Atlanta’s drinking establishments aren’t just about the drinks — though the drinks are plenty sophisticated. It’s the unexpected themes and unique experiences that set the city’s beverage haunts apart. Sip Patio Punch in an Adirondack chair by a teardrop camper, or sing your heart out at church organ karaoke. Enjoy a rooftop beer garden from the inside of your own glass igloo, or muster courage — via a Southern Spice Mule — to zip down an adult-friendly slide.
Atlanta’s watering holes may just be your best insight into the city’s innovative approach to having a good time. The coolest places to drink can be found outside of downtown, where you’ll find rooftop bars, dive bars, and cocktail havens. These are the best bars to go to in Atlanta’s most popular neighborhoods.
Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall — Camping chic is the theme at this Beltline-adjacent spot. The large “grove” (sans campfires) is dotted with low-slung Adirondack chairs and communal picnic tables, and drinks are served from a vintage teardrop camper. The indoor “mess hall” features a bar and sit-down seating and serves share plates. With a group, try the seasonal Patio Punch, or choose a regional craft brew or camping-inspired cocktail (such as the Broken Compass with spiced rum, coconut rumhaven, pineapple, and nutmeg).
Where: 684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
The Roof at Ponce City Market — Take the massive freight elevator to the top of Ponce City Market, where you’ll find Skyline Park, an outdoor, vintage-inspired rooftop fairground. Here, you can sip seasonal original cocktails and frozen drinks while you play Skee-Ball, dominate at putt-putt, or brave the three-story tall Skyline Slide. Also on The Roof is 9 Mile Station, an indoor/outdoor beer garden with panoramic views of the downtown Atlanta skyline. During the winter months, you can book a glass “igloo” and enjoy drinks and bites in your own temperature-controlled dome.
Where: 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium — For tarot card readings, ping-pong tournaments, and church organ karaoke, head to this quirky Edgewood Avenue bar (locals simply call it Church). The two-story pub’s trademark is its irreverent folk art created by owner Grant Henry (aka Sister Louisa) that covers nearly every square inch of the establishment and is laugh-out-loud funny.
Where: 466 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Paper Crane Lounge — Up the stairs from Staplehouse restaurant is an understated cocktail lounge that looks more like an attic apartment. Small and cozy with table and lounge seating, it’s first come, first serve with a succinct menu of signature cocktails.
Where: Staplehouse, 541 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Barcelona Wine Bar — This spot is best during the cooler months when you can take advantage of the outdoor fireplace and heated patio. Spanish and South American wines reign king, along with the restaurant’s Spanish tapas. Venture across the street to leave with your favorite bottle from companion tasting room and wine shop Barcelona Vinoteca.
Where: 240 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307
Ticonderoga Club — Known for well-crafted cocktails with clever monikers, Ticonderoga club is a cozy sit-down restaurant with a tiny bar that’s set in the back corner of Krog Street Market. In addition to its menu of “special cups” (like the Poor Fella, made with tawny port, Fino sherry, lime sorghum, and Mexican Coke), there’s wine, beer, cider, a Hootchy Cider Punch, and a sherry flight. If you have a large group for dinner, reserve the Captain’s Corner, a large round wooden table up the stairs that’ll make you feel like you’re aboard a pirate ship.
Where: Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St NE W, Atlanta, GA 30307
The Porter Beer Bar — Beer lovers unite at this long and skinny bar in the funky Little Five Points area. Select a brew from an extensive draft, bottle, and vintage beer menu. Then pair it with goat cheese fritters or the addictive salt and vinegar popcorn.
Where: 1156 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Hop City Craft Beer and Wine — Krog Street Market’s food hall is a popular gathering spot for any meal, and Hop City Bar, conveniently situated next to the communal eating tables, is there to pair your meal with beer or wine. If you like what you ordered, you can purchase more to-go at the adjacent Hop City store.
Where: 1000 Marietta St NW #302, Atlanta, GA 30318
New Realm Brewing — Situated directly on the Beltline Eastside Trail with a sweeping view of the downtown skyline, New Realm’s spacious outdoor areas are made for those warm, patio-friendly Atlanta afternoons. While you sip your IPA or stout, play Cornhole on the side patio, enjoy views from the rooftop, or hang out on the front patio and watch people maneuver Bird scooters down the Beltline.
Where: 550 Somerset Terrace NE #101, Atlanta, GA 30306
Hotel Clermont — Thanks to an epic overhaul, this historic Ponce de Leon Avenue hotel has been restored from ultra-seedy to ultra-swank. There are three options of where to drink here depending on your mood. Visit The Roof Top for a cold frosé or a hot toddy with a view, The Lobby Bar for a bourbon drink, or its French-American brasserie Tiny Lou’s for dinner with wine or a cocktail.
