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This Is Why Atlanta Is Simply The Best

Atlanta area folks love to gripe about all the things we hate in this city, but what about all the reasons to love ATL? Because the truth is, no matter how many steel plates we have to drive over on our commute home, we’d never call anywhere else home. Here’s a nonexhaustive list of over 200 reasons why Atlanta is the greatest city on Earth. 

1. The trees. Not just relegated to dedicated green spaces like in other major metropolitan areas, but in this “city in the forest” 48% of the city is covered in trees.  

2. All of our dive bars. Shoutout to Northside Tavern, keep being you. 

3. Cascade Skating Rink, especially on Sunday nights. Never change. 

4. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. It’s just superior in every way possible.

5. We invented Coke which is always and will forever be better than Pepsi.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Chris Veal (@caveal)

 

6. Sick murals and graffiti. At least while you’re sitting pretty in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you can feast your eyes on works by some of the city’s talented muralists and graffiti artists like Chris Veal

7. Lemon pepper wings. It’s Atlanta’s favorite wing flavor and we’re without a doubt, the lemon pepper wing capital of the world. 

8. And speaking of wings, the chicken bones on the ground phenomenon. This just… can’t be a thing in other cities. 

9. Weird and wonderful Little 5 Points.  

10.  Brunch culture. Around here, there are no Sunday Scaries, we simply brunch them away. 

11-13. Beers at the Local, that turn into dance parties at MJQ, that end with a lap dance from Blondie at The Clermont Lounge. 

14 – 27. All the Atlanta R&B artists, pop artists, rappers, and musicians. Shout-out to Ludacris, Future, Latto, Lil Baby, the Migos, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, TLC, Outkast, T.I., Young Thug, Lil Jon, and Ursher baby!  

28. That time a truck spilled $175,000 on 285, and only $6,000 of it was ever returned. Also known as the only time something good ever came out of Atlanta traffic. 

The Bellyard Hotel | Photo: Facebook/bellyardhotel
The Bellyard Hotel | Photo: Facebook/bellyardhotel

29-32. Rooftop restaurants and bars galore! Here’s just a few to love: St. Julep, Gypsy Kitchen, Drawbar’s terrace, and 9 Mile Station.

33.  Decatur. It has a small-town feel but is full of big city restaurants, shops, bars, and an amazing downtown area. This town is only growing, so keep your eyes open for how awesome this area is going to get!

34. Virginia Highlands. Va-Hi is one of the most fun spots to hang out, with plenty of new restaurants and apartments opening up, yet it maintains its chic retro vibe.

35. The backyard patio at El Tesoro. Such a magical place. 

36. Nights out in funky Edgewood. 

37. Uber drivers that also play you their mixtape.

38. And now that we think of it, the Uber drivers that don’t. So peaceful. So rare. 

39. The historic West End, because the West side is the best side. 

40 – 45. All of those great food halls perfect for those times when you’re hanging out with that one friend that says “I don’t know, what do you want to eat?” but then shoots down every single place you suggest. Some top tier ones: Politan Row, Chattahoochee Food Works, Krog Street Market, Ponce City Market, and Ph’EAST. 

46. Buckhead, who despite some of their inhabitants’ best efforts, remain a much loved part of Atlanta with some of the best shopping and restaurants in town. Thank y’all for staying. 

47. Amazing patios here, there, and everywhere. 

Plaza Atlanta Marquee | Photo: Facebook/plazaatlanta
Plaza Atlanta Marquee | Photo: Facebook/plazaatlanta

48. Catching a movie at the historic Plaza Theatre. 

49. Smithe’s Olde Bar, specifically during the hours from 12am to 3am. 

50. Waffle House, specifically during the hours from 12am to 3am. 

51-59. All of the festivals. Thanks to our temperate weather, there’s countless of them covering arts, music, and more, but here’s a few favorites:  Chomp & Stomp, Music Midtown, Sweet Auburn Music Festival, Sweetwater 420 Fest, Food & Wine, Atlanta Pride, Dragon Con, and Oakhurst PorchFest.  

