NFT Atlanta Virginia Highland

Virginia Highland

Virginia Highland is a friendly, artsy neighborhood that attracts city dwellers with kids. Public schools are above average, but that isn’t saying much. Housing is an eclectic mix of homes, apartments, and new condo and loft developments. Traffic and parking can be a real bitch on weekends due to the area’s concentrated nightlife district.




         


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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Historic Buildings in Atlanta

By Sara Cheshire
Ready to see Atlanta's famous antebellum architecture? Well, fuck you, 'cause you can't! They been BURNED since 1865 so get ready to see a lot of McDonalds instead, you ignorant tool. In the meantime, Sara Cheshire has some cool late 19th century buildings to peacock.

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On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Yoforia
Mix the cold, creamy smell of Dairy Queen with the aesthetics of "A Clockwork Orange" and you have Yoforia, a winning concept in the Highlands outpost that also houses Doc Chey's. The Dairy Queen comparisons pretty much end there. This is healthy, delicious stuff, with organic milk and yogurt and just 25 calories per ounce. (A large original with three toppings was a pucker-inducing $7, but substantial enough to supplant my dinner appetite). Toppings include an array of delicious fruits and wackier offerings like--no shit--Fruity Pebbles. Launched at Perimeter in 2007, the concept is spreading virally throughout Atlanta and Charlotte. Hopefully, a franchise will pop up in the 200 block of Highland Avenue before summer's famous swelter suffocates us all.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

La Tavola Trattoria
A couple doors down from the weekly $1 Dos Equis riots at Noche stands the impeccable La Tavola Trattoria. Consistently ranked among Atlanta’s best restaurants, "The Table" is the top Italian option on Virginia-Highland's eclectic spate. A product of Fifth Group Restaurants--the bunch behind Midtown stalwarts like ecco, South City Kitchen and the funky Original El Taco--La Tavola's nondescript exterior belies the bustle within. The interior emphasizes sleek without sacrificing cozy. The back deck--heated and enclosed for those brisk Southern nights--lends a more natural view. For the adventurous (and wise), the Italian-style brunch is served 11 am to 3 pm on Sundays only. Don't skip the bruschette.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Juicy Green
There's nothing like trashy '80s hair-band rock to get me in the mood for frozen yogurt. Something about RATT points me to cold, overpriced mango in a dish. Not really. I was parked the other day at the stoplight of Virginia and Highland, reaching as quickly as possible to switch the station away from "Seventeen," when this sleek little yogurt shop caught my eye--Juicy Green. I found parking and entered a sort of mini-IKEA, all minimalist with a dash of Kubrick. I had a sore throat and frozen tomato soup would have brought me in. There's not much but supremely healthy yogurt, according to them, and a dozen or so flavors of gelato. Let's be honest, the shit is divine. The flavors run the fancy fruit gamut, offered in plain or green tea styles. Couldn't bring myself to plop $6 on the large bowl, so I went medium for a buck less. Nuts were a respectable 95 cents. They served me what you'd get at Hardees, if that swirl cone had aced art school on a trust fund. I walked away happy but puzzled. You'd think if they were so health-conscious and green they wouldn't dish so much Styrofoam.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

D.B.A. Barbecue
I'd recommend you get to D.B.A., nestled in the former Vine location near The Original El Taco, before too many folks haphazardly pass it like I did. This place is going to explode, mark my words. The acronym, according to our sweet but ditzy waitress, stands for "Doing business as…" which is rather confounding but unimportant. The metro has enough shack-sounding locales like The Pig Pit and Harry's Kick-Ass Ribs. Barbeque prepped by executive-looking cooks in chefs' coats is a breath of fresh air. Lunch is available now and brunch ain't far behind. Smoked tofu is an option. No kidding. At $16, the Two Meat Combo dinner could feed Puerto Rico. The Pulled Pork sandwich, priced half that, is also heaping. As any 'cue aficionado knows, the sides are as vitale as the meat and sauce. What I've tried at D.B.A. without question cuts the mustard, what with the World's Best Broccoli, Mushroom and Cheddar Casserole on the menu, alongside crunchy little accordions of Sweet Potato fries and Braised Collared Greens. Smart money says the Creamy Allen Mills Cheese Grits are otherworldly, but I haven't gone there yet. Next time.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

