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The Optimist

#15 of 3,249 Restaurants in Atlanta
Certificate of Excellence
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914 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318-0518 (8th Street)
+1 404-477-6260
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 23:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Thu 17:00 - 22:00
Mon - Fri 11:30 - 14:30
Fri - Sat 17:00 - 23:00
More Info
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647 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 636: English reviews
Level Contributor
57 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

I went with a fish lover but, truth be told, I most frequently eat vegetarian so my review is a little sketchy. The place itself is very inviting, a big barn like space that is well appointed. The staff were very friendly and welcoming. Without my asking, when I inquired about vegetarian selections, they volunteered to make me a special... More 

Thank 474alanh
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Have been twice now and both times service and food were excellent! My favorites were the oysters, scallops and side of fried rice. I didn't care for the seafood tower, it was just okay and pretty pricey. Cocktails are good too and they have a great wine list as well.

1 Thank Danika1617
Foley, Alabama
Level Contributor
99 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

Try the Optimist for very fresh oysters and fish with a great setting and service. We tried several oysters and grouper that was mild and almost like turkey. Amazing and simple taste with a mild sauce. Can be quite pricey but a very nice meal

1 Thank James B
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We arrived late at The Optimist, around 9:30 PM. So it's wasn't packed but there was still a good crowd there. We did have a 9:45 PM reservation. We started with The Refuge Plateaux and it was delicious. The other couple we were with did get an oyster platter and they said the oysters were some of the best they... More 

Thank knikkismith
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is my most favorite place to eat Raw Oysters in the Atlanta area. They have a pretty wide selection to choose from maybe between 12-15 different kinds from place like MA, WA, BC, VA, PEI, NC, etc. Their Oyster Happy Hour ROCKS!!!!!! You normally have 3-4 different Oysters to choose from during this time for $1 each. Or, one... More 

Thank Greg J
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Went there with the family for a birthday dinner. Great table, great service, great food. Particularly liked the flounder.

Thank alepaolop
Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were seated at the only table with black napkins (all the others had white kitchen towels), so must've been pegged as potential reviewers, which explains the somewhat doting service we received. That aside, the raw oyster selection was excellent, and the service presentation was superb (no pre-mixed sauces, and lots of fresh component options to create ones own). My... More 

Thank ClamSauce
Columbia, SC
Level Contributor
46 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Met our son here for dinner and we were not disappointed. Started with a drink at the bar it was lively and loud but we could hear ourselves when he arrived we were seated promptly and greeted with friendly service. We were given some dinner rolls that two of us ate because of hunger but they were a bit dry... More 

Thank SoccerDad_11
Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
83 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Went for a Friday lunch with friends. Service was attentive and pleasant. Menu options focus on their fresh seafood options, and each of us select the various delicious soups followed by different style Maine lobster plates. Overall a very good but you'll pay handsomely for the experience.

Thank WarmWeatherPlease013
Tallahassee, Florida
Level Contributor
219 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Optimist is a popular local seafood restaurant that feels like an upscale fish camp! Great service, beautiful interior design, and most importantly, delicious food. Fresh oysters are brought in from all over the country- from the Gulf coast in Alabama to the Atlantic coast in Massachusetts and Virginia. Entrees come a la carte but you can order sides to... More 

Thank CandieTravels

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
USD 31 - USD 50
American, Seafood, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
Good for
Groups, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Bar Scene, Romantic
Open Hours
17:00 - 22:00
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 22:00
11:30 - 14:30
11:30 - 14:30
17:00 - 23:00
17:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 914 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318-0518
    (8th Street)
  • Location: United States  >  Georgia (GA)  >  Atlanta
  • Phone Number: +1 404-477-6260

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Optimist and other visitors
7 questions
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7 months ago
Atlanta, Georgia
12 days ago
Greensboro, Georgia
21 days ago
6 months ago

See all questions (7)

Questions? Get answers from The Optimist staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?