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The Righteous Room
The Righteous Room on Ponce De Leon Avenue
The Righteous Room

Atlanta’s 18 Essential Bars

From dives to neighborhood pubs, these are the essential bars to know around Atlanta

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The Righteous Room on Ponce De Leon Avenue
| The Righteous Room

Unlike the cocktail heatmap and the corresponding essential cocktail map, which are both all about the latest and greatest drinks spots, this map breaks down the comfortable dives, neighborhood pubs, quiet hangouts, and the bar stalwarts which have become essential watering holes around Atlanta. Each bar mentioned here brings something unique to this city’s drinking culture. Bottoms up.

Did we miss a favorite spot? Show it some love in the comments or reach out via the tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Johnny's Hideaway

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3771 Roswell Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 233-8026
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Dubbed “Atlanta’s ONLY Nightclub For Big Kids,” Johnny’s Hideaway is a Buckhead bar institution filled with everyone from Millennials to their Boomer parents — all of whom may or may not be on the prowl. It’s always party time at Johnny’s, even after nearly 40 years on the Atlanta nightlife scene.

Johnny’s Hideaway

2. MSR My Sisters Room

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66 12th St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 705-4585
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My Sister’s Room (or MSR) moved from East Atlanta Village (where Banshee now resides) to Midtown a few years ago. MSR attracts studs, femmes, butch lesbians, and the people who love them. There’s always a party going on, with MSR regularly hosting special guest performers and DJs. Stop by on a Sunday afternoon for a classic tea dance or one of the many comedy and cabaret shows offered throughout the week.

3. Northside Tavern

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1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 874-8745
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This iconic haunt in Westside on Howell Mill Road is so much more than a bar serving cheap drinks. It’s a blues dive bar serving up shots of Wild Turkey, cans of PBR, and live music into the wee hours. It’s not unusual to witness people stumbling out of Northside Tavern as area restaurants open for breakfast in the morning. Keep an eye out here for celebrity sightings, too.

Northside Tavern on Howell Mill Road Facebook

4. Blake's On The Park

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227 10th St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 892-5786
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The flagship bar of Atlanta’s gay scene, Blake’s on the Park has been quenching Atlanta’s thirst since 1988. It’s rare to find Blake’s not packed, especially on weekend nights when the “pop-up” drag show turns the dance floor into an impromptu stage. Bring the dollar bills, and be sure to tip the performers well.

Blake’s on the Park

5. The Highlander

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931 Monroe Dr NE ste c-101
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 872-0060
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The Highlander, located in the Midtown Promenade on Monroe Drive, has been open for over 25 years and claims to be “a fixture of Atlanta’s late-night party scene.” Head here for classic bar food like their tater tots, cheap beer, generously poured shots, and no pretense. Sorry, this bar is strictly 21 and up.

The Highlander Matthew Wong

6. Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar

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794 North Highland Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 876-7249
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Atkins Park in Virginia-Highland is Atlanta’s oldest continuously licensed tavern at 96-years-old. While open from lunch until late night, Atkins Park takes on a decidedly Cheers-type atmosphere in the evenings when it fills with a mix of regulars, residents, and 20-somethings for beers, shots, and interesting conversations.

7. Brick Store Pub

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125 E Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030
(404) 687-0990
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This downtown Decatur beer pub staple just turned 21 in June and shows no signs of slowing down. Brick Store offers a lengthy, rotating list of local, Belgian, and hard-to-find beers on its menu and on its more than two dozens taps. Not to mention, the kitchen serves a killer bar burger, chicken pot pie, and fish and chips, among its many pub food dishes.

Brick Store Pub Yelp/Tina J.

8. The Bookhouse Pub

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736 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 254-1176
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The Twin Peaks-inspired bar is a regular stop for Atlanta’s hospitality industry employees, and locals looking to whet their whistles with a beer and a shot, tiki-philes and taco fanatics on Tuesdays, and cocktail-seekers craving a little cheeky innovation in their glass.

Book House/Official

9. The Local

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758 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 873-5002
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This real deal dive bar on Ponce de Leon Avenue serves up tall boy PBRs, pitchers of beer, wings, and fries on its menu. Come here for bare bones booths, a bar filled with regulars, darts, karaoke on Mondays, and weekly trivia. Sorry, The Local is strictly 21 and up. No exceptions.

