The Absolute Best Bars in Atlanta Right Now
From luxurious rooftop bars to cozy, neighborhood watering holes, these are the places where you can find a good drink and an even better time.
Going out for drinks isn’t just about the drinking. It’s about warm and welcoming bar service, the vibe and the decor, and—well, yes—the quality of cocktails that we’re all too lazy to make ourselves. Essentially, the entire bar experience has to be memorable enough to warrant spending more than the price of a bottle or a six-pack on just a few drinks. Luckily, Atlanta is filled with memorable bars, lounges, and watering holes, from chic rooftop bars in West Midtown and geek dive bars on Edgewood to impressive Decatur joints and intimate speakeasies. If you’re looking for a good time to go along with a one-of-a-kind adult beverage, we’ve got you covered. Here are 30 of the absolute best bars in Atlanta.
Rooftop L.O.A. is almost guaranteed to be the hottest new addition to Atlanta nightlife this summer, and much of its early success can be directly attributed to its two—and equally amazing—bars. Set atop of The Interlock, both The Grove (the luxurious, garden hangout area) and The Pool (the pool area with cozy, rentable cabanas and a poolside bar) have views so good that you’ll immediately fall in love with Rooftop L.O.A.’s elevated ambiance, and fortunately, the bar service in both areas is just as good as the photos that you’re bound to take upon arrival. With different drinks offered at The Pool and The Grove, you’ll most certainly want to pay Rooftop L.O.A. several visits this summer to taste everything from The Pool’s L.O.A. Bitter Lemonade (Castle & Key Sacred Spring Vodka, Gran Classico, house lemonade, and Fever Tree lemon soda) to The Grove’s Garden Gimlet (house-peppered gin, lime, basil, rosemary, tomato, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper).
Fresh is the perfect word to describe BOHO11. Regardless of whether you’re at the Decatur establishment to indulge in its Cold Bar or enjoy a fresh seafood dinner, it’s imperative that you also try some of BOHO115’s delightful coastal cocktails. The Flordita (rum, lime, and sugar) and the Fish Camp Punch (cognac, tea infused Giffard peach, rum, lemon, and cane syrup) are downright heavenly, and if you’re feeling adventurous, dive headfirst into the rich Cinteotl (bourbon, artichoke liqueur, chocolate bitters, and housemade chipotle tincture). And although the bar downstairs near the entrance is absolutely stunning in its own right, BOHO115’s cocktails hit even harder when you’re overlooking Decatur Square from the window seats upstairs.
Good Word Brewing & Public House
Yes, it’s probably the most OTP bar that will be recommended throughout this entire guide, but whatever you do, don’t sleep on Good Word Brewing & Public House. In addition to having a solid assortment of freshly brewed beer on tap, Good Word has a criminally underrated cocktail menu. Even with over 50 mixed drinks to choose from, you can’t go wrong with any of the Duluth mainstay’s offerings, from the Champs-Elysees (VSOP cognac, green chartreuse, angostura bitters, simple syrup, and lemon juice) to the Singapore Sling (gin, cherry heering, benedictine, angostura bitters, lemon, pineapple, and grenadine). Plus, after you have a great time at Good Word Brewing & Public House and realize that you’d rather spend the night in Duluth than drive back to the city, there’s a Courtyard by Marriott—which, interestingly enough, also has an incredible bar of its own in the lobby—that’s just a short walk away.
A lofty brewery owned by the Grammy Award-nominated group Nappy Roots, Atlantucky fits perfectly in the art-centric Castleberry Hill neighborhood. One of the highlights at Atlantucky (aside from the stellar brews, of course) are the vintage beer and liquor commercials that air on TVs throughout the brewery. If you’re patient enough, you might just catch a nostalgia-filled St. Ides commercial featuring Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur.
Suffice it to say that books and booze are a severely underrated combination. Located just a few minutes outside of Atlanta in historic Stone Mountain Village, The Vibrary welcomes visitors to “come for a drink” and “stay for the vibe.” And with a curated selection of books and vegan-friendly charcuterie boards for you to nosh on, it's hard not to cozy up to their bar for a second glass of your new favorite red.
