The Best Late-Night Restaurants in Atlanta
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.
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.
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.
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