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The martini made with gin, French vermouth, Cocchi Americano, and orange bitters at Kimball House comes with a silver tin dish filled with ice and a choice of an olive or lemon twist to garnish the drink.
The Kimball House made with gin, French vermouth, Cocchi Americano, and orange bitters.
Andrew Thomas Lee

16 Atlanta Bars and Restaurants Serving Marvelous Martinis

From gin martinis with a lemon twist and vodka martinis served dirty with blue cheese olives to variations on the classic cocktail

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The Kimball House made with gin, French vermouth, Cocchi Americano, and orange bitters.
| Andrew Thomas Lee

Most martini drinkers are very particular about how they prefer this cocktail. Purists insist the martini is made with gin, while others favor vodka as the base spirit. Some like their martini served dirty with blue cheese-stuffed olives, while others want it served dry, straight up, and ice cold with a lemon twist. Even the speed in which a gin martini is stirred causes fierce debate. Vigorous stirring might bruise the gin, thus bringing more bitter notes forward in the cocktail. Then there are the numerous variations on the martini, including the 50/50, the Gibson, Cosmopolitan, and the espresso martini.

Whether served classic or dirty, made with gin or vodka, the martini is simply a timeless classic found on many a bar menu. Here are a few marvelous martinis (and martini variations) to consider sipping at bars and restaurants around Atlanta.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

La Grotta Ristorante

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This fine dining Italian restaurant serving decadent pasta dishes may be known for its impressive wine list, but the martinis here are top-notch and come made to order and ice cold. After dinner, order La Grotta’s espresso martini with dessert. Regulars to the restaurant say this espresso martini might be the best version of the coffee liqueur and coffee-laced cocktail in Atlanta. Dress code. Reservations highly encouraged.

Lyla Lila

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The martinis at Lyla Lila may not be listed on the cocktail menu, but that doesn’t mean this Midtown Italian restaurant can’t whip up a great version of the classic. Chilled down to the perfect temperature for slow sipping, order the martini dry with gin and a lemon twist. For dessert, pair an espresso martini with Lyla Lila’s tiramisu.

Talat Market

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At Summerhill Thai restaurant Talat Market, people get to choose whether they want their 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.

Lucian Books and Wine

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Lucian may be best known for its amazing selection of wines by the glass and bottle, but do not sleep on the stellar martinis here. While the bar makes the cocktail to order (and with gin or vodka), take advantage of the fact that this is a wine bar carrying quality, small batch vermouths and stir that martini into a 50/50 with a lemon twist. Reservations required.

The Betty

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A hotel bar influenced by those found throughout mid-century America should always feature a martini on its menu. Located at the Kimpton Sylvan Hotel, a boutique hotel in Buckhead residing inside a renovated mid-century office building, the bar at the Betty keeps the martini classic: dry and straight up with rocks on the side. It also comes with a choice of olives or a lemon twist. Valet parking available.

Dirty Rascal

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Italian-American restaurant Dirty Rascal at the Thompson Hotel isn’t playing around when it comes to the martini. In fact, there’s three martini styles on the menu to pair with dishes like eggplant parmesan and shrimp scampi: classic, dirty, and a steakhouse take with blue cheese-stuffed olives. Reservations for dinner highly encouraged.

Nakato Japanese Restaurant

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This Cheshire Bridge Road institution is Atlanta’s oldest Japanese restaurant and is still family-owned and operated. Pair a lychee martini here, made with real lychee fruit and vodka, with sushi, teppanyaki, or tempura dishes on the menu. The restaurant makes a mean dirty martini, too.

Kevin Rathbun Steak

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The bartenders at chef Kevin Rathbun’s eponymous Eastside Beltline steakhouse are well versed in the art of making a superb martini to pair with the prime steaks and decadent side accompaniments on the menu here. The classic comes served ice cold with either gin or vodka by request. Reservations required.

The Colonnade

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Regulars to this nearly century-old Atlanta institution know the martini at the Colonnade is a pro move. Martinis from the bar are served super ice cold, super-sized, and very strong, with either gin or vodka, and can be made dirty by request. It’s likely that martini will carry over into dinner in the dining room where it should absolutely be paired with a plate of Southern fried chicken.