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10. Clermont Lounge

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789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 874-4783
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The infamous Clermont Lounge is still located in the basement of the Hotel Clermont, directly underneath French restaurant, Tiny Lou’s. This iconic strip bar on Ponce is a frequent stop for both tourists and locals. And, it has been for over 50 years. The dubious vice den is where to head for PBR and a peep show filled with aging strippers; including everyone’s favorite, Blondie. Watch the Atlanta living legend crush a few beer cans between her breasts. Two rules to abide by at the Clermont: no touching the entertainers and absolutely no photos allowed.

11. The Righteous Room

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1051 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 874-0939
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Just down the street from the Clermont Lounge, the Righteous Room is a popular post-shift bar for many of Atlanta’s bartenders, so it must be doing something right. Come here for beers, shots, Mega Chips nachos, and a Fatty Grilled Cheese served on Texas toast.

The outdoor seating at the Righteous Room in Poncey-Highland Atlanta with two hanging flower baskets and neon sign lit up yelp/dave n.

12. Manuel's Tavern

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602 North Highland Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 525-3447
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Patrons won’t find trendy decor or fancy cocktails with clever names here. Instead, expect a cross-section of neighborhood folk, political junkies, and local bigwigs swigging beer and talking about everything from sports to politics. The historic Poncey-Highland bar underwent an extensive renovation, but it still has the same charm and pretty solid food, too.

13. The Porter Beer Bar

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1156 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 223-0393
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With more than 400 beers on the menu, the Little Five Points bar is a favorite for Atlanta’s beer enthusiasts. But, don’t sleep on the whiskey selection — it’s impressive, too. Chef Nick Rutherford’s daily specials are perfect for soaking up a pint or five.

14. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

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1136 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 688-2582
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After 30 years, EAYC is still a favorite among locals and residents of Candler Park, Inman Park, and Little Five Points gathering for drinks and chow after work, as well as the curious checking out the Little Five Points scene. Order a cheap canned beer or the dive bar classic Jack and Coke while slurping the bar’s Brunswick stew and munching on tater tots. The people-watching here can’t be beat.

Euclid Avenue Yacht Club google maps

15. The Albert

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918 Austin Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 872-4990
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This neighborhood bar in Inman Park serves up traditional pub fare with a southern twist, including wings, fried pickles, several burgers, and a fried pork chop sandwich. There’s plenty of beer and whiskey to wash it all down while watching soccer on the telly.

16. Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium

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466 Edgewood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
(404) 522-8276
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Operated by local artist Grant Henry — aka Sister Louisa — this bar at the corner of Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue may be one of the weirdest bars in town. There’s plenty of kitsch and religious memorabilia (that may or may not be blasphemous, depending on one’s point of view). If downing beers and shots isn’t enough to entertain, Church hosts ping pong tournaments and karaoke on Wednesday nights accompanied by an organ upstairs. Swing by on Sunday nights for DJ Vicki Powell’s “Sunday Services” to find queer folks of all stripes dancing under the setting sun in what can only be described as a modern-day tea dance.

Sister Louisa’s Church Athens

17. Joystick Gamebar

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427 Edgewood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
(404) 525-3002
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Joystick Gamebar on Edgewood Avenue is a triple threat: a dive-y bar serving solid cocktails, a restaurant incubator hosting up-and-coming chefs in its kitchen, and an old school arcade ripped straight from the 1980s. The bar often hosts cosplay parties and gaming tournaments, too. Come here on a weekday evening for low-key beers and a few rounds of Dolly Parton pinpall, Mortal Kombat, or Space Invaders with friends.

Joystick Gamebar

18. Mary's

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1287 Glenwood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 624-4411
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Mary’s oozes East Atlanta Village dive bar realness with its 1980s-style, pink glitter bar, intimate dance floor, and tattooed bartenders. And, people love it that way. Mary’s clientele has become decidedly more mixed-orientation in the past few years. However, one look at the posters lining the walls advertising past and future events (Queer Bait, Heat Stroke, Halloweenie, Bitch, Please!) will remind people this bar is not straight. Stop by on Tuesday nights and (most) Saturday evenings for karaoke. During the week, visitors can enjoy drag and cabaret performances, as well as great DJs.

