December 21st is the longest night of the year (that’s the Winter solstice to all you non-Pagans), but it’s also going to be the Best Night of Your Life, a Thrillist-created holiday that you'll spend enjoying the best nightlife the city has to offer, thanks to our awesome recommendations, which obviously include Atlanta's best late-night eats.
Check out the picks below, and make sure to map out the perfect evening with our itinerary builder.
A long time ago, people from outside of Cabbagetown said there was no reason to go into Cabbagetown, but then some people turned a former grocery store for cotton mill workers into a restaurant and "hang out for adults", and people from outside of Cabbagetown said... um, pretty much the same thing, but they missed out on glorious eats like Redneck Jucy Lucys (burgers stuffed w/ chilies and pimento cheese), and braised beef brisket burritos.
East Atlanta Village
You can be all the way up in Johns Creek, and if someone says, ‘Hey, let’s go to Midway,’ you’ll probably go, because the MP has a seriously badass beer list and some sweet vintage game cabinets… and, because you just want to get the hell out of Johns Creek.
Star Community Bar
Little 5 Points
This wacky L5P boozer/music spot prides itself on slinging tallboys and an eclectic live line-up that, on the Best Night of Your Life, includes Kenny Howes and the Wow!, Ghost Riders Car Club, and Dusty Booze & the Baby Haters... despite also benefiting toys for tots.
Smith’s Olde Bar
Located where Midtown meets the Highlands, Smith’s is rare venue-slash-bar that actually features acts people want to see, and food people actually want to eat, like half-pound of Black Angus beef burgers, and Dan’s Famous Hot Dogs, which, presumably, you already know about.
East Atlanta Village
This sort-of-seedy (in a good way!) boozer/alt music venue goes 'til 3a, and serves awesomely greasy pub-style eats like the 8oz 100% Black Angus Beef EARL burger w/ wasabi mayo, which is apparently "renowned for it's cowalicious goodness", and presumably really Moo-ves at this time of night.
Where else in Atlanta can you swill delicious spirits while playing bocce ball? OK, lots of places. But where else can you do it in the basement of an expansive bi-level tavern serving craft beers and cocktails in an old industrial building? Exactly.
Lost Dog Tavern
The Buckhead Triangle is teeming with too many great dives to list here, but The Lost Dog gets bonus points for being just frat-tastic enough to attract some of the A's cuter coeds, and good-ol’ boy enough that, if you're lucky, all those bros will start a fight with someone else...
The Waffle House
Oh, Awful Waffle. Whether it’s 3a on Sunday, or 9a… on Sunday… your hash browns contain magical restorative powers that can stymie even the most nefarious of hangovers. We’ll take the people watching on Texas Toast, please.
1. Smith's Olde Bar1578 Piedmont Ave, Atlanta
2. 97 Estoria727 Wylie St SE, Atlanta
3. Midway Pub552 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta
4. Star Community Bar437 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta
5. Lost Dog Tavern3162 Roswell Rd, Atlanta
6. The Earl488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta
7. Ormsby's170 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta
8. Waffle House135 Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta
Smith's has a grip of Steelers memorabilia donated by the owner of McTighe's (who hosted the Steel City Mafia for 20yrs before moving), and offers a complimentary "Steelers Buffet" with wings, boiled peanuts, and kettle chips with Big Mom's Dip, something you wish she wouldn't do whenever they play Freak Nasty at the club.
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.
This East Atlanta Village hot spot has a game room, over 130 brews, signature cocktails (along with frequent drink specials!) and a spacious patio to enjoy all of the above. Enjoy cripsy pimiento cheese fritters and jalapeño bacon jam while sampling a flight of beer.
Star Community Bar hosts local stand-up comedians, music acts, and more out of their Little Five Points joint.
Get unleashed at Buckhead's new honky tonk bar Lost Dog, whose name's a shout-out to UGA from its alumni owners, although even Tech grads will likely definitely be allowed inside to play shuffleboard, hit a wooden booth under the mounted deer head, or sit outside on the rear deck, where the granite-topped, jagged-edged bar ends in a shape similar to a question mark.
This East Atlanta dive bar hosts a wide variety of musical acts in their casual, laid back digs on Flat Shoals Ave.
Ormsby's is a bi-level tavern serving craft beers and cocktails, plus elevated dishes in an expansive upstairs dining area featuring a small couch lounge and booths, and a sprawling bottom level with games like backgammon, pinball, billiards, and a large indoor bocce ball court.
This chain, slinging their delectable waffles to hungry ATL-iens, has locations all over Atlanta... and will also have golden, buttery syrup all over your face after you make it through a plate of their legendary eats.