Welcome to Atlanta’s premier nightlife guide.
On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Atlanta. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.
A small introduction to Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia, it is also the 37th most populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.9 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the most populous county in Georgia. Portions of the city extend eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.
The city’s name derives from that of the Western and Atlantic Railroad’s local depot, signifying the town’s growing reputation as a transportation hub. During the modern era, Atlanta has attained international prominence as a major air transportation hub, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998. Atlanta is rated as a “beta(+)” world city that exerts a moderate impact on global commerce, finance, research, technology, education, media, art, and entertainment. Atlanta has topographic features that include rolling hills and dense tree coverage, earning it the nickname of “the city in a forest.”
In Atlanta, drink & dining, shopping, nightlife attractions, and rich history combine with inspiration-inducing charms to create a city with Southern charisma and world-class sophistication. It is quite easy to see why Atlanta, Georgia is one of the most popular destinations in the Southeast to live and to visit.
Here in this article, we will provide all the necessary information related to nightlife features of Atlanta, including a comprehensive list of the best destinations. You will find all the tools and necessary information here to organize your holidays in Atlanta the most complete way to make your journey a beautiful experience.
The Nightlife in Atlanta
Atlanta offers tons of fun for everyone, there are so many things to do in Atlanta. Whether you’ve got a few hours or days stay at Atlanta, plan your way across with these fun things to do there! Most of the city’s most popular tourist attractions are located in Downtown Atlanta’s walkable attractions loop, So check out our recommended options here for the best venues available in Atlanta and all are ready to make you happy while you are enjoying your nightlife experience over there:
Atlantic City Boardwalk
The historic Atlantic City Boardwalk date back to 1870, and is a fun spot to visit, from simply strolling along the seaside and soaking up the views to dining, shopping and pub-crawling. Whether you are looking for luxury hotels, high-end casinos, sophisticated shopping malls, bars or nightclubs, the Boardwalk has something for everyone. Gourmet restaurants and cool beach cafés serve all kinds of cuisine while refreshing cocktails are sold at vibrant bars along the promenade. The Atlantic City Boardwalk is one of the top attractions in the city.
State Farm Arena
State Farm Arena, the new home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Dream, opened its doors following the biggest renovation in time to celebrate the team’s 50th year in Atlanta. Having been the 2nd largest renovation in NBA history, the transformed arena features third-largest center-hung scoreboard in the NBA and most immersive video experience, new sightlines with 360-degree concourses, and first of it’s kind in-venue entertainment options with Top-golf Swing Suites, the company’s first and permanent amenity in a major sports arena, the signature Hawks Bar, and the NBA’s first courtside bar. Additionally, Zac Brown brings his passion for food, music, design, and hospitality to the Zac Brown Social Club neighborhood. State Farm Arena is also the first NBA venue to offer fan-friendly food pricing with 12 popular food and beverage items.
Steel Pier is one of Atlantic City’s most popular attractions. Located on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk near Trump Taj Mahal and extending over 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, the pier features an amusement park with more than 25 themed rides, challenging games and adventures, food kiosks, street vendors and a friendly pub overlooking the water. Some of the rides at the Pier’s amusement park include the double-decker carousel and the Ferris Wheel, as well as extreme rides such as the Slingshot, the Mix, and the Freedom Flyer. The amusement arcade offers fun games and food stalls while the Ocean Reef Bar & Grill and the Steel Pier Pub offer dining and booze with beautiful ocean views.
Atlantic City Cruises
See Atlanta from the water as you watch Bottlenose dolphins on an unforgettable sea cruise with Atlantic City Cruises. Tours are conducted onboard the Cruise 1, a United States Coast Guard-licensed vessel that is certified to carry up to 150 passengers. The main deck is enclosed and features a bar and galley with large panoramic windows for excellent viewing, plush carpeting, and comfortable seating. An outer deck encircles the boat and provides ample outdoor seating for those wanting to feel the sea breeze. A large upper deck is ideal for private events and functions and can be enclosed during inclement weather.
