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Kimball House

14 Essential Atlanta Bars for Cocktails

These bars continue to churn out some of Atlanta’s best cocktails

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Clover Club.
| Kimball House

Unlike the cocktail heatmap, which lists the newest hip drinking establishments around town, this map lists the essential Atlanta bars continuing to dominate the city’s thriving cocktail scene. Each establishment mentioned — be it a bar at a restaurant or a standalone spot — brings something unique to Atlanta’s drinking culture, with some places listed below considered the cornerstones of ATL’s now booming cocktail scene.

Don’t see a favorite cocktail bar listed? Reach out to Eater Atlanta via the tipline.

Read more: 18 Atlanta Bars and Restaurants Serving Marvelous Martinis

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Bar Margot

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Immerse yourself in a Wes Anderson film at Bar Margot in Midtown. Named for the iconic Margot character in Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums”, the cocktail bar shares the same cool, retro aesthetic. Try the Lady Victoria made with vodka, lemon, cocchi americano, and rosemary while soaking in the moody vibe here. Keep an eye out for celebrities, too. They often call the Four Seasons Hotel home while in town shooting a movie or TV series.

Talat Market

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Leaning into classic concoctions, and enhanced by the use of Thai and southeast Asian flavors and ingredients, look for cocktails like a pineapple daiquiri, Painkiller, mezcal margaritas tinged with pineapple, and a martini served with gin, vodka, or pisco. Blanc vermouth, dry madeira, pandan, artichoke, and orange bitters are then added to the drink, making this a brilliant twist on the classic martini.

The Waiting Room

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This Midtown cocktail lair is likely Atlanta’s grooviest drinking destination. It simply oozes sexy 1970s lounge vibes. Backed by Darren Carr and Eric Simpkins, the Waiting Room takes over the former Top Flr space above their restaurant Bon Ton, sporting banquettes covered in red and pink shag, cozy little nooks for canoodling, and DayGlo mood lighting. There’s even a piano wrapped like a disco ball gracing the stage where DJs and live music kick off at 10 p.m. Look for funky riffs on classic cocktails using ingredients like blue curacao, basil-infused eau de vie, and creme de menthe heavily featured on the menu paired with snacks such as boiled peanuts, barbecue adobe cocktail meatballs, and daily oysters on the half shell. Groups can also order large format cocktails offered in decanters holding multiple servings, including the Rock and Roll mixed with Japanese whisky, bourbon, and Dos Equis Especial and a martini riff in the Train Round the Bend mixed with gin, manzanilla sherry, and blue curacao.

Mambo Zombi

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Led by longtime Atlanta bartender Kysha Cyrus, Mambo Zombi resides above Long Snake Wine Bar in the former Georgia Beer Garden space, hardly visible from its perch on Edgewood Avenue. People enter via an outside stairway along the side of the building leading to the second floor and step into a space where a hodgepodge design is inspired by global celebrations of life, the honoring of ancestors, and the afterlife threaded throughout festival holidays like Día de los Muertos, All Souls Day, and Qingming. Expect Caribbean-style drinks and classic cocktails here, including the Singapore Sling, Mai Tai, Harvey Wallbanger, and Ti’ Punch, along with original tipples such as the Elote made with Haitian rhum, house-made corn milk, and condensed milk from Cyrus.

Ranger Station

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Located above Ladybird on the Eastside Beltline, expect cocktails inspired by a variety of recognizable American landmarks and natural wonders, like an herbaceous take on the gimlet called the El Capitan, dedicated to the vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, made with sage and cardamon-infused gin. There’s the Kalalau, a nod to the Kalalau trail along Nā Pali Coast on Kauai. This savory spin on the piña colada sees an herby blend of five spices infusing cachaca, which is then mixed with falernum and spearmint and aloe liqueur. The Thunderbolt on the menu is based on a Charles H. Baker cocktail and is akin to a peach julep, complete with pebbled ice. Sporting a record collection of over 300 vinyls, ranging from Aretha Franklin and Elvis to Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones, you’ll likely need a reservation to get in here.

Ticonderoga Club

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Ticonderoga Club at Krog Street Market is co-owned by three forefolk of Atlanta’s cocktail movement: Greg Best, Paul Calvert, and Regan Smith. Cocktails rotate regularly here, but T-Club’s mint julep riff, the Ticonderoga Cup, and an Irish Coffee are typically always on the menu, alongside drinks like the Cheshire Bridge with armagnac and herbal liqueur or the Borrowed Time mixed with small batch bourbon, dark rum, and sorghum syrup.

Little Spirit

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Little Spirit is an intimate space for drinks in Inman Quarter. It’s also adorned with pieces by local artist Erica Arndts depicting musicians like Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G., and David Bowie as Renaissance-era patron saints who watch over the cocktail bar. The drinks menu rotates frequently here to focus on seasonal and classic cocktails, which are always solid.

