Best New Restaurants in Atlanta to Try this Fall

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Expedia Viewfinder and Explore Georgia joined efforts to celebrate some of the newest restaurants in Atlanta this autumn.

Georgia has a sense of charm, especially during the fall, and there’s no better way to experience it than with a healthy appetite. Famous for comfort food, Georgia’s restaurants don’t disappoint. The culinary scene, in Atlanta in particular, is branching out to deliver patrons exciting new tastes this autumn. Here at Expedia Viewfinder, we teamed up with the Peach State experts over at Explore Georgia to showcase some of the best new restaurants to try this fall in Atlanta:

South Main Kitchen

Located in Historic Downtown Alpharetta, South Main Kitchen features a rustic lumber interior with industrial touches. This 1900s brick building boasts a rooftop deck, communal seating, and live music, which create a warm and welcoming ambience, especially in the cooler months.

The South Main Kitchen owners know how to keep a menu Southern fresh. Currently filled with seasonal local vegetables, the menu offers grilled chicken with goat cheese, caramelized Vidalias (onions from Vidalia, Georgia), pecans, and sweet fig compote. This fall, order the pork rinds with Cajun seasoning and savor the flavorful kick.

Victory Sandwich Bar

On a cool autumn evening, Victory Sandwich Bar is the perfect place for late-night dinner and drinks. The quirky sandwich bar sits in the middle of Decatur, surrounded by restaurants and pubs.

The restaurant’s food menu includes simple, tasty sandwiches. The Han Cholo, filled with chorizo, feta, tomatillo salsa, and pickled onions, is one particularly scrumptious sandwich selection. Victory’s Southern roots are also apparent in several favorites such as the boiled peanuts and Low Country shrimp and grits.

This stop is truly a one-of-a-kind find in Atlanta, as it features a full bar that mixes up creatively-named concoctions. Cocktails like Dark ’n’ Stormy and Walk of Shame pique the curiosity of diner’s as they skim the menu. As enticing as the entire selection sounds, the good ol’ Jack & Coke Slushie is the most famous treat by far.

Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall

With an enthusiastic and patriotic camping theme, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall not only has an interesting ambience, but a distinctive menu, too. The epitome of southern dining, this restaurant touts picnic tables and a screen porch–perfect for Georgia’s fall days.

Ladybird’s menu is a mix of traditional camping food with off-the-wall categories, including trail snacks, campfire, and base camp selections to keep with the rustic route. The restaurant serves up nibbles, such as crunchy homemade cracker jacks, as well as heartier meals of chicken and dumplings, and braised pork shoulder.

What’s campsite grub without s’mores? Don’t worry, Ladybird’s dessert menu features a delectable peanut butter s’mores pie made with graham cracker crust, homemade peanut butter, dark chocolate mousse, and marshmallow fluff to fulfill camping cravings this fall.

Gypsy Kitchen

Set in the posh neighborhood of Buckhead, this Spanish-Moroccan-inspired eatery is trendy, whimsical in its décor, and a testament to the growth of worldly restaurants in the area. Gypsy Kitchen’s menu remains true to the Moroccan and Spanish spirit, as it serves up traditional spices and herbs with a touch of contemporary flair.

The dishes embrace the flavors of the Iberian Peninsula with hints of saffron, mint, paprika, and sherry. Although small dishes and appetizers appear on the menu, Gypsy Kitchen also offers Platos a la Planxa, large dishes for the table to share. The Majorcan-style whole branzino is an especially noteworthy dish, which includes an entire European sea bass with potato, piquillo pepper, kale, tomato, pine nuts, and golden raisins. The bold and spicy flavors at this restaurant are sure to turn up the heat on any autumn day in Atlanta.

From Southern comforts to late-night eats, the Georgia culinary scene invites hungry travelers and locals to chow down as the sweater weather rolls in. This fall, explore Atlanta and let your taste buds lead the way. Test out these delectable new restaurants to complete your autumn-inspired travels in Atlanta.

