Visiting Atlanta

Hey everyone, I’ll be visiting Atlanta (but specifically Augusta) for Thanksgiving so I was hoping to get some tips on places I should visit/shop/eat while I’m in town. I don’t really know anything about the area so all hints and tips will be greatly appreciated. Leave me a comment below so I can keep track easily, hopefully I get to see some rad stuff. On a sidenote, Danica, Alex and I will still be posting during the holiday, so be sure to keep visiting.


28 Comments Visiting Atlanta

  1. james song November 24, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    hey i’ll be there as well!

    ATL area:
    shopping: lennox mall, little five points (it’s a neighborhood)
    food: fat matt’s bbq, buckhead diner, waffle house, po folks, chick-fil-a

  2. ken November 24, 2010 at 3:42 AM

    west egg is a nice place for breakfast/lunch in atlanta. and right down the road is star provisions. i love going for their pastries, but they’ve got a lot of other neat things there too.

    i’m actually from augusta, but i couldn’t tell you what to do there. go see the riverwalk and artists’ row downtown?

  3. Brandy November 24, 2010 at 5:50 AM

    You could always stop by Athens, GA. The downtown area has a terrific selection of eclectic shops, restaurants and bars. Check out Agora or Helix for shopping, Clocked for burgers, Farm 255 for finer dinner fare, and stop by Trappeze Pub or The Globe for a pint of local beer.

  4. Sarah November 24, 2010 at 6:13 AM

    Well, Augusta isn’t Atlanta. It’s still a few hours away, however if you’re willing to make the drive:

    YoungBlood Gallery– Great art, lots of hip crafts/art for sale:

    Highland Row Antiques— Right next door to above, they have a HUGE basement full of cool affordable things.

    Belly– Good brunch/lunch place.

    Criminal Records– At the heart of Little 5, it is a record/comic/vinyl toy store that always has the latest cds/records of artists coming through ATL or just releasing. Frequently bands play live in store before a show later in the day. Passion Pit was there earlier in the year, and other good bands have played.

    All those places are near each other. I would stay around the Little 5/ Virginia Highlands neighborhoods. Lenox is going to be an awful, awful, traffic experience. I would avoid.

  5. Austin November 24, 2010 at 6:30 AM

    Downtown Atlanta – Gladys Knight has a restaurant called “Chicken n Waffles” – it is a local legend – go hungry and eat the “Midnight Train.” You won’t be sorry.

    Also, near Atlanta is the original Chick Fil A “Dwarf House” where you can also sample CFA burgers, full breakfast menu, and Chicken and Waffles – really cool place as well.

    Lastly, love you website – one of the best on the interweb.

  6. Austin November 24, 2010 at 6:30 AM

    Downtown Atlanta – Gladys Knight has a restaurant called “Chicken n Waffles” – it is a local legend – go hungry and eat the “Midnight Train.” You won’t be sorry.

    Also, near Atlanta is the original Chick Fil A “Dwarf House” where you can also sample CFA burgers, full breakfast menu, and Chicken and Waffles – really cool place as well.

    Lastly, love you website – one of the best on the interweb.

  7. Michael Mahaffey November 24, 2010 at 6:47 AM

    Not sure if you have 2 hours to drive, but you should check out Chattanooga, TN. The downtown / North Shore area has a lot of cool shops including the Young Monster / Leo Handmade store. I’d be glad to show you around if you want. I heard you met my friend Grant Withington at the Creative Mornings talk. He just moved out to LA from Chattanooga about a month ago. Email me if you want some ideas.

  8. Chris November 24, 2010 at 7:27 AM

    Though it sounds lame, the Georgia Aquarium is insane. They have a whale shark there. Definitely worth a stop.

  9. Joe November 24, 2010 at 7:28 AM

    I have no idea about Augusta (about 1.5 hours outside the city), but the ATL is an amazing city. Check out the North Highland area and nearby Little 5 Points. For Bars, check out Book House pub, The Local, and El Bar (all on Ponce de Leon), and for the touristy stuff, head downtown to the CNN center, Centennial Olympic Park, and the aquarium (largest in the world) and the World of Coke.

    Enjoy the ATL! The city to busy to hate!!!

  10. Derek November 24, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    hello there.. here are a few of my favorite places in the ATL:

    octane coffee – i believe there are 2 locations. some of the best coffee i’ve had in atlanta.. and they also serve beer / food.

    little five points – lots of very cool shops / restaurants.. the vortex has pretty great burgers, and an extensive menu at that.. also, an impressive beer list.

    r. thomas – 24 hour diner that feels pretty new age inside. very nice menu of veggie/meat dishes, and a bunch of different smoothies / juice drinks including a yerba mate section.

    holeman & finch public house – this place cures their own meat, and has a pretty interesting menu. good place for a cocktail, the staff are friendly, and the atmosphere is great.

    hope this helps!

