Best Local Chef
Ria Pell (Ria’s Bluebird and Sauced)
They don’t come any more kick-ass than Ria Pell, the owner and chef at Ria’s Bluebird (www.riasbluebird.com) and Sauced (www.saucedatlanta.com). Pell has become a queer icon due to her creations in the kitchen, as well as celebrating the spicier side of the community through her leadership in Mondo Homo. Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun’s (www.rathbunsrestaurant.com) finished second, while third place went to Franky Capobianco from Capobianco’s Italian Bakery and N’awlins.
After finishing third in last year’s voting, Ria’s Bluebird (www.riasbluebird.com) surged to first place as readers’ favorite breakfast spot. Dubbed by the New York Times as home of “The World’s Best Pancakes,” the hipster chic cafe has a cult following that continues to grow. Second place went to The Flying Biscuit (www.flyingbiscuit.com) and Radial Cafe (www.radial.us) rounded out the top three.
LGBT Atlantans are doing their part to fill the world with “peace, love and noodles,” voting Doc Chey’s (www.doccheys.com) best Asian cuisine. From their adorable dim sum dishes to the Chinese, Japanese and Thai varieties on the menu, this local chain combines fresh food with a fresh experience. Last year’s champion Little Bangkok (www.littlebangkokatlanta.com) dropped to second place, while Noodle (www.noodlehouse.net) finished third.
The creativity on display at Highland Bakery (www.highlandbakery.com) is outdone only by the deliciousness of the treats there. The artwork on the pastries at this year’s top bakery is sometimes so exquisite that one feels guilty eating it — but nothing soothes guilt like a sweet goodie! Southern Sweets (www.southernsweets.com) finished second, and Just Cake Atlanta (www.justcakeatlanta.com) took third.
Best Bar Food
With a full-scale menu and a hip lunch hour, it’s no surprise that Amsterdam Atlanta (www.amsterdamatlanta.com) was voted the best food to munch on while at a bar. The video and sports bar/cafe has typical bar fare such as wings and nachos, as well as heartier options like grilled tilapia and ribeye steak. Burkhart’s (www.burkharts.com) and Woofs (www.woofsatlanta) finished second and third, respectively.
Who knew green could taste so good? The folks at Radial Cafe (www.radial.us) did, and that’s why readers named them the best brunch spot. The eco-hip spot serves up delicious local and organic food, and even meat eaters fall in love with Radial’s inventive vegan options. Second place went to Gilbert’s
(www.gilbertscafe.com) and N’awlins finished third.
The reigning champion of sweets defended its crown, as Cafe Intermezzo (www.cafeintermezzo.com) once again claimed readers’ hearts as the best place for dessert. The delicacies and ambiance at Intermezzo combine to create an unmatched romantic experience, making it the perfect end to any date. Southern Sweets (www.southernsweets.com) was the runner-up, and Einstein’s (www.metrocafes.com/einsteins) finished third.
Best Late Night
You don’t become an Atlanta landmark without serving up sobering food to throngs of red-eyed revelers, and our readers awarded The Majestic (www.majesticdiner.com) as the best late-night dining spot. The 24/7 eatery’s massive menu can satisfy any craving at any hour. The Cheshire Bridge Waffle House claimed second place, while third went to Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand (www.thesausagestand.com)
The family vibe at Las Margaritas (www.lasmargaritasmidtown) makes it a reader favorite, with voters making it the top spot to grab Mexican food. The “family”-owned restaurant delivers eye candy that is just as appetizing as anything on the menu, and hosts several gay events throughout the week. No Mas! Cantina (www.nomascantina.com) finished second, and Holy Taco (www.holy-taco.com) third.
Joe’s on Juniper
There’s no better place for readers to enjoy outdoor cuisine than Joe’s on Juniper (www.metrocafes.com/joes-juniper), which won the category for the second year in a row. The Midtown eatery draws a lively crowd nearly every night of the week with its theme nights, and is often as cute as any club. Roxx took second place and Einstein’s (www.metrocafes.com/einsteins) finished third.
When LGBT Atlantans are looking for a taste of Italy, they flock to La Tavola (www.latavolatrattoria.com). The Virginia-Highland restaurant went from third place in last year’s survey to the top of the podium in 2011 thanks to the way it combines upscale dining with affordabilty. Fellini’s Pizza (www.fellinisatlanta.com) and Sotto Sotto (www.sottosottorestaurant.com) finished second and third, respectively.
One Midtown Kitchen
Tucked away behind Piedmont Park, One Midtown Kitchen (www.onemidtownkitchen.com) is our readers’ preferred spot for dinner-for-two. The flavors of one of Atlanta’s top restaurants seem to accentuate the intimacy, making One Midtown a perennial favorite for couples. Second place went to Apres Diem (www.apresdiem.com) and Parker’s on Ponce (www.parkersonponce.com) finished third.
Best Take Out/Delivery
Doctors may no longer make house calls, but thank goodness the Doc does! The Asian fusion joint Doc Chey’s (www.doccheys.com) claimed top honors when it comes to eating out in the comfort of one’s home. Chin Chin (www.chinchinatlanta.com) nabbed second place, and Top Spice (www.topspiceatlanta.com) took third.
Vegetarians often feel ignored when dining out, but the whimsical menu at MetroFresh (www.metrofreshatl.com) always keeps them in mind. With new dishes featured every day, MetroFresh guarantees that vegetarians will enjoy unparalleled variety. Radial Cafe (www.radial.us) was the runner-up, and Cafe Sunflower (www.cafesunflower.com) finished third.
When it comes to quick-and-dirty, no one does it better than Eats (www.eatsonponce.net). The low-frills joint is a favorite for LGBT diners to fill up on pasta or meat-and-threes for a reasonable price. Radial Cafe (www.radial.us) finished second, and Raging Burrito (www.ragingburrito.com) finished third.
Best Overall Restaurant
It’s hard to understand how La Tavola (www.latavolatrattoria.com) is able to provide such sophisticated flavors, wines and overall dining experience at such affordable prices. However, that magic is what makes the Italian spot our reader favorite. Second place went to Radial Cafe (www.radial.us) and Roxx finished third.
To photo: Chef Ria Pell came away with the title of Best Chef while her restaurant, Ria’s Bluebird, picked up the honor of Best Breakfast (photo by Bo Shell)