Why It’s Hot: A casual atmosphere, a gorgeous patio, solid drinks and tacos…that’s the precedent set by the original Westside Bartaco that opened last year, and that’s the format followed by this second installment in North Buckhead. The association with sister restaurant Barcelona in Inman Park hasn’t hurt, either.
Insider Tip: Confused by the ordering system? If the helpful waitstaff somehow forgets to give you the rundown, you just place one of the plastic dragonfly icons in the holder on the table, alerting servers that you need to order a round of drinks or tacos. Or make that another round.
3802 Roswell Rd.; 678-871-8226
Photo by: Andrew Thomas Lee
Why It’s Hot: The bartenders at this Buckhead Atlanta space (which shares a kitchen and management team with the neighboring Gypsy Kitchen) will tell you they’re going for a “more accessible Holeman & Finch,” and that’s kinda the vibe you get — craft cocktails, seasonal ingredients and classed-up pub grub alongside surprising elements, like a spotlight on the liqueur Chartreuse.
Insider Tip: Be forewarned that parking at Buckhead Atlanta’s tight — opting for the valet or parking a few blocks away and hoofing it may be your best bet.
3035 Peachtree Rd.; 404-939-9845
Photo by: Emily Schulz
Why It’s Hot: At the Krog Street Market outpost of Ford Fry’s sprawling empire (this is his second Tex-Mex concept after Avalon’s The El Felix), there are no reservations taken, making the bar a go-to place for those both eager for margaritas (and those waiting for a table).
Insider Tip: There are live music performances Thursdays through Saturdays on its patio.
99 Krog St.; 678-791-1310
Photo by: Tomas Espinoza
Why It’s Hot: In a town dominated by restaurants that happen to have great bars, Grain stands out as a new place that’s resolutely a bar — just one that happens to also have great food. The new Midtown spot’s a collaborative effort from the teams behind the neighboring Cypress Street Pint & Plate and Buckhead’s Seven Lamps.
Insider Tip: Grain’s mailing address is 845 Spring Street, but the restaurant recommends plugging 670 West Peachtree Street into your GPS for more accurate directions.
670 W. Peachtree St.; 404-881-5377
Photo by: Craft Izakaya
Why It’s Hot: As one of the first spots to open in the Krog Street Market, Craft Izakaya’s been impressing Atlantans with expertly delivered Japanese fare that strays from the expected sushi standards into classic izakaya food meant to be shared — and enjoyed while drinking. And while the food’s a highlight, the restaurant’s two-sided bar that opens into the main Krog Street Market atrium has become one of the neighborhood’s more hopping bars, featuring plenty of sakes, shochus, shareable cocktails and alcoholic drinks made with boba tapioca bubbles.
Insider Tip: Arianne Fielder, one of ATL’s more prominent names in bartending, is now creating and pouring drinks at Craft Izakaya.
99 Krog St.; 470-355-9556
Why It’s Hot: This cozy wine bar in Alpharetta’s Avalon development is a centrally located spot to sip on a wide selection of vintages. And as most of Avalon’s other culinary spots are straightforward restaurants, it’s the only spot focused primarily on drinks. The rooftop terrace makes for a great spot to survey the scene (if the weather’s nice).
Insider Tip: Avalon’s a giant piece of private property, and there’s an open container policy. Ask for a plastic glass if you want to stroll around while you finish your drink.
300 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta; 678-248-5181
Why It’s Hot: The food at this new Buckhead Atlanta spot skews Spanish, but what’s really got the crowds excited are the drinks. It’s a rare night at Gypsy Kitchen when the wraparound bar isn’t packed with groups of girls’-night-outers sharing Spanish reds or cocktails (often on the sweeter side) under the watchful gaze of a vigilant toro statue.
Insider Tip: Stick to the small plates made for sharing if you’re just in for drink. The bartenders can advise you on different sizes.
3035 Peachtree Rd.; 404-939-9840
Photo by: Sarah Dodge
Why It’s Hot: The long anticipation for this spot has paid off, and its location right on the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail helped generate that buzz. The spacious patios and playful, outdoors-inspired menu have kept it going.
Insider Tip: Confused when you arrive? You’re not alone. Don’t just grab a seat at a table; head through the patio and in the main doors to the host stand.
Why It’s Hot: The now-departed P’Cheen was a neighborhood standby of a pub. Last Word moved into that O4W space and did some serious renovations, creating a stylish spot that handles its creative cocktails and (occasionally Lebanese-accented) small plates with aplomb. If you’re not stopping in for dinner, the long bar immediately behind the host stand makes for a great cocktail perch.
Insider Tip: Up for some late-night snacks with your drink? The kitchen stays open until 12:30 AM.
701 Highland Ave. NE; 404-343-1274
Photo by: Krog Street Market
Why It’s Hot: Located right next to Krog Street Market’s communal tables, this extension of the beer-and-wine shop located right next door has a constantly rotating supply of brews on tap.
Insider Tip: Intimidated by the crowd? In-the-know folks are clued in to the fact that you order from the registers at either end of the bar. Queue up and make a selection from the chalkboard to your right.
99 Krog St.; 470-355-2534