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PyCon 2011 Atlanta

March 9th–17th

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Eating in Atlanta

You will find most of Atlanta's popular restaurants and night life to the north and east of the Hyatt. They tend to cluster at popular intersections and communities. Some areas are easily accessible by public transportation — meaning the MARTA train lines — while others will require a car.

If you are traveling by train, your options are rather simple: you will probably choose to eat either north up the MARTA route that travels north from the hotel, or go to the Five Points station and head east.

Going north by train, though there are a few restaurants around the North Avenue station as well as the famous Fox Theater, the first really great stop will be Midtown. Here you will find a wealth of restaurants, especially if you walk two blocks east to Peachtree Street: the Vortex, Gordon-Biersch, and Taco Mac are only a few popular options here. If you are after night life, then try walking two blocks north to the cozy area bordered by 12th, 13th, Crescent, and Peachtree Walk, where a small host of nightclubs, dance bars, and upscale restaurants cater to the better-dressed of Atlanta's young singles. Or you can head another block or two east along 10th Street from Peachtree to reach Piedmont Park and visit the restaurants clustered around Piedmont Avenue — including the famous local eatery the Flying Biscuit — or over at the other corner of the park where it ends at Monroe Drive, with the Highland Tavern upscale biker bar in a strip mall a few minute walk southeast of the intersection.

If you want to go even further north by train than midtown, you will want to go all the way to either the Lindbergh or Buckhead stations, both of which are located in well-developed areas offering plenty of eating options, though the local and trendy places tend to be a bit of a hike from the MARTA stations themselves.

Going east by train, you can reach Decatur, whose wide selection of restaurants and shops is actually built around the MARTA station, which lies hidden underground beneath Decatur's attractive courthouse lawn. Here there are dozens of restaurants within one or two blocks, the most notable of which are probably the famous Brick Store pub on the north side of the square, with their wide array of high-gravity and Belgium beers, and the acoustic venue Eddie's Attic a few steps to the south. Taco Mac, a block to the west along West Peachtree, is famous for having nearly 100 beers on tap. After eating and drinking in Decatur, stop by the old courthouse on the square on your way back to the train station, and read the inscription on the obelisk that stands between the courthouse and the gazebo; it is a great bit of early 1900s local flavor.

If instead you are traveling by car, then you can easily reach areas that would otherwise require a hike from a train station or transfer to a lumbering MARTA bus. Very popular is the Little Five Points area — which actually can be reached by a 15 minute walk from the Edgewood MARTA station on the east line out of the city — which is popular for its quirky and bohemian flavor. Here is the original Vortex Bar & Grill, where you get to enter through a doorway shaped like a skull (beware that they are very crowded on Thursday "Biker Night"), along with at least a dozen other bars and restaurants.

But the most popular area to eat for those who can ride by car is probably Virginia-Highland, at the intersection of North Highland Avenue and Virginia Avenue. You normally will have to drive into the surrounding neighborhoods to park. There are dozens of popular restaurants along a strip that starts almost at Peachtree Street to the south, and runs north for one or two miles of alternating neighborhood and commercial areas. On the map you will notice that Virginia-Highland actually lies just a bit north of Little Five Points and, really, the whole corridor between them up North Highland Avenue is full of possibilities — anchored by the famous Manuel's Tavern at the intersection of North Avenue with North Highland. The corridor that goes from Highland west along Ponce also has lots of restaurant options before starting to peter out once you reach Freedom Parkway.

Yelp Reviews for the above destinations

In Atlanta, remember that Yelp is your friend! Yelpers in Atlanta are an active community with lots of recommendations for you — and, of course, their efforts will be helped if you visitors will weigh in on the places you try, as well! Here are reviews for some of the above destinations (try clicking on "Walking" after arriving at any of these links).

Restaurants near the Midtown MARTA Station,+Atlanta,+GA
Restaurants near the Lindberg MARTA Station,+GA+30324
Restaurants near the Buckhead MARTA Station,+GA+30326
Restaurants near the Decatur MARTA Station,+GA
Restaurants around Little Five Points,+Atlanta Restaurants around Virginia-Highland,+Atlanta

venue/restaurants Recently modified by jcburns: March 6, 2011, 12:01 p.m. (History) Edit