu that includes dishes such as Maine lobster, New York strip, cheeses, and dessert. Open for dine-in service. Masks required. Order online for takeout.

1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW Suite 1
Atlanta, GA 30318

4. Gather Picnic Co.

Atlanta, GA

For those looking to celebrate a special moment with family and friends outdoors, consider an elaborate and themed affair from Gather Picnic Co. Each travel-themed, three-hour picnic spread features set-up and breakdown of decor, table settings, and furniture, flowers, and umbrellas for shade. There is also a romantic picnic set-up for two. Food can be catered privately or provided by Gather from Graze Atlanta charcuterie boards with the option to add dessert. Book online.

5. La Grotta Ristorante

2637 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30305

This Buckhead fine dining Italian restaurant is so beloved by its regulars, they took up a collection for the staff early on in the pandemic that amounted to $50,000. Now back open for dine-in service and curbside takeout, people can once again dine on carpaccio all’Italiana, calamari fra diavolo, a wide variety of rich pasta dishes, and desserts like tiramisu or chocolate torte. Make sure to order a bottle of wine, too. Dine-in service. Masks highly encouraged. Call to order curbside pick-up.

2637 Peachtree Rd
Atlanta, GA 30305

6. Little Bear (private dinner in the dining room)

71 Georgia Ave SE Unit A, Atlanta, GA 30312

When chef Jarrett Stieber opened Little Bear in Summerhill at the end of February, the coronavirus had yet to reach global pandemic status. Just three weeks later as COVID-19 began spreading throughout Georgia, Stieber closed the restaurant and pivoted to takeout. Little Bear remains closed for dine-in service, but it’s doing a brisk takeout and to-go cocktail and wine business. Stieber and his team are now offering private parties in the dining room of no more than 15 people. Meals are prepared and delivered to the table for family-style dining. Make sure to add wine and cocktails to the dinner party. Email littlebear@littlebearatl.com for pricing and more information. Order online for pick-up. Follow on Instagram for updates. Masks required. Communal seating and tables scattered in parking lots and patios along Georgia Avenue.

71 Georgia Ave SE Unit A
Atlanta, GA 30312

7. The Garden Room

At Buckhead Plaza, 88 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

This small plates restaurant and bar, part of Atlas in Buckhead, serves dinner and drinks Wednesday through Saturday on West Paces Ferry Road within a lush and romantic garden setting. The menu includes dishes like a yellowtail and citrus salad, a lobster roll, a wagyu coulotte, and desserts, including Madeleines and daily sorbet. Pair it all with champagne and cocktails. Open for dine-in service. Masks required. Reservations highly encouraged. Dress code.

At Buckhead Plaza, 88 West Paces Ferry Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30305

8. Chops & Lobster Bar

70 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305

For those who want to indulge in fancy surf and turf, head to Chop’s Lobster Bar just south of the luxe neighborhood of Tuxedo Park on West Paces Ferry. The menu offers everything from generous porterhouses to pricy filets of Kobe wagyu beef. Garnish that steak with accompaniments like foie gras, truffle butter, or Béarnaise sauce. Open for dine-in service. Masks highly encouraged. Reservations highly encouraged. Order online for curbside pick-up.

70 West Paces Ferry Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30305

9. Aria

490 East Paces Ferry Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Aria continues to be one of Buckhead’s top date night destinations. After years of serving classic, white-tablecloth fine dining, chef Gerry Klaskala remodeled his Buckhead staple restaurant to appeal to a younger generation of diners. Now it’s a bit more relaxed and casual — there’s a walk-in ready bar and lounge for drinks and snacks for an impromptu night out. The kitchen consistently cranks out Aria favorites, like butter braised lobster, slow braised pork, and lump crab cakes. Aria continues to carry one of Atlanta’s most comprehensive wine lists, too. Dine al fresco on Aria’s patio. Open for dine-in service. Masks required. Reservations required. Order food and wine online for curbside pick-up.

490 East Paces Ferry Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

10. Tiny Lou's

789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Tiny Lou’s opened on the ground floor of the Hotel Clermont on Ponce in 2018. The French restaurant “above where the ladies dance” — aka the Clermont Lounge — has been a hit ever since. Chef Jeb Aldrich may lean into classic French dishes, like steak frites, foie gras, and fluke meuniere on the menu, but he skillfully weaves in the ingredients and flavors of the South in other dishes, as with a Tennessee rabbit cassoulet or Blue Ridge trout amandine with sourdough brown butter. Make sure to order dessert, created by the talented pastry chef, Claudia Martinez. Open for limited dine-in service. Masks required. Reservations highly encouraged. Order online for takeout or curbside pick-up.

789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

11. Lazy Betty

1530 DeKalb Ave NE ste f, Atlanta, GA 30307

Lazy Betty in Candler Park was built for date night and celebratory dining. The elaborate tasting menus here include the option to order a four, seven, or ten-course meal with wine pairings. Seating is available in the dining room or at the chefs counter. A vegetarian tasting menu is also available and must be reserved in advance. Wine pairings are optional. Open for dine-in and patio service. Reservations required. Masks required. Order online for takeout.

1530 DeKalb Ave NE ste f
Atlanta, GA 30307

12. Gato

1660 McLendon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

While the dining room remains closed, owner Nick Stinson is still offering takeout at Gato. Stinson has also begun renting out the dining room for private dinner parties of no more than 12 people. The number of courses, menu, and beverage pairings can be discussed with Stinson by direct messaging him on Instagram or calling the restaurant directly. During the day, his small and inviting neighborhood restaurant on the corner of McClendon Avenue and Clifton Road in Candler Park offers a Southwestern-influenced breakfast and lunch. Dinner explores the regional food roots of southern Mexico and the Yucatán. Gato offers a tight selection of natural and biodynamic wines and cocktails on its menu, too. Curbside pickup and delivery within one-mile radius, Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Order and pay by phone.

1660 McLendon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

13. Petite Violette

2948 Clairmont Rd, Atlanta, GA 30329

Billed as “Atlanta’s original French restaurant,” Petite Violette has been a favorite fine dining spot since 1974, when it was known as Petite Auberge. Over 45 years later, the restaurant continues to serve classic French dishes like foie gras au pommes, escargots, coq au vin, and trout amandine on its menu. Open for dine-in service. Reservations highly encouraged. Masks highly encouraged. Call to order takeout.

2948 Clairmont Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329

14. The Alden

5070 Peachtree Blvd Suite B-140, Chamblee, GA 30341

The Alden from Atlanta native chef Jared Hucks opened in 2018 at Parkview on Peachtree in Chamblee. The restaurant serves dishes on its dinner menu such as Maine sea scallops, sweet breads, tortellini primavera, and lavender baked chicken. For a special occasion, consider ordering the seven-course tasting menu with optional wine pairings at the chef’s counter. Open for dine-in service. Reservations highly encouraged. Masks highly encouraged. Patio seating available. A la carte menu available for takeout or curbside pick-up. Call to order.

5070 Peachtree Blvd Suite B-140
Chamblee, GA 30341

15. Sushi Hayakawa

5979 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30340

Chef Atsushi Hayakawa’s Buford Highway sushi house continues to dominate Atlanta’s sushi scene. Reservations are required and should be made well in advance; especially for those who want to watch Chef Hayakawa prepare dinner himself. The two-and-a-half hour honkaku omakase is a one-on-one, 14-course sushi extravaganza with the chef. Reservations required. Masks required. Curbside takeout available. Order or reserve via Tock.

5979 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30340

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