The 10 best Atlanta 'hoods to eat & drink in, ranked
Atlanta is a city of distinct ‘hoods, each with its own claims to eating and drinking fame. But what if some weird rule -- or a really generous house arrest setup -- meant you had to eat and drink in the same ATL neighborhood forever? Would you pick the best place to find fried food, choose to maximize your beer options, or something else entirely? Can't decide? Don't worry, we've already ranked ATL's top 10 eating and drinking 'hoods for you:
Small, independent restaurants like Valenza, Kaleidoscope, and Baci are giving Brookhaven an impressive food identity. The bistro and gastropub theme is repped (strongly) by There and Haven, and you can keep it simple and comfortable with a pint at Pub 71, Olde Blind Dog, or Lucky’s Burger & Brew. And simple can be oh-so-satisfying.
Swankier spots like Legal Sea Foods and White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails are the perfect places to impress that future business partner. Two rotating restos, Polaris and Sun Dial, are what you need to seal the romantic deal. Plus, there are great pre and post-gaming bars everywhere, with STATS, Der Biergarten, and Park Bar leading the way. And with the way the Falcons are playing, you'll need 'em.
8. Virginia Highlands
The best "neighborhood" food in the city lives in here. Murphy’s has decades of lunch, dinner, and brunch dominance under it's belt, but ViHi's not all old hats like Atkins Park and Fontaine’s now that places like Rosebud and Timone’s are calling it home. Meanwhile the Ponce-to-Virginia bar district is famous for Diesel, Moe’s & Joe’s, and Highland Tap. And if you’re looking for the beautiful local people, Dark Horse never disappoints.
7. Inman Park
A quiet little street packs a serious culinary punch: Barcelona, Wisteria, and Parish, would dominate the food scene in other cities on their own, yet they are just a few of the dining options down here. There are cocktail options aplenty with The Albert, Pure, and that immense wine list at Barcelona. Oh, and don’t forget the battered bacon at Folk Art. More accurately, try not to eat it for every meal.
You come to Decatur to relax, and places like The Iberian Pig are going to make it their mission to see that that happens. Their dozens of pork dishes start you off on a meat journey through the square, which continues at places like Leon’s (get the “bacon in a glass”), Cakes & Ale, (trout with bacon mayo), and Victory, where they make a mean “Porkemon” sandwich. Unmatched cocktails at The Pinewood and un-basic beers at Brick Store keep your thirst at bay.
5. Buford Highway
Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, and a truckload of Mexican food make this North side stretch a worthy destination for lunch, dinner, and nights when you want to get weird. Get your pho fix at Pho Dai Loi, real Chinese at Gu’s, and the best Cuban at Havana. And while plenty of South-of-the-border spots vie for your attention, hit the king at El Rey del Taco, followed by the happiest of endings at Happy Karaoke, where language is no barrier to a good time.
4. Old Fourth Ward
Kevin Rathbun’s mighty beef empire anchors Atlanta’s artsy, quirky, and delicious residential eating area. You can snag crafty pizza at Ammazza, dive bar pizza at Jack’s, Japanese street food at Craft Izakaya, or the most incredible Fluffernutter of your life at Ladybird. Meanwhile, MOTHER, Noni’s, Joystick, Church, and Corner Tavern, have not-so-quietly made Edgewood one of the city’s must-visit drinking destinations. And soon you’ll even have a giant blue streetcar for a designated driver.
When you’ve got arguably the best overall restaurant in your 'hood with Bacchanalia, you’ve already earned yourself major eating points. Add beastly BBQ from Bone Lick, bodacious burgers from Bocado, some of the sweetest ‘za in the city from Antico, and some great cocktails from Bellwoods to your evening, and it's no wonder this 'hood is near the top of the list.
The sheer amount of steer in Buckhead nearly puts it over the top: Bones, Chops, Hal’s, The Palm, and NY Prime make Atlanta’s elite neighborhood steak central. They dominate this list for a reason. With a mad bar scene and surprising walkability (for Atlanta), Buckhead is leaving the haters riding their lobster... err, coat tails.
Midtown is loaded with brunch, bars, an entire World of Beer, soul food, and STK. Seriously, from divey tots hangouts like The Highlander, to swanky fried cheese joints like Ecco, no 'hood meets all your needs like Midtown. So don’t be foolish, and put an onion ring on it.
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