Waffle House, which recently served its billionth waffle -- and is basically a mobile home that spawned 1,700 country-ass children that all grew up to be 24-hour breakfast cooks -- was started in Metro Atlanta. That’s all the proof you need that we can’t even consume the first meal of the day at a proper time. And though Waffle House is American-Late-Night-Meal Emeritus, it’s 2016, which means it’s time to find the new best places to feed yourself past midnight in our fair city. And don’t worry; we did all the work because we know you’ve had too many waffles to do the Googles.
With the exception of Sunday, when Argosy closes at midnight, pizza is your go-to until 2am every night. The rest of the menu, which offers trout w/ grits, burgers, asiago mac & cheese, and all types of other eats, is available until 11pm on weeknights, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
The Grand Banquet, as it’s called, may expect you to break yourself during decent hours, but after 11pm, once the freaks come out, it’s a damn-near-free-for-all, with a $10 bill getting you a soft crab omelet, steak frites, a bologna-’n-cheese stack, or a thick-bacon-layered cheeseburger.
The eccentric ramen garage is one of ATL’s most rumbling after-hours spots, thanks to its industrious neon illumination, it’s subterranean setting, and the fact that you can get hot noodle soup bowls, meats on sticks, blistered shishitos and strong cocktails like the Improved Whiskey. Until 2am.
It’s not that you wouldn’t be hungry during the daylight hours for ghost pepper wings, banh mi burgers w/ wasabi aioli, bratwurst patty melts or a bacon-wrapped filet steak w/ garlic compound butter. It’s just that they taste better at 1am when nobody else is thinking about devouring them.
Almost single-handedly redefining late-night eating in ATL just a few years ago, OB is still the standard to beat for its diverse crowd, awesome graffiti, quality oyster program, and fancier-than-most-daytime-restaurants menu, which features a Maine lobster roll, fresh water eel, or even an 48oz porterhouse served family style.
The “Always Available” menu at Atlanta’s oldest continuously operating tavern is historically proven to save you from a hangover or at least pad your stomach for more drinking. Here you can bread yourself with Guinness-dipped pretzels, Big-Green-Egg-smoked wings, fried chicken biscuits, and more.
Buckhead (& other locations)
Both locations of ATL’s upscale-iest sports bar know how to take you to an overtime victory. Until they close at 2:30am (Mon-Sat), you can scoop up chicken & sausage gumbo, Springer Mountain chicken sandwiches, beer-battered shrimp or fish-’n-chips, and other stuffables that will hinder any athletic hopes you had for the next day.
Sliders! Ping-pong! Gorgeously nerdy, tattooed hipster bartenders! Emergency Drinking Beer too, in case you eat enough Beasts on Yeast pot roast mini-sandwiches that you can go back to the suds! Endless Victory (until 2am)! You’re a maniac.
Old 4th Ward
You’ll probably have to wait for a half-hour or so on Friday and Saturday nights after 11pm, but you’ve got time since they’re open until 3am. And once you get a table (and some of the famous Chicago-born fry-house’s bird) you’ll feel a stomach warmth so comforting that you’ll forget to ask why there’s no actual ice bar.
The place that seems like the title of an adult child’s bedtime story (actually, that’s a great idea and the Cathy family should jump on that), is the altar at which the Chick-Fil-A biscuit was born. Go anytime you want, except between 11:45pm on Saturday to Monday morning.
Lamb sausage sliders don’t eat themselves after midnight -- except for the freaky ones that work on Cheshire Bridge. Help them be devoured, or go with a la carte tacos (fried catfish, smoked brisket, etc.), shrimp po’ boys, or a chili cheese Coney.
Pub fare is always a win when you’re up past your curfew, especially when it's getting close to 2am. This is a great place for Guinness-battered fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, or less-Irish/more ‘Merican dishes like organic bison meatloaf.
Although entrees come off the menu at 11am, everything else rolls into later hours, from snacks like hand-cut fries w/ pot roast gravy and stout mustard, to bangers & mash or hand-dipped corn dogs. Even if they take a while you can busy yourself on bocce, foosball, or various other games downstairs.
The full menu is yours until 1am on the weekends, including Brasstown beef burgers, smoked pork trotter (pig’s feet, yum!), mac & cheese fritters, and more from Chef Savannah Haseler's locally sourced and Southern-inspired lineup.
There’s no making a late-night list for ATL without including what’s probably the most eccentric place for either vegetarian or carnivorous late dining in town. Not only do you get the vibes from the blueish hues inside the enclosed patio, but you talk to an Amazonian parrot outside, and it never closes. Hopefully it never will.
