The Optimist

Seafood Restaurant
914 Howell Mill Rd NW (9th St NW), Atlanta, GA 30318, United States
Closed until 11:30 AM (Show more)
  • Mon–Thu
    • 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
    • 5:00 PM–10:00 PM
  • Fri
    • 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
    • 5:00 PM–11:00 PM
  • Sat
    • 5:00 PM–11:00 PM
  • Sun
    • 5:00 PM–10:00 PM
$ $ $ $
Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour
Beer, Wine, Full Bar, Cocktails
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. Discover & Visa)
Outdoor Seating:

The Optimist's menu focuses on sustainable seafood prepared in a wood-burning oven. Adjacent to the new restaurant, Fry has opened Oyster Bar at The Optimist, a more casual "fish camp" style venue, featuring an outdoor patio, live music and an oyster bar.


Based on 374 votes

People like this place

Total Visitors
Total Visits
  • What you need to know
    G J.
    Try the Corn Milk Hushpuppies, Beignet Style - Omg(4 Tips)
    Kim G.
    Lobster roll, French Malbec and the octopus at the bar - fantastic(11 Tips)
    Carly L.
    The east coast oysters and the shrimp a la plancha were phenomenal!(4 Tips)
    Toreya S.
    The octopus was the best I've had outside of Greece.(15 Tips)
Log in to leave tips at this venue!
  • Recent
  • Popular

141 tips. Filter by taste:

  • all tips
  • oysters
  • octopus
  • beignet style
  • good for dates
  • trendy
  • corn milk
  • crab
  • scallops
  • ice cream
  • fish
  • wine
  • gumbo
  • cocktails
  • authentic
  • romantic
  • happy hour
  • good for a late night
  • cozy
  • spicy food
  • lively
  • Tracy B.

    Best food on all of Atlanta and the bartenders are all so friendly!!!

    Tracy Bresson · 1 week ago
  • Elizabeth C.

    Love, love love this place! Fantastic food, great service.

  • Creative Loafing Atlanta

    Try the Hot Buttered Rum cocktail here. It's hot and sweet with a lump of brown sugar dissolved in hot water, doused in a healthy dose of the Kraken spiced rum. Read more

  • Nick B.

    Great wine selection.

    Nick Bianchi · February 21
  • ed p.

    Perfect destination for big nights! Spicy octopus is one of the best dishes in Atlanta.

    ed peterson · February 18
  • Uchien U.

    You have to dress up lol

    Uchien Uchien · February 16
  • Lewis J.

    Oysters, seafood, fish, and amazing crackers!

    Lewis James · February 12
  • Laurie L.

    Food was fabulous but Dion our server was the best! The whole fish black bass was incredible and the brussel sprouts were some of the best I've had! This place is a must try and ask for Dion!

    Laurie Luckie · February 10
  • Jack S.

    The menu changes everyday, tough to recommend anything specific. But, I've been here many times and have always had a phenomenal meal. Can't go wrong if you love seafood as much as I do.

    Jack Scotty · January 29
  • Creative Loafing Atlanta

    Thanks to this spot, there's a solid place to go for a carefully curated oyster selection so fresh you'd think you lived on the water. Pair them with a crisp glass of craft beer. Read more

  • Kevin P.

    Wonderful lunch destination!

    Kevin Patillo · December 22, 2014
  • debra w.

    Braised and grilled octopus in Spanish sauce. Delectable.

    debra woelfel · November 24, 2014
  • Justin P.

    Amazing seafood.

    Justin Powell · November 24, 2014
  • Steve J.

    The Grouper is excellent, as are the Brussels sprouts and peel-and-eat shrimp.

    Steve Jones · November 23, 2014
  • Genon S.

    Lobster Roll

    Genon Snelling-Jester · November 22, 2014
  • Genon S.

    Lobster Roll!

    Genon Snelling-Jester · November 22, 2014
  • Meredith B.

    Even their rolls are delicious. Best seafood in town, great ambiance, and great bar scene

    Meredith Blechman · November 20, 2014
  • Cody M.

    Tried raw oysters for the first time here, found a new favorite food. Much better than fried. Hush puppies are a must, and give the broccoli with crispy shallots a try, delish!

    Cody Moore · November 14, 2014
  • Demi B.

    If you're lucky enough, you must do in at this incredible oyster bar! Pickle point & east beach blonde oysters! And you gotta have the halibut!

    Demi Black · October 15, 2014
  • 1800GOODFOOD®

    ATTENTION: Please give The Optimist and the awesome staff a “1-5 Star Review” on 1800GOODFOOD®

    1800GOODFOOD® · October 12, 2014
  • Yaqui N.

