Having lived in Atlanta for 4 years and been a ‘weekend resident’ to Atlanta for 3 years as a 20-something, I have been to my share of bars and hangouts in Atlanta. Atlanta is known as being the hip-hop capital of the world, and there are several great night clubs that feature hip-hop music. Compound, Opera, and Fever are undoubtedly 3 of the most popular, where celebrities can often be spotted, but I don’t frequent the night clubs. I prefer a more chilled-out bar atmosphere. So, here are my 3 favorite bars in Atlanta.
1. Hand in Hand. Located in Virginia Highlands, they feature about 20 beers on tap including lots of ales and wheat beers, and a rectangular-shaped bar with seating all around. The outside area is extremely nice. The name wouldn’t seem like it but Hand in Hand is an Irish pub. It has a view down Highlands Ave. toward the other bars in the area with the Midtown skyline in the background. This is my favorite place to go out on a summer night with some friends. It’s fairly easy to approach people here and the crowd is generally preppy. There are lots of professional singles in their 20’s and early 30’s, mostly Caucasian with a good portion of Asians as well. The main problem with Hand in Hand is that it isn’t convenient to walk to from any hotel or housing center. The strip of bars is located in the middle of a fairly upscale neighborhood. You’ll probably have to park along one of the side streets in front of someone’s house or take a cab – it’s about 4 miles east of midtown and Georgia Tech.
2. Taco Mac. This is THE place to go to watch a sports game. With over 200 beers and countless big-screen TV’s, you can see several games at once with your friends. The crowd can get really into it if a local team is playing. Saturdays and Sundays in the fall, even at 4pm, there will be a waiting list for a dining table, so you’ll be stuck with standing room only at the bar for awhile, which isn’t too bad. Taco Mac’s are all non-smoking. Their food is okay, but people don’t normally go there for the food but rather to watch a big game on TV and have the atmosphere of a bunch of other sports fans watching, too. There are several Taco Mac’s across Atlanta, including one in Midtown on Peachtree Street.
3. Lava Lounge. This is mostly a night club but it is one of my favorite places to go because of the crowd. There is a very high percentage of Asians with a good mix of other races and it is the best-looking people in Atlanta. Again, it is mostly young professionals. The lounge is set up with a bar and small dance floor in the room where you enter. Behind, there is a big patio, partially covered and relatively quiet so you can talk and really get to know someone. They heat the patio in the winter so it’s not too cold. Further back, there are a couple more dance floors and bars for those more into dancing the night away. Lava is located in Midtown near the corner of 10th St and Peachtree St.