It used to be the case that if you wanted a good meal in Atlanta, you had to go to Buckhead. Today, you’ll find some of the city’s best restaurants in neighborhoods like Inman Park, Decatur and the Westside—with many setting up shop in unsuspecting strip malls, on random street corners or in converted gas stations—and the city has managed to garner more than a dozen semifinalist nods in the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards. It’s no surprise considering the diverse group of chefs like Bruce Logue, who makes pasta a transcendental experience at BoccaLupo; Steven Satterfield, who lets in-season veggies call the shots at Miller Union; and immigrants like Meherwan Irani who brought cuisine from his exotic homeland of India to Atlanta with Chai Pani. For food that rivals its surroundings, reserve a private spot at Canoe’s river garden venue, where manicured gardens and riverfront views set the stage for events of up to 150 people. For something a bit edgier, try Two Urban Licks, where innovative cuisine is served up alongside live blues, bocce ball and skyline views in any of the restaurant’s multiple event spaces, like the patio, ballroom or courtyard.
> Deconstructed shrimp and grits at Miller Union
> Matchstick okra fries with lime juice and salt at Chai Pani
> Roman fried cauliflower with capers, mint and Meyer lemon at BoccaLupo