When it’s time to plan a date in Atlanta, there are a lot of sweet things to do. A lot. There are so many, in fact, that it can almost be a problem (not as big a problem as dating someone from OTP, but still), unless you’ve read our handy guide to the best date spots in every... err, 15 ATL ‘hoods, obviously.
The Shed at Glenwood (address and info)
Casual yet elegant, The Shed at Glenwood not only has great ambience, it also has a daily evolving menu full of seasonal surprises, making it a great place for picky eaters and foodies alike. It also has a solid selection of libations, daily food specials (like the infamous $3 sliders on Wednesdays!), and an incredibly rich, decadent, homemade Ding Dong. Regardless of whether or not you find love, you can at least say you had a freshly made Ding Dong.
Victory Sandwich Bar (address and info)
Come for the upscale-feeling (yet reasonably priced) exotic sandwiches and fancy mixed drinks, stay for the spacious covered patio... and ping-pong room. This isn't your standard table for a bar, it’s a monster that could be in the Olympics. If you’re not into playing, you can always be a spectator. Afterwards, you can part ways or take a leisurely stroll along the Beltline.
Cooks & Soldiers (address and info)
What date isn’t made better with tons of gorgeous, utterly delicious small plates to nosh on, and fabulous creative cocktails? You can get them both at this Basque-inspired Westside spot. For maximum people-watching and proximity to the booze, settle into the ample seating around the main bar or the tall banquette seating with scattered high-tops. If all goes well, afterwards you can pop over to Atlantic Station, wander around under the stars, and keep the party going.
The Bookhouse Pub (address and info)
Worried you won’t have anything to talk to your date about? Head here, where the strong cocktails and solid beer menu will give you the liquid courage necessary to loosen your tongue. Add to that the fact that it’s decorated with books, nerdy hero paintings, and is Twin Peaks themed, and you’ll feel free enough to jump into the evening (and possible burgeoning relationship?) without reservation. Oh, and the food is way above typical pub fare. Pro tip: the blue cheese chips are not to be missed.
Little Five Points
Dad’s Garage (address and info)
If you can’t make your date laugh with your own jokes, you can at least pay someone else to do it. Dad’s Garage has been keeping folks in stitches since 1995 with improv and original scripted productions. The new venue is intimate, with a small bar/coffee house adjacent to the lobby. Inside the stage area, you have stadium seating where pretty much every seat gives you a good view of the show. Since the place is in the heart of Little Five, take your partner out for cheap drinks afterward to keep the laughs coming.
The Iberian Pig (address and info)
Perfectly situated on beautiful Decatur Square, just walking to and from here feels fanciful and romantic. The restaurant itself is bustling and exciting without being loud or overwhelming, and the Spanish tapas are perfect for trying and sharing multiple things without getting bored, while the selection of adult beverages, including craft cocktails, beer, and wine, is nearly as big as Spain itself. The restaurant is also conveniently located within walking distance of Eddie’s Attic, perfect for post-dinner live music and dancing if the pair of you just happen to hit it off over pork cheek tacos.
Cafe Intermezzo (address and info)
This Vienna-style coffeehouse is intimate, cozy, and ambient. What’s more, it has sandwiches, omelets, sweet and savory crepes -- and more than 70 pastries. In particular, the desserts are widely renowned as some of the city’s best. Of course, it’ll be quite some time before you’re seated at this popular Midtown joint, so settle in for some small talk as you peruse the “Beverage Book,” with over 50 pages featuring more than 800 beverages.
Holy Taco (address and info)
If Holy Taco’s delicious Mexican-meets-Peruvian-and-Colombian fusion fare featuring the likes of beef tongue and chicken heart tacos doesn’t at least get you a second date, you’ll know for sure your personality is the problem. For an optimum evening, grab a spot on the killer outdoor patio and enjoy what many consider the best margaritas in the city.
SkyView Atlanta (address and info)
Located next to beautiful Centennial Olympic Park and full of glittery lights, you and your date can soar 200ft above ground in your own private temperature-controlled gondola. Get swept away by the heat of the moment OR the gorgeous views of the Downtown skyline atop the city’s most magical Ferris wheel. Either way, it will leave you breathless.
Old Fourth Ward
Joystick Gamebar (address and info)
Restaurants are always a solid date choice, because you gotta eat. But when you pair delicious snacks (Illegal Foods started out here) with great drinks and classic arcade games, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. And if you’re really hitting it off, you can always wander over to the dim, cozy lounge room on the other side of the arcade and recreate Daniel LaRusso and Ali’s arcade date from the original Karate Kid.
Elliott Street Deli & Pub (address and info)
Sure you could go swanky with sushi from Bottle Rocket around the corner, but its fancy gorgeousness simply can’t match the divey intimacy of this little one-of-a-kind hole in the wall. Elliott Street Deli & Pub serves up local brews, genuinely delicious sandwiches and pub food, and even has live music throughout the month. Bonus points? It hosts the Castleberry Art Stroll iron pour!
Le Petit Marché (address and info)
From the Anthropologie-esque decor to the absolutely decadent food, this cozy and intimate family-run French-style bistro in Kirkwood is a lovely little spot to eat, drink, and figure out whether or not you should’ve swiped right. There can’t be a soul alive that wouldn’t love the menu: fresh cakes, French toast sandwiches, and more, freshly made using local and seasonal ingredients.
