You can always have beer or wine at home, but a well-made cocktail – now that’s a skill. Atlanta is lucky to have several outstanding spots to sip on these tasty adult libations. Here's where to start with the best cocktail bars on Atlanta's Eastside.
- Amer – Inman Quarter is booming with restaurants and bars, and Amer is the premiere cocktail bar on the scene. “Amer” translates to “bitter” in French, and the bar’s drink list focuses on bitters and Italian amaro. The menu features 16 cocktails, divided into four sections: shaken, built, sodas and stirred. Like things on the sour side? Amer has an impressive list of sour cocktails.
- BeetleCat – The sister restaurant to Midtown’s Optimist is quite an impressive space. The upstairs level is fancy, but the downstairs feels like you walked into a '70s-era basement and serves drinks late night. I recommend the Royal Hawaiian.
- Krog Bar – Though technically a wine bar, Krog serves cocktails, too. If you are a gin fan, get the Krog Cocktail, made with gin and ruby red grapefruit juice. It is especially nice during warm weather when the patio is open, which allows for much more seating in the small space.
- Ladybird – Right along the Atlanta BeltLine is Ladybird with it’s in-demand patio. Whether you are day drinking or partying on a weekend, Ladybird has tasty drinks like the Dirty Money. Or enjoy the Redneck Mimosa during weekend brunch.
- Nine Mile Station – This is the beer garden on the roof of Ponce City Market. But it offers so much more than craft beer. My favorites are the light and tiki-like drinks such as the banana daiquiri or the Sunday Smash. Note that if you are headed to Nine Mile Station you will need to secure your reservation with a $20 fee, which can then be applied to a meal or drinks.
- The Mercury – Located in Ponce City Market, the Mercury is one of the first restaurants to be located on the upper level. The posh décor will beckon you to stay for dinner, but there are better spots so just stick with drinks. With classics like a Pimm’s Cup and French 75, there’s also the Tableside for Four, which is the same price per person as other cocktails.
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.