Atlanta Tips?

I’m so pleased to share that I’m headed to Atlanta next month to speak on a panel about new media and design hosted by Traditional Home. I am a huge fan of their publisher, Beth Brenner (she’s a Neo-Trad like us and just so kind and forward thinking when it comes to business!), and I am absolutely tickled to have been asked. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Atlanta over the years and am terribly excited about my first visit! I know you are a savvy bunch of ladies so I thought I’d ask — any tips or suggestions for my trip? I’m already planning to visit Pieces and am eager to explore the areas of Virigina Highlands and Buckhead. I’ve always joked about moving to Atlanta (I was looking up real estate there last night…I’m a bit silly like that…) so I really want to get a feel for the city!

Oh and the panel is going to be late afternoon on Friday July 15th at the gigantic gift show hosted by AmericasMart. I will be sure to post details closer to the date — I so hope you can make it! I would LOVE to meet some Neo-Trads/Matchbook Girls :) xoxo Katie


60 comments on “Atlanta Tips?

  1. Chloe

    Hopefully you’ll be back to Atlanta when I’m down there Kate! In the meantime, I will definitely be checking back to see what your lovely readers suggest :)

  2. Kathleen

    Hi Katie! I’m an intern at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta for this summer (very exciting for me!). You should definitely check out the Modern By Design exhibition that we have going on right now. I’d love to meet up with you if you do get a chance to come by! Here’s a link to our website if you’re interested:

  3. {be merry} kate

    Yes! You must go to Virginia Highlands, you will absolutely love that part of town. I lived in Atlanta for 3 months during an internship and just dream of my days spent there. You also have to eat at The Flying Biscuit, I miss that place! Also there is some delicious southern food at South City Kitchen in Midtown. Clearly, all I did was eat while I was down there. It was worth every pound and inch. ;)


  4. Susan

    I think you would like BD Jeffries as well, and also…for fun-my favorite baby store is there, B. Braithwaite. In that same center are amazing shops & restaurants! ;)

  5. Julie

    My favorite store for furnishings/design is armor & co in Virginia highlands. Not only is the assortment fabulous but the owner,jayme, and her dog Wally are FABULOUS! I also agree that b.braithwaite on the east side is the most amazing baby store ever and a couple doors down is the best store for classic items w/a twist, Ann mash burn. Her husband has a fabulous men’s store in the same center, sid mash burn! Enjoy your time in Atlanta!

  6. amanda

    definitely to virginia highland and buckhead. go check out decatur, too. any matchbook girl would fall in love with little shop of stories. vinings is sweet, too, but only if you have time. b. braithwhite (mentioned above) is in the west end over by howell mill, which is a great area. while you’re there, check out bungalow, anne mashburn (divine boutique), and sid mashburn (best men’s shop in town). the atlanta history center museum (in buckhead) has an exhibit on gone with the wind right now. burger boutiques and frozen yogurt are both having a moment here right now, so i would suggest finding flip or yeah burger and yoforia. i love, love, love my city and i hope you enjoy your time here! (oh, ps – find someone who knows where they are going to drive you if you can. we’ve got some crazy roads and crazier traffic).

  7. reagan

    Yes the area Susan and Julie mentioned is the best! It’s actual on the Westside:
    The restaurant JCT Kitchen is a great introduction to modern Southern food and has what I think is the perfect Atlanta atmosphere…. Have a drink on the upstairs patio!

  8. Katie Armour Post author

    I’m already wishing I have more time there! I’m only going to be there for three days and there are so many wonderful things I want to fit in. Obsessed with the Mashburns, can’t wait to see Ann’s store! And will be sure to check out the High Museum of Art too. Ridiculously excited…

    Oh and can you get around by taxi? I won’t have a car…is that terrible? Things are rather spread out, yes? Hmmm…

  9. White and Gold Gal

    I lived in Atlanta for six years. I would say that if you stay in the downtown/Buckhead area you can get around ok by taxi and MARTA. Getting out to Decatur would be a bit more expensive. I would definitely recommend a good Southern comfort meal at Mary Mac’s Tearoom which is near the Georgia Tech/Midtown area. It is amazing!

  10. Kimberly

    Hi Katie!

    I am a frequent reader of your blog but am a bit shy when it comes to commenting. I am from Atlanta and here are the suggestions I have (both food related :)

    1. Food: If you get the chance, Abattoir is a new-ish restaurant that looks absolutely amazing (menu here: I can’t wait to go on my next visit home.

