Atlantans love to eat. And shop. And see shows at The Fox Theatre. Here’s a handy dining guide you can keep with you for reference when the mood strikes to indulge those passions.

Shop and nosh

For some reason, burning up credit cards works up a serious appetite. Luckily, no matter where you shop in Metro Atlanta, there’s a dining oasis near you.

Hitting one of the malls (North Point, Lenox Square) or doing some downtown boutique shopping? Benihana has locations by all three. Dining at this Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant is a show in itself, as chefs masterfully prepare meals tableside with the flair of circus performers, creating flaming onion volcanoes and flipping shrimp with a marksman’s precision (Alpharetta, 2365 Mansell Rd., 678-461-8440; Downtown, 229 Peachtree St. NE, 404-522-9629; Buckhead, 2143 Peachtree Rd. NE, 404-355-8565). Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is another standby with multiple locations near shopping and entertainment hotspots. Sides are generous, and the quality of the steaks and seafood is excellent (Buckhead, 3285 Peachtree Rd. NE, 404-365-0660; Sandy Springs, 5788 Roswell Road, 404-255-0035; Centennial Olympic Park, 267 Marietta St., 404-223-6500).

The Westside is the place to go for indoor/outdoor furniture, fabrics, rugs and décor. If you need to refuel after bargain shopping along Chattahoochee Avenue, head to King Plow’s The Food Studio, an atmospheric restaurant serving regional American cuisine in a converted factory loft; patio seating also is available (887 W. Marietta St. NW #K102, 404—815-6677.

Venture east towards Atlantic Station, an outdoor mall with major retailers, including Dillard’s, Ann Taylor and IKEA, and you’ll find Strip, a steak, seafood and sushi restaurant with an in-house DJ and a rooftop deck (Atlantic Station at 18th St., 404-385-2005). Twelve Atlantic Station, a celebrity-friendly boutique hotel, has The Lobby at Twelve, a modern American bistro with comfort food helmed by Chef Nick Oltarsh, StarChef’s 2007 Atlanta Rising Star Hotel Chef (361 17th St., 404-961-7370).

It’s hard to beat the shopping one-two punch of Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, and crossing the street with all those bags can be exhausting. At Phipps, take a load off and refuel at Twist, a lively restaurant with a huge bar, satay station, tapas menu, and sushi and seafood dishes; patio seating is first-come, first-served (3500 Peachtree Rd. NW, 404-869-1191). The Tavern at Phipps is one of Atlanta’s hottest after-work spots, and has been singled out for its happy hour and singles scene by Jezebel, InSite Magazine and the AOL City Guide (3500 Peachtree Rd. NW, 404-814-9640). For a steakhouse that sets the standard for fine steakhouses, visit New York Prime, a Prime Time Top-10 USDA Prime Steakhouse known for its wine list, atmosphere and world-class service (3424 Peachtree Rd. NE, 404-846-0644). At Lenox, Prime restaurant serves steak, sushi and seafood (3393 Peachtree Rd. NE, 404-812-0555).

If you were to pinpoint the center of Metro Atlanta’s population, it would hover in the region of Perimeter Mall, which now gives big sister Lenox Square a run for its money in the looks and style department. Places to grab a bite include Goldfish, a fun seafood restaurant with complimentary hors d’oeuvres Mon.-Fri. from 5-6:30 p.m. and nightly entertainment in its lounge (4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., 770-671-0100), and Joey D’s Oakroom, a stylish steakhouse with a staggering selection of spirits and a hot after-dinner singles scene (1015 Crown Pointe Pkwy., 770-512-7063).

Prefer boutique shopping? Check out the independently owned clothing and décor shops in Virginia-Highlands. If you get an early start, Murphy’s (997 Virginia Ave., 404-872-0904) serves one of the city’s top brunch menus; it’s a great spot for people-watching any time of day. La Tavola (992 Virginia Ave., 404-873-5430) serves classic Italian cuisine for lunch and dinner. Noche (1000 Virginia Ave., 404-815-9155) is known for its Spanish-style tapas dishes and margaritas.

Pre- or post-theater

Forget dinner and a movie. Nothing beats dinner and a show. Here are some places within a stone’s throw of The Fox Theatre, where theater lovers can grab dinner, drinks or dessert.

E Street Grille Nestle down to some Southern-fried peach pie or corn cakes at this stylish and intimate restaurant on the second floor of the Ellis Hotel. Two-seater tables under the window in the dining room are great for date nights; a groovy lounge and patio also are available. 176 Peachtree St. NW (valet from Ellis St.), 404-523-5155.

Ecco Esquire Magazine named this casual, European-influenced bistro a “Best New Restaurant in America.” It’s also gotten raves for its killer wine list, wood-fired pizzas, and impressive meat and cheese menus. 40 Seventh St., 404-347-9555.

Gordon Biersch Fresh-brewed beers are a tasty accent to this brewery-restaurant’s hearty pizzas, salads and sandwiches. For a small additional fee, pre-show diners can leave cars in the lot while they’re at the Fox. 848 Peachtree St. NE, 404-870-0806.

The Savoy at Georgian Terrace It’s hard to beat the across-the-street location, and diners get complimentary parking, but the main attraction is the glamour of the main dining room, which has hosted the likes of Clark Gable, and the al fresco seating area, which is available in warm weather. 659 Peachtree St. NE, 800-651-2316.

Shout A young crowd keeps Shout’s rooftop lounge hopping every night. The menu reflects a mix of Mediterranean, Far Eastern and South American influences. 1197 Peachtree St N.E., 404-846-2000.

South City Kitchen Midtown With a stylish, Southern-contemporary menu, this DiRoNA restaurant helped make grits hip for the business crowd. Sundays are BBQ Nite. 1144 Crescent Ave. 404-873-7358.

Trois Spacious, airy and elegant, the main dining room serves a prix-fixe, pre-show menu (ask your server for details). The Bar at Trois is designed to feel like your rich friend’s living room, and serves up perfectly crafted cocktails until 2:30 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday (1180 Peachtree St. N.E., 404-815-3337, Sharing the same address is gastropub Tap, which serves pub dishes made for sharing over drinks (404-347-2220).