Authentic & Aspirational Atlanta
Collected by Susan Mason , AFAR Local Expert
Atlanta, like its airport, is sprawled and busy but is aspiring to define its modern story while remaining rooted in its historic past. A fresh attitude is infiltrating the city from the surrounding fields and hills with restaurants, cafes, galleries and boutiques pridefully focusing on local ingredients, products and art.
3113 Main St, East Point, GA 30344, USA
The family-owned Arden’s Garden juice shop and distributor serves the freshest juice in Atlanta. Their seven locations around town, including their processing center and store in East Point, transform fresh fruit and vegetables (no additives) into...
5851 GA-85, Riverdale, GA 30274, USA
The South Indian styled temple founded and built in the 1980s is a serene setting for contemplation or worship. It has two temples, the Balaji temple for the deity Vishnu and the Shiva temple. Silpis were flown in from India to Indianize the white...
4061 Jonesboro Rd, Forest Park, GA 30297, USA
Touted as the best Vietnamese food in Atlanta, the no-frills Pho Dai Loi’s three locations, (including one just minutes from the airport) serve some of the most flavorful and adventurous cuisine in the state. There’s a range of meat-based pho...
1889 Lexington Ave, East Point, GA 30344, USA
Although the most famous bike races are along roads, track bike racing is starting to gain more recognition and is actually more entertaining for the spectator. The Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point is one of 26 in the United States and one of 20...
760 S Central Ave, Hapeville, GA 30354, USA
Dedicated to crafting creative varieties of sliders, this spot is a dream come true for foodies and burger lovers in the Atlanta area. The retro interior decorations pay homage to the airport nearby, and the easy, to-go size of a slider is perfect...
2796 E Point St, East Point, GA 30344, USA
Lov’n It Live is a raw and vegan sanctuary in the East Point area of Atlanta. They work directly with local organic farmers to maintain the highest standards in food quality and freshness. Stuffed avocados, collard rolls, kale salads, veggie...
601 N Central Ave, Hapeville, GA 30354, USA
Drip serves locally roasted Batdorf & Bronson coffees in a cozy café environment. Order to go or take advantage of the free wi-fi and stay for hours while munching on tasty breakfast and lunch items like quiches, sammies, pastries, and more. The...
3725 E Main St, Atlanta, GA 30337, USA
The Pecan’s fusion food and charming, contemporary atmosphere is a fine dining must when in Atlanta. There’s a dish featuring chef Tony Morrow’s favorite ingredient, pecans, every step of the way if you so choose–a Toasted Pecan martini for...
2783 Main St, East Point, GA 30344, USA
Welcome to Atlanta’s go-to neighborhood bar, at least in the four neighborhoods in which it resides. This original location in East Point stands out with a second-floor patio and noteworthy jalapeno cornbread-stuffed chicken breast. The fried...
16 Forest Pkwy, Forest Park, GA 30297, USA
The Atlanta Market state farmers market is 150 acres of wholesale and retail stands packed with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, plants, flowers, and more. It is the main distribution point for fresh produce throughout the Southeast and...
5665 Reynolds Rd, Morrow, GA 30260, USA
Reynolds Nature Preserve in a scenic sanctuary of woods, rolling hills, wildflowers, streams, and ponds in the south metro-Atlanta area. Over three miles of trails traverse the 146-acre park. Follow them over bridges and past historic sites like a...
488 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
The massive PBR graffiti on the brick wall of the EARL's parking lot in East Atlanta appropriately marks this live music landmark. Local and national touring bands frequent its stage nearly every night of the week. In addition to the music, the...
3841 E Main St, College Park, GA 30337, USA
The historic J.D. Smith Grain Company feed store has stayed in the same family throughout the centuries but is now feeding people instead of animals. Under the new self-evident moniker, The Feed Store serves southern comfort food with a...
5780 Jonesboro Rd, Morrow, GA 30260, USA
The National Archives house historic records for the entire southeast U.S. (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). The records are open to the public in microfilm and archival rooms and...
603 N Central Ave, Hapeville, GA 30354, USA
Volare Wine & Bistro is a congenial and contemporary dining experience in an otherwise sparse epicurean landscape. The open kitchen enhances the familial atmosphere and the constant flow of vino augments the joviality. The Mediterranean cuisine...
2000 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
Starlight Six Drive-In Theatre has been entertaining the area since 1949, and is the last standing drive-in movie theater in Atlanta. Grab concessions (or bring your own), tune the radio to pick up the audio, and lean back to enjoy this nostalgic...