Where: 789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Ink — At this 20-seat, first-come, first-served bar connected to restaurant 8Arm, you tell the bartender your taste preferences, and they mix a drink to fit. Pair your personalized cocktail, wine, beer, or gongfu tea with caviar and other tinned or jarred fish, meats, and veggies.
Where: 8ARM, 710, Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Monday Night Brewing West Midtown — Begun by three Atlanta buddies who brewed beer together in their garage on Monday nights, this brewery is one of the most beloved in the city. Clever names like I’m On a Boat golden ale, Han Brolo pale ale, and Drafty Kilt scotch ale make ordering fun. While you sip suds, play cornhole on the patio or take in the tie wall in the tasting room. Also check out its second location in Atlanta’s West End, called the Garage.
Where: 670 Trabert Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Northside Tavern — Yes, there are bars on the windows, but this tiny concrete block building on Howell Mill Road has been serving up Atlanta’s best live blues since 1972. Check the website for scheduled bands, or just drop in for a dive atmosphere with guaranteed excellent tunes.
Where: 1058 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
The Painted Duck — Duckpin bowling, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and knuckleball — if game night is your thing, The Painted Pin’s vast chandelier-adorned space provides plenty of opportunities for friendly competition, plus live music and cocktails.
Where: 976 Brady Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Urban Tree Cidery — Atlanta has tons of breweries, but this is the city’s first cidery. Urban Tree Cidery has a tasting room that’s open from 12:30 PM to 6:30 PM on weekends, and 4:00 PM to 9:30 PM on Thursdays. The apples are harvested by hand and delivered to the cidery for the fermentation process. It serves three ciders: original, classic, and barrel-aged.
Where: 1465 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Kimball House — A gorgeous vintage train station turned restaurant/cocktail bar that specializes in craft cocktails and absinthe service. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Prohibition Era glamour as you sip from a coupe cocktail glass and tilt back fresh oysters.
Where: 303 E Howard Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
The Pinewood — Homemade syrups, tinctures, infusions, sodas, and top-shelf spirits set this cocktail bar apart. The vibe is homey and modern with a touch of glam, and there’s a separate lounge area from the restaurant, which serves contemporary and Southern comfort cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.
Where: 254 W Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
Brick Store Pub — This two-story Decatur stronghold has long been known for its colossal selection of specialty beers. Set on quaint Decatur Square, it’s always packed and, like any good pub, serves excellent fish and chips and has a faint musty aroma.
Where: 125 E Court Square, Decatur, GA 30030
Eddie’s Attic — It’s not so much about the drinks as it is about the music. Eddie’s is a beloved, intimate music hall dubbed a “listening room” where patrons can enjoy beer, wine, and pub food while taking in live music. The only rule: No talking while the band is playing. The Indigo Girls and John Mayer have roots here.
Where: 515 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030
Holeman & Finch Public House Known for its double-stack cheeseburger, Holeman & Finch is also a great spot for a cocktail. Its list of bourbons, whiskeys, and scotches runs deep, and there’s a classic cocktail menu, as well as a house cocktail menu.
Where: 2277 Peachtreet St NW Suite B, Atlanta, GA 30309
Himitsu — Does it get more exclusive than a cocktail lounge with a secret door code? Himitsu is the cocktail bar companion to upscale sushi restaurant Umi, which has been rumored to attract celebrity clientele like Jon Hamm and Jennifer Lawrence. Make reservations via email ahead of time (and hope they respond) to access the Asian-inspired cocktails, sake, and Champagne at this speakeasy.
Where: Two Buckhead Plaza, 3050 Peachtreet St NW, Atlanta, GA 30305
Five Paces Inn — The crowd here is young 20s preppy on the weekends, but the venue is 60-plus years old and still thriving. It’s one of several dive bars still prospering in Buckhead in the midst of rapid high-rise development.
Where: 41 Irby Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30305
Edgar’s Proof and Provision — Set in the basement of the historic The Georgian Terrace Hotel, directly across the street from The Fox Theatre, Proof and Provision’s specialty is barrel-aged cocktails. With concrete floors and exposed brick walls, the bar feels like a secret cellar. The grilled cheese with fontina, cheddar, Swiss, and pecorino spread on jalapeno cornbread is a delicious bar snack.
Where: 659 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Park Tavern Have a beer with a view. This popular weekend day drinking spot at the southeastern corner of Piedmont Park has a large patio that faces the park’s open meadow, gorgeous oak trees, and the Midtown skyline. Bonus: It’s dog friendly.
Where: 500 10th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Bon Ton — Louisiana and Vietnamese influences unite at this seafood joint/late-night bar. Proof in point: The beverage menu includes a Frozen Vietnamese Irish coffee and a Bon Ton Hurricane. Expect more tiki drinks and a “Beer and a Shorty” list with unlikely pairings, such as Guinness with Cynar Italian bitter liqueur, and Three Taverns Night on Ponce IPA with La Favorite Blanc rum.
Where: 674 Myrtle St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308