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Best Of Atlanta Main Photo (large)


2012 Index of Winners

Best sneaker store BOA Award Winner

Abbadabba's

Best thrift store BOA Award Winner

Goodwill on Northside Drive
The opening of a new thrift store is cause for celebration. If you're a weekly or even every-other-weekly thrifter, your old tried-and-true spots tend to get to a point where you can flip through the racks and recognize the very same clothes you saw last time. It's a bummer. The Goodwill on Northsidemore...
The opening of a new thrift store is cause for celebration. If you're a weekly or even every-other-weekly thrifter, your old tried-and-true spots tend to get to a point where you can flip through the racks and recognize the very same clothes you saw last time. It's a bummer. The Goodwill on Northside Drive (just west of Atlantic Station) has been a welcome - and spankin' new - addition to our thrift rotation. Opened in March, the familiar chain of charity shops' new location is huge and has Goodwill's standard flat pricing. (Men's shirts are a flat price, dresses are a flat price, etc.) So, you can occasionally find high-end, designer pieces hidden on a rack next to a bunch of Fruit of the Loom "Spring Break '98" T-shirts - and for the same exact price. Shoes are the exception to the rule, so designer pairs in good condition will likely end up on the fancy rack with individual prices based on their fanciness. Also cause for celebration: By simply spending money, you're helping people with employment issues get their lives back on track. Used clothes. New store. New lives. less...

Best vet BOA Award Winner

If you're in a veterinarian's office, there are a couple things that are pretty much guaranteed. One, you have a pet who you care about at least a little bit. Two, said pet is upset, either because he's got the runs or some skin thing, or because going to the vet is a thing dogs and cats aren't generallymore...
If you're in a veterinarian's office, there are a couple things that are pretty much guaranteed. One, you have a pet who you care about at least a little bit. Two, said pet is upset, either because he's got the runs or some skin thing, or because going to the vet is a thing dogs and cats aren't generally huge fans of. There's only so much you can do to ease your pet's mind - reasoning with them works for shit - but the doctors and nurses at East Atlanta Animal Clinic are awfully good at easing an owner's mind. You know when you can just tell people love their job? Besides being friendly, knowledgeable, and reasonably priced, it's obvious that all who work there love their job. If they don't, they're great actors and it has the same palliative effect, so oh well. Besides the usual check-ups, shots, and lab work (which is nice and quick because they have their own in-house lab), East Atlanta's vets offer preventative care, behavioral help, and alternative therapies like acupuncture and Tui Na massage. less...

Best wine shop BOA Award Winner

Best Caribbean BOA Award Winner

Best culinary time machine BOA Award Winner

In 1982, one food critic described La Grotta as "simply the finest Italian restaurant in Atlanta and one of the city's best restaurants of any kind." The beef carpaccio and any dish made with veal were the restaurants specialties. For dessert, fresh berries and cream. Thirty years later, the veal, themore...
In 1982, one food critic described La Grotta as "simply the finest Italian restaurant in Atlanta and one of the city's best restaurants of any kind." The beef carpaccio and any dish made with veal were the restaurants specialties. For dessert, fresh berries and cream. Thirty years later, the veal, the carpaccio, and even the berries - although now they're served with vanilla gelato - are still the restaurant's mainstays. Sergio Favalli, along with chef Antonio Abizanda, opened La Grotta in 1978, and to this day, La Grotta is where they both remain. Longevity and consistency over the years set this time capsule of a restaurant apart from every other restaurant in the city. Where else can you find a chef on a 34-year run at the same restaurant? less...

