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Atlanta's neighborhoods: Best places to eat, drink and play

Zoo Atlanta in the Grant Park neighborhood is home to more than 1,500 animals, including several giant pandas.

Posted: Jan 31, 2019 5:20 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2019 5:20 PM

Downtown Atlanta is home to a host of densely packed attractions -- the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the College Football Hall of Fame and more.

But the city's real flavor comes from its neighborhoods, and any visit to Atlanta should skew heavy on food and beverage outings, as this guide does.

So while fans in town for the Super Bowl would do well to check out what the area around the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium has to offer, they should also explore a bit beyond downtown.

Grant Park

One of Atlanta's most interesting and storied spots, Historic Oakland Cemetery (248 Oakland Ave) opened in 1850, making it the city's oldest public park.

The graves serve as resting places and reminders of Atlanta's layered history. Jewish, Confederate and African American grounds are all part of its 48 acres. Mayors, former slaves, athletes and authors are all buried here.

The elaborate Victorian cemetery carries its dual role as a park into the modern era. Picnickers and dog-walkers are welcome, and Oakland Cemetery is host to a whole calendar of events from music festivals to Halloween tours. Tickets for various tours can be purchased in advance.

Memorial Drive near the cemetery runs along the border of the Grant Park neighborhood to Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown, where Petit Chou (662 Memorial Dr) and Home grown (968 Memorial Dr) are top spots for breakfast or brunch.

In the evening, Golden Eagle (904 Memorial Dr) serves up expertly crafted cocktails and bites in a knock-your-socks-off space -- think plush, retro hunting lodge.

For a kid-friendly outing, Zoo Atlanta (800 Cherokee Ave), located in 131-acre Grant Park, is a crowd-pleaser. The zoo is one of only four in the US to house giant pandas.

Old Fourth Ward

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birth Home (501 Auburn Ave) is located about a mile from downtown.

The National Park Service offers ranger-led tours that are first-come, first-served and limited to 15 people. Getting to the visitor center early in the morning to sign up is key.

The visitor center is part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park (450 Auburn Ave), which is located in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood. Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King and his father served as pastors, is also nearby.

A block south of the MLK birth home, Atlanta's young (and youngish) gather along Edgewood Avenue.

Among its eclectic bars: "Nerdy dive bar" with arcade games Joystick Gamebar (427 Edgewood Ave) and Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium (466 Edgewood Ave) -- Church, for short -- where adult beverages meet ping pong, a church organ and all manner of irreverent religious art.

Also on Edgewood is Staplehouse (541 Edgewood Ave), named America's best new restaurant by Bon Appetit in 2016.

About a mile and half north, Ponce City Market is a beacon of adaptive-reuse development and premium dining and retail.

Casual chef-driven eateries -- fish shack, burger joint, fried chicken, tacos, ramen, doughnuts -- dominate the market's Food Hall, located in the rehabbed 1920s Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse.

Ponce City Market sits along the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile urban trail that, when finished, will connect 45 intown neighborhoods. This stretch, the Eastside Trail, is the place to people watch and get a sense of Atlanta's rapid redevelopment.

A few blocks down Ponce, in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood, the Clermont Lounge (789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE) is a you-have-to-see-it-to-understand Atlanta institution where a 60-something stripper named Blondie crushes PBR cans with her breasts.

Upstairs, the trendy boutique Hotel Clermont recently opened, complete with a sultry lobby bar and a fun rooftop watering hole with great views of the city.

Midtown

In Midtown, the fabulous Fox Theatre (660 Peachtree St), has hosted musical acts, theater performances, movies and more in its ornate Moorish- and Egyptian-influenced auditorium since 1929. Ticketed tours of the space can be booked in advance.

The Center for Puppetry Arts (1404 Spring St) is the largest American nonprofit dedicated solely to puppet theater. There's a museum with a Jim Henson Collection and a Global Collection, rotating performances (for kids and adults), workshops and other programs.

The High Museum of Art (1280 Peachtree St) is wrapping up its blockbuster showing of "Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors."

Advance tickets are sold out, but for the patient and optimistic visitor, the museum offers 100 walk-up tickets to the Kusama exhibition each day. Lines for those tickets begin several hours before the museum opens. There's also a cache of tickets going on sale on February 5 for the final week of the exhibition (February 11-17).

Nearby, 200-plus acre Piedmont Park is Atlanta's biggest city park and a hub for exercisers, meanderers and a host of festivals and events.

Hungry now? Empire State South (999 Peachtree St) serves creative takes on Southern cuisine, while Lure (1106 Crescent Ave) is a stylish seafood restaurant.

East Atlanta Village

Southeast of downtown, East Atlanta Village is home to a bevy of casual bars (and food, too) at the intersection of Flat Shoals and Glenwood avenues.

The Earl (488 Flat Shoals Ave) offers consistently good bar food, a winning dive-bar atmosphere and a full schedule of local and national bands in the back room. (Take note: smoking is allowed inside.)

Down the block, the menu at gastro-pub Argosy (470 Flat Shoals Ave) ranges from hot chicken to charred octopus, plus a long list of craft beers.

Across the street and down an alley, Gaja (491 Flat Shoals Ave) offers contemporary takes on Korean classics alongside cocktails, soju shots and so on.

