Weekend Eats ATL

…because calories don't count on the weekends

Weekend Drinks

As you may have noticed, I enjoy drinking around town almost as much as I enjoy eating.  Whether you’re into beer, cocktails, or wine (or all three), there’s somewhere in Atlanta that will strike your fancy.  I’ve compiled a list of my favorite spots to drink, as well as some of my favorite drinks themselves.

Beer: Atlanta has no shortage of breweries, brewpubs, beer bars, etc., etc.  If you’re into craft beer, keep reading…

  • SweetWater Brewing CompanySweetWater 420 just so happens to be my favorite beer of all time, and not just in Atlanta.  I’ll have a Blue or two as well when the weather is nice and I’m in the mood.  The brewery itself is also a fun spot to hang out and enjoy some brews and live music on the patio.

SweetWater 420

  • Monday Night Brewing – Although Monday Night’s “weekends are overrated” motto is quite different from my “calories don’t count on the weekends” philosophy, their Eye Patch Ale makes it a disagreement worth overlooking.  The brewery itself (which opened in West Midtown in early 2013) is spacious, quirky, and open for tastings on Monday (obviously), Thursday, and Saturday.
Monday Night Brewing

Bring a tie for the tie wall and get $1 off admission!

Monday Night Brewing

Eye Patch Ale

  • Brick Store Pub – With a frequent rotation of 20+ beers on draught and a limitless selection of bottled beer, this Decatur staple is the place to go for beer, especially if you’re into Belgian beers.  Head upstairs to the Belgian Beer Bar, tell the bartender what you like, and trust his or her recommendation.

Brick Store Pub

  • Taco Mac – This place is a sports bar on steroids.  It’s not somewhere I frequent for the awesome food (which consists of pretty typical pub fare), but they have a LOT of beer to offer.  100 + beers on draft, 150+ in the bottle, 35+ HD TVs…enough said.  Come football season, you can find me here sporting my red & black on Saturdays (Go Dawgs) and purple & black on Sundays (Go Ravens).
  • Yard House – Located in Atlantic Station, Yard House also boasts a massive beer list of well over 150 beers on draft.  The best part – you can drink them out of a 32 oz. half-yard glass.  If you want to try a few, but still want to be able to walk straight leaving the restaurant, go for the “six pack”, which will give you six 5 oz. tastes.  On a nice day, request a patio seat, it will be worth the wait.

Yard House

Beer we go.  Here are a few of my other favorite beer spots in town:

  • Twain’s
  • Cypress Street Pint & Plate
  • Leon’s Full Service
  • Hop City

Cocktails: Artisanal, hand-crafted cocktails seem to be all the rage these days, and Atlanta has its fair share of “mixologists” around town.  In fact, it takes me twice as long to order a drink these days because I typically have to Google half of the ingredients on the cocktail list…

  • Bocado – Bocado’s “Dog Day” is without a doubt my favorite cocktail in Atlanta, and I would bet there isn’t a bad one on the list.  The flavor profiles are carefully thought out and their bartenders pay close attention to details – like a dash of sea salt on one of their gigantic ice cubes.  As an added bonus, the food is just as tasty and well thought out as the drinks are.
Bocado Cocktails

The Dog Day: the best of the best

Bocado cocktails

Bourbon’s not my thing, but if it’s yours, try “The Ratler”

  • Holeman & Finch – In my opinion, this is the place that made hand-crafted cocktails “cool” in Atlanta.  The original. Their bartenders are like mad scientists back there behind the bar.  I’ve tried a few drinks and they all had one thing in common: STRONG.  My only gripe is that this place is always absolutely packed.  If you’re lucky enough to snag a seat at the bar, be prepared to have people constantly pushing past you trying to order drinks.
Holeman & Finch cocktails

This was round two, I can’t remember what the drinks were called. They were strong.

  • The Lawrence – When in doubt, order the signature cocktail.  The Lady Lawrence (along with everything else I’ve tried) is well-balanced and unique.  The Lawrence really delivers on their drink presentations, something that’s often overlooked when it comes to cocktails.  The majority of the cocktail list is seasonably-inspired and hence, ever-changing.
The Lady Lawrence

The Lady Lawrence: one of the prettiest cocktails I’ve ever consumed

  • Cook Hall – Cook Hall is exactly the kind of place Buckhead used to be lacking.  The cocktails here are simple, but with a twist.  My favorites are the “refreshers” – delicious liquor-beer combinations.  Beer before liquor, never been sicker…but not if you enjoy them together.  They’ll even bring the bar to you and let you mix your own cocktail, but I prefer to let the mixologists do the mixing.
Cook Hall cocktails

The Grapefruit Cooler: grapefruit + tequilla + Monday Night Fu Manbrew

Cook Hall cocktails

Basil Shandy: basil vodka + IPA + raspberry

  • STK – Sometimes, there’s nothing better or more necessary than a classic, dirty martini.  With blue cheese-stuffed olives, of course.  No place does it better than STK.  The bar area at STK is quite spacious, with plenty of room for sitting or mingling.  Definitely a go-to spot after a long day at work.
STK martini

Dirty Martini: the classic of all classics

  • St. Cecilia – There’s not a single thing I don’t love about this place, including the crafty and seasonal cocktails.
St. Cecelia Atlanta

Get there early if you want to snag a seat at the bar

St. Cecelia Atlanta

Their dirty martini gives STK a run for its money

Additional cocktail hot spots:

  • Proof and Provision
  • Empire State South
  • Kimball House

Wine: For better or for worse, I’ve become somewhat of a wine snob lately.  Most places around town allow you to BYOB, which is nice because I’m somewhat extremely picky and I know what I like.  When I’m in the mood to try someplace new, here’s where I’ll go:

  • Murphy’s – Murphy’s has the whole wine shop thing going for it, so it’s a great option if you’re looking to taste.  They also do a weekly wine tasting every Tuesday, which is another great way to branch out and taste something new.

I did a food & wine pairing at Murphy’s not too long ago – it was TOP NOTCH.

  • Seasons 52 – Chain restaurants can have great wine lists too.  They offer 52 wines by the glass, including Cakebread chardonnay, a personal favorite.  The Buckhead location also has a pianist playing in the bar area in the evenings.
  • Krog Bar – this wine and tapas hot spot is a great place to stop for a drink before or after a meal at Rathbun’s or Kevin Rathbun Steak.  The best seats in the house are on the cozy outdoor patio.

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