The Best Cocktail Bars In Atlanta, Georgia

Richard Tulis

With several trendy neighborhoods and a booming restaurant industry, it’s easy to find a bar in Atlanta. But if you’re looking for craft cocktails and new takes on mixology, you’ll need to do a bit of homework first. Avoid the same old news with this top breakdown of Atlanta’s best watering holes for specially made, exciting cocktails.

Downtown Atlanta Skyline

1. Kimball House

Restaurant, American

Kimball House occupies an old railway station depot in Decatur. A raw bar with quality cuisine, Kimball House is the type of place that serves oysters alongside flute glasses of champagne, all while carrying everything from coffee to pastries to gin gimlets to the guests at the next table. Atlanta Magazinehappily awarded the establishment with a number two ranking on its ‘50 Best Bars List’. Stop in for a cocktail, but scan the extensive list of selections on their impressive menu. Kimball House Cocktail | © romanlily/Flickr

2. Establishment


Establishment interior theme is the year 1845: note the antique cash register, the copper fire extinguisher, and the rustic paintings on the wall, one of which is Henry Irby in all his dated glory, the principal founder of Buckhead himself. With a thick list of beers on draught, plenty of original cocktails, and an old time feel full of class, the Establishment certainly is one of the most unique places in Atlanta to grab a drink.

Establishment, 3167 Peachtree Street, Suite 517, Atlanta, GA, USA, + 1 404 869 0002

3. Prohibition

Bar, American

Buckhead, Atlanta
© Sean Davis/Flickr
This secretive speakeasy style bar is ideal for laid back cocktails, puffing on cigars, and relaxing in elegance. Buried amid the dive bars raucousness of young and turbulent Buckhead, Prohibition offers an escape from the college crowds home for fall, winter, or summer break. With a bartending staff that takes pride in its work, Prohibition’s specialty drinks are not to miss. So, how do you get in? All you have to do is secure the code of the night, punch it into the dialing antique phone booth out front, and make of the night what you will.

4. Paper Plane

Restaurant, American

A Decatur bar, Paper Plane does justice to this ultra crafty corner of the ‘A.’ The bar makes use of a menu that is thick with cocktail recipes: some date back over one hundred years, others brand new. It certainly does not hurt that cocktail expert and local barkeep Paul Calvert leads at Paper Plane’s helm, slinging top-notch, unique mixed creations and using only the most exquisite craft alcohol labels. The vintage vibe complements its laid-back feel and overall creativity.

5. Churchill Grounds

Bar, Cafe, Pub Grub

Midtown Atlanta by night
© Ethan Trewhitt/Flickr
Next on our list is a swanky jazz club, located within Atlanta’s hip Midtown area, called Churchill Grounds. Fittingly, the bar is catty-corner to the famous Fox Theatre, which tops our list of ‘The Best Live Music Venues in Atlanta, GA.’ Drawing some serious talent and established artists, the intimate club also hosts up and comers; either way, fine wines and cigar-friendly environs build upon the cocktail selection, all merging together smoothly amid the backdrop of late-40’s jazz music.

6. Seven Lamps

Seven Lamps

Seven Lamps is located in the shopping center directly next to Lenox Square Mall. Sandwiched between the sleek Westin Hotel and arguably Atlanta’s most premier shopping hub, it makes for a very convenient destination. The interior is trendy and dimly lit, with a modernized yet traditional feel. Seven Lamps’ apple cider is impressively delicious, and the kitchen produces a rich handmade gnocchi dish among several other choices in case you develop an appetite. Try the ‘barrel rider,’ made with Four Roses bourbon, Zucca, Tawny Port (a Portuguese wine), and cardamom.

Seven Lamps, 3400 Around Lenox Road, Suite 217, Atlanta, GA, USA, + 1 404 467 8950

7. Wrecking Bar Brewpub

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub

This bar stands out for its architectural design, the original structure commissioned in 1900 and inhabited by Victor Hugo Kriegshaber, an instrumental developer of a far younger Atlanta. Wrecking Bar’s late Victorian style does not, in anyway however, dictate its panache or flavor combinations. We’ll prove it; the ‘drawn and quartered’ is crafted with jalapeño-infused vodka, while their ‘in the park’ cocktail includes fresh basil, lemon, grapefruit, and agave with a gin base. The bar also has a monster selection of whiskey that seems to stretch on for miles. Wrecking Bar Brewpub | © Maura Neill/Flickr

8. The Sound Table

The Sound Table

Small plates and cocktails meet a lively music venue, perfect for a high-spirited couples’ night out. The Sound Table is often quite crowded, so keep that in mind as you make your way over to Edgewood Avenue. Once you’re inside, cheer on the DJ and get down to funk, soul, and every other dance-inspiring ballad you can imagine. Atlanta’s Creative Loafing praised the Sound Table for its ‘indefinable nature,’ as the establishment blends good times, down to earth guests, and, of course, unbeatable cocktails and delicious dishes.

The Sound Table, 483 Edgewood Avenue, Atlanta, GA, USA,+ 1 404 835 2534

9. JCT. Kitchen & Bar

Restaurant, South American

JCT Kitchen & Bar
© Julie, Dave & Family/Flickr
Located on Midtown’s Howell Mill Road in the Westside Urban Market shopping center, JCT. Kitchen and Bar is primarily a Southern restaurant, but its overwhelmingly popular bar stands out for several reasons. First of all, JCT.’s rooftop is spectacular, one of the best open-air hangouts in the city with live music on Thursdays. The bar features a seasonal cocktail menu, its summer selection filled with minty and lemony creations like their ‘little Havana,’ which contains Myer’s Platinum Rum, Luxardo cherry liqueur, Georgia strawberries, and, of course, a lime to top it all off.
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