Mary’s karaoke

1. Johnny's Hideaway

3771 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30342
Johnny’s Hideaway

Dubbed “Atlanta’s ONLY Nightclub For Big Kids,” Johnny’s Hideaway is a Buckhead bar institution filled with everyone from Millennials to their Boomer parents — all of whom may or may not be on the prowl. It’s always party time at Johnny’s, even after nearly 40 years on the Atlanta nightlife scene.

3771 Roswell Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30342

2. MSR My Sisters Room

66 12th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

My Sister’s Room (or MSR) moved from East Atlanta Village (where Banshee now resides) to Midtown a few years ago. MSR attracts studs, femmes, butch lesbians, and the people who love them. There’s always a party going on, with MSR regularly hosting special guest performers and DJs. Stop by on a Sunday afternoon for a classic tea dance or one of the many comedy and cabaret shows offered throughout the week.

66 12th St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

3. Northside Tavern

1058 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Northside Tavern on Howell Mill Road Facebook

This iconic haunt in Westside on Howell Mill Road is so much more than a bar serving cheap drinks. It’s a blues dive bar serving up shots of Wild Turkey, cans of PBR, and live music into the wee hours. It’s not unusual to witness people stumbling out of Northside Tavern as area restaurants open for breakfast in the morning. Keep an eye out here for celebrity sightings, too.

1058 Howell Mill Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

4. Blake's On The Park

227 10th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Blake’s on the Park

The flagship bar of Atlanta’s gay scene, Blake’s on the Park has been quenching Atlanta’s thirst since 1988. It’s rare to find Blake’s not packed, especially on weekend nights when the “pop-up” drag show turns the dance floor into an impromptu stage. Bring the dollar bills, and be sure to tip the performers well.

227 10th St NE
Atlanta, GA 30309

5. The Highlander

931 Monroe Dr NE ste c-101, Atlanta, GA 30308
The Highlander Matthew Wong

The Highlander, located in the Midtown Promenade on Monroe Drive, has been open for over 25 years and claims to be “a fixture of Atlanta’s late-night party scene.” Head here for classic bar food like their tater tots, cheap beer, generously poured shots, and no pretense. Sorry, this bar is strictly 21 and up.

931 Monroe Dr NE ste c-101
Atlanta, GA 30308

6. Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar

794 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306

Atkins Park in Virginia-Highland is Atlanta’s oldest continuously licensed tavern at 96-years-old. While open from lunch until late night, Atkins Park takes on a decidedly Cheers-type atmosphere in the evenings when it fills with a mix of regulars, residents, and 20-somethings for beers, shots, and interesting conversations.

794 North Highland Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30306

7. Brick Store Pub

125 E Court Square, Decatur, GA 30030
Brick Store Pub Yelp/Tina J.

This downtown Decatur beer pub staple just turned 21 in June and shows no signs of slowing down. Brick Store offers a lengthy, rotating list of local, Belgian, and hard-to-find beers on its menu and on its more than two dozens taps. Not to mention, the kitchen serves a killer bar burger, chicken pot pie, and fish and chips, among its many pub food dishes.

125 E Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030

8. The Bookhouse Pub

736 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Book House/Official

The Twin Peaks-inspired bar is a regular stop for Atlanta’s hospitality industry employees, and locals looking to whet their whistles with a beer and a shot, tiki-philes and taco fanatics on Tuesdays, and cocktail-seekers craving a little cheeky innovation in their glass.

736 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

9. The Local

758 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Facebook

This real deal dive bar on Ponce de Leon Avenue serves up tall boy PBRs, pitchers of beer, wings, and fries on its menu. Come here for bare bones booths, a bar filled with regulars, darts, karaoke on Mondays, and weekly trivia. Sorry, The Local is strictly 21 and up. No exceptions.

