I’ll be honest and say that I started this article with the purest of intentions — create a college student’s guide to Atlanta as well as celebrate the awesome places that alumni still frequent. However, it quickly became obvious that bookstores and coffee shops (we love you Octane) fell in the minority of hangouts when compared to the drinking scene (and yes, we mean of the alcoholic variety). So instead of an all-encompassing look at local hangouts, we’re covering the places that are popular not only with the 21 and over college crowd, but with graduates and alum who still live in the area.
Whether you attend — or attended — local schools like Emory University, Georgia Tech, SCAD Atlanta, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Agnes Scott College, The Art Institute of Atlanta, etc., we’ve highlighted some of our favorites to help alumni relive their glory years and show the young’ns the light about where to unwind. (And we know you Bulldogs may be feeling a little left out but check out our Athens day trip article for some places to wet your whistle.)
2947 N. Druid Hills Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329 • (404) 633-3555
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.; Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Located in the North Druid Hills neighborhood, right near Emory University, this sports bar is a great place to watch a few games, get away from the stress of campus and meet up with the old crew. And there’s always something going on like karaoke, trivia, improv and special weekend entertainment from local DJs.
349 Decatur St. SE, Atlanta, GA 30312 • (404) 600-6484
Hours: Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Thursday & Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday, 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. (closed Monday)
Not only is downtown’s Bada Bings popular with the political movers and shakers of Atlanta, but it’s a major hot spot for Georgia State University students. Bada Bings, known for their “bourbon, beer and burgers,” is a great place for fun-loving young adults and adults young at heart.
817 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30308 • (404) 815-9243
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:45 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2:45 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Georgia Tech students love to visit Cypress Street for their affordable drink specials (Tuesday is “Beer Geek Tuesday”), but alumni and those who work in the area visit this awesome spot for great food and the charming ambiance. And whether you’re a student or graduate, everyone can appreciate a great brunch like what Cypress Street serves.
2937 N. Druid Hills Road, Atlanta, GA 30329 • (404) 636-5300
Hours: Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.
If your looming tests or work deadlines have you up at all hours of the night, make a trip to Maggie’s and enjoy the late-night frivolity. The over-21 establishment is open to the wee hours of the morning, offering delicious bar food as well as a place to meet up with friends and embrace your inner procrastinator.
752 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 872-5440
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Neighbor’s Pub is in the picturesque neighborhood of Virginia-Highland and is a huge hangout for alumni. This bar/restaurant is an Atlanta institution and has a dog-friendly patio so you can bring your four-legged roommates, as well as your human ones. Watch a Yellow Jackets game, play trivia or just sink your teeth into some stellar, quality menu options like blackened salmon salad or all-hours breakfast.
79 Poplar St., Atlanta, GA 30303 • (404) 588-1850
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Thursday & Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
The Atlanta University Center, which houses schools like Clark Atlanta University and Spelman University, and GSU are right by Sidebar, a hugely popular drinking hole in downtown Atlanta. Besides its popularity with college students, Sidebar is very close to Centennial Olympic Park and other downtown attractions. Grab a friend or a co-worker for a pint and meal at this very friendly establishment.
3717 Roswell Road Atlanta, GA 30312 • (404) 941-3081
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Thursday & Friday, 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.
The Ivy is part sports bar, part club, part restaurant — all housed in a converted mansion in the heart of Buckhead. It’s a great place that gets a big cross section of residents and offers a great place to meet friends or that special someone. The two-tiered outdoor patio is a great place to strike up a conversation.
1170 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318 • (404) 968-2033
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
The Georgia Tech/Emory set love to come here, and why wouldn’t they? There’s bocce, darts, shuffleboard, backgammon, pool, skee-ball and lots of other games to play so that you don’t need to worry about striking up any conversation. However, I come here all the time, as someone who works in Midtown, and it’s a great spot to chow down on a great meal and squeeze in a game or two of darts.
15 Atlanta St. SE, Marietta, GA 30060 • (678) 290-6641
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Kennesaw State University students and those who live OTP style love Johnnie MacCracken’s for its Celtic roots, traditional Irish fare (hello, corned beef and cabbage!) and plentiful taps (there are more than 70 in rotation).
1033 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 873-6090
Hours: Monday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Moe’s and Joe’s has been serving Atlanta residents, college students, out-of-towners and everyone in between since 1947. Though the décor has been updated over the years, not much else has changed in this VaHi landmark — great service, a delicious menu (check out the MoJo Burger) and a welcoming spot to sip a beer and recover from a busy day.
125 E. Court Square, Decatur, GA 30030 • (404) 678-0990
Hours: Monday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Decatur is where it’s at when it comes to supporting local bars and restaurants, and anyone in the area, students at Agnes Scott College and Art Institute of Atlanta or downtown passers-by, should make their way to Brick Store Pub. The food is amazing (try Lil’ Shawtees — house smokies, whipped cheese with pickled mustard seed and butter bread), but it’s the endless draught list that will really have you settled down for the night (or early morning).
1006 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 873-6529
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Taco Macs have sprung up all across the city and the southeastern region, but this Virginia-Highland location is the original one that started it all. Emory students helped create the loyal following that grew this little self-described “taco shack” into a neighborhood hangout and eventually a huge restaurant chain. With more than 35 TVs airing sports from across the country and the to-die-for Buffalo wings that put this place on the map, Taco Mac can do no wrong in our opinion.
3771 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30342 • (404) 233-8026
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
It’s seems un-American, or at least un-Atlantan, to have a college hangout list and NOT include Johnny’s Hideaway. This nightclub/bar/restaurant is like some weird hybrid the connects generations with Frank Sinatra tunes, live entertainment by current music acts, wild trivia night and just an attitude that screams, “What happens at Johnny’s stays at Johnny’s.” By the way, if you have a friend coming to town for a visit, make sure to bring them here for one night — wild and wacky Atlanta contained within four, heavily decorated walls.
794 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 876-7249
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
The great thing about Atkins Park (besides its historical status as one of the oldest, still operating restaurants) is that it’s a delicious place to get food, serving gourmet quality food like shrimp and grits, and wild mushroom-stuffed chicken. AND it’s also a rad bar that stays open until 3 a.m. … on the weekdays! In-town college students may be set with this VaHi location, opened in 1922, but here’s a bonus for alumni who may have moved to the suburbs: Atkins Park now has a Smyrna location as well.
85 Poplar St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 • (404) 917-1820
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (closed Sunday)
75 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 • (404) 420-8747
Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. until close; Saturday & Sunday, 12 p.m. until close
GSU students get to hang out over a hot slice at Slice — with two locations right by campus. And since the university is smack in the middle of downtown, business professionals, alumni and visiting tourists also get to try the amazing pizza creations at either of the Slice spots. Even better? If you’re too busy studying or can’t get out of the office during your lunch break, Slice will bring the cheesy goodness to you upon partnering with a few different delivery services.
Honorable mentions: Flip Flops, Rocky Mountain Pizza, Holeman & Finch Public House, Opera Nightclub, Moondogs, The Barrelhouse, Kimball House, Clermont Lounge, Antico Pizza, Suite Lounge
Take a look at some of our other yummy articles by visiting our Food & Drink section! And follow us on Instagram, where we post some of the most delicious eats from around town. We’re @StyleBlueprintAtlanta.