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Best Of Atlanta 2008 Oral Pleasures Large


Oral Pleasures

This election year has brought up some fascinating food-related biases in America. Who knew that a candidate's healthy eating practices could be a detriment in some people's eyes? Or that someone's preferred salad green could mark him as elitist? (See below for our Best of Atlanta exit-poll respondents' social-status-representing salad greens of choice) Thankfully, quality was a campaign booster for Atlanta's restaurants. 2008 has been a banner year for new restaurants, better restaurant trends and better food all around. For the first time this year, Creative Loafing has named a Restaurant of the Year, a development we find exciting. And as always, we've scoured the city to find Atlanta's absolute best eats. We offer our congratulations to the victoriously delicious candidates.

– Besha Rodell

Best Breakfast BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Buckhead
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Brunch BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Sandy Springs
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Breakfast BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Candler Park
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Cajun BOA Award Winner

Depeaux

Best Chef BOA Award Winner

Rathbun's

Best Coffee BOA Award Winner

Dancing Goats Coffee Bar - Decatur
As commonplace as it is, a tremendous amount of work and skill goes into making a perfect cup of coffee. Slight fluctuations in water temperature, brew time or the grinding process can ruin your cup. And of course, there's the bean. Even the highest-quality beans will leave you with a cup of bitter,more...
As commonplace as it is, a tremendous amount of work and skill goes into making a perfect cup of coffee. Slight fluctuations in water temperature, brew time or the grinding process can ruin your cup. And of course, there's the bean. Even the highest-quality beans will leave you with a cup of bitter, caffeinated mud if they're not roasted just right. That's why we love BATDORF & BRONSON coffee, served at places such as Aurora, as well as B&B's own Dancing Goats Coffee Bar in Decatur. Batdrof & Bronson's deft roasts deliver more of a bean's natural flavor than any local roaster. Sip and sniff the Kenya AA or the Dancing Goats blend and you'll pick up a whiff of berries. That's not artificial flavoring. B&B roasts coffee so skillfully, it reminds you that, oh yeah, coffee beans actually are fruit. less...

Best Cookies BOA Award Winner

Cookie Studio

Best Ice Cream BOA Award Winner

Morelli

Best Indian BOA Award Winner

Udipi Cafe Eclectic Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
Decatur is an Indian-food paradise, and while many neighboring restaurants battle to be the Raj, no restaurant creates more exciting and satisfying Indian fare than UDIPI CAFE. Thali plates (a variety of dishes served in small, stainless-steel bowls neatly arranged on a round platter) for the indecisive,more...
Decatur is an Indian-food paradise, and while many neighboring restaurants battle to be the Raj, no restaurant creates more exciting and satisfying Indian fare than UDIPI CAFE. Thali plates (a variety of dishes served in small, stainless-steel bowls neatly arranged on a round platter) for the indecisive, addictive coconut rice with shreds of chewy coconut, complex chutneys, and mouth-watering channa batura (a balloonlike bread served alongside a curry of plump chickpeas) offer plenty of flavorful options at dirt-cheap prices. less...

Best Pizza BOA Award Winner

Fellini's Pizza (7 ATL Locations)
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Restaurant For Late-Night Dining BOA Award Winner

Top Flr
Late night is all about attitude, and the best attitude in town can be found at TOP FLR, where the clientele is cool and the staff is even cooler. The friendly, quirky folks who run the place are joined by a friendly, quirky menu perfect for late-night nibbling. We especially love the light and silkymore...
Late night is all about attitude, and the best attitude in town can be found at TOP FLR, where the clientele is cool and the staff is even cooler. The friendly, quirky folks who run the place are joined by a friendly, quirky menu perfect for late-night nibbling. We especially love the light and silky fried tofu with tangy pomegranate sauce, and the salad with goat cheese and lavender dressing remains one of the best examples of bunny food in the city. But the late hours and laid-back hipster vibe are what make this such a cool spot – people eat, they drink, they make out, they laugh and eat some more. There's a grown-up liveliness that simply can't be found anywhere else at this hour. less...

Best Restaurant Worth the Long Trip BOA Award Winner

Five and Ten

Best Signature Cocktail BOA Award Winner

Mistrial Mimosa at Shaun's

Best Spanish BOA Award Winner

Cuerno
Finally, Atlanta has a Spanish restaurant that takes the food way beyond the tapas trend. CUERNO opened this year with rich and filling paellas, entrees that manage to nod both to the modern and the traditional cooking of Spain, and wonderful drinks (the white sangria is a must). Try anything from themore...
Finally, Atlanta has a Spanish restaurant that takes the food way beyond the tapas trend. CUERNO opened this year with rich and filling paellas, entrees that manage to nod both to the modern and the traditional cooking of Spain, and wonderful drinks (the white sangria is a must). Try anything from the plancha grill and be rewarded with the intense flavors of garlic, olive oil and fresh seafood cooked perfectly. less...

Best Sushi BOA Award Winner

Taka Sushi Restaurant
Chef/owner Takao Moriuchi's Buckhead sushi bar, TAKA, is a favorite among sushi connoisseurs for its affordability, artistry and quality. He consistently sources pristine fish and manipulates it into thoughtful dishes with whimsical additions, such as red grapes in his sashimi salads. Taka also makesmore...
Chef/owner Takao Moriuchi's Buckhead sushi bar, TAKA, is a favorite among sushi connoisseurs for its affordability, artistry and quality. He consistently sources pristine fish and manipulates it into thoughtful dishes with whimsical additions, such as red grapes in his sashimi salads. Taka also makes home-style Japanese dishes such as the (off-the-menu) sticky natto salad, crunchy curry-laced homemade vegetable and potato croquettes, and a soothing chawanmushi (a steamed Japanese egg custard with creamy uni and bright green edamame at the center). less...

