The Best Cocktail Bars, Dives, and Other Drinking Destinations in Atlanta
Let's grab a drink.
It may seem like a simple request, but asking to grab a drink can lead to so many different scenarios. From an over-the-top date or a night on the dancefloor to cracking open a simple beer while catching up with friends. Luckily, no matter what you’re after, there’s a spot in Atlanta that will answer the call.
This city is home to a thriving bar scene that shows no signs of slowing down. Whether you’re looking for a fancy time with cocktails and caviar, a dope wine list that goes on for pages, or a place to kickback and listen to live music, we’ve got it all on this list of the best bars in Atlanta right now.
Inside the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead, Atlas is more than just a cornerstone of elevated cuisine. The restaurant is a great spot for a celebratory meal, but the in-depth wine list and excellent cocktail program is worth a visit on its own. Head sommelier Samuel Gamble curated a list with more than 600 bottle selections and 90 selections that guests can order by the glass, which are rotated seasonally. Whether you’re looking for a rare pour or want to embark on a vertical tasting, this is the place. Plus, the dedicated tavern menu allows for a casual seat at the bar with snacks like burrata and oysters to pair with a glass or ice-cold martini.
If it’s cocktails you’re after, it’s cocktails you’ll get at Aziza, an Israeli restaurant and bar in the heart of Westside Provisions. Take a seat at the bar and prepare to be inundated with Mediterranean flavors in both the dishes and the drinks. Try the Chloris Martini with gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, and marigold elixir or the Baal Daiquiri with housemade spiced rum, butternut squash, and lime. The drinks pair beautifully with bar snacks like Kubaneh, a pull-apart bread served with grated tomato, and seasonal hummus. To try these drinks on the cheap, check out the Sunset Hour cocktail specials every weekday from 5 to 7:30 pm.
Bar Margot, the upscale bar and lounge inside The Four Seasons in Midtown, is named after Margot of The Royal Tenenbaums and the vibe matches the movie’s retro, swanky aesthetic with its velvet and leather couches, dim lighting, and innovative cocktails. Try the Gin Margot, a take on a gin and tonic, with preserved lime and Thai basil. The bar’s zero-proof cocktails are also worth noting—the Essentially is refreshing, made with preserved grapefruit, lavender, and bubbles. There are plenty of food options to munch on including Beef Tartare, Margot Deviled Eggs, and Cheese and Charcuterie. The bar is also home to a vinyl library with more than 10,000 records on deck, so swing by on Friday and Saturday nights when a DJ spins from the extensive library.
Brick Store Pub
This popular bar in Decatur Square has one of the best craft beer lists in town. Belgians, porters, high-gravity trappists, sours, and local brews, Brick Store Pub has all the suds. With a multi-page bottle selection and more than 20 beers on tap, there’s something for everyone—and there’s even a beer garden out back where pooches are welcome. The food is what you would expect at a pub with options like giant soft pretzels, fish ‘n chips, and chicken pot pie that are all worth trying. Grab a seat at a barrel table or the upstairs bar for a beer and a snack.
This kitschy, goofy bar is a nod to nostalgia with everything you need for a good laugh and retro vibes. The space at Dad’s, which took over a former Diesel Filling Station, is an homage to fathers everywhere. There’s a large plaid brown couch, the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, and a whole VHS collection of the Rocky series displayed with pride. The cocktails are simple and dad-approved picks like a mai tai, dirty martini, and seasonal Manhattan. And the food menu consists of bachelor pad favorites like Pizza Rolls and Fried Bologna Sandwiches. So, pick a tune on that jukebox, and tap away to the cool dad vibes in this hip new joint.
Fermented Wine Boutique
Ever go shopping at a wine store and wish you could have a glass while you shopped? At Fermented Wine Boutique, you can do exactly that. The shop has an elaborate collection of biodynamic, organic, small producer wines, and a bar in the second half of the store called Fermented Flight Club. Here you can enjoy rotating flights and charcuterie boards, or stop in for a weekly tasting from different regions and producers.
