Once a drab shell of hollowed warehouses and industrial artifacts from Atlanta’s manufacturing heyday, the Westside has reemerged in recent years with a live, work, play mantra and a hefty platter of top-tier dining, arts, and nightlife destinations for the city at large. Indie art galleries banded together with the communities and other institutions to establish the Westside Arts District, and large, mixed-use developments such as Atlantic Station and the Westside Provisions District have helped reclaim some of the most derelict expanses. With a growing number of young, ambitious professionals choosing to call the area home, this long-overlooked expanse of western ATL seems primed for yet another chapter of growth and revitalization.
This venerated soul-food joint dishes up some of the city's best Southern cooking at a price that's hard to beat. From corn muffins and fried chicken to field-fresh vegetables and banana pudding, these folks know their way around comfort food.
When it comes to late-night dining, no one in Atlanta does it better than chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le at Octopus Bar. Period. The ever-changing menu is almost always worthy of a culinary boner. Count on favorites such as the salt and pepper Georgia shrimp, steamed whole snapper with lettuce wraps, a discerning selection of raw oysters, and the best lobster roll in the city.
The tiny, shacklike entrance reveals an eclectic and loyal late-night crowd. Music at this underground clubber’s club ranges from hip-hop and Brit-pop to downtempo and rare grooves. The dim basement space feels like the most happenin’ speakeasy in town.
Lusca is the sister restaurant to Angus Brown and Nhan Le’s divey, late-night oasis, Octopus Bar. Opened in spring 2014, Lusca takes the essence of Octopus Bar and distills it through Buckhead's fancy filter. Though the posh Brookwood Hills neighborhood is a far cry from East Atlanta Village, the chefs’ adventurous, seafood-centric ways remain intact. Le and Brown work in tandem, with Le focusing on Lusca's impressive raw bar and Brown helming the kitchen.
Home grown is a picturesque illustration of its straightforward aspirations and its eclectic Reynoldstown neighborhood. Most of what is served is grown by local farmers; therefore, the menu is short and changes daily, depending on what’s available. Simple Southern classics, however, such as a fried pork chop with gravy, are almost always available. For sides, be sure to order the creamed corn, fried green tomatoes, or other fresh local vegetables. Breakfast items include flaky biscuits with the standard egg/meat/cheese combinations and other soul-lifting eats. All the lunch entrees are available as the "blue collar lunch plate," which includes a side and a drink. Home grown is an evolution, for locavorism, for Reynoldstown and for Atlanta.
Cheap beer, pool tables, and fried food are the pillars of this dingy Midtown strip mall dive. Conveniently located next to Landmark Midtown, this is the perfect place to throw back a few after catching a flick on a Friday night.
Formerly known as Union EAV, this East Atlanta spot hosts local and regional indie-rock bands, live hip-hop, and dance music nights. Budget-conscious imbibers will want to take note that Monday nights feature cheap drink specials and 99-cent entry.