An editor's guide to drinking around town


An editor's guide to drinking around town
An editor's guide to drinking around town

Dylan York

Partying in Atlanta can get annoying fast thanks to the prevalence of over-the-top club covers, watered-down drinks, and bartenders who wouldn't know a craft beer if it jumped up and awesomely poured itself down their throats. Thankfully, local editor Chris Watkins is here to dish out his personal hooch highlights, so you can keep your night tight no matter what kind of action you're looking for.

Best Club: Vanquish may pretend to be a lounge, but it plays host to most of the sponsored events that come to Atlanta, which equals instant party.

Best for Work: Downtown Atlanta needed a top-notch bar, and it got that in White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, where 80+ pours of the brown stuff help take the edge off.

Best for Partying: In all of the times that I've been to Opera Nightclub, I can't name one instance in which I haven't sweated my ass off dancing. Which is weird, because I don't dance.

Best Cocktail Bar: I've never had a bad drink at The Sound Table. Seriously. The mixologists are super knowledgeable, with a bar program full of craft spirits you don't see everyday. I usually go with the Toronto: a 100-proof rye concoction with Fernet Branca, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters.

Best Beer Bar: The Porter Beer Bar is a mainstay in Little Five Points and has been honored as one of the top beer bars in the country on more than one occasion. The menu reads like an encyclopedia for hop-heads, they have that many brews.

Best Wine Bar: The Wine Room at the St. Regis Hotel has over 500 vinos, but be sure to get here by 6p, when the sommelier conducts a champagne-sabering ritual.

Best Local Beer: The gang at Monday Night Brewing have perfected their technique over the years, and their most notable brew is their Drafty Kilt, a full-bodied Scotch ale that clocks in at 7.2% ABV.

Best Brewery: SweetWater Brewing Company is a veteran in the craft beer game, and for the past 16yrs has helped put Atlanta on the suds map. My go-tos are their 420 and their IPA, but when I'm feeling extra saucy, I pick up something seasonal like The Gimp.

Best Local Hangout: Cypress Street Pint & Plate is basically our very own Cheers in Midtown. They've got a stellar menu and a cellar stocked with their own brews. Once you've been to a Beer Geek Tuesday night, you'll understand why sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, then totally forgets it, because they're drinking so much beer.

Best Outdoor Spot: Overlooking Piedmont Park, Park Tavern is prime real estate for people-watching. When it rains, they pour $1 drafts, so keep a poncho handy.

Easiest Place to Get Laid: Not that I know from experience or anything, but I've heard that Andrews Entertainment District is a prime location for hooking up. Wherever there are six bars huddled together and hot girls looking to party, there's bound to be opportunity.

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1. Vanquish 1021 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA 30309 (Midtown)

Vanquish boasts a "safari chic" interior, with sleek leather couches surrounding shiny sculptures of crouching deer, and a bar backed by a wide photo of tigers surrounding a hot chick.

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2. White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails 270 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 (Downtown)

White Oak lives at the intersection of contemporary style and Southern tradition. The menu changes seasonally, but no matter when you stop in, you can expect a Southern infusion in their simple yet elegant dishes. Their bar has firm roots in the South as well, focusing on wine, whiskey, and bourbon. With a refined decor featuring (you guessed it) white oak wood and tasteful chandeliers, WOKC is a fantastic spot for events, offering small and large private dining spaces.

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3. Opera Nightclub 1150B Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 (Midtown)

Dance your butt off at Opera Nightclub, where no actual opera singing is required.

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4. The Sound Table 483 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312 (Downtown)

Downtown Atlanta's The Sound Table is a bar/restaurant serving French-American cuisine designed to complement its extraordinary bar program. While in its basement lounge, local DJs and musicians chef up the tunes.

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5. The Porter Beer Bar 1156 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 (Little 5 Points)

Grab a casual dinner & brew at The Porter Beer Bar in L5P, outfitted with comfy wooden booths and exposed bricks.

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6. The Wine Room 88 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305 (Buckhead)

The Wine Room is a chic wine bar tucked inside the St Regis Hotel in Buckhead.

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7. Monday Night Brewing 670 Trabert Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 (West Atlanta)

Founded by a group of friends who met in Bible study, Monday Night Brewing's a brewing facility on the Westside complete with a tasting room.

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8. SweetWater Brewing Company 195 Ottley Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30324 (Buckhead)

Atlanta's most beloved local brewery, SweetWater Brewing Company offers year-round brews like Georgia Brown, IPA, and Extra Pale Ale, and seasonals include Festive Ale and Motor Boat.

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9. Cypress Street Pint & Plate 817 W Peachtree St NW, Ste E125, Atlanta, GA 30308 (Midtown)

Midtown's beloved beer emporium, Cypress's got awesome daily features like trivia Wednesdays and 1/2 off apps Friday.

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10. Park Tavern 500 10th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 (Midtown)

With a diverse menu and awesome patio, PT's the spot to go when you want to relax, toss back a few drinks -- beer, wine, sake, mojitos, sangria -- and fill up on fresh seafood, sushi, and burgers.

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11. Andrews Entertainment District 56 E Andrews Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30305 (Buckhead)

"8 restaurants and bars, one amazing address" boasts AED, and we think they're right: the District is a one-stop shop for dining and drinking in Buckhead, featuring Czar Ice Bar, Cellar 56, East Andrews, Prohibition, and more.