Draw in a deep breath and get dramatic. Go, “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” as you hold an invisible Oscar in your hand, feigning tears. It’s often a running joke for folks who are up for actual awards — sometimes to quell nerves — but if you really, truly consider it: It is an honor “just” to be nominated. After all, the city of Atlanta is honoring you, and that’s no joke.
Think about it: Let’s pick a “Best of Atlanta” category … say an attorney or a restaurant, right? Envision the hundreds upon hundreds of those we have in this city! They’re all over the place, and beloved by our residents and visitors alike. Now think about this: Of all these hard-working folks in your industry, only three have made this list — and of those three? There’s you. If you’ll let me brag on you for a moment: You’re doing a damn-fine job and Atlanta … is … loving you for it.
So whether you’re taking home the plaque at the Georgian Terrace on the 19th, or you’re getting your honorable mention in front of hundreds of people who are proud of you, you better know that you’re a part of what people mean when they say the cream rises. So c’mon: Let us at Georgia Voice honor you with food, drinks, laughter, good company, pride, and the accolades that all of you deserve in a setting that’ll make you feel like the winners you are.
Winners selected by the City of Atlanta, no less.
We’ll see you there,
Politician: Stacey Abrams
Pro-LGBTQ powerhouse Stacey Abrams has earned the respect of the rainbow community evidenced by your overwhelming vote for this former Georgia House Minority Leader and current Democratic candidate for governor as your favorite politician. Abrams has been a continuous supporter of the community, partnering with LGBTQ business leaders and cosponsoring legislation prohibiting anti-gay discrimination within state agencies.
Runners-up are Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Representative Park Cannon.
Activist: Arica Love Royal
It’s all love for Arica Love Royal, a proud transgender woman whose commitment to community causes earned her your vote as the top activist in the community. Royal is a self-described supporter of both animal and human rights, in addition to being the host of a funky weekly show called “What’s The T.”
Runners-up are Sadie Vice and Anne Clarke.
Up & Coming LGBTQ Youth: Bentley Hudgins
Fired up and ready to make a change, young activist Bentley Hudgins is your pick for the top up-and-coming LGBTQ youth in the city. A Mercer graduate, Hudgins hails from Macon, where he created an event to remember the victims of the Orlando Pulse massacre in addition to being a key part of a movement that helped change the Macon-Bibb Charter to be more inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Runners-up are Keith X Harding and
Founding Campagnolo, Henry’s, Peasant Bistro, and a slate of other tasty eateries earned Maureen Kalmanson your vote as top business person. This Miami native’s appeal no doubt lies in both her knack for creating awesome eateries and her commitment to the community: She has held AIDS-related benefits at many her businesses.
Runners-up are James Menge and Terry Frick.
Jen and Jami Maguire
Partnering in life and in business has worked out well for Jen and Jami Maguire, the female dream team you all voted as top party promoters in LGBTQ Atlanta. The pair are the owners and operators of lesbian staple My Sister’s Room, as well as owners and promoters of popular Memorial Weekend Pride event Sexacola Beach.
Runners-up are Tom Thomas and
Chiropractor: Ease Wellness Chiropractic
Located in Old Fourth Ward, Ease Wellness is on a mission to cultivate healthy communities through modern chiropractic care. Their holistic approach utilizes nutrition, exercise, mental wellbeing, and precise chiropractic care in order to access the body’s full healing capabilities.
Runners-up are Loretta Sandy and
Photographer: Just Toby
Just Toby is an award-winning photographer who captures runway couture, drag queen divas, and burlesque performers. From local drag personalities to the superstars of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Just Toby covers the best of the best. Having Just Toby snap your pic is a sure sign that you’ve made it big.
Runners-up are Brian McCall and
Hotel: The Georgian Terrace
The Georgian Terrace is a Midtown icon famous for its Beaux-Arts architectural style and luxury accommodations. It offers everything from modern suites and versatile event spaces to an award-winning restaurant and a Sotherly experience that can serve as your guide to the best of Atlanta.
Runners-up are W Atlanta Midtown, and Loews.
Lawyer/Legal: Randy Fry
Randy Fry, of the Fry Law Firm, has worked in personal injury law since 1999 and has many years of experience working with various litigation firms in Metro Atlanta. He belongs to the Atlanta Bar Association, the Dekalb County Bar Association, and is an active member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.
