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9 Atlanta restaurants perfect for special occasions

A photo of Red logo
by Su-Jit Lin
Updated December 18, 2023

The best special-occasion restaurants in Atlanta take Southern hospitality to the next level. But zeroing in on the right spot—whether that means a hushed omakase experience or a steakhouse where the staff breaks out actual confetti—can be overwhelming.

These city faithfuls are sure things for unforgettable meals and experiences worthy of your blockbuster night. Read on for a guide to 9 Atlanta restaurants perfect for special occasions.

A photo of Bones restaurant
4.8
4.8 (10000)
$50 and over
Steak
Buckhead
About the restaurant

This fine-dining legend has aced the special-occasion test since it opened in 1979. Yes, there are world-class steaks and chops (including the iconic 34-ounce bone-in ribeye)—but Bones offers more than just exemplary meat. Case in point: the staff celebrates with diners and sprinkles confetti on tables to mark your big night. Anniversaries mean on-the-house Champagne toasts and birthdays feature a complimentary slice of Mile-High Pie, Bones’s meringue-covered dessert made with slabs of vanilla, chocolate chip, and rum raisin ice cream. If you’re extra lucky, you’ll go home with a box of bone-shaped shortbread cookies.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Alberto was an amazing server and made the experience memorable. We will be returning.
A photo of Tiny Lou's - Hotel Clermont restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1874)
$31 to $50
French American
Poncey-Highland
About the restaurant

Hotel Clermont, which used to be a motor lodge, wasn’t always the place to go for a celebration. Today, Atlantans flock here for fine French food in the revamped basement—the renovation was so dramatic that it’s now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Come for the crispy boar terrine or flawless grilled cheese sandwich—a shaved black truffle, tomato conserva, and Comte combo that’s as special as your occasion. Or go all-out with the more traditional prix fixe. Whatever you do, don’t end your celebration without slices of celebratory crêpe cake.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
The food was outstanding and service was great! Has a great wine list as well!
A photo of Nan Thai Fine Dining restaurant
4.7
4.7 (4154)
$31 to $50
Thai
Midtown
About the restaurant

The fact that this Midtown gem got props from the Thai government is reason enough to celebrate. But you’re likely here for an anniversary, birthday, or midweek pick-me-up. Toast with one of Nan Thai’s popular cocktails like the Thai chile-forward Nan Spice, then gear up for one seriously photogenic meal by Bangkok-born chef Nan Niyomkul. The rose-shaped dumplings make the prettiest Instagram shot, but the menu is filled with other high-drama dishes like a whole-fried red snapper curled around Brussels sprouts. Niyomkul and her fam are known to run one of the few area restaurants open on Christmas Day—just one of the many reasons Nan Thai has stayed a celebratory Atlanta go-to for over two decades.


Top review
HungryT
Dined 2 days ago
Everything was great. Reservations, ambiance, parking, and food quality
A photo of Fia Restaurant restaurant
4.7
4.7 (921)
$30 and under
American
Buckhead
About the restaurant

This sultry Mediterranean-inspired place lives in the artsy Burgess Hotel and is sought after for intimate celebrations. Dig into excellent wood-fired meats or get a taste of chef Burges Jokhi’s Indian heritage in dishes like giant prawn coconut curry with saffron orange basmati rice. Keep your special night going with a post-dinner martini at the lobbyside library—then make your celebration a staycation and book a room at the hotel.


Top review
GuerryMvip
Dined 6 days ago
My wife and I have dined at FIA several times; our friends’ first time last night. They were beyond impressed. Always a pleasure. Beautiful space, great service excellent cuisine and wine selection.
A photo of The Optimist restaurant
4.8
4.8 (8754)
$31 to $50
Seafood
West Midtown
About the restaurant

Seafood—especially this far inland—screams special occasion. You’ll find lots of it at this West Midtown giant, ranging from duck-fat poached swordfish to George Bank scallops. The Optimist’s semi-private areas were tailor-made for gatherings (the restaurant has even hosted weddings). Let the staff know you’re celebrating and they’ll woo you with complimentary Champagne, dessert, and a menu scrawled with warm wishes from the team. Add a seafood-friendly wine list and nautical-chic touches—the wood strips that separate its floor-to-ceiling windows are meant to look like lobster traps—and you’ve got a stunning backdrop for a sensational meal.


