What’s the best time to visit Atlanta?

I would say during the beginning of our spring. It’s getting a little warmer out, but there’s still snow on the ground in New York and Chicago. That’s the best time of year for me. Or during football season.

  • On June 22, 2013
    Sonia Chopra answered the question: Sonia Chopra

    Where is the best shopping in Atlanta?

    Westside Provisions District off of Howell Mill Road in West Midtown is fast becoming one of the best places to shop in Atlanta. Skip the crowded indoor malls and head here next time you have an afternoon to spare. 

    For food (or a last-minute hostess gift), stop by Star Provisions. The market sources first-class products from cheeses and chocolates to tableware and cookbooks. They've also got a bakery that serves up sandwiches, soups, and sides as well as house-made breads and pastries to go. For wine, head to Perrine's Wine Shop, where sommelier Perrine Prieur will find just the right bottle for you.

    For home goods, check out Switch Modern and Jonathan Adler; FLOR, your stop for custom-made carpets and rugs; Knoll, for home and office; exterior furnishers Kolo Collection; and Room & Board, Environmental Furniture, and Bungalow Classic. Simply Put Paper & Gifts will design custom stationery or invitations for any occasion.

    And for clothes, it's hard to know where to start. There's Sid Mashburn and Ann Mashburn, Billy Reid, Free People, Anthropologie, G. Gilbert, Jack Spade, Lululemon, Steven Alan, Calypso St. Barth, Kayce Hughes, and, for children, Seed Factory. 
  • On June 21, 2013
    Sonia Chopra answered the question: Sonia Chopra

    What are the best neighborhoods in Atlanta?

    Some people judge a neighborhood by its coffee shop, in which case you'd be hard-pressed to deny the greatness of Grant Park (Octane and Little Tart Bakeshop) or Candler Park (Dr. Bombay's Underwater Tea Party), just to name a couple. But with the Atlanta BeltLine, which will make the city more walkable, and developments like Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, which will be filled with local businesses, it may be best to reserve judgement on the very best neighborhoods at the moment— a lot of change is coming to Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park, both home to a lot of popular independent restaurants and shops, and wonderful things are happening in West Midtown, particularly the area around the Westside Provisions District, right now as well.
  • On June 21, 2013
    Sonia Chopra answered the question: Sonia Chopra

    What are the best bars in Atlanta?

    Whether you're looking for the perfect patio or something a little more off the beaten path, the Atlanta bar scene has something for you. There are mainstays like Leon's Full Service in Decatur and Buckhead's Holeman & Finch, where bartenders Miles Macquarrie and Greg Best, respectively, are dreaming up some of the city's very best cocktails. H. Harper Station's Jerry Slater and Navarro Carr from the Sound Table make classics like the best of them, and it's hard to go wrong with one of Nate Shuman's creations at Proof & Provision, located inside of the Georgian Terrace. He's been known to add everything from tea-infused ice cubes to fruit-flavored cereal into his cocktails.

    Over at Seven Lamps, near Lenox Mall, Arianne Fielder's got house-made sodas, sous vide cocktails, and boozy slushies behind her bar, and in downtown Decatur, newly opened Paper Plane has Paul Calvert behind its. Calvert's designed the libations at both Paper Plane and the adjacent Victory Sandwich Bar, which happens to have a can't-miss patio. The entrance to Paper Plane isn't marked, but you can get to it from the alley to the right of Victory or through the door behind the sandwich shop's ping pong table. The beer list is tempting, but order a cocktail. You won't be sorry.

    If you do want beer, though, Brick Store Pub and the Porter are the places to go. And for wine, try Kevin Rathbun's Krog Bar, where you can share a few tapas and a bottle of something good. The outdoor bar and new bar snacks menu at Villains makes it a great place for happy hour, and if you're looking for something late-night, head to Octopus Bar, which opens at 10:30 p.m. each night.

  • On June 21, 2013
    Sonia Chopra answered the question: Sonia Chopra

    What are the best restaurants in Atlanta?

    It'll come as no surprise to you that Atlanta does Southern food well. Restaurants like Empire State South, Miller Union, Table & Main, and JCT Kitchen are among the best of the best in this city.

