10 Must-Try Restaurants in Sandy Springs

By Christopher Hassiotis  |  January 6, 2016
Credit: Rumi's Kitchen

Sandy Springs is an odd spot, nestled between the last stretch of urban Atlanta and the straight-up 'burbs of Roswell, Dunwoody and more. That it's defined by roads — I-285 and Roswell Road — and not a neighborhood center has been a major characteristic for decades, though recent developments look to change that. With Sandy Springs incorporating into a city at the tail end of 2005, it's taken a decade to develop its own version of a downtown district. With the Gateway development drawing more commerce to the nebulously defined area, now's a great time to check in on the top eateries.

  • Maya Steaks & Seafood

    Walls decorated with wooden slats and stark black-and-white photography keep the focus on the traditional carnivorous fare at this white-tablecloth steakhouse. Meat dishes stick close to the classics, incorporating an occasional Spanish touch, but things take a turn for the creative with the downright pretty presentation of seafood dishes, from crisp crudo to fragrant soup.

    Good to Know: Chef and restaurateur Mimmo Alboumeh also runs Red Pepper Taquería and Coldbrews Oyster Bar and Grill.

    6152 Roswell Rd; 404-705-8880

  • Rumi's Kitchen

    For "high-style Persian dining”, fans tout this “great find” in Sandy Springs where a “professional” staff serves “delectable,” “upscale” fare; the 2014 move to its current location with an “open” feel "upped the ante" for some, and many “look forward to dining here again."

    Good to Know: Rumi’s offers two completely private and one semi-private dining area, which can accommodate between 10 and 40 guests.

    6112 Roswell Rd; 404-477-2100

  • Double Zero Napoletana

    It's comfortable Italian fare that's on order from this elegant yet approachable spot named after the super-refined wheat flour that's key to a perfect Neapolitan pizza. And while Double Zero has Italian classics like pizza and pasta, and in excellent renditions, it really shines with appetizers and entrees alike that dare to step away from tradition.

    ​Good to Know: Manager and co-owner Stephanie Castellucci was an honoree in this year's Atlanta Zagat 30 Under 30 awards; her family also runs Cooks & Soldiers, Sugo and The Iberian Pig.

    5825 Roswell Rd; 404-991-3666

  • Ray's on the River

    A “beautiful location” with “perfect” views of the Chattahoochee River sets the stage for “excellent” surf ‘n’ turf, a “one-of-a-kind” weekend brunch and “friendly, knowledgeable” service at this “elegant” “special-occasion” destination in Sandy Springs; “perfectly prepared” drinks and “cool jazz in the bar” are further pluses, and while it’s “expensive”, most agree it’s “worth every penny.”

    Good to Know: There's also a Ray's in the City Downtown and a Ray's at Killer Creek in Roswell, and the same group operates the nearby Rio Bravo.

    6700 Powers Ferry Rd. NW; 770-955-1187

  • Zafron

    While Rumi's Kitchen just down the street is better known, this Persian restaurant provides able competition to that long-running institution. Spiced kabob skewers, fragrant rice and savory lunchtime sandwiches populate a crave-worthy menu. The moist, tender grilled chicken kabob's a must-try, as is the apricot mousse dessert.

    Good to Know: If the wait, crowd or volume at Rumi's isn't what you're looking for, Zafron's slightly more casual and comfortable.

    236 Johnson Ferry Rd; 404-255-7402

  • Cibo e Beve

    Fans "can't wait to go back" to this "boutique" eatery in Sandy Springs from restaurateur Steve Buero and chef Linda Harrell showcasing her "rustic" Italian fare "done in style"; the "cozy" yet "chic" environs belie its strip-mall location, while an "upbeat" atmosphere and "spot-on" service contribute to a "lovely evening."

    Good to Know: The same team behind Cibo e Beve operates Soutern eatery Food 101 right next door.

    4969 Roswell Rd; 404-250-8988

  • Bishoku

    Fans call this "fantastic" Sandy Springs spot the "Cheers of Japanese" restaurants, where owner Jackie Fukuya-Merkel and her "helpful" staff "greet everyone by name," and "expert" sushi chefs create "amazing," "imaginative" maki in an "unassuming" setting; regulars predict "you'll be back" to this "local favorite."

    Good to Know: Bishoku specializes in sushi, but the ramen's not too shabby if you're looking for a hearty bowl of soup.

    5920 Roswell Rd.; 404-252-7998

  • Emidio's Restaurant

    We have a lot of global cuisines in the Atlanta dining scene, but we don't have a lot of Portuguese food. Emidio's is a step towards a remedy, serving up Western Mediterranean and Atlantic fare with touches of Spanish, French and Italian cuisine, too. 

    ​Good to Know: Call ahead to find out the date of the monthly Portuguese luncheon that lands on a Sunday — you'll find Portuguese specialities prepared that aren't on the regular menu.

    8610 Roswell Rd; 770-837-3373

  • Food 101

    This farm-to-table bar and eatery offers Southern classics with a modern twist. Though, to be fair, you're in a strip mall on Roswell Road, the interior's country-chic decor and "barrel bar" to the right of the entrance draw a good crowd eager for a beer or craft cocktail. Come in on Sundays when the spot features smoked eats alongside select bourbons.

    Good to Know: Since opening in 1999, Food 101's been home to many chefs who've made big names for themselves and gone on to open their own places, including Ryan Smith (Southbound) and Ron Eyester (Diner).

    4969 Roswell Rd; 404-497-9700

  • Il Giallo Osteria & Bar

    Two Veni Vidi Vici alums are behind this Sandy Springs Italian, proffering a seasonal menu of traditional fare such as handmade pasta, regional fish, meat entrees made and locally sourced produce. Rustic brick and sleek wood meet in the polished interior, creating an atmosphere that’s both homey and contemporary. (There's also a chalkboard map of Italy and an open kitchen.) Check out this Zagat Atlanta preview of both the dishes and space.

    Good to Know: Chef de cuisine Parker Jorgensen was an honoree in this year's Atlanta Zagat 30 Under 30 awards.

    5920 Roswell Rd.; 404-709-2148