    Belon Oysters from Maine were to die for.

    Yaqui Nunez · October 12, 2014
  • Epicurious

    Don't let the airplane hanger-sized dining room fool you, the adjacent oyster bar is plenty intimate. Grab a stool and hone in on whatever chef Adam Evans has on the raw bar menu that night. Read more

    Epicurious · October 2, 2014
  • TV Food Maps

    Check out The Optimist as seen on Unique Eats Read more

    TV Food Maps · September 3, 2014
  • Simon L.

    Great service. .look for Teo server. And don't forget to try the gumbo.

    Simon Lee · August 28, 2014
  • Chefs Feed

    Anne Quatrano, chef of Abattoir, eats here on her nights off. She loves the Garlicky tiny clams & pork belly. Read more

    Chefs Feed · August 22, 2014
  • Marty S.

    Try the blackened fish sandwich with hushpuppies

    Marty Styles · August 21, 2014
  • Kaitlin T.

    Yummmm. The chowder was fantastic. The menu changes frequently to accommodate fresh items but I can't imagine you could go wrong with anything.

    Kaitlin T · August 7, 2014
  • Annie G.

    Say yes to east coast oysters.

    Annie Green · August 7, 2014
  • Chris W.

    The seafood is all good

    Chris Wren · August 6, 2014
  • Anthony C.

    Try the hush puppies!

    Anthony Cooper · August 6, 2014
  • Creative Loafing Atlanta

    Most of the appetizers are well more than $10 each. Read more

    Creative Loafing Atlanta · August 5, 2014
  • Creative Loafing Atlanta

    I ate well and, although a bit disconcerted by a $40 bill for two (including tip and no appetizers or alcohol), I couldn't bring myself to say the lunch wasn't worth every penny. Read more

    Creative Loafing Atlanta · August 5, 2014
  • AJC

    Whole Georgia White Shrimp: The menu rightly calls this saucy heap “messy but worth it.” Fingers and forks work in tandem to deliver each meaty, buttery, spicy bite. Read more

    AJC · August 1, 2014
  • Caroline R.

    Great lobster roll and oysters. Had an awesome lunch here while I was visiting from New York. Good for business lunches or a more casual meal.

    Caroline Rubin · July 31, 2014
  • Kemba C.

    The Optimist is awesome! I haven't enjoyed a meal like that inATL in awhile. The bread is scary great! The baked oysters were wonderful. Appetizers were fabulous!

    Kemba Cofield · July 4, 2014
  • Victor M.

    Not a fan.

    Victor Marshall · June 29, 2014
  • Sonja R.

    Great food!

    Sonja Ramos · June 29, 2014
  • Brian D.

    You can get the brown sugar cake with ANY ice cream. Try it with salted caramel or Chris Kelner's fave, sour cream ice cream.

    Brian DeWitt · May 20, 2014
  • Aqua-Clementine

    Love the Halibut and the Spanish Octopus.

    Aqua-Clementine · May 18, 2014
  • Kimy Kennedy* P.

    Great space and food is divine!

  • Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

    Sunday, June 1 – Atlanta Food & Wine Festival - Breakfast prepared by Ford Fry and the chefs from five of Atlanta’s top restaurants. Be there. Read more

  • Chris K.

    Sour cream ice cream is great, get it with the brown sugar cake

    Chris Kelner · April 25, 2014
  • Victor M.

    It was a great place to eat. I had the duck ham, oysters, and scallops. Menu changes every day so you might not be able to have that.

    Victor Marshall · March 27, 2014
  • Candace S.

    Amazing. Halibut was great!

    Candace Sagers · March 25, 2014
  • CBSMom G.

    Amazing food, excellent customer service.

    CBSMom Gwen · March 14, 2014
  • Ky A.

    The drinks are amazing . Especially if you are a fan of dark liquor. Try the many rum punches offered

    Ky Andre' · March 14, 2014
  • Tina

    The octopus is fantastic! Just had late night appetizers and a cocktail. Glad we came here!

    Tina · March 2, 2014
  • Kia P.

    Delamotte champagne and raw oysters. Yummm!!

    Kia Palmer · February 7, 2014
  • Nikki E.

    The key line pie is delish!

    Nikki Elle · January 27, 2014
  • Debby S.

    Wonderful -- great food -- great waitress

    Debby Stefanini · January 3, 2014

Appears on 358 lists

See all »

Is this your business? Claim it now.

Make sure your information is up to date. Plus use our free tools to find new customers.