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Morningside is a sweet, little neighborhood that you may not have even realized you were in while driving in town. Maybe you were headed over to nearby Piedmont Park or people watching on the BeltLine, but Morningside/Lenox Park (sometimes referenced that way  because the two neighborhoods are so close) was founded in 1931 and offers a lovely residential respite within the busy city of Atlanta.

Morningside is bordered by Virginia-Highland to the south, Ansley Park to the west and Druid Hills to the east. With approximately 3,500 homes in the neighborhood (as well as adjoining ‘hoods like Lenox Park, Noble Park, Johnson Estates and a few others), Morningside houses many families looking to be close to intown action, while still holding onto a bucolic way of life.

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Welcome to Morningside!

And here’s the really “entertaining” part about this neighborhood … Cheshire Bridge Road marks the neighborhood’s western border. Therefore, besides the idyllic front yards and lush, overhanging trees lining North Highland Avenue, there are also adult-only, mature spots to visit (cards on the table, these will not be featured in this article but you guys know where they are).

Morningside: Food & Drink

Morningside Kitchen

1397 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 347-9747

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Atlantans love their brunch, and Morningside Kitchen delivers on the promise of delicious food (and even better drinks) with their wonderful brunch menu, as well as the delicious dinner menu. Since I can only focus on “brunch” when someone brings up the word, here are just a few of the tasty items to start your weekend off right: avocado toast, smoked salmon Benedict, cheddar-Gouda grits and lots more tasty morsels.

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Morningside Kitchen has a ton of good food created by some of the best culinary talents in Atlanta.

The restaurant opened this spring, and if you’re nervous about eating at new places, Morningside Kitchen shouldn’t be one of them. The establishment comes from the same people behind Murphy’s and other Atlanta culinary heavyweights, including Ian Winslade, Bhavesh Patel, Phillip Strange and Tom Harvey.

Casseroles

1393 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 228-3260

Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This little shop is a hidden gem in the Morningside neighborhood. No, really, it seriously is hidden! Casseroles is located behind the front-facing shops at 1393 N. Highland Ave. — you can make your way to the tasty spot heading down the driveway next to Sorelle Boutique or by entering off of Lanier Boulevard. Or just trust your nose to sniff out and find the wonderful smells emanating from Casseroles’ kitchen.

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Casseroles may be a little tough to find, but the food is definitely worth it.

But enough about the logistics, let’s get into the fun stuff! This takeout shop sells seriously delicious, one-dish meals full of fresh ingredients made by restaurant-trained staff. The specials change each day (like Iraqi beef and spring vegetable risotto), but standard fare includes Brunswick stew, chicken and biscuits, classic beef Bolognese lasagna and more, in small, medium and large sizes — enough to feed a large family/party … or just more for you to pack for a work lunch, enjoy as a snack or freeze for later. Besides all the gourmet meals, Casseroles also sells fruits and veggies, local foodstuffs from other Atlanta brands and is simply a welcoming spot for anyone willing to put in the legwork to find this hidden shop.

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The handwritten menu at Casseroles shows the standard offerings, but make sure to check out the specials as well.

The Colonnade

1879 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta, GA 30324 • (404) 874-5642

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Colonnade is one of Atlanta’s most historical, beloved restaurants, located on Cheshire Bridge Road at the end of the Morningside neighborhood. This Southern staple may get overlooked for some of the more buzzed-about, newer restaurants popping up throughout the city, but The Colonnade is a classic standby that never disappoints with its old-school menu and old-school rules (don’t even think about seating your party until everyone is at the hostess stand in the flesh!).

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The Colonnade is a classic, and everything tastes great in their little white bowls, especially the cucumber salad.

Founded in 1927, The Colonnade is a throwback to a simpler time when good food meant good, easy cooking — nothing fancy, just good ol’ Southern staples like chicken-fried steak, pot roast and Southern fried chicken. In fact, the look and feel of The Colonnade is so endearing that many movie and television productions, like 2013’s Identity Thief, shoot scenes in the classic dining room.

