Empire State South takes a modern approach to creating authentic Southern dishes, relying on the beautiful foods of the region. We are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a to-go lunch program, courtyard bocce ball and an extensive coffee bar.
Empire State South is the third restaurant from chef and restauranteur Hugh Acheson. Taking its name from a nearly forgotten nickname for the state, "The Empire State of the South", ESS opened in the late summer of 2010.
For its first three years, Chef Ryan Smith led the restaurant to much acclaim, garnering Atlanta Magazine's "Restaurant of the Year" title in 2011. Chef Josh Hopkins took the helm late in 2013, and has added a keen interest in the fresh vegetables of the region--many of which are grown inside the Atlanta city limits.
Empire State South also prides itself on a vibrant bar scene, an award-winning wine program, and a first rate coffee counter. The restaurant looks to match the heartfelt character of the traditional cuisine of its region with the fresh influences and ingredients that are now available therein, always hoping to add to the conversation of what exactly it means to be Southern.