Whoopsie's

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While a newer addition to the cocktail scene in Atlanta, this unpretentious bar and lounge on Moreland is backed by two restaurant industry veterans. Low lit and at just 40 seats, barman Tim Faulkner and his team can make you any cocktail you want, even those that are a bit more obscure or harder to find at other bars around town. Pair an amaretto sour, Tuxedo, Corn n’ Oil, or any number of classic cocktails from Faulkner with delectable roast beef sandwiches topped with horsey sauce, a prime rib platter, or Southern snack tray filled with deviled eggs, pickled vegetables, and pimento cheese from chef and owner Hudson Rouse.

Banshee

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Peter Chvala, chef Nolan Wynn, and Faielle Stocco worked together for years in Ford Fry restaurants in Atlanta, while Katie McDonald was a manager at Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Little Five Points. The longtime friends all live in and around East Atlanta Village (EAV) and appreciate the neighborhood’s quirky vibe and penchant for late nights. Their restaurant, Banshee, has become a dining destination for EAV residents and visitors to the neighborhood seeking dishes with nods to the seasons and cleverly crafted cocktails (and maybe a late-night hot dog). Try perennial favorites such as the Stately Hag made with tequila, strega, Cocchi Americano, lemon, and thyme and the Staccato with tawny port, bourbon, Meletti amaro, and Fernet.

Octopus Bar

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This East Atlanta bar, owned by Nhan Le (Fishmonger, So Ba), is a popular late-night hangout for restaurant industry workers in search of a great post-shift meal and equally great cocktails in a punk rock atmosphere.

Dead End Drinks

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Labeled a neighborhood establishment, Dead End Drinks (formerly named Ration and Dram) is run by Holeman & Finch alum Andy Minchow and has been drawing the cocktail faithful since it opened in 2014. This bar takes the word “craft” seriously, serving up cocktails containing genever (Dutch malted gin,) agricole rhum, brandy, and pisco, along with classics like the old fashioned and martini.

The S.O.S. Tiki Bar

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A tropical oasis in the heart of Decatur, S.O.S. is a modern take on classic bars like Trader Vic’s. Tiki staples such as the mai tai, zombie, and painkiller are all on the menu here, as are a few S.O.S. originals and a vast selection of rums for sipping.

LEON's Full Service

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One of the first craft cocktail bars in Decatur (and sibling to Brick Store Pub,) Leon’s has seen a few of Atlanta’s finest behind its bar at one time or another. Does Miles Macquarrie (Kimball House) ring a bell? The bar program continues to focus on classic cocktails as well as its extensive local beer list thanks to its Brick Store ties in Decatur.

Kimball House

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No Atlanta “best-of” bar list would be complete without Kimball House. Located in a renovated train depot in Decatur, the bar has been nationally recognized for its elegant twists on classic drinks, champagne and absinthe services, and seasonal cocktails full of ingredients straight from the restaurant’s garden. The namesake martini is one of the best around, combining gin and equal parts Cocchi Americano, and French vermouth. Oh, and the oyster selection at Kimball House is top notch, too.

Bar Margot

Immerse yourself in a Wes Anderson film at Bar Margot in Midtown. Named for the iconic Margot character in Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums”, the cocktail bar shares the same cool, retro aesthetic. Try the Lady Victoria made with vodka, lemon, cocchi americano, and rosemary while soaking in the moody vibe here. Keep an eye out for celebrities, too. They often call the Four Seasons Hotel home while in town shooting a movie or TV series.

Talat Market

Leaning into classic concoctions, and enhanced by the use of Thai and southeast Asian flavors and ingredients, look for cocktails like a pineapple daiquiri, Painkiller, mezcal margaritas tinged with pineapple, and a martini served with gin, vodka, or pisco. Blanc vermouth, dry madeira, pandan, artichoke, and orange bitters are then added to the drink, making this a brilliant twist on the classic martini.

The Waiting Room

This Midtown cocktail lair is likely Atlanta’s grooviest drinking destination. It simply oozes sexy 1970s lounge vibes. Backed by Darren Carr and Eric Simpkins, the Waiting Room takes over the former Top Flr space above their restaurant Bon Ton, sporting banquettes covered in red and pink shag, cozy little nooks for canoodling, and DayGlo mood lighting. There’s even a piano wrapped like a disco ball gracing the stage where DJs and live music kick off at 10 p.m. Look for funky riffs on classic cocktails using ingredients like blue curacao, basil-infused eau de vie, and creme de menthe heavily featured on the menu paired with snacks such as boiled peanuts, barbecue adobe cocktail meatballs, and daily oysters on the half shell. Groups can also order large format cocktails offered in decanters holding multiple servings, including the Rock and Roll mixed with Japanese whisky, bourbon, and Dos Equis Especial and a martini riff in the Train Round the Bend mixed with gin, manzanilla sherry, and blue curacao.

