NFT Atlanta Inman Park / Little Five Points

Inman Park / Little Five Points

Here you’ll find the hip, hippie, and punked-out crowd calling some of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods home. Little Five Points is still resisting the big box staleness off Moreland, the deeply tattooed and scary keeping corporate America at bay. Inman Park, with its jaw-dropping Victorians and tree-lined streets, was Atlanta’s first suburb, and is still home to one of the metro area’s more eclectic annual neighborhood festivals.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Sister Bars

By Jim Hunt
Bars! Who needs bars?! Jim Hunt does. Like a starving man needs a meal. But Jim was getting tired of his old libatory standby. Pesky newcomers, hygienic improvements. Jim deserved more, so he took to the open highway and found six sister bars that would fulfill an old desire: A place to hang his weary head, a bartender to soothe his gaping wounds and a niche that he could call his own. Join Jim on this journey, and never go thirsty again.

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Guide to Entertaining Tourists

By Sara Cheshire
It's not just peach tree climbing anymore.

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One-Day Road Trips: Adventures Outside of Atlanta

By Ben Bowlin
Follow Ben Bowlin on an economy-sized 24-hour adventure and learn what makes freedom good, America great and love strong.

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On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

P'Cheen
Damn it, I wish I loved PBR. Drinking this lifeblood for cheap-asses could literally save most casual bar-goers I know about $200 monthly. Every unpretentious bar in A-town hawks it for about $2 per gallon. Unfortunately, it tastes like a liquefied garden hose sucked through a dead burro's teats. Southern hipsters seem to love it, or at least the ironic look of it in their paws. I find Pabst tolerable if chilled to near-freezing (tiny icebergs within are a good sign), and guzzled while standing near a heat source (read: barbeque) or a DJ whose can is bigger than yours. Even then it's drinking for purpose, not joy.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Rathbun's
Hard to believe six years have passed since Rathbun's signaled Atlanta's u-turn from a clubby party city to a more refined collection of world-class eateries. Or at least that's what I heard. Like one million others, I wasn't here in 2004, and I've waited far too long to indulge in this Inman Park pillar. Rathbun's and its sister, the spunky Krog Bar, are strikingly beautiful spaces, first and foremost. The bathroom murals, soaring curtains and exposed brick up the cool factor. The grub is Modern American Cuisine, relying heavily on meaty offerings like the 20 ounce ribeye with blue cheese that helped this place join America's top steak houses, or so claimed Details magazine a few years back. Menu offerings range from "big plates" to "second mortgage plates" and vary from $15 to a gulp-worthy $39. The sprawling parking lot makes, well, parking a cinch. Valet is offered, in case you get off on that.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

The Lighting Loft
Looking for a nifty wall sconce? Need a large pendant (i.e., a giant, suspended hockey puck for your kitchen?) How's about an outdoor light to spice up your night? The Lighting Loft is a one-stop shop for truly superb bulb-holders. It's on Edgewood near Thumbs Up Diner, between downtown and Inman Park. Traditionalists with rooster wallpaper in the kitchen need not patronize. The Loft is contemporary cool to the gills, with some more bizarre arrangements leaning toward WTF. Don't be alarmed: the uber-friendly staff will dispel your fears of snooty, Versace-clad salespeople rumored to haunt such businesses. Wander the two-story showroom and indulge. And then save up. Adorning your home with LL-grade accoutrements is an investment, and probably worth it. Home Depot can't front.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Pure Taqueria
Opened on Halloween, Pure Taqueria brings to Inman Park an upbeat, vivid dining experience in the space formerly occupied by Atlanta's lamest Grape. Well, bienvenido. Here is where you come to get your refried gluttony on for under $10. The burgeoning Highland Avenue corridor can use some lively, no-frills dining like this, a place where the seats are plucked from your elementary cafeteria. A place where Lil Jon booms overhead as you munch platefuls of carne asada. A place not to be confused with the much maligned ATL club of the same name. Enjoy generations-old recipes. Sip rare cervesas like Carta blanca, or grow some balls and brave the $1.25 Black Label, a Canadian cousin to Schlitz. There's Pure locations in the burbs as well, but the margarita-drunk haul from Woodstock or Roswell is treacherous, especially with your belly in the way.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Freedom Parkway
Freedom Parkway can seem nonsensical to the uninitiated. If a strand of Atlanta's hair fell to the east and developed a wicked split-end, that would be Freedom Parkway. It jostles at first, and some connections can seem downright unsafe, but once you learn to maneuver "Freedom," you'll find it's a pretty smooth short cut. It beats having yet another mammoth, dingy freeway jutting from downtown, as was proposed in the 1960s. Instead of a wonderland for joggers and dog-walkers and graffiti scoundrels this could be I-485, an expressway hooking up with US 78 near Stone Mountain. Five hundred homes were sacrificed to GDOT bulldozers, but litigation and general bitching from residents eventually halted those plans, leaving a kudzu-eaten wasteland for two decades. With the Olympics coming down south, leaders realized their opportunity and eventually let Freedom, uh, prevail.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