El Bar
Remember when Jefe was trying to explain to El Guapo what a "plethora" was? The more Jefe said, the greater El Guapo's frustration. Poor little Jefe. Try telling someone why El Bar is cool. Why something about this little half-basement crammed under a Mexican restaurant on Ponce is titillating. Same thing. Absolute befuddlement. On both ends. Here's why it might be cool: the DJs expertly read the pulse of their audience. The $7 Red Stripes are the size of regulation footballs. They serve an Obama shot (orange vodka/energy drink). The crowd blends hipster break-dancers with PETA activists and the occasional suit (and nobody bats an eye). The $5 cover doesn't kick in until after 11 pm. So damn. I guess there's a plethora of reasons.



Posted By:  Carrie Neal Walden
Photo:  Carrie Neal Walden

Diesel Filling Station
Brunch--food for the soul come the weekend. A place that serves Bloody Mary and mimosa pitcher specials till three Saturday and Sunday? Awesome. One with a great patio and lets you bring your canine BFF with? Even better. When the food's delicious, too? That's the whole package. Diesel on North Highland is one spot that meets all of these criteria. If you're in the mood for breakfast, go with the Fried Egg BLT, the huge and delicious French toast or the Damn Yankee--a skillet of yumminess that includes eggs topping potatoes, ham, cheese and more. If lunch is your thing, the turkey club and make-your-own-burger (with toppings as varied as goat cheese to onion straws or a poached egg) are top picks. It's almost spring in Atlanta, and that means plenty of nice days ahead for getting your weekend grub on. This is one spot guaranteed to fill you up right.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

10 High
The 10 High is to karaoke what Led Zeppelin is to classic rock: a pulverizing experience that's tenfold better than its competition. The club is basically like your parent's basement, only caked in slime, drenched in PBR and urine and pumped full of turn-it-up-to-eleven attitude. This isn't your daddy's karaoke; this is you, on stage, backed by a live band of cover-tune virtuosos, a tipsy audience of all ages screaming in huddled masses before you. They do it every Monday, Friday and Saturday. The band is called Metalsome Inc., though they'll rock Journey and No Doubt like you ain't never heard. It's worth every cent of the $7 cover. Trust me, early Pantera has never sounded so good.



Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

Righteous Room
Always use seasoning salt when eating woodland creatures and small children. I read that on the walls of the women's bathroom at The Righteous Room (don't ask), which should tell you right off the bat this ain't the fucking Ritz. Alongside the message sprawled a melange of crude sex drawings, several rap lyrics and, below that, a rank puddle of piss on the floor. My kind of joint. The Righteous Room has heart, grit and a surprisingly inviting vibe, plunked on the ATL's lunatic artery, Ponce de Leon Avenue. The old-school Rock-Ola juke box is often ranked Atlanta's best, wherein the Gang of Four competes for your change with the Black Lips and, strangely, a shitload of Lou Reed. It seems oxymoronic to juxtapose the words "kickass" and "strip mall bar," but this place defies stereotype. Plus they have delicious Anchor Steam on tap, a rarity in these parts.




Posted By:  Josh Green
Photo:  Josh Green

The Original El Taco
The Original El Taco has a sense of humor. During dinner, there's a crowd-pleasing "Wheel O' Taco" spin every hour on the hour, wherein lucky number holders score free queso and other un-whoop-worthy nosh. (Ed. Speak for yourself, ill-appreciator of cheese) Then there's the giant mural, a colorful homage to successful border-jumping. Ha! Tex-Mex is the order of the day at this charming, edgy-chic spot once occupied by Sala, which tanked. El Taco fits nicely in the part of Virginia-Highland that's past Fontaine's and Everybody's Pizza and all that shit, but not quite so far as Doc Chey's. It's courtesy of local culinary extraordinaire Shaun Doty, the guy who scored a hit with Inman Park's swank Shaun's. Here I enjoyed the single most scrumptious soft taco to ever pass my lips (the Grilled Chicken, $2.75) and an inventive take on Mexican pizza called the Carnitas ($12.50), a mound of pork and veggies. Don't neglect to hit the free salsa bar (just like at Moe's, only with stranger, more complex concoctions: a salsa that nearly tastes like peanut butter, for instance.) I hear the margaritas are orgasmic but, to be honest, I don't trust myself behind the wheel on tequila.




