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2017 Index of Winners

Best brunch

Atlanta Breakfast Club

Best Indian

Masala Indian Cuisine

Best Mexican

Nuevo Laredo Cantina Nuevo Laredo Cantina

Best Vietmanese

Lee’s Bakery Lee's Bakery

Best pizza

Antico Pizza

Best OTP newcomer

Spring
Praise be the OTP restaurant that makes intowners (not to mention out-of-towners) jealous. Marietta’s SPRING is such a place. Chef Brian So, formerly of Sobban, crafts elegantly simple compositions — like a recent sweet corn risotto with charred padróns and a scattering of local chanterelles —more...
Praise be the OTP restaurant that makes intowners (not to mention out-of-towners) jealous. Marietta’s SPRING is such a place. Chef Brian So, formerly of Sobban, crafts elegantly simple compositions — like a recent sweet corn risotto with charred padróns and a scattering of local chanterelles — that showcase our region’s bounty as well as any farm-driven ITP mainstay does. The rustic dining room, converted from an old train depot, makes good use of exposed brick and old wood beams, reminding you that you’re in the heart of a place with history — a feeling that’s increasingly hard to find among Midtown’s construction cranes. But be warned: Bon Appétit recently selected Spring as one of the 50 best new restaurants in the U.S., which will surely spur visits from well beyond Marietta’s bounds. 83 Church St., Marietta. 678-540-2777. www.springmarietta.com. less...

Best career move

Michael Hendricks Staplehouse
Chef and home cooks alike used to arrive early to Peachtree Road Farmers Market to get first dibs on forager MICHAEL HENDRICKS’ found edibles. This year, however, after nine years of working closely with Staplehouse’s Ryan Smith, Hendricks took a forager’s dream job, searching through the woodsmore...
Chef and home cooks alike used to arrive early to Peachtree Road Farmers Market to get first dibs on forager MICHAEL HENDRICKS’ found edibles. This year, however, after nine years of working closely with Staplehouse’s Ryan Smith, Hendricks took a forager’s dream job, searching through the woods full-time for chef Smith’s award-winning restaurant. Besides mushrooms, he brings in ramps, daylily shoots and buds, wood sorrel, Japanese knotweed and violet leaves. That dreamy chicken liver tart recently came tweezered with Hendricks’ golden chanterelles, and marrying their skills together is the basis Staplehouse was born upon: “health, happiness, and longevity through what we eat,” as Hendricks puts it. He can take a little credit for that edible flower in your cocktail, too, as he also cares for the herb garden out back. Staplehouse, 541 Edgewood Ave. S.E. 404-524-5005. www.staplehouse.com. less...

Best long-awaited recognition

Steven Satterfield Miller Union
Root to leaf to medal: After five consecutive years of nominations for one of the restaurant industry’s highest honors, Miller Union’s STEVEN SATTERFIELD was finally named Best Chef: Southeast of 2017 by the James Beard Foundation. In a ceremony last spring in Chicago, fellow titleholder Anne Quatranomore...

Root to leaf to medal: After five consecutive years of nominations for one of the restaurant industry’s highest honors, Miller Union’s STEVEN SATTERFIELD was finally named Best Chef: Southeast of 2017 by the James Beard Foundation. In a ceremony last spring in Chicago, fellow titleholder Anne Quatrano placed the coveted and well-deserved medal around Satterfield’s neck. And collectively, we in Atlanta cheered because Satterfield has long been a dedicated champion of both our local farmers and our bellies, churning out seasonal, veggie-focused food (not to mention an impeccably curated wine list, which was also nominated this year) at eight-year-old Atlanta gem Miller Union. You earned it, chef. Miller Union, 999 Brady Ave. N.W. 678-733-8550. www.millerunion.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best food spectacle

Gunshow Gunshow
Get your tickets to the GUNSHOW because there is no place quite like it. Kevin Gillespie’s Glenwood Park hot spot is the rare collision of cool concept meets exceptional food. There are no menus with set courses; rather, dishes audition for your choosing as chefs come to the table and present itemsmore...
Get your tickets to the GUNSHOW because there is no place quite like it. Kevin Gillespie’s Glenwood Park hot spot is the rare collision of cool concept meets exceptional food. There are no menus with set courses; rather, dishes audition for your choosing as chefs come to the table and present items both homey and exotic. A mashup of dim sum and Brazilian churrascaria, where a wide-open kitchen sets the stage for maximum chef-diner interaction, Gunshow is never the same place twice. Executive chef Joey Ward carefully curates a scene of clever, heartfelt and playful food. Cocktails come by way of a rolling cart, where your conductor, Mercedes O’Brien, mixes and stirs right in front of you. 924 Garrett St., Suite C. 404-380-1886. www.gunshowatl.com. less...

