Downtown Atlanta is home to some of the city’s most notable attractions: the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Olympic Park and the CNN Center. And during Final Four weekend, it’s destined to be much busier than normal. But what happens when hunger strikes while you and thousands of others are out and about? Some oblivious basketball fans will flock to unremarkable chains, but if you abide by these suggestions, you’ll eat like a local at some of the city’s worthy gems.
Hit up BLT Steak in the W Atlanta – Downtown on Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard for the best high-end dining south of North Avenue. Yes, it’s a national name, but chef Cyrille Holota gives it an individual feel. Order its tender filet or the bone-in, 22-ounce ribeye. Don’t skip the popovers.
If you’re looking for something more casual, head over to Peachtree Street, Atlanta’s main thoroughfare, and dive into Meehan’s Public House. Done in the vein of an Irish pub, this spot is a hit with area workers for fascinating happy-hour drinks like The Angry Bomb, a concoction made with whiskey and Angry Orchard Hard Cider. Get creative and order a lamb burger or stay classic with a plate of fish and chips. Pair either with a nice Guinness.
When in search of cocktails, Alma Cocina in the One Ninety One building is a can’t-miss. This Tex-Mex restaurant serves some tasty tequila. Try the Lay of the Land, with Poire William liqueur and hibiscus salt, and the Naranjarita, made with orange brandy and a blood-orange infusion.
From Five Points, turn onto Edgewood Avenue and mosey over to Sweet Auburn Market for a smorgasbord of different eateries. Get a Yankee Style burger with bacon and blue cheese spread at Grindhouse Killer Burgers, grab one of the best burritos in the city at Bell Street Burritos and wash it down with a Mexican Coke, or enjoy some Venezuelan cachapas (thick corn pancakes with Guayanés cheese) at Arepa Mia.
If you wind up near Philips Arena, ditch the food court for Lunacy Black Market on Mitchell Street; its tapas mix Mediterranean and Southern influences. During the day, stop by Blossom Tree across from Woodruff Park, a favorite lunch spot for local business people, and get bibimbap or the taco plate, which comes with three tacos (try the pork kimchi rendition) and two sides. Or just munch on some naan packed with paneer and chutneys at nearby NaanStop.
Photos Courtesy of E Squared, Alma Cocina and Grindhouse Killer Burgers