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Food issue restaurant guide


This guide includes restaurants that we recommend, are of note, or have received recent reviews in Creative Loafing. The star rating is included for restaurants that have received full reviews. Rsetaurants without a star rating have not yet received a full review, or are considered Cheap Eats, which do not get stars under CL's system.

*****: Extraordinary

**** : Excellent

*** : Very good

** : Good

* : Fair


ANN'S SNACK BAR, Recently named best burger the COUNTRY by the Wall Street Journal, it's hard to get a seat these days at Ann's. The favorite here remains a double cheeseburger with mayo; it's less than $5 and would fill a Great Dane. The masochist orders the Ghetto Burger, a plate-filling sandwich topped with chili, cheese, onions and bacon. L $. 1615 Memorial Drive. 404-687-9207.

CARROLL STREET CAFE, The Diem Inc. outpost in Cabbagetown, this cafe embodies all the Apres Diem style with Cabbagetown's eclectic sensibilities. Try the smoked salmon lox platter for breakfast or the Carroll Street BLT for lunch. B, L, D. $-$$. 208 Carroll St. 404-527-2700.

DUCK'S COSMIC KITCHEN, *** This cafe tucked in back of East Decatur Station serves killer sandwiches on freshly baked bread, pizzas, and some of the best doughnuts we've ever tasted. Service is warm, like hanging out with distant but fond relatives. B, L, D. $. 111-D New St., Decatur. 404-371-8823.

Flying Biscuit Cafe, No Southern breakfast is complete without biscuits, but the Flying Biscuit has made the biscuit -- cakey, oversized and with a touch of buttermilk -- the cornerstone of all its meals, even its lunch-menu items and dinner entrees. Next door to the restaurant, there's a small shop that's always crowded where you can get your biscuits, sold by the dozen, to-go with your morning coffee. B, L, D. $$. 1655 McLendon Ave. 404-687-8888.

JAVA JIVE, The breakfast-only restaurant in the heart of town has a retro vibe and tons of charm. Java Jive's owners, Shira Levetan and Steven Horowitz, a husband-and-wife team, have been making hearty morning meals in their retro-feel restaurant for more than a decade with great success. Winner "Best Breakfast" 2007. B $. Cash only. 790 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-876-6161.

MAJESTIC DINER, For all the debauchery and bleary-eyed clubbing that ordering a plate of hash browns at 4 a.m. entails, this is the only place to go. Delightfully greasy burgers, eggs, grits, and other diner favorites stave off oncoming hangovers and settle woozy, boozy tummies. L, D. $. 1031 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-875-0276.

METROFRESH, Hearty soups and sandwiches, along with salads, pastas and a few more complicated entrees from time to time. You can eat in, but the food is ideal for carry-out since it's simple. 931 Monroe Drive, Suite A-106. 404-724-0151.

RADIAL CAFE, Going out to breakfast should be relaxing, and this is one of the few places left in Atlanta where jockeying for a table isn't a professional sport. Don't miss the hearty buckwheat pancakes and the giant breakfast burrito topped with spicy salsa, black beans and a drizzle of sour cream. L $. 1530 DeKalb Ave. 404-659-6594.

RIA'S BLUEBIRD, On any given day, you can see yuppies sitting next to punks who are next to hipsters. All this is to say that the food at the Bluebird is one of those things that everyone loves. Huevos rancheros or the breakfast burrito are sure winners any day of the week, but you have to get there early or expect a long wait. B, L $. 421 Memorial Drive. 404-521-3737.

RISE 'N DINE, A bright and airy brunch spot in Emory Village serving simple, fresh breakfast fare with servings and prices that are easy to stomach. Decadent sweet potato pancakes are a hit and croissant sandwiches are a yummy lunch option. B, L $. 1565 N. Decatur Road. 404-377-4407.

SILVER SKILLET, One of the last true diners in the city, the Skillet serves big buttermilk biscuits available straight up or stuffed. Our favorite order remains the mild country ham with two eggs (over easy), biscuits, grits and red-eye gravy. 200 14th St. 404-874-1388.

SIX FEET UNDER, The paneled Southern seafood shack decor works , and so does the food. Shrimp, crab cakes, oysters, crab legs, clams, scallops, mussels, catfish and po'boys are all fresh and tasty. L, D. $$. 415 Memorial Drive. 404-523-6664. 685 11th Street. 404-810-0040.

Souper Jenny, It's the interaction of the familiar with the adventurous that makes Souper Jenny worth the traffic. Pick from a list of wholesome soups, tasty sandwiches and crisp salads. The menu changes daily, but if you happen upon the artichoke and roasted tomato sandwich with a goat cheese spread, go for it. L $$. 56 E. Andrews Drive. 404-239-9023.

THUMBS UP DINER, This is a breakfast joint whose weekend waits are worth braving: Nutty whole-wheat biscuits and nicely composed egg scrambles are served to one of the town's most wonderfully integrated dining crowds. B, L $. 573 Edgewood Ave. 404-223-0690.

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