    2. Yeah Burger – my sister lives downtown and swears by it! (

  11. Melissa

    Midtown is my old stomping grounds…lived right across the street from Piedmont Park. Beautiful in every way. Great restaurants and a pub that are scattered around the park with ideal outdoor seating for those warm southern nights. Also, the Caribou coffee on Piedmont Ave is a great place for a latte. High Museum of Art is a must ~ usually excellent exhibits and an incredible permanent collection. South City Kitchen for an tasty Southern style with gourmet twist dinner, and The Flying Biscuit (MUST) for breakfast.
    If you were there for longer, I could go on and on…

  12. Kayla

    I would definitely second the suggestion of a visit to Margaret Mitchell’s home! For food I would suggest the Varsity. It’s the world’s largest drive in restaurant! Super nostalgic and fun! I would recommend the onion rings and a varsity orange…so good! I went three times when I was in Atlanta! The aquarium and Centennial Park are great as well! Be prepared for a line at the aquarium though!

  13. Kristina

    taxi’s are available but they are not super easy to find. MARTA is the public transportation route and can get you to all major spots like virginia highlands and buckhead. It is very spread out so I would suggest renting a car if at all possible. I definitely agree that virginia highlands is a great spot- be sure to go to murphy’s for brunch! buckhead is also really fun at night and the st. regis hotel is a fun place for drinks- very chic! Also go to Hal’s- its a fabulous steak house one shopping center over from flip burger (SO yummy!!). Horseradish Grill right by Chastain Park is awesome for traditional down home southern food you MUST try it!! I’ve lived in buckhead for 5 years it’ll be such a blast!! I hope I’m around when you’re in town so we can meet :)

  14. Jenn

    There’s this super fun blog called Life with a Lab based out of Atlanta. A lot of what Lauren posts are restaurant reviews along with other Atlanta related items. Hope it helps!

  15. Tyler

    My boyfriend is currently interning in Decatur, and I love it! Vortex is a restaurant in Little Five Points that has AMAZING burgers! Atlanta is a beautiful city.

  16. The Buzz - Diane James Home

    We’ll be there and hope to see you on the panel! We have a favorite little French restaurant just around the corner from the Mart and even blogged about it. It’s called Social and it’s right behind the French American Brasserie.

  17. Katie M

    I was just in Atlanta this weekend for a wedding shower on N. Highland, I guess you would say it’s near VA Highland/5 points area. A lot of my friends from college live around that part of the city. We went to a great little home decor store called Authentique and then ate at a restaurant across the street, I think it was called Pure? They had delicious, fresh guacamole. Have a great time in Atlanta! There is so much to do…

  18. mary

    Side trip to SC? Anna & I will be in Spartanburg/Greenville from July 14 to the 23rd of August! We would love to see you! It sounds like you aer having such a great time!

  19. Bryanna Bean

    I love Atlanta! But, summer is a horrible time to be there, sadly. It is extremely hot and humid, so dress in light colors and fabrics. Also, try to be patient; Atlanta traffic is the worst.

    Hope you have a fantastic trip!

  20. Caroline

    Being from Nashville, I take multiple trips to Atlanta each year. (Actually to the market held at the AmericasMart!) – Definitely see Little Five Points and the Virginia Highlands. Amazing neighborhoods. Brunch and mimosas at Murphy’s in VH is a must if you’re able to go, boutiques nearby are great as well. Vortex bar and grille is also fantastic in Little Five Points. And for real estate fun drive down West Paces Ferry to see beautiful homes. Atlanta is wonderful!

    Have a great time!

  21. Kate

    If you are looking for very cute, great print dresses. Check out Ginger Howard on Peachtree Road. I go there once a summer to stock up!

  22. Bridget

    My sister lives in Atlanta and there are always amazing food festivals during the summer. For the most amazing pizza of your life, check out Antico’s. Enjoy!

  23. Carrie

    I 2nd the above comment – I’ve lived in Atlanta for 11 yrs & heat + traffic still frustrate me at times. Honestly, I’d skip Buckhead, it’s over-rated (over-crowded, over-priced) if you ask me. Focus more on Virgina Highland neighborhood – great place to stroll, shop & eat (Murphy’s is the best bet – grab a spot at the bar or be prepared to wait possibly an hour, though.) Downtown Decatur is also great (and a short drive from Highlands.) There are so many good restaurants…but if I had to pick just a few: Rathbun’s, Miller Union & Star Provisions (lunch) Enjoy!

  24. nanne

    great suggestions!! virginia highlands is a fun, funky, charming neighborhood…for house stalking, get out your camera and drive through buckhead. maybe an atlanta native could give you a good driving route?? the high museum is wonderful.

    there are so many, many great, upscale restaurants in atlanta. definately take a local’s advice or read up on the good, happenin’ spots in bon appetit mag. and visit at least one.

    someone mentioned merry mac’s tea room…it is an atlanta classic. nothing special decor wise. if you are a food snob, you might not like it, but they really do serve the basic, classic southern food that has been enjoyed at georgia, alabama, miss., etc tables, teas, bridal showers & celebrations for the past century. kind of on the same wave length, but totally different, someone else mentioned the varsity. old time, classic, greasy-in-a-good way dogs, fries, etc. i would recommend watershed, but i think scott peacock is no longer the chef there (he trained with edna lewis, granddame of deep south cooking).

    and, finally and boringly important…another poster mentioned the heat and humidity. if you are not used to extreme h&h, take cabs everywhere and drink lots of water.

    have fun!!

