$ Entrées less than $10
$$ Entrées $10–20
$$$ Entrées more than $20
Most Romantic Setting: French American Brasserie ($$$, 30 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., 404/266-1440, www.fabatlanta.com , Mon.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.) has the seductive atmosphere of a café on the Seine. Be prepared to fall in love.
Best Thai Cuisine: Although the city has plenty of delicious casual Thai joints, Nan Thai Fine Dining ($$$, 1350 Spring St., 404/870-9933, www.nanfinedining.com , Mon.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5:30–10 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5:30–11 p.m., Sat. 5–11 p.m., Sun. 5–10 p.m.) ups the ante on sophistication and palate.
Most Buzzed-About Restaurant: With a list of awards and accolades to make any chef-owner blush, Bacchanalia ($$$, 1198 Howell Mill Rd., 404/365-0410, www.starprovisions.com , Mon.–Sat. 6–10 p.m.) remains one of the Southeast’s critical darlings.
Best Local Landmark: Atlanta’s been chowing down on the greasy chili dogs at The Varsity ($, 61 North Ave., 404/881-1706, www.thevarsity.com , Sun.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–11:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–12:30 a.m.) since 1928.
Best Classic Southern Dining: Mary Mac’s Tea Room ($$, 224 Ponce de Leon Ave., 404/876-1800, www.marymacs.com , daily 11 a.m.–9 p.m.) is a portrait of local gentility, and a fine choice for comfort food.
Best Contemporary Southern Eatery: Crescent Avenue mainstay South City Kitchen ($$$, 1144 Crescent Ave., 404/873-7358, www.southcitykitchen.com , Mon.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. and 5–10:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–3:30 p.m. and 5–10 p.m.) has been a go-to destination for Lowcountry brilliance since 1993.
Best Tacos: If you can endure the impossibly long lines, you’ll enjoy Taqueria del Sol’s ($, 2165 Cheshire Bridge Rd., 404/321-1118, www.taqueriadelsol.com , Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30–9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30–10 p.m., Sat. 5:30–10 p.m.) creative spin on Mexican street fare.
Best Special-Occasion Restaurant: Rathbun’s ($$$, 112 Krog St., 404/524-8280, www.rathbunsrestaurant.com , Mon.–Thurs. 5–10:30 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5–11:30 p.m.) pulls off the neat trick of creating civilized, sensual dining in an unexpected industrial setting.
Best Be-Seen Dining Room: The cavernous Two Urban Licks ($$$, 820 Ralph McGill Blvd., 404/522-4622, www.twourbanlicks.com , Mon.–Thurs. 5:30 p.m.–midnight, Fri.–Sat. 5:30 p.m.–1 a.m., Sun. 5:30–10:30 p.m.) is a feast for the eyes, and a great echo chamber for people-watching.
Best Breakfast: Thumbs Up Diner ($$, 573 Edgewood Dr., 404/223-0690, Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–3 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 7 a.m.–4 p.m.) does breakfast classics right, but also gets points for its healthy options.