On the cocktail menu at Atrium, you’ll find not one, but four punch cocktails. And if you prefer a different libation, you’re sure to find one on Atrium’s extensive cocktail menu, which includes both seasonal cocktails and classics. With its hand-painted tile and gorgeous mural, you’d be remiss if you didn’t start your night at the Atrium bar for at least one cocktail (and maybe a handful of pics for the ‘Gram).
Founded by NFLer Cam Newton and his brother Cecil Newton Jr., Fellaship is a luxe cigar bar that also prides itself on its selection of equally luxe spirits and cocktails. You’ll find plenty of classic cocktails on the menu at Fellaship, but for a truly extravagant experience you can splurge on a 1-ounce pour of Louis XIII de Remy Martin for $200. If you are planning a visit to Fellaship, be sure to keep your attire business casual and make a reservation ahead of your visit.
12 Cocktail Bar
For an elevated cocktail experience in Atlanta, there’s no better place to go than 12 Cocktail Bar. Since it’s located on The Roof at Ponce City Market, it literally towers over most of the bars in the city, and beyond its physical position, 12 Cocktail Bar really does boast expertly crafted mixed drinks from award-winning barmen and women.
The literal writing on the walls at 5Church may be a lot to take in, but the Colony Square mainstay’s cocktails are so exceptionally smooth that you’ll be ordering another drink in no time. The Egress—a light tipple made with Tito's vodka, simple, lemon juice, strawberries, basil—goes great with appetizers like the Sushi Tots or the Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels, but if you really want to go to church, make sure you order the Holy Water with Bulleit bourbon, sweet tea, lemon juice, blackberries, mint, and blue agave.
Cooks & Soldiers
Food-wise, Cooks & Soldiers has a lot of outstanding menu options, from traditional Basque plates like the Piperade stew to whole fish entrees like the Pescado à la Parilla. However, don’t let all of that gourmet goodness distract you from the fact that Cooks & Soldiers’ beverage program is a heavyweight in Atlanta’s cocktail scene. Whether you’re dining in for dinner with family or opting to sit at the bar, you have to try C&S’s signature cocktails. If you need a great place to start, definitely go with either the May Oui with vodka, lavender, saler’s, lemon, honey, and cava, or the Baptizing Esquelito with Reposado tequila, cappelletti, orgeat, lime, tiki bitters.
We don’t know who Jojo or their beloved is, but we do know that this recently opened cocktail lounge is the place to go for retro ‘70s and ‘80s vibes. From the music to the color palette of burgundy, pink, and orange. Expect to find drinks made with brightly hued spirits such as Midori. Disco attire not required but encouraged (by us).
ICYMI Atlanta’s hotel restaurants are cool now, and Drawbar in the Bellyard Hotel is no exception. It’s located within the lobby, but the sweet spot is the terrace which looks over 14th street and has a beautiful skyline view. Catch happy hour aka “Recess” from 4 - 7 pm, Monday through Thursday, for discounted drinks and snacks, and make your next football watch party more memorable by pulling up to one of Drawbar’s special Tailgate Menu dates.
Lloyd's Restaurant and Lounge
Sometimes you want to go where nobody knows your name and Lloyd’s hopes (or doesn’t hope) to be that place for you. It’s retro, but not necessarily sexy. Instead you’ll find lighting fixtures reminiscent of a Ruby Tuesday (before the remodels) and plenty of wood paneling. What we’re saying is it’s an excellent spot to post-up, drink a $5 martini (between 5 - 7 pm) and eat some pizza and pesto pillows.
Battle & Brew
A geek’s paradise known for its trivia night, Battle & Brew is a gaming meets bar venue in Sandy Springs. The dining room is open for business, as are the arcade games, but it’s also created an outdoor space that’s almost as fun. Known as BNB After Dark, the space is accessible 7pm to midnight Friday and Saturday. There are projectors and outdoor tables and plenty of drinks and snacks to order.
The Third Door
Set in a former 1920s gas station, this new retro bar in historic Marietta offers plenty of outdoor seating. Pull up and sip one of its signature cocktails like the Bolo Break with bourbon, amaro, lemon, blood orange, black tea, and grapefruit bitters.
Muss & Turner’s is great for lunchtime sandwiches, but at night, head through the walk-in door in the back of the restaurant and you’ll be treated to a speakeasy surprise at Eleanor’s. The intimate bar features cocktails like the Brown Thrasher made with bourbon, smoked apple shrub, cynar, lemon, and maple syrup.
