16 Hotel Restaurants You Should Know
photo credit: Amy Sinclair
Maybe it’s the staycation vibes. Maybe it’s because our city can still flaunt reasonably-priced hotel parking. Most often, it’s simply because we like the food and atmosphere. Whatever the reason, Atlantans love to hold down a hotel restaurant—the spanking new ones, the old classic ones, the sceney ones where you’re bound to run into a few celebrities. In fact, you’ll probably find more of us in the valet lines than actual out-of-towners (deal with it).
The bellhops and front desk staff recognize the “local” in you, so just offer a head nod to them as you walk past the check-in and proceed to check out these hotel restaurant favorites.
When we’re in the mood to live our best lives, we head to Nobu Atlanta behind Buckhead’s Phipps Plaza, where we can splurge on $30 sashimi and $50 small plates and pretend we’ve got a few commas in our account. Like the others in the popular upscale brand, Atlanta’s Nobu hotel and restaurant largely delivers the same fancy-pants (they’re hipster pants) experience you expect would be worthy of several name drops in Drake lyrics—A- to Z-list sightings, sleek interiors that mix textures like wood and onyx, and bold dishes like their iconic sweet miso-glazed cod, which barely needs chewing. Make the most of your meal (and money) by skipping the sushi and sticking to the hot and cold plates near the front of the menu, where you’ll find the most flavor.
Fia specializes in rustic Mediterranean wood-fired grill cooking, and anything that touches the grill—from the lightly charred branzino topped with fresh herbs and pickled fennel to the tender short rib—is our recommendation. Even the shrimp saganaki shines brighter because it’s paired with two thick slices of incredibly tasty wood-fired grilled bread. Located in Buckhead’s Burgess hotel, Fia diners can choose to sit in the more intimate, dimly-lit dining room or the larger, more casual lounge space of the boutique hotel. That dual setting makes Fia ideal for everything from coworker celebrations to super chill date nights, where we’d feel comfortable in a cap and t-shirt.
There hasn’t been a single time we’ve dined at this Four Seasons’ restaurant in Midtown when we didn’t see a famous person—from Housewives stars to every living mayor. But this isn't even the main attraction at Bar Margot. The spacious mezzanine dining, located above the grandiose staircase, is just the place to get comfortable with our laptop, or you can head to a corner booth by the bar for more privacy. Above all, Bar Margot remains a city favorite because, from breakfast through dinner, it never disappoints. The culinary team is always at work tweaking dishes and crafting new menu items. Their vegan jollof rice, with meaty oyster mushrooms that have lattice grill marks, is a shining example. The juicy Bar Margot Burger, topped with crispy bacon and charred red onions, is a city treasure that should probably take the place of the Georgia peach in the RHOA openers.
As the signature eatery at the Kimpton Shane Hotel, Hartley Kitchen & Cocktails doesn’t just look the part—the stylish lobby establishment has light wood floors, black leather banquettes, and a lively connected bar—but its tastes are on point, too. Small plates like skillet cornbread (please liberally apply the sweet tomato jam) and fried chicken skin cracklins illustrate a sophisticated kitchen that flaunts Southern roots. By the time your fork touches sorghum butter-topped carrots and roasted chicken that’s been brined in sweet tea, you realize the cooks are just showing off.
Hotels planted near malls are their own strange breed. They’re usually just something to avoid, but we gladly make the oddly remote drive to the back of Lenox Mall for the Hyatt Centric’s pan-Mediterranean restaurant. There’s not much of a view here (maybe an occasional lost car trying to find the entrance to Bloomingdale’s), but there’s an inviting outdoor patio where the dancing flames from the central firepit provide all the scenery you’ll need. Since the hotel’s corporate guests are often in their rooms working or upstairs celebrating at the more lively rooftop bar (Spaceman), come here to enjoy a quiet weeknight dinner with friends. Drink some wine and fill your table with small plates—make sure you include the roasted beets in a creamy yogurt mint sauce and the super smooth baba ghanoush with a tangy tomato salad.
Because we get tired of being serious all the time, the indoor/outdoor rooftop bar of The Sylvan hotel in Buckhead is the place we head to to unwind with a couple of cocktails and loaded tater tots after a day of pretending to be a professional person. Something about a spinning disco ball always relaxes our BRF muscles, plus it’s hard to beat eating vodka-spiked sorbet or tequila-mango soft serve and dancing to ’90s hip-hop with a perfect vantage point of the Buckhead streets. (Did we mention that the drinks are named after OutKast songs like “SpottieOttie” and “Return of the G”?) If you ultimately decide you’re not in the casual mood for corn dogs and other light snacks, head down to the hotel's other restaurants, The Betty, where you can eat more adult-y things like oysters, gnocchi, and steak, or the Willow Bar for small plates and wine.
Though technically opened in 2021, the Wylie Hotel has a long history, dating back to the Great Depression. In the 1960s, the basement restaurant, Mrs. P.’s, reportedly became the city’s first openly gay bar. Today, the small Old Fourth Ward restaurant still brings a welcoming energy—you can vibe with a DJ spinning ’80s dance tunes over Sunday brunch cocktails and heaping bowls of cheesy grits topped with eggs and bacon and drenched with very tasty housemade hot sauce. But really, come whenever you’re in the mood for a good, Southern meal. Just tuck yourself into one of their velvety booths, order some drinks and the pimento cheese board—a polarizing Southern classic, yes. If you are into it, then the jar of pickled fennel and flat table crackers are just as nice as raiding your grandparents’ kitchen for the good stuff.