 

Written by Expedia Staff Writer

Ghost Sightings in Dahlonega, Georgia

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She’s a ghostly little girl who died at age eight from consumption in 1884. When she’s seen, Betsy wears a long white dress, mostly playing in the Dahlonega Public Square, where she peeps out of windows in the upper floors of the historic building that houses Paul Thomas Chocolates and Giggle Monkey Toys.  When the chocolate shop relocated there, many employees quit, especially the ones working late, who were creeped out over the feeling that someone was watching them.  She’s apparently fond of chocolate. One morning two canisters were completely empty, with no bits remaining as there would have been if animals had torn into them. She’s also fond of the song, “You Are My Sunshine,” for many people have heard their cellphones or other electronic devices playing the tune – over and over – until they were unplugged or the batteries were removed.

For skeptics, here’s a fact about that ghostly little girl:  A visitor to The Crimson Moon Café once left their young daughter in an upstairs room for a few minutes, only to come back and find her playing hide and seek.  “With whom?” asked the parent. “Don’t you see that little girl in the white dress over there?” answered the daughter.

Dahlonega, Georgia has a very haunted history, thanks to its gold-mining, Civil War and Trail of Tears past, as well as its geology. Two new tours give guests the tingly details. Sightings of Civil War soldiers playing cards in Mount Hope Cemetery, ghosts who rattle dishes and pans in restaurants on the Public Square, chairs and chess pieces being moved when no one was there…the stories go on and on and are corroborated by town residents.

Dahlonega Ghost Walk – Historic Hauntings Tour

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Adults $15, Children $5

http://www.dahlonegawalkingtours.com

Tour guide and founder Jeremy Sharp has studied Dahlonega’s history and worked with paranormal researchers using thermal cameras and other equipment to document some sightings. Tour is approximately 1.3 miles long. Tours, all on paved, designated walkways, with the exception of Mount Hope Cemetery, end in front of the Visitors Center, 13 South Park Street.

Haunted Dahlonega: Spirits, Legends & Lore

Conducted by the Friends of the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site

Saturdays at 7 p.m.

November 1

$10 tickets available at the Dahlonega Gold Museum to benefit the Historic Site

www.facebook.com/FODGM

706-864-2257

The not-for-profit Friends of the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site, conducts fun, interactive tours suitable for adults and children. The narrative was written by local author Trisha Slay, who explains why Dahlonega is such a hotbed of activity, includes Cherokee folktales, and explores local mysteries and hauntings.  Proceeds assist in keeping The Gold Museum open seven days a week.

Fan Photo Friday: Fall Foliage Edition

Submit your photos for the chance to be featured!

Taken from the View Mount Mitchell Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Melissa Bartlett Owens‎ via Facebook.

Taken from the View Mount Mitchell Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Melissa Bartlett Owens‎ via Facebook.

October morning in the North Georgia Mountains. Photo by @RickAndersonOBX via Twitter.

October morning in the North Georgia Mountains. Photo by @RickAndersonOBX via Twitter.

Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway. Photo by Clara Williams via Flickr.

Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway. Photo by Clara Williams via Flickr.

 

How Fernbank Museum Does Halloween

Blog Photo 2Fernbank is changing Museum to BOO-seum! This Saturday, October 25 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. get ready to trick-or-treat, do the monster mash with DJ Mikey, win the monster toss and brave the spider swamp at Fernbank’s annual Halloween bash! Halloween isn’t complete without lots of candy and treats, and you can even watch the Georgia Bubbleman’s “tricks” with giant bubble fun! Costumes are encouraged and fun is inevitable, so practice your witchy cackle and get ready to dance your socks off!

