Explore. Experience. Engage.

Powered by our sister site, Family Vacation Critic


canoe atlantaThink "Deep South" and you'll probably imagine barbecue, crispy chicken and fried green tomatoes -- and you can find all of that here. But Atlanta's sophisticated dining scene ranges far beyond traditional favorites, including fresh takes on classic Southern cuisine and ethnic offerings from around the world. The top neighborhood for dining is Buckhead, with some of the city's most upscale fare, but you'll find great eats scattered throughout the city.

Enjoy river and garden views along with some of Atlanta's best cuisine at Canoe, located on the banks of the Chattahoochee. The menu showcases inventive American dishes -- like grilled salmon with spaghetti squash or slow-roasted Carolina rabbit with Swiss chard and bacon ravioli -- and is accompanied by an extensive wine list. Go for a romantic dinner or an indulgent weekend brunch.

For self-proclaimed "fiery American cooking," head to TWO Urban Licks. Live blues music plays five nights a week in this funky revamped warehouse, accompanying dishes like scallops with gouda grits and smoked chicken with mac and cheese. The unique wine wall features 72 stainless steel barrels of wine in a 26-foot-high temperature-controlled tower.

A visit to The Varsity is less about the food and more about the experience of this Atlanta institution. Opened in 1928, the downtown location is the world's biggest drive-in restaurant, serving more than two miles of hot dogs every day. (The place is swamped during Georgia Tech games.) The onion rings and chili dogs are among the most popular options.

Nan Thai Fine Dining offers creative and beautifully prepared Thai dishes, like the fresh green papaya salad with crushed peanuts and sticky rice, and a variety of traditional curries (available with shrimp, chicken, pork or beef).

Atlanta's business elite wheel and deal daily at Bone's, rated by Zagat in 2012 as the country's best steakhouse for both food and service. Beyond the thick, perfectly cooked steaks, the menu also includes seafood dishes like crab cakes and wild salmon. The sides -- such as melt-in-your-mouth truffle butter mashed potatoes -- are also worth a mention.

Discover Atlanta Food and Wine Tours from Viator

Editor's Note: IndependentTraveler.com is published by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc., which also owns Viator.

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@independenttraveler.com to your address book.

We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our privacy policy and Terms of Use.