More celebrities than ever are living/working in the ATL, and while they may have more money and fame than we do, they’re really just like us! Which means they enjoy washing down well-roasted animals and carbohydrates with mind-bending drinks at some of Atlanta’s sweetest bars & restaurants. Need proof? Here are the 13 spots you’re most likely to find ‘em...
The 13 Best ATL Bars & Restaurants to Meet Celebrities
You knew this was coming. At this point, it doesn’t even matter who walks in the door. There are no bigger celebrities in ATL’s weirdest place than Blondie and the gang.
Who you might see there: Anthony Bourdain, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Lady Gaga... pretty much every celebrity who visits Atlanta, but not Mumford & Sons since they got kicked out of there last year.
Antico Pizza was Giovanni Di Palma’s first foray into the GA Tech neighborhood. The pies were good enough to attract pretty much everybody, then came Gio’s Chicken Amalfitano, Bar Amalfi, Caffe Antico for gelato and panini, and Bottega Luisa, an Old World grocery. Celebrities like Italy.
Who you might see there: Drew Barrymore, Chris Rock, Conan O’Brien, Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, Gabrielle Union
Hollywood is moving to ATL not just because of the tax breaks; the South also has way better shrimp and grits than you can find in Beverly Hills.
Who you might see there: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Charles Barkley, Tom Hanks, Ben Affleck, Wanda Sykes, Melissa McCarthy
One of the weirdest places in town and home to what may be ATL’s best smoked wings (at least top three), Bone Lick has old-school arcade games, skee-ball, chalk for bathroom graffiti, constant strange events, and infused moonshine.
Who you might see there: Jack Black, Questlove, Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, David Cross (also a Bone Lick investor, so don’t be surprised if you see him there often)
KSM’s vibe can be quickly described as food court-plus-alcohol-minus-mall-lameness. Sure it’s a little strange that stars can be found hanging out in Inman Park. But then again, Gu’s Dumplings, Grand Champion BBQ, The Cockentrice, Fred’s Meat & Bread, and Hop City all in one place? Plus free sparkling water?
Who you might see there: Sacha Baron Cohen, Big Boi, The Walking Dead’s cast, The Vampire Diaries' cast, Chris Evans
Though not born in ATL (like pretty much everybody else here), the flashy, NY-spawned steakhouse brought a starry attitude to Midtown that fits right in with our recent efforts to straight jack all the sweetest stuff, like the entertainment industry, from other cities.
Who you might see there: Vince Vaughn, Denzel Washington, Selena Gomez, Zac Efron, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Owen Wilson, Charles Barkley, John Mellencamp, Meg Ryan, Kevin Bacon, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Keri Hilson
It’s centrally located with a great patio, yet still has a hidden quality. The menu is short but solid with good fries, fried chicken, lamb chili, and other bar chow, plus with the exception of Sunday nights it's open until 2:45am.
Who you might see there: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Terrence Howard, Kiefer Sutherland, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Justin Timberlake, Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello
Consistently strong margaritas, quality tacos, and more Mexican mouth-work is always on the menu at Red Pepper, but it’s the location’s less Buckhead-ish vibe, which it somehow achieves even though it’s basically in the heart of ATL’s Hollywood-iest 'hood, that probably pulls the stars inside.
Who you might see there: Jason Statham, Jamie Foxx, Tony Jaa, Ron White
Given that it’s located inside the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, Southern Art gets a great deal of famous foot traffic just for being there. It also helps that chef/owner Art Smith was Oprah’s personal chef before he came to ATL.
Who you might see there: Oprah, Kenny Smith, Charlie Sheen
It’s not the only sushi spot near Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza, but it’s reliably delicious and is like two restos in one, meaning along with raw fish there’s a side where you can get teppanyaki (hibachi preparation for grilled foods, without the corniness). The minimalist dining room decor also features a mosaic-tiled, sword-brandishing manga girl on the wall. Celebrities are also nerds.
Who you might see there: Linkin Park, DeMarre Carroll (when the Raptors are in town, presumably), Selena Gomez, Waka Flocka Flame
Everyone knows this spot is owned by a member of Blue Women’s Group (Indigo Girls), but everyone also knows it's got sweet fried chicken and other Southern comfort food. And since celebrities have greater access to liposuction and diet supplements, they can handle a little extra lard in their lives.
Who you might see there: Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lawrence, Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon (possibly on the next pre-arrest ATL date night?)
