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Restaurants in Atlanta

Atlanta's food scene is creative and diverse. Soul food staples include grits and collard greens and Southern seafood is a speciality given the city's proximity to Georgia's Low Country and coast. Cosmopolitan and inventive, the restaurant scene is also competitive in every style from modern American to haute cuisine, ensuring that a new kid on the block raises everyone's standards year after year.

The Atlanta restaurants below have been have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over US$50)
Moderate (US$30 to US$50)
Cheap (under US$30)
These Atlanta restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, including half a bottle of house wine or equivalent. Not included is the sales tax of 8%. Sometimes a gratuity (usually 15%) is added to the bill. If not included, a tip of 15-20% for service is customary.

Expensive

Canoe

Cuisine: Modern Southern

In warmer months, chipmunks and hummingbirds dart around the well-tended garden that slopes down from the restaurant's patio to the nearby, fast-moving Chattahoochee River. Make a reservation for Sunday brunch, which begins with a basket of freshly baked pastries and to follow, perhaps house smoked salmon and Georgia white shrimp salad.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 770 432 2663.
Website: http://www.canoeatl.com

The Mercury

Cuisine: American

There's a deliberate 1960s vibe at this Ponce City Market restaurant, with stylish mid-century furnishings, plus a cocktail list and menu inspired by that era. Sip classic drinks such as Manhattans or Moscow Mules and tuck into favourite American staples including shrimp carbonara, prime rib and ravioli.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 404 500 5253.
Website: http://themercuryatl.com

The Optimist

Cuisine: Seafood

A favourite haunt for many food lovers in search of great atmosphere, The Optimist ranks as one of the city's finest. The high ceiling reminds you of an upside down boat, hinting at the largely seafood menu. Their fried Gulf oysters are a tasty treat. Leave room for the peanut butter and jelly cheesecake with whipped cream.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 404 477 6260.
Website: http://www.theoptimistrestaurant.com

Moderate

Nino’s Cucina Italiana

Cuisine: Italian

Once inside this restaurant, you're transported to Italy – scenes from Florence and Venice adorn the walls and the pasta dishes such as homemade gnocchi in a bolognese sauce are as authentic as it gets. Owner Antonio Noviello, from the Amalfi coast, took over the restaurant in 1982 and still manages to make it a favourite Italian for Atlantans.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 404 874 6505.
Website: http://www.ninosatlanta.com

The Consulate

Cuisine: Tapas

Diners at this Midtown eatery are invited to take a trip around the world with a menu of global tapas, covering everywhere from Denmark to Nigeria. Cocktails are creatively paired to match the cuisine, and the décor has a retro flair, with purple velvet booths and artworks by Keith Haring and Andy Warhol.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 404 835 2009.
Website: http://theconsulateatlanta-com.godaddysites.com

Ticonderoga Club

Cuisine: Modern American

One of a hip collection of eateries in Krog Street Market (housed in a renovated 1920s warehouse), Ticonderoga Club is a trendy hangout with cosy booths and colourful stools lined up at the bar. Starters include veal sweetbread piccata and icy blue mussels, while mains feature seafood and hunks of steak or lamb.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 404 458 4534.
Website: http://www.ticonderogaclub.com

Cheap

Flying Biscuit Cafe

Cuisine: Southern

Fist-sized biscuits, Southern scrambled eggs, organic-oatmeal pancakes and creamy grits are staples at this eating place. Crowded and hectic, there is always a queue and no reservations are taken. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with additional locations across the city.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 404 687 8888.
Website: http://www.flyingbiscuit.com

Mary Mac's Tea Room

Cuisine: Southern

This 'tea room' features authentic tastes of the Old South. First-time visitors get free Pot Likker - turnip greens with broth and cornbread. Food is prepared the same way it was when this local favourite opened in 1945. Its many dining rooms are a rambling complex of adjoining buildings. Lunch and dinner.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 404 876 1800.
Website: http://www.marymacs.com/

The Varsity

Cuisine: Fast food

Atlanta's famous drive-in restaurant, the Varsity's original downtown location has been drawing hungry diners since 1928. The menu contains classic fast-food fare such as chilli cheese dogs, BLTs and frosted orange shakes. It's a favourite stopping-off spot for visiting celebrities, including President Obama, who grabbed a hot dog here on his 2012 election campaign tour.

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 404 881 1706.
Website: http://www.thevarsity.com
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Glenn Hotel

The Glenn's selling points are its proximity to downtown Atlanta's main attractions and Luckie Marietta District and the panoramic view from its SkyLounge rooftop bar. This stylish boutique hotel downtown has sleek, modern rooms and suites. The Glenn Kitchen restaurant serves local Southern favourites.

Westin Peachtree Plaza

This 73-storey, glass cylinder skyscraper hotel defines Atlanta's skyline. A five-storey lobby atrium and a thin glass elevator that inches up the building's exterior are just as sleek. Pie-shaped rooms are outfitted in natural hues and dark woods. On the 73rd floor is the multi-levelled, revolving Sun Dial Restaurant and Bar.

The Ellis

In a landmark building on Peachtree Street, this chic boutique hotel has elegant rooms and is a short walk from top attractions such as the CNN Studio Tours. Unique features include a private-access women's only floor, whose rooms come with luxury Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. Enjoy organic farm-to-table dining at the Terrace Bistro.

Georgian Terrace Hotel

A part of Atlanta's history, the hotel's Grand Ballroom hostedGone With The Wind's movie premiere gala in 1939. Now, a tall glass atrium rises above the lobby where author Margaret Mitchell, in 1935, hesitantly handed over her original manuscript to her future editor. The hotel's terrace is a good spot for a cocktail overlooking the historic Fox Theatre.

Four Seasons Atlanta

A grand staircase in the soaring lobby underscores the opulence of this luxurious property that occupies part of a 50-storey skyscraper. This hotel has all the trappings of luxury: formal but elegantly appointed rooms, a spa with 10 treatment rooms, an indoor saline lap pool, a top-of-the-range fitness centre and a lounge and terrace overlooking the lobby's dramatic atrium.

Hampton Inn Atlanta Northlake

Located in the northern business district near the I-285, known as 'The Perimeter' to Atlantans, the hotel is easily accessible via the city's main highways. Friendly staff, the large open lobby and breakfast bar area, plus oversized rooms and a sizeable outdoor pool make it a popular low-budget stop.