    But there's also Old Fourth Ward's Miso Izakaya, where we recommend the shoyu tamago and the pork belly or duck buns. And there's Chai Pani, a street food-inspired Indian joint in downtown Decatur where the kale pakoras, sev potato dahi puri, and uttapam can't be beat. Just down the road are the Spanish-style tapas at the Iberian Pig, and not far from there is the General Muir, Emory Point's Jewish deli concept with house-made bagels, perfect cheesecake, and a double-stack burger with crispy pastrami and gruyere.

    If you're in the mood for sandwiches, try Star Provisions, where the shrimp po' boy is the best in town. For pizza, visit the always-crowded Antico or head OTP to Vingenzo's in Woodstock. Inman Park's newest Italian restaurant, BoccaLupo, has quickly become a neighborhood favorite, and everything from the small plates to the burger is done flawlessly at Bocado.
  • On June 19, 2013
    Sonia Chopra answered the question: Sonia Chopra

    What are the best attractions in Atlanta?

    Atlanta has a little bit of everything: great music, great food, great shopping, and great (well, sometimes) sports teams, but let's not forget another pretty great thing about the city: our weather. Here are your best bests for spending some time outdoors.

    Catching the Falcons at the Georgia Dome or the Hawks at Phillips Arena is always fun, but there's no better summer pasttime than tailgating in the Blue Lot outside the Braves stadium, then heading into the Ted (as Atlantans call Turner Field) for nine innings of baseball, cold beer or frozen lemonade, and food options that go beyond the typical hot dogs and nachos (though there are plenty of those, too). To make your seventh-inning stretch a little more upscale, try the steak sandwiches at Kevin Rathbun Steak or the famous Holeman & Finch burger.

    Not sports inclined? Check out Stone Mountain— whether you'd like to do the one-mile hike up to the top or you'd rather bring dinner and a picnic blanket and catch the evening laser show, this is the place for you. If you're not into BYOB, check out SweetWater Brewery. There, vistiors can tour the brewery itself and get six eight-ounce pours of SweetWater beers in a keepsake pint glass for $10. Enjoy them on the expansive patio while listening to live music.

    There's also the newly opened Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. The paved, walkable trail spans a 2.25-mile stretch of the city, from Midtown to Inman Park. Spend an afternoon exploring— you'll see everything from great views of the city to unique graffiti. And if you need a bite to eat, there are quite a few restaurants along the 'Line that would be happy to host hungry cyclists, runners, and dog-walkers. For a more flowerly experience, try the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They offer something for everyone: Cocktails in the Garden, canopy walks, a carnivorous plant hunt, tai chi classes, and more.
  • On June 19, 2013
    Sonia Chopra answered the question: Sonia Chopra

    What are the best attractions in Atlanta?

    Atlanta has a little bit of everything: great music, great food, great shopping, great (well, sometimes) sports teams, and pretty great weather. Here are your best bets for spending some time outdoors.

    Catching the Falcons at the Georgia Dome or the Hawks at Phillips Arena is always fun, but there's no better summer pasttime than tailgating in the Blue Lot outside the Braves stadium, then heading into the Ted (as Atlantans call Turner Field) for nine innings of baseball, cold beer or frozen lemonade, and food options that go beyond the typical hot dogs and nachos (though there are plenty of those, too). To make your seventh-inning stretch a little more upscale, try the steak sandwiches at Kevin Rathbun Steak or the famous Holeman & Finch burger.

    Not sports inclined? Check out Stone Mountain— whether you'd like to do the one-mile hike up to the top or you'd rather bring dinner and a picnic blanket and catch the evening laser show, this is the place for you. If you're not into BYOB, check out SweetWater Brewery. There, vistiors can tour the brewery itself and get six eight-ounce pours of SweetWater beers in a keepsake pint glass for $10. Enjoy them on the expansive patio while listening to live music.

