The 10 Best Cocktail Bars in Midtown Atlanta

Treat yourself to a fancy cocktail at one of these Midtown bars.
  • In the back of City Winery, find ABV, a speakeasy with great cocktails and small bites.
    In the back of City Winery, find ABV, a speakeasy with great cocktails and small bites.
  • The blackberry mojito at Public School 404 is well-balanced and pretty.
    The blackberry mojito at Public School 404 is well-balanced and pretty.
  • Party on the rooftop at The Garden at Community Smith.
    Party on the rooftop at The Garden at Community Smith.
  • Grain Bar is an excellent choice for late night cocktails in the heart of Midtown
    Grain Bar is an excellent choice for late night cocktails in the heart of Midtown
  • Head to swanky Bar Margot for a special occasion and sip on excellent cocktails.
    Head to swanky Bar Margot for a special occasion and sip on excellent cocktails.

You can always drink beer or wine at home. So when you head out, treat yourself to a well-made cocktail. Here are my 10 picks for the best cocktail bars in Midtown. 

  1. ABV at City Winery – Who isn’t enamored with Ponce City Market? Unique shops, creative dining, a rooftop with stunning views and carnival games? But it is made even better with City Winery’s semi-speakeasy ABV. ABV is a fantastic destination whether or not you are seeing a show at City Winery. To find it, walk through the concert venue all the way to the back and enter through the stained glass doors. 

  2. Bar Margot – The word “swanky” doesn’t really do this uber cool spot justice. Located inside the Four Seasons hotel, you’ll find a mix of both locals and out-of-towners. Though the restaurant serves well-executed dishes, patrons come and go late into the evening for fantastic cocktails. Start with the Gin Margot, Bar Margot’s twist on a gin and tonic. It is incredibly refreshing, yet strong enough that you’ll feel the alcohol kick in. Tip: Snuggle up to your date in a cozy booth.

  3. Garden at Community Smith – High atop the Renaissance Hotel, a green oasis with beautiful potted plants and small trees is worth finding. The spot is perfect for a party or intimate gathering. Get the Westside, a crafted concoction of mezcal, Cointreau, strawberry, mint and balsamic reduction. Or try  the New American Zombie made of Bulleit Bourbon, St. Germain, pear brandy and ginger.

  4. Establishment – If you are looking for a see and be seen kind of spot, Establishment is it. A Corpse Reviver was delicious as was a Manhattan, expertly executed. The unique low-alcohol fizzy drinks like raspberry gin fizz are good alternatives for those looking for low gravity cocktails. Music is quite loud, so it’s hard to have a conversation, but there are some cozy nooks in the back if you can score them.

  5. Foxtrot – In the heart of Midtown is Foxtrot Liquor Bar. The houndstooth-decorated bar has a small but decadent menu. The cocktail list progresses from "Bright and Lively" to "Herbal Remedies" to "Stranger Things." Start with the Life on Mars, a gin-based drink with orgeat and Earl Grey bitters, or, if you like fruity, get the Spruce Goose with gin and pineapple.

  6. Grain Bar – While there's a handful of to die for cocktails, the better way to experience Grain Bar is to tell the bartenders what you like and have them whip up a one-of-a-kind creation for you. Tip: The bar even offers cocktail classes, if you want to try you hand at mixology. 

  7. Park Tavern – Overlooking Piedmont Park, Park Tavern is a favorite spot for millennials. With a large open space for concerts, it is a popular destination on weekends. Cocktails like the lemon basil shrub or the Yellowtail with white cranberry juice and cucumber liqueur are interesting. Make sure to get one of the double patty burgers and order it juicy.

  8. Proof and Provision –  With an array of tasty snacks (think charcuterie, smoked wings, sandwiches and pizzas), this is a hidden gem for cocktails before or after a show at the Fox Theatre. Order The Business with gin, blood orange, nutmeg and egg white or the Cartel Cocktail if you enjoy mezcal. Note that the bar is closed on Sundays and Mondays, but open until 2 a.m. on weekends. 

  9. Public School 404 – This cute new West Midtown spot features notebook replica napkins and other school decor like gym lockers, yet the cocktails are sophisticated. If you like sweet, get the Guavalajara cocktail, but a blueberry ginger beer doesn't disappoint either.

  10. Tapa Tapa – Tucked away in Midtown’s Promenade shopping center just steps from Piedmont Park is this tapas restaurant. For cocktails get the Cucumber Collins or Spanish Negroni. Cocktails are reasonably priced at just about $10 each. Tip: There’s plenty of free parking available, a rarity in Midtown.

Get to know Atlanta's bar scene whether you're visiting or looking for inspiration for your next night out. Cheers!

Malika Bowling is the author of Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More!, and founder of Roamilicious. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. Her podcast, Just a Byte, can be downloaded from iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @MalikaBowling and Instagram

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