The 10 Best Things We Ate This Year (So Far) in Atlanta

By Christopher Hassiotis  |  June 30, 2014

It's not always about a fantastic meal or an amazing restaurant as a whole. You know that sometimes just one single bite can transport you, and elevate something good into something great. These are 10 of the best things we've eaten in Atlanta since the beginning of 2014, and we're looking forward to eating even more. 

What's turned your taste buds? What've been some of the best things you've eaten in 2014? Let us know in the comments below or via Twitter @ZagatAtlanta and by using #BestThingWeAte.

  • Credit: Christopher Hassiotis

    Seoul Burger at Ssam Burger

    Korean mash-ups may be the de rigueur fusion flavor, but when it works, it works. The Seoul Burger boasts an Angus beef patty glazed with Korean-barbecue spices and the housemade "ssam sauce," a sweet but piquant glaze that tasted like a variant on the traditional chile-paste sauce used in Korean ssam wraps. Sesame oil can be a dangerous thing when wielded too liberally, but the arugula matched with a sesame-and-chile dressing that sat atop the burger struck the right notes. Thin and salty, the lotus chips side erased any thought of french fries ― especially the over-flavored sesame-oil fries popular at many Korean-fusion restaurants.

  • Credit: Amy Sinclair

    Smoked Fried Chicken at The Bishop

    Fried chicken can get greasy. Smoked chicken can dry out. This new Avondale neighborhood eatery aims for the best of both worlds by eliminating the drawbacks, and marinates its bird for moisture before smoking, battering and frying. The resulting winner is juicy and smoky without being overbearingly either, and crisp the whole way 'round. It's a new way of looking at — and tasting — and old standby.

  • Credit: Christopher Hassiotis

    Oatmeal-Pepper Cake at Dinner Lab

    The Dinner Lab supper-club-slash-underground-foodie-event features up-and-coming chefs preparing food in unusual environments. Recently Lure sou-chef Brandon Chavannes (ex Pura Vida, The John Dory) prepared a dense but still moist oatmeal cake that burst with a copious amount of black pepper. The dessert's  coconut foam offered a richness to cut the spice, and came matched with a super-bright and sweet ice cream made with local strawberries and a few pluckings of microbasil as an herby accent.

  • Peach, Burrata & Arugula Salad at Trace

    Hotel restaurants can tend towards the bland, which is why it's encouraging to see the newly opened Trace, which replaced Spice Market at the W Midtown, focusing so heavily on local ingredients and seasonal fare rather than creating food that'll be reliably available 24/7/365. Case in point? This peach, burrata and arugula salad. Under-ripe Georgia peaches convey a hint of sweetness but hold up to the grill, take on a smoky flavor and match nicely with the creamy cheese and peppery arugula. (Bonus? Yes, they do room service.)

  • Credit: Christopher Hassiotis

    Gougère at Little Tart Bakeshop

    What do we want in a classic French pastry? Flaky, crusty, light, airy, crisp, pillowy, rich, salty…yep, all these things. And this cheese-filled gougère at the Little Tart Bakeshop, which shares space with the Grant Park Octane Coffee, has all that and more. We could eat another, oh, twenty. (And we hope to.)

  • Credit: Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand

    'da Bomb at Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand

    Cholesterol bomb, sugar bomb, grease bomb, whatever. It's an over-the-top, somewhat ridiculous breakfast sandwich recently added to the Delia's menu. Delia's famous housemade chicken sausage patties get sandwiched with eggs and cheddar between two Krispy Kreme donuts that've been split, flipped and grilled. Add a slather of Delia's cherry cream cheese, and the resulting sandwich bumps right up against acceptable levels of sweetness…and reason.

  • Credit: Christopher Hassiotis

    Serranos con Tocino at La Urbana Tequila & Mezcal Bar

    Five mildly spiced serrano peppers are split open, stuffed with oozy Oaxaca cheese and wrapped in bacon. The resulting snack connects the dots between the American jalapeño popper and the salty, smoky bacon-wrapped hot dogs found in street carts across northern Mexico and the American Southwest. Careful not to devour too quickly, as you'll encounter toothpicks holding 'em together. And skip the mint-ranch dipping sauce. It's good in theory…but a more than a little toothpastey.

  • Credit: Christopher Hassiotis

    Duck Wrap from Restaurant Cotton (at Atlanta Food & Wine Festival)

    We don't normally highlight food that's not from Atlanta itself, but that's one of the great things about an event like the annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival ― it brings in culinary talent from all over the South. Restaurant Cotton's in Louisiana, but perhaps worth a drive just for these treats: moist, flavorful duck wrapped around a jalapeño, smoked cheddar and cream cheese, then itself wrapped in bacon, cooked, and given a honey glaze. Consider it an inverted jalapeño popper, and about 100 times better.

  • Credit: Christopher Hassiotis

    Any Pizza from Don Antonio by Starita

    It's no secret that Neapolitan pizza has taken Atlanta by storm, with the "authentic" badge getting thrown about carelessly. Take most of those arguments with a grain of salt — or ignore them totally — and just find what you like to eat. And one thing we like to eat? Just about any pizza at Buckhead newcomer Don Antonio by Starita, where the pizza dough's bubbly, flaky, charred, pillowy and chewy, all at the same time.

  • Peach Slider from Revolution Doughnuts & Coffee

    Keep it simple. Fluffy donuts. Fresh peaches. Summery! Delicious! Simple! (Also vegan!)