by Jonathan Baker - 319 Reviews - 185 List
Atlanta's Virginia Highland neighborhood (or ?Highlands? as the young partiers incorrectly call it) is Atlanta's best bar-crawling destination. With a half mile full of music venues, restaurants and charismatic watering holes, it's no wonder this strip is the city's most crowded `hood on the weekend. In order to help you navigate, we give the true scoop on Virginia Highland bars, and when you should go.
Updated: August 30, 2010
This slender canteen is dark, cozy and easily overlooked with the loud likes of Moe's and Joe's and Fontaine's close by. It's one of the few bars in the neighborhood that the OTP weekend partiers haven't overrun yet. Best night to drink is Wednesday, when they have live music and mojito specials.
More of a happy-hour destination than a serious restaurant, post-college fraternity types and gussied-up 20-somethings love the hell out of this so-called oyster bar. Things get packed in heavy on the weekends, but the best night to drink there is Monday: not only for the lack of crowds but for $3 Stella on draft.
With a sign that mimics a PBR logo, a burger that costs under $3 and the scruffiest crowd in the neighborhood, there's no wonder that Emory students have made this their unofficial watering hole. The best nights to go are the legendary PBR Tuesdays, when pitchers cost $4.
The Highland Tap is a glorious underground cellar that is known for their prime-rib steaks and a stone-walled setting that is 100 percent business-masculine. Later in the night, the bar side of the Tap gets more and more packed--particularly with cougars sipping martinis on the businessman-hunt.
This whimsical tapas spot on the corner of Virginia and North Avenue has an equally active bar and restaurant scene. Thankfully, for those looking to grab a bite, the two are separated with a bar in the front and dining in the back. Go on Sunday nights for $1 Dos Equis or on Monday night for $10 all-you-can-eat tapas.
Don't be fooled, Murphy's isn't just a legendary high-brow restaurant. They have an outstanding, elegant bar, plus an entire room devoted to wine. (Hey, not every VaHi bar-goer is interested in doing shots of Jager or pounding draft beer.) Best night to go is Tuesday, when they do a $20 wine tasting (eight pours) at 6:30pm.
What has turned into a multilocation sports bar and beer-selection behemoth, the original Taco Mac (in Virginia Highland) is a small, cozy affair. They rock the same massive suds selection and hot wings that single-handedly turned this from a taco shack into a house-hold name, but this location still feels like a neighborhood pub. And we like that.
This gritty burger bar boasts a cool filling-station aesthetic and a debauchery-inspired menu and events calendar. Known for their crazy promotions like $3 cocktails and $2.50 draft beers, Diesel pours fuel on the fire with theme nights during the week. Go on Tuesday for video games (drunken Wii--hell, yes) or Thursday for sex, drugs and rock `n? roll trivia, and do your best to stay out of trouble.
Here's a spot where you won't find many of the usual popped collars: a dark, dank blues bar. Blind Willie's has been named ?Blues Club of the Year,? and still does live music six nights a week. The weekend is typically the best time to go, because that's when the house band, The Shadows, usually perform or back up an out-of-town act.
Adding a little bit of Irish flavor to the neighborhood, Limerick Junction is a warm pub that isn't afraid to welcome in the high-volume weekenders, but still keeps it real on the weeknights. Best night to go is Wednesday, when you can not only avoid the crowd, but take in live Irish music, as well.
Located underneath the always-avoidable Darkhorse Tavern, the 10 High gives everyone a reason to party-hardy. This dungeon-like music venue is home to some of the best themed nights and live-band karaoke. Best nights to go are Metalsome Mondays or Thursdays for the smooth-sailin? good times of Yacht Rock.
The Warren is a private club located above the Darkhorse Tavern, a perfect hideaway for when things get a little too hectic in the neighborhood. And just because you aren't a member doesn't mean you can't get in. The high-brow bar has an open house the first Wednesday every month and also opens their doors for brunch on Sundays. Four-dollar mimosas, anyone?
The oldest restaurant and bar in the neighborhood (1922), Atkins Park has some of the best comfort food in the city. But as the clock ticks into the evening and the restaurant closes their adjoining French doors, things at the side bar heat up. There's no live music and no drink specials; it's just a solid bar that attracts a solid crowd.
This European pub is located a block down from Ponce, and brings in big crowds with a glorious bricked-walled patio. This see-and-be-seen spot is packed during good-weather months and isn't afraid to get creative with occasional live bluegrass. Best night to go is Sunday, when they boast $1 beers, $1 fish tacos and $4 pitchers.
Sitting next door to Hand in Hand, Neighbors adds to the patio tractor beam with massive, tree-lined outdoor seating of their own. With a small bar, darts and jukebox inside, most of the seating is of the outdoor variety. Best time to go is in the late afternoon, when the crowds haven't arrived and you can enjoy the sunshine without commotion.