As a newly-turned-twenty-one-year-old, I’ve spent the last couple of months introducing myself to Atlanta’s bar scene. Of the spots I’ve scoped out, ranging from dive bars to elevated cocktail lounges, I’ve curated a careful list of personal favorites. Today, I present to you the not-so-official list of best spots for drinks in Atlanta.

Victory Sandwich Bar

There’s no better place to scarf down hot chicken sandwiches, eclectic flavored popcorn, and whiskey & Coke slushies than Victory Sandwich Bar. Featuring a large outdoor space adorned with picnic tables and string lights, lots of vintage posters and memorabilia, and an indoor ping pong table for friendly competition, this is the perfect venue for laid-back weekend nights with friends.

I went to the Inman Park location for my friend’s birthday (there’s another in downtown Decatur, too) and had a pleasant assortment of chips and dips, mini sandwiches, drinks, and conversation until the string lights were turned off. The prices are pretty affordable, too. With four-dollar alcoholic slushies, you can keep the drinks flowing all night long—responsibly, of course. 

St. Julep

Located in Buckhead’s Kimpton Hotel, St. Julep is THE Atlanta rooftop bar. The ninth-story space combines unparalleled views of the Atlanta skyline with top-notch cocktails, snacks, and photo-worthy decor. It’s the perfect spot for a date night, a birthday celebration, or a casual night out with friends.

On the menu are (of course) plenty of cocktails, beer, and wine and lots of casual snacks for light noshing—think baseball snacks like popcorn, nuts, and soft serve. P.S. The Kimpton also features a downstairs restaurant, The Betty, making it the ideal one-stop-shop for an elevated dinner and cocktail night.


If you’re looking for a more upscale—and rain and winter-friendly—cocktail spot, Ponce City Market’s Atrium is a must-visit. The indoor space features colorful barstools, floral installations, and lots of plants for a whimsical experience. 

The eclectic atmosphere pairs well with its even more unique drink menu. Atrium features a detailed picture-book-style cocktail menu with loads of traditional and specialty options. Pair the cocktails with a couple of their appetizers (I recommend the goat cheese and caramelized onion flatbread and arugula salad) for the ideal weekend date night or post-work catch-up with coworkers. I will note: it’s a little pricey, though, so keep that in mind.

Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall

Last but not least is the local favorite: Ladybird. This Beltline spot is a haven for Emory University students, young professionals, and older couples alike—and for good reason, too.

Ladybird’s indoor-outdoor space features picnic tables decked with yellow umbrellas, string lights, a vintage camper, signature pouch drinks, and delicious food. Their menu features a wide selection of cocktails, frozen drinks, local beers, patio punch, and what they refer to as "elevated campfire cuisine." This includes a variety of smoked meats, sandwiches, and my personal favorite (and highest recommendation): the heirloom tomato salad. 

Despite no expertise in the bar-reviewing field, I'd like to think I've crafted a solid list of drink spots in Atlanta. Beyond these, the city has numerous other cocktail lounges, bars, and speakeasies. Whether you're looking for a cocktail spot to ease the midweek work rush or a casual drink (or two) with friends on the weekend, Atlanta has the perfect spot for you.