P'Cheen
P'cheen, the Old Fourth Ward's hippest nightspot, is a celebration of culinary diversity and damn-strong beers. Their high-gravity list, which evolves to something else each time I'm there, touts an array of the eye-crossing stuff. For the more patient drinker, I'd advise you set down your $2 PBR once in a while and grab a Boddingtons, priced right for a 20 oz. slugger at $5. Like everybody, I can't keep my hands off The Big Ass Basket of Pommes Frites, which at $4 comes straddled with three dipping sauces. The entrees span the globe, from Guinness-Battered Fish n' Chips ($12) to Chipotle Roast Chicken paired with Herbed Yukon Gold Potatoes ($13). On random nights I've heard inventive DJs raising the roof. Which sucks because I live above it.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Highland Walk
Should you catch wind that Highland Walk is having one of their raucous summer pool parties--go! Jump the fence, befriend some stranger, just go. It's like Club La Vela in the Old Fourth Ward. Should you get a chance to live at this hip complex, located on the fringes of Inman Park and downtown, my advice is to do that, too. Like Safe Auto, that'll keep you legal. You'll live atop a killer sushi restaurant, a hipster pub, and within crawl of several cafes and bars. You'll pay for those amenities, but the price is far below the lowest mortgage in the area. There's a decent little gym, and the aforementioned pool is leafy and clean and booze-friendly (no bottles). A word to the wise: the security guard sleeps all night, so don't leave anything in your car you can't afford to lose. And the bike "cage" is quite, shall we say, porous.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Across the Street
Let's have a look at the $3 beer menu: there's Costa Rica's finest, Imperial. A touch of Mexico in Negra Modelo and Sol. The standard shades of Dos Equis, the Tecate…the list, it goes. The aptly christened Across the Street is great for kicking back on one of two patios and downing bottles of cheap suds that span Dallas to Rio. The food has been good on each visit, but never stellar, with the exception of the salsa-rojo smeared chicken chimichanga ($12). Parking can be tricky. My advice is to follow the graffiti arrows down Sampson, then stuff anything of value in your pockets. It's open now for Sunday brunch from 11 am to 4 pm. On Sunday nights, the place is generally rocking with a DJ and margarita-sippers who watch the joggers go by.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Shaun's
Adored by every foodie scribe from Esquire to Creative Loafing, Shaun's had bumped my expectations very high upon stopping in for brunch last weekend. It's been called the best haute comfort food in the Southeast, so I took a chance and ordered chicken livers, while the wife went manly with a sirloin and egg. The livers weren't bad, what with the vaguely smoky tenderness and drizzled sherry, but for $12 I was left wanting. The steak was dynamite, with the much lauded fries scattered about. The minimalistic interior of Shaun's leads to an old-world patio that seems imported from some Parisian rue. Romantic, even at noon. Can't wait to stockpile my expense checks and try dinner.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

Dad's Garage Theatre
You've outgrown the club scene. Good seats at the Fox are exorbitantly overpriced. And dinner and a movie have become so trite. Throw some spontaneity into your weekend routine and experience some live improv. Samurai Davis Jr. and Dim Sum's Super Mega Happy Fun Time Improv Show to be exact. Sure, that's more than a mouthful, but this motley crew of Atlanta's finest improv artists will have you craving for more off the cuff action in less than an hour after the last skit. Yes, this Japanese-style game show, offered Friday nights at 10:30 pm, puts a new twist on the art of decision making and, consequently enough, dealing with the repercussions. Two Asian-disguised hosts and their mini skirt-wearing assistants entertain audiences with two teams of two improvisers. Each team must choose from two doors and compete with an on-the-spot act using whatever prop appears from beyond the threshold. Could be a rope. A bathrobe. A Fisher-Price guitar. That’s the beauty of it--you never know. The best part is the fact that the audience decides the winner. And the loser...well, let's just say they had it coming:  various punishments, usually involving food or physical pain, all lead up to a grand finale which might just include a full on man-on-man makeout session.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

