The Best Of Buckhead, Atlanta

Traveling to Atlanta recently for a wedding, my husband and I stayed in the uptown neighborhood of Buckhead, an area of wonderful hotels, top rated restaurants and upscale shopping centers, for a long weekend. The Best Of Buckhead is what I found to be some of best this area has to offer…from where to stay as well as restaurants that should not be missed if you are traveling to the southern city of Atlanta, Georgia.

Located just a thirty minute ride from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, we chose to stay at the St. Regis Atlanta, a beautiful French Beaux Art designed hotel, as it is within walking distance to restaurants and shopping as well as being convenient for visiting the Governor’s Mansion, the Atlanta History Center and the Swan House. The hotel has a private courtesy car and, when available, can be requested for driving you to other destinations within a two mile radius of the hotel.

The elegantly designed two-story lobby with huge limestone columns, an impressive crystal chandelier, four large fireplaces, and two curved staircases that lead to the Astor Court on the mezzanine level gives you the feel of a grand southern mansion. Only one word comes to mind when describing the St. Regis Atlanta…opulent. It is no wonder that so many movie stars and other famous celebrities have been spotted staying here.

You enter your hotel room through a large entrance foyer that has two closets, a sit-down vanity and a marble topped Nespresso coffee bar. The rooms are beautifully decorated in restful colors with dark wood furnishings and have a large flat screen TV. The marble and tile bathroom is large enough for two people to comfortably use at the same time with its two sink marble topped vanity, a large soaking tub and separate walk in shower.

St. Regis Pool Piazza (Photo: St. Regis)

After a full day of walking around the Buckhead area to shop and have lunch, the colorful resort-style pool is a great place to come back to and relax for a while with a book and enjoy the sun. You can go for a refreshing swim, soak in the jacuzzi or have a snack or enjoy cocktail at the pool side bar. With its outdoor fireplace, the “pool piazza” as it is called, should be a very nice spot to relax almost any season of the year.

The St. Regis Bar With A Large Mural Of Phoenix Rising From The Ashes (Photo: St. Regis)

Friday evening, as we walked into the hotel’s St. Regis Bar and saw the well dressed crowd gathered at the bar, it made us feel that this is “the place” for locals as well as the hotel’s guests to enjoy an evening cocktail in Buckhead. The room has a warm and inviting club like feel with its dark wood paneling, rich colors, comfortable leather seats placed around tables and a large bar that features a striking mural, “Resurgens,” Claude Perreault’s painting depicting Phoenix rising from the ashes of Atlanta.

Large Bronze Sculpture Outside Atlas Restaurant

In the hallways outside the bar and restaurants, the hotel is decorated with beautiful antique pieces of furniture as well as outstanding sculptures, artwork and accessories.

The hotel’s restaurant Atlas is considered by restaurant critics to be one of the best places in Atlanta for upscale American dining and has received many well-earned awards. Whether you are in jeans or dressed to the nines, the servers make you feel welcomed as they show you into this comfortable restaurant with its plastered arched ceilings, high gloss walls and artwork by Picasso, Matisse, van Gogh, Lucian Freud, and Francis Bacon among others set into dining niches that create an ambiance similar to a European supper club. If you haven’t had a drink in the St. Regis Bar before dinner, the restaurant has its own with a display case of fine cognacs and brandies that serves as a divider between the bar and the dining tables.


Chef Christopher Grossman, formerly from the famous French Laundry restaurant in Napa, California has created a classic à la carte menu of beautifully prepared dishes featuring seasonal and  locally sourced ingredients. You can dine on such offerings as truffle potato pierogi dumplings or crispy gulf oysters as starters and pan seared rabbit loin or sweet potato agnolotti with Italian sausage as your main course. If you are more inclined to something simpler, there is a freshly ground Wagyu beef burger with fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese served with fries.

Bangkok Station Starter Menu

The best lunch we that we experience while visiting Buckhead was at a Thai restaurant called Bangkok Station where we had the best Thai food we have had in years. Since it was lunch, we ordered the Pearls of Bangkok which included Chicken Satay, Thoong-Thong (crisp rice paper bags filled with yellow curry chicken, peas and corn), Fresh Basil Roll (avocado, basil, purple cabbage and cucumber) and Ka-Nom Jeeb (steamed shrimp and chicken dumplings) from their starter menu. We also ordered Larb Tob (crispy spicy pork meatballs with red onion, chili, scallion, cilantro, lime and roasted jasmine rice powder). Each of the starters came with their own special sauces to complement each dish.  I only wish that the Bangkok Station was in my area of Florida as my husband and I could eat there at least once a week, it is that good.

