Things to do in Atlanta

Atlanta's Exquisite Eateries: Where Fine Dining Meets Southern Charm

Let us introduce you to some of the fanciest restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia, where global tastes meet Southern grace in a striking combination of culinary opulence.

We love nothing more than unabashed displays of talent, finesse, and cultural fusion — and a fancy meal can be every bit as astounding as one of our shows. Pair live entertainment with the perfect dining experience, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable night out.

Explore these things to do in Atlanta, and wow loved ones with your keen sense of taste and expert knowledge the next time you book an evening of fun and festivities.

Steakhouses

For an Atlanta steakhouse to reach the heady heights of fanciness, it must reside in an elegant setting, seek out the finest beef suppliers, and have an intimate understanding of the grill’s burning flame. Executive chefs should be dedicated to achieving nothing less than a supreme sear and perfect taste.

You’ll find wait staff who can explain the farm-to-table process in intricate detail and help you select the boldest, fruitiest red to accompany your decadent steak dinner.

Last, but by no means least, bartenders should be champion mixologists, slinging cocktail shakers with seemingly careless abandon, yet always pouring the perfect serve. When it comes to steakhouses, these are the best of the upscale restaurant scene in Atlanta.

1. Bones Restaurant

  • Address: 3130 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
  • Average Price: $$$$
  • Must Try: Bone-in filet
  • Best For: Big celebrations and business lunches

Opened in 1979, Atlanta’s Bones is a fine dining institution and sanctuary for steak and wine lovers. The dining room has old-school wood walls and floors, and the tables are adorned with perfectly ironed tablecloths. Sink into the plush burgundy leather chairs as a troop of well-trained staff, glide around the restaurant floor with purpose and grace.

Prime beef, Maine lobster, and fresh seafood dominate the food menu, accompanied by an expertly curated wine list. Popular options include Opus One, Margaux, and Amarone Della Valpolicella. If you’re partial to exclusivity and quality, Bones is a must-try.

2. Chops Lobster Bar

  • Address: 70 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305
  • Average Price: $$$$
  • Must Try: The shellfish tower and 35-day dry-aged porterhouse steak
  • Best For: Classic steakhouse ambiance (Chops) and nights out with friends (Chops Lobster Bar)

Mosey upstairs to iconic Atlanta favorite, Chops, or downstairs to Chops Lobster Bar, modeled on NYC’s dreamy Grand Central Oyster Bar. The menus are the same up and down, but the vibes couldn’t be more different.

While the selection of USDA Prime and 35-day dry-aged steak is sure to dazzle you and your companions, the seafood is equally astounding, and the side dishes epitomize steakhouse chic.

Servers sparkle with charm, know the intricacies of the menu items, and can recommend a perfectly balanced cocktail to start and end your meal.

The short but sweet by-the-glass wine list is superb, featuring a seafood- and steak-loving crowd’s best-kept secrets. Think bold cabernet sauvignons, juicy pinot noirs, crisp sauvignon blancs, and rich chardonnays.

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Une publication partagée par Chops Lobster Bar (@chopslobsterbar)

European

When thinking about the fine dining scene, a fancy French restaurant is probably the first image that pops into your head — and rightly so. Aside from Japan, France has more three Michelin Star eateries than anywhere in the world.

Italian cookery is simpler and more comforting than French, but the delicate application of herbs and spices is unmatched. Hearty flavors and time-honored combinations dominate the plate — just a couple of reasons why staples such as pasta and pizza are two of the world’s most popular dishes.

If you’re seeking a romantic restaurant, check out these European favorites. It’s one of the best things to do with kids in Atlanta.

3. Bistro Niko

  • Address: 3344 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326
  • Average Price: $$$
  • Must Try: Skate wing and croque "madame"
  • Best For: Upscale dining or celebratory meals

Sitting at your table in the sumptuous dining room at Bistro Niko feels like you’ve escaped on vacation to Bordeaux.

A glowing, gold ceiling provides flattering lighting for group photos and selfies, while endearing waiters dressed in black waistcoats and long white aprons serve refined French dishes in intimate claret-red booths.

