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Gone But Not Forgotten: Atlanta’s Favorite Ex-Restaurants

Atlanta is home to a vibrant dining scene with celebrity chefs and new restaurants popping up nearly every week. Amidst all the hubbub, sometimes we forget our old standbys, those that have served us well over the years, at special occassions, through good times and bad. And then, without warning, they close. We mourn. We wish we had eaten just one more meal there. Here are some of our picks for Atlanta restaurants that we loved and miss:

Food Studio

Located in the King Plow Arts Center, this restaurant opened by The Fifth Group was groundbreaking, thought by many to have introduced modern American cuisine to Atlanta.

Bridgetown Grill

The popularity of the original location in Little 5 Points spawned multiple locations throughout the city, serving authentic veggie patties and jerk chicken.

MF Buckhead

Chris Kinjo, also known as Magic Fingers for his perfectly constructed sushi, and his brother Alex were the brainchildren behind this superior sushi restaurant. A sexy space and their robata grill, unique to the city, made it the best sushi experience in Atlanta.

The Coach & Six

Often described as one of Atlanta’s first fine dining restaurants, they were known for their shrimp scampi and lobster ravioli.


So sad. Buckhead Life tired of the ever-increasing rent on this enormous, glamorous space, leaving those of us that lived for their lobster curry with nowhere to go.


Located on a sketchy stretch of Ponce, Tortillas was every hipster’s favorite Tex-Mex dive in the 80’s. Their quesadillas with extra cheese and guacamole sustained me for two years.

Pura Vida

The sudden news that chef Hector Santiago was closing his Spanish tapas restaurant on N. Highland at the end of 2012 shocked foodies and regulars.  No more duck maduros or his perfect sangria for us.

Rocky’s Brick Oven Pizza

Voted best pizza in Atlanta for years, Rocky’s made New York style pizza popular long before Antico, Amazza, or Double Zero appeared on the scene.


Another sad departure for a Buckhead Life staple, and for apparently the same reason. The building was snapped up by Ford Fry. I will miss the lobster soft taco appetizer, created by none other than Kevin Rathbun when he was the chef. Luckily, one can find a similar dish on his menu at Rathbun’s, although there it is a “second mortgage plate.”


Although somewhat shortlived, this restaurant successfully presented a quirky combination of Creole and Asian inspired dishes. Chef Truex is now reinterpretting Southern classics at the reopened Watershed on Peachtree.


About Serina Patrick
Serina is a food blogger based in Atlanta. She has been writing the Hot Dish Review blog for as long as blogs have existed (or so it seems), and she has enough dirt on chefs that nobody ever refuses her an interview.

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