The Best of Atlanta

Our bodies are in Virginia, but that doesn't mean I'm finished loving on ATL just yet. I moved to Atlanta in 2008 for a summer internship with Atlanta magazine. With that in mind, I thought I'd copy their Best of Atlanta format and share my very favorites. 


Fitness

image via What Now Atlanta

image via What Now Atlanta

Yoga: Highland Yoga. The variety of teachers is awesome. You can have a slow burn or a fast-paced class that gets your heartrate up. I especially love Jenny Kontos' class! The first month is only $30, so you can try a multitude of teachers.

Spin: Torq Cycle. Very similar to Flywheel, but locally owned and more intimate in its vibe. I'd be lying if I said their swanky facilities were not a reason I love it so much. The shampoo alone is worth giving it a try! First class is free. 

Cardio class: Chaos Conditioning. A combination of treadmill, weights, punching bags and a slew of other equipment I don't generally have access to. Prepare to sweat!

Free workout: King of Pops Yoga. Yoga on the Beltline, overlooking the city as the sun sets. Not quite as difficult in its intensity, but a nice way to unwind after a busy weekend. 


Coffee

Brash: The best almond milk latte of my life. I dream of it! So good. It's a coffee bar (and in a shipping container), so seating is limited, but great to grab and go. 

General Muir: The best iced soy milk latte of my life! {This is not hyperbole.}

Chattahoochee Coffee Company (Westside): My fav for the vibe and abundance of seating. It's really good coffee, too. A perfect spot to spend the day working. 

Dancing Goats Ponce City: My favorite for outdoor seating. Porch swings, adirondack chairs and big overhead fans will  make you want to post up with a book for hours. 


Food

Image via The Local Palate

For a fancy dinner: Staplehouse. We *just* went for my birthday and it was incredible. Their meal combinations are unique and they source ingredients locally (including via their own backyard garden). It's more of a food experience than it is a dinner. The reservation page opens the second Friday of every month at noon and sells out almost immediately, so set a reminder if you're serious about it. You can also try to get a seat at the bar without a reservation, but have to get there close to opening (5:30) to snag one. 

For an occasion: The Optimist. Some of the best seafood I've ever had. Not to mention the putt putt. 

Burger: YEAH! Burger. It's hard for me to dislike a build your own burger place. Add in locally sourced ingredients and their sweet potatoes fries and I'm a happy camper. Their points system is great, too. They even send you $10 on your birthday. That's almost a free meal!

Healthy meal: Upbeet. From the creators of YEAH! Buger, this spot is a dream. Build bowls or salads with every ingredient you could imagine. Plan to wait, though, the line is typically 30 minutes long. 

Mediterranean: Yalla! We.love.Yalla! Build your own Mediterranean bowl or salad. I love the Chicken Shawarma bowl.The prices are set at the start and you can add as many ingredients as you want. I load mine up and split it between two meals. 

ThaiLittle Bangkok. The basil chicken (with extra veggies) is a dream dish. It's light and healthy and wonderful. Parking is somewhat of a pain, so it's best to take a friend to wait in the car. 

image via Victory

image via Victory

Sandwich: Victory. I dream of the Tea Bird. It's so spicy and delicious. With ping pong onsite, we could stay for hours. Also has a gf option and it's on poiiint. 

Build your own Sandwich: Candler Park Market. Fortunately, we didn't discover this place sooner. We would have been tempted to go all the time! I love a build your own sandwich place and they have any topping you could want on a basic sammy. There isn't much seating, so we get it to go and sit outside on the sidewalk. They have GF bread, too!

Underground Supper ClubPorkman's Table. A friend of a friend opened it as a way to fight the fright of Sunday night. He hosts small groups in his home for an intimate, delicious dinner. Melly and I went in 2013 and still talk about it. Just like Staplehouse, it's more of a food experience than it is just a dinner. 


Activities 

Skyline Park. Easily one of my favorite things to do in the city. Enjoy games, drinks and beautiful views. It's somewhat pricey, but worth it to experience Atlanta up high. We took a day off work when friends were in town and it was great to go without a crowd. 

Piedmont Park. To have that much green space in the middle of the city is the best. For frisbee, for wine and sushi picnics, for free events, for running. It's a dream!

bellwood-quarry-guide.png

Hike the Bellwood quarry. We did this with my mom and few years ago and it was quite an adventure. I'm not sure if construction has begun on the park yet, but, if you're extra adventurous and want to find out, use this guide. Worked like a charm! 

Lullwater Park. Atlanta's best-kept 154-acre secret. It's technically a private park for Emory students, but I've been more times than I can count and have never been stopped. Parking can be a pain, unless it's summer and Emory students are gone. Use this guide.

image via Airbnb

image via Airbnb

Sleep in a treehouse. When I booked this, a friend asked me: Why would you sleep in a tree in Atlanta when you could sleep in your own bed? Great question. My answer? Because it's awesome. The treehouse is in someone's backyard in Buckhead and is super cozy and intimate. Book it here. The price has gone up a lot since we did it, so here's $40 off to help!

Fresh Harvest dinner. Similar to Porkman's table, the Fresh Harvest dinners are intimate and delicious. They are hosted on either a local farm or at the Fresh Harvest garden. They bring in a chef and use all local ingredients. It's a fun, beautiful night! Join their mailing list to snag an invite. 

Atlanta, you're wonderful! If I wanted to be in a city, I think I'd stay here forever. Your people, your tree canopy, your food, your packs... We love ya, ATL. 

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