Super Bowl LIII week officially kicks off in Atlanta, Monday, January 28 with over one million people expected to descend upon the city for pre-game parties, events, and concerts before the big game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, February 3.
Since Delta Air Lines arrived in the 1960s, Atlanta’s population has been booming. The city boasts the largest metro area in the Southeast and the world’s busiest airport — Hartsfield-Jackson International. Jobs, affordable housing, and many months of pleasant weather have made Atlanta a desirable place to live. This population explosion sees Atlanta offering myriad examples of foodways from all over the world and a dining scene that reflects the metro region’s rich diversity.
Whether in town for just the game or a local looking to soak up the Super Bowl experience, use Eater Atlanta’s handy guide to dining and drinking before the big game at the Benz. Welcome to the ATL — the gateway city to the South. But, please, don’t call it “Hotlanta”.
WHERE TO EAT IN ATLANTA
Essential Atlanta Restaurants — This list of 38 restaurants spans a myriad of cuisines, collectively satisfying the majority of dining needs and includes longtime Atlanta staples, restaurants with loyal followings, and those that bring something unique to the city’s dining scene.
Hottest Atlanta Restaurants — A list of the best and brightest new restaurants in Atlanta. It shines the spotlight on those must-visit establishments and is a snapshot of what’s hot on the Atlanta dining scene, right now.
Where to Eat Barbecue — The word “barbecue” is synonymous with the American South. Atlanta has more than a few places (in every barbecue style imaginable) to satisfy that craving for smoked meats. Here’s a few essential restaurants to check out while in town.
Where to Eat Wings — Wing eaters in the ATL had to come to terms with the fact that it’s impossible to agree on who has the best. From smoked to fried, sweet and sour to extra-sauced, including the quintessential Atlanta wing flavor, lemon pepper, here’s a guide to the best wings currently found in Atlanta.
For Fried Chicken — There’s plenty of good fried yardbird to be had in Atlanta, from restaurants that have been in business for decades like Busy Bee Cafe near the stadium to relative newcomers on the ATL’s fried chicken scene, like LLoyd’s Restaurant & Lounge in the Inman Park neighborhood. These establishments serve up some of metro Atlanta’s finest fried chicken.
Best Bets for a Steak Dinner — Atlanta offers everything from throwback steakhouses serving oversized platters of rib-eye and center cut steak to dimly-lit bars and underground lairs where the classic steak and martini combo is always on the menu.
Late Night and 24-Hour Dining — Restaurant kitchens generally close after 10 p.m. in Atlanta but, a few restaurants stay open late for those seeking food into the wee hours. And, beyond Waffle House, several restaurants around Atlanta are open 24/7 for everything from hot bowls of pho to fried jumbo shrimp.
WHERE TO DRINK IN ATLANTA
Essential Atlanta Bars — This map breaks down the comfortable dives, neighborhood pubs, quiet hangouts, and Atlanta’s bar stalwarts, which have become essential watering holes around the ATL.
Where to Drink Whiskey — Whiskey, bourbon, and scotch are in abundance in bars throughout metro Atlanta. Some bars carry extensive whiskey collections ranging from American and Canadian bottles to Scotch, Irish, and Japanese selections.
Essential Atlanta Breweries — The following list of Atlanta breweries offer tours of their facilities, pints of beer in parlors and tasting rooms, and football and soccer on the TV.
Where to Drink Coffee — Atlanta has more than its fair share of good coffee shops. Here are the essential cafés and shops to grab an espresso, a cappuccino, or a soul-soothing cup of black coffee.
NEIGHBORHOODS TO KNOW NEAR MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM
Downtown Atlanta — Downtown Atlanta is home to the city’s biggest tourist attractions like the CNN Center, Center for Civil and Human Rights, College Football Hall of Fame, and Georgia Aquarium. This maps lists restaurants offering everything from refined Southern classics to quick bites like deli sandwiches and tacos.
Castleberry Hill and Vine City — The historic neighborhood of Castleberry Hill and nearby Vine City are both in the shadow of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, just west of downtown. The restaurants in these neighborhoods offer everything from tacos and barbecue to sushi and fried chicken. A handful of bars in Castleberry Hill are open for late night drinks and food.
Where to Eat Inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium — Food at the Benz includes a lot of local restaurateurs like Top Chef alum Kevin Gillespie (Gunshow, Revival) serving cheesesteaks and pork sandwiches or the Fox brothers (Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q) and Delia Champion (Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand) bringing fans barbecue and chicken sausages. There’s even a full-service restaurant, Molly B’s, overlooking the field. This maps lists the full rundown of the food and beverage selections at the stadium.
EXPLORING FOOD AROUND ATLANTA
Eating Around Atlanta in One Day — While just skimming the surface of what Atlanta’s dining scene has to offer, consider this 24-hour food tour as merely an introduction. Get to know Atlanta in the best way possible — through its food.
A Dumpling Crawl Down Buford Highway — This Eater-guided crawl down Buford Highway just north of the city of Atlanta includes pan-fried dumplings, soup dumplings, and some seriously long noodles.
Unofficial, Highly Opinionated Guide to Eating in Atlanta — For those looking to really dig deep and explore Atlanta’s vast dining landscape, this guide is as comprehensive as it gets. The Eater’s Guide to Atlanta showcases the best dining neighborhoods, includes a lengthy list of cuisine maps, and a glossary of Atlanta-centric terms, chefs, and food to know.
Curbed Atlanta’s Bars Near MARTA Stations — A curated, eclectic list of some top-notch places for grabbing a drink within walking distance of MARTA train stations. Be sure to check the schedule. Many trains stop running at 1 a.m.
Curbed Atlanta’s visitors guide features a few must-see area attractions, including a hike at nearby Arabia Mountain and a tour of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s childhood home on Auburn Avenue.
Check out the full list of Eater Atlanta dining maps, spanning everything from Korean barbecue to doughnuts. Have a question or need a recommendation while in town? Hit Eater Atlanta up on the tipline.