Sitting in the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic on interstates 75/85, or the 285 (OMG Spaghetti Junction, you suck!), is enough to drive anyone to drink... except you can't get to a bar 'cause you're stuck in traffic! So, why not take advantage of Atlanta's admittedly kinda-sucky public transportation and spend an evening hitting these sweet spots on Thrillist's bar crawl along MARTA's Red Line?
PEACHTREE CENTER STATION
Stop #1: White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails
270 Peachtree St NW; Downtown; 404.524.7200
Craveable bar bites like fried oysters, a Southern hooch list with 80+ whiskeys and bourbons, and the must-have Atlantan w/ cherry-infused Woodford Reserve, Kirsch brandy & chocolate bitters, all make this the perfect first stop.
Stop #2: Alma Cocina
191 Peachtree St NE; Downtown; 404.968.9662
You're here for tequila-laden margs, and definitely some crispy pork belly with roasted corn guac. Plus, they do Tamale Tuesday every... um, Tuesday, which means they serve the wrapped Mexican eats from a food cart 'til they run out.
Stop #3: Empire State South
999 Peachtree St NE; Midtown; 404.541.1105
This Midtown heavy-hitter's Larceny Bourbon-heavy Street Legal cocktails are so good they probably shouldn't be... so down a couple while playing bocce ball under the stars before someone bans the things.
Stop #4: Lure
1106 Crescent Ave NE; Midtown; 404.817.3650
You're here for the oversized punch bowl cocktails that're meant to be enjoyed with friends... who are presumably all still stuck in traffic, so just down the whole thing yourself.
Stop #5: Article 14
1180 Peachtree St; Midtown; 404.443.8432
This spot's named for the Constitutional Amendment that gives you the right to... build your own Manhattans!
Stop #6: Cypress Street Pint & Plate
817 W Peachtree St NW, Ste E125; Midtown; 404.815.9243
Grab a spot on the patio at this craft-suds destination, then grab a handful of the $5 beer/shorty combos they're slinging all day everyday, or a $5 Philly sandwich if it's Monday.
LENOX SQUARE STATION
Stop #7: Cook Hall
3377 Peachtree Rd NE; Buckhead; 404.523.3600
This Buckhead gastropub encourages punching out at 5p with daily $5 glasses of specialty punch 'til 7p, plus they've got DIY cocktail kits, so you can make your own boozy concoction tableside.
Stop #8: Seven Lamps
3400 Around Lenox Rd; Buckhead; 404.467.8950
Ordering the off-menu 50/50 burger at this, the last stop of your night, will show how cool you are metaphorically, and ordering the Fernet & Mexican Coke slushie will make you that way, literally.
1. White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails270 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta
2. Alma Cocina191 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
3. Empire State South999 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
4. Lure1106 Crescent Ave NE, Atlanta
5. Article 141180 Peachtree St, Atlanta
6. Cypress Street Pint & Plate817 W Peachtree St NW, Ste E125, Atlanta
7. Cook Hall3377 Peachtree Rd NE, Buckhead
8. Seven Lamps3400 Around Lenox Rd, Atlanta
White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails lives at the intersection of contemporary style and Southern tradition. The menu changes seasonally, but no matter when you stop in, you can expect a Southern tinge in each of the simple, yet elegant dishes, like a charcuterie plate with pimento cheese or deviled eggs with... pimento cheese. The bar is firmly rooted in the South as well, with a focus on wine, whiskey, and bourbon. With refined decor featuring (you guessed it) white oak wood and opulent chandeliers, the 300-seat restaurant is an airy, upscale space for date night, group dining, and private events alike.
If you've got soul, there's no shame in boasting about in your name and Alma Cocina, which translates to Soul Kitchen in Spanish, isn't shy. This upscale downtown joint is serving upscale Latin/Mexican food in a modern setting, including braised lamb tacos, roasted chicken mole, and desserts like Mexican Coke (the drink) panna cotta.
Empire State South is Hugh Acheson’s ode to Southern food, and despite its office building locale (and Acheson's Canadian roots) serves plates authentic enough to be home-cooked. It's rare to find a restaurant that excels at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but Empire State South manages to do so. The morning line-up boasts standouts like peanut brittle porridge and smoked catfish on an everything bagel, while lunch forces a corporate crowd to think outside the box with jars of baba ganoush, pimento cheese with bacon marmalade, and catfish mousse. Acheson fuses Southern ingredients to a new level at dinner, where the small plates-heavy menu features out-there dishes like rabbit boudin and grilled octopus on kimchee rice. Okay, maybe you can't recreate these recipes at home.
This Midtown spot's plating super-fresh coastal cuisine in a spacious, modern farmhouse-style locale. Dishes range from New England style clam chowder, to fresh Mid-Atlantic oysters on the half shell with a spicy shochu mignonette, to a Southern inspired saffron seafood cassoulet with smoked swordfish. A supremely extensive cocktail list, featuring everything from sake, to punch bowl cocktails, to new and old world wines, will satisfy everyone in your party.
A restaurant and lounge, Article 14 is sleekly designed with an old-school finish. Named for its 14 items that rotate daily on its menu, pairing its indulgent dishes with a large glass of wine makes for a fine evening.
Midtown's beloved beer emporium, Cypress's got awesome daily features like trivia Wednesdays and 1/2 off apps Friday.
A global gastropub based in the W Atlanta-Buckehead, CH dishes out comfort food in a bar-centric environment where they even give you your own DIY kit to mix 'tails.
This rustic resto is serving craft food and drinks, which means artisan cheeses, handmade pastas, and, naturally, things like their Smoked Bramlett Trout Mousse. Drinks run the gamut from jerk sodas to beer-tails to speciality 'tails.