America's Best Drinking Town: Atlanta

America is undergoing a drinking revolution. Across the board, people are seeking out great drinks, from delicious cocktails to pleasing glasses of wine and creative craft beer. And helping to lead the way in this drinking renaissance are some of America’s greatest cities.

Everyone thinks their town is the best drinking town in America, but we wanted to know, who is really leading the way? If you’re a lover of all things booze, and even coffee, where should you be headed in 2015 for the best drinking experience?

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be conducting our search. We’re looking for a city that encompasses everything that is awesome about drinking in America right now, and that means it has all of the great things that go along with it, from food to music to social scenes.

Let’s dive right in. First up, Atlanta, home of Outkast, Lil’ Jon, and The Dirty Bird.

Atlanta has often been referred to as a northern city located in a southern state. While the city’s history is rooted to the south, its current population is much more eclectic, with residents coming from all over the U.S. and world. There are so many people living in Atlanta who aren’t actually born in Atlanta that many joke attendance at sporting events often has larger attendance for the visiting team than the home.

And while that may mean you won’t hear a lot of cheers for the city’s own teams, the benefit this diverse population brings to the city is a wide variety of ideas when it comes to creating great places to eat and drink. Here are some of the reasons Atlanta is the best drinking city in America.

The Craft Beer Scene Is Booming.

Monday Night
Courtesy Monday Night Brewing

It wasn’t long ago that Atlanta, or the south for that matter, didn’t have much of a craft beer scene. But then two guys from Boulder moved to Atlanta and everything changed. Sweetwater made people in Atlanta care a lot about craft beer – their tours and tastings at the brewery didn’t hurt either – and now the beer scene is thriving.

In addition to Sweetwater, Monday Night Brewing and Orpheus are making high quality product, and with a city as large as Atlanta, there’s plenty of room for new additions.

One Of The Best Bars In The Country Is Here.

Brickstore
Courtesy The Brickstore

We’ve written about Brick Store Pub before, and with good reason, it’s one of the best bars in America. This place not only made Decatur cool, it introduced Atlanta to great Belgian beer. Whether you choose to hang out downstairs in the more lively main room, or head upstairs to the quieter and more private Belgian bar, you’ll always find a staff eager to clue you in on their favorite beers, without pretension.

Since opening Brick Store, the team behind the bar has also brought one of our favorite outdoor drinking games, bocce, to the neighborhood with their bar Leon’s Full Service, and also high-end cocktails with Kimball House. They know how to build places perfect for having a good time.

People Are Even Distilling Liquor.


A distillery hasn’t been in operation in Atlanta since 1906. That is until a couple of friends got together and opened Old 4th Distillery, the first distillery to open in the city since Prohibition. The distillery currently specializes in the distillation of gin and vodka, and its opening has helped reinvigorate craft spirits in the city. Recently another craft distillery, Independent Distilling, has also opened, bringing the city their take on corn whiskey – more popularly known as moonshine or white lightning – and rum.

If You’re Looking For Southern Style Tacos And Perfect Margaritas, Atlanta Has Them.

Taqueria
Courtesy Taqueria Del Sol

Margaritas are delicious and you’d be hard pressed to find one a good as those made a Taqueria Del Sol, the southern-style taqueria with a line that can often stretch into the parking lot with people waiting for tables. The restaurant marries the delicious idea of tacos with southern inspired fillings, such as fried chicken, smoked pork and shredded brisket, the perfect complement for their “Westside” or “House” margarita.

Because No One Is From Here, You Can Eat Everything.

general muir
Courtesy The General Muir

Good food and drink go hand in hand and as we mentioned earlier, the sheer fact that most people in Atlanta come from some place else makes the city a fantastic place to dine.

In the mood for the cuisines of Asia or South America? Head to Buford Highway and dine on delicacies from around the globe. The entire street is a cornucopia of options, with a different adventure available every time you dine.

If you’re instead from the northeast and missing that classic deli cuisine, head to The General Muir for one of the best pastrami sandwiches anywhere, including New York.

Finally the city has no shortage of great dining establishments with fantastic wine lists, great beers and delicious cocktails. You can hang out with a Top Chef contestant Kevin Gillespie at his new restaurant Gun Show – if you can get a table – eat inspired southern cuisine from Hugh Acheson at his place Empire State South, have one of the best burgers of your life at Holeman and Finch –if they don’t run out before you order – and hang out under the stars listening to music at JCT Kitchen & Bar, just to name a few.

All in all, Atlanta is a pretty great city for good drink. It’s going to be hard to top.

Live/from Atlanta? What’d we miss? Tell us what else makes Atlanta the best drinking town in America.

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