Lucian Books and Wine
Name a better pairing than a glass of wine and a good book. Katie Barringer and Jordan Smelt couldn’t, so they opened a shop with one of the best wine lists in town. The wine list here reads like a novella, split into chapters based on terroir and varietal. The rotating by-the-glass list features excellent producers that utilize organic and biodynamic farming. Smelt refreshes the wine list seasonally, while Barringer stocks the shelves with books by new-age artists, chefs, and wine experts.
Marcel, by local legend and restaurateur Ford Fry, is a throwback to classic New York-style steakhouses. The place is named after Marcel Cerdan, the French boxer who had a famous affair with singer Edith Piaf, and there are tributes to his glory days in the decor and paintings all over the restaurant. The circular bar is the heartbeat of Marcel, beckoning patrons to get cozy as impeccably dressed bartenders stir up the perfect Manhattan. Tack on an extensive wine library and a cigar menu, and you’re in for a boozy good time.
The Garage is Monday Night Brewing’s barrel-aging and souring space in the historic West End neighborhood. Its open concept is perfect for large groups catching up over a pint, plus the relaxed vibe also welcomes dogs. Try the classic Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale or go for a sour like Dr. Robot and Panic Button. The Garage also has a stone oven installed in the middle of the venue so they also sling handcrafted pizzas that go perfectly with the beers. Not in the mood for suds? A new cocktail menu features options like Tony’s Old Fashioned with Sneaky Pete bourbon, Japanese brown sugar syrup, and bitters.
In a single-story brick building with soft neon-blue light spilling through from the Pabst Blue Ribbon sign, Northside Tavern is one of the last holdouts in the ever-modernizing West Midtown neighborhood. This dive bar has stood true for 50 years, all while high-rises, shopping complexes, and apartments go up all around it. The bar has a rich history of live music; its walls are adorned with pictures of blues artists who have walked through the doors. On some days, you can see a local swing-dancing group taking over the bar. But any day of the week, it’s perfect for a low-key hang and good music, all paired with beer and fireball shots.
Smith’s Olde Bar
With classic bar snacks and plenty of drink specials, Smith’s Olde Bar could be your average American pub. But it's dialed up a few notches by a regular slate of live music courtesy of local rock bands and national touring groups that play here weekly. You can keep it simple and hang out in the bar and lounge, playing pool or tossing back drinks. Or head to the performance venue with a full stage upstairs and make a full night of it.
The S.O.S. Tiki Bar
If you like your drinks adorned with umbrellas and flowers, then this tropical oasis is the spot for you. Classics like Mai Tai, Pain Killers, Daiquiris, and Zombies make up the menu at this world-class tiki bar, and the dim, kitschy vibe is the ideal place to throw back a juicy libation as the evening slips away.
Tortuga y Chango
At last, a mezcal bar worth the hype hits Decatur. The crew behind El Tesoro opened this place to explore mezcals and tequilas from small producers, expertly crafted into cocktails by beverage director Orestes Cruz. There is an entire menu dedicated to mezcal alone—with a flight at happy hour you get to learn the fermentation style, aging process, and what gives mezcal that smoky flavor. Try one of the signature cocktails like the El Cotorro (The Parrot) made with aquavit, metiche mezcal, boomsa herbal, vermouth, lime, pineapple, and aloe. The food menu covers Mexican dishes from Acapulo to Oaxaca City with options like whole grilled fish in adobo marinade.
How to book: Via website
Oysters, caviar, top-notch cocktails, and a heaping helping of Southern hospitality. That’s Kimball House summed up for you. This Decatur staple located in a renovated train depot is renowned for its seasonal cocktails, so the menu is always changing. But favorites like the Afternoon Delight with absinthe, basil brandy, peach, lemon, honey, and cava or the Parisian Fizz with gin, lemon, absinthe, and champagne are worth tracking down.