Runners-up are Jason White and Marc Mallon.
Spa: Bliss Spa
Bliss Spa, located in Midtown, promotes a brand of body positivity that connects inner happiness with outward beauty. At Bliss, self-care is the heart of wellness, so take a breath and a moment to give yourself a little boost with spa-powered products that are 100 percent cruelty-free.
Runners-up are Natural Body Spa and Shop, and Blue MedCenter.
Hair Salon: BLO Salon
Blo Salon, located in Ansley Mall, is a full-service, kid-friendly salon offering cuts, color, highlights, blo-outs, and waxing for women and men. Stylists Craig Garrett and Terry Frick both have devoted client bases that have been with them for years. It’s no wonder this is their second consecutive year on the Georgia Voice Best of Atlanta list.
Runners-up are Midtown Mann Salon, and Melrose & McQueen.
Gym: LA Fitness
LA Fitness offers 10 locations from Buckhead to College Park. The franchise boasts over 20 different group workout classes, basketball and racquetball facilities, heated pool, personal training, and childcare options. Since 1984, LA Fitness has been committed to the lifelong benefits of good health and tailors its services to the unique needs of each community.
Runners-up are Gravity Fitness, and
Rutledge Forney, serving patients in Buckhead, East Cobb, and Midtown, founded Dermatology Affiliates in 2004. Her mission is healthy, beautiful skin with a special focus on treating the effects of sun damage. From 2010–2016, Dr. Forney received annual recognition from her peers as one of Atlanta’s Top Doctors.
Runners-up are Mark Rachal and
Diane V. Duvall.
Realtor: Justin Ziegler
Justin “JZ” Ziegler is the President of Common Ground Real Estate, and a five-time recipient of the Georgia Voice Best Real Estate Agent title. He has also been recognized by the Dekalb Board of Realtors and CommonCreativ Magazine. JZ is proud to support the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Human Rights Campaign, and the Stonewall Bar Association.
Runners-up are Eddie Romero and
Pharmacy: Alliance Community Pharmacy
Alliance Community Pharmacy has served the Midtown community since 2013, offering pharmaceutical services, Medicare counseling, and immunizations. Alliance also partners with MISTER and Positive Impact Health Center to provide free, confidential HIV-testing services every Thursday afternoon as well as counseling and risk-reduction plans.
Runners-up are Midtown Kroger, and AbsoluteCARE Pharmacy.
Bank: Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo offers several locations across the Atlanta Metro and provides a variety of services related to banking, loans, investment, wealth management, and retirement planning. Wells Fargo also offers online financial education services in the areas of homeownership, credit management, and small business needs, and is frequently seen at Pride events around the country.
Runners-up are BB&T, and Private Bank
Dentist: Dr. Chip Hill
Located in Midtown, Dr. Chip Hill has been practicing general and cosmetic dentistry in Atlanta for 18 years. In addition to providing modern and gentle dental care as well as state-of-the-art whitening services, Dr. Hill’s practice is proud to donate to several Atlanta charities, including Lost-n-Found Youth, CHRIS Kids, and Hotlanta Roundup.
Runners-up are Ansley Midtown Dental, and Dr. Thomas K. Sparkman.
HLM Financial Group
Located in Decatur, HLM Financial Group is a full-service firm that has been providing accounting, tax, and financial services since 1986. Their team has a combined total of over 100 years of experience and has the expertise to meet a variety of financial and business needs.
Runners-up were actually tied in votes: Element Wealth Advisors, and
Don Dusick of Cornerstone Financial.
Doctor: Dr. Scott Parry
Dr. Scott Parry opened Intown Primary Care in 2001. Since then, the clinic has served over 10,000 patients and become Georgia’s leading provider of Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Testopel insertions. Dr. Parry is also an educator and speaker in the areas of HIV, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and Primary Care Psychiatry.
Runners-up are Dr. Dennis Melton and
Dr. Suzanne Shirey.
Pet Adoption: Angels Among Us Rescue
Angels Among Us Pet Rescue is a nonprofit charity based in Alpharetta dedicated to saving dogs and cats from high-kill shelters and connecting them with loving foster families and “forever” homes. Angels also seeks to promote public awareness of high-kill shelters and educate would-be owners about the responsibilities of pet ownership.
