In Your Neighborhood: Old Fourth Ward

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The Old Forth Ward is an up and coming neighborhood in Atlanta, wedged between Inman Park, Midtown, and the Highlands. With the MLK Memorial, a new (Tony Hawk was at the opening) Skate Park, new park and the Beltline’s Eastside Trail forming the O4W’s eastern boundary, it blends the old and the new without fussing with the aesthetic of either. The district’s restaurants are amazing and varied, and the people are just darn neighborly.

Thumbs Up Dinner is an Atlanta chain of breakfast eateries. From whole wheat biscuits and house made jam to fill-your-plate pancakes, challah French toast with a side of bacon (which is surely blasphemous), or chicken sausage, or try the omelet de jour… Thumbs Up will have something for everyone. Open from 7-3 on weekdays and 8-4 on weekends, it’s a great place to sit outside of and wait for an open table.

Recently expanded to accommodate the growing demand, Highland Bakery has so much going for it — and the jalapeno cheese grits might be on the top of my list.  They don’t have mimosas or bellinis, but they have some of the best coffee in Atlanta. This place is mostly farm to table, and you can pick up something for later from the actual bakery.

Noni’s has a limited but delicious menu. With thoughtful sandwiches, craveable pasta dishes and hearty salads, anyone can find something to enjoy here. They have parking in the back, but you enter it from Edgewood, just to the right of the building.

Dancing Goats is new to town and that’s fine. There are huge swinging couches outside and freshly made doughnuts inside, what’s not to love about that? There is nowhere to sit inside, but the patio is large, protected, and heated. The coffee is great and the lunch sandwiches are made by neighbor, 4th and Swift.

Take the Kids
Bell Street Burritos and Jakes Ice Cream are both located in the quaint Irwin Street Market. Bell Street recently moved from their Howell Mill location to their new Beltline-adjacent location and serves some of the best burritos in the nation. Just ask Esquire Magazine. Jake’s Ice Cream is an Atlanta staple and known for its alcoholic and vegan creations, along with their full fat dairy ones.

Take a Date
Two Urban Licks can be found near the intersection of Ralph McGill and Freedom Parkway. Set in a beautifully restored and repurposed building, it is the perfect place to take someone you love, or want to love, for a night of romance and sexy food.

Take the Boss
4th and Swift has taken the farm to table concept and elevated to a place that is beyond compare in its elegance. Another repurposed, masterfully appointed space, it is the perfect place to take someone you want to impress. And the dinner menu is only eclipsed slightly by the amazing drink menu. The only problem is deciding which one to try. So try several and take a cab home.

After Work Cocktails
P’cheen. Quirky and comfortable, this bistro has been in the Old Forth Ward for several years.  With a great patio and a well laid out bar, this is the perfect place to stop on your way home from work, or on your way out to dinner (the food here is great too). The mixologist is creative and the place is just, dare I say, fun.

Serpas. Scott Serpas took a calculated gamble when he decided to open a restaurant in the Studioplex Lofts. What they have done to keep the integrity of the space, make it beautiful, and embrace the history of the place… It’s amazing. He keeps his menu seasonal and his staff friendly and helpful.  A great place to have dinner.

After Hours
Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium. Church or Sister Louisa’s for short. Grant Henry just may be a genius. With celebrity sightings becoming the norm here, where else would any of us regular folk want to go? Great atmosphere, no smoking, decorations that will keep you laughing and organ karaoke on Wednesdays what more do could you want? Oh, you want to confess something? The confessional is just up the stairs.

What can I say about the Masquerade? What can’t I say? It hosts several BeerFests, concerts in four different areas (yes, I include the music park), and you can just grab a drink in purgatory if it suits you. The Masq (as it is called by the locals) has been rumored to be leaving us since… um… forever, but I really don’t think it has any other place to be.


  1. FM Fats:Why stop? Sound Table. Ammazza. Harold's Chicken and Ice Bar. Jack's Pizza and Wings. Corner Tavern. Miso Izakaya. Vesuvius. Lottafruta. Great food destinations all.
  2. Ashleigh:I had to pick one place... I live here, it was hard.
    There isn't a place here I don't like