Blog Photo 6A little too old for trick-or-treating? Never fear, Martinis & IMAX will celebrate Fright Night on October 31 from 7 p.m. -11 p.m.! Try our devilishly-delicious specialty cocktails and dance the night away with live music from Bogey and the Viceroy. Make sure to come dressed in your Halloween-best in order to walk away as the winner of our costume contest! Need a break from the scary good time? Never fear, we’ll also be serving up two killer IMAX® films: Pandas: The Journey Home and Galapagos: Nature’s Wonderland. Guests will also get a special night time viewing of Fernbank’s new special exhibition Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear.

 

Admission to Fernbank BOO-seum and Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear is free with Museum admission. Museum ticket prices are $18 for adults, $17 for students/seniors, $16 for children ages 3-12 and free for children ages two and under.  Fernbank members receive free Museum admission.

Tickets for Martinis & IMAX Fright Night, start at $8 for cover charge. Fernbank members do not have to pay a cover charge. Additional ticket options available online.

Go Retro in Savannah, Georgia

Built in 1938, the Streamliner Diner was moved to Savannah in 1990. The Art Deco Societies of America honored SCAD for its restoration. Courtesy Photo © Adam Kuehl. | Link is http://adamkuehl.com/

Built in 1938, the Streamliner Diner was moved to Savannah in 1990. The Art Deco Societies of America honored SCAD for its restoration. Courtesy Photo © Adam Kuehl. | Link is http://adamkuehl.com/

Doing Beats Seeing When You Go Retro in Savannah, Georgia USA –A chat with Mark Thomas, The Thunderbird Inn, Savannah, Georgia

Against its background of staid and important history, Savannah, Georgia also offers a fun, relevant and appealing retro layer, showcasing some of the fun remembered from the mid-century. Best part? This is action-oriented fun, better done than seen.
“Retro is full of vitality rather than passive here,” informs retro travel champion Mark Thomas, general manager of The Thunderbird Inn. “”We’ve got history but we’ve also got neon!”

Start with the stars! You’ll find them under a neon marquee and beneath crisscrossing searchlights in the sky. Presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Savannah Film Festival (October 25 – November 1, 2014) is on Broughton Street in SCAD’s Trustees Theatre, right next door to the nostalgic Leopold’s Ice Cream. Honored guests for the 2014 festival include Gena Rowlands, Renee Zellweger, Matt Bomer, Asa Butterfield, and Analeigh Tipton.

Need a beard or mustache trim, or razor cut? Barber Pole on Bull Street near Wright Square holds true to its retro ways. Courtesy Photo © Adam Kuehl. | Link is http://adamkuehl.com/

Need a beard or mustache trim, or razor cut? Barber Pole on Bull Street near Wright Square holds true to its retro ways. Courtesy Photo © Adam Kuehl. | Link is http://adamkuehl.com/

Retro tastes good, too! Take your seat in Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room next to whomever Fate sends your way and chow down on the classic Southern cooking that kept farm hands working in the Depression. Save room for a sundae with freshly made chocolate fudge at Leopold’s Ice Cream, which boasts a circa-1920s pedigree. When asked for his retro breakfast recommendation, quickly Mark names Clary’s Café, renowned for plate-size buttermilk pancakes, thick southern ham slices, and made-to-order omelets. You may remember it from the book and movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” but it predates that fame by decades.

What about lunch? Mark favors the Crystal Beer Parlor where nostalgic Savannah photographs line the walls and titillating tales of the Prohibition-era Speakeasy swirl. As famous for its fried chicken as its barbecue, Johnny Harris Restaurant is where Capitol Records’ co-founder and “Hooray for Hollywood” lyricist Johnny Mercer liked to dine when he was at home in Savannah. Located on Victory Drive near Grayson Stadium, diners can eat-in-the-kitchen or dine in the ballroom ‘under the stars’ (in the ceiling). Grayson Stadium is where the New York Met’s minor league affiliate Savannah Sand Gnats play baseball April through early September. And, the grand ole stadium where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke November 18, 1933, when he and his mother came to celebrate Georgia’s 150th year celebration.

