Best Places for a Night Out in Downtown Atlanta

Category: What To Do | Posted: September 24, 2019
Best Places for a Night Out in Atlanta

Best Places for a Night Out in Downtown Atlanta

Whatever kind of nightlife fits your style, Atlanta’s got you covered. Full of a variety of amazing places to try, Atlanta is known for its vibrant nightlife scene. With everything from elegant cocktail bars for a dressy night out or more casual laid-back bars and pubs to the funky and quirky hipster lounges and everything in between, you’re sure to find a fun place for whatever type of night you and your friends crave. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite stops for a night out on the town of all styles — check out all of these top downtown Atlanta nightlife hotspots.

Some of the best places for a night out in Downtown Atlanta, include:

1. Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium

This campy, quirky nightlife spot is perfect for hipsters and anyone else seeking kitschy fun. Located in the Edgewood neighborhood, and known to locals as just “Church,” Sister Louisa’s serves up its special Spiritual Sangria, cheap wine and beer, and simple foods touted as “church picnic fare” amidst tacky religious art and other interesting church-themed paraphernalia. For even more fun, try your hand at a game of corn hole or ping pong while you sip your libations.

Sister Louisa’s decor includes an old confessional that is now a hip photo booth, and tons of carefully curated religious antiques lovingly collected by the owner over many years. The bar also features a real working church organ and has choir robes available for its unique and fun karaoke nights. It’s no wonder celebrities have been spotted at this must-see Atlanta bar. Go to this church for a one-of-a-kind night out you won’t forget.

2. The Painted Pin

If bowling’s more your game, a night out at The Painted Pin could be right up your alley. The Painted Pin is so much more than your average bowling alley, and playing at this hotspot is one of the best things to do in Atlanta at night. With 20 vintage lanes and comfy yet classy furniture, The Painted Pin is upscale boutique bowling at its finest. Instead of the usual bowling alley plastic seating, each lane here features custom Chesterfield sofas for the ultimate in lounging. Staff will deliver bowling balls and shoes as well as craft cocktails right to your lane, so you’ll hardly need to leave the comfort of your couch.

painted pin

The Painted Pin also features other classic games like bocce ball, ping pong, and skee ball, as well as new favorites like giant Jenga and oversize basketball pop-a-shots. Several nights a week, you can groove on the dance floor with live music. Come for the bowling and craft cocktails, and try their upscale versions of familiar pub fare like tacos, salads, wood-fired pizzas, and fun, shareable small plates. Some nights have a dress code, so be sure to come dressed for fancy fun.

3. CosmoLava

For the “Ultimate Midtown Experience,” CosmoLava is three stories of hip, classy lounges and bars. With several bars and dance floors to choose from, as well as an exclusive VIP area, you could spend the whole night exploring the areas of this sophisticated nightclub. Don’t miss the tropical-themed deck, where you can enjoy gorgeous cityscape views while you sip your cocktails in comfortable city-meets-tropics style. CosmoLava features an extensive drink menu, but be sure to try the namesake Cosmopolitan — it’s rated the best Cosmo in the city.

4. Eddie’s Attic

Most famous for the music, Eddie’s Attic is a well-known Atlanta institution. One of the best bars for 30-somethings in Atlanta, Eddie’s Attic has a cool, easy-going atmosphere, a full bar, and a tempting menu of specialty burgers, salads, and shareable starters. The “listening room” hosts live music regularly, so check out their calendar to see who’s playing. Featuring mostly Americana and folksier acts in its intimate setting, the stage at Eddie’s has seen nationally known acts like Shawn Mullins, Ani DiFranco, John Mayer, the Indigo Girls, and Sheryl Crow, but also features smaller local acts and open mic nights.

Eddie’s Attic is located in artist-friendly Decatur, and the superior acoustics of the listening room and laid back atmosphere keep the artists — and fans — coming back for more. As one of the top-rated music venues in the country, Eddie’s is the place to be for music enthusiasts. If you need a break from the music, head over to the pool room across the hall for a game. You’ll want to keep coming back to this friendly Atlanta spot for music lovers.

