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Hungry for 2013, Guy picks top 2012 restaurants

(click for larger version)
January 02, 2013
Have you tried Breadtime?

The mom and pop German bakery and café opened last spring in the cozy confines of 235 South Main Street in Alpharetta.

They’ve transformed the space into a quaint little bistro offering carefully sourced European cuisine, wines, beers and baked goods.

Breadtime is easily the best new Alpharetta-area restaurant of 2012.

They had to overcome some significant competition for this distinction.

Finishing a close second might be Grand Champion BBQ.

This popular Roswell restaurant, 4401 Shallowford Road, opened a new location in the fall at 12635 Crabapple Road in Milton.

Aficionados of craft barbecue can expect delicately smoked pork, brisket, ribs, chicken and sausage in addition to delicious homemade pies.

Rounding out the 2012 trifecta is Liu Fu in Johns Creek.

This Sichuan-style Chinese restaurant left the friendly confines of Buford Highway in Chamblee for new suburban digs at 11625 Medlock Bridge Road.

Adventurous types might order the hot boiled fish.

Breadtime in Alpharetta. (click for larger version)
Be prepared for tongue-numbing spice.


New Year restaurants to watch

So, 2013 promises to be even better for Alpharetta gastronomes.

Pay attention to these newcomers to our restaurant scene.

The Roswell invasion has begun.

Two popular Canton Street restaurants have plans to open in downtown Alpharetta this spring.

The first is Salt Factory.

The gastropub is building in the former KFC location at 102 South Main Street.

Tofu with veggies at Liu Fu in Johns Creek. (click for larger version)
Rumor has it that you’ll be able to play bocce on their patio.

Also watch for Nine Street Kitchen to open at 52 North Main Street.

Several existing restaurants have expansion plans in 2013. The first is trendy eatery Bite. The restaurant is taking a bite out of their shopping center at 11500 Webb Bridge Way, expanding into the adjacent space. Expect a larger menu and a full bar.

Ray’s Killer Creek is remodeling their restaurant at 1700 Mansell Road.

They’ve also changed their name to simply “Ray’s on the Creek.” Even though “killer” is no longer on the sign, they’ve not lost their killer talent in the kitchen.

Grand Champion BBQ in Milton and Roswell. (click for larger version)
Former reality television star Tracy Bloom, who made a stint in Top Chef’s season seven, remains as executive chef.

And watch for Mambo’s Café to re-open at 4915 Windward Parkway.

They shuttered their Cuban/Peruvian restaurant in the Alpharetta Commons shopping center in favor of this new location near Lowe’s.

Fast-casual burger concepts continue to be popular in the suburbs. 2013 won’t be any different.

BurgerFI is a Florida-based concept that makes grass-fed, hormone-free burgers. They plan to open next to FedEx at 5475 Windward Parkway.

And also from Florida is a growing chain called Burger 21.

While they’ve not announced a specific location, the chain repeatedly mentions the Alpharetta/Milton area in their expansion plans.

And finally, keep your eyes peeled for a Neapolitan-style pizza joint called Campania. They are bringing a wood-fired pizza oven imported from Italy to 800 North Main Street. This style of pizza currently doesn’t exist in Alpharetta.

If they can pull it off, Campania might be a game changer.

Here’s to a delicious 2013. Cheers!

S. Lee Guy runs the Roots in Alpharetta blog. His work can be found at and


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