Undeniably one of the best European restaurants in Atlanta, GA, Bistro Niko has been a go-to for gastronauts since opening in 2009. The fare is classic French with a modern, Southern twist.

Plus, you can select your own oysters from the ice bar, and every plate is presented with grace and precision.

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Une publication partagée par Bistro Niko (@bistroniko)

4. La Grotta

  • Address: 2637 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
  • Average Price: $$$$
  • Must Try: Bone-in veal and pasta with cheese and black truffles
  • Best For: High-end outdoor dining

Head to La Grotta for an elaborate, lovingly prepared meal. It's been the pinnacle of Italian elegance in Atlanta since 1978. Weather permitting, be sure to request a table on the patio — especially if your heart yearns for an evening of old-fashioned romance.

Indoors, the upscale yet cozy dining room with exposed brickwork feels more like Northern Italy than North Atlanta.

Hospitality melds the best of Italy and Georgia, and dishes range from uncomplicated classics, such as penne bolognese, to complex Piedmont mainstays, such as beef filet in Barolo sauce.

Old-world wine lovers, take a deep breath. The bottles of wine are an all-out celebration of Chianti, Montalcino, Amarone, Barolo, Barbaresco, Pinot Grigio, prosecco, and every beloved wine region in Italy.

Photographer: Pavel Danilyuk

Asian

The popularity of fancy Asian food has burgeoned in the past decade or so. We love breaking boundaries, bringing together diverse influences, and playing with convention.

And we believe that’s why modern diners love Asian cuisine so much. Whether it’s a rooftop bar in Atlanta or a popular restaurant on the street, we crave it.

Along with France, Japan has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other country in the world, making it a hotbed of gastronomic alchemy. And don’t forget Thailand, a favorite location among discerning travelers where the food is tangy, nutty, light, and oh-so-fresh.

Expect to be treated like royalty as you experience the culmination of Atlantan and Asian hospitality. Take a look at these five-star restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia.

5. Umi Sushi Buckhead

  • Address: Two Buckhead Plaza, 3050 Peachtree Road, Suite #1, Atlanta, GA 30305
  • Average Price: $$$$
  • Must Try: The omakase menu or Maine lobster tail

Georgia’s Umi is the essence of sophisticated, contemporary Japanese dining — an experience you have to see, smell, taste, and touch to believe. Achingly sleek and stylish, it’s Atlanta’s A-list sushi restaurant.

Clean lines and wood panels adorn the restaurant floor and open kitchen, and such minimalist decor only serves to amplify the food’s quality. Across the counter, chefs prepare sushi, including Wagyu beef rolls, foie gras rolls, and duck leg confit.

The libations menu is thoughtfully curated to suit every taste, with a mix of classic and inventive signature cocktails to set your spirits soaring.

6. Nan Thai Fine Dining

  • Address: 1350 Spring Street NW #1, Atlanta, GA 30309
  • Average Price: $$$
  • Must Try: Nan’s tasting tree and lobster pad thai
  • Best For: Romantic meals and special family gatherings

Bangkok native Chef Nan Niyomkul’s Nan Thai Fine Dining restaurant sings with her passionate spirit. Nan learned the art of cookery from her mother, who worked as a street food seller in Thailand.

She moved to New York City at age 19 with a burning desire to excel as a chef. Her dream became reality in 2003, and she’s kept it alive ever since.

Service here is warm and generous, and your needs are preempted at every turn without the wait staff ever intruding on your meal. For anyone with a sweet tooth, the purple orchid cocktail and coconut cake with coconut ice cream make a perfect pairing for dessert.

Seafood

At a fancy seafood restaurant, your experience is elevated by the refined nature of the food’s textures and tastes. It’s one of the healthiest ways to consume protein, making it a favorite among nutrition-conscious diners.

Due to more top chefs becoming champions of sustainability, seafood has become a delicacy in recent years. in recent years. If quality and integrity is what you’re looking for, here is a list of some of the best high-end restaurants in Atlanta for seafood.

