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The Best Meals We Ate All Year

Working at Atlanta Eats, we get to enjoy countless fantastic meals all year long–but there were a few that really stood out from the rest. Here are the best meals around the city that we’ve enjoyed this year! Listed below in alphabetical order. 

1. Amore e Amore’s Vodka Gnocchi

467 North Highland Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30307
Our intern, Becca, said of Amore e Amore, “Italian is in my top three favorite food groups and gnocchi is such a classic Italian dish, so this wasn’t a hard choice for me. However as delicious as my meal was, it was the ambiance and service that really made this one stand out as the best meal I had in 2021. The restaurant is super tiny so you definitely should make a reservation before dining here, but it is run by the sweetest Italian families. I went here for a friend’s birthday and when we got to the table there were party hats at each seat. The entire ceiling is covered with beautiful lanterns and each season they change out the decorations to match. They even let our table take the aux for a bit so the music was a perfect combination of beautiful Italian songs and ABBA. The owners came over several times to check on us and make sure we were having a good time, which we were. 10/10 would recommend Amore e Amore.”


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2. Atlas’ Four-Hands Collaboration

88 W Paces Ferry Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30305

For our High-Calorie Content Creator, Trisha, it was her first visit to renowned Atlas that was the best meal of her year: “I’m much more of a cheap eats kind of gal, but getting to experience the 10 course tasting menu at Atlas during one of their ‘Four-Hands Collaborations’–where their executive chef Freddie Money works with visiting guest chef from some of the best restaurants in the country–was definitely the best experience of the year. Absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime splurge, but an unforgettable experience.”  


3. Breakfast at Barney’s 24k Gold Pancakes

349 Decatur St SE Unit A1
Atlanta, GA 30312

Our editor, Rachel, said about this downtown Brunch spot, “Everything about Breakfast at Barneys is great! Not only were the 24 karat pancakes delicious, but the presentation with the gold flakes on top was amazing. And their apple cider syrup pushes it over the top. — Everything about this restaurant from the vibe and the decor to the TVs playing classic Black sitcoms that I grew up watching makes Breakfast at Barneys feel like home.”


4. Estrellita’s Fried Chicken Skins

580 Woodward Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
This Filipino haunt in Grant Park was a favorite for our editor, Lexikay, this year, and the fried chicken skins especially: “It’s the best part of fried chicken but just as a dish. And Hope and Walter have made such a great space!”
Java Saga - Fried Chicken & Sesame Fries | Photo: Facebook/javasagacoffee
Java Saga – Fried Chicken & Sesame Fries | Photo: Facebook/javasagacoffee

5. Java Saga’s Chick Bits, Dan Bing, French Toast, and Tiger Blood Boba

3781 Presidential Pkwy FP-318
Atlanta, GA 30340

Anyone who knows our editor OJ knows that he can eat, so it’s no surprise that the chick bits, and the dan bing, and the French Toast, and the Tiger Blood boba were his top meal of the year! Of this Taiwanese snack shop, OJ says, “Their chicken bits will change your perception on fried chicken. It’s unique, but sooooo good. EVERYTHING is made in house, I mean EVERYTHING. From the caramel they use in their boba coffee drinks to fruits in their smoothies are REAL fruit chunks. I kid you not they have the BEST Freakin French toast I’ve had in ATLANTA.”

6. JenChan’s 007 Pizza

186 Carroll St SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
No surprises here– our Creative Director Jackson has been raving about JenChan’s in our offices all year for their “flavors and sense of community.” And it’s the 007 pizza that gets his tastebuds going in particular: with a savory pesto base and topped with mozzarella, feta, confit tomatoes, onions, shrooms, roasted garlic, fried Prosciutto, parmesan cheese, balsamic reduction, and basil oil. Yeah, it’s pizza magic! 
Kaiser's Chophouse - Interior | Photo: Facebook/kaiserschophouse
Kaiser’s Chophouse – Interior | Photo: Facebook/kaiserschophouse

7. Kaiser’s Chophouse’s Bolognese

5975 Roswell Rd
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Our host Steak Shapiro has an unusual choice for his top meal of the year: “Not only is Kaisers one of my favorite restaurants of the year, but their pasta bolognese is as good a meal as I have had.  Yes, the finest bolognese in Atlanta comes from a steakhouse in Sandy Springs.”


