A day at Ponce City Market
Explore great flavors, shopping and experiences
I have become an unofficial tour guide for my friends (and for their friends, lol) who come to ATL. The first place I tell them to visit is Ponce City Market (PCM), about 20 minutes away from the airport in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta. The old Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, built in 1926, was converted in 2014 to the city’s go-to spot boasting the best eateries, shopping and experiences.
If you want dope rooftop vibes, good eats, delicious drinks and cool shopping, you’re in for a treat. In addition to PCM being my go-to recommendation for visitors, I also frequent this market with my friends and even for date night.
Why do I love PCM?
- It’s like the famous Chelsea Market in NY, but less hectic and where the consumers have Southern charm.
- I love to people-watch! I grab a boozy-pop from the famous King of Pops and sit in the food court while watching people on dates and groups of friends chat about. You literally can’t go wrong spending the day here sitting in the front courtyard and supporting local shops.
- Parking is super easy with their large underground parking, parking on top and valet. I get the biggest headache when there isn’t easy parking. PCM makes it easy to get to.
Since it’s located on the BeltLine, you can also take a stroll and see some of the nearby neighborhoods to spend some extra time exploring this landmark and the area around it. You will see a ton of fun murals and other restaurants in the area.
Alexis (Lexi) Felder is an influencer and digital marketer for a media company in Atlanta. She enjoys exploring local neighborhoods, vintage shopping, and trying new restaurants.
One of my favorites is Botiwalla. This Indian street food eatery offers a variety of finger foods and even has vegetarian options. The decor is very vibrant with notes of Indian and British influence. My favorite thing to order is the Paneer Tikka Roll — Indian farmer’s cheese wrapped in a buttered naan with spices and tasty toppings. If you want a mid-day adult beverage, try their famous frozen Kerala Kolada that has rum, pineapple, mango, lime and coconut. It’s gooood! Be careful or you’ll get brain freeze.
If you are looking for an activity and love amazing scents, head to Candlefish. There, shop candles with fragrances from fruity to woodsy and everything in between. No matter what appeals to you most, they will have a scent for you. They also offer a candle making workshop if you want to learn how it’s done.
If you want to get artsy, you can head to art supply store Binders for the Splatter Room at the Splatter Studio. This fun painting class is for both adults and children. You’ll take loaded paint brushes and paint guns and splatter them onto a canvas, as much or as little as you want. People who have tried it describe this experience as therapeutic. Think messy-fun. I think I will do this for my next date night.
Modern Mystic Shop
I love to shop. I have been to almost every store the market has to offer. The shopping options range from large retailers like J. Crew and Anthropologie, to locally-owned JJ’s Flower Shop and Karoo for some cute new spectacles. You can find everything from makeup to mattresses in Ponce City Market. The variety is impressive — locally-owned as well as popular niche stores are found throughout.
For the bohemian type like me, you may want to head to Modern Mystic Shop. You can feel the serene energy as soon as you walk into this 2nd level boutique. This female-owned business sells crystals that promote self-care and caters to those who want to tap into their spiritual side. Here you can schedule tarot card readings and group healing sessions.
Honeysuckle Gelato, a Southern-inspired gelato spot, is a favorite amongst PCM-goers. One of the owners, Khatera Ballard, says, “We love being a part of a community that offers customers an experience — from the variety of delicious food options, to the shopping, and then of course the BeltLine which has made this part of Atlanta truly walkable.”
Located on the lower level, you can select from more than 10 flavors to satisfy whatever your taste buds desire that day. If you have trouble deciding, not to worry — you can create your own flavor by mixing them. Try their top flavor, Salted Caramel Brownie. It’s just as mouth-watering as it sounds. My favorite is the Cap’n Crunch Berries — think old-school classic cereal in a yummy gelato! They have a partnership with Feeding America Network food banks and they donate 5% of companywide profits. Giving back is part of their mission.
The Tap on Ponce
For those of y’all into breweries, head to The Tap on Ponce. No worries if you’re the lone non-beer drinking in your crew. You would think they just sold beer on tap, but they also sell a variety of red/white/rose wines, ciders, and some non-alcoholic drinks like Golda Kombucha. Let them know what you like, and their staff can give you recommendations. Choose from the more popular craft beers, but keep in mind, they also love to bring in new options. Additionally, you can bring your growler or crowler and fill them up to take home.
Now, to the highlight of PCM and my favorite scene, Skyline Park. Think Coney Island on a rooftop. Head to the “The Roof” sign on the first floor to get admission into the rooftop park. While you are at it, add unlimited gameplay for $15 a person. When you get to the rooftop, it’s time for games. Play mini golf, try the giant slide, enjoy vintage amusement games and win prizes. The views are spectacular and you can catch a glimpse of Buckhead on a cloud-free day. While you are up there, you can grab some food and take the perfect selfies during the golden hour. In my opinion, you cannot miss the rooftop.
With so many options, you’ll love your trip to Ponce City Market. If you’re still up for more shopping, consider upping your souvenir game at these shops to show your love for Atlanta.
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