  11. Brooke Hatfield November 24, 2010 at 8:01 AM

    atlanta is totally a city on the rise. i used to live in little five points, which is a totally adorable little stretch of restaurants and shops (and there’s some terrific graffiti afoot there as well), but you really must check out highland row, which is a smattering of shops at the corner of north highland and north avenue. highland row antiques has a really well-curated collection of mid-century furniture and ephemera, and the atlanta cupcake factory is next door if you want to get your type two diabetes on pre- or post-shopping. but the real crown jewel here — and probably my favorite store in all atlanta — is the young blood gallery. lots of crafters’ wares on display, from clothing to pottery to prints to kickass jewelry. hollie chastain, one of my favorite new collage artists, has prints there. if youre in town on a monday night, they also have heavy metal yoga in the gallery space at the back of the store. AND DID I MENTION THE THREE-LEGGED CAT? i moved from atlanta and miss it terribly; do say hello to it for me!

  12. Mark Weaver November 24, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    Bobby! If you have time, we should meet up and grab some coffee.

    As for places to eat, there’s lots of great restaurants here: Ecco, Cakes and Ale, Rosebud, Miller Union, etc.

  13. Casey Britt November 24, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    No offense to James, but I wouldn’t recommend any of those places as places you need to go while in town. At least I wouldn’t put them near the top of the list.

    Sid Mashburn – Awesome clothing store with Sid originals plus a few brands like Levis. They carry lots of classic dress wear as well as some jeans, polos, button ups, etc.
    Drew Lewis – Great little clothing store that carries many different smaller clothing labels. However this may not be anything that you can’t find in LA
    Standard – More urban style fashion. They carry a variety of brands as well.

    Farm Burger – Tied for my favorite burger with Grind House.
    Grind House Burgers – See above. They won best veggie burger in Atlanta recently at some sort of burger festival.
    Flip Burger – This place has burgers as well as non-burgers (burgers without a beef patty)
    Vortex – They’ve been around a while. Not my favorite burger, but still really good.
    Varsity – This is like Atlanta’s own little fast food company… The food is on par with your other fast food restaurants, but they have what is called a Frosted Orange that is one of the best frozen drinks around. It may be a little too cold for it, but they’re delicious.

    West Egg – great for breakfast and lunch and they even do dinner now
    El Taco – my personal favorite mexican restaurant. The fried chicken tacos are just too good.
    Taqueria Del Sol – There are a couple of these around the city and they’re really good.

    Chocolate Pink – My all time favorite cupcakes come from this place. Soooo good.
    Cafe Intermezzo – An insane number of cakes to choose from. They also have lots of different drinks to choose from whether it be alcohol or coffee.

    Bookhouse – my favorite bar in atlanta. no smoking inside and an always changing selection of beers
    Taco Mac – There are a few of these around and they have tons of beers to choose from. The food is kind of mediocre in my opinion though.
    Carol St Cafe – not really a bar, but still a good place to grab a drink. They have some great food and cake as well.

    I’d add more but I need to get back to work. Also, you should do a writeup on what to see/do in LA. I’m visiting this spring and wouldn’t mind hearing what you recommend.

  14. Melissa November 24, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    I grew up in Augusta, though I haven’t lived there in a decade, so I can’t help with too many current attractions.

    However, I second the riverwalk/downtown artist area. Sometimes you can stumble on some neat things in the galleries. The Metro Spirit is their independent newspaper, so you might find some things to do in there if you find one to flip through.

    My favorite restaurant is called the Boll Weevil, and it’s downtown on 9th street near the river. They have a sandwich called the Curious George that I was quite fond of when I ate meat, and lots of desserts. Google says it’s still there. I also liked a place called Giuseppe’s, pretty good Italian, on Wheeler Rd.

    For Atlanta, Little Five Points is definitely fun (Note: *Little* Five Points – the reg Five Points is uh – a rather different place), and I do like the aquarium even though it’s expensive.

    Wuxtry Records is my favorite record shop, although I prefer the one in Athens. Criminal Records is also a good place to shop (in Little Five Points on Euclid).

    There’s some really great Korean/Vietnamese food on Pleasant Hill / Buford hwy. The White Windmill bakery is an awesome Korean bakery, but since you’re in CA it might not be so appealing since I’m sure you guys have a ton more Asian restaurants.

  15. aidan z November 24, 2010 at 8:19 AM

    Just wanted to second R. Thomas as a great place to eat. I’m not from Atlanta, but I make a point to eat there almost every time I go. Their juices/smoothies are fantastic and their banana french toast is to-die-for. Or some slightly less exaggerated version of that.

    I’d also suggest The Real Chow Baby, probably not a crazy concept for someone from LA, but it’s a all you can eat create your own stir fry bar. and if you feel like eating vegetarian, there’s a great place called cafe sunflower.

  16. Mauricio November 24, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    I went to Atlanta just to visit The World of Coca-Cola, it was great man, you should check it out.

  17. Casey Britt November 24, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    Came back to see what others had recommended and I almost forgot. The best vegetarian restaurant in the city: Dynamic Dish. And another really cool hole in the wall tapas style restaurant. Lunacy Black Market.

  18. Ryan November 24, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    You will be tempted, but do not eat the boiled peanuts they sell around Atlanta. They are totally gross.

