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Records like Duran Duran’s “Rio” and Frank Mobley are stacked on the shelves along the back bar among the glasses and liquor bottles at Lyla Lila in Midtown.
Lyla Lila in Midtown Atlanta.
Heidi Geldhauser Harris

17 Restaurants With Rocking Playlists in Atlanta

Go for the food, stay for the music at these Atlanta restaurants

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Lyla Lila in Midtown Atlanta.
| Heidi Geldhauser Harris

Atlanta features a rich musical history with a legacy that includes the city’s vibrant hip-hop and R&B scenes. And the music coming out of both scenes often influence the sound and songs of artists across the music industry. The city’s musical character is also evident in restaurant dining rooms throughout Atlanta via live performances on patios and in dining rooms and on the playlists setting the mood for a meal. Playlists on regular rotation in Atlanta dinings rooms and bars these days capture the city’s culture, too. Whether paying homage to ATL’s rap and hip-hop roots, serving as a reflection of the tastes of the staff, or meant to immerse diners in the culture and flavors of a particular country, there are some solid restaurant playlists Atlanta music lovers should seek out. Here are just a few Atlanta restaurants serving up great food and vibes paired with equally great playlists.

Read more: How Atlanta Restaurants Pair Playlists and Plates

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The soundtrack at Aziza is designed to capture the same “melting pot” of cultures reflected in the Israeli restaurant’s menu, according to owner Tal Baum. Diners may hear French, Arabic, and Hebrew music, along with rap, pop, and electronic dance tunes. Baum uses songs she grew up listening to as a springboard for the dining room playlist, which she says captures the same musical vibes of songs heard in restaurants throughout Tel Aviv in Israel.

Though the cocktail bar has a larger space for live DJs and dancing, it also creates playlists to use on days and hours it doesn’t feature live music. The soundtracks usually span several genres, including soul, R&B, Afrobeats, hip-hop, and house music, with artists ranging from Tems and Prince to Michael Jackson and H.E.R. Parlor also taps some of its resident DJs, such as Sed the Saint and DJ Kemit & Salah Ananse, to help develop playlists for the cocktail bar. Come during the week, or before 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, for drinks and low-key vibes at the intimate cocktail den. Then, stay later for the live DJ set.

Humble Mumble

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Named for a song by Atlanta hip-hop duo OutKast, the sandwich pop-up makes music a key part of its dining experience, highlighting hip-hop and R&B artists as an ode to ATL’s music industry. Chef Justin Dixon personally curates the playlists here, incorporating music from the mid-1980s through the early 2000s that he listened to growing up. Expect to hear artists like Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Jill Scott, Childish Gambino, and of course, Outkast. Catch the pop-up’s latest playlists on the Humble Mumble website.

D Boca N Boca

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Owner Helio Bernal tries to capture both where he’s from and where he is now through his playlists. Songs chosen for the dining room evoke a sense of the Yucatán and Veracruz — where his family has roots — as well as Atlanta. Artists on regular rotation include El Búho, who embodies the tropical vibe of the Mexican peninsula, and Natalie Lafourcade, who has ties to Veracruz. Songs that fall into the regional musical style of son jarocho are also woven into the playlist to help add to the experience at the Mexican restaurant in Summerhill. Near the end of the night, expect música urbana hits from Bad Bunny, J Balvin, KAROL G, Daddy Yankee, El Alfa, and more.

Little Bear

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The Summerhill restaurant features a number of playlists created by chef Jarrett Stieber, which all fall under one of two categories: genre-based or mood-based. On the former, diners may hear anything from 1960s psych rock and outlaw country to tropicália, zamrock, and Afro-electronic music. The mood-based playlists are typically inspired by one song that drives the rest of the picks. One, for example, is based on Boz Scagg’s What Can I Say, and another is inspired by Taylor Swift’s song This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. To find Little Bear’s mixes, check out @jarrettstieber and @littlebearatl on Spotify. Any playlists for the restaurant include “Little Bear” in the name.

Lyla Lila

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Having grown up around music, chef Craig Richards gives music played over the sound system a starring role at his Midtown Italian restaurant. He creates his own playlists and includes a vinyl collection to choose from, with songs leaning toward jazz, soul, new wave, and modern dance music. When the record player spins behind the bar, diners can often catch hits from albums such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack by Bee Gees, and Prince’s Purple Rain.

Though the Brazilian bar and restaurant in Grant Park emphasizes live music, playlists often complement performers and events here. On a samba night, expect forró or other Brazilian-inspired music playing during breaks. And the restaurant often asks artists to share their recent playlists or favorite songs to play between sets. During the day, and before live performances, Buteco leans on its staff — many of whom hail from countries around the world — to create an eclectic mix of songs on Buteco’s playlists.

