Many of the best beverage purveyors in the city just so happen to have amazing food, too. Here are our eight favorite spots to grab a drink in the dirty dirty.
Right across from one of our favorite places in Atlanta, the Ponce City Market, 8ARM has the best biscuits in town. But we’re not here for the biscuits, we’re outside next to the covered patio, having a tiki party at the makeshift shipping container bar. Beverage director Joshua Fryer (formerly of The Lawrence) serves up fruity, boozy tropical drinks; some classic, some obscure. The pink and palm frond mural by Atlanta-based artist Adrian Barzaga provides the perfect Instagram backdrop for your umbrella-clad drinks. All throughout the summer DJ Ree De La Vega hosts weekly Sunday night jams called the Chaka Khan Hacienda. They also host food pop-ups, pool parties, and craft fairs. Check out 8ARMs newest arm, 8ARM Wine, the natural wine bar, recently opened in September of 2019.
Celebrity chef (and James Beard nominee) Hugh Acheson, bar manager Kellie Thorn, and sommelier Steven Grubbs are the all-star trio behind this stunning restaurant, housed in a Midtown corporate office building. ESS’ well-rounded drink program has really raised the bar. The extensive curated wine list includes everything from bubbly to bold reds. Inventive, seasonally inspired drinks populate the cocktail list with delicious yet unlikely combos like the
Noon Rendezvous made with gin, rose vermouth, green chartreuse, watermelon, and citrus. Oh, and there’s a bocce ball court!
For over a decade, this intimate Buckhead gastropub has been known for its $17 cheeseburgers and custom cocktails. You’ll find all the classics on the menu, as well as inventive house cocktails like the Netflix & Chill, made with pink peppercorn infused cathead vodka, Cocchi rosa, strawberry, and dill. The extensive drink menu is not just for the cocktail-inclined; there’s plenty of wine, local craft beer, and all kinds of spirits, too. Oysters are just a dollar each during happy hour on weekdays from 5-7pm, and you can get the cocktail of the day for just $7. On Saturdays and Sundays from 3-5pm Holeman & Finch Public House offers a Hamm's and a burger, a pichet of wine, or a plank of charcuterie, all for just 10 bucks.
Located in a renovated Decatur train depot, this James Beard Award nominee creates expertly combined seasonal cocktails using ingredients from the restaurant’s own garden. Barkeep Miles Macquarrie’s marvelous twists on the classics have earned KH national recognition, but it also has the best (and most affordable) oyster selection in town. Order the champagne service and slurp some down during the raw bar happy hour, on weekdays from 5-7pm. Or, order an old fashioned in a bottle, made with a mix of bourbon and rye and cola bitters. (Bring some buddies though, it serves four.) Fans of the green fairy will especially appreciate the bar’s unrivaled absinthe program, featuring a full, classic absinthe service, complete with special spoon and a sugar cube.
Okay, so a lot of our favorite Atlanta bars just so happen to have amazing food programs. Two birds, right? Located in West Midtown, this New American eatery’s wine list has all the sparkling, red, and white you can dream of by the glass, bottle, and half-bottle. Co-owner and front-of-house maestro Neal McCarthy’s creative wine program was nominated for a James Beard award in 2019. Delineated by country and region, its heavy on Old World varietals pair perfectly with the farm-fresh fare.
Located in a former warehouse in the Old Fourth Ward, Two Urban Licks has been around for the past 15 years, thanks to its delish drinks, yummy rotisserie fare, and live blues music. We especially love their cocktails created with housemade booze infusions; think lime and agave infused tequila, lime-infused vodka, Virgil Kane ginger infused bourbon, and blackberry and lemon-infused gin. Oenophiles will feel right at home under the towering 26-foot wine-on-tap barrel wall (the first of its kind in the US). The temperature-controlled glass enclosure houses stainless steel barrels full of innovative, domestic and international vino. Wines are drawn by gravity, poured as a half glass, glass, mini-thief (10oz), half-thief (20oz), or full thief (42oz). The beer program is also state-of-the-art, and the city views are pretty good, too!
This Krog Street Market bar and restaurant serves up some of the best cocktails in the city. Named after an 18th-century fort, the Colonial era-inspired tavern is located in a dim basement full of rich leather, brick, and wood. A few of the founding fathers of Atlanta’s craft cocktail movement, Greg Best, Paul Calvert, and Regan Smith opened the instant classic back in 2015.
The classic cocktail mecca was nominated for a James Beard award for Outstanding Bar Program in 2019. Come for the drinks, stay for the food. This Inman Park locale makes a killer clam roll.
Um did we really almost get through this list without naming a beer bar? Atlanta’s premier beer bar in Little Five Points is the destination craft-brew connoisseurs. The Porter Beer Bar carries more than 800 beers(!) sorted by draft, bottle, and vintage. Soak up the suds with some Belgian fries, served with herb and garlic aioli and charred onion mayo, or some salt and vinegar popcorn. Beyond beer, they also have a nice whiskey selection, full cocktail menu, and wine list. Go on the weekend for “Hair of the Dog” brunch and order one of Atlanta’s best Bloody Marys, featuring house-infused four-pepper vodka and decked out with pickled okra. Check the website for beer-related festivals and tastings.