Best dim sum BOA Award Winner

Canton House

Best farm on wheels BOA Award Winner

Farm Mobile
We feel a little nostalgic whenever we see the bright green Farm Mobile truck pull up to our Main Street or local park. It reminds us of a simpler time when neighborhood moms would run out with a handful of change to meet the bread trucks that wandered down our block each week. Just as friendly, themore...
We feel a little nostalgic whenever we see the bright green Farm Mobile truck pull up to our Main Street or local park. It reminds us of a simpler time when neighborhood moms would run out with a handful of change to meet the bread trucks that wandered down our block each week. Just as friendly, the Farm Mobile folks post daily specials on a chalkboard. Skim it before climbing the steps into the back of the truck, making your way past bins stocked with organic and seasonal produce. Other offerings include: H&F breads, free-range eggs, and sustainable meats (grass-fed beef, Berkshire pork, and chicken from White Oak Pastures), which you'll find once you gently squeeze by your neighbor and make your way to the freezer near the front. They also carry their own line of grits, polenta, and cornmeal, plus artisanal cheeses and pesto. Basically, you'll find all the fixings for a great meal in one stop. The mobile grocer, based out of Riverview Farms in Northwest Georgia, is constantly making the rounds in metro Atlanta, keeping customers up-to-date on its whereabouts via Facebook and Twitter. It's a lot easier than chasing after that old bread truck. www.grassfedcow.com/farmmobile. less...

Best frozen yogurt BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best hot dog BOA Award Winner

HD1

Best Indian BOA Award Winner

Best Middle Eastern BOA Award Winner

Mediterranean Grill

Best patio for hoisting a brew BOA Award Winner

It's huge. Like, more than 25 tables and booths of varying sizes huge. So huge, that you'll almost never have to wait for a spot to sit down, though you may end up at opposite ends of a long table with a pair of strangers. But that's also one of the many charms of the Midway Pub patio - lots of smilingmore...
It's huge. Like, more than 25 tables and booths of varying sizes huge. So huge, that you'll almost never have to wait for a spot to sit down, though you may end up at opposite ends of a long table with a pair of strangers. But that's also one of the many charms of the Midway Pub patio - lots of smiling faces there to enjoy a beer (or three), just like you. More than just dog-friendly, Midway's staff and patio are downright dog-enthusiastic, all warm smiles, water bowls, and welcoming words of admiration. A wooden overhang protects from sun and precipitation, and it's adorned with assorted greenery. In fact, Midway boasts some of the finest bar plants around: succulents, evergreens, herbs (that are used in Midway's food), and various viney, flowering specimens that are going to be a joy to watch develop in the years to come. With 32 rotating drafts, more than 100 bottles, and a food selection that goes beyond standard pub grub, you might want to bring a sleeping bag - it's a little too easy to make yourself at home on this concrete slab. less...

Best chapter in Atlanta's LGBTQ story BOA Award Winner

Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse
The final chapter closed on Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse on January 28, 2012, ending the bookstore's 18-year reign as a crucial focal point and gathering spot for Atlanta's LGBTQ communities and their supporters. Phillip Rafshoon opened Outwrite in 1993 in the Midtown Promenade shopping centermore...
The final chapter closed on Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse on January 28, 2012, ending the bookstore's 18-year reign as a crucial focal point and gathering spot for Atlanta's LGBTQ communities and their supporters. Phillip Rafshoon opened Outwrite in 1993 in the Midtown Promenade shopping center before moving it to its larger and final location at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in 1996, helping transform that corner from dreary intersection to bustling destination. The shop, its porch, and even the sidewalk outside became memorable gathering spots for readings, meetings, vigils, celebrations, and protests. Outwrite drew a steady stream of visitors, neighborhood regulars, and gay youth looking for a safe place to meet, have coffee, and chat. There were book-signings by celebrities including RuPaul, Star Jones, Greg Louganis, Chelsea Handler, Roseanne Barr, and Chastity Bono. Outwrite also hosted a steady stream of literary giants such as Armistead Maupin, David Sedaris, Edmund White, and Alan Hollinghurst. Despite its popularity, Outwrite faced the challenges shared by many independent bookstores in recent years. Rising rents, the economic downturn, and changes in the way people buy and read books eventually forced the shop to close for good. Outwrite acted as a crucial hub for the LGBQT community and helped the city earn its title as the Gay Capital of the South. less...