Atlantic City Parasail
Atlantic City Parasail offers a range of parasailing and watersports opportunities in Atlantic City. Situated in Gardner’s Basin, just a short walk from the famous Boardwalk and all it’s attractions, Atlantic City Parasail is a fully licensed and certified parasailing operator that guarantees safe and exciting parasailing trips off the shoreline of the city. A custom-designed parasail boat seats up to 12 people, so a group of people can go on an adventure together. Visitors can launch and land the boat on a carpeted launching pad, and choose whether you want to fly solo, in tandem or get wet with a special dip in the ocean.
Best Bars in Atlanta
Atlanta has so many options and venues that make it a perfect drinking city, relentless thirst-inducing heat and humidity, diversity, urban sprawl, and a fun-loving set of locals. In the past few years, craft cocktail bars in Atlanta proper and the surrounding suburbs have attracted national attention, but quirky standbys and eccentric dives define Atlanta’s drinking culture. There are countless establishments in metro Atlanta that serve booze. And if you are taking a trip to Atlanta very soon, here your recreation for the nightlife attraction is sorted with the list of best bars, pubs and cocktail lounges available in Atlanta. Go out with your friends and loved one to have a memorable experience on your vacation:
Wrecking Bar Brewpub
In a city that has leveled so much of its history, what Bob and Kristine Sandage have done to renovate the century-old Kriegshaber mansion on Moreland, just south of Little Five Points, is nothing short of heroic. Even better? Brew-Master Neal Engleman makes fun beers (Belgians, stouts, weizenbocks, kölsches, etc.) on a seven-barrel system on-site-beer that is served in the cozy basement bar. Not a beer lover? The cocktail menu is innovative and whimsical.
Elliott Street Deli & Pub
Opened by brothers Mike and Pete Jakob in 2006, this 600-square-foot bar was not even meant to be a bar: Originally, the siblings purchased the building, to house their construction business. Twelve years later, the tiny spot has become a gathering spot for artists, musicians, bikers, and downtown business types alike, who crowd shoulder-to-shoulder in the bar’s cozy confines. Head here for cheap beer, old soul tunes on a circa-1971 jukebox, live jazz sets, and some of the best deli sandwiches in town.
The fellas who brought us Book-house Pub and underground dance dive MJQ get a bit more upscale without losing their grit in this warm, vintage-inspired space. Menu mash-ups are popular, like the soy and lime marinated crispy chicken sandwich. The massive beer list has spunk, and it sure is nice to hear “Hitachino” pronounced the right way.
In a boxy space that looks almost literally like a hole in the wall, Northside Tavern stands in bluesy, smoky, dirty opposition to every newly developed property along Howell Mill and throughout the greater westside area. The amazingly strong drinks don’t get fancier than two or three ingredients, but that is only because the booze is basically an accomplice to the live blues and dirty dancing you will either participate in or view from the back corner pool tables.
Brick Store Pub
The Brick Store turned seventeen this year, which makes it the éminence grise of Decatur Square bars, and like many of the Belgian beers it cellars, the place only gets better with age. The list of beers is thicker than a Cheesecake Factory menu, and local brewers know they have arrived when they land one of the thirty taps. If you can’t find a stool at the horseshoe bar downstairs, check out the Belgian bar upstairs.
The drink menu at Bon Ton includes both impeccable takes on New Orleans classics, and more Bourbon Street-reminiscent party fare like Hurricanes, plus whimsical riffs on tropical and tiki staples like the smoked bourbon mai tai. This is a bar with an energetic vibe that carries on into the wee hours – to that end, should you need a late-night pick-me-up, their frozen Vietnamese Irish coffee made with condensed milk will do the trick.
Brick Store Pub
This downtown Decatur beer pub staple just turned 21 and shows no signs of slowing down at all. Brick Store offers a lengthy, rotating list of local, Belgian, and hard-to-find beers on its menu and on its more than two dozen taps. Not to mention, the kitchen serves a killer bar burger, chicken pot pie, and fish and chips, among its many pub food dishes.
