This Southern U.S. City Now Has Michelin-star Restaurants for the First Time

Atlanta is now home to five Michelin-starred restaurants.

<p>Courtesy of Banshee</p>

Courtesy of Banshee

Atlanta has long been a destination for varied culinary offerings — from international flavors and elegant eateries to home restaurants. Now, Georgia’s capital officially has the Michelin stamp of approval.

The inaugural edition of the Michelin Guide for Atlanta, released on Oct. 31, awarded five restaurants one Michelin star and two restaurants its newest category of “green star,” aimed at recognizing strides in sustainability.

“Our famously anonymous inspectors enjoyed experiencing Atlanta and its dynamic culinary landscape,” Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guides, said in a statement obtained by Travel + Leisure. “They came away impressed with the diverse offerings, as the selection of restaurants not only reflects a taste of the South, but also has a good deal of international flavor.”

<p>Courtesy of Heirloom Market BBQ</p>

Courtesy of Heirloom Market BBQ

All of the restaurants awarded one star are ITP — that’s “inside the perimeter” of I-285 for you non-locals — with three types of cuisine represented. The newly starred restaurants are Atlas (American), Bacchanalia (American), Hayakawa (Japanese), Lazy Betty (Contemporary), and Mujō (Japanese). Bacchanalia and The Chastain (American), both change menus to reflect hyper-seasonality and grow much of their own produce, were each recognized with a green star.

“It’s been really exciting to see Atlanta embrace the Michelin Guide, and we are equal parts grateful and honored to have received the distinctions of One Star and a Green Star,” said Anne Quatrano, the chef-owner of Bacchanalia, the only restaurant to receive both recognition in both top categories. “These awards are an incredibly rewarding way to honor our remarkably talented and dedicated staff and the beautiful work they’ve put in over the last 30-plus years. It’s a very special moment in time for us.”

<p>Sophia Van Dyk</p>

Sophia Van Dyk

In addition to bestowing stars, the guide also gave 10 restaurants a nod on its Bib Gourmand list, which “recognizes eateries for great food at a great value.” Those spots range from Italian and Filipino to soul food and seafood. They are Antico Pizza Napoletana, Arepa Mia, Banshee, Bomb Biscuit Co., The Busy Bee, Estrellita, Fishmonger, Heirloom Market BBQ, and Little Bear.

Beyond those that received a star or a Bib nod, 30 additional restaurants around Atlanta were featured, receiving writeups to inspire visitors and locals about where to eat. In total, 45 eateries are included in the guide, which includes a total of 23 different types of cuisine, reinforcing the idea that Atlanta embraces global flavors.

“We are delighted that Atlanta's culinary scene is finally getting the recognition it deserves,” Andrew Wilson, the executive vice president and CMO of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau told T+L. “The Michelin Guide puts us firmly on the international gastronomy map, and we fully expect this to lead to an increase in visitation in the years to come as other Michelin destinations have experienced.” Atlanta joins other top global “foodie” destinations including New York, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, San Francisco, London, and more with a place on the Michelin Guide.

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