Take in a performance in a place where you really ache for the walls to talk – be it the lively musical productions in the historic Savannah Theatre or a performance of the Savannah Philharmonic in the Lucas Theatre’s carefully restored Jazz Age glory.
Mark adds, “Have you met the Forrest Gump impersonator featured by Old Savannah Tours, or the dapper tour guide, Savannah Dan, who wears a seersucker suit, walking through the streets and squares of the National Landmark Historic District telling his stories? People are in search of human contact, don’t you think?”

Back in the Day Bakery. Photo by @wittyclevername via Instagram

Back in the Day Bakery. Photo by @wittyclevername via Instagram

More don’t-miss spots opened with a vintage spirit — The Distillery (showing silent movies), Green Truck Pub (featuring grass-fed beef and organic, homemade condiments), and Back in the Day Bakery, THE place for 1950s décor, artisan breads, banana pudding and brownie desserts. The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day boasts weeks on the New York Times best seller’s list.

The Thunderbird Inn – located in the ‘Canal District’ and known as the “hippest hotel in Savannah”™ — is getting some new, hip neighbors. They include Chatham Area Transit’s (CAT) free downtown shuttle and Greyhound Bus station – both in the newly renovated CAT hub. “International travelers adore bus travel, train travel, and cycling – those things Americans consider retro. The Savannah bike share rental program and Amtrak travel are gaining in popularity. Like running, cycling is also abuzz, thanks in part to Savannah’s flat terrain and village-like setting downtown. Over the last few years the Georgia Railroad Museum has also enjoyed new interest, much like SCAD’s restored Streamliner Diner (West Henry Street),” said Mark.

Can things get any better?

“Oh, yes!” Mark adds. “Wonderfully surprising, Savannah’s retro experiences are very affordable! Plus, the mischievous-little-beach-town vibe of Tybee Island is due east, 20 minutes from downtown.”

The hip Thunderbird Inn champions retro in Savannah, Georgia USA. Courtesy Photo © The Thunderbird Inn / Michael Edde, Beacon Photography

The hip Thunderbird Inn champions retro in Savannah, Georgia USA. Courtesy Photo © The Thunderbird Inn / Michael Edde, Beacon Photography

ABOUT MARK THOMAS AND THE THUNDERBIRD INN
General Manager of The Thunderbird Inn was voted among Savannah’s 40 Under 40 young professionals, a graduate of Leadership Savannah and recently beamed when acknowledging that The Thunderbird Inn — @TbirdInn on Twitter — was named to USA Today’s “Top 10 Best Retro Hotels in the USA” (July 2014). “What perfect timing for this inn’s 50th birthday year – 1964-2014!” Mark adds.

“Groovy geeksarrive for GeekEnd (November 13-15, 2014) annually, SCAD students, parents, Baby Boomers, artists and the pop culture crowd adore this place. They boast about our southern MoonPie® and RC Cola ® among in-room treats, hot popcorn on arrival, and freshly delivered Krispy Kreme® doughnuts in the morning” and the big neon sign that sports groovy messages. “The intersection of Yes, Ma’am and Dude” and “Run, Forrest Run” are among the ones we receive the most comments and grins.”

Recommended by Southern Living and Every Day with Rachael Ray magazines, the Thunderbird Inn was built and opened in the Swingin’ Sixites (circa 1964). “Sure, it’s changed. Like retro, this place is in vogue again. Plus, we are going green, and we’re uber dog friendly,” the preppy manager explains.

In 2014 the retro inn’s 50th birthday celebration joins more famous milestone celebrations – the first USA performance by The Beatles, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passing (73-27 vote), and the first Ford Mustang was produced ($2,368 base price).

It’s too close to Halloween to bypass telling you that ‘Bewitched’, ‘Munsters’, and ‘The Addams Family’ premiered on TV in 1964, too.

It’s late now. “Say goodnight, Gracie,” George Burns would say. More retro stories tomorrow. “Goodnight.”