7. Atlanta Fish Market

  • Address: 265 Pharr Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
  • Average Price: $$$
  • Must Try: Crab cakes and Chilean sea bass
  • Best for: Conversation-filled evenings with friends
  • We love a gaudy display of character, and you’ll know you’re in for a whimsical treat long before you step inside Atlanta Fish Market.

    Could it have something to do with the enormous model fish poking out from the restaurant’s grounds? Maybe.

    Atlanta Fish Market boasts the widest selection of seafood in the Southwest, served in a relaxed yet high-end loft setting in Buckhead.

    Florida grouper, Georgia mountain trout, Maine cod, and Faroe Islands salmon are just a few examples of fish flown in daily. The service and atmosphere are evocative of a luxury cruise, and big portions mean you always leave satisfied.

8. The Optimist

  • Address: 914 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318
  • Average Price: $$$
  • Must Try: Lobster roll and she-crab soup
  • Best For: Happy hour

As endless bright-side-lookers with a goal to "positively impact people, communities, and the planet," we're already seduced by The Optimist’s name — and the food and service exceed all expectations.

Arctic char, halibut, Georges Bank scallops, and duck fat poached swordfish are some of the deep-sea treasures waiting to adorn your fork.

Wash down your meal with a full-bodied bottle of champagne, riesling, chardonnay, or Nebbiolo, or sample a craft beer or cocktail from the reassuringly simple list.

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Une publication partagée par The Optimist (@theoptimistatl)

New American

New American dishes are about breaking away from the confines of tradition, merging diverse culinary influences, and showcasing seasonality in frequently changing dinner menus. If you’ve heard of farm-to-table, you know what we’re talking about.

By shaking off conformity, embracing ingenuity, and prioritizing quality over established convention, the New American culinary pioneers have changed the way we eat and think about food.

New American dining rooms are immaculately manicured and use the finest glassware and cutlery. They often have crisp white tablecloths and extravagant table settings, but these elements aren’t the stars of the show.

Likewise, staff won’t be stuffy or reserved — they’ll be knowledgeable, courteous, and obliging, with more focus on delighting you than playing a role.

9. Canoe

  • Address: 4199 Paces Ferry Road SE, Atlanta, GA 30339
  • Average Price: $$$
  • Must Try: Peppercorn crusted kangaroo
  • Best For: A marriage proposal

Nestled on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, you’ll find Atlanta’s Canoe. It’s the definition of a hidden gem, set amidst manicured gardens with views of the river, and eating here feels truly special.

The menu includes comforting, freshly baked pastries, seafoam-fresh oysters, maple-marinated duck breast, and ruby chocolate ganache cake.

10. Aria

  • Address: 490 East Paces Ferry Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
  • Average Price: $$$$
  • Must Try: Tasting menu
  • Best for: Business lunches and big celebrations

The restaurant Aria’s chic minimal decor captures the essence of contemporary America, seamlessly blending the old with the new. The monochrome color scheme is only broken by the pop of yellow curtains — and of course, bewitching plates of food and vibrant cocktails.

Chef Gerry Klaskala aims for a fusion between coziness and trendiness, a balancing act with memorable results. Menus change daily, showcasing the freshest, finest local ingredients.

Expect to be amazed by dishes such as Berkshire pork with parmesan polenta, black Angus filet mignon steak frites, and sea scallops with corn and applewood smoked bacon.

Which Mouth-Watering Atlanta Restaurant Will You Try First?

Atlanta is a paradise if you’re seeking fancy dinners that fuse global flavors with Southern charm. From sizzling cuts and high-end steak restaurants to the intricate flavor pairings of New American cuisine, there’s something to suit every palate.

Each of these essential restaurants above boasts its own unique ambiance and culinary experience — but where are you going to book a reservation first?

If you’re looking to be moved, inspired, and captivated after dinner, head over to one of our shows in Atlanta. The unimaginable becomes reality as you immerse yourself in our spectacular acrobatics, unbelievable choreography, and breathtaking artistry.

Prepare for a journey like no other as we take you on the adventure of a lifetime through dazzling otherworldly performances and compelling stories so powerful they demand to be told.

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