Runners-up are LifeLine Animal Project, and Laskey’s Lucky Ones & Volunteers.
Pet Daycare: Piedmont Bark
Established in 2002, Piedmont BARK offers a stress free, home away from home for all your canine friends. In addition to dog daycare, Piedmont BARK provides overnight boarding, supervised playgroups, a professional grooming salon, a self-serve dog wash, and regular Yappy Hour mingling events for canines and their human parents. Be prepared to make tons of new friends.
Runners-up are The Pet Set, and Central Bark Doggy Day Care.
Pet Supply and Grooming: The Pet Set Supply
Since 1975, the Pet Set Supply has offered a wide range of services for dogs and cats, from boarding and daycare to spa treatments, haircut services, and various pet-care products. The Pet Set offers 100-percent natural pet foods for all guests and has a mobile grooming service that will bring professional groomers to your door.
Runners-up are Piedmont BARK, and Furside Pet Grooming.
Ansley Animal Clinic
Established in 1980, Ansley Animal Clinic offers full-service veterinary and dental care in the Morningside/Virginia-Highland neighborhood. A family-owned business, Ansley provides spay/neuter services, microchipping, grooming, and boarding, plus a broad range of pet-related health products. Their team of friendly veterinarians will put you and your furry friends at ease.
Runners-up are VCA Pets Are People, Too, and Village Vets.
Actor: Robert Ray
A Broadway veteran performer, Robert Ray is a cabaret king known for his piano-style show performances at Campagnolo Restaurant + Bar. Patrons can sing along and become part of the show. He is the owner of Robert Ray Productions.
Runners-up are Ben Thorpe and Justice Leak.
Comedian: Brent Star
Brent Star is known for his own drag style and comedy, and for his hilarious social media videos. He has clinched the title of best comedian for the sixth year in a row.
Runners-up are Kia “Comedy” Barnes and Ian Abner.
DJ: DJ Neon the Glowgobear
DJ Neon the Glowgobear is known for his “glow” parties with upbeat house, top-40 remixes, and classic tracks. He has DJ’d for a number of worldwide events such as Dragon Con, Glitter Ball, ManShaft, and TrophyDad’s Prime in San Francisco.
Runners-up are DJ/Producer Seth Breezy and resident DJ at Xion, DJ Karlito.
Drag King: Mystery Meat
Mystery Meat brings his own Goth style to drag and audiences can’t get enough. His drag has been described as “devilish monster” because he’s known for also wearing devil horns while performing to thundering metal music. Meat was also named number one in Hornet’s writeup of the top eight drag kings to follow on Instagram.
Runners-up are Hayden Fury and
LJ Taylor Fury.
Drag Queen: Shawnna Brooks
The legendary drag queen known for not only giving ‘face,’ but also for her form-fitting bodysuits, Shawnna has been a regular performer at Blake’s on the Park and other clubs around the city. Brooks, mother of the House of Brooks, has been performing for over 20 years.
Runners-ups are Nina Bo’Nina Brown, and Autumn Skyy.
Musician: J Tyler
For the fifth consecutive year, rapper J Tyler keeps the title of best musician. Tyler first had plans to be an actor but switched to music after friends doubted his abilities to make an impact in the rap game. Tyler is known for his fast-paced flow. His debut EP, “Prelude,” can be down streamed on iTunes, Spotify, and other digital markets.
Runners-up are Robert Ray and Matt Brooker.
Radio Station: Q100
The Atlanta top-40 radio station is beloved by Atlantans, and possibly most known for “The Bert Show,” whose host, Bert Weiss, can be seen at LGBTQ-friendly events in Atlanta. Q100 is owned and operated by Cumulus Media.
Runners-up are WABE 90.1 and 88.5.
Performance Artist/Visual Artist: Robert Ray
Robert Ray scores again! The former Broadway veteran, singer, and performer continues to make an impact on the artistic scene in Atlanta.
Runners-up are Ronnie Beets and Royce Hall.
Writer or Playwright:
Who hasn’t heard of the play “Sordid Lives”? Del Shores’ independent films have become a well-known part of LGBTQ culture. Shores directs and produces his own work for theater, film, and TV and tells the stories of characters everyone can relate to. He often uses his work to raise money and awareness for various LGBTQ causes. Next month, Shores’ “A Sordid Three Ring Circus” will present the comedy to benefit Positive Impact Health Centers.
