The Spence
The Spence

The Spence

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://thespenceatl.com/
  • Phone: 4048929111
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wine
  • Special Events: We have a private dining room with a 36 person capacity. We also have feasting menu options available at our chefs tables which can hold up to 22 people. Our feasting menus consist of selecting a whole animal for your main protein to be broken down alongside side dishes, appetizers and dessert for $65 a head. Must call the restaurant and book a contract for the feasting menu options.

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Complimentary valet drop off directly in front of the restaurant on Fifth Street.
  • Parking: Valet
A word from The Spence
Helmed by Chef Richard Blais, The Spence, a partnership with acclaimed restaurant group Concentrics Restaurants, is a classic eatery that serves accessible, ingredient driven food to its surrounding community and beyond. Backed by an all-star culinary team including Adrian Villarreal (Atlanta’s JOËL and TAP) and Pastry Chef Andrea Litvin (New York City’s ABC Kitchen, Atlanta’s The Livingston), Blais displays his culinary strengths throughout on an ever-changing “pantry list” alongside signature dishes. The wine list, curated by Advanced Sommelier Justin Amick, offers focused “Tried and True” and “Leap of Faith” selections from true artists across the globe listed in an increasing progression of acidity. The Spence proudly showcases the best in accessible atmosphere, food and beverage.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
The Spence reviews from OpenTable diners
107 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
77% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (82)special occasion (36)neighborhood gem (35)notable wine list (34)hot spot (29)good for groups (29)great for outdoor dining (26)great for lunch (19)romantic (17)vibrant bar scene (13)late-night find (10)scenic view (4)great for brunch (4)Show More
  • disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    I had lunch there earlier this week and was disappointed with the food. I ordered the hanger steak med rare but it came medium and this chewy. The sauce on it was good but couldn't hide the chewiness of the meat. The plate was served with fries.--nothing else green or appetizing on the plate. Presentation was what I would expect from Chili's or TGIF Friday. I expected more for the price and from the chef.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tried new things!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The Spence is such a great place to try food you wouldn't normally try. Being Richard Blais fans we stepped out of our comfort boxes and tried things we would never order on a regular basis and were blown away at how well everything was prepared and delivered. We loved the options of combining some small plates with a few larger dishes, and the price for the quality of food is a moderate price where you feel like you really get your money's worth. If you love food and if you love trying new things, this is the place to go!! The Spence is part of what drew me to visit Atlanta, and I can't wait to go back and try some other things again! I even had to bring my infant along and they were very accommodating to him being there! Which is great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Spence Experience...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The Spence provided us with a pleasant dining experience with creative dishes - some were hits (eg - the empanadas) and some where misses (eg - the bone marrow). The Rose' wine was flavorful with notes of dewy rose pedals on a spring morning, soft jasmine blossoms spilling from the veranda, and subtle hints of fine Tahitian vanilla.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cutting Edge and Fun
    WorldFoodie
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    This is one of the more unique restaurants in the country. It's design is fun and open and the menu is creative with flavors that are so unique that you have to try this place. It's truly amazing with its small plate menu and its entrees that cover a lot of ground. You feel like your eating in the kitchen and the food rocks! The bone marrow is one of their best apps and the oysters were so flavorful, plus the basic burger (Juicy Lucy) was simple but amazingly flavorful…this is a must try and go to restaurant and the service we experienced was first class!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sunday Night Eats
    Alopez
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    This was the first time at The Spence and it will certainly not be the last. The restaurant has a great feel and layout and gives you a casual setting with a great dining experience. The music was fantastic, the service was great, and the food was exceptional. Great experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First Time at Spence
    DiningEd
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We really enjoyed our "experience" at Spence. While it was a bit loud for my tastes the fun was in the food. From the oysters and pearls, to the braised short ribs, and the wreak fish everything was great. The portions were perfect for a foodie. If you think perfect portions are sized to stuff 300 pounders then this is not the place for you. Did I mention the desserts? Delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, but tough to talk
    dimikagiVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I've been here several times for lunch and once for dinner, and the food has not disappointed yet. A lot of thought is put in the presentation, and its a fun place to try out something new. However, the place itself is a big room with a lot of noise, making it tough to have a conversation. Every time I go here, the noise level leaves me questioning why.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Meal, not Amazing
    frw1
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I met a friend for dinner and made reservations assuming it would be crowded at 7 pm. I need not have bothered, as the place was pretty empty the entire time we were there. We ordered snacks, small plates, and sides with wine. The oysters and pearls were very good. The mussels were fresh, but I didn't adore the fairly dry preparation. The goat relleno was a standout, tender and spicy from the Hatch chile. My friend ordered a pasta that was not memorable and the thrice cooked fries were pretty greasy and limp. I would go back because the food was good, the menu is inventive, wine list is eclectic enough and the service was excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Food, Very Noisy
    JohnVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    This was my first time going to Chef Richard Blais' The Spence restaurant. While the food was good, it was not worth the price and it was way too noisy for my liking. If you like a loud environment with most tables right on top of each other than it is worth a try. We started off with the bone marrow / tuna tartare appetizer and it was superb, 5 out of 5 stars. Great flavors, good presentation. From there we each had the strip steak entree. The steak was chewy, gristly, and fatty. It had good flavor, but about half of it was not edible. We ended with the butterscotch blondie. It was good, but for the $180 bill (2 glasses wine, 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, tax, tip) I would have expected better. Friendly staff, nice wine selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A bit of London in Atlanta
    LondonintheATL
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    My wife and I enjoyed date night here on the recommendation of a friend and had a very nice meal. The bone marrow, also recommended, is not to be missed. The kitchen was wonderfully accommodating and substituted dill for parsley on the dish as well. Would have enjoyed a bit more seasoning on some of the dishes (especially the meat) but my wife, who spent more than 10 years in London, said she would bring her London friends here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lurefishVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Food was really good, but portions were small for the high price
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wrong to give it a second chance
    lizard7862
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    I went with a girlfriend for lunch this past winter and was incredibly underwhelmed. I enjoy new spots with new flavors so when I received an e-mail invite last week that The Spence was celebrating National Oyster Day with select $5 cocktails and $1 oysters, my husband and I decided to try again. The service was super slow and the restaurant was only about 20% full so not sure why service was so poor. Everything was completely tasteless - from the squash blossom appetizer to the salmon (with a bunch of totally overcooked mushy vegetables) to the Juicy Lucy. The ONLY bright spot was the $5 Moscow Mule that was delicious and refreshing. I would not give it a 3rd chance!
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Spence
    Diner
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    First time there. The food was good and interesting but a bit pricey for what we got. The burger looked like it was the best deal for the $$. We sat outside which was nice since the temp was good that night. The service was great.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food, Poor Service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    I had to get the attention of any server that walked by to place an order or ask for another drink. It was disappointing, because the good was good, but I could not get past the poor service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • gastronmic deliciousness
    yummyVIP
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    killer up scale dishes super incredible execution of molecular gastronomy service was epic the experience was one to remember the head mac and cheese was killer the canned soup even better than that and that bone marrow and tuna dish with quail eggs put it over the top
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but not great due to service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Super Creative menu well prepared but nothing I can remember(dishes). The arincini was not what the menu described. Wording was way off. I loved the decor and bar concept but the failure was our server who was not fully trained. Could not describe the cheese course. Fumbling for words. Describe the cheese(burcheron?) as a cheddar but not even in the same ball park. Good dish but whiffed on the description pretty bad. The cheese was the focal point of the dish. Would I go back? Ahhhhh dunno. To many good restaurants in the dirty dirty to try before going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • amazing experience
    AFGG
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    The Spence is one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta. The menu is amazing and the service is spot on.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great
    foodie123456
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Went here for dinner, nice place good food, great for group outings!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • foodiewannabe
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    I recently had a business lunch at The Spence and liked it so much that I brought my husband back for dinner on his birthday. The food was very tasty and "different"! The portion size was good (meaning it was not too much - just right). The service was wonderful (thanks to waiter Ian)! The wine manager consulted with us to choose a very nice bottle of wine from the extensive list, which was very helpful. The menu changes frequently, but we were assured that the beet salad would always be available (one of our faves)! Another fave was the "kale" ceasar salad! My husband had the short rib entree and I had scollops (both were wonderful!). We will definitely be back to see what new and different will be on the menu the next time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SarahB
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Our server was extrememly knowledgeable of the food, the dishes were excellent and inventive. Our tab was for 4 starters/snaks, two main courses and three glasses of wine and the bill was just around $150 which is extrememly affordable for so much food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Spence Review
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The food was over priced, and overall I was not very satisfied. The bread offered before the meal was dried out, and tasted like a Hawaiian Roll that you would buy packaged at Kroger. We were the only customers there, and it took WAY too long to be served our main course. It was approx 45 minutes. The Oyster and Pearls were really good, but we only got 4 for 13 dollars. I do not feel it was a good value, and I will not recommend it, nor will I return. Sorry. We had 2 orders of Oysters, shared the Bone Marrow dish, shared a "Juicy Lucy" Hamburger, and had a total of 2 glasses of wine. After tax and tip the total was over 100 dollars. Weak.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food quality was low
    nick
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    I was surprised that the food we received tasted incredible but had quality issues. The short rib was 20% fat and one entire end was solid fat. I couldn't eat almost a quarter of it without entire fat bites. My wife ordered the juicy lucy which was good. We ordered a fairly expensive wine (by the glass) that had clearly been opened for several days. It was difficult to drink. Seems like they are cutting corners and I guess I don't blame them. It was Friday night at 7:30 and more than half of the restaurant was empty.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It's ok...
