Where to Go for Dinner and Dancing in Atlanta
When someone mentions dinner and dancing, the image that often comes to mind is old black and white movies where everyone is dressed to the nines in an elegant setting. That, of course, was then. These days, you don’t even need a partner to slide out to the dance floor and show off your best moves (even if you don’t have any best moves). Here are a few places to grab a bite and hit the dance floor in Atlanta.
Brimstone Restaurant and Tavern
Just north of Atlanta, the Brimstone Restaurant and Tavern offers plenty of dining choices, any of them just right for fortifying yourself before dancing the Carolina shag to tunes played by a guest DJ Saturdays from 7 to 11 p.m. or joining a line dance Mondays at 8:30 p.m. (lessons at 7:30 p.m.). For your meal, you may start with an order of truffle fries followed by a salad, soup, sandwich or burgers and hot dogs. Entrees include bourbon-glazed salmon and chicken fried steak. When you hear the sounds of the Tams singing “I’ve Been Hurt” you’ll know it’s time to lace up your dancing shoes.
Where: 10595 Old Alabama Road. Alpharetta
Eclipse di Luna
If you’re looking to eat, drink and dance in one of the best Latin American atmospheres, Eclipse di Luna in Buckhead is the perfect place. Indulge in tapas, sip a mojito and dance to the rhythms of the live salsa orchestra. The music is always at full blast, but on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, some of the tables and chairs are pushed aside to form a dance floor. Don’t be surprised if you end up dancing with a group of strangers and enjoying the night with new friends.
Where: 764 Miami Circle NE
Johnny’s Hideaway has been an Atlanta mainstay for dancing and dining (when we’re talking Johnny’s, the dancing always comes first) for decades, and it’s nowhere close to stopping. The eats are simple and basic, perfect energy boosters for hitting the dance floor. A basket of onion rings will fill you up for starters. When you need more fuel, try a Johnny’s BLT. Dessert? Order the brownie sundae then head back onto the dance floor. Your audience (or at least your partner) awaits.
Where: 3771 Roswell Road NE
If line dancing is your thing (or even if you want to learn), then PBR Atlanta is your destination for dinner and dancing. First, have dinner at The Tavern, located at The Battery Atlanta, then head upstairs for country music and line dancing at PBR. The Tavern at Sports & Social inside Live! at The Battery Atlanta describes itself as an ode to favorite Atlanta Braves players. Craft cocktails include a peanut butter old fashioned. Menu items vary from Southwestern dishes, salads and pan-seared mahi-mahi to the Nashville hot chicken sandwich. Salads and burgers also are available at PBR Atlanta. Once you’re fortified with food and a beverage, it’s time to hit the dance floor. Here we go: grapevine, weave, scoot, brush, kick. Got it?
Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint
Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint invites you to “raise a chilled glass and dig into a menu full of Southern-inspired favorites in the dining room or at the bar before hitting the dance floor for a serving of soulful sounds performed by live musicians. Juke joints, “Sweet Georgia’s writes, “emerged in the Southeast during the era of segregation, providing African Americans with a place to escape societal pressures at a time when they were barred from white establishments. . . .The clubs provided safe places for traveling black entertainers . . . to play, earn a living and, in some cases, catch their big break. From humble beginnings at rural crossroads, juke joints shaped an important part of African American culture, leaving behind a tremendous musical legacy. . .” Dinner offerings at Sweet Georgia’s include the Juke Cheeseburger and the Juke Joint Fried Chicken as well as St. Louis ribs and bayou salmon. Time to dance.
Where: 200 Peachtree St.
If it’s Tuesday and you feel like dancing, head to Taverna Plaka Greek restaurant in Midtown. Arrive early and join the free salsa class or arrive later ready to show off your best moves at this unexpected gem where locals gather to dance. Join in for Atlanta’s hottest late night. Just like the Plaka in Greece, dining always turns into a celebration at Taverna Plaka. Celebrate with great food, Greek wines and great friends. Late night at Taverna Plaka begins with a DJ spinning hip Mediterranean music, bartenders pouring generous glasses of ouzo, other popular drinks and of course, Greek dancing featuring exotic belly dancers and the Taverna Plaka staff.
Where: 2196 Cheshire Bridge Road NE
If you’ve just gotta dance, there are places in Atlanta where you won’t be able to get a bite at the dancing venue, but you will darn sure be able to cut a rug.
You sometimes have to be determined to find consistent contra dancing in Atlanta. Church social halls are one common venue. A reliable venue is the Decatur Recreation Center, where the Chattahoochee Contra Dancers gather regularly. If you’ve never tried contra dancing, be forewarned that it may wear you out, but it is fun and worth it. Men frequently bring a spare shirt to change into halfway through as they dance so hard that they get sweaty. Another tip: It isn’t necessary to come with a partner. You can bet that someone will ask you to dance; you’ll be their partner for a short time before you move on down a line.
There’s almost always a lesson prior to the start to of the music at any contra dancing session. At the Decatur Recreation Center, lessons begin at 7:30; the band strikes up at 8:30 p.m.
Where: 231 Sycamore St., Decatur
Swing Dance and Lindy Hop
Yes, swing dancing (and the lindy hop) are available in Atlanta. Hot Jam is a weekly swing dance held in a warehouse. Experienced DJs play the classic swing favorites of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Sidney Bechet and many more. There are free lessons for beginners.
Where: 585 Wells St. SW (Parking at 520 Northside Drive)
Can’t stop salsa dancing? Find out more about Salsa Dancing in Atlanta.
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