5. Laughing Skull Lounge and The Vortex

Claiming to be the world’s smallest stand-up comedy venue, the Laughing Skull Lounge still packs a big punch. With only 74 seats, there’s not a bad seat in the house at this acclaimed comedy venue. See nationally touring acts as well as up-and-coming local stars at this intimate comedy venue. Be aware that they take their comedy seriously here, so as opposed to other stand-up venues, there is no smoking, no talking, and no food served during shows. Come here for the comedy, but come early or stay late to grab some food downstairs at The Vortex. Both the comedy club and the restaurant are for ages 21 and older only, so don’t try to bring the kids.

laughing skull lounge

Both the Laughing Skull Lounge and The Vortex are highly reviewed and rated as well as nationally known. The Vortex features over-the-top eclectic and gluttonous décor and menu options — everything from skulls and motorcycles to “life-threatening” burgers. As featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food,” The Vortex serves up their cheeky, signature Coronary Bypass Burgers to anyone that dares to try. With a sassy set of rules for customers, this is a no-nonsense type of place for a good time and great food. Before you go, study up on The Vortex’s etiquette tips, as well as the Laughing Skull’s podcast to get a good idea of the type of comedy they offer.

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6. MJQ Concourse

Located in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood, this long-running Atlanta nightclub takes the term underground quite literally. The MJQ Concourse club is completely underground, has a completely unassuming entrance, and no website to speak of. Most party-goers find the club by word-of-mouth, and yet somehow this little club remains one of the most popular hotspots in Atlanta. With talented DJs spinning quirky and interesting music every night, come here to dance the night away on any night. Check out their themed music nights for everything from punk to indie music. The atmosphere here is very laid-back and casual — no dressing up required! Come discover this hidden gem of a nightclub any night of the week.

7. The Tavern at Phipps

For more than two decades, this Atlanta hotspot, located in the ritzy Buckhead neighborhood, has attracted young socialites and even the occasional celebrity — more than 5 million patrons, according to their website. The Tavern at Phipps is a unique, gorgeously appointed hangout with dark wood finishes and a mirrored bar area. The entrance features a unique revolving door that turns to the left and their trademark “flying napkins” — a must-see experience that’s hard to describe.

The interior may be classy and one-of-a-kind, but it’s the Tavern’s huge, sprawling patio that’s the real draw here. A great place to socialize and enjoy the fresh air, this patio is known for being ideally situated for people watching as well. Happy hours here are very popular and feature an extensive list of wine and cocktails. The menu at The Tavern at Phipps has classic American pub favorites, including their signature Tavern chips — available with several different toppings — as well as a selection of sandwiches, hearty salads, pasta, and other steakhouse fare.

8. Bar Margot

This hip and funky, yet classy bar is located at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta and is named for Gwenyth Paltrow’s quirky hipster character in “The Royal Tennenbaums.” With a color palette and furnishings befitting of its namesake movie character, Bar Margot offers a vibrant nightlife scene. This hipster bar boasts a vinyl collection numbering somewhere around 10,000 records. Swing on in Friday and Saturday nights to hear live DJs spinning from the vast music collection, featuring all musical styles and a wide range of artists.

bar margot

The food menus at Bar Margot feature the freshest ingredients and change often to highlight seasonal ingredients and the chefs’ creativity. Plan on creative, upscale American fare here, with European and Asian influences, in lovely presentations whether you come in for lunch, dinner, or late-night snacks. The cocktail menu was carefully curated by Greg Best and Paul Calvert, two of Atlanta’s most celebrated bar experts. Think garden-fresh ingredients, premium spirits, and creative spins on throwback classics. Make sure to try the bar’s signature drink — the Gin Margot — a twist on the classic gin and tonic that features fresh Thai basil as well. This spot is the perfect mix of classy and fun for a night out in Atlanta.