    VaInAtl
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    With so many other great restaurants in the area, it would be hard for me to recommend The Spence....because it was ok. When first seated, we had to ask to be moved because we were next to the kitchen and it was really hot. Our new table was half inside/half outside and somewhat more comfortable. The bone marrow we had was delicious. The duck entree I ordered was under-seasoned and flavorless. That alone was reason enough for me not to return, because I know I could get that dish much better elsewhere. It's a great looking place with a very friendly staff...no snootiness. I like that. Still, not my new favorite place to recommend.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food, super presentations
    annie
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Thank you. Indoor and outdoor ambiance is lovely. Fun people watching with students bustling around. Good energy at lunch and dinner. Presentation of tomatoe bisque was cool. Different shaped wooden serving trays/plates are a nice unique touch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Emphatically Mediocre
    ABProds
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    The appetizers were really good (the empanadas and goat belly crostini), interesting flavors, well executed. Same with the blondie we had for dessert. However, the blueberry bites we had was underwhelming. The entrees we had were the Juicy Lucy burger and roast pork shoulder. The were both very mediocre. Don't get me wrong, they were good. But seemed like things I could make at home just as easily.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistent
    Foodlover71
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    I hadn't been to The Spence in over 6 months and this visit was as good as all the others. It's nice that the popular favorites stay on the menu and the seasonal dishes were delicious. Friendly, patient staff made the experience comfortable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Informal Small Plates
    BigTominATL
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Enjoyed a meal with two friends. We grazed on the appetizers and small plates. Very creative food and flavors expertly prepared. We had a past dish that may be one of the best pasta dishes I've ever consumed. Really a nice evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was good, but not great
    Almostafoodie78
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    I dined with a colleague/friend as we were on a business trip. We shared two "snacks" (appetizers) and two "small plates". Two of our choices were very good - the squash blossoms and the rigatoni. The other two selections were just okay. I expected everything to be excellent, and it wasn't. It was good, but not great. Next time I visit Atlanta, I'll try a different restaurant hoping for great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fresh and fabulous food
    EastCobbFoodie
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Great atmosphere, great fresh food with local, seasonal ingredients. Our group loved everything, from burgers, to trout, to kale salad. Wonderful coffee also.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch at Spence
    Ellie
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    The food is consistently tasty - at least my menu selections are always satisfying and yummy. I've learned which options to steer clear of - partly personal taste and partly stuff that just doesn't make sense or taste all that good. But, you can't go wrong with the Juicy Lucy and have the French Fries with whatever you're ordering. They are THAT good!! The service at Spence as well always makes it worth the visit. I haven't had a bad experience yet and I've been there since they opened. I say go by and dine awhile!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    Lina
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    I haven't had a dining experience like this in a long time. Exceptional from beginning to end!!! I will be returning with the rest of my foodie friends. #iminlove
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small Plates Rule
    TimOnTheTownVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    This was my second time to Spence and it remains on my list for top places to eat in ATL! My advice, stick to sharing the small plates and tastes because the quality is excellent, the service is great and the variety makes for a great meal. Good choices on the wine list, but the bar is creative in making special drinks so its a tough call. Great for groups, but also for a date night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Want to go back!
    belleza
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Great location, decor and ambiance. The food was pretty good too. I had a few of the small bites and all were very good. The wine list is extensive and the sommelier helped decide on the wine best suited for our meal. I'll definitely go back soon.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • YUM!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Love the menu changing daily. Fan of the chef, so it was a must try while in town. There was a band playing outside that was way too loud inside, when they stopped - they closed the doors?! But the food was awesome as were the drinks. Will be back next visit to Atlanta!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Ambience and Notable things
    Bube
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    The restaurant just had so much character when it came to its design. The food would have been a complete 5 but the oysters that was supposed to be good tasted like a whole jar of red wine vinegar which wasn't pleasing. How ever the steak and pork belly were triumphs. So was the cauliflower and green beans. Service was nice and prompt loved the open kitchen too and the drinks weren't bad.. I'll definitely be going back!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great choice
    NeoGeorgian
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Eclectic menu, even at lunch. Server was attentive and provided detailed responses to our menu questions. Loved it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over their head
    JG88
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Mussels way undercooked. The menu is too extreme for the above average diner. There is a reason that guests can't find something good to eat on the menu, and the dining room isn't full at 7:00 pm. Serving rolls and spread smeared on a peice of bark is trying to hard to be special. The burger was good and fries great although under seasoned.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and service
    BettydVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    This is a great restaurant! We've been twice already since moving here in May and plan to return again soon. The ever changing menu is creative with wonderfully flavorful food, the place is beautiful and they have great staff. Love the bar area with friendship tables- really neat space.. We ended up sitting there for dinner since the bartender Rorie was so great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing the service was excellent
    Anil
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    I wish the owner know how good our server was, very attentive. He answer every question without making of feel like we don't know this or that and he is us the brilliant one and we are not. Super humble not condescending. They even make a vegetarian dish for me of the menu. Simple Amazing, fantastic expiriance
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Spence was absolutely impecable
    jamesb5716
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    My fiancé and I had an incredible dinner at the Spence. We started with his famous bone marrow dish which was even better that it is hyped up to be. We had ravioli with a goat bolognese and the goat meat in that sauce was incredible both of us were blown away at the rich flavors. I also had the pork belly as my main dish and it was simply one of the best dishes I've had anywhere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.