When you’re in the mood for something more lively than a simple dinner but you don’t want to commit to the club, a high-energy, rowdy dinner is just in order. We’ve got the full range in this post, from casual to more upscale, from fun and upbeat atmospheres to places where it’s totally okay to twerk on the tables if the music moves you to do so. Dive into our list, and let us know if we missed a spot.
467 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307
How do you stand apart in a town chock-full of great Italian joints? You play some 70s disco tunes and create an over-the-top, cheesy, kitschy atmosphere that everyone’s sure to love. Amore e Amore is truly an experience where it’s all about the fun ambiance. The staff will delight you with things like bubbles and glowsticks making this the perfect place to get lit with your girlies. While the food may be a little different than some more authentic Italian spots, our staff writer Joey adores the lamb osso bucco, and I am a personal fan of the eggplant parmigiana.
1871 Cobb Pkwy SE #350, Marietta, GA 30060
What do you do when you can’t decide whether you want to open up a barber shop or a restaurant? You apparently do both at Barber Bistro! This unique eatery in Marietta is tons of fun every single night of the week. There’s always a DJ spinning old school R&B and afrobeats tunes and the best part is that the food is freakin’ delicioustop. We’re talking not just finger-licking good, but plate-licking good. So, enjoy your meal, but don’t forget to get up and dance too if you’re feeling it!
Barcelona Wine Bar is the perfect dinner spot to visit as a first stop on a night out. First off, they serve tapas, which means you can eat as little or as much as you like. The complimentary bread and olive oil are super tasty, and later in the evening, the music really gets going. If you’re up for a little fun waiters will come around to pour wine into your mouths from a Catalan wine pitcher called a porrón. It’s guaranteed to make a mess, but it’s part of the fun!
935 Marietta St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
This blue and aesthetic restaurant has a DJ most nights, pretty much guaranteeing that you’ll end up having a fun and raucous night out no matter what! Don’t be surprised if people get on the tales to dance at this restaurant/lounge. Come on payday as the bill can quickly add up here if you are dining and drinking, but the food is well-seasoned and they do have an all-you-can-eat crab legs special on Mondays. They have hookah here as well!
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870 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306
This unpretentious Virginia Highlands spot has dive bar vibes, but a bit of step up from that with their menu of incredible cocktails, reasonably priced in the low teens. You can tell by the menu they really enjoy what they do, and everything has a bit of a twist. Enjoy a spin on the comfort food from your childhood, like an “unscrustaballer” almond butter and grape jelly empanada and pizza rolls, but made with chorizo and pepperoni in a wonton wrapper. The disco fries are a must! Perfect for a lively start to night out in Virginia Highlands (head to Dark Horse Tavern afterwards for rock ‘n roll karaoke if you’re feeling frisky post Mai Tai).
70 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306
Persian food is having a well-deserved moment in ATL, and Delbar is absolutely one of our favorites. The interiors are breathtaking, light-filled and airy, neutral mix of zellige tiles and wood accents, but it’s the food that’s the star of the show. The kabobs are hugely popular, but my favorite thing to do is order an assortment of their mazze and spreads: the labneh, kashk bademjoon (fried eggplant), and omani shrimp are absurdly tasty. The only caveat here is that you will not leave hungry, so if your goal is a rowdy dinner out before more drinks, you may not make it to the second spot and instead waddle home for a helluva good, carb-filled sleep.
Something about tapas spots just ends up making for an exciting night out. Any given night, there will be salsa instructors or flamenco guitarists or DJs that can make a boring regular weekday night super exciting. The cocktails are tasty and the portions are solid.
3011 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30329
Why just do dinner if you can do dinner and a drag show? Lips remains one of the best places in Atlanta to enjoy drag dining. The dancers are so talented that you’ll be clamoring to give them your dollar bills. It’s pre-fixe and great for dinner or for a boozy bottomless brunch. Plus, the reservation system makes it great for group dining.
900 DeKalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
This kitschy spot is modeled after the 1980s diners of yesteryear, with tons of brown, plaid, wood, and did we mention brown yet? The pizza is awesome and nostalgic, extra cheesy goodness, a great place to kick back and get comfortable with friends. There’s a $5 martini happy hour from 5-7pm on weekdays!
138 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
This beautiful lounge in downtown Atlanta has a killer ambiance, with DJs spinning the latest current rap and R&B tunes. There are so many Instagram moments all around, with an ultra cool green grass wall, colorful art, and sexy lighting. Parking is tough, and if hookah smoke bothers you, steer clear.