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This local legend is billed as the world's biggest drive-in and has been a staple on the Atlanta dining scene since 1928. Countless burgers, fries, shakes and more than two miles of hot dogs are served here every day, along with more Coca-Cola than anywhere else in the world. Dine in your car, seat yourself in one of the many cafeteria-style rooms, or simply order your greasy lunch at the 150-foot (46-meter) long stainless-steel counter and go. The white-tiled diner theme is a welcome throwback to days when drive-ins ruled the fast food scene.
For authentic Southern food with an authentic ambiance to match, Mary Mac's is the place to be. Stop by for everything tomato pie, beef turnovers and barbecued ribs to go with beer and cocktails. This bustling restaurant on Ponce de Leon has remained unchanged since 1945, and is as much a cultural experience as it is a culinary one. Regular favorites include the fried trout, baked or fried chicken, collard greens and sweet potato souffle. Catering and delivery services are available as well.
This happening Midtown joint really packs them in, and is quickly garnering a reputation as a can't-miss destination on the local dining scene. The best way to describe the food is creatively modern Southern, but that doesn't really do it justice. The kitchen turns out such remarkable signature dishes as seafood bisque with sherry and scallops over stone ground grits with garlic gravy. Make reservations early on theater nights, as space fills up quickly. South City Kitchen surely promises a different spin on Southern cuisine.
Delicious barbecue and mesmerizing music have combined to make this Midtown spot a local legend. Patrons queue up for a dozen yards outside the door eager to sample their award-winning ribs, and it is well worth the wait. Opt for their ribs slab or pork sandwich with Brunswick stew and collard greens washed down with a chilled beer. Don't leave without a bottle of Fat Matt's secret sauce so you can try their pit-roasted wonders at home. Some of the best local blues bands perform here nightly for your dining enjoyment.
Housed in a former filling station in the heart of downtown Decatur, Leon's Full Service is just that - a full service bar and restaurant focused on fine handcrafted food and drink. An offshoot of the extremely popular Brick Store Pub, Leon's cuisine expands beyond pub fare to more upscale options. Chef Eric Ottensmeyer keeps the menu fresh and seasonal with entrees like wild pan seared scallops and grilled flat iron steak with a zucchini cheddar casserole. Sandwiches, salads, pub frites and snacks - like bacon in a glass - round out the menu. Craft beers are a focus here, but quality wines and spirits are also well represented. The atmosphere is laid-back with an inviting patio perfect for relaxing and enjoying a great meal.
Local Three is one of the most popular restaurants in Atlanta, be prepared to wait awhile or sit at the bar if you don't have a reservation. However long you wait, though, it will be well worth it. The warm and friendly restaurant is covered in all kinds of kitsch and clever pop culture references, which even carries over to the menu oft-times. Specialty cocktails, and a sophisticated liquor and wine selection make it a great place to take your time with the whole dining experience. Once you're ready to eat, the rotating menu always has delicious, expertly made American food, usually with a contemporary twist. The brunch is also to-die-for.
Hidden off the interstate, this local gem of a tavern is always bustling with activity. Whether you go to watch the latest sport match or participate in a cornhole tournament, McCray's Tavern is a friendly and convivial place. Delicious pub grub like burgers and heartier options like the rib-eye steak or grilled rainbow trout, perfectly compliment the 45 beers on tap.