The capital of Georgia and home to the 1996 Olympics, Atlanta has a lot more to offer its visitors and residents than history and hilly views. Over the past few years, the city has changed quite a bit and it continues to evolve as people in the film, fashion and music industries move in from New York and LA looking for cheaper rent but a similar quality of life. The great news is: there are so many bars and restaurants in the ATL, it’s impossible to name them all or even touch the surface.
Below are a few of our favorite watering holes, unique for their offerings, locations, decor, and flavors. The best part is: most have pretty incredible food menus, which is typical in the South, as well.
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall
This outdoor eatery along the beltline wasn’t named for the Greta Gerwig indie box office hit. The food at Ladybird is categorized as elevated campfire cuisine (think pimento cheese fritters, fried cauliflower and a backyard BBQ board that includes an array of smoked pulled pork, wings, and ribs plus a side of Texas toast, dill pickles, BBQ sauce, and Brunswick stew) and the libations menu doesn’t fall short with a wonderful selection of draft and canned beers, wine, craft cocktails and a seasonal Patio Punch, perfect for sharing with friends.
Fancy-schmancy, but also cool, this beautiful dark and swanky bar lives inside the hip Krog Street Market. At Ticonderoga you can have your cake and eat it too (pineapple upside-down cake anyone?) or you can opt for a $86 Chuck Wagon Dinner. Not to worry — everything else on the menu is much cheaper than the bar/restaurant’s signature 48 oz. Black Angus Chuck Roast. ‘Special Cups’ AKA cocktails are priced affordably at $10-$13 each (try the Thank You, Scientist made with mezcal, vermouth, and dark cacao). You can also do a sherry tasting flight, among other things, here.
This is a great spot for day drinking, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays, though you do have to remember that Georgia’s Sunday liquor laws prohibit you from purchasing alcohol before 12:30 pm. Settle in for a honey butter brunch biscuit or a sticky bun with maple hazelnut filling at 8arm and wash it all down with a good glass of rosé. On the weekends, this spot closes at 2:30, but Ponce City Market is just within walking distance. You can keep the party going at different stops inside this food hall (I’m a fan of the Mercury and City Winery) or…
King of Pops
…you can cool down with a boozy Poptail at King of Pops! These alcohol-infused frozen treats come in the most fun flavors like Raspberry Old Fashioned (strawberries, water, evaporated cane juice, lemon juice, and sea salt) and Sun Burn (tequila, pineapple, lime, honey, tonic, and a pineapple habanero pop). Bring your dog for this one, too, and grab a fido-friendly King of Pups container so you can enjoy dessert together.
This Louisiana-meets-Vietnam fusion restaurant is cool with a capital C. Binge on boiled and fried seafood (can you ever really have enough?) and all the Cajun seasoning your heart and palate can handle. A New Orleans-style spot in atmosphere and flavor profiles, Bon Ton probably has one of the most delightful menus in town. It includes tiki drinks with little flamingo garnishes or umbrellas, frozen drinks served in plastic cups, cocktails on tap and much, much more. This is the kind of place you head to for dinner and end up staying — and drinking at — until the lights come on.
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