Best emerging visual artist BOA Award Winner

Micah Stansell
It's kind of a big deal when the High Museum decides to show a local artist's work. It's an even bigger deal when it decides to blanket the museum's exterior with it. In August, 350 feet of wall space surrounding Sifly Piazza was illuminated by Micah Stansell's five-channel sound and video installationmore...
It's kind of a big deal when the High Museum decides to show a local artist's work. It's an even bigger deal when it decides to blanket the museum's exterior with it. In August, 350 feet of wall space surrounding Sifly Piazza was illuminated by Micah Stansell's five-channel sound and video installation The Water and the Blood, the result of his 2011 Working Artist Project award that also showed at MOCA GA last fall. Like 2010's Between You and Me and the search for the exceptional, his 2012 collaboration with gloATL, The Water and the Blood was a beautifully mellow pondering of memory. Stansell, who often collaborates with his wife Whitney, shows a particularly Southern knack for visual storytelling steeped in nostalgia that we haven't been able to forget. www.micahstansell.com. less...

Best film festival BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Best opening BOA Award Winner

The Glass Ceiling Shattered

Best theater company BOA Award Winner

Downtown Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit enters its 35th anniversary season on a roll, having staged one of the best plays in its recent history with Red. Artistic director Tom Key, normally the sunniest of actors, gave a moody, impassioned performance as painter Mark Rothko, with Jimi Kocina keeping upmore...
Downtown Atlanta's Theatrical Outfit enters its 35th anniversary season on a roll, having staged one of the best plays in its recent history with Red. Artistic director Tom Key, normally the sunniest of actors, gave a moody, impassioned performance as painter Mark Rothko, with Jimi Kocina keeping up as a hungry young apprentice eager to learn and to challenge the celebrity artist's ideas about creativity and integrity. On the other the side of the coin, the terrific family show A Wrinkle in Time offered a fusion of whimsical characters, imaginative design, and a potentially disturbing theme about the power of totalitarianism. Even such lesser shows as Freud's Last Session and the world premiere of The Green Book featured impeccable acting and a willingness to engage audiences with potent, heady ideas. The Outfit's home at the Balzer Theater gives theater fans the best reason to visit downtown. less...

Atlanta's longest-running nonstop dance-or-be-damned party BOA Award Winner

Backstreet Atlanta
For 30 years, Backstreet Atlanta was the city's best-known all-hours nightclub. More than a gay disco, it was a landmark of Atlanta's sanctified underbelly and a queer haven where the performing drag queens of Charlie Brown's Cabaret reveled in giving straight patrons a reason to blush. Even before themore...
For 30 years, Backstreet Atlanta was the city's best-known all-hours nightclub. More than a gay disco, it was a landmark of Atlanta's sanctified underbelly and a queer haven where the performing drag queens of Charlie Brown's Cabaret reveled in giving straight patrons a reason to blush. Even before the city began its nightlife crackdown near the turn of the millennium, Backstreet served as an after-hours respite for late-night lurkers and off-the-clock bar workers after regular clubs stopped the music. But in 2004, the danceteria that never shut its doors did just that when sibling owners Vicki and Henry Vara ended their hard-fought legal battle against encroaching city legislators, stiffer liquor licensing laws, and a gentrifying Midtown constituency. Though the club at 845 Peachtree St. has been closed for eight years, Backstreet lives on as a symbolic reminder of the once-vibrant nightlife scene and celebrated subculture Atlanta lost in its rush to normalcy. less...

