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The Optimist, Atlanta, GA

The Optimist

4.8
4.8
7511 Reviews
$31 to $50
Seafood
The Optimist brings a seaside fish camp experience to landlocked Atlantans. The ever-changing menu features high-quality, sustainable seafood masterfully paired with fresh, local ingredients. From sophisticated, daily-catch dishes to crudos and beachside classics, chef-owner Ford Fry’s the Optimist transports guests to their favorite coastal haunts.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 125 times today
Experiences are available.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Seafood

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (404) 477-6260

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Brian Horn

  • Private party facilities

    The Optimist has a variety of event spaces that include bar events, restaurant buy outs, private dining up to 20 guests, semi-private dining for up to 50 guests.

  • Private party contact

    our Private Event Coordinator : (404) 355-5311 ext. 212

  • Neighborhood

    West Midtown

  • Cross street

    8th Street

  • Parking details

    $5 Valet service is offered through the Brady parking garage, located on property. Additional surface street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, as well as additional lots in the area.

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

Experiences

  • Ring in the New Year with The Optimist!

    $125.00 per person

    Dec 31, 2022 only
    To celebrate the New Year we are excited to offer a special four course menu from Chef Brian Horn, priced at $125 per person. Available wine Pairings from our amazing beverage team are sure to be the perfect accompaniment, only an additional $50.
  • Valentine's Day Prix Fixe at The Optimist!

    $125.00 per person

    Feb 14, 2023 only
    The best way to spend the evening with your special someone is "coast side!" Celebrate Valentine's Day at The Optimist with a four-course prix fixe menu Executive Chef Brian Horn for $115 per person. Enjoy oysters on the half shell, coastal inspired cuisine and much more! We look forward to celebrating with you!

What 7,511 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.8
4.8 based on recent ratings
  • 4.8Food
  • 4.8Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Atlanta / Georgia

    Seafood

  • Atlanta / Georgia

    Most Booked

  • Atlanta

    Seafood

  • Atlanta

    Most Booked

Sort by

Filters

  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New Orleans

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined today

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Best seafood in the city by a longshot. Everything is so fresh and crisp and delicious you would think Atlanta’s a port. Oysters were absolutely out of this world.
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Enjoyed the food and service
  3. CM

    CarlieM

    Tampa

    31 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    31 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Came here for my birthday dinner last night. We made a 6:30pm reservation for a Sunday night. It was crowded! We had a great time. The food was amazing. Make sure to get the hushpuppies. They also gave me an amazing little display of sorbert and champagne for a birthday surprise. Our waitress was awesome. Highly suggest this spot!
  4. BT

    BrendaT

    Atlanta

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding! Service and food are incredible! They have the best raw oysters.
  5. AC

    AnaC

    Atlanta

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was amazing as always. We sat at the bar and had a great time. Service was wonderful. The bartenders work so hard. I hope they get a raise!
  6. M

    Musophilus

    Atlanta

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The Optimist is one of my wife and my favorite restaurants in Atlanta and our recent visit did not disappoint. Our server was extremely attentive and very well informed about the menu. The food was delicious, and the setting energetic and fun.
  7. CP

    CeciliaP

    Atlanta

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is one of my favorite restaurants. The food and service is always wonderful.
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    Great food and service but way too noisy and crowded. Hard to have a conversation and hard to avoid hearing everyone else’s. We skipped desert due to the noise.
  9. OV

    OVI4NYE

    Atlanta

    47 reviews

    4.0

    47 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    the food is as always, quite tasty, even if the presentation can be unexpected. starting with excellent bread rolls thru the soup (both the gumbo and the she crab were on point) thru the entrees. my simple gin and tonic drink was nicely done, wife's pomegranate martini was good as well. no room for desert, so perhaps next time. only criticism is that would not have minded some separation from tables next to us (we were eating in the room behind the bar) as the noise level was a bit high.
  10. LS

    LakishaS

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Simply AMAZING! My server, Alexis, was outstanding! I highly recommend this restaurant.
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wow, oysters were great! She Crab was awesome! Ducked swordfish hit the spot! Jonathan was server extra ordinare! Great pre cursor to National Oyster Day! Thank you!
  12. LN

    LeslieN

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Still one of Atlanta’s very best!!! ❤️🔥
  13. VA

    VicA

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall3food3service5ambience4
    The place is nice, inside and outside. Service was good and pleasant, but slow. The food was lukewarm and pricey. I understand staffing is a nationwide issue, and the restaurant is in an expensive location, so the food should be fantastic. In this case, it was ok. Will not return.
  14. MR

    MeReu

    Atlanta

    14 reviews

    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We loved everything about our experience at The Optimist. Our waitress, Theresa, was phenomenal and incredibly helpful. The food was excellent, and we will definitely be back! It was the perfect spot to celebrate our anniversary.
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great meal, setting, service. Was here for business.
  16. JH

    JamieH

    New Orleans

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on August 2, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Amanda was an amazing server. Above and beyond! The oysters, & lobster were awesome. The tuna was a bit too salty for my taste but the presentation combination of flavors were well done. Price was what I expected. Great for date night but not a kid place, for sure.
  17. GC

