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Best Overall Restaurant

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Creative Loafing has been presenting Atlanta's Best People, Places and Events since 1972. These are some of the past winners for this category:

Best Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2018
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Staplehouse

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2017
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Imperial Fez Mediterranean Restaurant & Lounge (Where to Eat Recommendation)

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2017
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
8ARM
After the sad and sudden death of chef/partner Angus Brown in early January, the fate of four-month-old 8ARM was uncertain. But with deep love and tenacity, the tight-knit, uber-talented staff — including partner Nhan Le, pastry maestro Sarah Dodge and chefs Keith Remes, Wilson Gourley and Brooks Raymanmore...

After the sad and sudden death of chef/partner Angus Brown in early January, the fate of four-month-old 8ARM was uncertain. But with deep love and tenacity, the tight-knit, uber-talented staff — including partner Nhan Le, pastry maestro Sarah Dodge and chefs Keith Remes, Wilson Gourley and Brooks Rayman — managed to get the restaurant back up and running the next day … and every day since. From early mornings to late nights, cinnamon rolls to ceviches, they’ve been cooking and serving an ever-changing kaleidoscope of locally sourced culinary magic, keeping things fresh while loyally maintaining Brown’s earthy, funky vibe. The recently finished patio finds Joshua Fryer slinging drinks for the cool kids from a repurposed, tropical-themed shipping container late into the night. For all these reasons and more, 8arm is our pick for 2017’s best restaurant. We miss you terribly, Angus, but we think you’d be pretty proud of what you left behind. 710 Ponce de Leon Ave. 470-875-5856. www.8armatl.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Gunshow

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2016
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Staplehouse
Even amid all its high-profile accolades — including being named Bon Appétit’s No. 1 Best Restaurant 2016 — it’s easy to feel at home at STAPLEHOUSE. The Old Fourth Ward restaurant is a family affair helmed by chef Ryan Smith, plus Smith’s wife Kara and sister-in-law Jen Hidinger, who servemore...
Even amid all its high-profile accolades — including being named Bon Appétit’s No. 1 Best Restaurant 2016 — it’s easy to feel at home at STAPLEHOUSE. The Old Fourth Ward restaurant is a family affair helmed by chef Ryan Smith, plus Smith’s wife Kara and sister-in-law Jen Hidinger, who serve as welcoming hosts. At Staplehouse, Smith’s cooking is prodigious without being overwrought. Dishes such as tender charred cabbage served in a smoky sausage broth or his signature chicken liver mousse tart demonstrate this balancing act with ease. The tart’s ever-changing rotation of seasonal accoutrements such as fermented peach and dandelion greens in the summer adds depth and variety. Staplehouse routinely offers impeccable meals that delight the eyes as much as they please the palate. Some of Smith’s more ambitious creations such as sunchoke custard with supple smoked sable fish, wild juniper, and ricotta foam, gently challenge you and then give you a happy embrace. Just like family. That the restaurant’s profits go to its sister organization the Giving Kitchen, which provides support to Atlanta restaurant workers facing unanticipated crises, creates even more incentive to keep Staplehouse fans coming back. less...

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2015
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Mamak (Where to Eat Recommendation)

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2015
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Mamak (Where to Eat Recommendation)

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2015
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2015
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2014
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
The General Muir

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2014
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
The Iberian Pig (Where to Eat Recommendation)

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2013
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
The Optimist (Where to Eat Recommendation)

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2013
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Holeman and Finch

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2012
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Kevin Rathbun Steak

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2011
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

Best restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2011
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Empire State South

