Goldberg’s is a popular breakfast destination in the West Paces Shopping Center. Photo: Charlie Warren

The West Paces shopping center is a staple of the Buckhead community. This landmark serves as a place of community and socialization for not just Pace students, but students from other local schools such as Westminster, Lovett and North Atlanta. However, West Paces is not just a place for students to hang out. It is also a great place for some local eats.

The shopping center is home to several different restaurants, each with its own signature blend of food. While they all have their strengths, only one of these eateries can be crowned best restaurant in West Paces.

While it can be helpful to rank these restaurants in one large list from worst to best, this would not highlight the different strengths of each, so the restaurants will be judged based on their proficiency in serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Starting with great breakfast options, one must look no further than Goldberg’s Bagel Company and Deli. While they are known for their bagels, Goldberg’s also serves an array of breakfast choices, such as Belgian waffles, omelettes and breakfast flatbreads.

There is little doubt that Goldberg’s is West Paces’ most famous and popular breakfast destination, as there is little competition for the title. While there is a Starbucks within the confines of the shopping center, its popularity is derived only from their coffees, not their lackluster breakfast sandwiches.

While West Paces has comparatively weak options for breakfast, the lunch choices can stir up competition. Here, several of Atlanta’s iconic fast food restaurants have staked a claim, each bringing their own twist on fast food.

No other restaurant in West Paces creates the classic American steak burger quite like Steak ‘n Shake. While the service can at times move at a staggeringly slow pace and the food might not be the healthiest option, classics like the Frisco Melt or the Wisconsin Buttery never fail to satisfy.

Another equally delicious lunch choice is Willy’s Mexican Grill, which allows one to get creative with their taco, burrito, quesadilla and nacho selections, or choose from succulent pre-designed meals such as the Baja Burrito or the Frito Burrito.

However, the poster boy for West Paces fast food is without a doubt Chick-fil-A. With a fantastic breakfast menu including chicken minis and biscuits and a superb lunch menu including the spicy chicken sandwich and the classic chicken nuggets, Chick-fil-A is a solid and affordable choice for any time of the day.

While fast food restaurants such as Willy’s or Chick-fil-A are popular, nicer restaurants such as the OK Cafe and Pero’s Pizza and Pasta are exceptional places for dinner. With a menu inspired by homestyle Southern cooking, OK Cafe serves a variety of tasty options which are not limited to just dinner. A few highlights include their buttermilk griddle cakes, the pimento cheeseburger and my favorite, pot roast.

Pero’s Pizza is tailored to a crowd seeking good Italian eats and does not fail to deliver. With a range of different pizzas, as well as pasta options such as the chicken parmesan or tortellini, Pero’s has something for everyone.

Even though these two are a step up from other eateries in West Paces, two other restaurants take the lead in overall food quality and ambiance. Houston’s and Blue Ridge Grill are nearly equally matched in terms of these aspects.

However, Blue Ridge Grill still surpasses Houston’s as the best restaurant in West Paces. While the spinach dip and Scottish salmon at Houston’s put up a good fight, the bacon crusted grouper, tuna tartar and grilled rack of lamb at Blue Ridge Grill are just a few of the reasons why it is the best restaurant in the West Paces shopping center.

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