9 Exciting Wine Restaurants in Atlanta

Top-tier wine lists down South

9 Exciting Wine Restaurants in Atlanta
In Atlanta, Restaurant Award winner Lazy Betty is a tasting-menu destination with a wine list that's impressively diverse for its size. (Andrew Thomas Lee)
Jun 17, 2021

When you think about Southern American food, staples like fried chicken, biscuits and collard greens often come to mind. But in cities like Atlanta, star chefs and independent owners alike are expanding local cuisine far beyond the classics, and offering world-class wine programs to match. Here are nine Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning destinations for superior wine and food, served with a side of Southern hospitality.

To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s nearly 3,800 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 100 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations.

Aria Restaurant

490 E. Paces Ferry Road N.E., Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (404) 233-7673
Website www.aria-atl.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Tables set along a banquette at Aria Restaurant
Aria Restaurant’s sleek dining room sets the stage for chef-owner Gerry Klaskala’s modern menu. (LuAnne DeMeo)

At fine-dining spot Aria, the wine list is filled with solid picks from classic regions, especially France and Italy. Managed by wine director Andres Loaiza, the 500 selections include something for everyone, with bottles ranging from less than $30 to more than $2,000. There are also labels from lesser-known wine regions in Slovenia, Lebanon and the Canary Islands. The diverse list is meant to complement the frequently changing cuisine. Chef-owner Gerry Klaskala’s American menu is constantly evolving, but the restaurant maintains customer favorites like beef short rib with whipped potatoes. Produce shines through the dishes, which feature an abundance of vegetables like sunchokes, oyster mushrooms and fennel, depending on the season. Klaskala is one of the owners at another Best of Award of Excellence winner featured in this guide, Canoe.


The St. Regis Atlanta, 88 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (404) 563-7900
Website www.atlasrestaurant.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A meat dish served with bone marrow next to a glass of white wine at Atlas
Atlas serves produce-focused starters as well as hearty entrées like short rib. (Tomas Espinoza)

Atlas is a refined American restaurant in the St. Regis Atlanta with a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine program. Sommelier Sam Gamble oversees the list that excels in France, California and Italy, with dozens of verticals from top producers. There are nearly 800 bottles to choose from, and among more than 70 selections by the glass, you’ll find exciting options like a nine-vintage vertical of Opus One. The American menu draws inspiration from global cuisines for a contemporary edge. Chef Ryan Heppner sources ingredients from local farms for dishes like rack of lamb with spring vegetables and almond butter, Wagyu short rib–sliders and Alaskan king crab with ponzu aioli. Atlas is part of Tavistock Restaurant Collection, which also includes Restaurant Award winners Abe & Louie's, Atlantic Fish Co. in Boston, Coach Grill in Wayland, Mass. and Napa Valley Grille in Los Angeles.

Barcelona Wine Bar

240 N. Highland Ave. N.E., Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (404) 589-1010
Website www.barcelonawinebar.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Guests around the bar at Barcelona Wine Bar’s Inman Park location in Atlanta
Enjoy Barcelona Wine Bar’s extensive by-the-glass wine list at the bar. (Andrea Behrends)

Barcelona Wine Bar is all about wine-centric Spanish dining. The brand has 17 Best of Award of Excellence–winning outposts across the country, and two are in Atlanta. The Inman Park location offers a list of nearly 500 selections, overseen by wine director Emily Nevin. The program has a significant Spanish focus, rounded out by picks from Argentina, Chile and France. Organic, biodynamic and natural wines abound. There are more than 40 wines by the glass, and each selection is available in either a 6-ounce or 3-ounce pour. Atlanta’s other location has a list of similar size, with a matching Spanish strength. While all Barcelona Wine Bars feature Spanish-tapas fare, each has its own chef that writes the menu nightly. At this outpost, chef James Burge creates plates like blistered okra with Calabrian chile and almonds, chorizo with sweet-and-sour figs, and spiced beef empanadas.


3130 Piedmont Road N.E., Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (404) 237-2663
Website www.bonesrestaurant.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Table set by a glass-enclosed wine display at Bones
Bones serves a regional interpretation of steak-house fare in a cozy space. (Courtesy of Bones)

Bones has been in business since 1979, and has earned a Best of Award of Excellence every year since 1990. The extensive wine list of 1,300 selections spans the globe, excelling in California, France (especially Burgundy and Bordeaux) and Italy. Value is a big priority for wine director Kristin Estadt, who ensures the program stays moderately priced with reasonable markups and hundreds of labels under $100. Chef Leonard Lewis puts a Southern spin on traditional steak-house dining, serving the shrimp cocktail with roulade sauce and offering side dishes for steaks such as grit fritters, collard greens and corn pudding. The wine list is presented on an iPad through a customized software that lets guests browse the selections by variety, region, vintage and more. In addition to standard details, the digital list provides tasting notes, scores and information on the wineries.


