Record-high heat isn’t the only thing that’s made waves in Atlanta these past few months—the city’s dining scene is on fire with new, off-the-chart options. They include the fourth outpost of a lauded Malaysian street food spot, adored for its massive, magazine-style menu. There’s a supper club-inspired Mexican restaurant, which marks an acclaimed Miami chef’s first foray into Atlanta. Also in the mix: A brand-new mozzarella bar from a hospitality veteran known for Neapolitan cuisine. The spots are all buzzworthy, which means reservations are practically mandatory. These six restaurants in Atlanta are worth making room for on your calendar.
Casa Robles (Roswell)
Chef Laura Orellana’s lived experience—she was born in El Salvador, spent time in Guatemala, and received culinary training in Spain—comes to life on the menu at this tapas and tacos spot, which opened in June. Dressed in a vibrant mix of blacks, reds, and blues, Casa Robles’ interiors are livened up by a buzzy Latin soundtrack. The menu is a deft cultural balancing act, consisting of dishes such as langostinos in a garlic sauce and traditional albondigas (meatballs), plus Salvadoran pupusas. Wash it all down with a pisco sour, and finish with the chef’s favorite dessert: Corn cake with caramel popcorn and corn ice cream.
Food Terminal (Sandy Springs)
This southeast Asian Buford Highway favorite has a new address, and Atlantans couldn’t be happier about its westward expansion. Owned by Amy Wong and Howie Ewe (the duo behind the beloved Sweet Hut bakery chain), the industrial-chic restaurant, which opened in April, slings hand-made noodles, hot rice skillets, and signature Malay flavors—a blend of Chinese, Indian, Singaporean, and Thai influences. It’s casual and cavernous, echoing the design elements of the original location, and offers the same expansive, magazine-style menu—a visual introduction to Malaysia’s diverse culinary traditions. Make sure you order at least one noodle dish—they’re springy, chewy, fresh, and bold, even when tossed in a deceptively simple sounding garlic and mushroom sauce.
Kinjo Room (West Midtown)
Alex and Chris Kinjo, the creators of the locally loved MF Sushi have another high-style hit on their hands with their latest restaurant at The Interlock, a live-work-play community in West Midtown. Unlike its bright and airy predecessor, Kinjo Room is glamorous, seductive, and intimate. The exclusive, 47-seat sushi spot serves exquisitely plated nigiri tasting plates, ala MF, and supplements sashimi and sushi offerings with robata grill options such as shishito peppers and miso-marinated black cod. Don’t miss the photogenic cocktails—vivid, and textured, they’re the perfect prop to create Instagram envy.
Chef and owner Pat Pascarella’s latest concept—and The Porchetta Group’s third, joining Grana and The White Bull—has been an instant hit since it opened its glass doors in March. Inside, a contemporary-meets-old-world dining room, a funky mix of wicker furniture, marble countertops, and massive windows, is the perfect place to feast on Pascarella’s signature handmade pastas. But noodles aren’t the only things he’s pulling here—there’s also plenty of fresh mozzarella. Order a tasting board if you’re feeling overwhelmed. They pair well with any of the elegant, seasonal cocktails and spritzes, such as the classic no. one with aperol, prosecco, and soda or the good bishop with rum, sangiovese, strawberries, green peppercorn, lime, grapefruit, and mint. Newly launched: A brunch, which features a cornucopia-like meat, cheese, and bread buffet.
The Usual (Midtown)
Despite its name, this family-friendly American spot by Nick Leahy (of Nick’s Westside) ensures it’s anything but run-of-the-mill. The space is bright and youthful like a luxurious kids club, and it’s a good match for a menu that prioritizes fun. The offerings come from all corners of the world: Strawberry bruschetta, roasted mushroom empanadas with ramp chimichurri, and a spicy chicken sandwich made with Springer Mountain thighs, topped with Korean hot sauce. Sweeten the deal with desserts such as comforting, oversized chocolate chip cookies and a refined panna cotta.
Palo Santo (West Midtown)
Chef Santiago Gomez’s first foray into Atlanta is a supper club-style restaurant (opening in late August) that makes Mexico City its muse—but Georgia is still very much on its mind. Cooked in a wood-fire kitchen, Gomez’s modern Mexican plates will include creations such as wood-fired ora king salmon al pastor with pineapple-vanilla sauce and cured hamachi tostadas. Ascend Palo Santo’s grand staircase to get to the rooftop, complete with open-air and canopy seating. The bites up here, which include nori tacos, have a decidedly Japanese accent; pair them with sake, mezcal, tequila—and an unobstructed city view.
Tried them all? Check out other options here.
Su-Jit Lin is an Atlanta-based writer specializing in travel, food—including groceries, cooking, and reference guides—and their impact on bringing people together in shared joy and experience.