In a dimly lit cellar below the bustle of Virginia-Highland, old-hat bartenders have been pouring stiff drinks since 1989. The speakeasy vibe, with red leather banquettes, stone walls, carpet, and dark wood, comes without pretense.
Occupying an early-twentieth-century train depot, this cocktail bar du jour possesses the area’s most charmingly period dining room, with belt-driven overhead fans and liquor shelves that rise to the lofty ceiling. Dervish-like barkeep Miles Macquarrie adds to the ambiance by ensuring every drink is matched to its proper glass.
The Highlander, located in the Midtown Promenade on Monroe Drive, has been opened for over 25 years and claims to be “a fixture of Atlanta’s late-night party scene.” Head here for classic bar food like their tater tots, cheap beer, generously poured shots, and no pretense. At last, and very important information is that this bar is strictly 21 and up.
Stem Wine Bar
Refined small plates; a thoughtful, mostly Old-World wine list; and attractive bartenders behind a sleek marble bar make for Atlanta’s best wine perch, satisfying the casual drinkers ordering California Chardonnay and the adventurous souls looking for surprises.
One Flew South
Airport bars are typically good for two things: Killing time before your flight takes off and letting alcohol ease your travel anxiety. One Flew South is the rare exception. Despite the fact that it is located across from a food court, the bar offers elegant cocktails, international wines by the glass, and sushi you should not be dubious about eating. In addition, there are Japanese-inspired appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and heartier entrees like a salmon hot pot. They are all eons better than any in-flight meal.
Located inside the Four Seasons Atlanta and adorned with blue tufted armchairs and round red-accented booths, Bar Margot is slightly peculiar yet stylishly appointed – the perfect embodiment of Margot Tenenbaum, the fictional Wes Anderson character who inspired its name. House cocktails are sophisticated yet playful; the Split Personality, for instance, allows you to select a spirit to mix with bitters and vermouth.
Best Bar Restaurants in Atlanta
If you are in the mood for something specific or just want to explore the hottest restaurants in Atlanta, search Atlanta restaurants by cuisine or by neighborhood to discover some of the city’s hidden treasures.
Discover a new Atlanta dining favorite waiting around every corner. Enjoy a taste of can’t-miss American-style cuisine or traditional Southern fare and succulent steakhouses worth writing home about. Browse restaurant deals for affordable insider specials from some of the best Atlanta restaurants. Here we have come up with some of the best and premium restaurants available in Atlanta so you don’t find yourself in the hassle of looking for:
The lines are long, the parking situation is ridiculous and there is almost no real seating but this Korean BBQ fusion joint is so good, nobody seems to care about all the troubles. Serious BBQ scholars rank Heirloom Market among the best BBQ spots in Atlanta. The spicy Korean pulled pork sandwich with kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage) is a firm favorite topped with any one of five different sauces. The sides are equally memorable as well.
It is one of America’s best restaurants in more ways than one. In addition to serving outstanding food, the eatery raises money to provide emergency assistance to restaurant workers. Chef Ryan Smith, a 2017 James Beard award nominee, creates food so beautiful and delicious that diners literally swoon over it. Expect a bright atmosphere and friendly service as well.
The Colonnade has been serving meat and three plates to hungry locals and visitors alike for almost 30 years. This is not a fancy or trendy restaurant, but it is one of Atlanta’s favorite and most frequented ones.
The wait. Yes, you read that right. Although the restaurant does not take reservations, we suggest you put your name down on the list and spend some time hanging out at the popular bar on-premise, among a slew of regular characters, from bikers to blue hairs. Once your table is ready, order the fried chicken and choose from a long list of old-school sides e.g. fried okra, mac, and cheese, aspic, etc.
Empire State South
If you are looking for a bit of bocce ball and contemporary Southern dining under one roof, Empire State South is the place for you. Part of James Beard award-winning chef Hugh Acheson’s restaurant group, the food is on point. If your budget won’t stretch to the steep evening prices, visit for breakfast or lunch.
Politicians, presidents, hip-hop stars, sports stars, actors and hungry locals craving authentic Southern food all pass through these doors on the regular. Try their fried chicken or BBQ ribs and don’t forget to get some cobbler for dessert as well.
