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Six hours in ... the Westside

Urban chic, posh shops and molecular milkshakes



In recent years, the Westside has earned a reputation as an industrial enclave where lofts and condos coexist in urban bliss with abandoned warehouses and graffiti-tagged walls. But this ain't just a gritty-chic bedroom community. The Westside boasts an ever-growing list of top-notch restaurants, bars, shops and cultural attractions.

3 p.m.: Outside the box
Give yourself a creative workout at the sprawling Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. The gallery's landscape of experimental and modern works - much of it produced by emerging and well-established local artists - could leave you puzzled, inspired or both.

4 p.m.: High-end provisions
The Westside Urban Market on the corner of Howell Mill Road - and the shops that stretch down adjacent Huff Road - are a popular destination for those looking for the latest posh fabrics, antiques, and home wares. Refresh yourself in the midst of shopping by grabbing a snack at Star Provisions, the gourmet store whose sandwich and baked goods counter fronts Bacchanalia, arguably the city's finest restaurant.

6 p.m.: Café culture and skyline views
Head back down Howell Mill Road to one of Atlanta's hippest coffee shops, Octane, and brush shoulders with the Westside's cool kids. Or, if caffeine isn't your bag, grab a seat - and a beer - on the rooftop deck at Six Feet Under on nearby 11th Street. It offers a fantastic view of the city.

7 p.m.: Molecular milkshakes
Anyone who's a fan of Bravo's "Top Chef" should be well-acquainted with Atlanta molecular gastronomist Richard Blais, last year's (almost) winner. His newest venture, Flip Burger Boutique, takes your traditional burger and shake and turns them into something artful, lighthearted and, best of all, delicious. Prepare for a long wait.

9 p.m.: Get the blues
Draw the night to a close at the city's best blues joint (sez us!), the down-and-dirty Northside Tavern, where local legend Mudcat plays to a rough-around-the-edges but affable crowd.

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