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2010
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Holeman and Finch
It may not be the fanciest restaurant in Atlanta, or the one with the most formal service, or even the one with the highest star rating. But none of that matters. What matters is this is the place where we all want to eat. If a friend comes in from out of town, if a special occasion calls for a specialmore...
It may not be the fanciest restaurant in Atlanta, or the one with the most formal service, or even the one with the highest star rating. But none of that matters. What matters is this is the place where we all want to eat. If a friend comes in from out of town, if a special occasion calls for a special place, if we had the opportunity to shout ATL pride from the rooftops for one restaurant only, it would be HOLEMAN & FINCH. It's the restaurant our New York friends are jealous of. It's a place you can get a mind-blowing cocktail alongside a perfect small round of the most classic, wonderful steak tartare topped with a flurry of the thinnest potato crisps imaginable. All manner of "parts" are available, from creamy, dreamy lamb brains to rabbit livers topped with pickled blueberries, to whole confit duck heads. But if extreme eating isn't your sport, the comfort and simplicity of house-made pasta carbonara with a fat farm egg yolk to stir in, or a perfectly cooked piece of trout can excite, too. Either way, we're smitten. 2277 Peachtree Road. 404-948-1175. www.holeman-finch.com. less...

Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2010
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

Runner-up: Woodfire Grill


1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, 404-347-9055, www.woodfiregrill.com

Best overall restaurant: Tie BOA Award Winner

Year » 2009
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

Best overall restaurant: Tie BOA Award Winner

Year » 2009
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Bacchanalia

Runner-up
Wahoo! Grill
1042 W. College Ave., Decatur, 404-373-3331, www.wahoogrilldecatur.com

Rich Pick: Best overall restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2009
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Bacchanalia
Atlanta dining just keeps getting better, but BACCHANALIA still reigns supreme as the standard-bearer for excellence in the city. Chef/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison and executive chef Daniel Porubiansky are turning out extraordinarily refined food that retains the Southern roots of its local,more...
Atlanta dining just keeps getting better, but BACCHANALIA still reigns supreme as the standard-bearer for excellence in the city. Chef/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison and executive chef Daniel Porubiansky are turning out extraordinarily refined food that retains the Southern roots of its local, fresh ingredients. In the past year, the wine list has expanded and improved dramatically, and the room remains one of the Southeast’s best examples of luxury without gimmick or pretension. 1198 Howell Mill Road. 404-365-0410. www.starprovisions.com. less...

Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2008
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

FAVORITE SON: Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2008
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Bacchanalia
The flagship restaurant of Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison still delivers like nowhere else in town. BACCHANALIA serves pristine ingredients, many of them from Quatrano's and Harrison's own farm, cooked with a precision that's breathtaking. Vegetables are coaxed to a platonic ideal of texture andmore...
The flagship restaurant of Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison still delivers like nowhere else in town. BACCHANALIA serves pristine ingredients, many of them from Quatrano's and Harrison's own farm, cooked with a precision that's breathtaking. Vegetables are coaxed to a platonic ideal of texture and flavor. Meats and fish are coddled and fussed over. A crab cake in citrus broth is so light and fluffy it almost floats off the plate, but is grounded by the high, pure notes of orange and lime. Service is crisp, confident and totally flawless. All of this comes together in one of the most understatedly elegant rooms in the city – who knew there was such a thing as industrial opulence? Bacchanalia is the shining star in the night sky of Atlanta's dining scene. less...

Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2007
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead
The best place in the city for a fine upscale meal is THE DINING ROOM AT THE RITZ-CARLTON BUCKHEAD. From the flawless service to chef Arnaud Berthelier’s inspired menu, which successfully blends luxury ingredients with modern technique, the restaurant has found a formula that makes for the mealmore...
The best place in the city for a fine upscale meal is THE DINING ROOM AT THE RITZ-CARLTON BUCKHEAD. From the flawless service to chef Arnaud Berthelier’s inspired menu, which successfully blends luxury ingredients with modern technique, the restaurant has found a formula that makes for the meal of a lifetime. Apart from the world-class cooking, highlights include the best cheese cart in town and a fabulous wine list that is 600 bottles strong. There’s only one restaurant in Atlanta that could compete head-to-head with the best establishments in New York and Paris, and this is it. less...

Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2007
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2006
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2006
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead (Permanently Closed)

Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2005
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Rathbun's (Permanently Closed)

Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Year » 2005
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
Bacchanalia
BACCHANALIA continues to bedazzle as the consummate Atlanta fine dining destination. This town digs a little industrial grit with its foie gras terrine, so we love that Bacchanalia’s regal setting has its roots in a meatpacking plant. A savvy window separates the subtly elegant room from themore...
BACCHANALIA continues to bedazzle as the consummate Atlanta fine dining destination. This town digs a little industrial grit with its foie gras terrine, so we love that Bacchanalia’s regal setting has its roots in a meatpacking plant. A savvy window separates the subtly elegant room from the bustling kitchen, allowing us to satisfy our voyeuristic urges without shattering our eardrums. But it’s Clifford Harrison and Anne Quatrano’s accessibly seasonal food that really makes us yearn for a special occasion to celebrate. Sure, you can choose superlative signatures (blue crab fritter, poached chicken with summer truffles) from the oft-changing prix-fixe menu, but choose a dish like sweetbreads or celery-anchovy salad to sample the kitchen’s daring versatility. less...

Best Overall Restaurants BOA Award Winner

Year » 2000
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Critics
If Atlanta's mascot is really the Phoenix, Bacchanalia (1198 Howell Mill Road, 404-365-0410) may be the city's quintessential restaurant, both for its superb cooking, impeccable service and recently demonstrated flair for reinvention. Chef/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison made the drastic stepmore...
If Atlanta's mascot is really the Phoenix, Bacchanalia (1198 Howell Mill Road, 404-365-0410) may be the city's quintessential restaurant, both for its superb cooking, impeccable service and recently demonstrated flair for reinvention. Chef/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison made the drastic step of relocating. Bacchanalia from a cozy house on Piedmont to a renovated meat-packing facility near the water works on Atlanta's west side. The move has meant a significant change in neighborhood and ambiance, with Bacchanalia trading homey comfort for industrial chic with an exhibition kitchen (though no increase in seating), but the excellence of its "New American Cuisine" has scarcely flagged. The building boasts a roughly inviting courtyard and a gourmet boutique, Star Provisions — as if you could buy things and recreate Bacchanalia's heavenly experience in your own home. Perhaps Bacchanalia's closest rival is Seeger's (111 W. Paces Ferry Road, 404-846-9779), the sleek Buckhead bungalow run by Guenter Seeger. Seeger's culinary creations, which can change daily, are served in a spare, minimally decorated dining room, the better for you to focus your senses on the dishes themselves. With portions of an unobtrusive scale, Seeger's can seem a place not so much for "eating" as for "tasting," but the European-accented dishes offer tastes that cannot be exceeded in Atlanta, if anywhere. That Seeger's qualifies as one of the city's most luxurious destinations, without having an especially luxuriant environment, testifies as to how much it pampers the taste buds.The word "bistro" may be overused by modern restaurants, but Brasserie Le Coze (3393 Peachtree Road, 404-266-1440) imbues the label with the fullest measure of Parisian elegance and authentic French cooking. Plus, the atmosphere manages to be classy and impressive without being snooty or forbidding (especially striking considering its location at Lenox Square.) Intimidated Americans may want to savor the familiarity of the roast leg of lamb sandwich, but be aware that your life is less than complete without sampling chef Jon Schwenk's skate with brown butter, which sets a standard for fish dishes. Keep an eye out for such special evenings as the Bastille Day Dinner or the Beaujolais Nouveau Release Party if you're looking for an excuse to visit. Few Atlanta eateries offer such a garden of earthly delights as The Flying Biscuit Cafe (1655 McLendon Ave., 404-687-8888), Chef April Moon's marvelous, always-crowded McClendon Avenue cafe, with the blooming, wrap-around murals contributing to a warm and congenial atmosphere. The menu is filled with delicious, playfully-dubbed items such as Pudge, Love Cakes, Stoup of the Day, Angel Burgers and Devil Burgers. Any item on the non-stop breakfast list can be expected to please, and the dinner menu offers a confident selection of pastas, salads and other entrees, which are far more affordable than the offerings of the restaurants above. less...

Best Overall Restaurants BOA Award Winner

Year » 2000
Type of Award » Oral Pleasures
Picked By » Readers
Brasserie Le Coze (Permanently Closed)

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