Top review
kanikabvip
Dined 4 days ago
The food and the service were great. It was my friend’s birthday and we ordered several things to share which is a highly recommended way to eat here. Portions are all on the small side so you will order several items but every dish is well thought out and cooked to perfection. Everyone from the hosts to waitstaff are friendly and competent.
A photo of Under The Cork Tree restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1655)
$30 and under
Mediterranean
Sandy Springs
About the restaurant

Under The Cork Tree is just as great for an early-in-the-game date as it is for a cozy tapas party with your crew. If you’re coupled up—or trying to be—tufted leather loveseats and banquettes encourage snuggling. Chef Branden Holte’s chicken and housemade chorizo paella, which uses Calasparra rice from southeastern Spain, was made for sharing (and is worth the 30-minute wait), as is the larger-than-life barbecue platter. Toast with a glass from the global wine list, which is so huge that it’s presented on an iPad. A pretty patio with heat lamps means you can celebrate outdoors all year round at this eclectic Mediterranean charmer.


Top review
bedecorsInteriors
Dined 5 days ago
So glad I chose this location for my Gals Brunch birthday celebration. From the setting to the service and food, everything was wonderful. Our waitress Sarah, was so attentive, patient and polite - offering wine selections and willing to provide and find out anything we needed. The manager and chef were also both extremely kind to welcome our group. We will definitely be back again.
A photo of Le Colonial - Atlanta restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2497)
$31 to $50
Vietnamese
Buckhead
About the restaurant

Time travel to 1920s Saigon at this romantic French Vietnamese restaurant. Your special night starts on a private elevator, which shuttles you to a breathtaking space that includes a breezy patio, a palm-lined dining room, and a mahogany bar. But it’s the food that does the heavy lifting here: Southeast Asian influences and French haute cuisine team up in winning dishes like caramelized filet mignon (aka “shaking beef”) and spicy yellowfin tuna tartare. Dial up the escapism by booking a celebration in the private chef’s dining room, which seats up to 14 and comes complete with a striking lotus flower mural and its own tasting menu.


Top review
TeriAvip
Dined 4 days ago
Best shrimp curry ever. Also. Tuna tartar was delicious!!! Great ambiance!
A photo of The Consulate restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1870)
$31 to $50
Global, International
Midtown
About the restaurant

When you can’t take an actual vacay to celebrate a marquee moment, head to this stylish restaurant instead. Every 90 days, the Consulate’s chef and co-owner Mei Lin lets a diner spin the restaurant’s globe and choose the country that influences its menu for the next three months. October is all about Japan, but rest assured that faves from past globe spins (Korean duck confit, Greenland-inspired lamb chops) claim full-time status on the menu. If the staff knows you’re here for an anniversary, expect to kick off your culinary flight like they do in first class: with a complimentary Champagne toast.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Great food , excellent service. Ambience was perfect
A photo of Canoe restaurant
4.8
4.8 (10958)
$31 to $50
American
Vinings
About the restaurant

A big night at Canoe begins with an al fresco cocktail on the Chattahoochee’s scenic banks. It’ll feel like a fresh new celebration whenever you’re here, thanks to the restaurant’s near-weekly evolving modern American menu. Luxe ingredients like crab, kangaroo, and rabbit make regular appearances, but they’re prepped differently every time, keeping returning diners—and there are many—on their toes. Mention you’re celebrating an occasion, and the staff will make sure your dessert course includes a message in chocolate. In case you want to keep your occasion especially exclusive, Canoe has multiple private dining spaces.


Top review
Rossvip
Dined 4 days ago
Excellent service and food -- every suggestion the waitstaff made was spot on. We were celebrating the marriage of our grandniece from Tulsa and they loved the evening. We had rabbit, steak, charm, and venison. All were great,
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