4199 Paces Ferry Road S.E., Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (770) 432-2663
Website www.canoeatl.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Bottle of red Burgundy on a table at Canoe
A collection of Burgundy rounds out the French section of the wine list at Canoe. (Courtesy of Canoe)

Canoe is set on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Though it’s only about a 20-minute drive from downtown Atlanta, the restaurant feels peacefully secluded, surrounded by lush greenery with a large porch for outdoor dining. Lounge chairs are placed around the property, where guests can enjoy a drink with a side of scenery. Overseen by wine director Kevin Cornish, the 400-label wine program excels in California and France, featuring big-name producers like Paul Hobbs and Continuum. Chef Matt Basford’s menu includes dishes such as slow-roasted rabbit with swiss chard–tortellini, and to honor his Australian roots, there’s an appetizer of peppercorn-crusted kangaroo.

Le Bilboquet

3027 Bolling Way N.E., Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (404) 669-9944
Website www.lebilboquetatlanta.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Tables set along the exterior of Le Bilboquet
There’s a decidedly French feel, even outdoors, at Le Bilboquet. (Courtesy of Le Bilboquet)

The original Le Bilboquet was an intimate French restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in New York City. It opened in 1986 before moving to a larger location farther downtown, and more recently, added a sibling outpost in Atlanta. There, Le Bilboquet maintains its signature atmosphere evoking a Parisian café, with a menu to match; chef Cyrille Holota’s entrées include French favorites like steak frites and duck-leg confit. The Atlanta location is also a Best of Award of Excellence winner for its wine program of almost 400 labels, run by general manager and wine director Mark Hoefer. French regions are the star, primarily Burgundy, Champagne and Bordeaux, but California stands out too. And though the team’s strategy could change in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant has been consistently growing its cellar inventory over the past several years.

White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails

270 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (404) 524-7200
Website www.whiteoakkitchen.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Octopus dish at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails
Southern classics meet modern cooking at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails. (Alexa Bendek)

Discover regional cooking and a global wine list at Best of Award of Excellence winner White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails. Southern staples get a modern reboot from chef Timothy Magee on the American menu, which lists options like beignets made with rock shrimp and served with tomato marmalade and shrimp with house-cured pork belly and garlic gravy. Wine director Cindy LeBlanc offers a well-rounded, international wine list of more than 500 selections. The program shines in classic regions such as France (especially Burgundy), Italy, California and Spain, but Greece and Hungary are also represented. The dining room reflects the menu’s contemporary Southern feel with white oak panels, exposed light fixtures and three custom chandeliers made from sugar maple from the Jack Daniel's distillery. Under a round, wooden structure meant to look like a barrel, White Oak has a 360-degree bar made with Georgia marble. It’s an ideal spot for lingering over one of about 20 wines by the glass.

Lazy Betty

1503 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta, Ga.
Telephone (404) 975-3692
Website www.lazybettyatl.com
Award of Excellence

 Long table set up against banquette at Lazy Betty
Bright details like a vibrant teal banquette offset the dining room’s darker elements at Lazy Betty. (Courtesy of Lazy Betty)

Tasting-menu destination Lazy Betty is a relatively recent addition to Atlanta’s dining scene, serving up chef Ron Hau’s take on seasonal American cuisine. On the patio or inside the industrial-chic dining room, guests can choose from seven or 10 courses starting at $130, with wine pairings starting at an extra $100. A recent menu of the rotating plates lists items like poached cod with spring succotash and dry-aged duck with a sauce of black garlic and pomegranate. Wine director and general manager Carl Gilbert curates the wine list, which has impressive diversity for its 200-selection size. Among the represented regions are Greece, New Zealand, India, Mexico and Lebanon, though France and California are the strongest sections.

St. Cecilia

3455 Peachtree Road N.E.,
Telephone (404) 554-9995
Website www.stceciliaatl.com
Award of Excellence

 Interior dining room with view of the bar at St. Cecilia
Chef and restaurateur Ford Fry’s Atlanta empire includes Award of Excellence winner St. Cecilia. (Andrew Thomas Lee)

At St. Cecilia, the Italian-leaning European fare from chef Brandon Chavannes brings the feel of coastal Mediterranean dining to the landlocked city. Pastas and seafood shine on the menu, which offers plates such as spaghetti vongole and a lobster-and-clam pan roast. The moderately priced list of 250 labels is strongest in Italy (especially Piedmont), France and California, covering benchmark producers from R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia to Ruinart and Opus One. Wine director Eduardo Porto Carreiro oversees the program, which is supported by an inventory of 1,500 bottles. St. Cecilia is one of three Restaurant Award winners from chef and restaurateur Ford Fry, along with fellow Atlanta spot Marcel and State of Grace in Houston.

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