Our Bar ATL

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When there isn’t a DJs directing the music here, playlists are put together by the Our Bar staff. The bar always dedicates part of the playlist to the late Atlanta rapper Trouble, who used to stop by almost daily to play some of his new music. But people should also expect to hear local talent through the speakers, along with some underground artists, too. That includes local rappers LoeLife Boobie and Panama Jane, as well as a couple of former and current Our Bar ATL bartenders, Nikki Sweets and Li’Larry.

Joystick Gamebar

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The playlist here is an eclectic mix of songs that captures the staff’s interests as well as the personality of Joystick. Some songs might lean into the “nerdiness” of the gamebar — like Atomic by Blondie. Others like Ric Flair Drip by Offset and Metro Boomin and Draco by Future, which actually filmed at Joystick, pay homage to Atlanta. There may be a few wild cards in the mix like a 1970s disco version of the Star Wars theme song or hip-hop from the Netherlands, but the staff also likes to play crowd-pleasers. On any given night, folks may hear sing-along songs like Alone by Heart or tracks from A-Ha. The game bar features a jukebox so patrons can queue up their own songs and dictate the vibe from time to time.

Botiwalla

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From the menu to the music, this Ponce City Market food stall tries to capture the energy of the late-night street food scene in India. Instead of featuring Indian classical tunes like sitar and tabla that tend to play in the background at many Indian restaurants, Botiwalla’s playlist includes Indian pop music, mixing Bollywood songs with other Indian pop styles like bhangra. And just as the restaurant draws from the Indian and American influences in chef and founder Meherwan Irani’s life, so do the songs. Expect a blend traditional Indian musical elements with Western pop styles to create energetic dance tracks. One song might include Southern hip-hop style drums, the next song might feature techno roots and mix English lyrics with Hindi or Punjabi.

BoccaLupo

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The music, much like the food, at BoccaLupo is selected to showcase Atlanta and the surroundings as much as possible, according to the team. That means most playlists focus on music people in town know and love. There’s a lot of OutKast, T.I., Jeezy, and Ludacris, as well as other Atlanta-born or -raised artists. The restaurant sometimes deviates from playlists, too, opting instead to play entire albums during service. Some favorites include Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter or Tha Carter II, and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Listen to the restaurant’s most popular playlist here.

LLoyd's Restaurant & Lounge

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The relaxed, nonchalant vibe at this pizzeria and bar extends to its music selection. At LLoyd’s, rock ‘n’ roll meets funk meets 1990s hip-hop in the songs playing over the sound system. The main playlist for LLoyd’s is a mix of guitar-driven rock, punk, indie, and quirky classics from the 1960s to the present day, though it also features funk, 1980s, and honky tonk playlists, too. For kicks and giggles, the team sometimes queues up a satirical playlist that matches the old-school interior of the bar. Named Shaggin’ Wagon, the queue includes soft rock songs from artists like the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Eddie Money, Linda Ronstadt, Wings, T. Rex, and Chicago.

Georgia Boy

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Chef Joey Ward, with input from his team, creates his dining room playlist based on both his musical interests and mass appeal. Expect new retro songs, indie covers, hip-hop, 1990s rap, and new wave. For those looking for a more mellow atmosphere, come during the early part of service for softer and slower tracks like Brightside by The Lumineers. As the restaurant hits peak hours, expect fast-tempo songs — think José James and The War On Drugs — taking over to match the energy and bustle of the restaurant. Then, near the end of the evening, hip-hop and upbeat music from artists like Chance the Rapper and Ms. Lauryn Hill close the night out.

Tio Lucho's

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Chef Arnaldo Castillo started building his playlist back when he sold sandwiches for his pop-up residency La Chingana at Edgewood butcher shop and market Chop Shop. It started with Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule classics from the 2000s and 2010s — hits that Millennials like himself might enjoy. Now, the 31-hour playlist has evolved into an ongoing musical project that includes current and mainstream songs, along with recommendations from Tio Lucho’s managers.

Gaja Korean Bar

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Located behind an inconspicuous door in an East Atlanta Village parking lot, Gaja features a hidden, underground vibe — something the dining room music strives to complement. Billed as a “Korean punk rock bar”, playlists at Gaja lean toward genres like power pop, garage, and post-punk, emphasizing more obscure bands rather than the popular songs or hits.