Atlanta's original avant guardians BOA Award Winner

Hampton Grease Band

Best dive bar BOA Award Winner

Best gay bar BOA Award Winner

Best movement in the making BOA Award Winner

Two9
If the children are the future, Two9 is a harbinger of hell to pay. And no, that's not a backhanded compliment. Like Los Angeles' Odd Future and Harlem's A$AP Mob, the ragtag Atlanta collective of MCs and producers recalls an era when smoking blunts and bagging stunts was no fun if the homies couldn'tmore...
If the children are the future, Two9 is a harbinger of hell to pay. And no, that's not a backhanded compliment. Like Los Angeles' Odd Future and Harlem's A$AP Mob, the ragtag Atlanta collective of MCs and producers recalls an era when smoking blunts and bagging stunts was no fun if the homies couldn't have none. Ratchet lyrical aspirations aside, this young crew of rowdy upstarts has a mean work ethic that includes an endless stream of new music, in-house video direction, and production, which they've successfully farmed out to big names such as Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, and Kreayshawn. Did we mention they run deep? With a core consisting of Key!, Curtis Williams, Fat Kids Brotha, Retro Su$h!, Wavy Wallace, and Damien Aidoo, Two9's extended list of hometown affiliates (MoneyMakinNique, Papa Jae, the Coolismac, DJ Osh Kosh, Originalfani, Gunner Stahl) make it hard to sleep on the self-made movement espoused on the recent mixtape Two 9 Forever. Five years ago, an otherground rap scene sprouted in Atlanta that largely went unheralded by the industry players-that-be. The emergence of Two9 feels like a second coming of sorts. Just don't expect these kids to be content with asking for what's presumably theirs for the taking. www.two-9.tumblr.com. less...

Best rap reinvention BOA Award Winner

2 Chainz

Best act of political theater BOA Award Winner

Democratic women had heard and seen enough. After sitting through days and days of discussions under the Gold Dome about making abortions more difficult and restricting access to contraceptives, part of the out-of-nowhere, unnecessary "War on Women", they decided to take a stand - literally. On themore...
Democratic women had heard and seen enough. After sitting through days and days of discussions under the Gold Dome about making abortions more difficult and restricting access to contraceptives, part of the out-of-nowhere, unnecessary "War on Women", they decided to take a stand - literally. On the final day of the 40-day legislative session, after the state Senate voted to approve a bill that tightened restrictions on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, female Democrats wrapped themselves in yellow caution tape and marched out of the upper chamber and into the Capitol's hallways, shouting "Women will remember in November." The bill passed, but the women of the minority party were able to remind GOP lawmakers that they're the ones affected by such pieces of legislation. less...

Best affordable housing news BOA Award Winner

Imperial Hotel
Atlanta Beltline Inc. purchased and converted a Reynoldstown loft into affordable housing. And a developer plans to renovate a Section 8 tower located at Ponce de Leon and Highland avenues. But none compare to the Imperial Hotel. Since 1997, the majestic eight-story building located along Peachtree Streetmore...
Atlanta Beltline Inc. purchased and converted a Reynoldstown loft into affordable housing. And a developer plans to renovate a Section 8 tower located at Ponce de Leon and Highland avenues. But none compare to the Imperial Hotel. Since 1997, the majestic eight-story building located along Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta has provided an affordable place for low-income Atlantans and formerly homeless men and women to live. But in 2010, the historic building - Little Richard reportedly performed in the hotel's lounge - went into receivership and appeared to be in jeopardy. Rather than be converted into pricey condos by developers eager to charge a premium for the picturesque views, two affordable housing developers, working with the city and state, moved in to renovate the building and keep it affordable. Columbia Residential and National Church Residences plan to spend the next year - and millions of dollars - renovating the building's interior and exterior. Once complete, the overhauled building will feature larger units, space for care providers, and, if they wish to return, affordable homes for residents who were relocated during renovations. Thank God the building, which is located near transit and medical facilities, didn't turn into yet another expensive condo tower. less...

Best bizarro local news story BOA Award Winner

Aimee Copeland Story

Best city view BOA Award Winner

Corner of Boulevard and Freedom Parkway


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