This is a list of restaurants that I love to visit in the Atlanta area. Some are just found here and others are chains that I love to eat at...but haven't seen in too many places.
1. Houston's Steakhouse. Located just inside the Atlanta perimeter a few miles from the Governor's mansion...SO yummy! We go hear for all of our big family functions like graduations and work promotions.
2. Melting Pot. Now I know this restaurant is in many states, but having gone so long not being near one...I had to post it. It's a fondue restaurant...THE fondue restaurant. Ian gave me my promise ring here and we always go to it on our "dating" anniversary in October.
3. The Varsity. Again, most college towns have a varsity...but they don't have THE Varsity. The Varsity is just steps away from the GA Tech campus in the heart of downtown. You don't come for healthy options or even friendly service...you come for the history and the fellowship of your gameday friends. Nothing beats an ESPN Thursday night game in downtown Atlanta, eating at The Varsity before kickoff.
4. The Swan House. Again, just inside the perimeter and located at the Atlanta History Center. This house is brings back a time of southern belles and gentleman strolling arm and arm through the magnolias...while their chaperone strolled a few steps behind. I went for the first time at the brides maid luncheon of my cousin.
5. Marietta Conference Center. Specifically Hamilton's restaurant located in the resort section. This little (big) gem is located about 10 miles north of Atlanta in Cobb County. Weddings and proms are standard fixtures on the abundant grounds. I had my bridesmaid luncheon here. And they are known for their spectacular Sunday brunches.
6. Bugaboo Creek. This I know for sure is NOT an Atlanta only chain...but it's only location in the entire south is in Atlanta. Well, Kennesaw...about 15 miles north of Atlanta. It is primarily a northern eastern steakhouse with a heavy Canadian influence and just so yummy. But my favorite reason for going is the atmosphere. The dishes are a casual upscale setting, but the place is so family friendly. At timed intervals, all the "critters" on the walls and hanging from the ceiling come alive. A squirrel dangles from a lantern, a skunk pops up from a basket and a bear and moose take turns telling jokes and listing the specials on the menu. William loves it here!
7. Ray's on the River. This is the place to get authentic seafood in Atlanta. It is right inside the 75/285 junction just on the outskirts of the city. Note I did say authentic...not necessarily fresh...who am I kidding in a land locked city! ;) But it is SO good and so beautiful. Located right on the Chattahoochee River. Big floor to ceiling windows give every table a good view, and there is an outside dining area for the whole two months of the year Georgians aren't dripping from the humidity. Luckily...it's right near the hospital I'll probably be delivering at...they do have take out...hum...
8. Fogo de Chao. A Brazilian restuarant again located in the swanky area near the Governor's mansion. But it's worth the swank and price tag! It is an all you can eat semi-buffet. The vegetables, fruit, salad and desserts are located for you to get at your wish. The meat comes around via the servers and they slice you off sections of lamb, fillet mignon and pork tenderloin. The choices far exceed just those, but I listed those just to show you some of the diversity. It's place to go to when you don't have plans for afterwards...just want to enjoy time out with family and/or friends. My little family of four would sit there for 2 hours sometimes just talking and nibbling.
9. Copeland's. I prefer the one in Kennesaw because of its proximity to my house, but there a couple in metro Atlanta. This is a jazz/cajun restaurant. I'm not usually into cajun food of gumbo or crawdads...but I love their penthouse salad and crabcakes. Oh...I'm feeling the craving now. The atmosphere feels like one you need to dress up for...it's in old south, bayou elegance you could say...but jeans are welcome thankfully. You can tell the wait staff the amount of "punch" you want in your entree...from mild to wild. They aim to please
10. Ippolito's. An Italian jewel that surprisingly has made it 2 plus years right next to an Olive Garden! You KNOW it's good if it can withstand that competition. Of course, I go to the one in Kennesaw...but there are one or two others in and out of the metro area to choose from. The Garlic break knots are too die for! Olive Garden's bread as NOTHING on these!! The portions are just a tad bit smaller, but taste more authentic to me. Not like it came out of a jar and some 30 year old "chef" sprinkled oregano on it. It tastes like an Italian grandmother is lovingly preparing each dish. You don't need a box to go...even if you are full...you can't help but finish.
11. Kani House. Got to have at least one Japanese steakhouse on the list. I've been to several ones and this is by far my favorite. I don't know if it is just for sentimental reasons or what with all the dates Ian and I went to here, but it just tastes good. And the service is outstanding. They act like they want to interact with you...not like they have too. And it's just a few minutes from my parents house in Woodstock. Can't beat that!
12. Sonny's Real Pit BBQ. Now I know this little guy is all over the southeast, but I had to post it. It's good southern food, cooked slow and served fast. Ian will sometimes just stop by whenever he is out to get some homemade cornbread or banana pudding. It's great for those on a budget too. Just look for BOGO free coupons and the entire family can eat for less than $15 bucks! I love the choices of sauces too...smokey, sweet, spicy or savory...they have it covered.
13. Shakespeare's Tavern. Now most people that are coming here are coming for the play productions and not the food...but get there a half hour earlier and enjoy some great English staples. OK...so it's not all about the food...though it is tasty. This is the spot where Ian and I had our first date together and later where he took me on my 23rd birthday and proposed. So, this does have a special place in my heart. It is located just down from the Fox Theater in downtown. Look them up to see what shows they have going on and get tickets...and some good English food too!
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