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

The BookHouse Pub
When I heard that the brains behind MJQ Concourse had decided to try their hands at pub food, I was, at once, alarmed and intrigued. When I discovered that their new venture featured Tiki Tuesdays, I figured it was at least worth checking out. Lucky for me, The BookHouse Pub is the antithesis of MJQ--it's clean, wood-heavy, relatively quiet, intimate, there's no smoking allowed, and, most importantly, the service is good. While the island-inspired cocktails seemed way too spendy (nothing below and much above $8) for this stretch of Ponce, the selection of bottles and draughts is quite nice and much more reasonable. In all fairness, the relatively few high prices do accurately reflect the scrumptious decor and attention to detail at the BookHouse. The dining room is richly appointed in gorgeous, floor-to-ceiling woodwork; faux cork flooring; stained glass; and clever ceiling shelves packed full of--you guessed it--books. Other little luxuries include several strategically placed outlets, so studious-types can get their laptop on while enjoying a pint. Though the menu reads more like a choose-your-own-adventure than a cohesive tome, most dishes (the glaring exception being the over-seasoned burger) are tasty. The buttery, crust-less pimento cheese is particularly indulgent, as is the house cured bacon.



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

Fontaine's Oyster House
Just because the economy is tanking doesn't mean your social life should go down with it. After a tiring day of watching your 401K bottom out, join the other penny pinchers down at Fontaine's for the best happy hour deals in the city. Tuesdays and Thursdays offer the most value with a dozen oysters for $5 and $2 beer specials. Additionally on Thursday, crab legs and peel 'n eat shrimp are half price, but only from 4-7 PM, so it pays to get there early. Since Congress, Wall Street and your bank are likely to continue the financial assfuck far into the future, you may as well get drunk and enjoy some affordable shellfish.



Posted By:  Beth Linder
Photo:  Beth Linder

Ten Thousand Villages
You have to admit, it's pretty sweet living in the U.S. of A--good life, purported liberty, and the happy pursuit of every Starbucks lining every street corner. Living amid such extravagance certainly has its perks, but once in a while it's a bigger perk to give to the less indulgent. Know what I'm saying? Enter the heart of the mission, Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit boutique where artists from around the globe feature their beautifully crafted work. As individual as they are unique, the heirlooms, jewelry, trinkets, and various sundries found here are handmade and expansive in origin. And fair trade means the opportunity for fair wages and higher quality of life--the latter of which never comes down to the price tag. Just the thought brings a whole new meaning to the notion of living in a material world.



Posted By:  Carrie Neal Walden
Photo:  Carrie Neal Walden

South of Market
Time to freshen up your digs, but don't want to do it the IKEA way? Then you need to head on over to South of Market, my friend. For grown-up tastes (and budgets) with a young vibe and very of-the-moment color and style spin, this is your in-town place. Right in the heart of Virginia Highlands, the appealing storefront windows beckon you with natty displays and glimpses of sofas that you just know you'd love nestling into. They always have that perfect end table and just the right coffee table (which is actually a tin chest, but it's so unusual and the perfect height for your odd-sized sofa) and they have a slew of knick-knacks to fill out your bookcases and credenzas. If you aren't in the market to buy, it's also a great place to meander through after a nice lunch in the neighborhood!



Posted By:  Carrie Neal Walden
Photo:  Carrie Neal Walden

Murphy's
Murphy's is an institution in Virginia Highlands. There are many things to rave about, from the burgers to the mimosas and the scrumptious weekend brunch. The focus now, however, is their stellar wine cellar. Aesthetically pleasing, just off the main bar and perfect for perusing should you have to wait for a table (something that often happens given the spot's popularity), they stock superb wines you'll recognize as well as ones you'll be tempted to try for the first time. The staff is knowledgeable and happy to guide you or assist with buying one bottle or stocking up for a party. Take a gander next time you're in the neighborhood!



Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

The Cavern Bar
Next door to Moe’s & Joe’s is a smaller bar named the Cavern, where they say new customers are regulars and regulars are best friends. It’s an aptly named venue during the winter, when it can feel a little dark, somewhere you might hole up and have trouble leaving come spring time. But with another gorgeous Atlanta spring upon us, the Cavern is about to bloom into a place that deserves a visit more often than Tuesday nights when Moe’s gets a bit too crowded. The Cavern throws open the windows, lets in the light, and becomes the sunny equivalent of a hillside veranda, somewhere to kick back, drink a beer, and watch people frantically shop a Saturday into oblivion. The new manager has some surprises up his sleeves, including damn good specials, so the next time Moe’s & Joe’s, Taco Mac, or Fontaine’s fills up too fast, try the Cavern.



Posted By:  Katherine Dean
Photo:  Katherine Dean

The Atlanta Cupcake Factory
If there's one thing in the world that I would bowl over small children (without even a smidgen of guilt) to get my hands on, it's the Lemon Lemon cupcake at the Atlanta Cupcake Factory. These little parcels of pleasure are truly mini cake crack. The deliciously moist crumb and lip-smackingly creamy icing leave you satisfied in the short run but always craving more, which really stinks because, tucked away into the rows of shops lining North Highland, The Atlanta Cupcake Factory is only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with limited hours to boot. Luckily, the clever owners understand how addictive their tiny treats can be. You can wrap your sticky little paw around one of the Atlanta Cupcake Factory's creations any day of the week at MetroFresh, located in the Midtown Promenade.



Posted By:  Carrie Neal Walden
Photo:  Carrie Neal Walden

Osteria 832
It’s Tuesday night. You’re thinking, “Hmm. Sure could go for some Italian about now. A nice plate of pasta, a little wine, maybe some tiramisu . . .” Where to go, you wonder? Osteria 832, my friend! Great any night, Tuesdays mean half-price wine! Start with an app or two (the bruschetta’s the best I’ve ever had), then dig into a specialty pizza or tackle any one of their pastas (my pick is the just-rich-enough chicken ravioli). My bet is you’ll head into hump-day one happy camper!



Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Sala -- Sabor de Mexico
Remember when Taco Bell came out with those multi packs of tacos, when something like 30 hard shell tacos came in a box the size of a duffel bag, and you and your friends tried to see how many you could eat in one sitting? Recreate that magic, with a touch of grown-ass elegance, at Sala-Sabor de Mexico. On Monday nights, they got all-you-can-eat tacos for only $15. That might not seem like as good a deal as the one you got when you ran to the border, but these are some of the best tacos in the city; marinated steak, fluffy talapia, and tangy chicken. Ask for a pineapple infused tequila shot to help wash each round of tacos down (they bring them out in threes), and see how many you can devour. You’ll be lucky to force-feed yourself past round two.



Posted By:  Jim Hunt
Photo:  Jim Hunt

Limerick Junction
By the time you read this, the digital clock at Limerick Junction will be back somewhere in the high 300’s. While St. Patty’s Day has come and gone, the annual countdown will continue again at Limerick Junction, which makes no secret that its favorite day of the year is March 17th. When you aren’t distracted by the gleaming red numbers streaming backwards to that great Hibernian holiday, there’s plenty else to enjoy at Atlanta’s oldest Irish pub. There’s live music every night (though sometimes it starts a bit late), a large back patio, and an old-fashioned popcorn machine that provides free, warm munchies throughout the night. Limerick Junction is a great place to chill out and watch a football (soccer) game, or get wild and throw down any one of their twelve distinctive shooters. Beware the Mind Eraser… It’s not just a clever name.



Posted By:  C S
Photo:  C S

The Highland Inn
It won’t be a secret much longer, so make your way to the Highland Inn Lounge while it still feels intimate and local. The Poncey-Highland inn, built in the 1920s, boasts a candlelit subterranean bar and ballroom on Tuesdays through Saturday. A lot younger than the Manuel’s regulars and a little less sloppy than Righteous Room crowd, the patrons come to hide out from the East Atlanta crush. Drinks are inexpensive and the little bowls of pretzels are free and refreshed often. For the smokers who need to be near an exit point, the foyer is perfect for lounging. Cult movies play on the barroom television and the tables are stocked with games like Connect Four and Chinese checkers in case you’re feeling competitive. The ballroom is spacious but still manages to feel cozy, perfect for either live jazz or shimmying to 60s vinyl. Depending on who’s DJing or performing, each evening has a different feel—keep up with the board out front announcing the night’s events or check the MySpace page.




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Restaurants (33)
Nightlife (22)
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