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8. LaGrotta’s Pappardelle Cream & Truffle Pasta

2637 Peachtree Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30305

For Atlanta Eats’ Executive Chef, Kyle, truffles and Italian were this year’s winners: “The light sauce complements the big flavors of truffle. Also it’s super quirky getting down to the restaurant and a fun old school atmosphere inside!”

Lazy Betty - Caviar | Photo: Facebook/lazybettyatl
Lazy Betty – Caviar | Photo: Facebook/lazybettyatl

9. Lazy Betty’s Caviar Service

1530 Dekalb Ave. NE
Atlanta, Ga 30307

Our Marketing Mixologist Hannah is somewhat of a tasting menu connoisseur, but this year was her first time trying caviar service at renowned Lazy Betty: “I have never had [caviar] before so it was new and exciting – at first it was sticker shock, but it was worth it!”


10. Nowak’s Loup De Mer

1397 North Highland Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30306

Nowak’s is bringing killer steak to Virginia Highlands, and their loup de mer,  “a perfectly crafted dish with amazing beurre blanc that ties it all together,” was the top meal of 2021 for our Director of Buffalo Wing Development, Megan. This quintessential neighborhood spot has an unexpected menu, with everything from New Orleans Style Seafood to great burgers and chicken fingers. And according to Meghan, it “also helps that they have one of the best wine menus and pastry chefs in the city for a grand finale.”

Redbird - Interiors | Photo:
Redbird – Interiors | Photo:

11. Redbird’s Chili-Rubbed Half Chicken

1198 Howell Mill Road
Atlanta, GA 30318

Our Dumpling & Content specialist, Joey, has some bold words to say about Redbird, including that it “might just be the best restaurant in West Midtown! Chef Zeb Stevenson knocks everything out of the park, from the crispy fried mushrooms (I don’t even like mushrooms and I could devour two plates of these) to his ludicrously good homemade biscuit sandwiches (available for weekend brunch pickup). But the chili-rubbed half chicken is perfect. The skin is crispy, the meat is juicy, and the chilis add just the right amount of kick to keep you on your toes without getting excessively spicy. No chicken dish in town can compare.”


12. Superica’s Steak Nachos

Multiple Locations

Our art director, Abby, loves the nontraditional take on the nacho that Chef Ford Fry’s Tex Mex spot Superica does: “Superica has absolutely perfected the nacho – it might seem at first like eight nachos is inferior to a the standard pile-of-chips-with-topping-avalanche, until you taste them and see that EVERY chip is a perfectly balanced little flavor experience. So, you never end up with a soggy pile at the end – but a perfectly crispy, utterly delicious stack of fried tortilla, refried beans, and excellent steak, each under a blanket of melted cheese.With sides of guac, sour cream, and pickled carrots and jalepeños, it is start to finish delicious. Pour on their green salsa, and it’s unreal! The leftovers are killer with a fried egg on top in the morning!!!”

Yummy Place - Korean Fried Chicken | Photo:
Yummy Place – Korean Fried Chicken | Photo:

13. Yummy Place’s Soy Garlic Korean Fried Chicken

Multiple Locations

For our Director of Digital Carbs, Jorge, Korean Fried chicken was his go to order time and time again: “When I lived in New York there were a bunch of great Korean Fried Chicken places that were easy to find. In Atlanta there are a lot but none around the East Side. So when Yummy Place opened an Edgewood location, I was pumped. The way Koreans fry chicken is special – they cook it in two special stages so that the skin is crunchy for every bite. And the soy garlic is the perfect marinade. It’s gonna be a weekly or every-two-weeks place for me from now on.”

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