When open during the warmer months, the Overland is one of our favorite rooftops in town. While not as widely known or appreciated as some of the other hotel restaurants in center city, this Kimpton hotel restaurant in South Atlanta near the airport is worth a pop in for the rooftop bar alone. We much prefer to experience Hartsfield-Jackson chilling on this covered rooftop lounge, listening to music, and sipping cocktails in between bites of charcuterie versus balancing ourselves on the plane train. Here, you’re close enough to see all the planes but far enough that you can enjoy a conversation without yelling over jet engines.
Downtown is that awkward kid on the playground you only bothered with when they had a toy you really wanted to play with. By George in the Candler Hotel is that shiny toy that makes up for any grievances you have about being downtown. Come for lunch, get a booth right in the center of the restaurant, and look out through big glass windows that show panoramic street views—the Marta streetcar makes cool cameo appearances. For lunch, order a simple grilled cheese and tomato soup or a classic burger and fries. Since the restaurant is housed in an old historic building (circa 1906) with French brasserie vibes, even these solid, get-the-job-done basics just feel like a departure from your normal burger lunch. Finish off lunch with the fluffy Coconut Tres Leches, which is reason enough to think more fondly of downtown.
If you’re feeling the midweek blues, book a dinner at Dirty Rascal, an upscale Italian-American restaurant inside the Thompson Hotel. It isn’t just a mood; it’s a mood changer. The retro, mid-century bar outside the restaurant is the perfect place to grab a drink and pretend you’re not only in another place but in another decade—notably a decade where your work deadlines don’t yet exist. After a cocktail, move onto the dark, moody dining room to enjoy carb-heavy comforts like their cheesy lasagna for two or the tortellini with a meaty lamb bolognese.
The St. Regis hotel in Buckhead offers two restaurants with wildly different experiences. Atlas is the place to host a buttoned-up corporate dinner with the big bosses—you can eat gem salads while you carefully plant seeds to trip up your work nemesis who couldn’t make it to dinner. The Garden Room, on the other hand, is where you go to party with friends or to win over your work nemesis, hoping they’ll get caught up in the wild fantasy and fun theatrics of the buzzing hotspot long enough for you to find common ground. If that moment doesn’t come, the creative drinks (like a champagne glass with a floating rubber ducky), people-watching, and celebrity sightings are good enough reasons to find your way here.
With ample seating, private spaces, large tables, and an upstairs patio, Rowdy Tiger is an industrial-chic whiskey bar in the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel that has comfortably settled into the corporate dinner spot. On weekdays, tables fill with work teams in company-branded fleeces who drink the 100 plus whiskeys, from Japanese blends to American ryes, showcased above the bar. The American pub menu has diverse options like cornbread-fried shrimp and a whiskey-brined pork chop that will work well enough to please a large party with varying palates. But regardless of who we’re here with, we order the creamy, cheesy grits for weekend brunch or for dinner as the shrimp and grits entree. Rowdy Tiger’s rooftop also hosts events like Pride parties and holiday igloos—another great reason to keep this place on your radar.
Whether we’re planning an intimate date night or gossip fest with friends, we’ll head to The Americano in the Intercontinental Buckhead to take advantage of the quiet, spacious setting, where cozy booths and tables sit just far enough away from each other to protect our private discussions. Then while our tablemate vacillates between a steak or pasta course, we’ll make the easiest decision of the night and promptly tell the waitstaff to bring out the creamy polenta with mushrooms au jus appetizer (a menu standout) and any one of their fun, showy cocktails to keep us entertained until we can finally get down to juicy conversation.
With its polished wood tables and floor-to-ceiling vaults of wine, Reverence in Midtown’s Epicurean Hotel looks the part of a restaurant that can command $105 for a wagyu striploin with no sides. The food, sad to say, isn’t that impressive nor worthy of that hefty price tag. But with a whole-ass hotel dedicated to food and drink experiences, we will continue to pop in every now and then for special events, interesting culinary programming, and to check on improvement in the kitchen. And if you swing by too, we do recommend the flavorful branzino—just order some sides to keep it company.
Giving French Brasserie meets Barbie playhouse, Tiny Lou’s in O4W’s Clermont Hotel is a pink-hued restaurant that serves favorites like steak frites and duck confit. It’s always a good date night outing or a cool get-together with friends, especially since you have options to continue the evening with drinks (and ahem…entertainment) downstairs at the Lounge or upstairs at the hotel’s rooftop bar. Of course, the out of towners are here as a first stop before the Lounge. For us, Tiny Lou’s certainly stands on its own as a unique city experience. From steak tartare to a well-dressed burger, there aren’t many wrong picks, but when they wheel out the dessert cart, the beautiful layered crepe cake should be on your table.
The Interlock in West Midtown always seems to be buzzing. So if you’re trying to grab a good seat on the always busy Drawbar terrace patio in the Bellyard hotel, we suggest you come during off-hours or invite that mastermind friend who always finds a way to hustle up seats in packed spaces. Luckily, there’s plenty of seating inside spread out across the hotel lobby and at the large boardroom-sized tables just left of the bar. With a big menu that features everything from creamy, charred brussel sprouts to pork belly mac and cheese, you can order a bunch of small plates to split with friends. But if you must commit to one or two things, we recommend the Bellyard sliders and spicy crawfish hushpuppies.