Mary's (1287 Glenwood Ave) is often voted Atlanta's best gay bar. Tuesday night karaoke is popular at the 21+ spot.

East Atlanta's newest and swankiest dining option, Banshee (1271 Glenwood Ave) showcases locally sourced ingredients, plus creative cocktails from its arresting turquoise and indigo bar.

West End

The historic West End neighborhood is a classic Atlanta story -- an area that started out as a transportation hub (a trolley stop), hit hard times but is bouncing back strong now.

One thing driving that resurgence is the West End Trail portion of the BeltLine. And for those who find the Eastside portion too crowded, you might find a little more elbow room here.

For a classic soul-food experience, the no-frills Q Time delivers (1120 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd). You can fill up on large portions of delicious Southern favorites such as turnip greens, black-eyed peas, fried chicken and peach cobbler.

If that's too heavy, the opposite end of the food spectrum is nearby at Tassili's Raw Reality Cafe (1059 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd), with a menu of raw vegan delights such as Moroccan Couscous or their Original Kale, a wrap with kale salad, avocado and tomato.

West End also has two sightseeing attractions worth a visit:

The Hammond House Museum (503 Peeples St) is an excellent place to learn more about the contributions of visual artists of African descent. The museum has 18 works by influential 20th-century artist Romare Bearden.

The Wren's Nest (1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd) is an Queen Anne architectural pleasure and the former home of Southern newspaper writer and fiction author Joel Chandler Harris of "Uncle Remus" fame. It's a close-up look at how an upper-middle class family lived at the end of the 19th century.

West Midtown

Howell Mill Road and the surrounding area is a hot spot for shopping and dining.

Long a hub for furniture, fabric and all things design, the Westside has filled in with restaurants, boutiques and chain stores.

Westside Provisions District is home to a collection of high-end fashion and decor stores as well as eateries including JCT Kitchen & Bar (1198 Howell Mill Road) and Taqueria del Sol (1200-B Howell Mill Road).

Bacchanalia (1460 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd), opened in 1993 by chefs/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, has been at the top of Atlanta's fine dining scene for decades.

Entertainmentwise, The Painted Duck (976 Brady Ave) offers duck pin bowling in a glamorous venue also equipped with shuffleboard, horse shoes, air hockey, etc.

And in an area teeming with craft cocktails, Northside Tavern (1058 Howell Mill Road) is the spot for a bottle of beer, lives blues and a game of pool. This smoky dive bar dates back to 1972, and it's holding its own as new buildings rise up around it.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 76522

Reported Deaths: 3086
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16194731
Lake7742281
Elkhart495586
Allen4040163
St. Joseph361083
Hamilton2887104
Vanderburgh205313
Hendricks1943108
Cass18069
Johnson1794119
Porter136239
Clark130750
Tippecanoe124511
Madison103066
LaPorte93530
Howard92065
Kosciusko87212
Floyd82249
Bartholomew82147
Marshall79423
Monroe76732
Delaware76052
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Dubois71312
Boone69746
Noble69029
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LaGrange56610
Grant53130
Dearborn51628
Morgan48934
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Wayne38810
White37711
Montgomery36021
Lawrence35727
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Putnam3218
Daviess27920
Miami2772
Scott27310
Jasper2572
Greene25434
Franklin24715
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Gibson2334
Jennings22812
Steuben2153
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Perry18713
Posey1800
Starke1807
Orange17824
Wells1782
Fulton1732
Wabash1715
Jefferson1662
Knox1640
Whitley1566
Tipton14912
Washington1441
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Spencer1393
Clay1315
Huntington1273
Randolph1274
Newton12110
Adams1172
Owen1051
Jay920
Rush894
Pulaski821
Fountain762
Brown752
Blackford662
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike620
Vermillion590
Parke551
Switzerland530
Martin500
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0208

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 104248

Reported Deaths: 3734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18965531
Cuyahoga13869512
Hamilton9844259
Lucas5512326
Montgomery448998
Summit3667224
Butler303364
Marion294245
Mahoning2623256
Pickaway240042
Stark1904142
Warren185039
Lorain183177
Columbiana168360
Trumbull1563110
Fairfield143232
Delaware136519
Licking134551
Clark121315
Lake114642
Wood109058
Clermont96211
Medina95936
Miami86839
Tuscarawas79714
Allen79446
Portage77664
Greene73012
Mercer64113
Belmont62726
Richland61912
Erie61028
Ashtabula57746
Geauga56144
Wayne55459
Ross5094
Madison50310
Darke41429
Huron4115
Ottawa40426
Sandusky39917
Hancock3973
Athens3612
Holmes3316
Lawrence3180
Auglaize2756
Union2731
Scioto2591
Muskingum2481
Jefferson2403
Seneca2344
Shelby2154
Knox2147
Preble2122
Putnam21217
Washington21122
Coshocton1967
Champaign1882
Morrow1792
Crawford1775
Hardin17512
Clinton1716
Highland1692
Logan1672
Ashland1553
Fulton1551
Defiance1544
Wyandot1519
Brown1502
Perry1483
Williams1373
Fayette1240
Henry1222
Hocking1229
Guernsey1197
Carroll1135
Monroe9418
Pike800
Jackson770
Gallia741
Van Wert732
Paulding700
Adams642
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Vinton322
Morgan300
Harrison261
Noble170
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