It’s hot, humid and your hair is likely to change height within minutes of walking outside, but Atlanta is one of the best places to spend your time this summer. Whether you plan on visiting or it’s your home town, there are a few hidden gems that you must make a priority to visit.
- Westside Provisions District – One of our favorite nights out includes shopping, dinner, and ice cream, and Westside Provisions District has it all. You can get something delicious for every meal.
- Brunch: West Egg Cafe
- Lunch: Yeah Burger
- Dinner: JCT Kitchen; The Optimist; Six Feet Under
- Desert: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
- Extras: You can spend hours browsing the wide variety of shops Westside holds. And if your into speakeasies, make your way down the staircase of Ormsby’s for bocce ball, pool, and arcade games. You can see why Westside Provisions is one of our favorites.
- Westside Little Italy – Okay, I can’t get over how much I love Westside… and how much I love Italy. So whenever I feel the need, which is often, to be a part of an authentic family style atmosphere with incredible Italian food, I head on over to Antico’s Pizza. The pizza and atmosphere are both phenomenal, plus it’s BYOB. Every time Ian and I go, we walk away with good laughs and new friends. Since it’s all family style, people are always sharing their drinks and food. It’s a very friendly place. If you are more in the mood for pasta, than you’re in luck, because just next door is Gio’s Amalfitano, which serves delicious Italian style meals. After dinner you can stroll through the surrounding alleys and visit their shops. And because you cannot eat Italian without gelato, Cafe Gio Gelateria is right behind both restaurants with vespas and small cafe style tables lined up outside.
- Midtown – It’s hip, sophisticated and filled with some of the best food and art. Explore the Midtown Mile which encompasses 14 blocks down Peachtree Street. Walk through the High Museum’s ever changing exhibitions or see a show at the Fox Theatre. For dinner the options are endless – Empire State South, South City Kitchen (a favorite of mine and Ian’s), One Midtown Kitchen, or Two Urban Licks (another favorite.) You could also keep it laid back with some live music and hot tasty skillets at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina. I like to think of it as the heart of Atlanta. After dinner be sure to visit Cafe Intermezzo for a variety of tasty drinks and desserts in their unique European atmosphere.
- Virginia Highlands – It’s quaint, cozy and filled with spots for relaxing evenings. When we pass Piedmont Park on our way, I love to drive through and see all the gorgeous old homes with lights hanging from their patios. When you get there, each boutique is a little different than the next, making it impossible to just stop in one. There is just something about Highlands that makes you feel at home. Some of my favorite restaurants are held within its quarters. Murphy’s, La Tavola Trattoria, Hand in Hand, and Fointaine’s Oyster House are just a few. After dinner, relax on the patio or stop by Atkins Tavern for Live Music.
- Little Five Points – Everyone could use a little grunge every now and then. Take a stroll down the graffiti painted streets of Little Five Points. Pick through the racks of second hand gems at Rag-o-Rama and then flip through the massive amounts of music at Criminal Records. After that, head on down to the massive skull building for “Atlanta’s Best Burger” at The Vortex. Or if your not in the mood for a burger, visit Porter Beer Bar (nationwide recognition) for some southern cuisine or Tijuana Garage for some deliciously trashy tacos. After dinner head on over to Variety Playhouse for some eclectic music in a fun atmosphere.
- Buckhead – Drive down West Paces Ferry and gawk over the mansions as you drive into downtown Buckhead and visit the Atlanta History Center where the Hunger Games was filmed. If you are into shopping, stop in at Atlanta’s two largest and most upscale shopping centers – Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. For dinner, most of the restaurants are a pretty penny, but the food is out of control good. Chop’s Steakhouse and Lobster Bar, King + Duke, Flip Burger, and Holeman and Finch are the cream of the crop in our book.
- Downtown – Although it’s pretty touristy, if you’ve never been, you need to check out Downtown Atlanta. There are tons of great sites to see – the Atlanta Zoo, World of Coca Cola, Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center, and Centennial Olympic Park. Save the ferris wheel SkyView attraction for after dinner to see Atlanta lit up in all its beauty. Although the restaurants are not my favorite, there are still a few great places to dine. Morton’s if you like steak (Ian’s favorite food group,) or watch Atlanta while you eat at the top of the revolving Westin Sundial.
It’s truly a wonderful place to visit and spend your time. Everybody has their favorite places, but these are some of ours! Let us know what yours are!