1. Argosy470 Flat Shoals Ave, Atlanta
2. Marcel1170 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta
3. Little Trouble1170 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta
4. The Highlander931 Monroe Dr NE, Atlanta
5. Octopus Bar560 Gresham Ave, Atlanta
6. Atkins Park Restaurant794 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta
7. Dantanna's3400 Around Lenox Rd NE, Atlanta
8. Victory Sandwich Bar913 Bernina Ave NE, Atlanta
9. Harold's Chicken & Ice Bar349 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta
10. Dwarf House461 N Central Ave, Hapeville
11. Augustine's327 Memorial Dr, Atlanta
12. Meehan's Public House232 19th St NW, Ste 7165, Atlanta
13. Ormsby's170 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta
14. Twain's Brewpub & Billiards211 E Trinity Pl, Decatur
15. R. Thomas Deluxe Grill1812 Peachtree St NW, 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.
Settle into one of the deep booths in the beautiful and spacious dining room at this upscale restaurant and prepare for elegant courses like foie gras with fig terrine, escargot, and the L’Entrecôte steak with fries and insanely flavorful sauce verte. Don't be deceived by the French-leaning menu though, Marcel isn't a brasserie; it's a steakhouse, and the two-person Beef Wellington is a sight to behold (and requires 24-hour notice).
Asian street food (think steamed buns, fried crab dumplings, and ramen) and inventive cocktails such as the T.R.L (vodka, raspberry, cucumber soda, and mint), and King Werewolf (white brandy, plum, lemon, and soda) come together at this retro joint.
Whether you're looking for late-night eats or a late-night party, head to The Highlander in Midtown where they've got a patio, full game room (pool tables, air hockey, pinball, and more), delicious bar eats, and, of course, a full bar to keep you well hydrated.
Featuring a menu that changes daily, Octopus Bar is a quality spot for late-night eats. But keeping in tune with their name, yes, you'll be able to order octopus on pretty much any day you're there.
Atkins Park is Atlanta's oldest continually-running restaurant (it began as a deli in 1922), and the figurative cornerstone of Virginia-Highland. Over the years, it has remained relevant and beloved by Atlantans, with culinary creature comforts that have, and will continue to, stand the test of time (like a bunch of different burgers, mostly). The beer selection on offer beats many of the newer, trendier places in the Va-Hi district. At Atkins Park, family-friendly dining and late-night drinking coexist, which is the mark of a true neighborhood destination.
With plenty of flat screens, all-American beers, and locally sourced dishes that, while upscale, are reminiscent of tailgating eats, Dantanna's has you covered for the big game. A couple house specialities: beer-battered shrimp and heirloom Berkshire pork rib chop. If the game's got you fired up and you're feeling a bit more adventurous, go for the Heart Attack burger (ground beef topped with a sunny-side-up egg, a double order of thick-sliced hickory-smoked bacon & fried onions, served between two grilled cheese sandwiches).
This sandwich-slinging joint's got a hell of a lot more going for it than its smoky and spicy Italian-inspired creations (like the sassy Cowabunga Dude that packs pepperoni, salami, pepperoncini, mozzarella, and tomato all into one sandwich). Victory also boasts a ping-pong table -- complete with an electronic scoreboard akin to those found in high school gyms -- and its self-proclaimed "world-famous" Jack Coke slushie that makes the Tennessee whiskey taste more refreshing than you'd ever imagine.
A Chicago transplant resto cooking up delicious fried chicken.
The original Chick-fil-A, a.k.a. The Dwarf House, is a pint sized eatery that's open late serving all your favorite fried chicken faves. There are several locations, but the Tri-Cities spot was the springboard from which the Cathy family made billions by throwing billions of nuggets and chicken sandwiches into your mouth. There’s nothing else to say here, other than a reminder that a 24-hour Chick-Fil-A that operates like a Waffle House is where you want to always be... unless it’s Sunday.
Sitting in what used to be The Standard and before that a gas station, Augustine's filling your tank with an eclectic menu of snacks, dinners, and craft suds in a space with a central birch communal table, black banquettes, and a large exterior painting o
Meehan's is your one stop shop for true Irish pubbiness, boasting knockout burgers and pints, right in the heart of Midtown. Check out their patio'd outdoor space for a brew and a bite. We think that Meehan's is the best Irish pub in Atlanta, but you'll have to stop by and see for yourself.
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.
Twain’s Brewpub & Billiards is a laid-back, neighborhood favorite. The Downtown Decatur brewery and pool hall is home to more than just what its name boasts: the pub hosts trivia nights, live music, foosball, shuffleboard, and darts, as well as a menu of elevated bar fare with Southern twists. Expect items like beer cheese, a scotch egg, fish and chips, burgers, and the heart-stopping waffle thigh sandwich (buttermilk fried chicken thigh with bacon jam on a cheddar waffle). The food-friendly house brews are poured by the pint or by the pitcher, and rotate seasonally with the menu. If you happen upon the Nashville Hot Chicken, get it.
This is the best 24-hour place in Buckhead. It's got all your classic American fare, but the stand-out is the the signature R. Thomas quesadilla with a perfect combo of eggs, bacon, cheese, and greens. It's delicious, yet somehow ridiculously healthy. Food's made of organic, free-range, gluten-free and raw food options. At any time of day, it's got fluorescent lighting and colorful talking parrots. Eat here to know Atlanta, and know yourself. Or, you know, just to get full and feel refreshingly weird all at the same time.