Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood offers plenty of entertaining ways to sample some of the city’s hippest restaurants, bars and cultural venues. Here’s a guide to some hot spots all within walking distance or a quick ride from the Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown:
Food & Drink
At 8arm, you can start your day with stellar coffee and baked treats (pastry chef Sarah Dodge’s biscuits have been named best in the city), then continue your culinary excursion with rock crab-strewn avocado toast and overloaded “egg McMuffs” for brunch. Segue into light lunches (the grain bowls are great) or sample dinner items like sea scallops and Porterhouse steak before noshing on the inventive late-night menu until 1 a.m. Sunday afternoon dance parties at 8arm’s canopied outdoor bar typically include a talented local DJ, some creative food-truck fare and perhaps a pool float or two.
At Land of a Thousand Hills, founder Jonathan Golden pays fair wages to coffee farmers in Rwanda, so you can drink good coffee while, well, doing good. The newest Atlanta location of this Georgia-based company serves lovely cortados and authentic Italian macchiatos made from fresh-roasted, 100-percent Arabica, single-origin beans and poured in retro green ceramic cups, as well as snacks like goat-cheese quiche, Belgian waffles and toast topped with peanut butter, banana and granola.
Since 2010, Empire State South, a high-Southern eatery from James Beard Award-winner and Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson, has cemented his influence over Atlanta’s culinary scene. Locals won’t let you leave without trying the pimento cheese spread and creamy boiled-peanut hummus, but really everything — from the coffee service, to the cocktails, to the ESS Superfood salad, to the tender proteins accompanied by locally sourced lady peas and chanterelle mushrooms — are among the city’s most excellent.
An Atlanta landmark since 1929, The Fox Theatre has played host to everyone and everything from Elvis to Prince to Adele, stand-up comedy and Broadway touring productions. For nearly 40 years, the unusual Egyptian Revival theater also sheltered pipe organ aficionado and resident “phantom” Joe Patten, who famously lived rent-free in the building’s single apartment. The building is also rumored to be haunted, so sign up for one of the ghost tours offered every October.
The Atlanta outpost of City Winery is known for its roster of pop-folk acoustic headliners ranging from ’90s darlings 10000 Maniacs and Shawn Colvin to aughts-era talents like Talib Kweli and Howie Day. They perform in a globe light-strung, umbrella-dotted, open-air concert hall, where picnic tables are routinely laden with dishes by chef Don Cherry, who pairs his global fare with wines made on site at various City Winery locations and cocktails from a bar dubbed ABV (Alcohol by Volume).
Installed behind an unassuming storefront on Charles Allen Drive, Hi-Lo Press‘s concept is fourfold: It’s a studio where you can catch glimpses of husband-and-wife duo Dianna Settles and Witt Wisebram crafting items ranging from business cards to save-the-dates, a venue for frequent workshops exploring a wide range of printmaking disciplines, a de facto retail space for Settles’ and Wisebram’s ready-made goods (think quirky journals, calendars and greeting cards well worth perusing), and a decidedly hip gallery space for up-and-coming Atlanta artists.
Founded as the Atlanta Art Association in 1905, The High Museum of Art has existed in its current state since 1983 when Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier erected a white-enameled edifice to house its permanent collection. A trio of 2005 additions by Italian architect Renzo Piano established more room to display the likes of Claude Monet, Anish Kapoor, Chuck Close and Ellsworth Kelly, along with sections dedicated to world-renowned Southern folk artists Howard Finster and Thornton Dial.
The 46,000-square-foot Paris on Ponce is an emporium of vintage wares, curated clothing, contemporary jewelry, local prints, film props, housewarming gifts and metaphysical tokens. It even includes a barber shop, a red-tinted cabaret called Le Maison Rouge (site of art auctions, drag shows and special performances of The Atlanta Opera) and a white-washed pop-up event space.
Directly across from the High Museum of Art is the Museum of Design Atlanta, which occupies the ground floor of a LEED Platinum-certified office building restored by commercial architecture firm Perkins + Will. The only museum in the Southeast dedicated to design, MODA features well-curated exhibitions that explore the intricacies of design history, engineering and culture.
Designer- and architect-owned boutique EcoDenizen presides over one of Midtown’s premier corners — the intersection of 10th and Peachtree Streets — making it tremendously convenient for grabbing a quick gift or souvenir. Most in-store items are focused around the proprietors’ earth-friendly philosophy, which extends to lines like hand-poured NEST candles and artisanal alpaca blankets.