Runners-up are Darrell Grant and Zak Horn.
Theater: Out Front
Out Front is a local nonprofit theater known for telling the stories of the LGBTQIA. The theater is also known for showcasing its popular plays and hosting festivals that include musicals.
Runners-up are Actor’s Express, and Theatrical Outfit.
Bookstore: Charis Books
Charis Books is Atlanta’s independent feminist bookstore, known not only for its left-of-center titles, but also its central role within the local progressive community. In addition to hosting special monthly events, such as the Cliterati Open Mic night and a black feminist book club, Charis curates specialty reading lists for surviving the Trump presidency and teaching children how to undo white supremacy.
Runners-up are Book Nook and Oxford Comics.
Known as the coolest store in America by InStore Magazine, Worthmore Jewelers arrived on the jewelry scene opening in the early 1990s in Midtown Atlanta. The store is known for its fine jewelry, watches, custom designs, and art.
Runners-up are Midtown Jewelers, and Jonathan Buckhead.
The popular group known for its mission to help homeless LGBTQ youth has again taken the title of best nonprofit.
Runners-up are Positive Impact, and
Thrift Store: Lost-n-Found Thrift and Consignment Store
A thrift store set up to help fund Lost-n-Found Youth, it sells everything you could need — clothing, furniture, art, collectibles, and electronics — all for a good cause: supporting homeless LGBTQ youth.
Runners-up are Out of the Closet, which benefits the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and vintage dynamo Buffalo Exchange.
Vintage Antique & Consignment Store:
Paris on Ponce
The eclectic winner is a local vintage favorite. The formidable consignment store along the Atlanta Beltline offers a plethora of unique wares from art, antiques, furniture, and scads of the unexpected.
Runners-up are Kudzu Antiques, and Kaboodle Home.
Intaglia Home Collection
It was a close one for the title of best furniture store, but Intaglia Home Collection garnered this year’s win. The locally owned store is known for allowing buyers to create their own custom furniture.
Runners-up are Domestic Comfort, and
The Mission Motif.
Gift Shop: Gift Card Boutique
Another close one, Gift Card Boutique, a variety style gift shop that offers a little bit of everything for its shoppers, pulled ahead at the last minute for the win. It’s here that you’ll find everything you need to provide the perfect gift: cards, T-shirts, DVDs, music, jewelry, Pride items, and so much more.
Runners-up are The Merchant Atlanta, and Eco Denizen.
Florist: Foxglove & Ivy Floral
A Little 5 Points florist, Foxglove & Ivy Floral takes the prize as top floral design studio this year. For over 20 years, the floral shop has been a fan favorite for providing for the perfect selections for all occasions.
Runners-up are Flower Cottage on Main, and TWELVE.
Apparel: Boy Next Door Menswear
Gay men setting the standard for fashion turn to Boy Next Door Menswear. The staple on Piedmont is known for its trending suits, casual wear, swimwear, and underwear.
Runners-up are ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods, and M2/Mode Marche.
Tattoo Parlor: Timeless Tattoo
If you’re looking for the perfect tattoo shop to bring your design to ink reality, look no further than Timeless Tattoo. The parlor has been around since 1995 and is known for their high and professional standards. The shop is operated by Cap Szumski and his daughter, Jasmine.
Runners-up are Southern Star Tattoo, and Black Owl Tattoo.
Adult Novelty Store: Brushstrokes Pleasures
Couples and individuals looking for ways to spice up their love life need look no further than the offerings of Brushstrokes Pleasures, one of the community’s long-time popular novelty stores. They offer a large supply of adult items sure to spice up the love lives of folks across the city.
Tokyo Valentino makes for the first runner-up, and no third was nominated by Atlanta.
Project Open Hand
In 1986, Project Open Hand was created as a meal-delivery service for AIDS patients who were too ill to cook for themselves. Today, Project Open Hand has an expanded mission, extending their services to those with non-HIV related illnesses. Their mission is to help individuals prevent or manage chronic illness through Comprehensive Nutrition Care, which encompasses both meal delivery and nutrition education.
Runners-up are The Armorettes and
LGBTQ Event: Pride
Atlanta Pride is the oldest non-profit serving the LGBTQ community in Atlanta and is busy planning the 48th Annual Pride Festival, this year running from October 12–14. Currently operating with a staff of three, they are a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status that also sponsors events year-round like “Bi Visibility Night” and “Atlanta Pride Gaymer Night.”
