12 Picks: Try These Top Restaurants In Buckhead

Buckhead is home to terrific restaurants. These are the best of the best.
  • Craft cocktails and exquisite small plates are the beginning of a fabulous evening at Atlas.
    Craft cocktails and exquisite small plates are the beginning of a fabulous evening at Atlas.
  • Cape Dutch is the perfect spot for a special celebration.
    Cape Dutch is the perfect spot for a special celebration.
  • Chef Zeb Stevenson makes food almost too pretty to eat at Watershed.
    Chef Zeb Stevenson makes food almost too pretty to eat at Watershed.
  • Portofino is a lovely choice for an intimate Italian dinner.
    Portofino is a lovely choice for an intimate Italian dinner.

For years, Buckhead reigned supreme for the best restaurants in our city. As Atlanta spread its culinary wings, outstanding restaurants also spread to neighborhoods throughout the city. But that doesn't mean terrific restaurants can't be found in Buckhead. Check out my guide for the best restaurants in Buckhead. 

  1. 10 Degrees South – One of the first and few South African restaurants in Atlanta, the restaurant's upscale decor is perfect for a romantic date night. The flavors marry both African and European influences. Get the bobotie spring rolls and make sure to get Di’s Delight for dessert.

  2. Aria – Chef and owner Gerry Klaskala has been impressing diners with his inventive cuisine for years. Aria is a fantastic choice for an anniversary or birthday celebration. Think items like crispy halibut cheeks and octopus tempura.

  3. Atlas – Located in the St. Regis hotel, Atlas surpasses your average hotel restaurant by leaps and bounds. In addition to its exquisite cocktails, Atlas's inviting patio is the perfect spot to nosh on tasty small bites. And dining is a glorious affair. Any art lover will appreciate the restaurant’s collection of paintings from artists like Picasso, Matisse and more. Dishes like the lobster en croute or rabbit loin will impress any foodie. Save room for the guava cheesecake.

  4. Basil's – Set back from the hustle and bustle of Buckhead is Basil’s, featuring Mediterranean dishes. Go when the weather is nice to take advantage of the gorgeous patios and see the Buckhead skyscrapers in the distance. Sip on a craft cocktail and order the artichokes and baba ghanouj, which trumps the hummus by a sliver.

  5. Bones – One of the longest lasting steak houses in Atlanta, Bones is the place where waiters don jackets and white shirts and the service is exquisite. The best way to dine here is with a group. Begin with the seafood tower, consisting of crab, shrimp and oysters. Also, the beef tartare is super thin and ultra delicious. Steaks are superb. Order anything from a filet to a New York strip.

  6. Cape Dutch – Carnivores will love dining at this South African restaurant. If you like dry aged steaks, this is where to get them in Atlanta. Steaks are supplied to Cape Dutch by Chicago purveyor Linz. However the  veal chop and the elk are phenomenal, too.

  7. Local Three – Though tricky to find (it’s located inside an office building), the restaurant is worth seeking out. Go with a group and start with the Notorious P.I.G., charcuterie plate. Unique items like BBQ octopus, steelhead tartare and duck meatloaf grace the menu.

  8. Portofino – This lovely Italian spot is tucked away on a side street, and you might miss it driving by, as the exterior  is understated. But inside are some truly beautiful dining rooms. Creative pasta and seafood dishes can be found. Brunch is spectacular as well. Get the zeppoli and blinis to start.

  9. Seven Lamps – Though this isn’t the spot for a romantic evening (it is quite loud), there are plenty of excellent cocktails and share plates here. Plus the secret menu item, the burger, is killer.

  10. St. Cecilia – Looking for a spot to impress a date or an out-of-town guest? This Mediterranean/Italian spot is it. Lobster ravioli is a terrific shareable starter as is the hamachi crudo. You’ll also find seasonal dishes like a striped bass served with pumpkin. Wines are reasonably priced here, too.

  11. Southern Art – Southern Art, located in Buckhead’s Intercontinental Hotel, serves up beautiful decor from floor to ceiling, entertainment most nights with live music adjacent to the restaurant and fancy Southern favorites. Plus, if you are a bourbon lover, check out the bourbon bar, just adjacent to the restaurant. Portions are large, even the “Ham Bar,” SA’s answer to charcuterie, is a generous portion. Save room for items like the lamb shank or clams and cobia dish.

  12. Watershed – The beautifully prepared dishes at this upscale spot on Peachtree Street prove how elegant Southern dining can be. Don’t miss out on the fried chicken nights on Wednesdays.

Malika Bowling is the author of Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More!, and founder of Roamilicious. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. Her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram 

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