Special Report

The 35 Best Restaurants in the South

Source: Courtesy of Bacchanalia

11. Bacchanalia
> Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Considered at the pinnacle of Atlanta dining since it opened almost 30 years ago, Bacchanalia — adjacent to the popular Star Provisions market, kitchen shop, and café — turns out internationally inspired food based on regional products. The four-course fixed-price menu offers six choices for each course. A sample meal might include a crab fritter with Thai spices, pasture-raised lamb with broccolini and mint, Red Cow parmigiano with dates and black garlic, and a peach and blueberry soufflé with black pepper.

Source: Courtesy of Miller Union

12. Miller Union
> Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Named for Atlanta’s 19th-century Miller Union Stockyards, chef Steven Satterfield’s and sommelier Neal McCarthy’s modern Southern restaurant offers everything from cornmeal fritters with pecan butter and peach and chile marmalade to grilled pork loin with corn and butter bean succotash and roasted figs to blueberry-lavender tart with shortbread crumble and coconut-lime sorbet. The multi-national wine list is particularly well-chosen.

Source: Courtesy of Southern Soul Barbeque

13. Southern Soul Barbecue
> Location: Saint Simons Island, Georgia

The menu at this popular establishment on one of the so-called Golden Isles of Georgia off the port town of Brunswick reads like an anthology of barbecue. Pulled pork, ribs, smoke sausage, beef brisket, smoked chicken or turkey, an array of sandwiches, and more are offered, and nightly specials include a jerk chicken burrito (Monday), house-cured and -smoked pastrami (Thursday), and pit-fired prime rib (Friday). Southern Living once hailed the place as “the best smokehouse in the South.”

Source: Courtesy of The Grey

14. The Grey
> Location: Savannah, Georgia

Chef Mashama Bailey, a veteran of Aquagrill and Prune in Manhattan, became an instant star of the Southern restaurant scene when she opened her sleek establishment in an abandoned once-segregated Greyhound Bus station. Her imaginative creations include such things as peach and melon salad with Surryano ham, mackerel with summer squash caponata and mixed grains, and rabbit mortadella with carrot and cucumber.

Source: Courtesy of Leigh W. via Yelp

15. 610 Magnolia
> Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Brooklyn-born Korean-American chef Edward Lee has established himself as one of the most respected restaurateurs in the South, not only through his Louisville eateries and award-winning cookbooks but also for his LEE (Let’s Empower Employment) initiative, dedicated to programs promoting diversity and jobs in the food service industry. Meanwhile, diners here at his Louisville tasting-menu flagship enjoy such dishes as halibut with squash terrine and roasted corn, duck breast with dirty Carolina gold rice and napa cabbage, and fig tart with salted white chocolate and sherry vinegar caramel.