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9. Tongue and Groove

This popular Atlanta dance club has been part of the nightlife scene for more than 20 years. Located in the trendy Buckhead neighborhood, Tongue and Groove is known for delivering a sophisticated, world-class nightclub experience. Not one to fall behind on the times or become outdated, this club has morphed with the times and trends, updating its dress code as well as its use of the latest technology and social media.

Tongue and Groove occupies a huge space and has ample parking available as well as multiple bars, so enjoying yourself here is easy. This hip dance club’s huge space has the benefit of several distinct rooms to get your groove on in whatever atmosphere or musical style best fits your tastes. Whether you want to dance to the Top 40 hits, hip hop, or alternative music, you can find it here with state-of-the-art sound systems, along with lights and lasers that keep the party going. Private rooms with table service are also available for more intimate nights out and the ultimate VIP treatment. This club caters to all sorts of musical tastes, from veteran club-goers to young newbies, with great service and class. Tongue and Groove is favored by local critics for a great night out in Atlanta.

10. Wrecking Bar Brewpub

For a relaxed night of enjoying some craft beers and great food, the Wrecking Bar Brewpub is the spot to check out. In the quaint neighborhood of Little Five Points, this interesting little brewpub is housed in a gorgeous brick building, formerly a late-Victorian era home. With a cozy, comfortable atmosphere, and a beautiful outdoor patio, this is a great place to spend an evening relaxing with friends amid classy architectural details.

wrecking bar brewpub

An impressive rotating menu of beers is available, with many brewed in-house in a classic barrel-style beer program. They also serve cocktails if beer isn’t your drink of choice. The food menu features an interesting array of chef-driven dishes and fresh, local ingredients, resulting in some classy twists on traditional pub fare. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, come on a Tuesday for expanded plant-based menu choices. This unique pub also has several different private event spaces to accommodate all styles of parties and events.

11. The Havana Club

This huge nightclub is full of classic Cuban ambiance and is consistently critically reviewed and award-winning. Since 1996, The Havana Club has been a presence in the Buckhead neighborhood nightlife scene, with a steady following of fun-seeking club-goers. The club features several different rooms with different music and dance styles so you can dance the night away to EDM, Salsa, Latin, or Top 40 songs. VIP experiences and private cabanas offer a more intimate atmosphere. The club also features a cedar-lined humidor full of Cuban cigars, including rare varieties. Come here for the fun, Cuban vibe, the exclusive events, and the celebrity sightings while grooving to sexy Latin music.

12. Catch 12

One of the best places for a night out in Atlanta, Catch 12 provides a classy experience in a perfect location. This inviting Atlanta restaurant and lounge is situated on the ground floor of the upscale Twelve Hotel Autograph Collection, right in the heart of beautiful downtown Atlanta. Enjoy the gorgeous city skyline views from the outdoor terrace at Catch 12, or choose a more intimate setting with the lovely indoor dining room. Either way, this is a great spot for a date or a night out with friends.

The menu at Catch 12 features upscale steakhouse classics, small plates, and sushi. The sushi bar faces into the open kitchen, so you can get a peek at the world-class culinary action when you’re seated here. Come early for your dinner reservation, or stay later to enjoy the hip, modern bar. Try an adventurous cocktail, or find your favorite beer and wine. The great food and drinks, as well as the classy atmosphere, will make you want to stay here all evening. Catch 12 elevates the expectations of a steakhouse and is a can’t-miss Atlanta hotspot.

book night room at twelve

Book Your Night Out at Catch 12

While there are many great places for a night out in Atlanta, there are none like Catch 12. Whether you’re planning a night on the town with a large group of friends or an intimate date night with your special someone, Catch 12 is the perfect place to grab a drink or sit down for a multi-course dinner. Book your night out at Catch 12 today.

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