758 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

10. Clermont Lounge

789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

The infamous Clermont Lounge is still located in the basement of the Hotel Clermont, directly underneath French restaurant, Tiny Lou’s. This iconic strip bar on Ponce is a frequent stop for both tourists and locals. And, it has been for over 50 years. The dubious vice den is where to head for PBR and a peep show filled with aging strippers; including everyone’s favorite, Blondie. Watch the Atlanta living legend crush a few beer cans between her breasts. Two rules to abide by at the Clermont: no touching the entertainers and absolutely no photos allowed.

789 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

11. The Righteous Room

1051 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
The outdoor seating at the Righteous Room in Poncey-Highland Atlanta with two hanging flower baskets and neon sign lit up yelp/dave n.

Just down the street from the Clermont Lounge, the Righteous Room is a popular post-shift bar for many of Atlanta’s bartenders, so it must be doing something right. Come here for beers, shots, Mega Chips nachos, and a Fatty Grilled Cheese served on Texas toast.

1051 Ponce De Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

12. Manuel's Tavern

602 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307

Patrons won’t find trendy decor or fancy cocktails with clever names here. Instead, expect a cross-section of neighborhood folk, political junkies, and local bigwigs swigging beer and talking about everything from sports to politics. The historic Poncey-Highland bar underwent an extensive renovation, but it still has the same charm and pretty solid food, too.

602 North Highland Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30307

13. The Porter Beer Bar

1156 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

With more than 400 beers on the menu, the Little Five Points bar is a favorite for Atlanta’s beer enthusiasts. But, don’t sleep on the whiskey selection — it’s impressive, too. Chef Nick Rutherford’s daily specials are perfect for soaking up a pint or five.

1156 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

14. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club

1136 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Euclid Avenue Yacht Club google maps

After 30 years, EAYC is still a favorite among locals and residents of Candler Park, Inman Park, and Little Five Points gathering for drinks and chow after work, as well as the curious checking out the Little Five Points scene. Order a cheap canned beer or the dive bar classic Jack and Coke while slurping the bar’s Brunswick stew and munching on tater tots. The people-watching here can’t be beat.

1136 Euclid Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

15. The Albert

918 Austin Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

This neighborhood bar in Inman Park serves up traditional pub fare with a southern twist, including wings, fried pickles, several burgers, and a fried pork chop sandwich. There’s plenty of beer and whiskey to wash it all down while watching soccer on the telly.

918 Austin Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

Related Maps

16. Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium

466 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Sister Louisa’s Church Athens

Operated by local artist Grant Henry — aka Sister Louisa — this bar at the corner of Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue may be one of the weirdest bars in town. There’s plenty of kitsch and religious memorabilia (that may or may not be blasphemous, depending on one’s point of view). If downing beers and shots isn’t enough to entertain, Church hosts ping pong tournaments and karaoke on Wednesday nights accompanied by an organ upstairs. Swing by on Sunday nights for DJ Vicki Powell’s “Sunday Services” to find queer folks of all stripes dancing under the setting sun in what can only be described as a modern-day tea dance.

466 Edgewood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

17. Joystick Gamebar

427 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Joystick Gamebar

Joystick Gamebar on Edgewood Avenue is a triple threat: a dive-y bar serving solid cocktails, a restaurant incubator hosting up-and-coming chefs in its kitchen, and an old school arcade ripped straight from the 1980s. The bar often hosts cosplay parties and gaming tournaments, too. Come here on a weekday evening for low-key beers and a few rounds of Dolly Parton pinpall, Mortal Kombat, or Space Invaders with friends.

427 Edgewood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30312

18. Mary's

1287 Glenwood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
Mary’s karaoke

Mary’s oozes East Atlanta Village dive bar realness with its 1980s-style, pink glitter bar, intimate dance floor, and tattooed bartenders. And, people love it that way. Mary’s clientele has become decidedly more mixed-orientation in the past few years. However, one look at the posters lining the walls advertising past and future events (Queer Bait, Heat Stroke, Halloweenie, Bitch, Please!) will remind people this bar is not straight. Stop by on Tuesday nights and (most) Saturday evenings for karaoke. During the week, visitors can enjoy drag and cabaret performances, as well as great DJs.

1287 Glenwood Ave SE
Atlanta, GA 30316

Related Maps