Best Tacos BOA Award Winner

El Rey Del Taco
There are three components that make a taco superb: the tortillas, the filling and the salsa. TAQUERIA EL REY DEL TACO gets them all right. Pat yourself on the back if you're lucky enough to catch one of the tortilla mavens making handmade tortillas that emanate the unmistakable smell of fresh masa.more...
There are three components that make a taco superb: the tortillas, the filling and the salsa. TAQUERIA EL REY DEL TACO gets them all right. Pat yourself on the back if you're lucky enough to catch one of the tortilla mavens making handmade tortillas that emanate the unmistakable smell of fresh masa. When it comes to tacos, the chivo (goat) and cabeza (beef cheeks) are standouts, and the salsas – although limited – are pure picante perfection. A chilled glass of horchata (a drink made with cinnamon, rice, milk and other ingredients) is a refreshing addition to your meal. less...

Best Thai BOA Award Winner

Tamarind Seed Thai Bistro
There are about a zillion Thai restaurants in town and most of them taste alike. One notable exception is TAMARIND SEED, owned by chef Nan Niyomkul and her husband, Charlie. (They also operate the glitzier Nan Thai Fine Dining.) What sets chef Nan's cooking apart isn't the dishes themselves. Most ofmore...
There are about a zillion Thai restaurants in town and most of them taste alike. One notable exception is TAMARIND SEED, owned by chef Nan Niyomkul and her husband, Charlie. (They also operate the glitzier Nan Thai Fine Dining.) What sets chef Nan's cooking apart isn't the dishes themselves. Most of them are classics, such as masaman and panang curries (the green curry is particularly delicious). It's the complexity of sauces and layers of unexpected flavor that distinguishes the food here. There's also an energetic staff and, if you're lucky, Nan might be in the kitchen. The woman is a classy beacon of good feelings, and the food is suffused with her personality. less...

Best Waitstaff BOA Award Winner

The National
OK, we know THE NATIONAL is in Athens, and this is Best of Atlanta, but we love the waitstaff there so much we're asking that you bear with us. Led by Chris Luken, the National's servers manage to hit that perfect note of friendly service with formal underpinnings – timing, knowledge and hospitalitymore...
OK, we know THE NATIONAL is in Athens, and this is Best of Atlanta, but we love the waitstaff there so much we're asking that you bear with us. Led by Chris Luken, the National's servers manage to hit that perfect note of friendly service with formal underpinnings – timing, knowledge and hospitality are all as good as it gets. To prove the point that personality is a major factor in good service, waiters wear street clothes instead of uniforms, reminding us that behind every great dining experience is a real person, not a drone we can order around. less...

DARK HORSE: Best Restaurant of the Year BOA Award Winner

Holeman and Finch
This is the first year we've named a Restaurant of the Year. HOLEMAN AND FINCH prompted us to add the category. The Buckhead gastropub represents a new way of dining, where passion and fun collide, where the old-fashioned mode of dining (appetizer, entree, dessert) is obsolete, where bartenders and chefsmore...
This is the first year we've named a Restaurant of the Year. HOLEMAN AND FINCH prompted us to add the category. The Buckhead gastropub represents a new way of dining, where passion and fun collide, where the old-fashioned mode of dining (appetizer, entree, dessert) is obsolete, where bartenders and chefs make the rules, and the customers gleefully follow along. And because it was such an obvious choice for so many of our Best of Atlanta picks, we decided to roll Holeman and Finch into this umbrella award. We'd certainly have picked it for Best New Restaurant. It also takes the award for Best Burger – the off-menu burger served after 10 p.m. is a masterful example of how to do an American classic right – no gourmet bells and whistles, just sloppy deliciousness. And Greg Best absolutely deserves the award for Best Mixologist, bringing his chemistry-geek mind to the task of getting us liquored up, with winning results. Holeman and Finch represents what's great about dining in Atlanta in 2008. less...

FAVORITE SON: Best Overall Restaurant BOA Award Winner

Bacchanalia
The flagship restaurant of Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison still delivers like nowhere else in town. BACCHANALIA serves pristine ingredients, many of them from Quatrano's and Harrison's own farm, cooked with a precision that's breathtaking. Vegetables are coaxed to a platonic ideal of texture andmore...
The flagship restaurant of Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison still delivers like nowhere else in town. BACCHANALIA serves pristine ingredients, many of them from Quatrano's and Harrison's own farm, cooked with a precision that's breathtaking. Vegetables are coaxed to a platonic ideal of texture and flavor. Meats and fish are coddled and fussed over. A crab cake in citrus broth is so light and fluffy it almost floats off the plate, but is grounded by the high, pure notes of orange and lime. Service is crisp, confident and totally flawless. All of this comes together in one of the most understatedly elegant rooms in the city – who knew there was such a thing as industrial opulence? Bacchanalia is the shining star in the night sky of Atlanta's dining scene. less...

Best Breakfast BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Howell Mill Village
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Breakfast BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Toco Hills
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Breakfast BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Kennesaw
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Breakfast BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Sandy Springs
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Brunch BOA Award Winner

Flying Biscuit Cafe - Howell Mill Village
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

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