Sometimes a little goes a long way and a small portion is the perfect way to begin an evening of socializing at the hottest spot in town. When you are sampling the latest cocktail concoctions, but you still need a little food on your stomach to prevent becoming a drunken mess, that’s when your destination is a tapas restaurant. Known for adequate bites that pack a lot of punch, tapas bars are some of the best places to sample food, simply because you can try several things that may be slightly overwhelming in larger doses. Atlanta has a myriad of places where the tapas is extraordinary with a perfect pairing of atmosphere. Here are the best places to nibble gourmet food that has all of Atlanta hungry for more.
I’ll admit it. I am extremely biased to this entry on the list because it just so happens to be one of my favorite places in all of Atlanta. Smack dab in the middle of the Midtown metropolis lies Shout, with so many options for food, atmosphere, cocktails and people-watching, you’d be hard-pressed to find fault with anything. Boasting three levels and a lush interior of warm primary colors, Shout is a visual feast. Start things off with tapas/sushi on the ground level, while sampling the shrimp and grits, lobster quesadillas. The sushi menu is absolutely as must, with standout rolls including: the Sweet Tropicana, Queen Salmon, Langosta, and the POV Special. Head upstairs to the second level to dance your meal away and partake in choice martinis, sangria and cosmopolitans. The house DJ is excellent and spins the hottest hits and oldies on select nights. To cool off and wind your evening down (or to just find a quiet spot with that special someone) head up to the much talked about rooftop bar that has an absolutely breathtaking view of the city. With private cabanas draped in white decadent fabric you’ll want to come every night of the week. Don’t feel guilty, I’ve been known to do the same thing!
1197 Peachtree St. NE
Bluepointe is a visual masterpiece for the eyes. Over 10,000 feet of curving, swooping structures, colorful lighting, high ceilings and impressive views set an ideal business tone of prosperity. Easily the best sushi in Atlanta, there is something for everyone to choose from. Expect nothing but the best from Executive Chef Doug Turbush and his team of highly capable culinary masters. Great tapas, entrees and desserts to ensure that the customer receives the full scope of what Bluepointe has to offer. Turbush creates absolutely mouth-watering tapas that is some of the city’s most creative and adventurous. A few menu favorites that are perfect with champagne (or any other cocktail) include: the tuna sashimi ceviche, signature crab cakes, siu mai shrimp dumplings, soy seasoned butterfish, Atlantic salmon and the signature Bluepointe sushi roll. Creative tapas options and sticky sweet desserts add to the overall appeal of this Buckhead hot spot. If you loved the tapas recipes (and you will) then you must try some of their signature desserts to cap off your evening. It is well-known that one-time visitors often become regulars…you’ve been warned!
3455 Peachtree Rd.
3 Red Sky Tapas & Bar
Tucked away nicely within the confines of Marietta, Red Sky is the perfect place to have great food, but also great tapas, as their menu is just as impressive as their highly coveted cocktails. Pair cozy, sexy décor and welcoming atmosphere with some mouth-watering tapas and you have an amazing evening ahead of you. Please try the blue cheese stuffed Spanish olives, roasted corn & lobster dip, creamy goat cheese risotto or the seared tenderloin tacos, so good you will order seconds at lightning speed. Also worth a taste (or two) is the Caribbean bruschetta, fried plantains, tomatillo braised pork nachos, and the bacon-wrapped jumbo sea scallops. Never one to rest on its laurels, Red Sky features a dessert menu that will have you instantly salivating once you get a peak at winners like the “Good & Evil” which is Oreo crumb crust with dark and white chocolate mousse layers. With tapas this good, dinner becomes an afterthought!
1255 Johnson Ferry Rd. Suite 16
4 Pura Vida Tapas
For an authentic tapas experience, look no further than this insanely popular restaurant that attracts locals and visitors alike. Located within in the confines of the hip Poncey-Highland neighborhood, Pura Vida is different from other entries on this list because they specialize in Latin tapas, which gives customers a chance to spice up their typical tapas fare and sample something that is exclusive and adventurous. The King of Crab papaya salad, chicken empanadas, malange root chips with cremini mushroom dip, Mayan tostones with chipotle honey, tilapia ceviche and the tuna poke with orange-infused caviar. These dishes are beyond amazing and will have you raving to your friends for at least a few weeks. The one thing that is an ideal addition to your dining experience is their red wine sangria; fresh fruits, wine and a few little surprises make it a standout. By carving out their own niche, Pura Vida has established a stellar reputation that is well-deserved.
656 North Highland Ave. NE
5 Loca Luna
With an aesthetic that is Brazilian-influenced and largely celebrated throughout the restaurant, Loca Luna is festive, bright and infectious, something that casual patrons and repeat offenders appreciate immensely. Head to Midtown and have the time of your life as you partake in the beautiful colors, live music and of course, delicious tapas. Regardless if the temperature outside tells a different story, upon entry you will feel as though you have been transported to some island paradise, which is a mood that any restaurant/bar seeks to achieve. Order some rum and then taste fabulous tapas including: Brochette de Galinha, lula frita, bife com banana, chicken kabobs and the fried goat cheese. The best part of visiting is that dancing is encouraged courtesy of the house samba band, which also specializes in merengue and salsa as well.
550-C Amsterdam Ave.