You know what celebrities really love? Eating crazy-expensive cuts of steak! Because this tends to cut the fat of society (meaning the rest of us), who’d struggle to afford a slice of beef jerky, or a slice of bread for that matter, from this super-elite eatery.
Who you might see there: Larry David, Russell Crowe, Justin Bieber, Billy Bob Thornton, Vin Diesel, Dennis Quaid, Kate Bosworth, Ryan Gosling
It may look like a nondescript corporate office outside, but this place slings a combination of really great South African meals (the curry is crazy) and wine, which is not to be missed.
Who you might see there: Usher, Jon Hamm, Matt Ryan
Sign up here for our daily Atlanta email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun the ATL has to offer.
1. Clermont Lounge789 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta
2. Little Italia1093 Hemphill Ave, Atlanta
3. South City Kitchen Midtown1144 Crescent Ave NE, Atlanta
4. Bone Lick BBQ1133 Huff Rd, Atlanta
5. Krog Street Market99 Krog St NE, Atlanta
6. STK Atlanta1075 Peachtree St, Atlanta
7. Cypress Street Pint & Plate817 W Peachtree St NW, Ste E125, Atlanta
8. Red Pepper Taqueria Buckhead3133 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta
9. Southern Art & Bourbon Bar3315 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta
10. Katana3345 Lenox Rd NE, Atlanta
11. Watershed on Peachtree1820 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta
12. Chops Lobster Bar70 W Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta
13. 10 Degrees South4183 Roswell Rd, Atlanta
Virginia Highland's Clermont Lounge is oh-so many things: a dive bar, a live music venue, a frequent karaoke spot, and, perhaps most notably, Atlanta’s oldest strip club. What more could you ask for?
This conglomerate of cafes really does seem like a slice of Italy in Atlanta. From Antico Pizza serving up great pies to Caffe Antico's gelato and pastries, it's as if a street corner in Italy has been placed, in its entirety, on Ethel St and Hemphill Ave.
Open for lunch, dinner & brunch, this award-winning Midtown restaurant puts a contemporary twist on classic Southern cooking.
Bone Lick's a saucy meat mecca with a recycled wood bar and skee-ball pointed out by a gigantic lit-up carnival arrow.
KSM’s vibe can be quickly described as food court-plus-alcohol-minus-mall-lameness. With so many choices, including Gu’s Dumplings and Grand Champion BBQ - plus FREE sparking water?? - there's really something for everyone.
Celebrating the simplicity of a great steak by removing all those showy "vowels," STK boasts a porterhouse and a cowboy ribeye that'll fill you up, and a black truffle aioli tartare that should every meal. The restaurant is advertised as a steakhouse "for the stiletto set," though, so you'll also get the choice of plenty of salads, small plates, and three sizes of steaks, all served in a chic, glossy space.
Midtown's beloved beer emporium, Cypress's got awesome daily features like trivia Wednesdays and 1/2 off apps Friday.
Red Pepper's Executive Chef Mimmo Alboumeh's plating ceviche, grilled oysters, and tacos at this Buckhead Mex-taurant that's open 'til 2a... So now you can sate those 2a ceviche cravings (!!).
Southern Art & Bourbon Bar is a down-South dinner destination helmed by Art Smith, who use to be Oprah's personal chef, which, really, is all you need to know. But I'll continue: it's situated inside the InterContinental with an artistic interior highlighted by vibrant ceiling-hung paintings, plus a spacious, Peachtree-facing patio and three bourbon-focused bars. When it comes to the food, be sure to try the Addie Mae's chicken-and-dumplings soup (named after Smith’s mother) or the braised pork belly with yams and sorghum syrup.
If you have friends who won’t eat real sushi, Katana is the perfect group spot; it has an extensive teppanyaki menu, which is basically a fancy word for hibachi. Think filet mignon, sea bass, and organic chicken cooked tableside.
Love wine? Enjoy no one judging you while you sip varieties from Spanish wine house Ole Imports and pretend to listen to them talking about Spanish grapes and stuff.
Serving authentic Wagyu beef with a BMS (Beef Marbling Score) of 12 out of 12, Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead has cornered the surf n turf market. Step into this dark wood dining room, and you won't hesitate at ordering a bone-in filet or something from the fresh seafood menu, like Rockefeller oysters and lobster tails in a savory butter-sage sauce.
The retired South African pro soccer player who opened 10 DS back in '98 knew what he was doing when he opened this oasis of food from his homeland. It looks like a corporate office from Roswell Rd, but once you get past the door, and especially when you hit the bungalow-designed back patio, you'll feel transported.