Grant Park's reining rooftop restaurant is a casual spot for snagging non-fuss seafood with a cold brew. The menu is separated into baskets (fish and chips), sandwiches (catfish po'boy), platters (shrimp and scallops), steamed shellfish (peel and eat shrimp), appetizers (fried alligator), soups, salads and raw bar. Enjoy the casual pub vibe inside or meander outdoors for the popular patio. Fried fish baskets and sandwiches pair nicely with one of the bar's ample craft brews. Since this location is overlooking historic Oakland Cemetery (the other one is on the West Side), you'll notice a few macabre-named menu items. If you have an open afternoon, we suggest filling up at Six Feet Under, then walking it off at the beautiful cemetery. You may be surprised at the history underfoot.
Recommended for Seafood because: Oysters! They have a great selection and a fun lively bar too.
Kelly's expert tip: During temperate weather, do your best to get one of the patio seats. It's one of the best rooftop bars in the city.
Venerable Ray's on the River has established an outpost in the city, and it's a beautiful place, complete with an aquarium, an onyx bar, tiled walls and ambient lighting. Seafood is delivered several times daily, and everything is impeccably fresh. Terrific oysters from the raw bar are a briny treat, and the sushi bar offers favorite rolls fashioned to your specs. Much of the fish is simply grilled, but there's also grouper with a horseradish crust, ginger-glazed yellow fin tuna, lump crab cakes, and a wonderful broiled seafood platter. Pork, chicken and steak satisfy landlubbers who can't give up their comfort zones.
Recommended for Seafood because: Seafood is delivered several times daily, and everything is impeccably fresh.
Kelly's expert tip: Make sure to make reservations as this spot stays busy with the downtown convention crowd.
The extensive menu at this gourmet Southern restaurant features some of the freshest seafood in the city. The selection here is outstanding with more than 100 varieties of fresh fish flown in daily. Although the menu changes daily, typical entrees include cedar plank salmon, pecan crusted salmon trout filet, George's Bank sea scallops and sushi. The enormous copper fish out front is a familiar Buckhead landmark, and the bustling bar is a fun place to wait for a table. The atmosphere is warm and lively, and reservations are strongly recommended. If you loved your meal, pay a visit to the onsite Pano's Market, which sells sushi, fish platters and fresh filets to prepare at home.
Recommended for Seafood because: A jaw-dropping selection of fresh seafood and consistently great service set this restaurant apart.
Kelly's expert tip: A gluten-free menu is available upon request
The interior of Kyma is nothing short of stunning. The sky-like ceiling features twinkling stars and there are huge marble columns throughout the restaurant as well. Begin your meal with octopus and dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), both typical Greek fare. While you can certainly find meat-centric dishes at Kyma, you'd do best to order seafood here. The whole, basted and grilled fish is a special feast, but so too are the house specialties (cue the Arctic char and skate wing). Big eaters can opt for the All Meze Dinner (a selection of spreads plus five appetizers) or the Meze and Whole Fish Dinner (three spreads, four appetizers and a whole fish) for a range of eats. The restaurant offers a vegan and vegetarian menu as well.
Recommended for Seafood because: Enjoy whole-cooked fish prepared Mediterranean style (aka, food for the gods).
Kelly's expert tip: Order the whole fish and split it for approximately $26 a person.
Entering inside C&S Oyster bar, you almost feel like you've stepped into another era. Although it is located in a strip mall, you forget that once you get a glimpse of the handsome dark-wood interiors and plush banquettes. With hints of a French bistro among the restaurant's environs, there's an immediate sense you're in upscale territory. Oysters are an absolute must at C&S. There's an a la carte option to pick and choose which oysters you'd like from the list of bivalves hailing from the New England Coast and Nova Scotia. Skip pricy lobster and crab legs in favor of fish. Snapper, tuna, sea bass, and skate are all good choices.
Recommended for Seafood because: Consistently tasty seafood with some of the best service in Atlanta.
Kelly's expert tip: Oysters are an absolute must. Get 'em.
Set along the Chattahoochee in Sandy Springs, Ray's on the River almost feels like a secret hideaway. Walk waterside along the river and for a moment, you feel like you're leagues away from Atlanta. The transportive experience continues inside the longstanding seafood restaurant. Traditional American seafood dishes mix with an array of inventive specials. Lean savory with the Parmesan-encrusted scallops served over lobster basil risotto, or opt for lighter fare with one of the Fresh Seafood Market options (like the Georgia Mountain Trout, grilled with a lemon caper, tomato and brown butter sauce on the side). A wide-ranging seafood menu is complemented by multiple salads and red meat selections, as well as a handsome array of sides. Vegetables, like the seafood, are fresh and most often, locally grown (maybe even on the premises!). Brunch is especially lovely and a great outside-the-box experience for out-of-towners.
Recommended for Seafood because: Riverside views, a wide selection of fresh seafood, season-driven cocktails... need we say more?
Kelly's expert tip: Pay attention to the specials--both in terms of the main plates and the cocktail list.
Chops, a swanky local favorite, is often frequented by power brokers and features hushed tones and a well-stocked display case. One level of the restaurant is a steak house, hence the name, Chops. The other level, Lobster Bar is predominately seafood. Lobster Bar downstairs, offers the featured crustacean along with many other fish dishes. The seafood platter consists of a south african lobster tail, petite salmon filet, colossal lump crab, diver sea scallops. The wine list is excellent. This is an upscale restaurant with waiters wearing jackets, so you'll want to get a bit dressed up when paying a visit to Lobster Bar. Reservations are a must, ANY day of the week as Lobster bar is popular with the business crowd and for special occasions.
Recommended for Seafood because: Make a special occasion out of your visit to Chops. Excellent service, well-thought out food and an elite atmosphere aid in the top-shelf experience.
Kelly's expert tip: Make a reservation in advance. The long-time staple always has a busy dinner service.
Chef-owner Ford Fry's (also owner of King + Duke, St. Cecilia, No. 246 and JCT. Kitchen & Bar) ode to the Southern coast has become an instant hit for Atlantans seeking seaside cuisine. Executive Chef Adam Evans cooks up a menu peppered with seafood staples (think lobster rolls, hush puppies and eat-and-peel shrimp)as well as divergent renditions (wood hearth roasted mangrove snapper or duck fat poached swordfish with smoked short ribs). Begin your meal with an artful appetizer and indulge in one of the craft cocktails. Oyster aficionados will delight in the adjacent Oyster Bar at the Optimist, which features an extensive raw bar as well as multiple small plates.
Recommended for Seafood because: It's got the hype, sure, but it also touts excellent food. Check it out, then return.
Kelly's expert tip: Head next door to the low-key Oyster Bar for raw and roasted oysters.