What to see/do in Atlanta, Tennessee, Kentucky aside from visiting Maker's Mark? - Page 3
Collonade is for your "white folks" southern fare. It's a trip on Friday nights when you have the conservative families and the big tables of aging gay men adjacent to each other. It's also cash only, if that matters.
Busy Bee is your "black folks" soul food - oxtail, turkey neck bones, fried chicken, collards. It's good stuff... it's a little hole-in-the-wall place down by Morehouse and Clark Atlanta University. I see Rev. Joseph Lowery there from time to time (a very friendly fellow).
A few other offhand things:
Best pizza BY FAR is Pizza Antico Napolitano, the only place in town with a Napoli Margherita certification. It's near the Georgia Tech Campus.
BBQ is Fox Bros. in Decatur.
Best hamburger? This is a matter of some argument... my wife says Buckhead Diner. I say The Earl in the East Atlanta Village. There are a ton of trendy "chic" burger joints now, like Flip, Yeah! Burger, Farm Burger, and probably others... I don't know, they're too fancy for me. Six Feet Under makes an excellent burger, but their onion rings suck which kind of strikes them off my list.
First and foremost, do NOT go to The Varsity. Yah, people say it's an institution...but the food is absolutely disgusting. And there's really nothing to gain by going there. The place feels like a crowded subway station.
I assume you eat food, so I'll list out some food places.
The Vortex - Now this is an institution you need to visit. Burgers are good, but the variety is crazy (check out the menu online and you will be laughing). Great atmosphere and great people watching. Locations in Midtown and Little Five Points
FLIP Burger - Very trendy, hip scene. Small portions, but interesting burgers (tuna tartare, lamb gyro, etc). They also have good drinks. They have a Krispy Kreme milkshake (they actually put whole Krispy Kreme donuts in the blender) and I once had an alcoholic root beer float that was delicious. Locations west Midtown and north of Buckhead. If you know who Richard Blais is, this is one of his restaurants.
Yeah! Burger - Probably the best actual burger. Basic, straight-forward, and they do have some great toppings. Locations west Midtown and Virginia Highlands
Grindhouse Killer Burgers - Newest place. I consider it a cross between Vortex and Yeah Burger. Good scene. Only been there once, but I had a burger topped with BBQ sauce and onion rings. I guess you would call this area Ansley/Morningside.
Varasano's - Amazing pizza. Probably the best I've ever had, and I've had a lot. Neopolitan style. Small menu, but the margherita is very flavorful. One location on Peachtree between Buckhead and Midtown.
Fritti - This has been around for a while and is good. Good selection, though this place does sometimes get crowded. Location in Inman Park
Antico Pizza - Good, but a little more expensive. I've found their pizza to be a little bit "heavier". In Midtown.
Fatt Matt's - My personal favorite, by far. Limited menu, but what they have is good. Their BBQ sauce is great (I prefer sweet over spicy). Located in Ansley/Morningside, right by Grindhouse Killer Burgers.
Maddy's - Second favorite. I seem to recall them having better side items (like mac n cheese). They used to have a live Blues band play on certain days of the week. Not sure if they do that. This place is in Decatur, which is kind of off the main drag.
Fox Bros - I personally don't like it, but I'm not a BBQ afficionado
Other good restaurants: Canoe, Woodfire Grill, Chops, Nava. Mary Mac's for brunch if possible. Corner Cafe, Highland Bakery, and Murphy's are also good spots for brunch.
A lot of really good restaurants have recently shut down, like in the past couple of months.
In terms of nightlife, there's two big areas: Buckhead and Midtown. Buckhead is primarily bars while Midtown is mostly clubs/lounges. A good majority of the Buckhead bars are the bars where the good 'ole frat boy alums from southern schools go. There's another strip of bars in the Virginia Highlands (The Highlands, for short). This is more casual and laid back. There's also Little Five Points and East Atlanta Village. Both are smaller areas, and the bar scene is definitely more hipster/alternative.
If World of Coke is something that might interest you, it might be worth going. I've been to both the old version and the new one, and I don't think there's anything impressive. The Georgia Aquarium is right next door. It's claimed to be the largest in the world, but again, I'd only go if you have an interest. Don't forget there is the CNN headquarters, and they do give tours. These are all downtown, and there really isn't much else to see downtown.
Since this is SF, I'd assume you'd already looked into Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza? Yes, they're regular malls. But it's nice to have a bunch of high-end brands (Prada, Gucci, Armani, etc) in one spot.
And Clermont Lounge...I have been there, perhaps more times than I'd like to admit. It's certainly an experience, and that's all I can say about that.
Let me know if there's anything else you might be interested in.
FYI, I heard about this burger http://www.holeman-finch.com/burger.html and I am gonna try to get my hands on it, despite its scarcity.
Oh yes, forgot about Holeman and Finch. The place is small, tucked away, and kind of hard to find. I used to live around the corner from it, and had to drive around twice to find it. Great, gourmet burgers. Everything was completely made from scratch, even the buns, ketchup, and mustard. The rest of the menu is also very good. They have bacon and chocolate covered popcorn. It's a really good scene, reminds me of a European gastro-pub.
Here's what I was told about the burgers: On weekdays, they make twenty-four burgers at 9:00pm. The wait staff takes your order, and that's it. Once they're out, they're out. I showed up on a Thursday at 8:50pm, and was #23.
Weird how Fat Matt's is so polarizing. Think I'll try hitting some BBQ up in TN. Martin's just south of Nashville looked good.
Looks like Fat Matt's will be on the list.
When Bourdain did "The Layover" in LA, he stopped at In-N-Out as soon as he got out of the airport; but the reviews on The Varsity have lead me to believe that it's more about nostalgia than actually getting good eats. Am I far off?
What if I asked where I could get the best burger in town? Yeah burger?
You will not get a good burger at Varsity... Bourdain also did a Layover show in Atlanta, you might want to check if its available on Netflix or Youtube..