    There's also the newly opened Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. The paved, walkable trail spans a 2.25-mile stretch of the city, from Midtown to Inman Park. Spend an afternoon exploring— you'll see everything from great views of the city to unique graffiti. And if you need a bite to eat, there are quite a few restaurants along the 'Line that would be happy to host hungry cyclists, runners, and dog-walkers. For a more flowerly experience, try the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They offer something for everyone: Cocktails in the Garden, canopy walks, a carnivorous plant hunt, tai chi classes, and more.
  • On June 19, 2013
    Sonia Chopra answered the question: Sonia Chopra

    What are the best attractions in Atlanta?

    Atlanta has a little bit of everything: great music, great food, great shopping, great (well, sometimes) sports teams, and pretty great weather. Here are your best bets for spending some time outdoors.

    Catching the Falcons at the Georgia Dome or the Hawks at Phillips Arena is always fun, but there's no better summer pasttime than tailgating in the Blue Lot outside the Braves stadium, then heading into the Ted (as Atlantans call Turner Field) for nine innings of baseball, cold beer or frozen lemonade, and food options that go beyond the typical hot dogs and nachos (though there are plenty of those, too). To make your seventh-inning stretch a little more upscale, try the steak sandwiches at Kevin Rathbun Steak or the famous Holeman & Finch burger.

    Not sports inclined? Check out Stone Mountain— whether you'd like to do the one-mile hike up to the top or you'd rather bring dinner and a picnic blanket and catch the evening laser show, this is the place for you. If you're not into BYOB, check out SweetWater Brewery. There, vistiors can tour the brewery itself and get six eight-ounce pours of SweetWater beers in a keepsake pint glass for $10. Enjoy them on the expansive patio while listening to live music.

    There's also the newly opened Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. The paved, walkable trail spans a 2.25-mile stretch of the city, from Midtown to Inman Park. Spend an afternoon exploring— you'll see everything from great views of the city to unique graffiti. And if you need a bite to eat, there are quite a few restaurants along the 'Line that would be happy to host hungry cyclists, runners, and dog-walkers. For a more flowerly experience, try the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They offer something for everyone: Cocktails in the Garden, canopy walks, a carnivorous plant hunt, tai chi classes, and more.
  • On June 19, 2013
    Natalie Wearstler answered the question: Natalie Wearstler

    What are the best bookstores in Atlanta?

    One of my favorite bookstores in Atlanta is Atlanta Vintage Books. From the outside, it doesn't look like much — it's located on Clairmont Road, in an unassuming building that looks nothing like the cookie-cutter Barnes and Noble outposts you'll find all over this city — but inside, it's a bibliophile's dream. Rare first-edition books, classic novels and current bestsellers fill the shelves, and the staff is always willing to help you hunt down a specific title or point you in the direction of a genre you're interested in. (On my last visit, I spent a solid hour looking through the titles in the "Music" section and left with a book filled with personal essays by famous musicians about the songwriting process.) One of my favorite things about shopping here is the Atlanta Vintage Books bumper sticker that gets tucked into your purchase when you check out. It's a little detail that adds to the charm.

    A word of caution, though, for customers with allergies — the owners keep cats in the building. If you are allergic, your best bet would be to call the store and inquire about a specific title, then swing by to pick up your treasure. 
  • On June 12, 2013
    Caroline Patek answered the question: Caroline Patek

    Should visitors rent a car in Atlanta?

    While Atlanta has a bus and train (MARTA) system, it's widely known that public transportation isn't used as much here as in other cities. Furthermore, walking is rare. While renting a car will certainly making getting around easier in Atlanta, visitors shouldn't feel it's necessary.

    Calling a cab is a popular option, as well as requesting an Uber vehicle. If you're planning to go out for the night, cabs can be found waiting outside many of the popular bar areas throughout the city.
  • On June 5, 2013
    Sarah Gleim answered the question: Sarah Gleim

    What’s new in Atlanta?

    King + Duke, photo by Andrew Thomas Lee Photography Several new restaurants have recently opened in Atlanta that we're super excited about. Tastemaker Ford Fry launched his newest dining hot spot King + Duke in Buckhead in early May. The space is clean and contemporary, and includes a massive 24-foot hearth, open kitchen and large patio. The menu focuses on hearth-style cooking and includes dishes like wood-roasted chicken liver toast with onion marmalade; grilled beets and carrots, chermoula, Bulgarian feta and cress; and “the duke,” a burger with house-ground chuck and dry aged cuts, coal roasted onion and mushroom preserve.

