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Sometimes you’re in the mood for a celebratory night out and other times you just want a relaxed, yummy meal. Whatever mood you are in, Atlanta has a wealth of restaurants to fit your taste and budget. From an indulgent steak to tasty tapas bites, there are plenty of options throughout the city, both ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter). Whether you want to spend a bundle or kick back with friends, we’ve got you covered with our choices for Atlanta’s best restaurants.

Kevin Rathbun Steak
154 Krog St NE #200
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 524-5600
www.kevinrathbunsteak.com

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Having one of those nights when you just want to sit down to a well-prepared steak? Kevin Rathbun Steak is one of the best spots in Atlanta to satisfy that craving. You can expect all the standard fare from a steakhouse along with some interesting sides like Coca-Cola Baby Back Pork Ribs, Sonoma Jack Cheese-Pecan Fritters and Yaya’s Eggplant Fries. There are also salad and seafood options if you’re not up to a steak, but really, this is a carnivore’s domain. Steak accompaniment options include black truffle butter, Point Reyes bleu cheese butter, peppercorn sauce and broiled Maine lobster tail, among others. It’s located right on the Beltline so you can take a stroll before or after your meal.

Marietta Diner
306 Cobb Pkwy.
S Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 432-9390
www.mariettadiner.com

If you’re seeking a restaurant in the OTP area, the Marietta Diner is the perfect destination. With a wide range of items on the menu, this establishment offers more than the typical diner. Owner Gus Tselios is highly experienced in the business, opening his first restaurant at the age of 18. You won’t just find your average diner food here, with a menu that includes broiled lamb chops, barbecued ribs and seafood kabobs, all served 24 hours a day. Of course you’ll still be able to order the diner favorites you grew up with, including a wide range of breakfast items, hearty burgers and delicious shakes. You’ll even get complimentary spanakopita while you wait for your order. It comes as no surprise that Marietta Diner was featured on the popular television show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Cooks & Soldiers
691 14th St NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 996-2623
www.cooksandsoldiers.com

Open for a little over a year, Cooks & Soldiers has been a welcome addition to the trendy Westside dining scene. Run by the same crew also responsible for other Atlanta favorites like Iberian Pig, Sugo and Double Zero Napoletana, this restaurant features tapas treats with a Basque flavor profile. Expect deliciously smoky asparagus, scallops and octopus. Don’t skip the croquetas de jamon, as a ham and cheese croquette is a must-get at any tapas dinner. It’s a great date night spot and is perfect before a concert or theatrical performance at the nearby King Plow Arts Center.

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The Varsity
61 North Avenue NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 881-1706
www.thevarsity.com

If you have a fast food craving, you have to hit up The Varsity when you’re in Midtown Atlanta. It’s as friendly as it is greasy, and kids love the old-fashioned decor. Named the world’s largest drive-in, The Varsity can accommodate 600 cars outside and more than 800 people inside. For many Atlantans, this is one of the definitive hometown experiences, up there with a late night at Waffle House. For a sweet, tangy treat, try the Frosted Orange. The mission of The Varsity is to be fun and fast, and it has been serving burgers and hot dogs since 1928.

Heirloom Market BBQ
2243 Akers Mill Road
Atlanta, Georgia, 30339
(770) 612-2502
www.heirloommarketbbq.com

If you’re looking for an interesting and satisfying lunch spot, check out Heirloom Market BBQ. While other more traditional barbecue spots like Anna’s or Williamson Bros. are justifiably popular, Heirloom has a special class of fans devoted to its Korean flavorings. It’s nothing fancy and there’s not a lot of seating, but it’s a great representation of Atlanta with its interesting mix of flavors. Take note that it is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

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Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.