Best Restaurants in Downtown Atlanta

Headed to downtown Atlanta? Try one of these restaurants.
  • The small but well-thought-out menu at Polaris is just as good as the view.
    The small but well-thought-out menu at Polaris is just as good as the view.
  • Upscale Southern shines at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails.
    Upscale Southern shines at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails.
  • Alma Cocina is one of the best Latin restaurants in Atlanta.
    Alma Cocina is one of the best Latin restaurants in Atlanta.
  • Desserts are as creative as entrees at Poor Calvin's.
    Desserts are as creative as entrees at Poor Calvin's.
  • Beef piroshkis and sweet potato bisque are the perfect start to your meal at Nikolai's Roof.
    Beef piroshkis and sweet potato bisque are the perfect start to your meal at Nikolai's Roof.

Whether you are visiting, have out-of-town guests, a business dinner or just want to plan a fun outing with someone important, we all know that downtown Atlanta has lots of great restaurants. (See them all here.) Here are a few of the best restaurants in downtown Atlanta. 

  • Alma Cocina – This Latin restaurant is short walk from many of the downtown attractions and a world away from a chain restaurants experience. The menu is divided into various sections, which is good to suit a group of diverse eaters. Foodies should get the huaraches – crisp corn masas with different toppings like goat or shrimp. Cocktails are well made here, too.

  • Der Biergarten – With its prime downtown location and the fact that it has rooftop dining, the German restaurant could just stop there. But it doesn’t. Several other things that make it a great spot are that it is dog friendly, you can catch whatever big game is happening on large screens and the cuisine is quite delicious. I recommend the jägerschnitzel, fried pork chop covered in a delectable mushroom sauce.

  • Nikolai's Roof – Dine like Russian royalty at Nikolai’s Roof at the top of the Hilton downtown. The cool and crisp white decor of the restaurant is certainly alluring, but it’s the view most love. Two-top tables are set against the floor-to-ceiling windows, with stunning views of the Atlanta skyline, making this a lovely choice for a date. Winning dishes are the sweet potato and coconut bisque, full of lump crab. Lamb and duck are specialties here, and fish is sensational, too.

  • Polaris – High atop the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta is the famed Blue Dome, resurrected after a long hiatus. Did you know? The Polaris has its own bourbon through a partnership with Elijah Craig. You really can’t go wrong with any of the cocktails though. Plus, Polaris makes its own honey and grows many of its own herbs. The menu is small and changes quite often, but past highlights featured grouper cheeks and more. Impress that special someone or out-of-town guest with dinner or cocktails here. 

  • Poor Calvin’s – How do you meld Asian and Southern food? Chef Calvin Phan has found a way to serve up amazing creations from these two wonderful cuisines with offerings like the fried goat cheese with curry mustard and the grouper Thai curry. Make reservations as this spot is quite popular.

  • White Oak – Located in the heart of downtown, this is a great choice for a business meal or to enjoy after an afternoon of touristy activities downtown. The Southern take on shrimp or fish is both delicious and light. For something heartier, there always seems to be one dish with pork belly in it, and you don't want to miss out on that.

You'll find a variety of options and prices points in downtown Atlanta. Check out this full list of Downtown restaurants to find the right one for you.

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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