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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.)

Famous Pub

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.

Famous Pub

Famous Pub is in the Druid Hills area and is popular with the Emory folk. Image: Famous Pub

Bada Bings

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.

Cypress Street Pint & Plate 

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.

Cypress Street Pint & Pale

Yellow Jackets, present and past, love to buzz over to Cypress Street Pint & Plate. Image: Cypress Street

Maggie’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill

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.

RELATED: Learn How to Make Cocktails With an Expert

Neighbor’s Pub

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.

Neighbor's Pub

Neighbor’s is a great neighborhood addition, especially for the lucky residents and workers in the Virginia-Highland area. Image: Neighbor’s


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.

The Ivy

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.

The Ivy

The Ivy is a massive bar/restaurant/hangout in Buckhead, perfect for hanging with your squad or joining someone else’s. Image: The Ivy


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.


If your crew is super competitive, there are enough games at Ormsby’s to keep everyone happy and satisfied. Image: Ormsby’s

Johnnie MacCrackens

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).

Johnnie MacClacken's

If you’re going to hang at Johnnie MacCracken’s, it seems only fitting that you fill up on a pint of Ireland’s finest: Guinness! Image: Johnnie MacCracken’s

Moe and Joe’s Tavern 

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.

Moe's & Joe's

Moe’s & Joe’s is a little piece of beer-drinking history in Atlanta, and luckily the next generation of students is taking care to keep the tradition going. Image: Moe’s & Joe’s

Brick Store Pub

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).

Taco Mac

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.

Taco Mac

The original Taco Mac opened in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood more than 30 years ago with their signature wings, still popular as a study break snack, happy hour food or just a late-night munchie. Image: Taco Mac

Johnny’s Hideaway 

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.

Johnny's hideaway

Whether you went as an undergrad or still visit this wacky spot once a week as an adult, Johnny’s Hideaway is an Atlanta institution and an entity that can only truly be understood by those who have entered through its wild doors. Image: Chucky Foto

Atkins Park Restaurant 

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.

Atkins Park

Corn and crawfish fritters are just one of the many delicious food items you can get at Atkins Park. Image: Atkins Park


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.

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