Morningside Nature Preserve (address and info)
A hidden green gem in the bustling Morningside/Lenox Park part of town, Morningside Nature Preserve is made up of two sections separated by a cool suspension bridge going over South Fork Peachtree Creek. Explore the trails, say hi to the dogs at the “dog beach” (a section beloved by dogs near the creek), and pretend to rough it in the “wild” for a while. With all that walking and fresh air, you’re bound to work up an appetite. If your date’s not a total bore, you can hit up local faves Rosebud or Alon’s together afterwards.
Czar Ice Bar (address and info)
With an ice bar, shimmery glass chandeliers, mood lighting, hundreds of bottles of vodka shelved on the wall, fancy cocktails, and supremely fancy (and delicious!) sushi, Czar Ice Bar is so over the top it accomplishes the near impossible: it is actually fun for people who are genuinely impressed by that level of glitz and for those who want to clown it. Pro tip: get the vodka flight -- served in ice cubes, it’s a really fun, delicious way to “drink.”
Grant Park (address and info)
Not only is the city’s oldest park beautifully sprawling and dotted with some of the tallest, most gorgeous trees in the city, it’s adjacent to Zoo Atlanta and a variety of restaurants with eats ranging from pizza, seafood, pan-Asian, and more. The possibilities are endless.
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1. The Shed at Glenwood475 Bill Kennedy Way SE, Atlanta
2. Victory Sandwich Bar913 Bernina Ave NE, Atlanta
3. Cooks & Soldiers691 14th St NW Ste D, Atlanta
4. The Bookhouse Pub736 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta
5. The Iberian Pig121 Sycamore St, Decatur
6. Cafe Intermezzo Midtown1065 Peachtree St, Atlanta
7. Holy Taco1314 Glenwood Ave SE, Atlanta
8. Joystick Gamebar427 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta
9. Elliott Street Deli & Pub51 Elliott St. SW, Atlanta
10. Le Petit Marché1963 Hosea L Williams Dr SE, Atlanta
11. Czar Ice Bar56 E Andrews Dr NW, Atlanta
An American resto cooking up tasty eats -- like mascarpone ravioli, roasted Peking duck, smoked pork belly hash -- that also hosts wine classes and events like a speakeasy wine dinner.
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.
Westside’s Cooks & Soldiers is an upscale restaurant with a menu devoted to the culinary traditions of Spain's Basque Country. The menu serves tapas-like pinxtos and wood-fired asador dishes in convivial atmosphere reminiscent of Basque dining culture. Two per order and served on toast, the traditional pinxtos include skewered bites like pan con tomate (add jamon iberico, trust us) and tortilla de chorizo. From the asador, you’ll find larger format meats, like the Chuletón... that two-pound steak you’ll be having for dinner.
This Poncey-Highland haunt looks as if it were carved right out of the earth, boasting plenty of customized wood and stone features, plus a long list of affordable beers and whiskey cocktails. Go ahead and enjoy them at a table in the dimly lit interior or on the outdoor patio with a tiki overhang. While you're at it, be sure to nosh on starters like pot stickers, braised beef poutine, and mains such as the Bookhouse burger and shrimp & grits.
This industrial-chic Spanish spot has a menu packed with tasty tapas, quesos, and cocas (flatbreads) -- all perfect for sharing. Grab a group of friends and considering splitting the B.W.D. (bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with Manchego cheese and walnuts) or the albondigas (wild boar suasage meatballs). Their beverage program is on-point and pig-focused, too, featuring signature cocktails like the Iberian Old Fashioned with bacon-infused rye.
At Cafe Intermezzo Midtown, expect extensive offerings of coffee, tea, cocktails, sweet/savory crepes, and all-day breakfast pumping out 'til 2a, in a column-filled space that looks appropriately great/Grecian.
Holy Taco is an East Atlanta taqueria helmed by chef Robert Phelan, who is dedicated to using sustainable, local ingredients to shape his ever-changing and evolving menus. In a modern setting with outdoor seating, Phelan is serving up a ton of delicious food, including brisket tacos, fried squid tortas, and chorizo quesadillas.
This “barcade” is wild with its tonics. Joystick co-owner Brandon Ley has meticulously put together a top-notch program that takes fortified wines as seriously as it takes random cosplay parties and the hosting of weird local podcasts, plus sexy liquid inventions like the Donkey Punch.
Elliott Street Deli & Pub is as authentic as the centuries-old building in which it lives. The tiny -- so tiny, you may not even know it existed -- neighborhood pub is known for its deli sandwiches upstairs, and live music venue, The 51, downstairs. The sandwiches are exactly what you’d expect of your butcher paper-packaged meal: quality meat topped with the proper accoutrement and served fresh-baked bread at an affordable price. There are classics like the French Dip, Reuben, and all-beef hot dogs, and specialties like the Elliott Street Ultimate which features three types of meat, two cheeses, and a whole host of toppings and spreads. Stop in, grab a sandwich, and head downstairs for cheap beer, live jazz, and burlesque.
This Kirkwood spot has one great breakfast. It's must-try item? The Egg Sandwich of course.