The Optimist

4.8
5148 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist is simply "The Hamptons meets The South." We are passionate about sourcing sustainable seafood and preparing it in classic ways. We're not reinventing the wheel -- just perfectly roasting "farm," fish and shellfish over Georgia hickory. Menu items range from the most authentic seafood gumbo with "pot luck" garlic bread to Maine lobster rolls, Gulf grouper with smoky spring Vidalias, and an ever changing selection of super fresh East and West coast oysters. The cool irony is that we have adapted a historic country ham aging "house" into an amazing space of comfort and escape through inspirations of coastal surf culture.

Oh... and if you are not a seafood person, we LOVE meat too! No worries, be optimistic! :) ...Ford Fry
What 5148 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My boyfriend and I had a wonderful dining experience. Our server, Lucille did a wonderful job making recommendations throughout our meal! We’ve dined here many times but thanks to her we had an eye opening experience, trying new wine pairing with our usual food and new food with our usual bottle of wine. Beware, the roasted oysters are highly addictive.

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OT
London
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

June 18 2019
Wow!!
I have been looking forward to dining at The Optimist.
Unfortunately we missed our flight to St Barth and finally had the opportunity to make a reservation for lunch.
Did not disappoint!! Started with Octopus app, my husband ordered redfish and I had the shrimp kale salad both superb!!
The flight we missed was to celebrate my 50th and I mentioned this to our waiter (Topher) he was so kind and considerate offering us a complimentary glass of champagne and wine not to mention dessert.
Thank you Topher we truly appreciated your hospitality!!
Food, ambiance and service was beyond my expectations.
Will be definitely returning when visiting Atlanta!!

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JC
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server, Courtney, was excellent.

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HH
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Came here for a birthday lunch on a Monday so it wasn't crowded which was preferred. We started with cocktails: A Bronx Cheer and Capri Sunset. They were so tasty it felt like we were by the seashore. For starters we both got soup. I ordered a cup of She Crab and my boyfriend ordered the Seafood Gumbo. They were served in miniature pots with a side of gourmet bread that went along with its respective soup. I could've had a bowl of the soup and gone home happy. For our entrees we split the infamous lobster roll which looks small but was plenty filling. It was overstuffed with delicious lobster and paired with dark, toasted looking fries that were the perfect crisp and right amount of salt. We also ordered the scallops and snapper plates. We were so full we couldn't get dessert. I cannot described how delicious our meal was or how wonderfully intimate our table felt in the big open dining room. It definitely felt like we were somewhere else. I highly recommended this place for any seafood lover.

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OT
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent all around restaurant.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The bread s unbelievable!! The hush puppies and grilled shrimp that is an appetizer was also fantastic.

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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Father’s Day

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OT
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were outstanding! Will definitely return!

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CR
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

The food was good. But the lobster roll had no flavor at all. Other than that it was good

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I dined here for Father's Day and our meal was phenomenal. From start to finish the food and the service were both excellent we will definitely be back!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience!

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K
Caribbean
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AMAZING! Growing up in an island I was raised eating seafood and when we decided to move to ATL my biggest concern was not having a beach near and not being able to eat fresh seafood. This place was beyond my expectations. Everything is so fresh and amazing! We loved it!

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SR
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

I came for the first time to celebrate my friend's birthday on a Friday night. The food is creative and everything single thing was super delicious. However it is so loud that you cannot carry on a conversation. So if you want to have a nice dinner with a date , or spouse or friends it is too loud to even talk to them. Also we were seated at booth type table and the seats were too low for the table. We all felt like we needed booster seats.

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TG
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Optimist never fails! They are always on top of their game. The food, wait staff, ambience, etc. is incredible. Best Restaurant in Atlanta - hands down! Shoutout to our Server, Eli! You’re always a pleasure to chat with and give us a good laugh

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OT
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal - oysters, crab cake, scallops, and halibut were all very good. Cocktails were also outstanding as they make a great old fashion. Daniel was our server and was great with recommendations and service. Optimist is our go-to restaurant for seafood and drinks.

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f
Atlanta
19 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The Optimist never disappoints. They honor (whenever possible) special requests and always deliver an A+ meal with service to match. If noise is an issue for you, try for a table in the side room (behind the bar).

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GE
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great experience at The Optimist. The oysters were very fresh and tasty. The crab soup and the gumbo were both fantastic. The hilight of the meal was probably the hush puppies. Definitely try the chocolate chess pie to cap off your night.

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s
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

If you are looking for a great restaurant for relax with your friends and business partners, this is it.

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R
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband took me here for my birthday and it was perfect! Exceptional service, delicious food and trendy ambiance. So happy to hear you’re coming to our hometown - Nashville! ❤️

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MH
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Excellent food, but service was slow (which our server acknowledged).

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OT
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful evening and the service was excellent from the moment we arrived until the evening came to an end!

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M
Atlanta
18 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A very good restaurant. The oysters were quite tasty and good and cold.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In town for work and yelp led us here- could not have been better!!! Will make a point to eat here every time I’m in ATL! Great oyster selection and every one I ate was super clean, cold, and delicious.

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TK
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We love Optimist. My only contention is the white wine list. I’m allergic to red so favor Chardonnay . The Optimist Chard list is... wanting. How about one or two big oaky Chards? We all don’t enjoy the trendy fruity blends.

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C
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The toast appetizer was delicious. The food is quite rich

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JS
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding as always. My wife convinced me to try the octopus and it was delicious.

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AG
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service was very slow. We needed bread and drinks. So loud we could not hear. Food was too salty. Ive had better at this restaurant.

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FM
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great Service

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L
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for my husband’s birthday! What a great experience. Food and service was outstanding. We will be back.

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RL
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we had was outstanding. Been many times and can’t wait to go back

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J
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant's interior is beautiful. The food is amazing and so fresh. We really enjoyed our meal here!

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AJ
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious! Our server was fantastic. I just wished that our table could have been more private. It was our anniversary, which they acknowledged a few times. But our table was so close to the next table, it was hard to talk to each other.

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DG
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I love the Optimist so much and have been so many times. The food is always fresh and delicious and the service always great. The noise can be on the loud depending on where you sit.

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W
Atlanta
7 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Always enjoy dining at The Optimist. My wife and I shared some perfectly fresh oysters, smoke fish dip, grilled octopus and the Redfish entree, which was exquisitely prepared. With one exception the hand crafted cocktails were awesome. I was, however, served what I considered to be the worst Manhattan possibly ever mixed. I was given a do over but it was only marginally better. Such a head scratcher? A slight blemish to really enjoyable evening.

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D
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Friendly perfect service. It was pretty cold temperature wise ... relatively close to your neighbor while eating

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L
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome experience! Nothing we tried disappointed!

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LD
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very much a must go to for a fine night out for an special occasion. This place is pretty busy though at least on the weekend of my experience. But overall service and management was certainly attentive to everyone’s needs. Thanks for the dining!

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KG
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely restaurant, Excellent food and service. I had guest in town from the DC area and took them to the Optimist for dinner. They we so impressed! We all enjoyed ourselves immensely!

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CH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were running a little late and called to say so, they front of the house were very kind about it. Leslie, our wait staff gave us a wonderful tour of the menu, and we can't wait to return.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my third time at this restaurant. It is by far the best restaurant I have ever been to in Atlanta. The fresh oysters are some of the best I’ve ever had and I live in Florida.

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