The best bars in Atlanta, GA offer something for everyone, including well-known draws and locations that will surprise and dazzle. A lot of history has been made in the city’s drinking establishments and places of adult visitation, if you catch our drift, and the city’s vital nightlife throbs with great spots for perfectly pitched mixology, cigar smoking, and craft brews. Check out what we’ve lined up in this sampling of five must-sees, among the best bars Atlanta, GA has to offer.
No, that’s not nicotine staining the walls – it’s history. Grab a beer, order a 1/3-pound Dogzilla, then prepare to make some friends. Manuel’s is a great dive bar that’s been in business for more than 50 years, and is a popular a gathering spot for the regular guy… and that’s saying something. Whether that average joe is a politician, policeman or plumber-turned-pundit, this is a place to call home for just what ails ya.
The Clermont Lounge is simply a must-do in Atlanta. This place was the first of its kind in A-Town, opening way back in 1965. The hotel from which it sprang is not precisely bijou, but this spot for gentlemen’s and ladies’ entertainment’s been satisfying visitors for so long that it is, like its strippers, a survivor, so to speak. It has faced closure many times, always rebounding. The circular stage draws curious out-of-towners as well as locals who enjoy music selected by the dancers themselves. While it may be hard to grasp the appeal of literally being stuck to the dance floor while an elderly stripper crushes beer cans between her breasts, trust us, it works. Visit once and you’ll understand why.
Try a hand-rolled cigar from its private label, then try to figure out which scotch goes best with your favorite stogie. Grab a seat, you may be there a while — Highland Cigar has 40 scotches available and a custom ventilation system to help you breathe easy. The DJ sets the mood as well, and the service is stellar. While the humidor isn’t massive, the vibe is fantastic: You can even bring your own cigar in and indulge.
You need a tap house that delivers? Well, it’s the beer that gets the attention it deserves at this ambitious brewpub. Five Seasons Brewing Company has its own version of the classics, such as the Belgian Dubbel aged in a Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrel or the American pale ale brewed with British barley. The three locations offer creative food pairings and a passion for organic, local ingredients that come together to create buzz-worthy spots for serious beer geeks. Growlers are available, and since the owners are in charge of some 70,000 gallons of beers, they should have you covered.
A superb place for cocktails, the very small bar Restaurant Eugene will become your new home away from home when you visit. The place bustles, but the owners refuse to compromise on ingredients: All libations are made there, from the homemade tonic water to the fresh-squeezed fruit juice and small batch root beer. They turn mere cocktails into full-on oral fixations. The wine list at this sublime spot is likely longer than a Victorian novel, and part of the reason why the restaurant has won just about every major award there is.
Food, nightlife, and entertainment expert Tamara Lacey travels the world in search of adventure, excitement, and the next big scoop. Whether relaxing at the spa or dancing the night away at the club, it's her job to report on the hottest new happenings in town.