Thanks to Georgia’s economic incentive program for film, the state has quickly become the No. 1 filming location in the world. With so many movies and TV shows shot in Atlanta, the city easily earned the nickname “Hollywood of the South” and now holds its own weight. Notably, the summer blockbuster "Baby Driver" is both shot and set in the ATL, and director Edgar Wright definitely showcases the city’s character in his newest release.
The movie follows Baby, a young but talented getaway driver, who works for a mastermind heist organizer. Atlanta serves as the backdrop while Baby sits at-the-ready as the bank robbers' music-fueled, high-speed escape artist. Below we identify the must-see Atlanta landmarks from the new movie starring Ansel Elgort, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Lily James and Jamie Foxx.
1. Criminal Records
With the film’s action always cutting to the music, this movie is equal parts heist thriller and modern-day musical. Throughout the movie, Baby is constantly listening to the soundtrack curated by one-time Atlanta resident, Danger Mouse. Like any in-the-know Atlantan, Baby is sure to buy his music from Criminal Records, an old-school vinyl record store in Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood. After checking out Criminal’s vast collection of music, comic books, magazines and other groovy items, film aficionados can grab a beer from The Porter Beer Bar and enjoy the eclectic scene around Atlanta’s hippie hood.
Baby calls Bacchanalia “the finest wining and dining of all the wines and dines in town,” and he is not wrong. One of Atlanta’s most critically acclaimed, high-end restaurants, this West Midtown eatery has become an institution in Atlanta’s farm-to-table scene. Chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison have created a world-class, New American menu that changes with the season. Located in a chic, industrial setting, Bacchanalia is an exceptional choice for any foodie visiting Atlanta.
3. Baby’s Sweet Auburn Apartment
Sweet Auburn Curb Market is home to produce and progress. (Jay Jordan, AtlantaPhotos.com)
Baby’s fictitious apartment sits at the intersection of Bell Street and Auburn Avenue in Sweet Auburn, a neighborhood just east of Downtown. While the façade used in the film is currently home to offices and a recording studio, we like to imagine what Baby would have done had he actually lived in the historic Odd Fellows Building. After appreciating his neighborhood’s rich civil rights history at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Baby would check out the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Built in 1924, The Curb Market houses some of Atlanta’s best produce and meat merchants, a full-service bakery, a bookstore, pharmacy and 11 of the most popular eateries in the city.
4. Octane Coffee
Before every important meeting with his crew of bank robbers, Baby stops in at Octane Coffee Bar, a community favorite that promises a well-crafted drink. While the actual scene from the movie was shot in Slice, a downtown pizzeria, Octane’s name was perfect for a movie dominated by fast-paced car chases. Check out any of Octane’s four local locations and enjoy a high-quality coffee or cocktail from one of Atlanta’s best neighborhood coffee shops.
5. Goodfellas Pizza
See the sights from the movie at street level. (Cameron Haldin)
As Baby tries to step away from the life of a bank-robbing getaway driver, he starts working at Goodfellas Pizza as a delivery boy, hoping to use his driving skills to bring people joy. This old-school pizzeria, which serves as the late night go-to for Georgia Tech students, sits in Midtown near Atlanta institutions The Fox Theatre and The Varsity.
6. The Streets of Atlanta
The streets of Atlanta are the true stars of this movie. Baby flies down Buford Highway, navigates the complex twists and turns of I-85’s Spaghetti Junction, hides in Peachtree Street parking garages, all with the hopes of someday heading west on I-20 in a car he cannot afford, with plans he does not have. You, too, can drive the same streets as Baby on your next visit to Atlanta. But please, we ask, drive more carefully.
Born and reared in the shadow of the Midtown skyline, Cameron Haldin recently moved back to Atlanta after graduating from college. You can follow him on twitter @Cameron_Haldin for the city's latest happenings.