Poor Hendrix

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Longtime bartender Que Solomon takes the lead on creating the musical vibes at this East Lake restaurant. From behind the bar, he’s learned how to read a room and adjusts the music to reflect the mood and diversity of people dining and drinking at Poor Hendrix. The restaurant doesn’t shy away from playing energetic artists like Atlanta rapper KEY!, Marijata, or Brent Faiyaz, for instance, but is just as comfortable playing chill tracks from the likes of Tom Misch or Khruangbin.

Little Cottage Brewery

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The owners of Little Cottage Brewery describe it as a “heavy metal brewery” with hints of sci-fi and fantasy thrown into the mix. While heavy metal is emphasized at this Avondale Estates brewery, the playlist does include a wide range of the genres based on the staff’s tastes. Expect to hear classic metal, such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, as well as newer artists like Hath and Atlanta’s Irist.

Aziza

The soundtrack at Aziza is designed to capture the same “melting pot” of cultures reflected in the Israeli restaurant’s menu, according to owner Tal Baum. Diners may hear French, Arabic, and Hebrew music, along with rap, pop, and electronic dance tunes. Baum uses songs she grew up listening to as a springboard for the dining room playlist, which she says captures the same musical vibes of songs heard in restaurants throughout Tel Aviv in Israel.

Parlor

Though the cocktail bar has a larger space for live DJs and dancing, it also creates playlists to use on days and hours it doesn’t feature live music. The soundtracks usually span several genres, including soul, R&B, Afrobeats, hip-hop, and house music, with artists ranging from Tems and Prince to Michael Jackson and H.E.R. Parlor also taps some of its resident DJs, such as Sed the Saint and DJ Kemit & Salah Ananse, to help develop playlists for the cocktail bar. Come during the week, or before 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, for drinks and low-key vibes at the intimate cocktail den. Then, stay later for the live DJ set.

Humble Mumble

Named for a song by Atlanta hip-hop duo OutKast, the sandwich pop-up makes music a key part of its dining experience, highlighting hip-hop and R&B artists as an ode to ATL’s music industry. Chef Justin Dixon personally curates the playlists here, incorporating music from the mid-1980s through the early 2000s that he listened to growing up. Expect to hear artists like Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Jill Scott, Childish Gambino, and of course, Outkast. Catch the pop-up’s latest playlists on the Humble Mumble website.

D Boca N Boca

Owner Helio Bernal tries to capture both where he’s from and where he is now through his playlists. Songs chosen for the dining room evoke a sense of the Yucatán and Veracruz — where his family has roots — as well as Atlanta. Artists on regular rotation include El Búho, who embodies the tropical vibe of the Mexican peninsula, and Natalie Lafourcade, who has ties to Veracruz. Songs that fall into the regional musical style of son jarocho are also woven into the playlist to help add to the experience at the Mexican restaurant in Summerhill. Near the end of the night, expect música urbana hits from Bad Bunny, J Balvin, KAROL G, Daddy Yankee, El Alfa, and more.

Little Bear

The Summerhill restaurant features a number of playlists created by chef Jarrett Stieber, which all fall under one of two categories: genre-based or mood-based. On the former, diners may hear anything from 1960s psych rock and outlaw country to tropicália, zamrock, and Afro-electronic music. The mood-based playlists are typically inspired by one song that drives the rest of the picks. One, for example, is based on Boz Scagg’s What Can I Say, and another is inspired by Taylor Swift’s song This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. To find Little Bear’s mixes, check out @jarrettstieber and @littlebearatl on Spotify. Any playlists for the restaurant include “Little Bear” in the name.

Lyla Lila

Having grown up around music, chef Craig Richards gives music played over the sound system a starring role at his Midtown Italian restaurant. He creates his own playlists and includes a vinyl collection to choose from, with songs leaning toward jazz, soul, new wave, and modern dance music. When the record player spins behind the bar, diners can often catch hits from albums such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack by Bee Gees, and Prince’s Purple Rain.

Buteco

Though the Brazilian bar and restaurant in Grant Park emphasizes live music, playlists often complement performers and events here. On a samba night, expect forró or other Brazilian-inspired music playing during breaks. And the restaurant often asks artists to share their recent playlists or favorite songs to play between sets. During the day, and before live performances, Buteco leans on its staff — many of whom hail from countries around the world — to create an eclectic mix of songs on Buteco’s playlists.

Our Bar ATL

When there isn’t a DJs directing the music here, playlists are put together by the Our Bar staff. The bar always dedicates part of the playlist to the late Atlanta rapper Trouble, who used to stop by almost daily to play some of his new music. But people should also expect to hear local talent through the speakers, along with some underground artists, too. That includes local rappers LoeLife Boobie and Panama Jane, as well as a couple of former and current Our Bar ATL bartenders, Nikki Sweets and Li’Larry.