King + Duke Dining Room (Photo: King + Duke)

Duke + King is just around the corner from the St. Regis and is one of the trendy new  restaurants owned by Ford Fry. It serves lunch and dinner with menu items like a double stacked burger with all the trimmings, a grilled cheese with tomato soup, coal roasted onion soup, roasted chicken with corn muffins and grilled flatiron steaks served with tomato chimichurri and fries. We went there late on a Sunday morning to try out their brunch menu. Everyone seems to start with their donuts but we went with a southern inspired pork theme for starters. We tried  their house made biscuits with country ham and honey, deviled eggs with Mangalitsa ham and chives and pimento cheese with crispy ham and pepper jelly on crostini. We also had a special of the day which was a lamb Benedict and salads with shaved vegetables.

For our last evening in Buckhead, we had dinner at another of Ford Fry’s restaurants called St. Cecilia, that has received accolades from all over the country for its design and wonderful coastal Italian menu of handmade pastas, roasted seafood as well as a seafood raw bar. It’s a large open space that is decorated with recycled wood, white and black tile and a large white marble crudo bar as its centerpiece. Floor to ceiling glass windows, leather banquettes, brass accents and large dome lighting give it a clean, modern feel. I had made reservations weeks in advance because of one particular item on the menu…the wood grilled octopus with pickled spring vegetables, citrus, baby mizuna and spring peas. It was a dish I knew my husband would have to order. He did and  enjoyed it saying that the dish certainly did live up to its wonderful reviews.

Wood Grill Octopus, Pickled Spring Vegetables, Citrus, Baby Mizuna And Spring Peas (Photo: St. Cecilia)


Buckhead Neighborhood Of Atlanta (Photo: St. Regis)

Whether you are visiting Atlanta on business or pleasure, I believe that you would enjoy staying in Buckhead with its many wonderful hotels and restaurants. If you are looking for gracious southern charm and hospitality along with good food, I believe that Buckhead offers some of the best options for dining and accommodations in Atlanta. Even though my visit was short, it made for a memorable trip. I hope that you get a chance to experience all that it has to offer as well.

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50 thoughts on “The Best Of Buckhead, Atlanta

  1. Lovely review Karen. I spent time in Buckhead in the mid-nineties when there was no traffic in Atlanta and Buckhead was just being built (the nicely appointed cluster homes). I was asked by a NOVA client to come down and do the interior design in her new abode.
    I remember eating at a very hip diner, where the food was southern and deelish. Now I understand the freeways are gridlock.
    Happy memories of that area, where the sources for interior designers outshined the DCDC.
    Glad you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing in detail. Diane

  2. Karen you were in my old stomping grounds.
    It’s so funny really because I took ballet in a building that still sits diagonal to the St Regis…and the St Regis was the location of the Sears building…where Mother always took us to get our new school shoes.
    When the Ritz was built across from Lenox, it was THE place to go to either stay for a special night or event and to go to dine—faded now form the limelight, the St Regis is now that THE place.
    The changes to the area are amazing really…all within the past 30 years—my aunt, who actually grew up within walking distance to all of this now trendy area, when she comes up to visit from West Palm Beach and I take her back to her beloved Henri’s bakery and deli which sits a block from the St Regis, is blown away by the changes…for the area is almost unrecognizable to those who lived and grew up in this area…especially if you’ve been away for any length of time. But we call that progress right?!
    You do know why the name Bulkhead don’t you?
    at the intersection of Peachtree and Roswell—the famous Y of roads, once stood a small backwoods general store and local watering hole. This in the time of horses, dirt roads and what was once Indian lands…over the door of this stopping point was a mounted buck’s head…the standard greeting or acknowledgement of the time was “I’ll see you at the buck’s head, or lets met again at the buck’s head”….
    thanks for showcasing one of the brighter stars in Atlanta and lucky for you that they got the interstate fixed early 🙂

  3. Writing from the other side of the world have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a part of a city to which I so wanted to go as a romantic teenager after first reading ‘Gone with the Wind’ 🙂 ! And on many trips to New York way back we enjoyed the St Regis there . . . what a quietly elegant hotel now in Atlanta ! Thank you for the restaurant ‘journey’ – am by far not a copycat saying that wood grilled octopus would surely tempt me also . . .

  4. I’ve been to Buckhead, but it’s been years and years. I do remember it as a nice place, one of the nicest parts of the Atlanta area (which is huge!). Sounds like you had a terrific time. Wonderful post — thanks.

  5. Even when I lived in Atlanta in the early 70s, Buckhead was special. I can see it still is. Nice post.

  6. We are leaving for Maine Wednesday and had planned to stop in Atlanta for lunch with my niece, however, it’s not going to work out. No question we’d had lunch in Buckhead as that is her area. Oh well, on to Savannah where we’ll find something good to eat.