Wonderkid

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The diner-style vibes and menu at this Reynoldstown restaurant are enhanced further by its cocktails. This includes the bar’s take on the Hanky Panky (gin and sweet vermouth with amaro), a drink credited to Ada Coleman, who is said to have created the cocktail in 1925 while working as lead bartender at the American Bar inside the Savoy in London. Some argue the Hanky Panky is a variation on the sweet martini, while others say it blends the martini with a negroni. Regardless of where the Hanky Panky falls on the martini spectrum, it’s a damn good three-ingredient gin drink. Listed as You Never Can Tell Hank from Pank, Wonderkid’s version features Japanese gin, Cocchi Torino, and Ramazzotti amaro.

LLoyd's Restaurant & Lounge

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Pizza and martinis. That’s the move at LLoyd’s on DeKalb Avenue. Lloyd’s offers up classic pizza pies, salads, mozzarella sticks, and shrimp cocktail on the menu paired with ice cold martinis made with gin or vodka. Martinis can also be made dirty or filthy by request and come with more ‘tini in a shaker for topping off the cocktail.

Highland Tap

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Highland Tap (“steak basement” or “steak cellar”) continues to be the spot for city dwellers to partake in affordable, below-street-level steak dinners paired with generously poured martinis served with a little extra ‘tini on the side for topping off.

OK YAKI

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The East Atlanta Japanese-influenced restaurant, known for its okonomiyaki and yakisoba, typically lists a take on the martini on the cocktail menu. A recent adaptation featured Japanese vodka, dry vermouth, orange bitters, and coriander.

Arnette's Chop Shop

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The Brookhaven steakhouse with its rooftop bar isn’t messing around with the martini, which is built specifically to pair with the steaks on the menu. Listed as the Carnivore Martini, the cocktail is served dirty and ice cold with vodka and garnished with blue cheese-stuffed olives and bacon. Never fear, gin lovers, the bartenders at Arnette’s also make a great classic martini with a lemon twist.

Poor Hendrix

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Poor Hendrix is the total package in terms of food, cocktails, and low-key vibes. This East Lake neighborhood establishment doesn’t list the classic cocktail on the menu, but the bartenders know it well, and whip up a perfectly balanced martini with gin or vodka by request. It’s super for snacking on a basket of sticky sesame wings or bowl of spicy peanut cold noodles.

Kimball House

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The award-winning Decatur restaurant located inside an old train depot offers a namesake martini on the menu combining gin and equal parts Cocchi Americano, and French vermouth. The cocktail comes served with rocks on the side and a choice of lemon twist or olive for garnish. It might be perfection in a cocktail glass. Reservations highly encouraged.  

La Grotta Ristorante

This fine dining Italian restaurant serving decadent pasta dishes may be known for its impressive wine list, but the martinis here are top-notch and come made to order and ice cold. After dinner, order La Grotta’s espresso martini with dessert. Regulars to the restaurant say this espresso martini might be the best version of the coffee liqueur and coffee-laced cocktail in Atlanta. Dress code. Reservations highly encouraged.

Lyla Lila

The martinis at Lyla Lila may not be listed on the cocktail menu, but that doesn’t mean this Midtown Italian restaurant can’t whip up a great version of the classic. Chilled down to the perfect temperature for slow sipping, order the martini dry with gin and a lemon twist. For dessert, pair an espresso martini with Lyla Lila’s tiramisu.

Talat Market

At Summerhill Thai restaurant Talat Market, people get to choose whether they want their 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.

Lucian Books and Wine

Lucian may be best known for its amazing selection of wines by the glass and bottle, but do not sleep on the stellar martinis here. While the bar makes the cocktail to order (and with gin or vodka), take advantage of the fact that this is a wine bar carrying quality, small batch vermouths and stir that martini into a 50/50 with a lemon twist. Reservations required.

The Betty

A hotel bar influenced by those found throughout mid-century America should always feature a martini on its menu. Located at the Kimpton Sylvan Hotel, a boutique hotel in Buckhead residing inside a renovated mid-century office building, the bar at the Betty keeps the martini classic: dry and straight up with rocks on the side. It also comes with a choice of olives or a lemon twist. Valet parking available.

