Food & Drink

These are Atlanta's 11 best Bad Decision Bars

Published On 01/08/2014 Published On 01/08/2014
Bad Decision Bars

The Bad Decision Bar: you've been there before, holding a hot dog you found in the bathroom in one hand, and trying to button up your pants with the other... err, wait... these aren't my pants! There're plenty of these places in Atlanta, but we've found the 11 baddest so-called "Bad Decision Bars", where you're guaranteed to do something you'll instantly regret/secretly be proud of.

The Clermont Lounge

The Clermont Lounge
Virginia Highland
You really should get Blondie to sign the PBR can she crushes for you with her boobs before you make like Mumford & Sons and get booted from Atlanta's oldest -- and strangest -- strip club.

Star Bar
Little Five Points
The new owner made a good decision when he bought this boozer stuffed into a former bank last summer, mostly because everyone you know (and every Atlanta band you've ever heard of) flocks here to make the opposite of good decisions, which start with standing on that primitive metal grating at the men’s room urinal.

Southern Comfort
This throwback honky-tonk's got enough neon to make your eyes bleed fluorescent orange, and a parking lot filled with tractor-trailers which you really, really don't want to wake up in. But probably will.

Dixie Tavern

Dixie Tavern
They won’t let you forget that Zac Brown got started here. But a shton of cheap drinks, and an equal shton of college girls there to drink them, probably will. 

Elliott Street Deli & Pub
Castleberry Hill
Surprisingly, crowding into this tiny eight-seat "deli" isn't a bad decision, but eating too many of their unspeakably badass glazed ham/ BBQ turkey/ roast beef Ultimate sandwiches totally is.

97 Estoria
It's after last call, and you're sprawled on a wonderfully comfortable couch in an old house in Cabbagetown... Dude, seriously, it's time to get up and go home.

Mr. C's

Mr C’s
Collier Hills
This dive's got $3.75 pitchers of beer, serves some sweet bar eats, has $3.75 pitchers of beer, let's you bring in pizza from next door, and slings $3.75 PITCHERS OF BEER!

Northside Tavern
Home Park
Just 'cause this former grocery-/ gas station-turned bar plays live Blues every night doesn't mean you should start crying about how your girl's doing questionable things on the dance floor after five or nine of their inexpensive drinks.

Johnny's Hideaway

Johnny’s Hideaway
This bar's answer to the above question is yes. Definitely yes.

Happy Karaoke
Because where else can you go sing "Gangnam Style" at 4a and then get delicious ramen?

Little Five Points
Burritos the size and weight of gold bricks soak up all the booze you’ve had so far... but probably not all the additional booze they're serving with 'em! 

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1. Dixie Tavern 2319 Windy Hill Rd SE, Marietta, GA 30067 (Marietta)

Serving up tasty bar eats like buffalo shrimp and fried pickles, Dixie Tavern boasts a slew of rotating local bands in their Marietta digs.

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2. Clermont Lounge 789 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 (Poncey Highland)

Virginia Highland's Clermont Lounge is oh-so many things: a dive bar, a live music venue, a frequent karaoke spot, and, perhaps most notably, Atlanta’s oldest strip club. What more could you ask for?

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3. Star Community Bar 437 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 (Little 5 Points)

Star Community Bar hosts local stand-up comedians, music acts, and more out of their Little Five Points joint.

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4. Southern Comfort Bar & Lounge 1383 Cedar Grove Rd, Conley, GA 30288

Live music and cheap drinks are the order of the day at this self-described honky tonk boozer in Conley.

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5. Elliott Street Deli & Pub 51 Elliott St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30313 (Castleberry Hill)

Elliott Street Deli & Pub is as authentic as the centuries-old building in which it lives. The tiny -- so tiny, you may not even know it existed -- neighborhood pub is known for its deli sandwiches upstairs, and live music venue, The 51, downstairs. The sandwiches are exactly what you’d expect of your butcher paper-packaged meal: quality meat topped with the proper accoutrement and served fresh-baked bread at an affordable price. There are classics like the French Dip, Reuben, and all-beef hot dogs, and specialties like the Elliott Street Ultimate which features three types of meat, two cheeses, and a whole host of toppings and spreads. Stop in, grab a sandwich, and head downstairs for cheap beer, live jazz, and burlesque.

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6. 97 Estoria 727 Wylie St SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (Cabbagetown)

At this dinky, dive-y bar on a quiet residential corner in Cabbagetown, the quirky, pop-culture-fueled events like movie nights, DJ sets, spelling bees, and costume contests draw an even quirkier crowd, just like the cheap bar bites like tender brisket tacos, reuben sandwiches, and turkey burgers. The dark lighting and minimal table space doesn't make for an ideal dining setting, but you'll scarf them down with your draft quick before the fun stuff starts anyway.

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7. Mr. C's 1983 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

They call themselves the best dive bar in Atlanta, and with uber-cheap pitchers of beer, who can argue?

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8. Northside Tavern 1058 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (Home Park)

Since 1972, Northside Tavern has been plying the ATL with blues and booze. Inside the dive’s brick- and neon-adorned walls, this one-time gas station in Home Park offers nightly live music -- regional blues, jazz and roots genres included -- drink specials, and a convivial atmosphere. Play pool, eat wings, chicken tender boxes, hot dogs, burgers, or gyros, and drink cheap beers, any night of the week. And catch a round of tunes with Mudcat, the house band, always there to satisfy your blues-loving soul.

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9. Johnny's Hideaway 3771 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30342 (Buckhead)

Disco balls and DJs spinning the tunes of old Blue Eyes himself ensure Johnny's Hideaway will take you back in time and straight to an Old Fashioned a la Don Draper.

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10. Hangbok Happy Karaoke 5425 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30340 (Doraville)

Where do shouting '80s power ballads and downing shots of sake meet? Yes. Here. Alcohol, karaoke, and Korean bar bites will ensure you make absolutely no bad decisions at this South Atlanta boozer. None whatsoever.

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11. Elmyr Restaurant & Cantina 1091 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 (Little 5 Points)

Serving up truly epicly sized burritos and all the 'ritas you can drink, Elmyr is your go-to for all things Mex in Little Five Points.



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