With stylish interiors and a shady patio, new Mediterranean restaurant Ela is your next Atlanta drinks and dining destination

Fifth Group Restaurants opens Mediterranean dining concept Ela in vibrant Virginia-Highland

Don’t bother asking for sugar; this new neighbor is spicing up the local restaurant scene. At Ela, experience a culinary highlight reel of the Mediterranean coast spanning Greece, Morocco, Turkey, and Israel with bold spices, handmade bread, seafood, and more.

“This restaurant is for the neighborhood—it really is theirs,” says Mark Jeffers, vice president of culinary operations. No stranger to the Virginia-Highland area, Fifth Group’s Ela takes over El Taco’s previous location, bringing a culinary experience that keeps the humble nature of its surroundings top of mind. “There’s not an air of pretentiousness here [Virginia-Highland]”, says Jeffers. “I love that at any given place you have a college kid watching their spending and sitting next to them is someone with a mini mansion.”

With fried chicken as the only link to the restaurant’s previous tenant, the building transformed from a bright-colored carnival to a breezy Mediterranean getaway with the right touch of class. Designed by William Peace and featuring warm tones, an emerald bar top, and sophisticated booths, the local spot is suited for both special occasions and casual nights out. During the day the restaurant’s outdoor patio is a shady respite, creating an airiness that repeats itself in the light menu.

Staying true to Mediterranean culture with an emphasis on communion, small bites and shareables intended to be enjoyed together pepper the menu. “We didn’t want it to be the type of place where everyone just sits down and has their own entrée plate, so we designed it with that in mind,” says Jeffers.

The core of the menu revolves around skewers ranging from lamb and chicken to shrimp. With customizable options and an eclectic mix of sauces to try, customers will embark on a unique flavor journey every time they dine at Ela. “This is a place that you could eat at two or three times a week and not need a break,” says Jeffers. Experience a twist on familiar cuisine with Yaya’s Hot Pockets and Moroccan Hot Chicken. Espresso martini lovers must try Ela’s frozen-and-spiced take on the popular drink. With select wine on tap, ordering a carafe of chilled wine for the table is a must.

At Ela, considering the needs of the neighborhood is never an afterthought. “I want our guests to feel cared for and special,” says Jeffers. “It should leave you thinking about the next time you can get back.” ela-atlanta.com