In recent years, Atlanta’s influence on American politics and culture has boomed nearly as rapidly as the Georgia capital’s economy. The city’s growth is especially evident in West Midtown, a once-gritty neighborhood of stockyards and slaughterhouses northwest of downtown that’s now buzzing with art galleries, high-end retail, and trendsetting restaurants. Here are six spots that will have visitors feeling peachy.
Aspiring art collectors will find FreeMarket to be a great jumping-off point. The gallery, which relocated to West Midtown last summer, assembles new exhibits every six to eight weeks and strives to make fine art more accessible. “The neighborhood fuels one’s creativity, while also providing a bit of levity, a perfect combination for the curious art lover,” says founder Parsa Behnamiri.
Opened in 2019, this restaurant serves everything from biscuit sandwiches to grilled steaks, although it’s the magic chef Zeb Stevenson works with vegetables (think pink-eyed peas in sweet corn broth with Sungold tomatoes) that really draws the crowds. “These people are coming here and then creating the excitement and becoming part of it,” Stevenson says. “It’s really cool.”
One of the hottest tickets in town, this omakase sushi bar benefits from an intimate dining room (designed by Elizabeth Ingram Studio) and the knife skills of executive chef J. Trent Harris, who has worked at Michelin-starred Japanese eateries such as New York’s Shuko. The specialty here is Edomae-style sushi, which requires a highly refined curing and marinating process for the fish.
This new hotel pays tribute to the area’s stockyard past with its industrial-glam design. It has quickly become a favorite for both visitors and locals, who take in the skyline views from the terrace at the hotel’s restaurant, Drawbar. “West Midtown is a trendy district anchored by its industrial history but powered by the young professionals and creatives that frequent it,” says general manager Brendan Abraham.
Rock It Vintage
You can tell from the showstopping marquee that this place is a good time. Owner Mara Barker selects vintage goods that appeal to both Atlantans and the celebs and film crews working in the Hollywood of the South. “Every time someone comes in,” Barker says, “and they have that look on their face that they’re looking for something different? I love making them feel comfortable.”
Is this heaven? No, but it’s close: a mozzarella bar. “Guests should feel like they just entered a party,” says chef-owner Pat Pascarella. Start your festivities with the martini-like Ace of Clubs cocktail (made with pasta water) and a cheese plate—the house-made formaggio has more salinity than most mozz produced in the U.S.—and then dig into the pastas and the wines.