Alon’s

1394 North Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 872-6000

Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Alon’s is like a veritable Willy Wonka-esque establishment, full of bright colors, sweet treats and lots of tasty items you won’t find anywhere else (but no Oompa Loompas). It’s a hybrid café/retail/coffee shop/gelateria with lots of delicious foods in between. Besides the Morningside location, there’s another Alon’s servicing the OTP crowd in Dunwoody, across the street from Perimeter Mall.

There are so many good things available at Alon’s, from the brioche French toast to the Asian barbecued salmon sandwich (which is making me drool as I write this), but if you have a sweet tooth, you may never leave this Atlanta institution. The bakery sells every type of sweet, bready delicacy you could think of … chocolate pistachio croissants, every flavor/color macaroon, lemon bars, muffins up the yin yang and don’t get me started on the individual cakes (three words: chocolate raspberry mousse). Grab a cappuccino to pair with your ginger cinnamon scone and you’re sure to have a great rest of your day!

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Alon’s has great salads, sandwiches, side dishes and an amazing gourmet cheese display. However, my heart (unfortunately) will always lie with the baked goods section.

Doc Chey’s Noodle House

1424 North Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 888-0777

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The delicious Doc Chey’s has opened a few locations around Atlanta, but the Morningside restaurant is the original location in this pan-Asian chain. What began as a spot for diners to get “a beer and a bowl for $10” has turned into a smorgasbord of delicious Asian specialties and authentic flavors. Besides the great noodle bowls, try a few of the dim sum items (go for the Thai coconut soup) and street food options like the fish tacos — and these are on top of the changing weekly specials (as of press time, I went crazy for the kimchi fried rice).

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There is one other Doc Chey’s in Atlanta, but we’re partial to the Morningside location.

The Family Dog

1402 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (678) 705-5324

Hours: Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to late; Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight

Not sure how you treat Fido, but the family dog never had it as good as at The Family Dog. Whether you just want to whet your whistle or need a plentiful meal, there’s much to see on the restaurant/bar menu. Since we at StyleBlueprint are always on the hunt for a good meal, let’s hit up the food first. We like every single element of the hanger steak, complete with green beans and truffle cauliflower mash, as well as small plates, like the Brussels sprouts and fried cheese (uh hello, it’s fried cheese).

The drink list is extensive, and I’m sure even longer if you want to request some concoction off the menu (or go local, with the Local Mule featuring Old Fourth vodka). Whatever you decide to order, you’ll beg for more, sit to enjoy the lodge-y ambience and stay for the good times. I don’t think you’ll roll over or play dead while at The Family Dog, but hey, we’re not sure what you do after a couple of drinks are in your system! You do you.

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The Family Dog isn’t as furry as the family dog, but it sure is just as fun (and smells a whole lot better)!

Honorable Mentions: Nino’s, Floataway Cafe, Cape Dutch, Nakato, Kale Me Crazy, Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, Orpheus Brewing, Smith’s Olde Bar

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Morningside: Hair & Body

Vivid Hair Salon

1401 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 685-3557

Styling hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can’t roam around in-town Atlanta with last year’s ‘do! Go to the good people at Vivid Hair Salon, and give your hair a makeover with the talented stylists awaiting your arrival. Besides standard offerings like color, cuts and blowouts, Vivid also offers Chi Enviro American Smoothing Treatments, facial waxings and a chance to be part of their Breakfast Club. You don’t have to sport bright red locks like Molly Ringwald to be a part of this club, though — clients can book appointments as early as 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, enjoy coffee or juice and look good for the rest of your busy day!

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Vivid Hair Salon is a great place to take a few moments for yourself and give in to some much-needed pampering.

Natural Body Spa and Shop

1402 North Highland Ave., Suite 1, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 872-1039

Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Natural Body Spa local chain got its start in Morningside more than 20 years ago. Though residents and businesses have come and gone in that time, Natural Body holds on with its loyal customer base and robust and evolving spa offerings, like all different massages, facials, exfoliating body treatments and more.

“We love the clientele here,” says P.J. Jones, assistant spa director. “They’re very friendly and neighborly, who care about family.”

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Natural Body Spa and Shop offers a ton of services, even manscaping for the male clientele. Think about getting a gift certificate for an upcoming birthday, or perhaps even Father’s Day.

