There are a lot of new restaurants opening up in Atlanta these days. However, unless you’ve found a way to clone yourself, or adjust your schedule to fit seven meals in per day, you probably aren’t going to make it to all of them.
That’s where we come in. We’re here to help you decide which of those new places are worth your time. The Infatuation Hit List is a regularly updated guide to the newest Atlanta restaurants we think you should know about, and that we think you’ll actually like.
One key thing you can always rely on: we’ll only put restaurants on this list that we have actually vetted. You know that new spot your friends have all mentioned because they saw it on Instagram? There’s a good chance that place might suck, and we’re not going to recommend that you check it out unless we’re reasonably sure that it doesn’t. Here are the best new restaurants in Atlanta.
New to The Hit List (as of 8/29): Tin Tin, Woods Chapel BBQ, D92, Root Baking Co
Tin Tin is the more casual, drunker younger sister of AIX, the fine-dining French restaurant next door. Between sips of wine and cocktails, you can snack on chicken liver tartine, marinated olives, and anchovy garlic toast or grab a full entree of pan-roasted scallops. This place also has all-you-can-eat mussels on Mondays, so you can extend your weekend a little with a parade of pots full of shellfish and a bottle of dry white wine.
From the long picnic tables both inside and out to the huge plates of smoked meat, most things at Woods Chapel BBQ in Summerhill are big. Which means you can invite everyone in your office (including that junior accountant who always tries to insert himself into plans) or the entire rec dodgeball team to spread out for lunch or dinner and a few games of cornhole and shuffleboard here. The brisket is a standout on its own, but it’s also great stuffed into a grilled cheese with melted fontina and cherry tomatoes. And if you want something slightly lighter, go for the hot smoked salmon and one of their seasonal salads. Just make sure you try a few of their pies, there are usually about eight different types.
Once you sit down at D92, a new Korean barbeque spot in Decatur, the grill in the middle of your table will start billowing smoke as your waiter covers it with the five types of meat that come in the dinner combo for two, including short ribs, pork belly, and brisket. There will be a moat-like tray that wraps around the perimeter of the grill and is filled with an omelet, mushrooms, and cheesy rice that cooks over the course of your meal. And because the table’s not crowded enough, you’ll also get kimchi fried rice, dipping sauces, and ten or so banchan plates. Just add a carafe of soju and you’re all set.
If you need a break from the hungry tourists and business lunch-ers swarming Ponce City Market, head to Root Baking Co. This spacious, brightly-lit, all-day cafe and bakery on the second floor has a seasonal menu that changes regularly, though if they have the rotisserie chicken and harissa sandwich (on their freshly baked bread), get it. They also have salads, breakfast toasts, and a weekly pizza takeover called Pizza Jeans Friday.
Getting to Nina & Rafi can be a little confusing: there’s no street entrance to this open-air pizza parlor and it’s only accessible via the Beltline. If there’s a wait once you do find it, order a glass of natural wine, craft beer, or their sour cherry riff on a Negroni and try to avoid staring down the couple in the corner taking their time with their pizza. The Detroit-style pies - square pizzas with a thick but airy, focaccia-like caramelized crust - are the reason you’re here. They take about 30 minutes to come out though, so order a bowl of mozzarella-covered meatballs and a salad in the meantime.
El Tesoro in Kirkwood is Atlanta’s best breakfast taco spot, with options like migas and chorizo con papas in your choice of corn, flour, or homemade spent-grain tortillas. Get two or three tacos with a horchata iced coffee and sit at a picnic table with a bright tablecloth in the sunshine while you pretend you’re in a tourism ad for Atlanta, or in the back of a country music video. The last order for breakfast is taken at 10:50am, even on the weekends, but if you don’t make the cut, their lunch tacos are also exceptional.
There aren’t as many upscale places in East Atlanta as in other parts of the city, but Banshee is helping to change that. This place is almost more mad scientist-inspired than classic fine dining, though, with an experimental, seasonal menu that covers a lot of ground. Come with a small group or a date and share a few of the larger dishes like the Szechuan pork osso buco and the charred broccolini with fonduta (kind of like broccoli and cheddar’s mature older cousin). And make sure to start with the hot and crispy fry bread that comes with pepperoni butter that you’ll want to smuggle home and spread on everything in your fridge.
This Mediterranean-leaning coffee shop and bakehouse serves things like shakshuka and mini falafel burgers, alongside fried chicken biscuits and a lamb brisket sandwich. If you’re not in the mood for a full meal, grab a few pastries and a Turkish coffee instead, all while eavesdropping on the Georgia State students who come through.
From the wood-paneled walls with random family photos to the fake cigarette ads above the bar, this new Inman Park spot feels like it appeared out of a 1980s fever dream. Take a number at the host station, wait for the ticker to tell you your table is ready, and then order old school staples like spinach dip with ridged potato chips, mozzarella triangles, and a steak or plate of duck confit. This place has plenty of cheap beers to choose from too, but their cocktails are definitely worth trying out.
When you’re in need of a big bowl of pho, but don’t want to navigate traffic to make your way up to Buford Highway, grab a stool at this Vietnamese lunch counter in Krog Street Market. We usually focus on the pho, but their menu includes other classics like banh mi, bun, and fresh spring rolls too.
Gu’s Kitchen is like the trick candle of dumplings - it seemed like they had almost disappeared, but before long, they popped back up. For a couple years, the only place you could eat their food was at their stall in Krog Street Market. However, with the opening of a new Buford Highway location, they’re back with a full menu in a casual, good-sized space. Come for a weeknight dinner with a few friends so you can order enough food to cover the table.
When Miso Izakaya closed, we had to completely reevaluate our sushi options in the area. Thankfully we didn’t have to shift too much because the same team is back with a new spot in Ponce City Market. Miso Ko works great for lunch, with a walk-up sushi bar and grab-and-go options, in case you need to take your freshly made rolls back to the office for a conference call. It works just as well for dinner, although take out might be the better option since there are only a few seats.