Food & Drink

Atlanta's Best Bars for Absurdly Cheap Food

Published On 08/11/2016 Published On 08/11/2016
Argosy
Argosy | Sebastian Davis/Thrillist
Argosy

Argosy

East Atlanta Village

The deal: Free pizza if you buy two draft beers after 11pm
Unlike some of the more dive bar-type spots in EAV, this gastropub is equally great for grabbing pre-Earl show grub as it is for a date night or dinner with parents. Even better (and it does get better), if you order a pair of draft beers between 11pm and 2am any night of the week, you’ll get a free 10in cheese pizza with it. This ain’t no freezer-aisle pizza either -- Argosy’s signature pies are made in an open wood-fired oven.

Hand-in-Hand Pub

Hand in Hand

Virginia-Highland

The deal: $1 draft PBRs and $1 fish tacos on Sundays
This Shaun Doty joint is all about a good weekly special, from $2 burgers on Tuesdays to $5 fish & chips on Fridays. But for those looking to save big on food and fare, the dollar PBR & fish tacos Sunday special simply cannot be beat. Add in a seat on their sizable patio on a warm summer night, and you’ve got yourself a damn good time for less than $5.

Mother

Edgewood

The deal: $2 tacos, Tecate, and tequila shots on Tuesdays
While this Edgewood Avenue bar has been mostly infiltrated by the Buckhead crowd on weekends, it’s still a solid weeknight spot. Case in point: Tuesdays means you can snag a can of Tecate, a shot of tequila, and one of the fresh-made tacos -- choose from catfish, brisket, tofu, or lamb -- for just two bucks each.

Righteous Room | Jon Whittaker/Courtesy of the Righteous Room

The Righteous Room

Poncey-Highland

The deal: $7 veggie chili cheese wedges
If you play your cards right, the most money you’ll spend at this place will be for songs on the jukebox. While the “munchies” menu includes appealing beer pairings like battered onion straws, hot dogs, and jumbo chicken wings, we recommend going all in on the veggie chili cheese wedges -- potato wedges drenched in melted cheese and topped with RR’s meat-free chili.

97 Estoria

Cabbagetown

The deal: $7 burritos everyday
While Estoria’s known for its rowdy late-night scene, it’s also a downright delightful place for sliding into a booth at brunch or enjoying dinner on the sizable patio. Plus, the grub here will never disappoint: the grilled pimento-cheese sandwich is messy (in the absolute best way), the B.L.T. with goat cheese-stuffed green tomatoes is on a whole nother level, and the burritos (braised beef brisket, jerk chicken, Thai peanut tofu, and spicy crunchy pork roll varieties) will fill you up for the price of a house cocktail at most bars.

The Local

Old Fourth Ward

The deal: $3 hot dogs, tacos, and sliders everyday
There’s not much info out there about this neighborhood bar. Basically, if you know, then you go. With minimal lighting and a vibe that’s not quite dive but not quite sports, this spot attracts a diverse crowd of ATLiens. After a menu update that came around the same time it slapped a “no smoking” sign on the door (finally), patrons can now chow down on a variety of bar eats, like the saison-style hot dog topped with chili-ginger mayo, carrots, daikon pickles, jalapeños, and cilantro, or a Hong Kong pulled pork slider with mu-shu plum BBQ sauce and shredded cabbage. Order up.

The Midway Pub

The Midway Pub

East Atlanta Village

The deal: $3 Nashville hot chicken sliders after 11pm
Monday through Saturday, you can pop into this indoor/outdoor bar after 11pm and get busy with its late-night menu. The sliders -- including the Nashville hot chicken slider with pickles, the Sloppy Jose slider with chorizo and white cheddar, or the Carolina pulled pork slider with house slaw -- are so cheap that you can fill up on three for less than a Hamilton.

The Earl

East Atlanta Village

The deal: $9 Irish nachos (aka tot-chos) every day
You may think this EAV bar/music venue would settle on offering up generic bar food, but you’d be oh-so-wrong. Check its Twitter page to find out what special the kitchen’s churning out each day, or go for inventive options like the guacamole burger, perfectly salty boiled peanuts, catfish po-boy, or Irish nachos -- aka its signature Earl nachos, with tater tots instead of chips.

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1. Argosy 470 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta, GA 30316 (East Atlanta)

This massive bar in East Atlanta Village is a local late-night watering hole. Until 2am every night, this restaurant dishes out funky craft brews and everything from mini hot dogs, to gourmet pizzas, to seasonal entrees. Always bustling, this a great place to bring a group for drinks in the spacious beer garden.

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2. Hand in Hand 752 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 (Virginia Highland)

With black and gold trim and a Victorian-style interior, Atkins Park's Hand In Hand is the closest thing you'll find to an actual English pub in Atlanta. Daily specials send prices through the floor so you won't break the bank if you venture outside the fried mushroom and deviled egg snacks and head straight for the classic bangers and mash or a New York strip. There's usually a few tables available on the wrap-around patio, and they've got plenty of space for your whole group, their plates, and their frosty imported pints.

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3. Mother 447 Edgewood Ave, Atlanta, GA 30312 (Old 4th Ward)

A tag-team effort from the guys behind Midtown art house Beep Beep Gallery and NYC's The Woods, this brick- and leather-laden bar and restaurant in Old Fourth Ward provides bi-level bliss with a full kitchen slinging cheap tacos, sandwiches, burgers, and bar snacks while at the upstairs bar, people are chasing their pickle shots with discounted cocktails made with Atlanta liquors. There's usually a live DJ set up there, too, which can be heard all the way out back in the table-bedecked yard and patio.

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4. The Righteous Room 1051 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Eyes are immediately drawn to the tree stuck right through the bright-red ovular bar, the devil's in the details at this rock-n-roll bar and kitchen near Atkins Park. If you go straight to the bar for a local draft from the handful they've got, you might not properly take them all in. They're everywhere -- the chipped black paint coming off the brick walls, layer after layer of stickers and graffiti left by customers, AC/DC and Braves knick knacks -- and the cooks pay just as much attention to details in seemingly simple flatbreads and sandwiches with a sprinkle of arugula or a rosemary glaze.

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5. 97 Estoria 727 Wylie St SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (Cabbagetown)

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.

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6. The Local 758 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 (Virginia Highland)

With rickety wood booths, bare brick walls, dart boards abound, a karaoke stage, weekly trivia nights, and a string-light-lined patio, The Local is the epitome of the ideal dive bar. The standard bar food you'll order separately at the walk-up counter is a glutenous affair with greasy sliders, saucy hot wings sided by crispy french fries. You can wash them down with a tall PBR or treat the whole table to a pitcher of a high-end Belgian ale, but we won't judge you if you keep it all to yourself.

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7. Midway Pub 552 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (East Atlanta)

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.

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8. The Earl 488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316 (East Atlanta)

The rusty vintage signage lining the aged, peeling turquoise walls give this place in East Atlanta Village the dive-y old-school feel it's widely loved for. That and its impressive draft selection, which can only be paired with a classic lineup of bar food like burgers that take it up a notch with double patties and smatterings of guacamole, bbq sauce, or chili, and sandwiches piled high with corned beef, bacon, and tofu for the veggie-inclined. The taste of them might all but drown out the sounds of the live bands playing right behind you, they're that good.