Best little chocolate factory in Atlanta

XOCOLATL
Nestled inside Krog Street Market sits the tiniest chocolate factory in Atlanta — and maybe the nation. Husband and wife team Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt opened XOCOLATL back in 2014 and have been steadily churning chocolate bars (and their highly addictive drinking chocolate — hot in the wintermore...
Nestled inside Krog Street Market sits the tiniest chocolate factory in Atlanta — and maybe the nation. Husband and wife team Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt opened XOCOLATL back in 2014 and have been steadily churning chocolate bars (and their highly addictive drinking chocolate — hot in the winter and frozen in the summer) out of their miniscule 250-something-square-foot space ever since. The couple is serious about ingredients and sourcing. All bars are single origin and start with a base of just cane sugar and pure cacao from South and Central America. Be sure to try their latest offering: Love & Happiness, made with Peruvian cacao beans, fresh raspberry and blood orange. 99 Krog St. N.E. 404-604-9642. www.xocolatlchocolate.com less...

Best beer festival

Decatur Craft Beer Festival

Best service

Atlanta Breakfast Club

Best Chinese

Golden Buddha Restaurant

Best Italian

Bambinelli’s

Best Middle Eastern

Imperial Fez

Best playground

Noguchi Playscape Piedmont Park

Best hiking trail

Chattahoochee River trails

Best weed warrior

Allen Peake
A handful of politicos pushed pot policy reforms this year, but only one of those efforts bore fruit. State Rep. ALLEN PEAKE passed legislation that expanded the list of ailments a person must have to be eligible for a medical cannabis oil prescription. The THC limit is still capped at 5 percent, somore...

A handful of politicos pushed pot policy reforms this year, but only one of those efforts bore fruit. State Rep. ALLEN PEAKE passed legislation that expanded the list of ailments a person must have to be eligible for a medical cannabis oil prescription. The THC limit is still capped at 5 percent, so patients aren’t exactly getting stoned just yet. But Peake is also a proponent of establishing an in-state cultivation model, so Georgia could start regulating its own bud market. We’ll have to wait until the next legislative session to see how that shakes out. Meantime, state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, and Councilman Kwanza Hall are driving local efforts to relax weed laws in Atlanta. Stay tuned. www.allenpeake.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis/ CL File

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Best co-working space

Switchyards Downtown Club Switchyards Downtown Club
The era of the co-working space is in full effect in Atlanta these days,, but all these startup-focused spots are not created equal. Leading this increasingly crowded pack is SWITCHYARDS DOWNTOWN CLUB, although it’s not totally because of its cool work areas, funky auditorium, espresso bar or ping-pongmore...

The era of the co-working space is in full effect in Atlanta these days,, but all these startup-focused spots are not created equal. Leading this increasingly crowded pack is SWITCHYARDS DOWNTOWN CLUB, although it’s not totally because of its cool work areas, funky auditorium, espresso bar or ping-pong table. None of that matters as much as the fact that SDC seems to cultivate and nurture a vibe that is uniquely Downtown: creative, down-to-earth, more about substance and less about flash. In the process, drawing entrepreneurs — like Bhargava and Anu Chiluveru of the art-focused e-commerce startup fourofour, and Tallia Deljou and Kate Gremillion of the women-centric career development company Mavenly + Co. — who share those same values to work and create there. 151 Ted Turner Drive N.W. www.switchyards.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis/ CL File

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Best natural hair salon

The Good Hair Shop

Best nail salon

Lark and Sparrow

Best spa

Jeju Sauna Jeju Sauna

Best gym

The Rack Athletic Performance Center

Best liquor store

Green’s Beverages

Best CSA

Bliss Farm

Best veterinarian clinic

Tucker Animal Hospital

Best store for made-in-Atlanta goods

Coco + Mischa
Small but mighty should be the motto for this Decatur boutique, which opened last year. Products from more than 20 Atlanta artists and designers have found a home inside COCO + MISCHA, which sports a boho-industrial feel with its concrete ceiling and vintage wood furniture for displaying goods. The storemore...

Small but mighty should be the motto for this Decatur boutique, which opened last year. Products from more than 20 Atlanta artists and designers have found a home inside COCO + MISCHA, which sports a boho-industrial feel with its concrete ceiling and vintage wood furniture for displaying goods. The store is especially focused on propelling small makers with sustainable practices; among the local names you can expect are Fossil & Hide (metal jewelry inspired by rock ’n’ roll), Paper Raven Co. (illustration-inspired stationery), and Maum Goods Company (bath and body goods made from essential oils). 245 E. Trinity Place, Suite 1212, Decatur. 470-875-5717. www.cocoandmischa.com

photo by: Lindsey Max

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Best all-killer-and-no-filler used record store