Honorable Mentions: Pure Barre

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Morningside: Shopping

Highland Runners

1393 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 549-3309

Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Morningside is a picturesque neighborhood, full of tree-lined streets and lush landscapes ready to be explored on foot. But before you take a jog, make sure you’re properly equipped by visiting the good people at Highland Runners. The outdoor outfitters opened its doors in 2012 and have been carrying hard-to-find brands in Atlanta ever since.

“We carry light shoes that promote forefoot landing, shoes designed for you to have a natural gait,” says manager Luke Seder. “We have shoes that mimic your foot; shoes that you can’t find anywhere else.” Stop in the store and ask about best-sellers like Swiss brand On Cloud and Newton Running.

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Highland Runners carries a lot of sneaker brands you may not have previously seen in Atlanta. Not only do they have great merchandise, but the company is extremely active in the community as well.

Sorelle

1393 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 343-1477

Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Morningside Village development offers plenty when it comes to great local boutiques and products, and Sorelle is one such spot. Update your closet and get noticed this summer with a visit to this boutique, which has everything from shirts and shorts to dresses and the perfect accessories to go with said clothing items. There is some good shopping to be had — this fabulous shop even carries adorable shoes, some of which will be perfect for trips to the beach or wandering to one of the many outdoor music festivals coming to Atlanta this season.

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Take a break for some retail therapy and visit Sorelle to bring your wardrobe to the next level.

Highland Fine Wines

1402 North Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 853-4731

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Some wine shops will tell you exactly what you want to hear to get you to buy a bottle, or they just flat out don’t know what to recommend. Thankfully, the people at Highland Fine Wines  know their stuff. And besides knowing their stuff, they want YOU to know your stuff. Highland Fine Wines offers lots of tastings and events throughout the year to help you familiarize yourself with some great new labels and winemakers.

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Both the owner and manager of Highland Fine Wines are certified sommeliers and know what they are talking about when tasked with finding customers the perfect bottle.

Honorable Mentions: The Wish List, The Great Frame Up, Garnish & Gather

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Morningside: Outdoors

Morningside Nature Preserve

2020 Lenox Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Loyal StyleBlueprint readers will know that we love this outdoor area, perfect for families, athletes and, of course, dog owners. It’s pretty rare to find such a huge area of green space inside the perimeter, especially one with 30 acres of pure, outdoor bliss. The protected space has lots of great trails to better your fitness, as well as a wooded canopy and a “dog beach,” creek “shores” on which your pooch will love relaxing. In fact, you can explore the preserve with Highland Runners, which leads a group run every Tuesday night in various parts of the city, including Morningside Nature Preserve.

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Spend a quiet morning in the Morningside Nature Preserve, and you may catch a glimpse of a few wild animals. Image: Alexa Lampasona/Roots Rated

Morningside Farmers Market

1393 North Highland Ave., Atlanta, GA 30306

Hours: Open year-round, every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (hours differ in winter)

In such an ecofriendly, outdoorsy neighborhood like Morningside, you know the local farmers market is going to be da bomb. According to Morningside Farmers Market organizers, this is the only Atlanta farmers market that requires all produce to be certified organic, a guarantee that you are getting untouched, unmatched product. Besides the wholesome produce, buyers can browse the locally produced meats, organic flowers and artisan crafts.

Current vendors include 26th and Popped (gourmet popcorn), Ancient Awakenings (fermented probiotic foods like kefir and kombucha) and La Calavera Bakery (traditional Mexican baked goods). On top of all that good stuff, make sure to check the website to take a look at this year’s schedule of chef demos, which take place each Saturday at around 9 a.m. (we’re super jazzed for the upcoming demo with Andreas Muller of Revival)

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Other than living on a farm, it doesn’t get much fresher than the produce from Morningside Farmers Market. Image: Morningside Farmers Market

Morningside is the perfect neighborhood to enjoy Atlanta’s great weather, walk past quaint, individual homes and truly live local. Wherever you decide to stop, make sure you let them know StyleBlueprint sent you! And make sure you share your photos of Morningside with us on Instagram!

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