Pop quiz: what do Barry White, Neil Young, and Queen have in common? They all claimed to have "Staying Power". But when was the last time you bought one of their albums? No, staying power is hard-earned, which is why we're celebrating those Atlanta institutions that have stood the test of time with this epic, day-long crawl, winding you through the restaurants, bars, and attractions that continue to anchor the great ATL.
1. The Varsity61 North Ave NW, Atlanta
2. Ann's Snack Bar1615 Memorial Dr, Atlanta
3. Underground Atlanta50 Upper Alabama St #007, Atlanta
4. Oakland Cemetery248 Oakland Ave SE, Atlanta
5. Georgian Terrace Hotel659 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
6. Mary Mac's Tea Room224 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta
7. Clermont Lounge789 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta
8. Majestic Diner1031 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta
9. Plaza Theatre1049 Ponce De Leon Ave, Atlanta
10. Manuel's Tavern602 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta
11. Atkins Park Restaurant794 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta
12. Blind Willie's828 N Highland Ave NE, Atlanta
13. The Fox Theatre660 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta
Billed as "the world's largest drive-in," The Varsity in downtown Atlanta can accommodate up to 600 cars and 800 patrons. Each day, the drive-in sells more than two miles of hot dogs, 2,500 pounds of fresh-cut potatoes, 5,000 homemade fried pies, and a ton of onion rings (literally). The place was founded in 1928, was featured in Gone with the Wind, and has had been visited by three presidents (Carter, Bush, and Clinton). Basically, you need to go here just to say you did.
The burgers at Ann's snack bar, some of the best in Atlanta, could qualify the Kirkwood spot as the eighth wonder of the world. The voluptuous, hand-pressed Ghetto Burgers bring chili sauce, bacon, a super-secret seasoning, fat pieces of onion, and fried bacon together in a burger that's admittedly difficult to eat but so worth the mess (you've just gotta dive right into this one). There isn't ample seating, but after a short wait you can sit along the bar and watch it get made right in front of you, which, trust us, will work up an appetite large enough to tackle it on your own.
Created from the abandoned viaducts beneath the city, Underground Atlanta offers a host of restaurants, entertainment, and shopping opportunities. Stop by for a guided walking tour, and you might even learn a thing or two while you're there.
So this is totally normal: $15 nets you a two-day pass to this multi-stage concert with 100+ acts doing it live...in Oakland Cemetery. There'll be food from Six Feet Under (really, guys?), Pallookaville, and Hottie Hawg's Smokin' BBQ, plus psychic rea
The Georgian Terrace Hotel in Midtown is home to both the Livingston Restaurant & Bar and Edgar’s Proof and Provision, satisfying both your eating and drinking desires. The Livingston -- named for 19th-century politician Livingston Mims -- serves up creative New American cuisine in a sleek and stylish setting. Edgar’s Proof and Provision, meanwhile, specializes in craft cocktails that span the spirit spectrum from brandy and mezcal to rum and vodka. The food program at Edgar’s certainly holds its own, with snacks and sandwiches on offer.
At Mary Mac's Tea Room, patrons can enjoy a taste of authentic Southern cooking and hospitality. This means heaping plates of staples like fried chicken, braised ox tails, and grilled liver and onions, as well as a number of specialty drinks like the Mint Julep and Georgia Peach. The place is over 70 years old and was officially named “Atlanta’s Dining Room” by the City of Atlanta. Read any online traveler’s guides and you’ll be convinced that there’s no way to visit Atlanta without eating here. There are pencils and paper sheets on your table for you to write your own order, a tradition of MM’s that dates wayyy back (pre-Bieber).
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?
An Atlanta landmark since 1929, Majestic Diner offers up "food that pleases," including milkshakes, pancakes, hamburgers, waffles, and just about any other comfort food you crave. Bright lights, late hours, and endearing greasy spoon goodness-- what more do you really need?
Plaza Theatre is the oldest operating cinema in Atlanta, offering screenings of select new releases as well as movies that have been out of theaters for years. It also hosts film festivals, and there are midnight showings of classic movies every Friday night.
A neighborhood bar since the 50s, Manuel’s Tavern is still buzzing with lunch, dinner, and late night crowds in Poncey-Highland. Its decades-old charm remains, and the iconic tavern continues to draw diners from across the country -- including the likes of Jimmy Carter and, slightly more recently, Barack Obama. The menu features classic American fare like burgers, steaks, Buffalo wings, and an entire section of the menu devoted to hot dogs. And their beer list is sizeable, as well, with 30 beers on tap and twice that in bottles. Stop in for a burger, a beer, and a little slice of Atlanta history.
Atkins Park is Atlanta's oldest continually-running restaurant (it began as a deli in 1922) and the figurative cornerstone of Virginia-Highland. It remained relevant and beloved by Atlantans, with solid burgers, sandwiches, and entrees like short rib pot roast. Its beer selection beats a lot of newer and trendier places in the beloved Va-Hi district--there's a wide assortment of canned, bottled, and draft beer available, as well as a varied selection of wines. AK offers late-night drinking and family-friendly dining under the same roof.
Since opening its doors for service in 1986, this musician-owned ATL blues bar has been all about bringing in older talent for their shows in an environment that was literally hand-built by the owners and their local musician friends. Good thing, 'cause you know their acoustic game will be spot on.
The historic Fox Theatre hosts live entertainment ranging from musicals and live concerts to speaking engagements. Additionally, you can swing by and catch a screening of a movie that's out of theaters.