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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.