Restaurants To Have A Group Dinner guide image


Restaurants To Have A Group Dinner

Everyone finally agreed on a date for the group dinner. Choosing a spot should be the easy part.

Big group dinners are fun in theory, until one friend says they stopped eating meat after watching a documentary (that you really should see), another won’t leave their neighborhood, and unless you made a reservation a year ago, most places will laugh at your request for a table for nine. But instead of deciding that maybe you should just have fewer friends, check out our guide to the best restaurants for group dinners.


The Optimist

We recommend The Optimist in West Midtown for most things, like a date, dinner with your in-laws, or just a solo lobster roll after a long day. It also works well for groups since you can reserve a private dining room and create a custom menu of their greatest hits like fried and raw oysters and their pillowy beignet-style hush puppies—they have a few options tailored for groups of different sizes. The main dining room and patio are already pretty spacious–but if you go with the Oyster Bar private room, you also get access to the putt-putt course outside, which someone in your crew will be very psyched about.

A few rows of long communal tables already make seating for a large groups fairly easy. And when calling the restaurant for a reservation feels so last century, we like that we can book a table for up to 18 people with a few quick touches on our phones. This Glenwood Park spot has a continually changing menu, with everything from Indian curried corn dogs to ham hock rillettes likely to make an appearance, and is one of the most unique dining experiences in the city. The portions are small, so order a bunch of dishes, and multiples of the favorites so everyone gets more than a bite. You probably won’t save room for dessert. Also, they offer $100 per person family style options for large groups.

From their large outdoor space with long wooden tables to roving beer carts, Ladybird in Old Fourth Ward is a great place to spend a long afternoon. The vibes and menu give childhood camp retreat with hotdogs, burgers, and big grilled meat platters, so once everyone arrives, order the Patio Punch to share and their Backyard BBQ Board, which comes with pulled pork, ribs, sausage, and sides. It gets packed on the weekends, so get there early to snag a table.

LowEverybody loves a good steakhouse, especially when that steak restaurant is helmed by Atlanta’s very own celebrity chef, G. Garvin. The modern-chic Midtown restaurant offers a catch-all of favorites to please a large, usually inharmonious crew who can’t even agree on a playlist. With several choice cuts of steak, crab claws drenched in Cajun butter, and lobster mac and cheese, a crowd pleaser with big chunks of lobster, you may find refreshing agreement for once. 

Small groups can feel comfortable walking in or making a reservation. But if you’re rolling up with a whole ass team of 10 or more (and eight or more on weekends), you should book reservations through the venue’s event planner, who can make sure your group lunch or dinner goes smoothly.

Maybe you accidentally made a reservation on the wrong night or five extra people decided to join an hour before dinner. Either way, when you need somewhere that you and your friends can walk into last minute, head to Midway Pub, which serves up American tavern food like burgers, wings, and sandwiches. They have bocce ball and corn hole, surprisingly great food for a bar, and lots of big picnic tables on their dog-friendly patio. The next time you have to pull an audible, this East Atlanta Village spot is here for you.

With choose-your-own charcuterie boards and more than 30 tapas, from patatas bravas to white wine mussels, the small plate route is always a win for big groups. West Midtown’s spacious, industrial-looking Barcelona Wine Bar makes planning a dinner for 10 almost simple. In addition to having some of our favorite sangria in the city, they offer a set-price menu for bigger parties that includes all of the tapas, starting at $35 per person—a good way to remove the stress of ordering for the table and the inevitable chaos when the bill comes. Now all you have to worry about is how many carafes you’re going to order, and scoring a spot on their patio.

This upscale beer garden—with plenty of cocktail and wine options—takes up almost half of the Ponce City Market rooftop. So after your drink shows up but before the plate of crispy pork belly does, feel no shame in joining the masses taking sunset pictures of the Atlanta skyline. The menu has plenty of shareable small plates and entrees like their crispy roasted chicken, a menu favorite. Nine Mile’s paid reservation policy is the gift we never knew we needed—especially with flaky friends who need to put dollars on the line so they won’t cancel because their favorite shirt is still at the dry cleaners.

If you brought a group of people here for the wine alone, they would leave happy. Two Urban Licks has a 26-foot-tall tower of wine barrels, all of which they tap and serve directly to you. But when you’re all looking for some food after a glass or two, this Old Fourth Ward spot has plenty of snacks and entrees to split, and plenty of space to do it in. The salmon chips have their own well-earned reputation in the city—crispy homemade kettle chips topped with flaky smoked salmon. The Wagyu tartare is also a good place to start, or go big and get the lamb porterhouse. And with multiple private dining rooms, you could get savvy and dash between separate groups of friends, if that’s your flex. Or if you’re leading a double life. We won’t judge.

The next time you’re too distracted by life to plan an actual day celebrating your life, just go to Spanish-Moroccan-inspired Gypsy Kitchen. It’s on the top of the Shops at Buckhead and has a big, open rooftop. Because there’s always a pretty reliable crowd, every visit here will kinda feel like a party, even if you’re not celebrating anything. There are plenty of small plates, with classics like patatas bravas, along with swordfish and duck al pastor tacos, which you should have at least one of. But since everything is under $15, you should get a lot. Start with a few pitchers of their rose sangria, and then see where the night takes you—maybe down the mezcal rabbit hole or doubling back to the hummus plate you really wanted to try during the first few tapas rounds.

Situated between Midtown and Buckhead, Tuk Tuk’s spacious dining room, patio, and skyline views make it an easy pic. It’s from the team behind Chai Yo, so you know that the Thai food is going to be great and at under $30 for a meal, pocket-friendly. There’s a private dining room that fits up to 30 guests (and a restaurant buyout option for up to 200 people, if you’re a really, really friendly person), but wherever you and your group land, the larb kai should be on your table, along with a few noodle dishes—we like the Pad Thai—and the Green Pork curry. Their Thai-inspired desserts, especially the lychee cheesecake and the Bangkok snow cone with rose syrup and condensed milk, are a great way to end dinner.

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Restaurants To Have A Group Dinner guide image