The Essential Atlanta Restaurants in 2017

By Chris Fuhrmeister / Posted on September 13, 2017

“Can you recommend a restaurant?” This highly elite group covers the entire city (inside the perimeter, loosely), spans myriad cuisines, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs. Every couple of months, we’ll be adding pertinent restaurants that were omitted, have newly become eligible (restaurants must be open at least six months), or have stepped up their game.

New additions to the list, mapped north to south, are 8 ArmCakes & Ale,Desta Ethiopian Kitchen, and Poor Hendrix.

1 O4W Pizza

The location has changed, but Anthony Spina is still serving up his famous Grandma Pie. The pizzeria is no longer in its namesake neighborhood, residing in the former Steverino’s space in downtown Duluth.

2 Masterpiece

There was a time when Gu’s Bistro was the Sichuan staple on Buford Highway, but that ended when the restaurant closed in March 2015. In its place is Masterpeice, which has received rave reviews from critics. Jennifer Zyman awarded four stars and called it “the best Chinese food in the Atlanta area.”

3 Spring

Chef Brian So, previously of the sadly shuttered Sobban, opened a new Marietta restaurant in April. In an time when “seasonal” and “local” are overused and not necessarily an indicator of quality, So’s techniques allow the best Southern ingredients to shine.

4 Sushi Hayakawa

After going on a lengthy hiatus, chef Art Hayakawa opened his renovated Buford Highway restaurant in March. Hayakawa’s skills may be the best in Atlanta, so reservations in the small, spartan dining room should be made well in advance.

5 Yet Tuh

Head up Buford Highway toward Doraville and Duluth, and several great Korean restaurants can be found. Yet Tuh may be the best at executing traditional dishes such as banchan, bibimbap, and kimchi stew. Matt Kang, host of Eater’s K-Town web series, says it can hold its own against any Korean restaurant in America.