Runners-up are Out On Film, and
Atlanta Roller Girls
Our Atlanta Roller Girls are a local representative of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, (WFTDA), an international organizing force for the sport’s latest incarnation formed over 15 years ago as a movement of teams in leagues owned by the players themselves. Moving strong since its founding in 2004 by Angela Ward, the Atlanta Roller Girls is a league composed of four teams: Apocalypstix, Denim Demons, Glamma Rays, and Toxic Shocks.
Runners-up are Hotlanta Volleyball, and Atlanta Team Tennis Association.
LGBTQ Charity Benefit: Armorettes Easter Drag Race
This year, Easter Sunday fell on 4/20, and this annual event jamming the parking lot in front of the venue formerly known as Burkhart’s was high times for those who love both camp drag and competition for cash and prizes. There’s an annual award for Best Easter Bonnet and the fun includes drinks and carnival games.
Runners-up are For The Kid Toy Party, and PALS Bingo.
House of Worship:
For many, Saint Mark United Methodist Church, easily recognizable with its grey gothic architecture and red doors, is a rock of stability on ever-changing Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta. Its many programs are enriched and enhanced by its welcoming and diverse congregation that embraces its role as an urban ministry.
Runners-up are New Covenant Church of Atlanta, and Congregation Bet Haverim.
LGBTQ Blog/Website: Project Q
This local online news source for things LGBTQ has been embracing our Queer since 2008, and has earned numerous awards, plaudits, and kudos for its founder Matt Hennie and its roster of contributors including Mike Fleming and Georgia Voice former editor, Patrick Saunders. Last year, it even began a print weekly, Q.
Runners-up are Wussy Mag, and Rigel Gemini.
Asian: Bangkok Thai
Boasting itself the first Thai restaurant in Atlanta (est. 1977), this familiar culinary institution also has the benefit of being located slap in the middle of the Ansley Square Mall area. It is so close to Midtown Moon that you could hit it with a delicious soft-shelled crab if you had the urge and disposable income to do so.
Runners-up are Su’s (Chinese) and Chai Pani (Indian).
Bar Food: Woof’s
This one-of-a-kind gay sports bar is a great place to go check out your favorite team, go bear-watching, nibble on some spicy hot wings, or all of the above. They also engage with the community by collecting school supplies for disadvantaged children through their Back Packs For A Cause drive.
Runners-up are Roxx, and Mixx.
Coffeehouse: Starbucks Ansley
Exactly like it sounds, it’s Starbucks, but at Ansley Square, bringing it closer to home. Be sure to get some coffee and scones from the boho boulangerie there, too. We’ll take our cappuccino venti with lots of whip cream and rainbow sprinkles on top, thank you very much.
Runners-up are Intermezzo, and
Breakfast: Flying Biscuit
This local institution broke out of its original Candler Park home slinging big ol’ biscuits, apple butter, and tofu scrambles hither and yon. They’re not just all about breakfast, though — I had some of their Turkey Pot Roast down at their Peachtree City location, of all places, and it was slap-your-grandma good.
Runners-up are Silver Skillet, and Radial Cafe.
Sunday Brunch: Henry’s
Located on 10th St. in gayest of gay Midtown, Henry’s outdoor patio is the perfect spot to check out the comings and goings of Federal Reserve bankers, firemen, and of course, the Pride parade. The atmosphere inside and out is woody and modern and the food is classy but approachable. A great place to nosh on a Sunday and catch the Falcons game.
Runners-up are Roxx, and Poor Calvin’s.
Local Chef: Kevin Rathbun
He came, he saw, he cooked — very, very well. This award winner and former “Iron Chef America” contestant is originally from Kansas City. Credited with bringing southwest as well as fusion cuisine to Atlanta, he’s built a culinary empire stretching from the Old Fourth Ward to Buckhead with locations like the eponymous Rathbun’s, Krog Bar, Mediterranean Wine Bar, Prime Steakhouse, and KR SteakBar.
Runners-up are Deborah VanTrece and
Liquor & Wine Store:
Tower Beer, Wines and Spirits
Over the last several decades, so many epic benders began with a simple run to a Tower liquor store for a six-pack and a bag of ice that it boggles the imagination. When you absolutely, positively have to find your favorite obscure stout from Lichtenstein or a good Bordeaux approved by the right French wine-control authorities — but at a reasonable price — you probably have one within a couple of miles of your residence.
