The 5 Most Essential Restaurants in Atlanta with ATL Bucket List

Today ATL Bucket List is taking over on Darling Down South to share the 5 Most Essential Restaurants in Atlanta! ATL Bucket List is a foodie destination instagram that has since grown into a respected blog in the last year! You’ve probably used their hashtag, #atlbucketlist, on your food Instagrams, so today they’re sharing with us their #atlbucketlist must eats for Atlanta! 

Hey guys! It’s ATL Bucket List here helping narrow down the 5 Most Essential Restaurants in Atlanta with Cynthia of Darling Down South! People have a lot of opinions when it comes to the best foodie cities. Some say New York, others say Chicago, and another group swears Portland wears the crown. And while I can’t refute how incredible the food scenes are in all of these cities, I truly believe Atlanta belongs among the greats. I mean, just take a look at this year’s James Beard nominations!

But with a great culinary scene comes difficult decisions. Which restaurants are best? Answering that question would probably cause me to go into hiding for weeks to make a never-ending list, but I have selected a few of my favorites. Here are five essential Atlanta restaurants.

Buttermilk Kitchen

Brunch isn’t just a meal in Atlanta—it’s a religion. Saturday and Sunday mornings you’ll be hard-pressed to find an empty brunch spot. People live for their Eggs Benedict and mimosas! (I know I do.) And while Atlanta is filled with delicious brunch restaurants, there is one clear winner to me: Buttermilk Kitchen.

Home of the chicken biscuit, Buttermilk Kitchen has perfected southern breakfast food. You’ll most likely wait an hour for your table, but all of your frustration will fade away once you take that first bite. Now don’t expect to come here for a boozy brunch- they don’t serve alcohol- but the food is so good that a mimosa would honestly just be a distraction. Some of my favorites? The chicken biscuit, caramelized banana oatmeal, pimento omelet and creamy pimento cheese grits!

5 Most Atlantan Places to Eat at in Atlanta 5 Most Atlantan Places to Eat at in Atlanta


Chef Kevin Gillespie (one of Atlanta’s greatest!) has crafted a true work of art with Gunshow. Not only does Gunshow serve some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted, but the whole experience is incredibly interactive, making for a more than memorable meal.

So what do I mean by an “interactive” experience? Well for starters, you won’t get an actual server. Yes, someone will come around and ask what you would like to drink, but you won’t order food from that person—oh and you don’t order off a menu! Instead, the chefs will come to your table with already-prepared food and you say yes or no! Simple as that. I love this because 1. you get to see what the entrée looks like before committing to it and 2. you get to meet the person who cooked it! But beware: You’ll probably want to say yes to every dish that comes around… Self control, people!

5 Most Atlantan Places to Eat at in Atlanta

Antico Pizza Napoletana

If I had to pick one food to eat for the rest of my life, I think it would be pizza. And lucky for me, Atlanta has a ton of awesome pizza places. Varuni Napoli, Fellini’s, Ammazza, Thirteen Pies… the list could literally go on for days. But my personal favorite? Antico Pizza Napoletana.

Antico serves some of the most authentic Italian pizza I have ever tasted—aside from when I traveled to Italy! The dough is perfectly baked and the ratio of toppings to sauce to cheese is just right every time. Plus, it’s BYOB! The only thing I don’t love about Antico is the community-style seating (I’ve definitely been that girl who stalks people as they “look like they may be finishing up” to ensure I can swoop their spot at the table!), but I also think it adds to its charm.

5 Most Atlantan Places to Eat at in Atlanta 5 Most Atlantan Places to Eat at in Atlanta

Holeman & Finch

When Holeman & Finch opened in 2008, it only served 24 burgers a night. And while part of the burger’s wild success may be psychological (we all want what we can’t have!), there’s no denying that this burger is exceptional. Don’t believe me? It even made Food & Wine’s list of “Best Burgers in the US.”

This famous burger features a juicy double patty, pickles, red onion and American cheese. And thankfully, Holeman & Finch has since removed its 24 burgers a night policy. You can also find the H&F burger at Ponce City Market and Turner Field. Burgers for everyone!

5 Most Atlantan Places to Eat at in Atlanta

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

Is it even legal to have an “essential restaurant” list in the south without some good ol’ barbeque?? I think not. And similar to my pizza dilemma above, there are a ton of can’t miss barbeque restaurants in Atlanta, but Fox Bros. is king.

Good vibes, great service and unbeatable barbeque. That’s pretty much the trifecta, and that’s what you can expect at Fox Bros. If you’re trying to channel your inner Ron Swanson, I say go for the short rib plate—it’s bigger than I am, but incredibly tasty. But really, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Just be sure to go side crazy! Mac and cheese, baked beans and cornbread? Bring it on.

5 Most Atlantan Places to Eat at in Atlanta 5 Most Atlantan Places to Eat at in Atlanta

So there you have it! Five of Atlanta’s most essential restaurants. Have you been to any of them? And if you’re looking for more Atlanta food, activities and events ideas, check me out at ATL Bucket List!

Thanks ATL Bucket List for sharing your 5 most essential restaurants in Atlanta with us! The only one I have left to try on your list is Gunshow! Be sure to check out ATL Bucket List on Instagram and their blog

Author: Cynthia

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