Leon's Full Service
You can sit inside or on a shaded patio at this former gas station. Leon’s is the sibling to Brickstore Pub but the cocktails are seasonally driven and expertly crafted. Give the Rose Hotel—or any of their other incredible summer cocktails for that matter—a whirl if you want something fresh (gin, amaro, aperitif wine, sumac, honey, lemon, rose water, bitters, and soda soda). If you’re feeling snacky, order up some stuffed peppadew peppers and house-made ricotta served with grilled sourdough.
The S.O.S. Tiki Bar
The tropical vibes are strong here. Whether you sit on the patio or the dining room, you’ll forget all your troubles after you’ve had one or two of their strong tiki drinks.
Sure, Manuel’s Tavern has delicious bar food and a cool old school bar vibe, but it’s the bar’s history that makes it so interesting. The original owner of the bar, Manuel Maloof, was known as the Godfather of Georgia Democratic politics and the tavern has played host to many political events and politicians in its lifetime.
Parlor is chic and inviting with teal mid-century-modern sofas, vibrant art, and a bathroom where you’ll want to snap a selfie. Sip one of their creative concoctions like the Gambler & Gallantries with Grey Goose Vodka, cassis, blueberry syrup, lemon. One-of-a-kind bites like vegan portobello and purple cabbage tacos and jerk lamb pasta are also available.
Another excellent rooftop option, Hotel Clermont offers views of the city and beyond. Kick back on the astroturf and enjoy a tropical-inspired drink. Note that once you leave the rooftop, you won’t be allowed back in.
However you want it, Ticonderoga Club is here for you. As in, you can dine-in and drink your fancy cocktails in the cozy, New England-esque confines where Christmas lights twinkle all year long. But, you can also order Ticon-To-Go and just replicate the experience in your living room. If you do plan to eat there, a reservation is a must.
The edgiest bar can be found on the ground floor of Westside Provisions District -- just look for the neon glow. You can enjoy cocktails and bites from the Mushi Ni pop-up (get the Tokyo fries) in the restaurant or order to go.
Kimball House is really more of a restaurant than a bar, but how could we leave off cocktails crafted by Miles Macquarrie? The dining room and patio are open for reservations. Make one and indulge in the city’s deepest oyster program paired with one (or two) of Kimball House’s tipples.
The Chastain is lovely for dinner…and breakfast…but shouldn’t be looked over as a happy hour spot, either. The expansive patio is an excellent spot to avoid rush hour. You can keep it light with their sangria (Albariño and vermouth) or go for something boozier like the Mare with vodka, sherry, and olive brine. While you’re there, you might as well order some snacks off of the menu—may we suggest some double fermented sourdough bread and crab fritters?
You don’t have to be a nerd to appreciate this barcade, but it probably doesn’t hurt. The funky space has plenty of classic arcade games and tabletop gaming, and, oh yeah, cocktails. Expect to find easy-to-sip drinks like the cranberry sage and bourbon coffee boozy slushies.
Located in the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, Bar Margot is worth a visit for a sophisticated date night. The cocktails highlight fresh ingredients as much as possible, as seen in the Window Seat Spritzer, made with Grey Goose vodka, fiero, mandarin, grapefruit, prosecco, champagne syrup, and bitters. If you stay for dinner, try a couple of their small plates with standouts like the Margot Deviled Eggs or the Crispy Oysters Mushroom Fingers.
Pinky Cole won bellies over with her vegan burgers at Slutty Vegan, and now she’s looking to capture them again at Bar Vegan. Located in Ponce City Market, Cole’s new concept serves “theatrical” drinks made with fresh juices. She also partnered up with Derrick Hayes of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks to serve vegan Philly cheesesteaks that are pure indulgence.
St. Julep Rooftop Bar
St. Julep is the Sylvan Hotel’s rooftop bar located on the ninth floor. The deck wraps around the building, so while you can belly up to the bar itself—stylishly decorated with vintage vases and urns in a rainbow palette—you can spread out and take in the backdrop of the city. The drinks are just as refreshing up here with standouts like the Zombie made with ghost coast tiki rum, Appleton Estate rum, plantation 3-star rum, pomegranate, and citrus.