Atlanta is now home to five one-star Michelin-rated restaurants as well as a slew of other Michelin-recommended and Bib Gourmand restaurants, and we’re thrilled for the extremely hardworking talented chefs and entrepreneurs behind those ventures! But of course, being the die-hards that we are for the Atlanta food scene, we think there were a few snubs, and we’re not happy about it! Here’s our hot take on who we think should have nabbed a coveted star or a spot on their “Michelin Recommended,” Bib Gourmand, and other lists.
1. The Alden
While Chef Jared Huck’s The Alden did receive a coveted spot on the “Michelin Recommended” list, we still think they deserve a star. If you want an insanely fresh, seasonal, always changing tasting menu experience in an unpretentious atmosphere for a fair price made with global flavors, then it’s the Alden where you want to be.
2. Atlanta Steakhouses
Long before Atlanta’s culinary scene exploded with every type of cuisine you can possibly imagine, Atlanta was a steakhouse town. So it was perplexing to us to see no love for Kevin Rathbun Steak, Chops, Bones, Frankie’s, and other fine Atlanta institutions that have been serving up a perfect medium rare steak for decades.
Critic’s darling Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours nabbed a spot on the recommended list, as did historic institution Busy Bee Cafe. However, considering the plethora of incredible Caribbean, African, soul food, and other Black-owned restaurants in Atlanta, it was not unexpected, but a shame that more did not receive some type of recognition, whether that be Bib Gourmand or a spot on their recommended list.
4. The Consulate
One of Atlanta’s most unique eateries surely should have received an award for the creative work they do. With a menu that changes quarterly, featuring cuisine from all over the world, there’s always something new, exciting, and delicious at the Consulate.
5. Atlanta’s Italian Restaurants
There also was little love for many of Italian restaurants in ATL aside from BoccaLupo (which we love) and Antico Pizza. No love for LaGrotta… it felt like a snub!
6. Fox Brothers BBQ
Amazing gem Heirloom Market BBQ is an Atlanta Eats staff favorite for BBQ and we could eat there again and again! But why no love for other gems like Fox Brothers BBQ or Pit Boss BBQ?
7. Latin American owned restaurants
Buford Highway and Asian restaurants in Atlanta got quite a bit of love from Michelin, but there was not much love for Latin American eateries. While we don’t have the Latin American dining scene that the West Coast and Texas have, we do have more spots than just Arepa Mia, which nabbed a spot on the recommended list. Tio Lucho’s, Birria El Gordo, and Casi Cielo are just a few of our favorites we think could have also nabbed a Bib Gourmand or spot on the recommended list.
8. OTP Restaurants
For its inaugural year in Atlanta, the Michelin guide focused only on restaurants in the perimeter, but we think this leads to an outdated view of what Atlanta is. You miss out on all the Korean gems in Duluth, amazing spots like Hamp and Harry’s and the Spring in Marietta, Casi Cielo in Sandy Springs…
9. Restaurant Groups
It seems like there wasn’t any or little recognition for restaurants that were part of restaurant groups, and while we can kind of understand that line of thinking, a great restaurant is a great restaurant whether it’s part of a restaurant group or not. Kyma of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group is fabulous every time we go and should have nabbed a spot on the recommended list, and Pricci is a favorite of our host/founder, Steak Shapiro.
10. Slutty Vegan
There was no love for what could arguably be Atlanta’s most famous restaurant. And yes, this spot gets a LOT of hype, but the fries always hit, the marketing is genius, the burgers are TASTY, and they were one of the first spots to really put Impossible burgers on the map. Frankly, what entrepreneur Pinky Cole has achieved with her $100-million dollar business goes beyond Michelin!
Along the same vein as Slutty Vegan, it seems like Michelin guide tends to pooh-pooh restaurants with an overly trendy atmosphere. And while we’re no fans of style without substance, sushi spot Umi continues to be a favorite for not only a sexy ambiance, but amazing food as well. Every dish there is a beautiful blend of umami and flavor. The truffle infused nigiri is iconic, the black cod will melt-in-your-mouth, the lychee martinis are irresistible, and the matcha souffle is a triumph. What’s not to love?