Atlanta plays host to some big conventions, sporting events, concerts, and major business gatherings throughout the year. However, Labor Day weekend sees Downtown and Midtown Atlanta burst at the seams with visitors in town for Dragon Con and its Saturday parade, the college football kickoff game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Black Gay Pride, and the Taste of Soul festival.
Use this handy guide to dining and drinking in and around Downtown Atlanta during Labor Day weekend. It’s filled with intel on nearby neighborhoods to explore, maps on where to grab breakfast and coffee, crafted food crawls, and essential restaurants to know.
Welcome to Atlanta (ATL) — the gateway city to the South. But, please, don’t call it “Hotlanta”.
Dining Around Downtown Atlanta and 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.
Touristy Restaurants Around Atlanta Even Locals Enjoy — These restaurants successfully blur the line between total tourist traps and places even locals aren’t afraid to be seen in on occasion.
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.
Essential Atlanta Dining Recommendations
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 New 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.
Atlanta’s Essential Gay Bars and Restaurants — Atlanta is the capital of the queer South, and the city’s got the gay bars to prove it. Whether looking for a night of dancing, enough televisions to watch every game imaginable with a beer, or simply to satisfy the kinky side, there’s a bar for that in ATL.
Where to Find Atlanta’s Best Wings — From spicy Korean fried to lemon pepper wet, Atlanta has cornered the market on wings.
20 Affordable Restaurants Around Atlanta — Where to find dining deals on burgers, tacos, noodle soups, and sandwiches.
Where to Eat at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport — A concourse-by-concourse dining guide to the world’s busiest airport.
Explore Atlanta via an Eater Food Crawl
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.
21 Restaurants to Try Along Atlanta’s Buford Highway — Buford Highway isn’t a single neighborhood or its own municipality. It’s a four-lane highway stretching from just north of the city of Atlanta to the northern suburban county of Gwinnett filled with restaurants and markets representing nearly two dozen countries from around the globe.
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.
How to Spend a Day Food Crawling Down Cheshire Bridge Road — Starting with $2 tacos at the back of a Mexican market and ending with belly dancing and baklava at a traditional Greek tavern, here’s how one could spend a day crawling the restaurants along the classic Atlanta strip of Cheshire Bridge Road.
Here’s How to Spend a Night Crawling Along Ponce — This heavily trafficked thoroughfare has seen its fair share of development over the past decade, including the $180 million makeover of the former Sears, Roebuck Co. warehouse now home to Ponce City Market, the rebirth of the beleaguered Hotel Clermont into a hipster’s paradise, the Beltline, and a new crop of restaurants and bars. There’s almost too much to do along this street in one night.
Take This Six-Stop Dessert Crawl Through Atlanta — Spend an evening or two indulging in these carefully crafted sweet treats on a six-stop dessert crawl from Buckhead to Candler Park.
Check out the full list of Eater Atlanta dining maps, spanning everything from Korean barbecue to doughnuts.
Have a question or need a dining recommendation while in town? Hit Eater Atlanta up on the tipline.