Smyrna is under the radar now, but it’s about to be the next “it” suburb. Thanks to its close proximity to the city center, developments (hello, SunTrust Park) and a crop of new restaurants springing up, this OTP ‘burb is on the rise. The “Jonquil City” was established in 1872 and has a village green at its center with city hall, government buildings and restaurants. Throughout the year you’ll find festivals and events on the green, like the Fall Jonquil Festival.
Adjacent to Smyrna is Vinings, an unincorporated neighborhood tucked between Smyrna and Buckhead. A railroad track runs through the neighborhood’s center, which causes traffic woes, but despite that, the town is charming with river access and darling shopping plazas. Together the two areas make “Smynings” and are both worth getting to know as they teem with outdoor activities, dining and entertainment.
SMYNINGS FOOD & DRINK
The Battery Atlanta may be particularly hopping during baseball season, but there are plenty of reasons to visit the mixed-use development throughout the year. The standout among the dining options there is C. Ellet’s, Linton Hopkin’s steakhouse. It breaks from steakhouse tradition with a light and airy atmosphere, but still maintains an air of elegance. Go big or go home: order the 18-ounce 35 dry-aged Kansas City strip. Add a side of the roasted hen of the woods mushrooms and a Battery Boulevardier, a concoction of bourbon, campari, cinzano rosso and carpano antica, and you’ll be good to go. Other excellent but more casual options in the Battery include Feed Fried Chicken + Such and reality TV-famous Wahlburgers.
Opened by Andre Gomez, former chef de cuisine at Rathbun’s, Porch Light Latin Kitchen is a buzzing neighborhood spot. Gomez could have opened it anywhere, but he chose to open it in his backyard, giving Smyrna another outstanding local dining destination. People flock to the intimate restaurant to partake of Gomez’s take on Latin cuisine featuring Puerto Rican and Argentine influences, a tribute to his upbringing. Gomez sources his food from local farms as much as possible, and the restaurant features a full bar. If you’re feeling really indulgent, order the Puerto Rican fried pork chop, an impressive display of a loin chop with ribs, belly and skin.
Muss & Turner’s, founded by Todd Mussman and Ryan Turner and co-owned by Chris Hall, is one Smyrna’s most revered foodie destinations going back 10 years. A deli concept by day with counter service and tempting sandwiches, at night it becomes a casual yet high-end full-service restaurant. Sneak through the refrigerator door in the back and you’ll find yourself in Eleanor’s, their hip speakeasy with craft cocktails and bar snacks.
A popular Marietta burger joint, Stockyard brought their tasty offerings to Vinings Jubilee. Here you’ll find an array of affordable burgers, but their salads are equally delicious, especially the lobster cobb with lobster, corn, blue cheese, tomatoes, eggs and house-made BBQ ranch dressing. Don’t forget to order the sweet potato tots with one of their dipping sauces!
If you decide you want to dine somewhere a bit fancier while at Vinings Jubilee, consider Soho or Paces & Vine and nearby 101 Steak.
Opened in 1995, Canoe is the crown jewel of the Vinings dining scene. Warm and inviting with a rustic feel, the upscale restaurant lures diners with beautiful views of the ‘Hooch and its tranquil gardens. The dinner menu offers a variety of game meats like kangaroo, an homage to Chef Matthew Basford’s Australian roots. Dinner is lovely, but Canoe is probably best known for their brunch. The restaurant is sun-filled during the day, and brunch goers come in droves for Canoe’s freshly baked pastries (get the basket), French toast with rum cream and caramel sauce, and the duck n’ beef burger with a sunny side egg.
Smyrna has one local coffee shop and that’s Rev, “brewing in the burbs” since 2010 in a former Mercedes repair shop. A hangout hub for students, friends and work-from-home folks, Rev is buzzing with community vibes anytime you pop in. Beyond your usual coffeehouse offerings, Rev has a limited menu of sandwiches, pastries and snacks.
WHERE TO GET BEAUTIFUL & FIT
Radius sits conveniently on the cusp of Vinings and Smyrna and exudes spa-like vibes. They offer the usual services like coloring, conditioning treatments and haircuts at reasonable prices. The way they do it, though, with careful attention to detail and comfortable seating arrangements places them a cut above the rest (see what we did there?).
What do you do when you’re a wrestler who experienced years of injuries thanks to high-impact sports? You turn to yoga. Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) was that wrestler, and while he never was a “yoga guy,” he started incorporating it into his rehab along with other calisthenics. This blend of workout that he developed is now the focus of DDP Yoga, a low-impact workout with cardio and strength training built in.
One of the best ways to get your sweat on in Smyrna is FREE! The Silver Comet Trail is 61.5 miles of paved trails built on abandoned railroad lines. It starts in Smyrna and goes through Cobb, Paulding and Polk counties before entering Alabama. Bikers love the flat terrain, but it’s also ideal for walkers and joggers alike. Grab your pup and hit the trail!
West Palisades Trails
Tucked behind the Cobb Energy Center is another free option for outdoor enthusiasts: the West Palisades Trails. Access the trail from Akers Drive. It’s a four-mile loop that takes you through the woods, past overlooks and along the river at certain points. You’ll forget that you’re just miles from the hustle and bustle of the city!
WHERE TO SHOP
Need a unique present for that special pal? Head to Love Street Gifts & Gardens. The charming shop is set up in a cottage and is brimming with fun gifts like Corkcicle bottles, Lokai bracelets and clever garden knick-knacks. Go next door and you’ll find their clothing boutique, Heart & Sole, with affordable casual styles.
DIYers will find their zen at this cozy shop specializing in all things creative. Inside you’ll find hand-painted furniture and home decor items. What really keeps their customers buzzing, though, is their slate of DIY classes, like the upcoming Chalk Paint Essentials class.
We’re not sure if Read Shop is a coffee shop with a bookstore or a bookstore with a coffee shop, but we’ll go with the latter. This cozy shop comes from the team behind the Merchant (the eclectic yet pricey home goods boutique of Krog Street Market and the Westside) and is home to a variety of books. At the center of the store is their coffee bar, where they make espresso beverages and brewed coffee using Stumptown Coffee.
Not just home to dining establishments, The Battery is also a shopping destination. Here you’ll find shops like Baseballism with stylish Braves wear, Archer Paper Goods with lovely stationery, and weekend-wear mecca, Chubbies, among others.
WHERE TO BE ENTERTAINED
Conveniently located on the perimeter at 75 and 285, Cobb Energy is a dazzling performance venue. Throughout the year you’ll find a slate of performers ranging from prominent comedians to musical artists, in addition to performances by the Atlanta Opera and Ballet. Check out their Christmas performance of A Christmas Carol, by the Alliance Theatre.
Originally a Buckhead concert venue, the Roxy has come back to life at the Battery. The new and improved spot holds 3,000 people and is two-tiered with 53,000 square feet. Upcoming performers include Alt-J, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and Band of Horses. Visit their website for more upcoming shows.
Enjoy a day exploring Smynings and fall in love with this unique Atlanta neighborhood!
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