Dirty Rascal

Italian-American restaurant Dirty Rascal at the Thompson Hotel isn’t playing around when it comes to the martini. In fact, there’s three martini styles on the menu to pair with dishes like eggplant parmesan and shrimp scampi: classic, dirty, and a steakhouse take with blue cheese-stuffed olives. Reservations for dinner highly encouraged.

Nakato Japanese Restaurant

This Cheshire Bridge Road institution is Atlanta’s oldest Japanese restaurant and is still family-owned and operated. Pair a lychee martini here, made with real lychee fruit and vodka, with sushi, teppanyaki, or tempura dishes on the menu. The restaurant makes a mean dirty martini, too.

Kevin Rathbun Steak

The bartenders at chef Kevin Rathbun’s eponymous Eastside Beltline steakhouse are well versed in the art of making a superb martini to pair with the prime steaks and decadent side accompaniments on the menu here. The classic comes served ice cold with either gin or vodka by request. Reservations required.

The Colonnade

Regulars to this nearly century-old Atlanta institution know the martini at the Colonnade is a pro move. Martinis from the bar are served super ice cold, super-sized, and very strong, with either gin or vodka, and can be made dirty by request. It’s likely that martini will carry over into dinner in the dining room where it should absolutely be paired with a plate of Southern fried chicken.

Wonderkid

The diner-style vibes and menu at this Reynoldstown restaurant are enhanced further by its cocktails. This includes the bar’s take on the Hanky Panky (gin and sweet vermouth with amaro), a drink credited to Ada Coleman, who is said to have created the cocktail in 1925 while working as lead bartender at the American Bar inside the Savoy in London. Some argue the Hanky Panky is a variation on the sweet martini, while others say it blends the martini with a negroni. Regardless of where the Hanky Panky falls on the martini spectrum, it’s a damn good three-ingredient gin drink. Listed as You Never Can Tell Hank from Pank, Wonderkid’s version features Japanese gin, Cocchi Torino, and Ramazzotti amaro.

LLoyd's Restaurant & Lounge

Pizza and martinis. That’s the move at LLoyd’s on DeKalb Avenue. Lloyd’s offers up classic pizza pies, salads, mozzarella sticks, and shrimp cocktail on the menu paired with ice cold martinis made with gin or vodka. Martinis can also be made dirty or filthy by request and come with more ‘tini in a shaker for topping off the cocktail.

Highland Tap

Highland Tap (“steak basement” or “steak cellar”) continues to be the spot for city dwellers to partake in affordable, below-street-level steak dinners paired with generously poured martinis served with a little extra ‘tini on the side for topping off.

OK YAKI

The East Atlanta Japanese-influenced restaurant, known for its okonomiyaki and yakisoba, typically lists a take on the martini on the cocktail menu. A recent adaptation featured Japanese vodka, dry vermouth, orange bitters, and coriander.

Arnette's Chop Shop

The Brookhaven steakhouse with its rooftop bar isn’t messing around with the martini, which is built specifically to pair with the steaks on the menu. Listed as the Carnivore Martini, the cocktail is served dirty and ice cold with vodka and garnished with blue cheese-stuffed olives and bacon. Never fear, gin lovers, the bartenders at Arnette’s also make a great classic martini with a lemon twist.

Poor Hendrix

Poor Hendrix is the total package in terms of food, cocktails, and low-key vibes. This East Lake neighborhood establishment doesn’t list the classic cocktail on the menu, but the bartenders know it well, and whip up a perfectly balanced martini with gin or vodka by request. It’s super for snacking on a basket of sticky sesame wings or bowl of spicy peanut cold noodles.

Related Maps

Kimball House

The award-winning Decatur restaurant located inside an old train depot offers a namesake martini on the menu combining gin and equal parts Cocchi Americano, and French vermouth. The cocktail comes served with rocks on the side and a choice of lemon twist or olive for garnish. It might be perfection in a cocktail glass. Reservations highly encouraged.  

Related Maps