What neighborhood did you grow up in and how long did you live there before moving? How often do you go back? I grew up in Buckhead, where I lived for nearly ten years. After I went away to St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, my parents moved to Druid Hills. Unfortunately, I don't get back to Atlanta nearly as much as I (or my parents!) would like. Lately, I've been lucky if I'm able to be in Atlanta two or three times a year.
Where do you put up friends visiting town? The St. Regis (88 W. Paces Ferry Rd.; 404-563-7900; stregisatlanta.com).
Where is the best place to find your hometown’s signature dish? Growing up in Atlanta, the turkey sandwich from Henri's Bakery is a staple. I still get cravings (61 Irby Ave. NW; 404-237-0202; henrisbakery.com).
What is your favorite restaurant to take visitors? Eclipse di Luna on Miami Circle. It's fun, colorful, and lively with great tapas, sangria, and live music. Order everything on the menu (764 Miami Cir. NE; 404-846-0449; eclipsediluna.com).
Where can you find the best cocktails? My mom works at a little boutique, Squash Blossom, on the Decatur square (113 E. Court Square; 404-373-1864; squashblossomboutique.com). When I'm in town I meet her after work at Paper Plane (340 Church St.; 404-377-9308; the-paper-plane.com), a tiny bar tucked in behind Victory Sandwich (340 Church St.; 404-377-9300; vicsandwich.com).
Where is the best wine list in town? The people watching and small plates at Barcelona Wine Bar in Inman Park (240 N. Highland Ave.; 404-589-1010; barcelonawinebar.com).
Where would you choose to splurge on a night out? Anne Quatrano's Bacchanalia is always delicious and just as modern and relevant now as it was nearly 20 years ago when it opened (1198 Howell Mill Rd.; 404-365-0410; starprovisions.com).
What’s the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon in town? Start with a visit to the Botanical Gardens and Orchid House, followed by a stroll through Piedmont Park (1345 Piedmont Ave. NE; 404-876-5859; atlantabg.org). This park was designed by Olmsted and has beautiful views of downtown and midtown (1342 Worchester Dr. NE; piedmontpark.org). My dog, Bird, loves the dog park there, so I always take her when I’m in town. For shopping, I love The Stalls on Bennett Street (116 Bennett St. NW; 404-352-4430; thestalls.com) and Scott Antique Market (3650 Jonesboro Rd. SE; 404-361-2000; scottantiquemarket.com).
Where is the best brunch? I first went to Lady Bird Grove and Mess Hall while visiting home over Thanksgiving one year. We had a great time and loved the food, and have been going back for brunch ever since. In nice weather, it's a great spot to sit on the screened porch and watch the activity along the Beltline (684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE; 404-458-6838; ladybirdatlanta.com).
Where do you go for the perfect cup of coffee? Dancing Goats. I'm quite classic when it comes to my coffee order—a double espresso, no sugar (Multiple locations; batdorfcoffee.com).
What’s your favorite path or trail to follow on a walk? The Beltline—a great walking and biking trial winding through the city with art installations and restaurants along the way (beltline.org).
What are your favorite offbeat cultural attractions? Oakland Cemetery is a beautiful park setting where iconic Atlantans (Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones) were buried. It has one of the best views of downtown Atlanta. They allow dogs so we take Bird there to run around—she loves it (248 Oakland Ave. SE; 404-688-2107; oaklandcemetery.com).
What’s your favorite shop or boutique? B.D. Jeffries in Buckhead. I always find something for my house there (3736 Roswell Rd. NE; 1-800-954-3004; bdjeffries.com).
What’s the best-kept local secret? Babette's Cafe on Highland Avenue. Named after the Danish film, Babette's Feast, this cozy bungalow has simple, perfect food and service. We always take home a small box of their date-and-pistachio cookies (573 N. Highland Ave. NE; 404-523-9121; babettescafe.com).
Image Credit: Courtesy the St. Regis.
In our Hometown Guides series, we're seeking the best restaurants, bars, vistas, and things to do in a given place from the people who know best—the artists, designers, chefs, and store-owners who live there. See more Hometown Guides »