ATLANTA -- USA TODAY's Katie Kelly Bell has compiled a list of metro Atlanta's 10 best restaurants for foodies.
10. Greenwood's on Green Street -- Opened in 1986, this Roswell restaurant is atemple of traditional southern food, taking pride in using local produce and serving an entirely homemade menu. Mains include meatloaf, chicken pot pie, pork chop and fried chicken, but no visit to the south would be complete without ordering a veggie plate and Greenwood's is the place to do it. You'll have to choose between seasonal selections and collard greens, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes and cheese grits. Save room for one of Greenwood's legendary from-scratch pies -- we suggest the apple.
9. JCT. Kitchen & Bar -- This is the place to go for sophisticated Southern cuisine. You'll find the usual suspects (fried chicken and shrimp n' grits) punched up with artisan ingredients and skillful preparation. The menu also has its share of surprises such as the lamb banh mi or a fried oyster po' boy. If they run out of fried chicken, and it does happen, try the fresh North Georgia trout with Brussels sprouts, bacon, apple and onion soubise, with parsley and lemon -- it's a fan favorite.
8. Tomo -- Atlanta's not-so-secret sushi treasure is Tomo Naito, who honed his skills at Nobu in Las Vegas. Named one of the Best New Sushi Restaurants in American by Bon Appetit, Tomo's pristine provender is the best in thecity. Chef Naito serves up wickedly delicious offerings including a Japanese snapper nuta with scallion and sweet mustard-spiced miso or lobster cake with yuzu aioli. Don't overlook his impressive collection of Japanese whiskey and Shochu drinks.
7. Heirloom Market BBQ -- The South knows barbecue and debates rage over where to find the best, but most agree that Heirloom's quality meats and vegetables are tops in the city. Chefs Jiyeon Lee, a former music star in her native South Korea, and Cody Taylor weave together the best of Southern heritage cuisinewith a Korean twist. Together they create perfectly smoked, tender meat paired with a range of sauces (we like the Hotlanta and Korean spicy) and fresh vegetable sides.
6. Taqueria del Sol -- This Atlanta-only taco franchise has a bit of a food truck vibe. The setup is simple: Get in line, order, take a seat and wait briefly. Cold beer, good margaritas and righteous tacos that highlight Southern, Mexican and Southwestern cuisines make this a no-brainer for cheap, fast, and easy chow. Daily specials are always worth trying and other best bets include the Memphis taco (chopped smoked pork with a spicy jalapeño coleslaw and tequila BBQ sauce) or the fried fish tacowith poblano tartar sauce and pickled jalapeños.
5. Canoe -- Canoe is one of the city's most bucolic settings for lunch or dinner. Nestled along the Chattahoochee River, this destination dishes up the perfect setting along with award-winning cuisine and intelligent drink offerings. The menu changes often but expect to see dishes such as Georges Bank cod with house bacon, sweet potato and baby clams or hickory-grilled New York strip with roasted potato, kale and red wine jus.
4. Decatur -- Decatur is a place, not a restaurant, and it's a destination for eating -- because all one needs to do is park on any Decatur city street (free after 6 p.m.) and wander. You'll bump into mouthwatering Italian (the meatball is divine) at No. 246. or vividly fresh locally inspired cuisine at Cakes and Ale. Beer lovers must try the massive selection of drafts and Belgians at Brick Store Pub.
3. Gunshow -- Top Chef finalist and native Georgian Chef Kevin Gillespie has been wowing the locals with his intensely flavorful yet simple dishes. His newrestaurant comes with a few surprises: There's no décor to speak of, no servers and no real bar. Indeed, Atlanta's ginger-haired country boy Gillespie is taking the entire idea of dining and flipping it on its head. Odd as it sounds, his food is easily some of the finest inAtlanta. Chefs also act as servers, circulating the large communal dining room with wooden platters featuring different dishes as they come out of the kitchen. If you like a dish, take it, or just wait for the next chef to wander by.
2. Restaurant Eugene -- Chef Linton Hopkins, winner of the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast 2012, is also an Atlanta native with a deep appreciation for the pick of the season. His tasting and a la carte menus feature exquisitely executed dishes such as a trio of beets with pot likker, kale, and Tennessee bacon or an herbed grouper with shiitake fondue, clams, and radish salad. Expect Southern inspiration, but conceived in fresh, delightful way (hoppin' John with benne cream or Tennessee black truffles with rice grits and Jerusalem artichoke).
1. Bacchanalia -- This restaurant is easily number one in Atlanta largely because it remains the city's truest expression of fine dining. Coursed meals with emphasis on locally grown, entirely organic preparations, much of it from ChefAnnie Quatrano's and Clifford Harrison's farm. A delicate touch with flavor belies the complexity in each dish. Housed in a repurposed warehouse, the ambiance is sophisticated and comfortably hip. Expect to see the following, though the menu changes constantly: Jamison Farm lamb with pumpkin, sweet onions, rutabaga, and natural jus, or the Summerland Farm egg with Maya's autumn greens and heirloom grains with sweet potato.