Join us in ATLANTA.

To quote NY Times writer
Kim Severson
..."Atlanta has long been considered the capital of the New South. It boasts the world’s busiest airport and 16 Fortune 500 companies. So many movies are shot here that people call it Y’allywood. And now, as the nation’s infatuation with Southern food matures and Atlanta’s recession-battered economy recovers, a city that often looked over its shoulder for culinary validation and inspiration is coming into its own."

In Atlanta, fine dining, shopping and rich history combine with inspiration-inducing attractions to create a city with Southern charm and world-class sophistication. It’s easy to see why Atlanta, Georgia is one of the most popular destinations in the Southeast to live and to visit.

Fast Facts:

  • ​​More than 80 restaurants opened in Atlanta in 2015.
  • The State of Georgia is home to 17,242 eating and drinking establishments and Atlanta is the No. 5 metropolitan area with the highest employment level in restaurant industry.
  • In the past five years, Atlanta chefs have garnered 56 semifinalist nominations for James Beard Awards.
  • Atlanta hosts more than 20 food festivals annually including the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Taste of Atlanta, Cabbagetown Chomp and Stomp, and Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, among many others.
  • Atlanta boasts nearly 500 Zagat-rated restaurants from upscale gourmet cuisine to progressive variations of Southern staples.
  • In the past five years, 49 Atlanta chefs have been nominated as semifinalists for the James Beard Awards.

But Atlanta’s dining story isn’t just one of sheer numbers. What makes Atlanta’s dining scene special is its accessibility. Atlanta restaurants aren’t hoity-toity. Eateries opening in Atlanta cater to the neighborhood, providing a warm welcome and inviting ambiance to invoke the feeling of dining at a friend’s house, rather than a restaurant. Atlanta’s chefs incorporate fresh, local ingredients to serve up the best in New South cuisine with creative twists on grandma’s traditional Southern meals. 

Dig into some chow chow at Empire State South, take a bite of the pickled vegetables at Miller Union and sample deviled eggs with country ham at JCT. Kitchen & Bar. USA Today voted South City Kitchen’s fried chicken among the South’s very best, though versions at the Shed at Glenwood and Watershed on Peachtree also rank highly among locals.

Atlanta’s epicurean markets have a history of launching careers of local restauranteurs. Sweet Auburn Curb Market, Atlanta’s oldest public market, gave a home to businesses like Grindhouse Killer Burgers and Bell Street Burritos before they grew to occupy their own storefronts. Today, new epicurean markets serve as a gathering place for locals and visitors, as an incubator for new purveyors and entrepreneurs, and as a showcase for established local chefs

Prominently located along the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, Ponce City Market is a culinary mecca located between Atlanta’s most popular in-town neighborhoods. The Central Food Hall includes stalls from some of Atlanta’s popular James Beard Award-winning chefs, including Anne Quatrano and Linton Hopkins. Krog Street Market is housed in a 1920s warehouse in Inman Park with stalls that sell fresh meats, produce and prepared food alongside Southern-grown restaurants and retailers. Across the street, Irwin Street Market is a community of artisan food-based businesses under one roof.

Cocktails and (Friendly) Competition:

Our local watering holes provide more than just a place to wet your whistle. Increasingly, establishments are popping up around Atlanta offering games like bowling, bocce ball, arcade games – and even ping pong. Test your bocce ball, backgammon, darts, pool and shuffleboard skills in the basement of Ormsby’s, located on the Westside. Play board games with friends or “classic” video games and pinball machines at Joystick Gamebar on Edgewood Avenue. Down the street from Joystick, Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong (known simply by locals as “Church”) showcases the faux-religious pop art of Grant Henry and has quickly become a favorite stop for celebrities in town for filming. Stop by for ping pong, or don a choir robe for Church Organ karaoke. For a high-tech, modern game-bar experience, visit Game-X located in downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Park District.

Old-School Southern Favorites:

Guests to Atlanta often ask where to go for the best traditional down-home Southern cuisine. Established favorites among tourists and locals include institutions like Mary Mac’s Tea Room, serving “classic Southern food in the heart of Atlanta” since 1945; and Pitty Pat’s Porch, a downtown landmark named after Aunt Pittypat Hamilton from “Gone with the Wind.” For upscale Southern fare, venture to Paschal’s and try the Paschal brothers’ secret fried chicken recipe. The Varsity, the world’s largest drive-in, offering “naked dogs walking," will forever remain an Atlanta staple.




Atlanta is one of the most accessible cities in the world and home to the world's busiest and most efficient airport. With more than 80 percent of the U.S. population within a two-hour flight, traveling to Atlanta is a breeze.

Join us at our host hotel, the Grand Hyatt Buckhead. Located on Peachtree Street in the heart of Atlanta's upscale Buckhead neighborhood, Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead celebrates 25 years in 2015 and was recently named one of USA Today's 10 Best Atlanta hotels. Our competitive rate is $169/night for the duration of the conference.

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