Gunshow is a one-of-a-kind culinary experience in Atlanta. Watch the crew craft unique and often adventurous dishes in their open kitchen. A staff member will bring the plate to your table and, if it entices you, you will get to order it dim sum style. And if it is not striking your fancy, worry not, you can pass and wait for the next dish to come around. You will be tempted by most of what passes by, so go with a small group of adventurous eaters to make sure you can sample everything.
Dress up, wear a tie, and learn which fork is the salad fork. This is seriously a luxury-class dining experience. Even though the restaurant has relocated from its original location to a newer spot not too far away, the signature dishes remain the same. The four-course tasting menu will surprise you in the best possible way.
The General Muir
There is so much to love and come here. Nova lox and house-made bagels, matzo ball soup, pastrami poutine and chopped liver like Bubbie used to make but with just enough of a twist to keep things interesting. The best and possibly the only place for homesick New Yorkers and others to get their fix of deli-inspired favorites that taste just like home, only better.
This might just be the city’s most beautiful and delightful restaurant. Fitting, since it’s tucked into the second floor of the luxe St. Regis Atlanta. The head chef has a deep respect for Georgia’s agricultural bounty and lets those flavors shine through in his artfully presented plates. The restaurant has a top-notch service, stunning food and a wine list that will make your head spin. Be sure to have a look around, since this gorgeous restaurant boasts one of the best fine art collections in the country.
Visitors might be surprised to find that Atlanta is become a destination for stellar South African fare, thanks to South African restaurateur Justin Anthony. Spring for a dry-aged bone-in ribeye cooked on the braai or grill fueled by oak and hickory wood, mussels scented with lemongrass and coconut milk or peri-peri chicken. Wash it all down with a glass of wine from the Western Cape.
Best Nightclub in Atlanta
In addition to Atlanta’s various hotels, lounges, comedy clubs, restaurants and bars, the City’s nightlife scene is also peppered with a smattering of dance clubs. If you are looking for a place that mixes glamour with a bumping crowd, you need not look further than Midtown, where numerous of the area’s largest, highest-end dance clubs congregate. Reign, Hal, and Opera all keep the party hopping and the entry line full. Refer our recommendations here and keep the nightlife activities going on at the optimum best night clubs in Atlanta:
Moving through Havana Club is like moving through an international soundscape. From the main room entrance where house music is the standard to the Latin room lounge and on back towards the “EDM festival”-inspired Havanahaus, you have got 15,000 square feet of partying in Buckhead decadence. It is not a cheap date: tables and bottle service never are, but you may notice an upcharge more here. But if you want a scene where you will be seen and snapped by paparazzi, this is the place, so dress in your absolute best or at least present as much confidence as possible.
Both gen-X-ers and millennials can agree that the subterranean MJQ is one of Atlanta’s greatest venues for losing yourself in music. While the neighborhood around it has certainly become swankier, it is hard to be a few steps away from Ponce City Market and not see the changes, MJQ has not simply retained it’s stains and grungy, sweaty club appeal, it has celebrated them with few changes. Without a doubt, this is the most beloved club in town and still the best option for literal underground hip-hop.
With an upstairs dance floor and a backlit onyx bar downstairs, plus lots of fluorescent lighting all over, Halo definitely boasts spirit-lifting energy as well as an out of a plain-sight location that is slightly separated from the Midtown club district, giving the place a distinct standalone identity. Don’t be afraid to get here a little later in the evening – the crowd sometimes stalls in arriving – but be sure to come in style as the dress code is strictly enforced.
Gold Room’s past is an interesting one: originally an esteemed but ill-reputed strip club in the 1990s, with mafia ties and prostitutes counting professional athletes as clients, it eventually transformed into a shiny shrine to Atlanta’s gilded nighttime glory. The spirit of the Gold Club is still alive inside, thanks to the golden poles lining the transparent window rail fencing in the main central seating area, where tables are the main focus. Now there are large plants, sectional gold couches and splashy lighting that can only be described as tropical, all of which help you and everyone else be as noticed as possible, whether you are a local or global celebrity.
