3 Atlanta restaurants named tops in US for group dining

TWO Urban Licks

Headed out with friends during the holidays? There are three Atlanta restaurants that do group dining better than the rest, according to OpenTable.

The dining website recently picked the 100 Best Restaurants for Groups in America for 2017. The Atlanta Fish Market, Two Urban Licks and Maggiano's - Buckhead ranked as Atlanta's best.

“Celebratory gatherings among friends and family are a highlight of the holiday dining season, and when it comes to welcoming diners at these restaurants, it’s absolutely a case of the more the merrier,” said OpenTable chief dining officer Caroline Potter. “These honorees each have a festive, energetic ambiance; warm hospitality and crowd-pleasing menus that make them perfect for groups.”

The list was generated from more than 10 million verified OpenTable diner reviews collected over the last year. All restaurants with a minimum overall score and qualifying number of reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which "great for groups" was selected as a special feature.

Two urban licks has been heating up the Atlanta restaurant scene with what it calls fFiery American cooking since opening in the fall of 2004. It has won numerous accolades, including Conde Nast Traveler’s “Hot List”, Bon Appetit’s “Hot 50 Tables” and one of Rachael Ray’s “favorite restaurants” in the country as told to InStyle Magazine.

Here's what a recent OpenTable reviewer had to say.

"(Two Urban Licks) never disappoints - from the drive-up valet, hostess, wait staff and cuisine, all are top-notch and worth the money you spend. I would highly recommend a date night or a get together with friends at Two Urban Licks, you'll love it."

The Atlanta Fish Market, which opened in 1993, and has won numerous awards through the years. In 2016, Atlanta Business Chronicle included it on the list of Atlanta's top 25 Restaurants; in 2015, Zagat picked it as having Atlanta's best lobster roll; and in 2014, OpenTable selected it for the Diner's Choice Award Best Seafood.

A recent OpenTable user noted, "Our family decided to come here solely based on the positive reviews we had seen online. The Atlanta Fish Market lived up to its online reputation. The food was amazing, and the service matched it! I ordered the crab cakes. They were the best I have eaten in the Atlanta area. I can't wait until we have an opportunity to return."

Maggiano's in Buckhead features six private banquet rooms with seating for up to 350 people. Combine that with some of the best Italian food and it's no hard to see why it made the list.

One other Georgia restaurant -- The Olde Pink House Restaurant in Savannah -- made the list  of 100 Best Restaurants for Groups in America for 2017