Mambo Zombi

Led by longtime Atlanta bartender Kysha Cyrus, Mambo Zombi resides above Long Snake Wine Bar in the former Georgia Beer Garden space, hardly visible from its perch on Edgewood Avenue. People enter via an outside stairway along the side of the building leading to the second floor and step into a space where a hodgepodge design is inspired by global celebrations of life, the honoring of ancestors, and the afterlife threaded throughout festival holidays like Día de los Muertos, All Souls Day, and Qingming. Expect Caribbean-style drinks and classic cocktails here, including the Singapore Sling, Mai Tai, Harvey Wallbanger, and Ti’ Punch, along with original tipples such as the Elote made with Haitian rhum, house-made corn milk, and condensed milk from Cyrus.

Ranger Station

Located above Ladybird on the Eastside Beltline, expect cocktails inspired by a variety of recognizable American landmarks and natural wonders, like an herbaceous take on the gimlet called the El Capitan, dedicated to the vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park, made with sage and cardamon-infused gin. There’s the Kalalau, a nod to the Kalalau trail along Nā Pali Coast on Kauai. This savory spin on the piña colada sees an herby blend of five spices infusing cachaca, which is then mixed with falernum and spearmint and aloe liqueur. The Thunderbolt on the menu is based on a Charles H. Baker cocktail and is akin to a peach julep, complete with pebbled ice. Sporting a record collection of over 300 vinyls, ranging from Aretha Franklin and Elvis to Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones, you’ll likely need a reservation to get in here.

Ticonderoga Club

Ticonderoga Club at Krog Street Market is co-owned by three forefolk of Atlanta’s cocktail movement: Greg Best, Paul Calvert, and Regan Smith. Cocktails rotate regularly here, but T-Club’s mint julep riff, the Ticonderoga Cup, and an Irish Coffee are typically always on the menu, alongside drinks like the Cheshire Bridge with armagnac and herbal liqueur or the Borrowed Time mixed with small batch bourbon, dark rum, and sorghum syrup.

Little Spirit

Little Spirit is an intimate space for drinks in Inman Quarter. It’s also adorned with pieces by local artist Erica Arndts depicting musicians like Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G., and David Bowie as Renaissance-era patron saints who watch over the cocktail bar. The drinks menu rotates frequently here to focus on seasonal and classic cocktails, which are always solid.

Whoopsie's

While a newer addition to the cocktail scene in Atlanta, this unpretentious bar and lounge on Moreland is backed by two restaurant industry veterans. Low lit and at just 40 seats, barman Tim Faulkner and his team can make you any cocktail you want, even those that are a bit more obscure or harder to find at other bars around town. Pair an amaretto sour, Tuxedo, Corn n’ Oil, or any number of classic cocktails from Faulkner with delectable roast beef sandwiches topped with horsey sauce, a prime rib platter, or Southern snack tray filled with deviled eggs, pickled vegetables, and pimento cheese from chef and owner Hudson Rouse.

Banshee

Peter Chvala, chef Nolan Wynn, and Faielle Stocco worked together for years in Ford Fry restaurants in Atlanta, while Katie McDonald was a manager at Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Little Five Points. The longtime friends all live in and around East Atlanta Village (EAV) and appreciate the neighborhood’s quirky vibe and penchant for late nights. Their restaurant, Banshee, has become a dining destination for EAV residents and visitors to the neighborhood seeking dishes with nods to the seasons and cleverly crafted cocktails (and maybe a late-night hot dog). Try perennial favorites such as the Stately Hag made with tequila, strega, Cocchi Americano, lemon, and thyme and the Staccato with tawny port, bourbon, Meletti amaro, and Fernet.

Octopus Bar

This East Atlanta bar, owned by Nhan Le (Fishmonger, So Ba), is a popular late-night hangout for restaurant industry workers in search of a great post-shift meal and equally great cocktails in a punk rock atmosphere.

Dead End Drinks

Labeled a neighborhood establishment, Dead End Drinks (formerly named Ration and Dram) is run by Holeman & Finch alum Andy Minchow and has been drawing the cocktail faithful since it opened in 2014. This bar takes the word “craft” seriously, serving up cocktails containing genever (Dutch malted gin,) agricole rhum, brandy, and pisco, along with classics like the old fashioned and martini.

The S.O.S. Tiki Bar

A tropical oasis in the heart of Decatur, S.O.S. is a modern take on classic bars like Trader Vic’s. Tiki staples such as the mai tai, zombie, and painkiller are all on the menu here, as are a few S.O.S. originals and a vast selection of rums for sipping.

LEON's Full Service

One of the first craft cocktail bars in Decatur (and sibling to Brick Store Pub,) Leon’s has seen a few of Atlanta’s finest behind its bar at one time or another. Does Miles Macquarrie (Kimball House) ring a bell? The bar program continues to focus on classic cocktails as well as its extensive local beer list thanks to its Brick Store ties in Decatur.

Kimball House

No Atlanta “best-of” bar list would be complete without Kimball House. Located in a renovated train depot in Decatur, the bar has been nationally recognized for its elegant twists on classic drinks, champagne and absinthe services, and seasonal cocktails full of ingredients straight from the restaurant’s garden. The namesake martini is one of the best around, combining gin and equal parts Cocchi Americano, and French vermouth. Oh, and the oyster selection at Kimball House is top notch, too.

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