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9 essential Downtown haunts

You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares'

Staff Photo for City Guide
Photo credit: CL File Photo
Woodruff Park Downtown Atlanta

When Petula Clark sang the words to her forlorn 1965 hit “Downtown,” her vision of city life was much different from the realities of Downtown Atlanta in 2015. For decades, the city’s twisted maze of one-way streets and derelict buildings culminated in a forgotten urban landscape — daunting to anyone unfamiliar with its complex design (or lack thereof). But take a closer look and you’ll find a fertile city scene with foot traffic, density, and businesses catering to all walks of life. Whether you’re looking for world-class art, musical performances, a gritty hub for homegrown avant-garde endeavors, exotic drinks, sneakers, or the best 360-degree view the city offers, the following list details 9 Downtown Atlanta haunts where “you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares.”

Restaurant

Owners Mylinh Cao and her mother, Tham Mai, strive to bring a taste of Vietnam to downtown, and standard Vietnamese dishes — such as pho and com — abound. The bun dishes provide a refreshing spin on the average lunchtime salad — chilled rice vermicelli noodles are loaded with your choice of meat or ... | more...

Restaurant

The ATL's strip club of choice for ballers, players, and visiting rap stars. Come dressed on the nicer side of casual if you want to get in. | more...

Performing Arts Theater

Gorgeous concert hall affiliated with Georgia State University that hosts an eclectic mix of dance, film, theater and music events, as well as art exhibits. | more...

Event Venue

Are you in the mood for soul food? Italian? Jamaican jerk? Can't-stop-munching popcorn? How about a 10-pound bag of salted pig's knuckles? It's all here at this grocery/food court. | more...

Live Music Club

This former church has Gothic ambiance to spare, making it a fun spot to catch a rock or hip-hop show. The club, which boasts some inviting bar and lounge spaces, hosts comedy and other events, as well. | more...

Hawaiian

Feeling the need to escape to a tropical island? Trader Vic's, located in the Hilton Downtown Atlanta, is the next best thing, with its intensely topical decor of palm fronds, tiki poles, and Polynesian long boats. Starters like the flower-shaped crab Rangoon and the butterfly shrimp flattened into ... | more...

Clothing Store

No sneaker store in town can compete with the 63-year legacy of Walter's Clothing. Being the old man on the block hasn't kept Walter's from staying hip. Try squeezing in on a Saturday and you'll see why. Walls of Adidas, Nike, Fila, Reebok, and Converse have kept customers fresh-to-death for decades... | more...

Hotel

Luxury Downtown hotel within walking distance of the Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center, the World of Coca-Cola. Its 73rd floor is a rotating 360-degree restaurant and bar called the Sun Dial that offers incredible panoramic views of the city on clear days. You can take in the vista without dining at the ... | more...

Park

Nestled amongst the modern office towers and historic buildings of the Fairlie-Poplar district, Woodruff Park is a 6-acre park in the geographic center of Atlanta. Its location at the crossroads of commerce, government, and education makes it a natural gathering space for a diverse cross-section of ... | more...



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