    In Decatur, MAR opens this weekend and will feature a menu of Spanish and Mexican fusion cuisine. Dishes like wood-roasted fish, lamb and steaks; coastal tacos and tostadas; ceviche; and oysters will pair with the restaurant's extensive tequila list and specialty cocktails (think mojitos, margaritas and micheladas).

    Also back in Buckhead, Amura Buckhead Sushi opened in early April. The spacious restaurant has an expansive sushi bar, as well as a private dining space for seating up to 80 people. The menu features a variety of Japanese fare, including a mix of sushi dishes like the Chojang Yellowtail Chive Poppyseed Rayu and standbys like the spicy tuna roll and the California roll. The dinner menu includes a full selection of sushi, as well as variety of entrees like Waygu steak and Chilean sea bass.

    Top Chef season 6 alum (and fan fave) Kevin Gillespie finally opened his restaurant Gunshow in East Atlanta’s Glenwood Park and it's his first executive chef position since he left Woodfire Grill late last year. The concept it totally new and Gillespie describes the experience as being similar to Brazilian churrascaria-style dining and Chinese dim sum — instead of ordering from a traditional menu, guests choose their dishes tableside from rolling carts and trays. This kind of service also encourages the casual and family-style experience Gillespie wants patrons to enjoy. The menu changes regularly, and weekly updates and specials are posted online every Sunday night so you’ll always be able to find out what’s available for the upcoming week. Dishes so far have included Southern favorites such as buttermilk dumplings and foraged mushrooms, Texas Hill Country-style smoked beef sausage and old-fashioned hot banana pudding.
  • On June 5, 2013
    Sarah Gleim answered the question: Sarah Gleim

    What’s new in Atlanta?

    King + Duke, photo by Andrew Thomas Lee Photography Several new restaurants have recently opened in Atlanta that we're super excited about. Tastemaker Ford Fry launched his newest dining hot spot King + Duke in Buckhead in early May. The space is clean and contemporary, and includes a massive 24-foot hearth, open kitchen and large patio. The menu focuses on hearth-style cooking and includes dishes like wood-roasted chicken liver toast with onion marmalade; grilled beets and carrots, chermoula, Bulgarian feta and cress; and “the duke,” a burger with house-ground chuck and dry aged cuts, coal roasted onion and mushroom preserve.

    In Decatur, MAR opens this weekend and will feature a menu of Spanish and Mexican fusion cuisine. Dishes like wood-roasted fish, lamb and steaks; coastal tacos and tostadas; ceviche; and oysters will pair with the restaurant's extensive tequila list and specialty cocktails (think mojitos, margaritas and micheladas).

    Also back in Buckhead, Amura Buckhead Sushi opened in early April. The spacious restaurant has an expansive sushi bar, as well as a private dining space for seating up to 80 people. The menu features a variety of Japanese fare, including a mix of sushi dishes like the Chojang Yellowtail Chive Poppyseed Rayu and standbys like the spicy tuna roll and the California roll. The dinner menu includes a full selection of sushi, as well as variety of entrees like Waygu steak and Chilean sea bass.

    Top Chef season 6 alum (and fan fave) Kevin Gillespie finally opened his restaurant Gunshow in East Atlanta’s Glenwood Park and it's his first executive chef position since he left Woodfire Grill late last year. The concept it totally new and Gillespie describes the experience as being similar to Brazilian churrascaria-style dining and Chinese dim sum — instead of ordering from a traditional menu, guests choose their dishes tableside from rolling carts and trays. This kind of service also encourages the casual and family-style experience Gillespie wants patrons to enjoy. The menu changes regularly, and weekly updates and specials are posted online every Sunday night so you’ll always be able to find out what’s available for the upcoming week. Dishes so far have included Southern favorites such as buttermilk dumplings and foraged mushrooms, Texas Hill Country-style smoked beef sausage and old-fashioned hot banana pudding.
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