Ella Guru Record Shop
ELLA GURU RECORD SHOP doesn’t have the biggest selection of used LPs in town, but it certainly has the best records you’ll find anywhere outside of eBay. Tucked away in a quiet LaVista Road strip mall in unincorporated DeKalb County’s Leafmore Creek Park, owner Don Radcliffe has culled togethermore...
ELLA GURU RECORD SHOP doesn’t have the biggest selection of used LPs in town, but it certainly has the best records you’ll find anywhere outside of eBay. Tucked away in a quiet LaVista Road strip mall in unincorporated DeKalb County’s Leafmore Creek Park, owner Don Radcliffe has culled together one of the most meticulously curated selections the metro area has ever seen. From rare Marion Brown and Wadada Leo Smith compilations to Cecil Taylor’s first record on the Candid label, the jazz records alone are the stuff of dreams. But Radcliffe also keeps the shelves stocked with an ever-shifting supply of no-nonsense rock ’n’ roll, power pop, R&B and indie must-haves from the ’60s through the ’80s and even some ’90s gems. Whether you’re looking to cop a good record by anyone from Dire Straits to Dwight Twilley, Sonic Youth to Nurse With Wound, there’s something in those racks you’ve been looking to scoop up for years. Know your budget, though. The records are fairly priced, the people behind the counter know what you’re looking for, even if you don’t, and there’s enough high-quality merchandise in the crates to break the bank. 2747 LaVista Road, Decatur. 404-883-2413. www.facebook.com/EllaGuruRecordStore. less...

Best salon for one-of-a-kind nail art

Treat Your Nails
There’s no shortage of salons that’ll adorn your nails with foils, chrome powder, gel polishes in every shade of the rainbow, and more festive embellishments (like studs and fur), but TREAT YOUR NAILS wins the creativity-meets-cost matrix. At this Buford Highway outpost, customers can choose frommore...

There’s no shortage of salons that’ll adorn your nails with foils, chrome powder, gel polishes in every shade of the rainbow, and more festive embellishments (like studs and fur), but TREAT YOUR NAILS wins the creativity-meets-cost matrix. At this Buford Highway outpost, customers can choose from binders upon binders of floral, geometric and galaxy-inspired patterns — or come with their own designs for the manicurist to replicate. Basic manicures start at just $14, while a gel manicure runs you $30. From there you’ll pay extra based on how complex your nail art wishes might be. Foils, for example, start at $5 a pair, but the price drops per unit if you want more. The last time we visited, we walked out with a custom design with regular polish for $25 — or about the same price you’d pay for a plain manicure at more high-end spots. 5938 Buford Highway N.E., Suite 106, Doraville. 770-458-1756. www.treatyournailsatl.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best makeup store

Victoria Cosmetics Victoria Cosmetics
Those looking for over-the-counter mainstays or the newest lip kit from a Kardashian sister need not visit VICTORIA COSMETICS. This unassuming store, tucked in the middle of a strip mall, is a haven for cheap and delightfully weird beauty goods, like snail gel or a sake yeast mask, most of which costsmore...

Those looking for over-the-counter mainstays or the newest lip kit from a Kardashian sister need not visit VICTORIA COSMETICS. This unassuming store, tucked in the middle of a strip mall, is a haven for cheap and delightfully weird beauty goods, like snail gel or a sake yeast mask, most of which costs less than $10. Some of the makeup seems to be geared toward Asian shoppers — like double eyelid tape or whitening creams and washes — but anyone with an appreciation for quirky beauty products will find something to like in this shop. 5150 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-457-1413.

photo by: Lindsey Max

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Best locally based online fashion retailer

Zuvaa
Kelechi Anyadiegwu started her online retail shop, ZUVAA, in 2014 after finding it was often difficult to get her hands on African-inspired clothing and accessories. Fast-forward three years later, and consumer appetite for designs from the Motherland has only increased, fueling the growth of Anyadiegwu’smore...
Kelechi Anyadiegwu started her online retail shop, ZUVAA, in 2014 after finding it was often difficult to get her hands on African-inspired clothing and accessories. Fast-forward three years later, and consumer appetite for designs from the Motherland has only increased, fueling the growth of Anyadiegwu’s company — which is currently based in Atlanta — into a multimillion-dollar venture. Folks interested in snagging pattern-drenched headwraps, dresses, jackets and other gear from Zuvaa can purchase items from its website or from the series of traveling pop-up shops it mounts at locales around the U.S. (including the ATL). www.zuvaa.com. less...

Best place to buy a rock

Crystal Blue Crystal Blue
CRYSTAL BLUE’s cosmic rays radiate from the heart of Little Five Points. There you can get all the stones you need for worship, for healing or just to savor the Earth’s beauty. With a huge amount of inventory in the 75 cent-$6 range, Crystal Blue is a great place to purchase meaningful, soul-nourishingmore...

CRYSTAL BLUE’s cosmic rays radiate from the heart of Little Five Points. There you can get all the stones you need for worship, for healing or just to savor the Earth’s beauty. With a huge amount of inventory in the 75 cent-$6 range, Crystal Blue is a great place to purchase meaningful, soul-nourishing gifts at affordable prices. Popular items include amethyst, rose quartz, citrine and selenite, and products on display feature a karmic description of their healing properties. Other items at Crystal Blue include chimes, gongs, sage ($1 an inch) and Tibetan singing bowls (starting at $40). Opened in 1985 in the same storefront it currently occupies, Crystal Blue is onto the third generation of the founding family working in the store; now that’s good karma. 1168 Euclid Ave. N.E. 404-522-4605. www.facebook.com/crystalblue1168.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best mural

Hosea Williams by Fabian Williams (at Studioplex)

Best museum

High Museum of Art High Museum of Art

Best play

Invasion: Christmas Carol Dad's Garage Theatre

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