New & Hot Places

Hottest Bars in Atlanta

If you want a drink, you're in the right city. We've got everything: casual neighborhood hangouts where the cocktails are top-notch, rowdy joints where you can throw back a few cold ones with friends and quiet places where you can chat with the bartender about a still-under-the-radar Italian liqueur. So, where are Atlantans drinking right now? 

9 Mile Station

NewOld Fourth Ward
Perched nine stories above Ponce City Market, this rooftop beer garden offers a broad selection of brews, plus wine and craft cocktails, paired with sandwiches, sausages and shareable New American plates. The expansive indoor/outdoor setting includes fire pits, communal seating and Adirondack chairs for taking in views of the skyline, and admission is by advance reservation only (unless you enter through the Skyline Park amusement area).

Must-order: The majority of the beers on tap are either German, Belgian or Georgian (the state we're in, not the country). Brews rotate regularly and are described in detail on the menu, so order up a pint of whatever sounds intriguing.

Insider tip: Lunch and dinner reservations are only available through the online booking system Tock, and require a deposit ranging from $15–$30 per person depending on time and day. The amount is fully credited to the final bill. The beer garden also accepts walk-ins from Skyline Park, the amusement park atop Ponce City Market.

Amer

Inman Park
This intimate Inman Park cocktail spot mixes clever concoctions using a wide range of spirits both well known and obscure to pair with a compact menu of European-inspired small plates, all available in the brighter front bar or moodier back room.

Must-order: Try the Bling Machine (vodka, blackberry, ginger, orgeat, vanilla, lemon juice and Chambord) for a fruity touch, or the Deep Red (rye, mezcal, vermouth, grapefruit juice, Zucca, Cynar) for something funky.

Insider tip: The same owners also run Bocado, so head there if you like what you find at Amer, but want something more substantial to eat than light bar fare.

BeetleCat

Inman Park
This Inman Park oyster bar and cocktail lounge from acclaimed restaurateur Ford Fry dishes up classic seaside bites with globally inspired flavors, including oysters with pickled red onions and crab claw with ginger curry sauce. The decor is nautical throughout, with an upstairs dining room and a no-reservations downstairs bar and lounge offering a laid-back space for signature punches and cocktails, wine and beer.

Must-order: Bring a friend and order the $24 Bay Breeze for Two, a blend of vodka, fresh pineapple and cranberry juice over crushed ice, served in a copper pineapple.

Insider tip: Feeling peckish after a few drinks? Beetlecat's got a late-night menu with both seafood and non-surf options.

Biltong Bar

Old Fourth Ward
Ponce City Market's looker of a hangout from restaurateur Justin Anthony (Cape Dutch) focuses on yet another facet of South African cuisine – the savory dried beef known as biltong, served up here in snacking portions alongside creative craft cocktails and other specialty bites in stylish, rustic digs.

Must-order: Sample some of the stellar cocktails, concocted to pair well with biltong (cured meat), but make sure to try a South African wine you've never seen before.

Insider tip: You can take your drinks to go and wander through Ponce City Market, as long as you don't enter any of the retail stores with your booze.

Foxtrot Liquor Bar

NewMidtown
Craft cocktails are the focus of this Midtown bar, showcasing mixology both classic and contemporary complemented by creative bar snacks (think pimento cheese fritters and duck confit egg rolls). The handsome, clubby space evokes a British hunting lodge, with tartan wallpaper, bookshelves and a fireplace.

Must-order: The House Bounce is this Midtown bar's take on an old fashioned, given a cherry sweetness that might turn off purists, but could appeal to anyone who's rye-shy.

Insider tip: For a clubby spot at the edge of the Crescent Street party scene, Foxtrot's food isn't half bad. The poutine and roasted cauliflower both make for great cold-weather drinking snacks.

Georgia Beer Garden

NewSweet Auburn
This Sweet Auburn bar with a hyper-local focus holds lively crowds eager to pore over its selection of brews and liquors made exclusively in the state of Georgia. The indoor/outdoor setup includes an exposed-brick interior and a sizable back patio that often hosts food trucks.

Must-order: This is the spot for Georgia, and only Georgia, beers and spirits. If the heavily sought-after Tropicalia beer out of Athens' Creature Comforts brewery is available, be sure to nab it.

Insider tip: Hungry? Head out back, where food trucks sometimes set up shop.

Little Trouble

Knight Park/Howell Station
From the Paper Plane team, this futuristic Knight Park/Howell Station cocktail den takes its decorative cues from the sci-fi classic Blade Runner, creating a moody, neo-noir atmosphere with concrete, industrial elements and sleek neon lighting. The high-concept approach extends to a clever beverage list that includes shareable drinks and a brief food menu inspired by Asian street fare.

Must-order: Cocktails at Little Trouble excel at both the light-and-refreshing and boozy-and-dark ends of the spectrum, but look to the menu to see what the options are for a shareable cocktail. Brings friends, or make some.

Insider tip: The bar can be difficult to locate if you've never been. You'll want to be on the west side of the train tracks bisecting the Westside Provisions District — look for a long hallway lit by a neon sign directly across the street from Yeah! Burger.

The Regent Cocktail Club

NewBuckhead
Ascend in an elevator within the Buckhead steakhouse American Cut to reach this indoor/outdoor rooftop bar, where craft cocktails and a deep whiskey selection cater to a posh crowd eager to revel in the midcentury decor and take in the view.

Must-order: Sip a classic old fashioned, but dive deep into the bar's bourbon selection.

Insider tip: Can't find the place? You've got to enter the steakhouse American Cut, then take the elevator in the restaurant's lobby to the third floor.

The S.O.S. Tiki Bar

Decatur
Accessible via what looks like a nondescript Decatur back alley, this midcentury-modern-meets-Polynesian watering hole awaits intrepid explorers eager for an impromptu trip to the South Pacific. Beachy tunes, tiki mugs and throwback Pacific Island–inspired snacks create a convivial air bolstered by tropical drinks that come aflame, in shareable portions or both.

Must-order: The Subtle Banana is based around rye, cognac and scotch, and delivers on the promise of its name. Or bring a gang for a $100 punch bowl, which serves 6–8 people.

Insider tip: The entrance is in the alleyway between Victory Sandwich Bar and Cakes & Ale.

Ticonderoga Club

New AmericanInman Park
Named after an 18th-century fort, this whimsical Krog Street Market bar and restaurant draws on the Colonial era for its clubby vibe, with dim lighting and plenty of leather, brick and wood to instill a welcoming atmosphere. The creative menu emphasizes comfort eats with a seafood focus, backed by sophisticated signature cocktails, wine and craft beer.

Must-order: The Bitter Southerner No. 2, a bracing yet balanced cocktail made with apple brandy, Herbsaint liqueur and bitters, gets its name from the excellent ATL-based magazine.

Insider tip: Ticonderoga's drinks are great, but the food stands out as well — chef David Bies crafts unique New American dishes heavy on New England classics with the frequent Southeast Asian touch.

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