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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 makeup for any wait.
The Local, located in Poncey-Highlands, is your quintessential neighborhood dive. This non-smoking bar has been a gathering spot for the community for years. Enjoy a chilled pint or premium spirits out on their patio, or the occasional karaoke nights indoors. Smoked wings, pulled pork sandwich and cheese pretzel are some of the delicious fare on offer. Great prices, hands-on service and a laid-back vibe make it a local favorite.
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 Manuel's Tavern, and you will surely return for more.
The Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge is anything but your average hotel bar. From the tastefully vintage decor to the regular rotation of vinyl-only DJs, this basement lounge will be sure to please anyone looking for a night among Atlanta's most hip crowd. The small bar area is perfect for mingling and conversation, while the dance floor has plenty enough room to bust a move after a few cocktails. Don't miss a Friday night here, when resident the DJs spin your favorite forgotten soul tunes. Tucked in between a strip of outstanding restaurants, enjoy this hidden gem best in the late night hours.
Don't let the 20-foot (six-meter) skull that serves as an entryway deter you from enjoying the best burgers and pub food in the city. When club-hopping in Atlanta, a visit to this late-night spot is a must. This fun restaurant offers big portions, good service, and good food. The award-winning Vortex Burger is a half-pound (0.22 kilograms) burger with all the trimmings, and there is also a selection of pub-style sandwiches and salads on the menu. Vegetarian alternatives and non-beef sandwiches are available, while beers from all around the world serve as the popular foundation for most guests' evenings.
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.
The decor at this no-nonsense Decatur bar is comprised, not surprisingly, mostly of brick. The crowd is diverse, but expect to find at least a spattering of legal workers from the Dekalb County Courthouse just across the way. Featuring local and imported draughts, single malt scotches, small batch bourbons and fine wines, you won't be at a loss for drinking options. A relatively standard bar menu is offered for lunch and dinner with classics like burgers and sandwiches featured at reasonable prices.