Modern Atlanta brides think outside the box, and when your city is alive with so many culinary superstars and institutions, what better way to show your individuality than to host your wedding reception at a restaurant? These aren’t the boring, impersonal banquet halls of yesterday — they’re beautiful, interesting Atlanta restaurants teeming with personality, ready for a celebration. Here are seven beautiful restaurants to host your reception in Atlanta.
Named time and time again to so many best restaurant lists in the country, Bacchanalia is an undisputed Atlanta culinary institution. Food-focused brides will be hard-pressed to find a more apropos venue. The restaurant offers an intimate setting for a seriously superb meal; the light-filled dining room is available to book, as is a smaller farmhouse-style private dining room. Splurge on caviar and oysters for a totally indulgent reception.
If you’re more of a blank canvas kind of gal, look no further than 103 West. This ballroom style venue isn’t technically a restaurant, but we’ve included it because it’s part of the biggest restaurant group in town, so you know that the food is going to be stellar. The various rooms hold anywhere from 30 to 300 guests, and you can use the understated and elegant art- and mirror-lined rooms to make your reception dreams come true.
Those looking for a location in trendy Inman Park will want to consider Rathbun’s. The industrial space is just as formidable as the celebrity chef (Kevin Rathbun) behind the restaurant; options include the entire dining room, a private wine room — with an entire wall decked with wine — or even the smaller patio outside, right on the popular Beltline.
Two Urban Licks
The indoor-outdoor abilities are the main attraction at this industrial space on Atlanta’s trendy east-side. Two Urban Licks has a retractable roof, and the patio has garage doors that can be left open or closed. There’s also a Bocce ball court that overlooks an herb garden, and a ballroom on the second level where guests can sample signature dishes such as pimento cheese hush puppies and salmon chips.
Native Atlantans perpetually have this Vinings restaurant on their list of the best places in town, namely for their extensive grounds that back up to the Chattahoochee River. Canoe has a rustic interior of the main building that would make a good alternative to a barn-style wedding, and larger parties can pop up marquees on the beautifully manicured lawns of the River Garden. A seasonal menu ensures that the food is fresh, inventive, and unique to your reception.
A Bon Appetit '50 Best New Restaurants' winner is just one of the accolades that this westside restaurant has garnered in recent years. If you’re looking for a casual wedding reception spot with killer food, start with The Optimist; their main dining room is lined with subway tiles, hardwoods and floor-to-ceiling draperies. There’s also a separate raw bar under a cheery yellow awning for smaller gatherings, adjacent to an outdoor area strewn with lawn games such as mini-golf.
New to town, this sit-down restaurant on the second floor of the newly opened Ponce City Market is a Mad Men aficionado's dream. The Mercury has mid-century modern furniture that's sprinkled with modern updates, which makes it feel like you’ve entered Don Draper’s living room in the 21st century. As does the menu: prime rib, a raw bar, crab Louie and classic cocktails like an Old-Fashioned and Kir Royale are all on offer.