Where to Drink in Atlanta Right Now

Take the edge off.

Feeling hot, hot, hot? Then it’s time to cool down with a drink—booze optional. Atlanta’s bars are on standby and have a barstool with your name on it. There are plenty of recently opened bars to check out, too, offering style in spades. From rooftops to patios here’s where to grab a drink in Atlanta.

Jojo’s Beloved
Photo by Denny Dulbert

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). 

Available for Reservations

Drawbar

West Midtown

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.

Available for Reservations

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.

The plant-filled oasis in the back of Krog Street Market known as Watchman’s is a haven for oyster and tropical drink lovers alike. It’s the younger sister of Kimball House so you know both are on point. When it comes to drinks, the Watchman’s Gimlet with gin, rum, fines herbes, and chartreuse is a boozy but light way to ease into things (or the ranch water, or the tropical gin and tonic). Oysters are discounted Tuesday through Thursday between 5 - 6 pm. The hushpuppies with chili honey butter are never discounted, but did we mention the chili honey butter?

Available for Reservations

Battle & Brew

Sandy Springs

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.

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 1920s-themed cocktails like the Daisy Buchanan with gin, white vermouth, peach, and rosewater.

There’s a little bit of everything at Suite Food Lounge. There’s a more subdued dining room and bar on the main floor, but head upstairs and you’ll find a Miami-inspired rooftop bar. This is the ideal spot to catch a big sports game or party late into the night with a DJ. Don’t miss its weekly Crablegs & Karaoke happy hour where martinis are just $5.

Available for Reservations

Eleanor's

Smyrna

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. 

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 Tropical Americano a whirl if you want something on the lighter side (aromatized wine, passionfruit, pineapple, soda, and bitters). If you’re feeling snacky, order up some stuffed peppadew peppers and house-made ricotta served with grilled sourdough.

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. 
 

Manuel's Tavern

Poncey-Highland

Sure, Manuel’s Tavern has delicious bar food (even on its current limited menu) 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

Castleberry Hill

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 El Navegador with gin, St. Germain, tonic, lime, honey, and bitters. Small bites like Bavarian pretzels and chicken & peach skewers, are also available.

Available for Reservations

Nine Mile Station

Old Fourth Ward

Head to the rooftop of Ponce City Market for a drink with a side of views. You can hit up Skyline Park first, and then grab a bite at 9 Mile Station, which serves up grilled fare, has craft beers on tap, and features plenty of cocktails to choose from. 

Available for Reservations

Hotel Clermont

Poncey-Highland

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 masks are required when moving throughout the building and, once you leave the rooftop, you won’t be allowed back in. 

Biltong Bar

Old Fourth Ward

Both locations of Biltong Bar are open for dine-in service. This is the place to go when you’re craving casual South African eats, like the namesake biltong (beef jerky), and an expertly crafted drink. You can’t go wrong with the Unfuck Your Day: a frozen blend of rye, brandy, mint,  absinthe, pineapple, and lime.

Available for Reservations

Good news, y’all, Ticonderoga Club is back. 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.

Little Trouble

West Midtown

The edgiest bar can be found on the ground floor of Westside Provisions District -- just look for the neon glow. Little Trouble reopened in September and requires that groups remain seated and that masks be worn around the bar. 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 is open for reservations. Make one and indulge in the city’s deepest oyster program paired with one (or two) of Kimball House’s tipples.

Available for Reservations

The Chastain

Chastain Park

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?

Available for Reservations

Joystick Gamebar

Sweet Auburn

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 boozy slushies (mmm, watermelon rum) and daiquiris.
 

Bar Margot

Midtown

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 Garnet Rose, made with bourbon, cassis, muddled mint, blackberries, and strawberries. If you stay for dinner, try a couple of their small plates with standouts like burrata with granny smith apple, and crab fried rice.

Available for Reservations

Bar Vegan

Old Fourth Ward

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.

Available for Reservations
Willow Bar
Cocktail from the Willow Bar | Courtesy of Kimpton Sylvan Hotel

Willow Bar

Buckhead

When the Kimpton adapted a 1950s apartment building into the Sylvan Hotel they gave Atlantans not one, but two new watering holes. Willow Bar is ideal for day drinkers looking to soak up some rays along with their gin and tonic (there are a few to choose from but the Cypress G&T made with Malfy Gin Rosa is an irresistible grapefruit-laced tipple). There’s also a plant-forward menu with salads and sandwiches but you may find that you’re perfectly satisfied with a dish of warm nuts coated in rosemary and butter alongside a plate of seasonal pickles.

St. Julep is the 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 Player’s Ball made with rum, raspberry, lime, mint, and club soda.

Lia Picard is a contributor for Thrillist. 
Mike Jordan really wanted to write this story because some of y’all had no idea that Southside ATL is the best place for Mexican food, and he gets to stunt because he lives in East Point. Tweet him at @michaelbjordan and IG him at @mikejordanatl.