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5 cutting-edge restaurants to visit now in Atlanta

A photo of Red logo
by OpenTable team
Updated 20 December 2022

Chefs, bakers, and butchers are on a perpetual mission to keep things fresh in the multicultural melting pot that is Atlanta. The result stretches beyond the dishes they serve, shaping service philosophies, restaurant design, and even the way they do business.

In Buckhead, a beloved Venetian spot is led by a restaurateur who doubles as an eco-warrior. A 50-year-old Japanese mainstay in Midtown remains relevant by crafting exquisite sushi cakes.

In a city with a voracious appetite for the next new thing, here are some of the most pioneering restaurants. Book a table at one of these 5 spots, blazing inspiring trails through the City in the Forest.

A photo of Pachengo's restaurant
4.1
4.1 (130)
$30 and under
Mexican
Buckhead
About the restaurant
It’s not always easy being green, but this trendy, aperitivo-centric restaurant believes it’s worth the work. Pressure from his daughter moved co-owner Pietro Gianni to reduce waste in 2020. Since then, Storico Vino has steadily ascended the sustainability ladder in Atlanta. The restaurant traded out bottled water for its own purified water and started sourcing greens from a dedicated greenhouse on a local family farm. Storico’s sells its used frying oil to Southern Green Industries (a local company specializing in oil recycling services) for a second life as fuel. And not only are all its to-go containers plant-based and biodegradable, but as an eco-conscious standard-setter, the restaurant also requires vendors to deliver products in reusable containers.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on 30 Apr 2024
Great service. Great food. Wonderful ambience, Highly recommend ! My favorite go to casual restaurant.
A photo of The Consulate restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1895)
$31 to $50
Global, International
Midtown
About the restaurant
The Consulate, a mid-century modern lair with a serious art collection, places all the power in the customer’s hands: Every three months, a lucky diner spins the restaurant’s globe to pick the country that will inspire the Visa section of the global menu. Chef and owner Mei Lin then dives deep into that nation’s cuisine and fashions a cocktail menu to complement it. The Consulate, an OpenTable Diner’s Choice Award recipient, most recently showcased plates from Cambodia, including street-cart style corn cobs, slow-cooked Khmer barbecue ribs, and Mekong mussels, flavored with lemongrass and kaffir lime. To add to the wow factor, Lin tackles the globetrotting menu without any formal culinary training (though the native New Yorker was raised in a family of restaurant owners). Up next on The Consulate’s itinerary: Korea.
Top review
LLeats
Dined 7 days ago
The Consulate offers a delightful dining experience with its pleasing ambiance and decor, conveniently located right by the Midtown Marta station. The black truffle bulgogi is a standout dish, rich and flavorful. The chopped cheese also impresses, though the bread struggles to contain the generous toppings, leading to a somewhat messy meal. The Cuban egg rolls are a treat, adding to the diverse menu. However, the sautéed okra falls short, needing more cooking time for my liking. Overall, a great spot with a global-inspired menu.
A photo of Reverence restaurant
4.5
4.5 (88)
$30 and under
Global, International
Midtown
About the restaurant
Reverence, in the Epicurean Hotel, is part of a rare lodging brand centered around food. Executive chef Henry Tapia helms the open kitchen and delivers true sourcing transparency: a QR code on the menu brings to a list of the local farmers, fishers, and artisans whose work fuels dishes such as pan-seared Georgian trout and truffled mushroom pappardelle. The list of producers leads to the purveyors’ webpages, so diners can delve into the details of the ingredients (and sometimes, ethics) of their dishes. The result is a one-of-a-kind crash course, plus a great meal.
Top review
Tomasvip
Dined on 10 May 2024
The food and service were excellent. We started with happy hour hors d'oeuvres at the bar, which were excellent and a very good value for the cost. We moved to the restaurant dining room and ordered three sharable plates. This food was excellent quality, and tasty,, but seemed overpriced for the amount of food provided. The service was excellent, and we had a great time. We will return when we can.
A photo of Nakato 'Sushi Bar and Regular Dining' Japanese Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (579)
$31 to $50
Sushi
Morningside-Lenox Park
About the restaurant
It’s not often you can call a restaurant 50 years young, but this family-owned and operated mainstay, Atlanta’s oldest Japanese restaurant, is exactly that. Though the dining rooms here exude tradition with a blend of tatami (straw mat) rooms and teppanyaki dens, the menu evolves with the times. Only at Nakato can one order a sushi cake, a tiered tower made with fish that’s overnighted from Japan, then crafted by executive sushi chef Yoshi Kinjo. For $100, diners can feast on the chef’s choice of ten different fish, ringed with avocado and tuna rolls; the larger version, priced at $160, offers a premium selection wreathed by kaleidoscopic specialty rolls.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Plenty of food and really solid service. Everything was delicious and we will be coming back!
A photo of Palo Santo restaurant
4.3
4.3 (337)
$31 to $50
Mexican
West Midtown
About the restaurant
With Mexico City as his muse—but Georgia still very much on his mind—chef Santiago Gomez’s Atlanta debut is a sexy, supper club-style restaurant. Gomez spent nearly 20 years cooking at South Florida fine-dining spots including Nobu. He now brings a passion for heirloom produce (a love he traces to a childhood spent harvesting avocados with his grandfather in Mexico) to this avant-garde spot, offering Mexican dishes crafted with bounty and ingredients from local Georgian farms. But one of the restaurant’s other distinguishing features is the roving agave cocktail cart, the only one of its kind in Atlanta, serving small pours of rare tequila, mezcal, and sotol with unexpected bites. Standouts include the chapulines (dried roasted grasshoppers), a common cantina snack in Mexico. Sip and crunch in the cavernous dining room; you’re in for an intriguing evening.
Top review
JerryW
Dined on 11 May 2024
Server was somewhat slow as well as forgetful but nice.
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