It doesn’t matter how rich and famous you get, you still need to eat. Encore Atlanta polled some local luminaries about their favorite local restaurants.
Former Mayor Shirley Franklin
I have many favorites, but I always come back to Paschal’s for southern-style
meals. I love the warmth of the staff, the good food, especially the potato
salad and baked chicken, and remembering the history made by the owners and
“American Idol’s” Diana DiGarmo
Fox Theatre General Manager Allan Vella
[My wife and my] favorite “go-to” restaurant is Feast in Decatur. It has a welcoming atmosphere, a brick oven adjacent to the corner of the bar (which is ideal for cozying up to in the winter), a wonderful staff that is friendly, knowledgeable, and never rushes you and great food to boot! It is always a nice evening get-away [that] never disappoints.
Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday
My favorite restaurant is Kevin Rathbun Steak in Inman Park. I love everything about this restaurant — the seared Hudson Valley foie gras and the maple leaf farm duck trio are absolutely divine! The décor is a very unique and beautiful merging of the rustic and romantic [with] lighting with tree-chandeliers, which makes it a perfect place to take your “special someone.” This wonderful dining experience always leaves this Dream Girl happily singing “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going” until I’ve licked the spoon clean of my oh-so-delectable triple chocolate caramel mousse cake!
11Alive Sportscaster Fred Kalil
One of my favorite local places is McKendrick’s in Dunwoody. [My wife and I] don’t get out as much since our kids have gotten older. We find ourselves at baseball tournaments, football games etc. Pricci is a good one for us, and Haven in Brookhaven is a nice place we like.
Fitness guru Stepp Stewart
My favorite local restaurant is Nava at Peachtree Plaza. It has great upscale Mexican cuisine with personalized service. I love the blue cornbread and the virgin margarita (original flavor). Dining out should be an experience, and that is what you get when you eat at NAVA.
92.9 Dave-FM radio host Mara Davis
My all-time favorite is Aria in Buckhead. Gerry Klaskala is one of the best chefs in the country. I love the simplicity of the menu and the contemporary interior. And do not leave this restaurant without dessert! Self-taught pastry chef Kathryn King is beyond [fabulous].
For barbecue, I just love Fox Brothers. The wings are over-the-top amazing. I dream about them. Everything else is great, too, I am just obsessed with the wings. For brunch, it’s definitely Rosebud. Chef Ron Eyester makes the greatest whole wheat pancakes in the world. My favorite new(er) restaurant is Bocado. It may not be on the menu all the time, but ask Chef Todd Ginsburg if he’ll make you the pimento cheese/poblano pepper/bacon sandwich. It’s outrageously good.
“American Idol’s” Michael Johns
My favorite restaurant is Roasters off Pharr Rd. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Favorite steak is Hal’s [at the] corner of Roswell and Piedmont. Best burger [is from] The Vortex in little Five Points. Best Chinese is Grand China in Buckhead. Finally, best Thai food [is at] Little Bangkok, off Cheshire Bridge Rd.
B98.5 radio host Vikki Locke
[My husband] and I just celebrated our anniversary in a very special way. Thanks to the Fox Theatre’s house manager Pat Prill, Mike surprised me with a wonderful dinner in a private room. Jeramiah Haines, sous chef at Livingston, cooked up something special and brought it across the street. He had pans a mile high! It was an incredible evening.