60. Antico’s Pizza. This West Midtown spot put Atlanta pizza on the map, and take one bite and you’ll see why.

Buford Highway Farmer's Market - Produce | Photo: discoveratlanta.com
Buford Highway Farmer’s Market – Produce | Photo: discoveratlanta.com

61-63. Our awesome international grocery stores, from H Mart to Buford Highway Farmer’s Market to Dekalb Farmer’s Market.

64. Beltline King of Pops carts all over town. So delicious! 

65. All of Inman Park, and its excellent restaurant scene.  

66. That Summerhill ✨ glow up ✨

67. The legendary Martin Luther King Jr. was born here and began his ministry here, forever changing the course of our country’s history and making America a better place to be. 

68. Midtown. With its iconic rainbow sidewalks, Piedmont Park, bustling LGBTQ+ scene, and happening Atlantic Station, what’s not to love? 

69. Buford Highway‘s pastiche of phenomenal and budget-friendly cuisines from all over the world. 

Photo: cau.edu
Photo: cau.edu

70-77. Our world-class universities and HBCUs. Spelman, Emory, Clark Atlanta, Georgia State University, SCAD Atlanta, Morehouse, and Georgia Tech, we’re looking at you. 

78. And speaking of which, a Georgia Tech grad is mayor!

79. The kick-ass women who make this city great, like Alana Shepherd, who started the world-renowned rehabilitation center the Shepherd Center for brain and spinal cord injury patients.

80. To Shirley Franklin, who became the first female and Black mayor in a major Southeastern city.

81. To Sara Blakely, who became a billionaire here after she started Spanx! 

 

82-87. The amazing work that our nonprofits do to make Atlanta a better place, from Habitat for Humanity to Lake Claire Community Land Trust to Giving Kitchen to Meals on Wheels Atlanta to City of Refuge to dozens more. 

88. Plaza Fiesta in all its pastel glory.

89. The Niyomkul family, and the excellence in Thai cuisine they bring to ATL.

90. President Jimmy and First Lady Rosalyn Carter, and all the work the incredible work they do all over the world at the Carter Center.   

91. Josef Martinez. The man with the hair color to match any mood, Josef is the first true soccer star in the City of Atlanta.  His 2018 season may be the GOAT season for MLS – he won the MVP, All-Star MVP, Golden Boot and MLS Cup Final MVP – and after some tough injuries, including a torn ACL, the Venezuelan is getting his velocity back in 2022.

92. Ted Turner invented cable news here.

93. And in our eyes no less important, Ted Turner also invented a bison steak house here!

94. Donald Glover and his series Atlanta letting the rest of the country know what our city is all about. 

95-99. We’re the HQ for some of America’s most beloved food brands, from Krystal to Papa John’s to Chick-Fil-A to Hooter’s (their spicy garlic breaded wings are always on our mind)! 

 

100. Hank Aaron broke the Home Run record here! 

101-102. Delightful human beings and talented celebrity chefs like Chef Kevin Gillespie and Chef Kevin Rathbun. 

103. The crunchy neighborhood of East Atlanta Village. The smell of cigarettes goes beautifully with the aromas from many awesome restaurants, like Emerald City Bagel, Poke Burri, and The Earl.

104. The Real Housewives of Atlanta.  We love Atlanta icon/songwriter/businesswoman Kandi Burress and her delicious restaurant Old Lady Gang, and we can’t forget about Nene Leaks and the countless memes she’s spawned. We’ll never be able to look at a white fridge the same again. 

105. Reynoldstown. This is the home of the newly-introduced Atlanta Dairies, where you can enjoy a movie theater, a brewery (Three Taverns Imaginarium), a concert venue (The Eastern), and several fantastic restaurants.

 

106.  Black-owned businesses! Atlanta has some of the highest number of Black-owned businesses of all the cities around the U.S.A, and it’s something to be damn proud of. 

107. Being a Falcons fan. Falcons fans are built different. We’ve been through things together… unspeakable things…

108-111. The litany of iconic historical restaurants here. The Busy Bee Cafe has been open since segregation, Nakato recently celebrated 50 years, Paschal’s has been a soul food staple for decades, and Mary Mac’s Tearoom should be a historical landmark. 

