A friendly tip from your mild-mannered neighbors and inhabitants to this southern city of charm, don’t call Atlanta ‘Hotlanta.’ Not that you were going to, but now you know. Just don’t, or fear the wrath of southern charm quickly turning sardonic and quaintly obfuscated behind a genuine- ‘Well bless your little heart.’
For this week’s blog, and the first in a series of blogs on cities slowly opening back up in the US, we are featuring a few tips, a few gripes and highlighting the popular spots of Atlanta. A city nestled beyond the invasive kudzu vines of the south, filled with good natured and well mannered hustlers who know how to eat and enjoy themselves. So whether you are just passing through or maybe even thinking of planting some new red dirt roots in Atlanta, this blog aims to equip you with the Piggly Wiggly essentials. (Yes they have a grocery chain named ‘Piggly Wiggly, so what, New York has a chain called ‘Duane Reade.’)
First off on the list, and fairly unanimous amongst our contributing voices is the Georgia Aquarium. Perhaps best meant for a family gathering or a ‘we need to get out of this house and we hate our relatives-date night’ the Aquarium seems to be a popular spot. With staggered arrival/tour times, required mask usage and entry temperature checks – you can be assured they are taking things seriously. Save up your weekly allowance as tickets cost around $35, but their mainpage advertises that they have sharks…and I’m a sucker for sharks, (#sharkweekeveryweek) so go ahead and take my money Georgia Aquarium.
In addition to spending your well earned money to stare at creatures of the deep who have definitely had more interaction than you this year – Atlanta and its outlying suburbs are home to some pleasant spots. “Floating the Chatahoochee River, Chick-Fil-As on every corner, backpacking on the Appalachian trail and Tybee island near Savannah!” – Just a few suggestions Sierra suggests. And our good friend Alyssa celebrates the great parks and hiking trails: “Kennesaw Mountain, Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain, Piedmont Park.” If you have got a free afternoon and an adventurous spirit, Atlanta has plenty to offer.
For food and restaurants – many restaurants in the area have remained open either through delivery or reduced capacity. Here’s what a few Atlanta natives had to say about some great spots to check out!
“We are ready to eat! Indoor dining with friends will be the first thing on our list once it is safe to do so! We love trying new spots and Bacchanalia is top of our list!” – Tara Layne Goebel
“It’s great that the local restaurants are open. It’s amazing the attention and care these Mom & Pop shops are additionally offering. A diner in Buckhead called The White House is my go to spot :)”- Jana Beeson, Co-Founder of Act Now!
“Fave coffee shop: Mozart’s Coffee Roasters. It is located on “Lake” Austin and has beautiful views outside. It has a deck that hangs over the water. They make great pastries and desserts, and as a non-coffee drinker, I love their matcha latte.” – Lifestyle Blogger Dana Rae @reinventingrae https://reinventingrae.com
Bacchanalia reopened for in-house dining in May, though be warned reservations are still very limited. The website recommends booking up to three months in advance. Bacchanalia has been written and raved as a ‘monarch’ of Atlanta fine dining. It’s contemporary and polished look along with the $95 (4) course pre-fixe menu hearkens to romantic comedy movie tropes where the wife not so subtly hints to the husband on getting a
reservation for their anniversary at a place like Bacchanalia, but the husband ultimately fails and takes them to Applebee’s instead. Still, it’s impressive menu and good reviews should be noted and kept in mind for ‘that one place you have to try.’
Catching my eyes almost immediately was Chi Chi Vegan Tacos. And I’m not even a vegan. Whoever is running social media at Chi Chi’s is doing a great job creating nearly pornographic food photos servicing an instant desire to scream ‘More! More!’ As described in a review in the AJC (Review) “From al pastor “marinated vegan chk’n” to crispy, Baja-inspired fish, the food is 100 percent plant-based.” Having opened in September amidst economic adversity, Chi Chi’s has done well to service Reynoldstown and it’s delivery range via Postmates and Grubhub. A diamond in the rough for anyone nearby looking for a quick, affordable and delectable meal.
And can we please talk about Stockyard Burger and Bones?! Now open in three locations around Atlanta including two in Marietta, this small chain is open for dine in, to go and curbside pickup, and with a guilty pleasure menu complete with gluten free buns for us gluten-hating celiacs this restaurant deserves a visit. “Between Buns you will find a variety of fresh black Angus Beef Burgers as well as sushi-grade tuna, chicken and veggie burgers, all made with fresh ingredients and topped with condiments made in house.” The menu also offers tots and a whole list of dipping sauces which are a quick way to anyone’s heart.
And here are just a few more tips/thoughts and things to look for in Atlanta!
“I will be very happy when the Fox Theatre opens and starts having shows again!”
“Busy Bee Cafe has some of the BEST fried Chicken! As a military family, we’ve moved all over and we love to enjoy southern food in the south! They just know what they’re doing. YUM!” – Tara
“The traffic and the drivers are really terrible, but I love that Atlanta is “the big city in the woods”’
“‘ITP= inside the perimeter and OTP= outside the perimeter. (The perimeter being the 285 freeway that circles the city) Apparently a lot of people care if you live ITP or OTP but it makes no sense to me!’
“Attending a BRAVES baseball game. There is nothing better than being at a Braves game with a cold beer in hand, cheering from the stands.”
So to sum up, I think our good friend Dana Rae @reinventingrae puts it best: “Atlanta, a melting pot of people who relish in giving that Southern Hospitality experience. Where you can enjoy both the city life and escape to the mountains. Not to mention, the food scene is constantly evolving with new and upcoming restaurants.”
Thank you to everyone who submitted and helped us get a tiny glimpse into the traffic ridden yet utterly growing southern city of Atlanta! Next up, Austin!