Game on in Eastside

From Edgewood to Old Fourth Ward, find your new favorite bar in Eastside Atlanta

If you find yourself in Eastside Atlanta on a Saturday night, you’re either dancing in Old Fourth Ward, playing vintage arcade games in one of the Edgewood bars or singing karaoke with a live rock band in Virginia-Highland. And whether you arrived via Ponce de Leon Avenue or the Atlanta BeltLine, you’ll be leaving with a new favorite bar.    

East Atlanta Village (EAV)

The Basement - Eastside Atlanta
The Basement (photo by The Basement)

Found at the intersection of Glenwood and Flat Shoals avenues, this small-but-lively area features hidden gems like Argosy and the European-themed Elder Tree Public House. Local and national musical acts perform next door at The EARL and down the street at 529 Bar, but you’re the star of night while dancing at TEN Atlanta or one of The Basement’s dance parties.

Edgewood bars

Joystick Gamebar - Eastside Atlanta
Joystick Gamebar (photo by Sharif Hassan)

All within the distance of a city block, you’ll find places to dance like the Edgewood Speakeasy, Sound Table, The Music Room and Noni’s. Play vintage arcade and board games at Joystick Gamebar, a comfy living room-esque setting where cocktails ultimately win. And cross the street to Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium where gospel karaoke is best performed in choir robes.

Little Five Points

The Vortex - Eastside Atlanta
The Vortex (photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid)

Not only does the Little Five Points neighborhood host the city’s Halloween parade, but it also invites live musical acts to concert halls such as Variety Playhouse. But grab dinner and drinks before the show at places like The Vortex, Tijuana Garage, Front Page News, Porter Beer Bar (order the fries) and more. Watch a soccer match at Brewhouse Cafe, a popular destination for Atlanta United FC fans. And you have to order a drink in the basement of an old Victorian mansion that is the Wrecking Bar Brewpub.

Old Fourth Ward (O4W)

Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall - Eastside Atlanta
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall (photo by Andrew Thomas Lee)

Ponce de Leon Avenue may stretch all the way from downtown to Decatur, but the area between Ponce City Market toward the Sweet Auburn District makes for a fun night out with two great music venues and laid-back bars. Start with a glass of wine and live music at City Winery or Venkman’s, both featuring national and local music. Grab a drink at the Bantam Pub or spend the evening people-watching at Labybird Grove & Mess Hall from the large outdoor patio located next to the BeltLine Eastside Trail.


Majestic Diner - Eastside Atlanta
Majestic Diner (photo by Jack Kennard)

Despite being tucked away in between O4W and L5P, the city’s most hidden area for late night is all welcoming with its neighborhood pubs, music venues and historic establishments. Starting at Manuel’s Tavern, it’s no coincidence this locals’ favorite is a meeting place for the city’s local and visiting Democrats including President Barack Obama. The politically rooted bar and restaurant is located near The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.

One block up, you’ll also find the Highland Inn Ballroom Lounge, a historic hotel that moonlights as a comedy venue with an outdoor courtyard. Travel one more block up and you’ll stumble across The Righteous Room, a hole in the wall for Plaza Theatre after parties. Walk further down to El Bar, where underground dance parties last till 3 a,m., which is fine because the Majestic Diner next door is open 24 hours. And it would be a sin not to mention the Clermont Lounge, an Atlanta staple popular for celebrities and infamous notoriety.

Virginia Highland

Blind Willie's - Eastside Atlanta
Blind Willie’s

On Ponce de Leon Avenue across from Ponce City Market, grab a beer outside on Bookhouse’s back patio. Everyone’s welcome at friendly gay bars including The Model T and Friends on Ponce. And the dancing never ends at MJQ Concourse and the Drunken Unicorn.

Turn the corner off Ponce de Leon Avenue and onto North Highland Avenue Northeast where a bar crawl is mapped out in a completely straight line toward Virginia Avenue. Start at Hand in Hand and Neighbor’s Pub for a drink on the large patios, then head next door to Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar for live music. Sing karaoke with a live rock band at your next stop, Dark Horse Tavern, then order a pint of Guinness at the Limerick Junction Irish Pub. And end the night at Diesel Filling Station for a selection from more than 50 beers, but not without hitting up the 24/7 Majestic Diner for a late night meal.

Explore more nightlife in neighborhoods throughout Atlanta: BuckheadDowntownEastsideMidtown and Westside.

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