At Atlanta Eats, we get to enjoy plenty of fabulous meals, but only a few stood out above the rest! Here were the very, absolute BEST meals we had all year. Keep reading to see if your favorite spot made the cut!
1. Bantam Pub’s Stewnami
Our creative director, Jackson, is a big fan of Bantam Pub for its “great casual atmosphere and local neighborhood vibe.” And for his best meal of the year, he dug into a special called “stewnami” which was just as intriguing and delicious as it sounds.
2. Bully Boy’s Smoked Duck Paella
828 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Bully Boy on the Beltline has reopened and revamped its menu with an array of delicious options with a Japanese influence. But it was the smoked duck paella that stuck out for Becca, our Donut Media Associate: “The restaurant is small and intimate, but in a cozy way. and the paella literally melts in your mouth, I miss it!”
3. Dirty Rascal’s Cast Iron Buttermilk Pancakes
415 East Paces Ferry Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
Dirty Rascal has been an absolute stellar addition to Atlanta’s competitive Italian dining scene, with their plentiful, family style portions and all-star dishes like veal parmigiana and deconstructed lasagna. But did you know they totally kick ass at brunch too? So much so that their buttermilk pancakes was the top meal of the year for our pastry chef Jon: “Griddle crisp on the outside and soft & fluffy on the inside with Nona’s buttermilk syrup!” Now that sounds like a perfect pancake.
@atlantaeatstv Hop on over to a Hidden Gem in 📍Duluth, GA! @Falling Rabbit is excellent #duluthga #foodie #metroatlanta ♬ talking to the moon x another love DJ Lilli – DJ LILLI
4. Falling Rabbit’s Goat Cheese & Chive Agnolotti
5. HomekaseATL’s 17 Course Omakase Experience
Why dine out when you can enjoy all the comforts of fine dining at home? For our marketing mixologist, Hannah, Homekase was one of her most memorable meals this year: “So unique, So fresh, flavors never tried before – got to be at home with a restaurant experience!”
6. Humble Mumble’s Meatloaf Melt
756 W Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30308
Our writer and dumpling specialist Joey has not stopped raving about this delicious and Black-owned sandwich pop-up Humble Mumble ever since he tried it earlier this year: “Humble Mumble embodies everything that makes the ATL food scene special. [It’s even] named after an Outkast song! The menu is tight but has a perfect batting average, and every dish is a home run (to keep the baseball metaphor going). The Meatloaf Melt is one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. It has meatloaf, pimento cheese (!), bacon jam (!!), and mixed greens (so things feel a little healthier). It’s meaty, it’s cheesy, it’s sweet, it’s spicy, and, most importantly, it’s delicious!”
7. Juniper Cafe’s Egg Tart
2260 Marietta Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
If you have not yet tried Juniper Cafe, what are you doing?!?! This upper westside/West Midtown restaurant/cafe is serving up all the good stuff. They have a Vietnamese fried chicken we never stop craving, dumpling pop-ups that are always a can’t miss, and an egg tart that was OJ the editor’s best meal of the year: “Slice of heaven people!!!” says OJ.
8. La Mei Zi’s Three Cups Chicken
5150 Buford Hwy NE #C-310, Doraville, GA 30340
For Atlanta Eats’ resident writer/High-Calorie Content Creator, Trisha, Buford Highway favorite La Mei Zi was a staple in her household. And their simple yet addicting Taiwanese three cups chicken–traditionally made with a cup of sesame oil, a cup of soy sauce, and a cup of rice wine though every recipe will vary–was a monthly takeout order. “I heard about this spot and dish through the grapevine, and it’s become my go-to on those lazy weekday evenings when you just want something good and comforting. The chicken is so juicy and succulent, fragrant, and just plain tasty!”
9. Little Rey’s Pollo Al Carbon
1878 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
For our Executive Chef, Kyle, Chef Ford Fry’s Little Rey is an all-star meal: “When you put the Jalapeño Ranch on top of the pollo al carbon, it’s beautiful.”
10. Muchacho’s Shredded Chicken Quesadillas
904 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
Atlanta Eats newbie and editor Kate loved chowing down at comfy yet trendy neighborhood spot Muchacho: “This restaurant’s food is so fresh and authentic. You really feel like you’re in Southern California eating Mexican cuisine. The atmosphere makes it so amazing too. I can’t wait to go back!”
11. Pricci’s Housemade Orecchiete
Atlanta Eats’ founder and host Steak Shapiro has been a long-time fan of Pricci, and this year was no different with his best meal of the year being their housemade orecchiete: “The combination of flavors are spectacular as is Chef Piero.”
12. Samad Mediterranean Grill’s Chicken Shawarma
8897 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30350
Is this potentially Atlanta’s best chicken shawarma? For our producer Lexikay, “Samad is my go to Mediterranean spot. It’s quick, casual and authentic. The chicken shawarma is delicious and messy – with unreal flavor. I love ordering at the counter and while waiting for my food, taking a lap around the market that’s attached to the restaurant and seeing all of the Mediterranean products. But, if you aren’t eating in, all of their food travels super well. So it’s the perfect take out meal!”
13. Sweet Auburn BBQ’s Chocolate Cake
656 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306
For a sweet tooth like our sweet producer Tonya, what was most memorable was not a meal per se, but a cake! And believe it or not, it was Sweet Auburn BBQ’s chocolate cake! According to Tonya, this cake actually “made in into my top 2 chocolate cakes in Atlanta,” which also implies the existence of a personal list of amazing chocolate cakes all over Atlanta, which we need her to publish, stat!
14. Toast on Lenox’s Strawberry Shortcake French Toast
For our lovely and talented video editor, Rachel, hot brunch spot Toast on Lenox was a standout hit! And for the actual dish that took the cake for her? It was a strawberry shortcake french toast: “The french toast was soft and flavorful with the perfect amount of sweet. The atmosphere and customer service were amazing and inviting.” Now, that sounds divine!
15. El Tesoro’s Mezcal Pairing Dinner and Carnitas Guerrero
El Tesoro made the “best of” list for not one, but two Atlanta Eats staff members! Both Hannah, our Marketing Mixologist, and Megan, our Director of Buffalo Wing Development, were digging El Tesoro this year. Hannah had an extremely memorable mezcal pairing dinner: “It was a full dining experience – Mezcal paired with each course all from Oaxaca – made by chefs from that region of Mexico.” Meanwhile, Megan loved the outdoor space and strong margs and digging into the carnitas guerrero.