On Monday, national food magazine Bon Appetit launched its City Guide, a mobile-friendly guide to eating in cities across the U.S. Among the 10 cities included in the initial guide is Atlanta.
Users of the digital guide (bonappetit.com/city-guides) will find more than 20 Atlanta places on the list. Other cities in the guide include Austin, Charleston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. By June, BA’s City Guides also will include Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, Boston and Las Vegas.
The must-try Atlanta bites for the guide were written by Bon Appetit Deputy Editor Andrew Knowlton, who grew up in this city and graduated from Greater Atlanta Christian School before attending college in the Northeast.
Local spots that made the hit list include James Beard-nominated best new restaurant Staplehouse, chef Billy Allin’s popular Decatur restaurant Cakes & Ale and Inman Park food hall Krog Street Market, which continues to see new openings.
“It’s the first time Atlanta had built a food court in a cool way,” Knowlton of Krog Street Market. “If Ponce City Market is high and polished, that one feels gritty and real. I like that about it.”
The list includes a mix of high- and low-brow cuisine, even chains like Atlanta-based Waffle House.
“I grew up at Waffle House. It’s the first place I was a regular at. Everyone should have an unapologetic love of one restaurant. Waffle House became that for me. I will defend that place forever,” said Knowlton, who wrote a 2015 article in Bon Appetit about working a 24-hour stint at the breakfast-all-day chain.
“The thing about this city guide: Every single restaurant, coffee shop and hotel — either I ate, slept or drank there or someone else from Bon Appetit did in the last six months. We can defend our list,” Knowlton said, noting that the list will be updated regularly as BA’s editors travel the country in search of great meals.
Knowlton spent this past weekend in Atlanta, visiting his parents, who still live in the area, and checking out new and established restaurants as part of a research tour in the South.
“I probably write too much about the South,” he said, expressing his excitement for the vibrancy of Atlanta’s restaurant scene compared with years past. “I love it.”
Knowlton, 41, has been at Bon Appetit since 1999, when he started as an intern. His job then? “To call restaurants and have them fax their menus to the magazine.”
Seventeen years later, Knowlton is telling the digital universe about the tastiest spots to eat in Atlanta — information accessible from a phone with the swipe of a finger.