Find this place by following the row of Harley-Davidsons along the curb. Popular with both bikers and locals, perhaps the hand-drawn sign in the window best expresses this establishment's laid-back attitude: Help wanted. No wimps. No bozos. Inquire within. The bar area is a deliberate dive, decorated with biker paraphernalia, road signs and a stuffed fish. The dining room is tavern-like, with large tables frequented by families. Barbecue features large on the menu and is reinforced by an admirable listing of sandwiches, burgers, and daily blue plate specials.
Located a few blocks from the old City Hall, this traditional corner bar was known as the hub of Atlanta's political scuttlebutt for more than 50 years but is now a homier, neighborhood-type place. The row of cozy booths opposite the room-length bar is a great spot to catch a pint and a Braves game. Several dining rooms set off from the bar make the place much more family friendly than in years past, and the kitchen serves up a surprisingly diverse grille menu. Try the grilled tuna steak with black bean nachos at the Manuel's Tavern, and you will surely return for more.
Back in 1986, musicians Eric King and Roger Gregory were on the lookout for a place to play with their band Shadows. This search led to the creation of Blind Willie's, which is today an iconic blues club in Virginia Highlands. Year after year, this rustic and inviting joint continues to be rated among the top blues venues in Atlanta. Notable legends Junior Wells, Lazy Lester and Johnny Clyde Copeland as well as emerging local acts have graced their stage. A well-stocked bar is located in the rear and features domestic beers and wines. The somewhat limited menu features Cajun specialties from New Orleans as well as authentic Chicago and Memphis fare.
Boasting an eclectic schedule of live bands and DJs every night of the week, MJQ lounge and nightclub is a music lover's paradise. Each evening features a different genre, from rock 'n' roll Mondays and hip-hop Thursdays, to reggae and Afro-fusion Fridays. MJQ also has a full bar and plenty of room for the crowds that come for popular acts. This club is a great place to go to check out local talent in the city. Events including pool parties, movie nights and contests.
If you're looking for a quintessential Irish pub in the heart of Virginia Highlands, then pull up a stool at Limerick Junction. Select from English and Irish stouts, ales and lagers, or peruse the lengthy list of bottled fare. The selection of aged Scotches and uncommon whiskies is particularly impressive. The small stage, back-dropped by busy Highland Avenue, features live acoustic acts and comedy shows nightly, often accompanied by the high-spirited patrons.
Sutra defines what an upscale and happening lounge bar should be. Stylish, swish and swanky without being too pretentious, the place is perfect for a late night outing. Come down after work and dance away your blues or if you're tired, then simply sit back and relax with a drink. A few hours at Sutra, and you know where you want to throw your next big party. This place is the big-daddy of all party zones in Atlanta.
Located atop The Westin Peachtree Plaza, this rotating restaurant provides stunning views of the entire metro area, and a spectacular setting for a business lunch or special occasion. The creative American menu features artfully-prepared favorites, including many beef and poultry selections. A separate rotating bar is located directly below the restaurant for taking in the view without the steep dinner ticket. Live jazz plays in the lounge on weekend nights. Jacket and tie recommended for gentlemen.
This fantastic dive bar has a loyal following. Situated between downtown and Castleberry Hill, Elliott Street Pub features friendly bartenders, live music on most nights, and a much-loved deli that whips up some of the area's best sandwiches. It's a small space with limited seating, so come prepared to make some new friends. All in all it's a good stop for a fun night out.
Set atop the Hilton Atlanta, Nikolai's Roof offers the epitome of romance. The view from the roof is breathtaking, and the elegant service is second to none. The gourmet menu features fine Russian and French cuisine, and the dishes are planned to go with and enhance the many vodka options available. The prix fixe menu is expensive, but offers a truly exemplary Russian meal. Reservations and jackets are required.
German national Wolfgang Hartert aspires to share the rich culinary heritage of his country with Americans at his co-owned restaurant Der Biergarten. The quintessential Bavarian establishment with an ambiance to match transports you to an outdoor beer garden in Munich. Catch live European football on the flat-screen TVs or enjoy a game of Fussball on the side. The menu features traditional classics like schnitzel, schweinshaxe, bratwurst and an array of sausages. The brews on offer represent drafts from Belgium, Ireland and England, and of course Germany, for an authentic taste of German culture.
This expansive restaurant is perfect for big groups, and is placed right between Downtown and Midtown. A large bar anchors one side of the main floor in this restored warehouse setting, while tables and booths are sectioned off into more intimate dining areas. A billiards room and a smaller bar are upstairs, and a large deck provides outdoor dining opportunities. Ribs, steaks, fish and pasta dishes are featured, as well as wood-fired pizza and some nice vegetarian dishes. Be sure to try one of Max's specialty beers, too, brewed on-site.
Affectionately known as a "barcade," Joystick Gamebar specializes in serving up great drinks alongside vintage video games. The bar is home to a number of old-school gaming machines, including Ms. Pac Man, Mortal Kombat, Rampage World Tour, X-Men, Metal Slug, Terminator 2 Judgement Day, Operation Wolf, Lethal Enforcers, Big Guns, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Galaga, Street Fighter II, NBA Jam, Turtles in Time, and Centipede. Joystick is also home to what they call a "kitchen incubation" program where chefs and other restaurateurs are invited to work out of the bar's kitchen for a year or two, cooking and serving whatever they are most passionate about. The idea behind the "kitchen incubation" is to provide aspiring, local chefs and cooks with a chance to build up a menu and a reputation. So, though the menu changes frequently, all the food served at Joystick is delicious! This little spot has an intense local following, and can get busy on certain nights of the week, but the overall fun atmosphere and delectable drinks more than make up for any wait.