Picking where to live or stay can be be difficult, overwhelming, and down right scary. People will ask you questions you don’t understand: Do you want to be ITP or OTP? Do you want to be near MARTA? Do you enjoy acronyms?
Luckily, we’ve explored Atlanta from top to bottom, been in every house, condo, and apartment, and we’ve come up with our eight favorite neighborhoods.
If you want to instantly impress people with how artsy and into music you are, EAV is where you want to be. The area is rapidly adding more and more funky shops and boutiques, plus its home to a number of music venues. And, like any other funky area worth its salt, it has a ton of smaller international restaurants—plus the Global Grub Collective, a restaurant incubator and food hall that’s always changing.
Every city has a Midtown and it’s always the best place to live if you’re looking for urban living just outside the main downtown area. The same holds true in Atlanta. It’s definitely a livelier area than most of the other ‘hoods on this list, so if you want to be able to walk out your highrise’s front door and fall straight into a cool restaurant or bar, Midtown is where you want to be. It’s also one of the city’s main cultural hubs, including the Fox Theatre, High Museum of Art, Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and more.
Just south of Midtown is Old Fourth Ward (O4W), a recently gentrified area that older folks still won’t go to. Personally, we love it. It’s got an amazing mix of architecture thanks to some developers renovating old warehouses and homes, while others have taken advantage of low land costs and built beautiful new highrises. It’s still a bit barren, but its location makes it just a quick jaunt to get into the city proper, and new businesses are popping up every day.
Poncey-Highland sounds so fancy...because it is. The relatively small neighborhood is one of the most desired spots in Atlanta for a number of reasons. It’s far enough from the city to feel suburban, but close enough that you can be there in a heartbeat, plus it’s just south of the sprawling Virginia-Highland burbs. It has an enormous amount of green space, some really neat older venues and architecture, and some cute little homes.
Virginia-Highland (VaHi) is more our speed. It just feels more like a cohesive neighborhood to us, and its location is so central, it works for everyone. The streets are lined with tons of interesting shops, some of the best restaurants and bars in Atlanta, and more coffee shops than you’ll know what to do with. Atlanta can feel overwhelming, but VaHi slows things down and just feels homey. Homes range from smaller bungalows to literal mansions, with lots of other housing options in between.
Cabbagetown has the worst name, we know. No one is going to think you’re cool if you say you live in Cabbagetown, unless you’re in Atlanta. Think of it kind of like Old Fourth Ward in the sense that it’s full of refurbished warehouses and old factories, packed with of artists of all kinds, and has killer food. We would totally live here. The whole area is very Instagrammable, thanks to tons of massive murals and its industrial-chic vibe.
We just learned that back in the 1850s, this area was called Snake Nation, which would go down as the best neighborhood name in the US. Unfortunately, it’s now called Castleberry Hill, and it’s pretty similar to Cabbagetown—artsy, full of lofts, cool people—but it’s also got a ton of great restaurants.
Everyone knows Buckhead. It was long the home of every younger person who lived in Atlanta fresh out of college, and because of that, it’s got plenty of nightlife, restaurants, and fancy apartment buildings. Like Atlanta itself, this neighborhood is enormous, so there are quieter areas, more lively areas, and so on. Still, unless it makes your commute much easier, we recommend one of the smaller neighborhoods.