  7. I have never been to ATlanta for a visit – yet! BUt we plan to visit soon. Thanks for your beautiful recommendations! We love staying at St. Regis Hotel everywhere we go. Great post!

  8. As usual, a lovely picturesque travel journey through your keen senses. Wish we could have joined you in this indulgence of excellence!

  9. This is a great review, Karen…even without the photos I can imagine the splendor. The decor and artwork is so elegant. Of course I was wondering about your dining experience! Lovely descriptions of your meals!

    We’ve never been to Atlanta but I’ll remember the St. Regis if we get there.

    Jane x

  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. So far I’ve only been to ATL airport for connecting flights, but Atlanta is on my “want to see” list for my next trip over.

  11. I haven’t been in Atlanta in years, but I do remember it as being a very sophisticated city. After one particularly intense work day, my colleagues and I headed to Buckhead not for the high-end stuff, or the iconic Buckhead Diner, but a no-frills barbecue place that was just great. Don’t remember the name. Thanks for the fun post; the hotel is gorgeous.

  12. That looks really wonderful, Karen. So glad to know you enjoyed it! I do lover your travel adventures and the exotic dishes that you try. Long may it continue.

  13. I was in Atlanta in 1996 for business, they put me up at the Ritz Carleton. It was also my 10th wedding anniversary and I convinced JT to come for a few days after my business was completed. Days were a bit leaner than now so I had to move to the more affordable HJ’s when business was over. I recall crying as I sat at the end of the bed because it was such a contrast to the Ritz. The next morning I hit every decent hotel to see if I could upgrade us to something nicer, but no luck. It was the year of the Olympics and hotel prices were high! Notwithstanding, we had an amazing time, taking in all the beautiful historic sites the area had to offer. We met in Buckhead with some of my colleagues for brunch and it was my first experience with grits! All in all, a great trip and I hardly remember how depressing our hotel room was after the Ritz!

  14. Over the years we have spent a lot of time enjoying Atlanta. Great shopping, fabulous restaurants, plenty of events to enjoy, and always something new to discover.

    Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us.


  15. Hmmm. We have a couple of trips planned this summer to the Atlanta area (more like Alpharetta) but I would so like to check out this area. Thanks for the tips!

  16. I live in Nashville so a quick trip to Atlanta is pretty normal but I love your riff on the city and the foods. I don’t usually stay at quite so swanky a place, but maybe someday! I always have fun their, make a quick stop at a few of favorite places and sometimes am back in Nashville in time for a late dinner. Love you piece Karen.

  17. We used to live in the Atlanta area and I always enjoyed Buckhead and even worked for Buckhead Brokers while selling real estate. Glad you enjoyed your stay. You documented it well and ate well too!

  18. Karen, I’ve never been to Atlanta! It seems to be a popular destination now, both for business and pleasure, and I’m looking forward to visiting someday soon. Your description of this lovely hotel and the food is intriguing me. I think it could be a wonderful spot for a weekend getaway. I’m going to forward this post to a friend whose daughter just moved there for her first after college job. I know she will just love it. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful spots with us! I feel as if I have enjoyed a little pampering already. Linda

  19. Looks like a charming place…you make me want to visit Atlanta. Thanks for this peek into your trip. Looks like you had a great time.

  20. The octopus looks sensational! It would be the first item I would order. Thank you so much for this wonderful culinary guide to Atlanta!

  21. Sounds like you had a great time and the hotel looks perfect, Karen! It has been a while since we’ve been to Atlanta and after seeing this, it’s time to return. Food looks delicious and that’s a great night time shot of the city, almost as pretty as Chicago! ☺

  22. Karen, my sister and her husband live in Buckhead and I visit there often. I have favorite shops and restaurants so it’s always a fun visit. The hotel looks wonderful, although I’ve never been there I know it must be a wonderful hotel to call home when away from home. We often stop in the Ritz for a cocktail and snack, it is especially fun during the holidays. So many great options in Buckhead…..

  23. Such a beautiful (and delicious) trip!! The St. Regis is gorgeous– we live clear across the country, but you’ve made me want to start planning a trip to Georgia! thanks! xo

  24. Love that area of Atlanta! We have visited the Swan House and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens hearby – both so well worth the visit. Would love to try the St. Regis one day! Grilled octopus is a favorite!

  25. My brother and family live in the Atlanta area, and my daughter, too! Isn’t Buckhead just magical! What a marvelous time you must have had, and I couldn’t but help perk up when I heard the words “French Laundry!” I knew that restaurant was going to be amazing…

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