In culinary terms, there are few cities in the world as exciting as Atlanta at the moment. As you make plans for ITW 2019, make sure you pack a suitably sized appetite.
Traditionally the Soul Food capital of America, you can find stone cold Southern classics in restaurants like Home Grown in Reynoldstown, where the Comfy Chicken Biscuit is practically a legal requirement, and Colonnade in the north of the city, where the Fried Chicken and Collards are so good, you’ll by waxing lyrical about them until ITW 2020!
Steak aficionados will direct you, quite rightly, to any number of great options. You’ll find gargantuan Tomahawks at premium prices at Marcel, and equally impressive cuts at the AG restaurant in the Ritz Carlton on Peachtree. Kevin Rathbun Steak on Krog Street also offers hearty steaks with an array of excellent sides (the onion rings and garlic spinach come highly recommended).
For contemporary Southern cuisine cooked with European elegance, try the farm-to-table fare of JCT, or pay South City Kitchen in Midtown a visit, where you will find simple staples like the humble grit elevated to a higher plane.
Restaurants like Lure and Ray’s in the City are a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts. Or, if it’s a taste of South East Asia you’re after, try Nan Thai Fine Dining, which serves Thai classics made with absolute authenticity. The papaya salad, practically the national dish in Thailand, is particularly excellent.
But it’s not just hearty comfort food these days.
Yes, the culinary landscape in Atlanta has expanded to embrace all kinds of tastes, textures, and dainty little plates packing a big punch. For a truly mind-expanding experience, you can also try the Southern-style Dim Sum at Gunshow, or the various delights at Miller Union (top tip: order the egg baked in celery cream). It’s literally got it all.
For bars, again, there’s plenty to choose from, and you definitely won’t go thirsty. Atlanta is known for its bourbon and, more recently, for its craft beers.
There are great cocktails old and new at Empire State South in Midtown, and Holeman & Finch in upmarket Buckhead (where they also do a famously good double cheeseburger). There’s an excellent rooftop bar at Ponce Street Market called 9 Mile Station, and the Victory Sandwich Bar is all about flowing drinks and ridiculously good value sandwiches.
But if you only make it to one, make it The Porter in Little Five Points, which is quite possibly the best beer bar in the world.