  19. Danny November 24, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    I lived in Atlanta for five years so I’ll go with places I remember from years ago.
    The Earl – East Atlanta
    Drunken Unicorn – Midtown
    Eyedrum – near GSU I think
    Variety Playhouse – L5P
    The Fox – Downtown

    The High – Downtown

    Eats – Midtown
    Papi’s – Midtown
    Figo – various locations
    The Varsity – Downtown, very touristy though.
    La Fonda – various locations (Midtown)
    Gato Bizco Cafe (breakfast) – Candler park
    Fellini’s Pizza – Midtown
    Avondale Pizza – Decatur
    El Myr – L5P

    Famous Sports Bar – Emory
    The Porter – L5P
    The Euclid Avenue Yacht Club – L5P
    Manuel’s Tavern – L5P
    The Local – Midtown

    The King of Pops – various locations (L5P the one I’m most visited)

    Highland Bakery – L5P

  20. Bobby Solomon November 24, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    @Ryan – That sounds absolutely disgusting, why would I be tempted by that?! haha

  21. Alex Dent November 24, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    @Chris: The Aquarium is huge and impressive… but geez louise I thought the toilet paper would have some type of corporate sponsor stamped all over it. Is anything not branded in that place? Also, the big, central space seems haphazard and sloppy; I think the planning went a little something like “Just use LEDs, people love LEDs.” It’s frustrating when the animals and organisms that make the aquarium so impressive are obscured or overwhelmed. But if that’s what it takes to see a Beluga Whale….

  22. Mike Vetter November 24, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Danny has hit some of the best spots in town.

    The Porter in Little 5 is a must. Incredible beer selection, helpful and delightful staff, and the food is really fantastic.

    The Brick Store Pub is another great gastropub that is worth checking out, although it is in Decatur. Simply one of the most impressive beer selections you will find anywhere. Food is decent as well. The staff can be somewhat uhmm haughty at times however.

    The Vortex in Little Five Points is a great place to grab a burger, although it occasionally overflows with tourist.

    As others have stated, Dynamic Dish and R.Thomas are really great place for vegetarian eats.

    The Book House Pub has a wonderful ambiance, good drinks, and phenomenal food.

    Highland Bakery in the Highlands/Old Fourth Ward might have the best breakfast in town.

    Honestly everyone here, with the exception of james (not sure if he was being sarcastic?)have offered up great ideas. There is a great deal to do in Atlanta.

    Hope you enjoy yourself while here!
    Ciao for now.
    Honestly you can’t go wrong with spending time in Little Five Points. It is my home and I never am without something interesting to see or do.

  23. Drake November 24, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Left Augusta 12 years ago so I can’t claim to be “up on the scene” as Mr . Brown once said … suggest you check out the Soul Bar on Broad St.

    Enjoy your blog.

  24. Holly November 24, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    I’m a SCAD Atlanta student home for the long winter break we have, missing the city! Here are some of my favorite places:

    Castleberry Hill is an area near downtown that’s kind of shady but offers a lot of great galleries if you’re up for an art stroll.

    The High Museum (my dorm is right beside it!) has a Dali exhibit right now. It ends just after the new year so definitely check it out while you can!

    Criminal Records, the greatest record store in Atlanta, they may offer an in-store while you’re in the area.

    Octane Coffee is renowned and known as the best coffee house in the southeast. They offer alcoholic beverages at night, too. Their monthly press options are great!

    Sublime Doughnuts is the king of doughnuts. Get your hands on red velvet, orange star, reese’s, oreo, mocha, pumpkin and other flavor varieties.

    Intermezzo has a wide variety of coffees, desserts, and alcohol. They stay open fairly late but their service tends to lack in those early morning hours.

    The King of Pops tweets locations that they’re at. If mint julep, chocolate sea salt, and apple popsicles sound intriguing, go for it!

    Some of my favorite places to dine include West Egg, Sun In My Belly, Murphy’s, Figo, Osteria 832, The Vortex, Flip, YEAH! Burger, Fellini’s, Fox Bros Barbecue, Fritti, and La Fonda.

    Places I’ve heard that are fantastic are Ria’s Bluebird, DBA Barbecue, Spoon, Holeman and Finch, MF Sushi, Cakes and Ale, and P’cheen.

    Enjoy the city!

  25. Paul Kruczynski November 24, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    A lot of the best in Atlanta and Little 5 Points has been touched on.

    I’ll second Farm Burger, which is in Decatur. They have an awesome veggie burger, as well as meat ones if you’re into that sort of thing.

    Breakfast only: Java Jive on Ponce de Leon Ave is an amazing breakfast-only (closes around 2). The food is amazing, the people who run it are funny and nice, and all the tables/chairs are vintage 50s/60s bright and colorful formica and steel kitchen sets. Ad in the vintage appliances, signs, and lamps around the place and it is just the best.

    It’s also across the street from the Clermont Lounge, Atlanta’s infamous (and oldest running) strip club. Again, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    The recommendations about shops on Highland ave and Criminal Records are right on the money. I’ll be hitting those up this weekend as well.

  26. Paul Balcerak December 5, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Not to go off topic, Bobby, but that graphic is simply awesome. Did you just take Helvetica text with drop shadow applied and put it on top of a Google Map? Looks great.

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