This is one of the more upscale & executive clubs in Atlanta and has attractive digs to match. Club-goers arrive later in the evening over there, closer to midnight, so don’t rush to get there early. Save your feet and kick back with a leisurely dinner beforehand at one of Midtown’s fabulous restaurants before bringing your moves to the dance floor. Bartenders make tasty cocktails and are not afraid to make them strong. There is a large bar with quick service, and VIP tables are scattered throughout with a good view of the dance floor. Saturday nights are usually a bit more crowded than Fridays.
One of the most frequented and famous club in Midtown, which you can’t-miss is CosmoLava. The club has an impressive three levels featuring a total of six bars and exclusive VIP accommodations. Though they have an extensive cocktail list, highly recommended to order a Cosmo because the club “true to its name” is known for its award-winning Cosmopolitan. Make sure to check out their tropical deck with views of the Midtown skyline. The covered outdoor deck is stocked with a full bar and seating, allowing you to enjoy the stunning skyline outdoors regardless of the weather.
Tongue and Groove
It is opened for the nightlife lovers for close to over two decades, this sophisticated nightspot draws Atlanta’s beautiful people looking for a place to tear up the dance floor. The 8,600 square foot space is located in Buckhead’s Lindbergh Center. There are two large rooms, one with a balcony overlooking a large dance floor. The good thing about the two separate rooms is the different music: Top 40 in one and house / hip hop in the other. There are also enclaves that can be reserved for ultra-VIP treatment. It is relatively easy to get a drink as there are numerous bars in the club.
You just forget what you think knowing about strip clubs. Clermont Lounge, the City’s oldest strip club, is more dive bar, in fact, it is consistently ranked as one of the coolest dive bars in the world than swanky gentlemen’s lounge, just see the age and talents of the strippers for proof (as one of the most famous, Blondie, is 55 years old, a poet, artist and dancer known to crush beer cans between her breasts).
This swanky club is famous among locals and tourists alike. Hosting themed nights Wednesday through Saturday such as ladies’ night, hip-hop party and EDM shows, Opera continuously draws a fun crowd. Watch the entire club scene atop the VIP booths on the second level that mimic the authentic opera boxes from the club’s original days as an actual opera house. It is no wonder Opera was named one of the top five nightclubs in the nation by the Nightclub and Bar Association.
One of the longest running clubs in Atlanta, MJQ Concourse takes the word “underground” to an entirely new level. The club is actually entirely underground. There is no website and most usually find out about it through a friend. Unassuming to a passerby, you’d never know that the entrance was the gateway to one of the most popular dance clubs in the city. Open late at night, it is just as popular on weeknights as weekends. Patrons here come to enjoy themselves and dance and listen to talented DJs do their thing. The dress is casual and the vibe is far from upscale. Music is wide-ranging and varies according to the night.
Let us conclude the topic, here in this article we had a brief introduction of Atlanta along with highlighting some of its prominent norms, culture, and nightlife features. We also went through different activities and places to enjoy the nightlife of the region, Musical venues, Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs as well. Such activities provide a great source of entertainment for tourists and locals as well.
As already elaborated, the nightlife attraction of Atlanta is scattered throughout the city. There are several streets / bustling areas of the city where cafes, concert and dance venues, galleries and restaurants offer something special to everyone who loves the culture, shopping and nightlife attraction. There are plenty of pubs & bars throughout the City areas and they are truly satisfying the desire of thirsty visitors where you can enjoy your cocktails with the mesmerizing architectural beauty of the hand-crafted beers and their decors.
You don’t feel any hunger during your trip, that is why we also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the city that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks. You can enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze.
And lastly, we went through comprehensive options of nightclubs of the city that offers great music and fun with some delightfully exotic choices of drinks and cocktail that will delight your overall experience of charming nightlife during your stay at Atlanta.
All of the experiences as mentioned above will work together to make your journey to Atlanta absolutely a memorable one. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can actually boost your experience and make your trip extremely unforgettable for you.