More than 2,500 people turned out to the Cobb Galleria Center on Wednesday for Atlanta Magazine’s Best of Atlanta Party. They enjoyed food and drink from 60 restaurants and 30 bars.
Notable booths included Rathbun’s, Canoe, Smash Kitchen and Bar, and Ted’s Montana Grill. The line for The Fry Guy stretched across the room; Dutch Monkey Donuts went like hotcakes. The Four Roses Bourbon and Coca-Cola slushies brought repeat visitors, and Sprinkles Cupcakes could barely keep up with demand for their small cakes.
In addition to, literally, the best restaurants and bars in Atlanta, Yacht Rock Schooner made attendees reminisce about the best music of the late 70s and early 80s.
Each featured restaurant and bar was chosen specifically for this event because of its inclusion in the annual Best of Atlanta issue, whether from 2014 or other years past. Restaurants, bars, shops, and more are chosen by Atlanta Magazine editorial staff.
The Best of Atlanta Party took place in the largest exhibit hall; upon entering, your breath might have been taken away. The Atlanta Magazine logo, as well as sponsor logos, was projected onto the walls. Large prints of past Best of Atlanta issues lined the walls and were a popular photography background. Each restaurant had its own booth, and these booths were split into two aisles, lining the walls on each side. Large white lights were strung over and between the booths, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The music stage, as well as silent auction, social media lounge, and sponsor booths were situated in the middle of the large, open room. The Coop, Springer Mountain Chicken’s craft beer pavilion, featured some of the most popular booths of the evening, pairing local foods with local craft beers. Linda Harrell, Executive Chef at Cibo E Beve, was thoroughly impressed by The Coop.
“The Coop was a casual environment that led to many relaxed conversations between the chefs and the guests. The craft beer pairings and the ability to explain why certain flavors work well together was a real bonus!”
This year’s philanthropic partner was The Giving Kitchen, an Atlanta non-profit dedicated to providing assistance, in the form of crisis grants, to Atlanta restaurant community members who find themselves in an unexpected tough spot. Began in 2012, The Giving Kitchen grew from a few people volunteering assistance to a beloved local chef, Ryan Hidinger, to an official 501(c)3 organization that reaches deep into the Atlanta restaurant community. A $10,000 donation, in addition to silent auction proceeds, will go to The Giving Kitchen.
“People have been very generous,” said a volunteer at The Giving Kitchen’s booth. “Atlanta is an amazing city; everyone has been very curious and supportive.”
Atlanta Magazine was founded in 1961 and has since grown to become the city’s number one general interest publication with more than 70,000 paid subscribers. The Best of Atlanta, an anticipated competition that takes place every December, is responsible for establishing some of the city’s best and most popular restaurants, bars, activities, and everything in between.
Atlanta is one of America’s best cities for restaurants, whether they be traditional or innovative, old or new. This diversity is what made the Atlanta Magazine Best of Atlanta Party an amazing, annual party that shouldn’t be missed.