Runners-up are Green’s Beverages, and
Ansley Wine Merchants.
With several locations around town, including the campuses of Georgia State, Georgia Tech, and Emory, they have just enough of all the good stuff to sip, nibble, and savor to get your day going gay. Vegan and vegetarian friendly, they make Southern food made for comfort with none of them fancy chemicals and such — and great coffee to boot. They also cater.
Runners-up are Sublime Doughnuts, and Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe.
Mexican: Las Margaritas
Chef Juan Hernandez brings his experience living in Columbia and Mexico to his pan-Latin fusion cuisine on Cheshire Bridge. While you’re consuming your Cuban sandwich, try one of the tasty mixed drinks both eponymous and rare, such as a Brazilian Caipirinha. This establishment is a great place to chow before retiring to your suite across the street at the Cheshire Motor Inn. Then, get some Sunday Rehab at their unlimited late brunch running from noon until five.
Runners-up are La Hacienda, and Superica.
Where in Midtown, might you ask, can you find hand-crafted tacos and tequila on Tuesday? Look no further than this taqueria, owned by Ten Atlanta founder James Nelson. Rainbows, occasional drag shows, and a recent change in management add intrigue while you ponder the symbolism of the desert succulent it’s named for.
Runners-up include The White Bull,
You know it, you love it, you were part of a large party that ate and drank for hours. This gem of a steakhouse orbiting just a block from Ansley Square Mall on the other side of Smith’s Olde Bar is a bona fide Atlanta LGBTQ institution in all but name. Though it’s threatened to close several times lately, this place has been rode hard, put up wet, and rode hard again and again. We just can’t quit you, Cowtippers!
Runners-up are Henry’s, and Roxx.
Located near the rainbow corner of Piedmont and gay, this place is the scene of a lot of classy dates with yummy Italian fare. If you want really impress your date, try pronouncing the words on the menu with a fancy Italian accent. That’s amore! Just a quick dash across the street to Blake’s, this restaurant opened in 2012 and is owned by Atlanta-famous Maureen Kalmanson, who also owns Henry’s Midtown Tavern.
Runners-up are Nino’s, and BoccaLupo.
Like we said: Italian … classy … a quick dash to Blake’s. What’s not to love about this place with dishes like pappardelle (duck confit) and pork chop with polenta? It boasts an extensive selection of wine, as well. Hang out on the patio and wonder how the gays OTP live as you survey the urban masses passing you by.
Runners-up are The Lawrence, and Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours.
Takeout: Mellow Mushroom
What began as the little hippie pizza joint that could in Little 5 Points has, like the fungus of its namesake, had its spores carried on the wind across state lines to find many places to sprout. Maybe it’s the reliably crunchy crust made in brick ovens with a trace of cornmeal to help ’em slide, or the way they make a more-than-decent vegan pie you can get carry-out or through GrubHub? Whatever it is, its Shaggy-meets-The-Allman-
Brothers vibe has become ubiquitous and indispensable.
Runners-up are Doc Chey’s Noodle House, and Willy’s.
Healthy food in a fast, casual, and wallet-friendly setting defines MetroFresh and impresses our readers, who voted this cozy Midtown bistro tops for vegetarian fare. Tucked in a shopping center near Piedmont Park, this tiny eatery makes up for its little size with big taste, including a daily changing menu of mouthwatering soups and sandwiches. We’d pop in for a vegetarian herb “chicken breast” any time!
Runners-up are Green Sprout, and
Recess at Krog.
Cheap Eats: Eats
When you’re ballin’ on a budget, nothing beats Eats according to our readers, who voted it the best cheap eats in the city. This Atlanta mainstay prides itself on an eclectic menu with enough variety to suit even the pickiest eater. Grab a meat and two sides plate or a tasty pasta bowl, all for under $10. Now that’s good eats!
Runners-up are Victory Sandwich Bar, and Moe’s in Ansley.