    GennyC

    Atlanta

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is my third time at the optimist and it did not disappoint! I ordered of the halibut and it was so delicious super buttery and flaky. Definitely would order again. The hush puppies are so different as they have a little powdered sugar on top very reminiscent of a beignet. With the sweet and salty combination they are quite honestly one of the better hush puppies in the city. Love this place a lot thanks for a great time.
  18. BF

    BradfordF

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Great seafood, particularly the oysters and other starters. Service was excellent.
  19. TQ

    ToddQ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Quite possibly the best meal we’ve ever had. The oysters were perfect as were the sauces that came with them. Better than any I’ve had in the past. The shrimp a la plancha was , without a doubt ,the single best dish ever. I’m embarrassed to say , I do not remember the name of our waitress but she was as good as the food. If she reads this we are the couple from Cincinnati. Possibly her name was Amanda?? My new favorite restaurant; too bad it is 500 miles away.
  20. JL

    JeffL

    Atlanta

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Andrew was a great waiter and food was fabulous
  21. WS

    WallyS

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Great food; wonderful service, and a very relaxed atmosphere.
  22. B

    Becca

    Atlanta

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Waitress was excellent with great recommendations. Fish and mussels were excellent! Always a sure thing!!
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is our second visit in 4 months. Excellent place to gorge on a variety of fresh oysters. We've also had the octopus, the mussels, she crab soup and the heirloom tomato salad (oh my yum!). The Refuge Plateaux was worth the money! The service is always great. The servers are very friendly without being obtrusive. And it's great to have valet parking in that area as well. The photos are from our first visit in March 2022. We were celebrating my birthday early, and had a great experience!
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing dinner and service. The small touches made the night.
  25. AP

    AnnieP

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our waiter was amazing. He made the most of the experience since it was our anniversary and we hadn’t been there before. The food did not disappoint and was delicious! We did not catch his name and we are so sad. We had a 5:15 p reservation on 7/30/22 if that helps! We will recommend the Optimist (and the waiter) to anyone!
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful experience & Great waiter
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Food was excellent. Staff was well trained and provided excellent service. Great find. Worst part of the night was getting Uber to find it.
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    While the food and table service was exceptional as usual the host and greeters when you walk in the front door are not very friendly. They seemed quite annoyed to assist or even greet us. When you pay that much for a meal, one would expect that the service is continuous all the way through. I recommend providing some observation and training for the hosts.
  29. AM

    AnnM

    Atlanta

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Love the fried oysters! Best in town. Had the lobster, which was good but messy to crack open. Had summer squash, which was good but way overpriced at $13.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The Optimist gave us an overall great dining experience. The service was fast. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about drinks and oysters. Our food was delicious! We will definitely be going back!
  31. G

    Georgie

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    We love the optimist. The food is really great, the hush puppies and oysters among our favorites. The service was exceptional. I informed them a head of time that we were there for our anniversary and that my partner didn’t drink and they served us 2 mocktails and dessert on the house, which was a big surprise. The food is always great and the service even better. It has a vibrant atmosphere, while still managing to feel relaxing. Would highly recommend.
  32. M

    Mimi

    Orlando

    32 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We finally made it to The Optimist. It was so delicious that if we weren’t busy, we would go back again today, tomorrow…. The next day…. The oysters were fresh and yummy, octopus appetizer was so tender and flavorful, She Crab soup is a must try… next time we’ll share and order the Branzino! Great drinks and wine list, prompt, informed and fun waiters. It’s a 10!
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The Optimist never disappoints. Been there several times now and it’s always a wonderful experience. Great food, great service, great atmosphere. If you haven’t been you’re missing out.
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Incredible service. The oysters were delicious!
  35. m

    msb68

    Atlanta

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing seafood and excellent service. Highly recommend!
  36. HT

    HappyTraveler

    Atlanta

    52 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    52 reviews

    Dined on July 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Nothing better on a hot summer day than OYSTERS and Cold Beer. And even better when oysters are half price during Happy Hour. Delicious oysters from New England. Duxbury MA is still the site of the best oysters in this country!! We also tried the Narraganset beer it is delicious and for $7 a deal. Ask for bread service because rolls are to die for. (thank you Crysta @crystapoulos) Her bakery produces the most delectable and creative treats. This is our go to Date Night and we always eave feeling treated to a vacation at the beach.
  37. D

    monicaD

    Los Angeles

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on July 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Best meal ever. Loved our server too. Dining experience was very enjoyable.
  38. LH

    LynnH

    Cincinnati

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Best dining experience ever! Staff was courteous and friendly. Food was amazing! Even though it is known for their fabulous seafood, I must point out that they have the nest hush puppies EVER!!!! I'll never eat another anywhere else.
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Good food, good service
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great experience! Would come back again.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

The Optimist offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (404) 477-6260.

The Optimist is rated 4.8 stars by 7511 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 125 times today
Experiences are available.
Google Map for The Optimist

914 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA 30318

Additional information

  • Cross street

    8th Street

  • Neighborhood

    West Midtown

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Mon–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Seafood

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    $5 Valet service is offered through the Brady parking garage, located on property. Additional surface street parking is available throughout the neighborhood, as well as additional lots in the area.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Brian Horn

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

  • Phone number

    (404) 477-6260

  • Private party facilities

    The Optimist has a variety of event spaces that include bar events, restaurant buy outs, private dining up to 20 guests, semi-private dining for up to 50 guests.

  • Private party contact

    our Private Event Coordinator : (404) 355-5311 ext. 212

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