112. Dominique Wilkins. After an NBA Top 50 players snub, he’s gotten the respect that he deserves and was recognized as a Top 75 greatest player of all time this season.

113. Roddy White. For 10 years, Roddy White was the face of the Falcons, and he turned his time with the Falcons into being one of the best wide receivers on the planet.  

114. Trap music was invented here. 

Photo: Facebook/buckheadtheatre
Photo: Facebook/buckheadtheatre

115 – 119. The concert venues! You can pretty much count on seeing the perfect show for you every week, if not more frequently! Choose between The Eastern, Eddie’s Attic, Variety Playhouse, the Buckhead Theatre, and dozens more.

 

120-125. Our BBQ scene. Maybe Texas or North Carolina are better known for their ‘cue, but you’re going to leave more than satisfied with a meal from Fox Bros BBQ, Greater Good BBQ, Foggy Bottom BBQ, Pit Boss BBQ, Heirloom Market BBQ, and plenty more.  

126. Getting a PBR at Moe’s and Joe’s. The prices here are resistant to time, inflation, and just about every other phenomenon that may usually hike up your bill.

127. The Karatassos family (big ups in particular to Chef Pano and Kyma) for operating some of the city’s finest restaurants.

128. Lauren and Cameron from Love is Blind Season 1.  Prince William and Kate Middleton ain’t got nothing on our own version of [reality tv] royalty.

 

129. Loveable redneck Jeff Foxworthy lives here, who should definitely get a participation trophy for being a beloved part of our city.

130. Chanting “ATL HOE!” at any and all occasions.

131. We hosted the 1996 Olympics here.

132. And Superbowl LIII! 

133 – 140. Our breweries! If you like craft beer, killer live music, and surprisingly great food, you’ve got no shortage of options. Just a few include: Sweetwater for killer IPAs, Orpheus for awesome sours, Hippin Hops for bomb seafood alongside your brew, and Steady Hand, Monday Night, Torched Hop, and Reformation Brewing. 

141. Love it or hate it, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. Season 1 was something else. 

142. Civil Rights icon John Lewis called Atlanta home and made “good trouble” here.

143. Karaoke at Dark Horse Tavern. It doesn’t matter how inebriated you may be, but can you hit the high notes on “Livin’ on a Prayer”?

144. Learning about our civil rights history at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Atlanta has long been the leader in standing up for what’s right, thanks to iconic advocates, like John Lewis and Ralph Abernathy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, so take the time to learn more about their achievements and what you can do to help make our city and world a better place. 

145. The World of Coke, and the infamous tasting room. Hey, you gotta send the tourists somewhere. And we can all bond over that shared experience of trying that crime to humanity known as the Beverly soda. 

146. The CNN Center randomly having the longest escalator in the world. It’s true, it literally holds the Guinness World Record!

Photo: Facebook/johnnyshideaway
Photo: Facebook/johnnyshideaway

147. Johnny’s Hideaway that is so much more than a favorite for “cougars.” Though yeah, it’s that too. 

148. Arthur Blank who built a Fortune 500 business here…

149. And then bought the Falcons and made Mercedes-Benz stadium..

150. And then created Atlanta United, who have the best fans in American soccer. 

151. Cute AF Cabbagetown. 

152-156. Chef Ford Fry and all of his incredible restaurants! Our favorites? Little Rey, Superica, St. Cecilia and Marcel. 

157. John Smoltz. The bald man from Michigan looks more like a member of the rotary club than one of the greatest athletes in the history of baseball, but don’t let appearances fool you.  The man was a monumental Braves pitcher and has been toying with the idea of joining the senior PGA tour for years.  Catch him on courses around the A when he isn’t calling national baseball games these day.

Photo: Trip Advisor
Photo: Trip Advisor

158. That sweet, sweet view of the city from Jackson Street Bridge. 

159. The fact that either you or someone you know probably lives next to a recording studio. 

160. And if not, then you probably live on or right next to a road with the word “Peachtree” in it. 

161-163. Our city’s phenomenal parks! From Piedmont to Grant Park to Chastain Park, there’s a rejuvenating, lovely, and green park near you. 

