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Thumbs Up on Marietta Street dishes up some of the best classic breakfasts in town. Eggs, pancakes, waffles, skillets, French toast—you name it. Everything that comes off their griddle is exactly salty and greasy enough to taste authentic, without sending you into cardiac arrest or shame-induced sadness.
West Egg serves brunch all day. Their breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner menus verge on the highbrow, with a distinctly Southern accent that comes through in the pimiento cheese, deviled eggs, and divinely creamy garlic grits.
For lunch, cholesterol be damned, head to Carver’s Country Kitchen for some call-your-mom-and-tell-her-you-love-her-but-you-wish-she-had-cooked-for-you-like-this fried chicken. It’s perennially popular despite a location off the beaten path and a cash-only register, so expect a short and expediently-diffused queue.
You might feel a few months drop off the end of your life during the meal, but that’s to be expected from great home-style Southern cooking. Besides, crispy breading and buttery sides like this are what a last meal should taste like.
(If you prefer eating healthy and you’re going to be a thorn about it, check out Tiny Bistro around the corner instead. It’s another hidden treasure, serving beautiful light sandwiches and sides by Figs and Honey Catering.)
Octane is an all-day, all-demographic favorite. They serve the gamut of bourgie coffees (including a pretty killer French press), breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and booze in the evenings. They even host tastings on the regular, from local breweries and distilleries, as well as occasional beer dinners and dance nights.
The wi-fi is free, so regulars tend to camp out for the long haul. If you find it too crowded, Daily Grind is across the street and they will put ice cream in your coffee. So you can’t lose.
Take the Kids
Six Feet Under serves good seafood, including steamed skillets, fried baskets, and sandwiches. Oh, and hush puppies. Crispy, fluffy jalapeno hush puppies. On a nice day, you can’t beat this location’s rooftop dining area….and a big basket of hush puppies.
Take a Date
If your date is cool, head to Flip. It’s chic and relaxed, the waitstaff is pretty, and the dining room is noisy enough to take some of the edge off.
If your date isn’t cool, cancel.
Take the Boss
Bosses love Five Seasons. It’s a fairly upscale restaurant and brewery, serving polished pub fare and elegant small plates. A meeting here is less intimidating than at a restaurant full of whispers and linen tablecloths—just make sure you keep the boss a pint ahead of you.
After Work Cocktails
Get the gang to Ormsby’s! They have a full bar with a nice selection of whiskeys and draught beers, and downstairs, the playroom is packed with bocce courts, billiard tables, dart boards and more. Show up early if you want to play, because it gets pretty crowded after dark.
From lunchtime until 10 p.m., you can rely on Taqueria del Sol‘s superb American tacos, spicy soups, and hot queso dip. But if you haven’t been here yet, do the rest of us a favor and find your own tacos. The line here is long enough already. Worth it—more than worth it—but quite long enough.
From the street, Northside Tavern might look like a total dive, but that’s only because it absolutely is. Stop in for a cheap drink and incredible live blues. When the band rolls in and they’re all over 50, weathered, and a little drunk, you know you’ve come to the right place. But make sure you leave your dry-clean-only jacket in the car. Like all the best dives, ventilation isn’t on the menu.
The Center for Puppetry Arts is a delightful place to pass an afternoon. The puppet museum houses important historical puppets including, yes, a respectable Muppet population, and traveling exhibits that visit on a rotating basis. There are always wonderful performances and workshops available for kids, and several adult-oriented events throughout the year.
Also, when the Center opened in 1978, Kermit the Frog cut the ribbon. The real Kermit, with Jim Henson by his side. Come on, that’s awesome.
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