1314 Glenwood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
Holy Taco brings a contemporary and often adventurous twist to Mexican cuisine. Dishes contain local seasonal ingredients ranging from the usual produce to irregular meats like roasted beef tongue and buttermilk-fried chicken hearts. Having grown...
720 Moreland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and Gallery is more than a cafe; it is a warm environment that inspires and showcases creativity, community and conversation. Vintage decor and rotating art transform the industrial garage into a cozy, friendly space to sip...
1250 Caroline St NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
The beehive is a collection and community of like-minded designers that hold handmade creation dear to their hearts. From jewelry to housewares, the beehive has all things handmade with a focus on local designers. To help inspire others, the store...
1154 Euclid Ave NE A, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
Criminal Records is an indie record store staple for the Atlanta music scene. Focusing mainly on music with a wide collection of old and new CDs and vinyl, Criminal also has collections of comics, movies, toys, books, and other trinkets.
8715 Atlanta Newnan Rd, Palmetto, GA 30268, USA
Some of the best chefs in Atlanta source their ingredients from the organic Serenbe Farms just southwest of the city. The 25-acre organic farm produces over 350 varieties of vegetables, flowers, herbs, mushrooms and eggs and are dedicated to the...
10950 Hutchesons Ferry Rd, Palmetto, GA 30268, USA
The Farmhouse at Serenbe is as close to farm fresh as you can get. The small, weekly changing menu is made of dishes with only organic, local ingredients from the private garden, the community's farm next door, and other nearby organic farmers....
9131 Selborne Ln, Palmetto, GA 30268, USA
Bilt-House serves the chic, bohemian style needs of the Atlanta metro area. The three locations, including one less than thirty minutes from the airport, provide the perfect place to find unique clothes, artwork, furniture, home decor, and...
437 Memorial Dr SE A5, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA
As a freelance writer, I'm always looking for a place other than my couch to do work. My requirements are free wireless Internet, plenty of outlets and quality beverages. Octane Coffee succeeds on all fronts. Although they have locations...
9237 Selborne Ln, Palmetto, GA 30268, USA
Experience Chattahoochee Hill Country's sustainable community of Serenbe by exploring the 15 miles of wooded trails by horse. Whether an experienced rider or a novice, Serenbe Trail Riding provides training and a trip enjoyable for all levels....
323 Nelson St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA
Poor Little Rich Girl may be off the beaten path but once discovered, the curated selection of hand-picked affordable vintage finds will keep you coming back. Whether looking for a full outfit or that unique accessory to make a current outfit pop,...
368 5th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA
Urban Cannibals is the city's spot for sustainable and specialty products and food. Local produce goes into homemade artisanal sandwiches, soups, salads, baked goods, and to-go meals, making them some of the freshest in town. The Urban Reuben is...
982 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
WonderRoot is a collection of creative spaces and people that use art as a way to inspire community and affect culture. The gallery with regularly rotating installations is open most days of the week and their basement live music venue is active...
3807 E Main St, Atlanta, GA 30337, USA
Chef Tony Morrow's latest restaurant, Real Pit BBQ, is a nod to the family food business he was raised on in Alabama. Enjoy 14-hour smoked brisket, which falls off the bone, and southern sides like mac-n-cheese and collard greens are just as...
659 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA
501 Grant St SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA
From East Point to Decatur, Living Walls urban art can be experienced throughout the Atlanta metro area. Each year since 2010, Living Walls has held an annual "City Speaks" conference that brings local, national, and international artists to the...
427 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA
Joystick Gamebar is the ultimate space to have fun with friends. What could be better than drinking and playing nostalgic arcade games like Mortal Kombat? Not only is it a bar with games, it is an incubator to help develop and launch local food...
Inman Park, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA
Strolling through Inman Park is a charming walk through history. Wander the tree-lined streets of this planned, electric-trolley-serviced suburb for a taste of Victorian Era high-society life. The layered architecture of homes with towers,...
560 Gresham Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
At 10 p.m., the indoor patio of So Ba Vietnamese restaurant turns into a late-night foodie destination for industry-types in the know. At Octopus Bar, the small-plates, seafood-centric menu changes almost nightly but staples like the Lobster Roll...
248 Oakland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, USA
104 N Main St, Jonesboro, GA 30236, USA
Jonesboro, Georgia, located 15 miles south of Atlanta, is the town that inspired Margaret Mitchell's timeless classic Gone with the Wind. The Road to Tara Museum, located in an 1867 train depot, starts with the history of the region as a...
1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA
The Wren's Nest, now a museum and storytelling space dedicated to Joel Chandler Harris in his former home, is a hands-on, experiential way to get a feel for Southern culture, folklore, and history. Far from a mausoleum, The Wren's Nest hosts...
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