Burger: The Vortex Bar & Grill
After over 25 years, Atlanta’s favorite “idiot-free zone” is still considered tops in the city, according to our readers who voted it No. 1 for a great burger. Visit either of its locations in Little 5 or Midtown for a selection of creatively named burgers incorporating everything from peanut butter and plantains (The Fat Elvis) to pineapple salsa (The Freaky Tiki). They’ve got plain burgers too — but it’s 21 and up to enter!
Runners up were trendy Grindhouse Killer Burgers, and Cowtippers Steak and Spirits.
For pizza that’s way beyond basic, Antico Pizza is the top place to go to according to our readers. From its original location at an unassuming (and somewhat tricky) corner near the bustling West Marietta food district, this pizza spot has risen to popularity on its reputation for authentic pies featuring fresh ingredients and cooked to perfection in a brick oven.
Runners-up are Gino’s NY Pizza Bar,
and Savage Pizza.
Meatery: Kevin Rathbun Steak
For a juicy cut you won’t soon forget, Kevin Rathbun Steak is tops according to our readers. Voted top meatery in the city, this modern chophouse serves up tantalizing wagyu, sherry-soaked salmon, double-cut pork chops, decadent lobster, and more. All from a converted warehouse with a trendy industrial feel. The perfect choice to impress your date!
Runners-up are Bone’s, and Chama Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse.
Bartender: Rachel Powers
A bartender can make or break a watering hole, and Rachel Powers makes My Sister’s Room a destination for great cocktails, according to our readers who voted her the city’s top bartender. In place since 2017, Rachel is tops for serving up a tasty tequila or a sickening screwdriver with a smile.
Runners-up are Chad McDaniel and
Brian “KitKat” Willis.
Dancefloor: Heretic Atlanta
Dance the night away in style at Heretic Atlanta, the club our readers selected for the best dancefloor in the city. Flanked by multiple bars for quick access to a drink, this dancefloor is not only spacious but pulsating with energy, thanks to the rotating lineup of DJs and performers at this Cheshire Bridge staple.
Runners-up are Atlanta Eagle, and Xion.
There’s nothing worse than a drag show that’s a drag. Fortunately, you’ll have a howling good time when you go see The Armorettes, voted the best drag show by our readers. Alive and kicking for 39 years, this drag organization can keep you entertained for a purpose: Over the years, they’ve raised over $2 million for AIDS research.
Runners-ups are The Other Show and My Sister’s Room.
To Meet Women:
My Sister’s Room
Whether you want a little company for the evening or for a lifetime, My Sister’ Room is the place to start your search. That’s according to our readers who voted this the No. 1 place to meet women. MSR is a lesbian mainstay with a dedicated audience that’s stayed true through various moves. The club is now in a sexy Midtown location, so come on down!
Runners-up are Mary’s, and Midtown Moon.
To Meet Men:
Blake’s on the Park
If you’re looking for Mr. Right, or simply Mr. Right Now, Blake’s on the Park is the perfect place to visit, according to our readers who voted it the top spot to meet men. Frequented by boys of all types, Blake’s is known for its live entertainment, good eats, and street-side seating — perfect for being seen. Pull up a chair at this 10th and Piedmont spot and find your Prince Charming in no time!
Runners-up are Heretic Atlanta, and Woof’s.
After Hours: Flex
After 40 years in the city, Flex has still got it according to our readers who voted this long-standing bathhouse to the top among after-hours spots. This 24-hour men’s spa offers monthly, weekly, and even daily passes, as well as dressing-room rentals and massage services from licensed massage therapists.
Runners-up are Midtown Tavern, and Deep End.
New Bar: Midtown Moon
Being the new kid on the block has been a success for Midtown Moon, according to our readers who consider it the best new bar in the city. The bustling joint replaced Burkhart’s, the wildly popular Ansley Square bar that sank after decidedly racist social media posts from its former owner surfaced. The new, all-inclusive spot welcomes everyone for great drinks and a great time.
Runners up include Midtown Tavern,
and the Deep End.
Overall LGBTQ Bar:
Leather fan or not, you’re sure to find fun at Atlanta Eagle. You guys voted it the top overall LGBTQ bar in the city, and it isn’t hard to see why. Centrally located off Ponce de Leon, and with a full slate of theme nights, this decades-old mainstay is sure to be a favorite for many more years to come.
Runners-up are Oscar’s, and Felix’s.
This list was created by Georgia Voice writers Jamie Roberts, Dionne Walker, Allison Radomski, and Conswella Bennett.