164. The Atlanta Beltline. We got to hold them to their affordable housing promise, but we can’t deny this stretch of sidewalk is a fun place to walk, bike, scooter, eat, and drink.  

165. The Georgia Film Tax Credit Program and subsequently, never knowing which one of your favorite actors are going to show up all over town while filming a movie. You may be spot Jon Hamm the next time you’re at brunch or Owen Wilson the next time you’re in Publix.

166. Dansby Swanson. There may not be anyone in pro sports with better FLOW than Dansby Swanson – the man’s hair is immaculate.  What’s better is that he’s a local boy from Marietta and fielded the final out of the 2021 World Series. 

167-169. Farmer’s markets! They are all over the city and are a great wholesome Saturday morning activity. And you can find some incredibly fresh produce and fun nick nacks, too. A few top tier ones: Piedmont Park, Freedom Parkway Farmer’s Market, and Grant Park Farmer’s Market. 

 

170. That time that MARTA bus blocked the Georgia Dome explosion. 

171-173. All of the phenomenal date night spots. Here’s a few favorites to get you started: Ruby Chow’s, Chairs, and Wonderkid. 

174. The magic of the Hawks and what Trae Young does on court at State Farm Arena every week during basketball season. 

175. And Lou Williams, for not just his still formidable talent on court, but for making everyone around the nation learn about the magic of strip club wings

176-177. World-class museums like the High and Fernbank. 

178. The diversity. No offense to these places but y’all ever been to like, Denver? Or Salt Lake City? It’s spooky out there.

179. The Castelluci family and all the fabulous food they make, from the Iberian Pig to Cooks & Soldiers. 

180. The Fox Theater. So many iconic shows and concerts have happened within its walls, and we’re proud to have had this venue in ATL for almost 100 years. 

 

181. The musical masterpiece that is the Bankhead Bounce. Nashville could never. 

182. The $3 mimosas at Cypress Street during their weekend brunch (and also everything else there all the time)

183. How geographically convenient we are to a number of fun spots for weekend trips like Nashville, Cartersville, Charlotte, Charleston, Chattanooga, Barnsley Resort, North Georgia wineries, and several others.

184. All of the gorgeous high-rise buildings. It’s our own version of a concrete jungle.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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185. Slutty Vegan’s Pinky Cole and Big Dave’s Cheesesteak’s Derrick Hayes for being Atlanta restaurant royalty and #couplegoals. 

186. Thrift stores galore. You can always find a sweet new fit when you take the time to go thrift. 

187. All the metro Atlanta suburbs. And all the awesome things in them. There’s so much to discover OTP, from Marietta’s iconic Marietta Square and Marietta Diner, to Sandy Spring‘s City Springs center, to hikes and the downtown scene in Roswell, to Duluth’s insane Korean food scene, to Tucker’s historic downtown, to all the refugee-owned businesses in Clarkston.  

Artwork: Mack Williams
Artwork: Mack Williams

188. The hilarious and recurring half-serious petition to get Outkast carved onto Stone Mountain. 

189. Matty Ice. We don’t care what jersey he wears, he will forever be a part of Atlanta. 

190. Downtown Atlanta. Start your day with brunch at Breakfast at Barney’s, grab a cheesesteak from Big Dave’s Cheesesteak for lunch, then get the sushi pyramid at Budi’s Sushi for dinner. You’re welcome. 

191. Beautiful walking trails all throughout town, from East Palisades to Morningside.

 

192-195. Our city’s finest steakhouses. Bones, Kevin Rathbun Steak, Chops, and so many more. 

196. Kirkwood. Home of the famous ghetto burger, may Ms. Ann Price rest in peace, and Future’s from here! 

197. Shootin’ the hooch. Where Atlantans float to pass the summer day away AND shore up their immune system. 

198. College Park. Home of Chick-fil-A’s corporate office AND the Atlanta airport AND amazing restaurants. It’s also where 2 Chainz and Trinidad James are from. Talk about a high achieving town!  

199-201. All of our fitting nicknames: the city in the forest, the A, and the city too busy to hate. Just don’t call it Hotlanta. 

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