El Myr Burrito Lounge
Smack dab in the middle of the eccentric hot spot of Atlanta, known as Little Five Points, a sign of bright, buzzing neon blue light will be sure to catch the eye of the passerby. In fact, that sign was most likely designed like a fluorescent bug catcher to initially attract patrons (without eventually extinguishing them, of course), as they would probably otherwise miss this bar/restaurant entirely. The joint is El Myr (yes, this place meets the qualifications necessary to be classified as a joint) and the quesadillas are out of this world. The bar will offer standing room only, and customers who thought ahead and made a reservation will enjoy dinner from either the small, but comfortably crammed dining area or opt for some elbowroom out on the covered patio. If you can brave the typical packed house of the weekend and enjoy your beer and burrito beneath a low-hanging cloud of smoke, you’re in for a mighty fine time. So grab a Yuengling and order up some Tex-Mex style bar food, delivered in Brando-sized portion. Chips and salsa are a must, and if you enjoy a mouth of fire, I challenge you to the house queso. Buena suerte!




Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  J.E. Kemp

The Porter Beer Bar
The calamari at The Porter Beer Bar in Little Five Points is crave-able and more than enough to warrant repeat visits. In addition to delectable tentacles of fried cephalopod, the plate offers a bevy of crispy garnishes--jalapenos, onions, and, my favorite: crunchy lemon slices. But if aioli-dipped apps don't do it for you, this will: Recession Session Mondays, where selected pints are just $2. Now, I'm as big a beer snob as the rest of 'em and I gotta say, the Porter fits the bill when it comes to hops and malted barley. They aren't schlepping any shitty Miller Lite at this joint. From American craft wonders to brilliant Belgians, faux-Belgians and everything in between, the Porter knows its way around a pint glass. Once you've decided on the perfect brew, however, it's best to have a backup in mind, as the Porter's drink list doesn't always accurately reflect what they’ve got on tap.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Zaya
Zaya is the relatively new Inman Park Greek joint that, last summer, employed the greatest marketing device in the history of the universe--$1 dollar Ketel One anything! Top-shelf martinis whipped up by experts were a buck. Cranberry vodkas? A straight, smooth shot? One thin dollar, my brother. The owners, a crafty lot who've pulled off similar digs in New Orleans for years, had hijacked a vodka semi, I mused with friends, all hammered. Invariably we partnered our libations with food. You can put down an authentic, deeply fulfilling Zaya lunch for under $11, a dinner for under $13. My advice is to head straight for the Beef Shawarma ($11.95) for choice tenderloin wading in red wine vinegar. Drop in to peep an ever-changing list of specials (unfortunately none so dazzling as the Ketel One ploy.) The Babba Ganuj--an eggplant dip, a cousin to hummus--is delectable, if you like that kinky shit




Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Fritti
This ain't no Pizza Hut. You drink Peroni here, not Mr. Pibb. The sexy bat cave that is Fritti has held its own for years on this funky Inman Park corner against a wave of ethnic eateries--French, Greek and more Italian are all within a pizza's fling--which makes it all the more logical that CitySearch named this the best pie in the Southeast a few years back. It's all thin, unsliced bacchanalia that's wood-fired in the ancient manner (the place is certified by some highfalutin Italian bakers association, for Christ's sake.) A single pizza, which is all you'll reasonably need, sets you back $12 to $13.50. On my last visit I tried a delicious rascal called the Speck e Rucola, a sizable pie with strategically placed smoked prosciutto, layers of smoky mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. As for antipasti, the calamari, not too oily or crisp, is magnificent. Buon Appetito.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

LottaFrutta
Perhaps you've seen the portable billboard--a pomegranate-colored Mini Copper dazzled up like a fruit basket--zooming about the Old Fourth Ward. You'd be well advised to follow the Mini to Lotta Frutta, a former neighborhood market morphed into a refreshingly cool market for the health-conscious. The interior makes one want to limbo (think Honolulu meets the Chiquita Banana chick). The owners, who reside in the condo upstairs, bring generations-old recipes to light here. Dip your plastic fork into a variety of explosively fresh fruit cups, some featuring papaya and coconut milk. I did the massive Dolce Vitta with drizzled honey, whipped cream and granola for $6.25. Prior to that I had the delicious "Hav to Ham It" ($6.25), a Cuban you can stack with avocados, tomatoes and whatever else you fancy for an extra 25 cents. Here you'll find casual, South American flare with Miami sensibilities, a fresh anomaly in a neighborhood gentrifying with awesome restorations and blander condo stacks by the minute. It's open every single gosh darn day until 5 pm.



Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  J.E. Kemp

Noni's Italian Deli & Bar
I'm about as WASP-y as they come. In fact, I'd scarcely heard the word "prosciutto" before Y2K. Still, sandwiches, piled high with spicy, cured Italian meats, sharp provolone and sweet red peppers have long been a personal weakness that I enjoy indulging in on a semi-regular basis. And now that Noni's Italian Deli & Bar has opened up on Edgewood, I can revel in capicola, mortadella and soppresata to my heart’s content. Add to one kick-ass sandwich, a gorgeous, fully-stocked bar, fries that are truly addictive, ample portions, and most reasonable prices and you've got yourself one happy white girl. While several of the dishes (Caesar Salad, Noni's Fries) will keep you breathing garlic for days, the grimaces and subtle gags from your co-workers will all be worth it, because the grub at Noni's is absolutely delicious. Beginners: Go for the Hot Dom or the Cold Noni.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Parish
When I moved to Atlanta, the building that houses Parish--a dinner spot so trendy you'd mistake it for a Porsche dealership come Friday night--was merely a decrepit, rectangular stack of bricks with the word "OVERDOSE" graffitied down the side of it. Oh, the difference a year makes in these Intown 'hoods. The beautifully restored Parish is the last remaining structure of a giant 1890 pipe factory in the heart of Inman Park. It's courtesy of those brilliant minds at the Concentrics Group, the folks responsible for the Man's Paradise that is STATS downtown. They've injected this space with the charm--and the hearty, oceanic fare--of oldest New Orleans. The food is uniquely prepared and usually excellent, though pricey for shoestring diners. A fresh market on the ground level opens daily at 7 am. Grab an organic loaf or po-boy and chill on the spacious patio. Better yet, reach for the In Cold Blood screwdriver--named for Louisiana's finest, Truman Capote--and contemplate the breeze.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Highland Cigar Co
I'm not going to pretend to know shit about cigars. But there's something in the science of a good-tasting cigar and the slow, up-down-up physicality of smoking the thing that puts a man at ease, releases some internal valve. I know that even the $5 variety at Highland Cigar Co. does that. On a recent Sunday I toed up to the bar only to catch shit from unruly Steelers fanatics for wearing a Colts shirt. I found it difficult to be angry in a bar with nice leather everywhere and seas of rich, rich mahogany. In the humidor the kind waitress guided me to something not too dark, not too fat, but with notes of honey and a generous burn. She cut it for me perfectly and wiped the astray spotless. I ordered a Brazilian beer for the hell of it and puffed slowly to a state of pure indifference.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

The Albert
In planning a bar that doesn't take itself too seriously, one can't go wrong with decor like a gargantuan Al Capone face and a jazzy depiction of a scene from Fat Albert. (Sense a theme here?) The Albert is a comfy neighborhood pub nestled in a booming pocket of Inman Park that prides itself on the basics. In other words, it's just what this city needs in the face of gastropub-mania. But don't read "greasy slop" from the word "basics." The list of organic food choices here includes Albert's sizable hot dogs, perfect for the health-conscious bar-goer who prefers his wieners purely raised, as opposed to shoveled together. Burgers here are top-notch, too, and the blackened potato salad is a worthy fry substitute, though it tastes curiously like s'mores. Guinness--a beer that somehow fits with the Albert's bricky, darkly-lit interior and gothic vibes--is expertly poured, and the Bloody Marys are downright killer. I've heard much ado about Albert's desserts, namely the cakes, though I typically find they mix nastily with beer. The draft list, which includes just four choices, is wanting, though the necessities are there.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Krog Street Tunnel
At the junction of Intown's more interesting neighborhoods--Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park to the north, Cabbagetown and its scruffy cousin, Reynoldstown, to the south--stands an homage to netherworld artistry called the Krog Street Tunnel. The tunnel is nearly a century old yet it breathes with an ever-changing posterboard of graffiti from truly gifted artists. Low on gang tagging and high on wit, the tunnel carries several tracks of freight lines while the eastside MARTA line soars stories overhead. Easy to see why the tunnel's a hotspot for photographers and the occasional movie director. Vibrant renderings populate the concrete walls and trellises, from an ebullient visage of Bob Marley to a snarky rendering of Robert Mitchum that's easily the tunnel's most famed work. Be careful not to trip on discarded Rust-Oleum cans and the occasional empty bottle of Slitz High Gravity. Not recommended at night.




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