Joystick Gamebar

The playlist here is an eclectic mix of songs that captures the staff’s interests as well as the personality of Joystick. Some songs might lean into the “nerdiness” of the gamebar — like Atomic by Blondie. Others like Ric Flair Drip by Offset and Metro Boomin and Draco by Future, which actually filmed at Joystick, pay homage to Atlanta. There may be a few wild cards in the mix like a 1970s disco version of the Star Wars theme song or hip-hop from the Netherlands, but the staff also likes to play crowd-pleasers. On any given night, folks may hear sing-along songs like Alone by Heart or tracks from A-Ha. The game bar features a jukebox so patrons can queue up their own songs and dictate the vibe from time to time.

Botiwalla

From the menu to the music, this Ponce City Market food stall tries to capture the energy of the late-night street food scene in India. Instead of featuring Indian classical tunes like sitar and tabla that tend to play in the background at many Indian restaurants, Botiwalla’s playlist includes Indian pop music, mixing Bollywood songs with other Indian pop styles like bhangra. And just as the restaurant draws from the Indian and American influences in chef and founder Meherwan Irani’s life, so do the songs. Expect a blend traditional Indian musical elements with Western pop styles to create energetic dance tracks. One song might include Southern hip-hop style drums, the next song might feature techno roots and mix English lyrics with Hindi or Punjabi.

BoccaLupo

The music, much like the food, at BoccaLupo is selected to showcase Atlanta and the surroundings as much as possible, according to the team. That means most playlists focus on music people in town know and love. There’s a lot of OutKast, T.I., Jeezy, and Ludacris, as well as other Atlanta-born or -raised artists. The restaurant sometimes deviates from playlists, too, opting instead to play entire albums during service. Some favorites include Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter or Tha Carter II, and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Listen to the restaurant’s most popular playlist here.

LLoyd's Restaurant & Lounge

The relaxed, nonchalant vibe at this pizzeria and bar extends to its music selection. At LLoyd’s, rock ‘n’ roll meets funk meets 1990s hip-hop in the songs playing over the sound system. The main playlist for LLoyd’s is a mix of guitar-driven rock, punk, indie, and quirky classics from the 1960s to the present day, though it also features funk, 1980s, and honky tonk playlists, too. For kicks and giggles, the team sometimes queues up a satirical playlist that matches the old-school interior of the bar. Named Shaggin’ Wagon, the queue includes soft rock songs from artists like the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Eddie Money, Linda Ronstadt, Wings, T. Rex, and Chicago.

Georgia Boy

Chef Joey Ward, with input from his team, creates his dining room playlist based on both his musical interests and mass appeal. Expect new retro songs, indie covers, hip-hop, 1990s rap, and new wave. For those looking for a more mellow atmosphere, come during the early part of service for softer and slower tracks like Brightside by The Lumineers. As the restaurant hits peak hours, expect fast-tempo songs — think José James and The War On Drugs — taking over to match the energy and bustle of the restaurant. Then, near the end of the evening, hip-hop and upbeat music from artists like Chance the Rapper and Ms. Lauryn Hill close the night out.

Tio Lucho's

Chef Arnaldo Castillo started building his playlist back when he sold sandwiches for his pop-up residency La Chingana at Edgewood butcher shop and market Chop Shop. It started with Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule classics from the 2000s and 2010s — hits that Millennials like himself might enjoy. Now, the 31-hour playlist has evolved into an ongoing musical project that includes current and mainstream songs, along with recommendations from Tio Lucho’s managers.

Gaja Korean Bar

Located behind an inconspicuous door in an East Atlanta Village parking lot, Gaja features a hidden, underground vibe — something the dining room music strives to complement. Billed as a “Korean punk rock bar”, playlists at Gaja lean toward genres like power pop, garage, and post-punk, emphasizing more obscure bands rather than the popular songs or hits.

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Poor Hendrix

Longtime bartender Que Solomon takes the lead on creating the musical vibes at this East Lake restaurant. From behind the bar, he’s learned how to read a room and adjusts the music to reflect the mood and diversity of people dining and drinking at Poor Hendrix. The restaurant doesn’t shy away from playing energetic artists like Atlanta rapper KEY!, Marijata, or Brent Faiyaz, for instance, but is just as comfortable playing chill tracks from the likes of Tom Misch or Khruangbin.

Little Cottage Brewery

The owners of Little Cottage Brewery describe it as a “heavy metal brewery” with hints of sci-fi and fantasy thrown into the mix. While heavy metal is emphasized at this Avondale Estates brewery, the playlist does include a wide range of the genres based on the staff’s tastes. Expect to hear classic metal, such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, as well as newer artists like Hath and Atlanta’s Irist.

Related Maps