  25. nanne

    oh! and a big p.s..

    if you have time, try to set up a visit & interview with ryan gainey. he is an incredible landscape designer & book author. his work is internationally known, very southern, very beautiful & whimsical. he would be a great interview in the great southern character kind of way.

    posted the best link i could find for him.


  26. Courtney

    You have to eat at Sun in My Belly. Best breakfast ever. (As in, if you’re up for it I’d be happy to drive you there just so you can try the bacon.) Down the road is Kudzu (a fun vintage/antiques shop) as well as the Dekalb Farmers Market (which has the freshest produce and amazing deserts!)

    South City Kitchen is also delish (I’d do the Midtown location) and brunch at Murphy’s (in the Highlands) is delicious. A few shops up from Murphy’s is Urban Cottage- which is a super cute home goods store- and a few blocks up from there is Cafe 640 (where you can sit outside and have an amazing burger with a Grapefruit Rosewater Martini.) If you’d like more suggestions (or are looking for something in particular) just shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help!

  27. Katie Armour Post author

    Oh my…so overwhelmed with all these great tips! Will be combing through them first thing in the morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! xx

  28. Rebecca Contreras

    Hi Katie!

    I love, love, love your blog, but am a bit shy about commenting. However, I am originally from Atlanta and knew this to be a perfect opportunity to say hello.

    I think that you will love the Virginia Highlands. It’s very charming and the design shops there are great. Stop in to a little tapas place called “Noche.” It has a really intimate back patio area with brick walls and plants. The drinks are great there. Or “Everybody’s Pizza,” as it’s right next door.

    On the Westside of town, you’ll find a lot of cute shops, and a restaurant called JCT. Domino magazine featured it in it’s May issue a few years ago. The food there is southern fine dining and so amazing.

    Taking a cab is probably the best way to go about things as Marta doesn’t take you directly to these places.

    I hope his is helpful and that you have a lovely trip!

  29. Vanessa A

    I live and work in Buckhead (play in Old Fourth Ward/Inman Park/Highlands area). I want to recommend a fabulous chocolatier in Buckhead – Cacao. They have fabulous macaroons there, among other goodies, but it is quite chic. I feel like I am in Paris. I think you would like it! (And it is 5 minutes from Pieces).

    Also, right down the street (literally about 50 feet) from Cacao is Fellini’s…which if you like pizza is great. Nothing fancy – just good pizza and a great patio!

    I hope to get meet you at the AmericasMart when you are here. And everyone is right – get breakfast at The Flying Biscuit. And you will love the Highlands and Decatur areas of town. :) Hugs, Vanessa

  30. Sarah Antweiler

    Awe, your coming to my home?!?! Atlanta is fabulous, but I’m a little biased. I think everyone covered the main attractions that you would like. You can e-mail me though if you have any specific questions. Have fun! Hope our town wows you with some Southern hospitality (although not sure how much of that you will find downtown)!

  31. Jessica

    BD Jeffries in Buckhead and The Mercantile in Brookhaven are both solid choices for lifestyle + design. Virginia-Highland is great for food and walking, but Buckhead (and West Midtown–Knoll, Room + Board, B Braithwaite, Ann Mashburn + art galleries) is where you’ll find most great design ateliers and home-grown talents.

  32. Nicole

    Whoa! I just moved to Durham, England, from Atlanta, and all of these comments are making me miss home. Tear! :(

    – Flying Biscuit (Atlanta staple for breakfast, multiple locations)
    – West Egg (even better breakfast on the Westside)
    – Watershed (local, organic, fancy food, in Decatur)
    – Nuevo Laredo (the best Mexican food you will ever have – EVER – on the Westside)

    I like England and all, but it’s not exactly known for its cuisine. That’s all I have to say about that.

  33. BAH

    For some authentic Georgia cooking, you must try Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles. Their peach butter is TDF!

  34. Kristin Smith

    Hi – I hope you like Atlanta!

    I think for your style, you would really love the West End – Mashburns, Star Provisions, B Braithwaite, the children’s shop Seed Factory.

    But also, I think you should really see the Buckhead boutiques. I think the E. Paces Ferry area would be right up your alley – Boxwoods is really cute (European antiques, gifts), and you should check out Pieces.

    If you are only here for three days, I would really only focus on those places.

  35. Debra Turner

    There are so many wonderful things about visiting the South, not the least of which is the wonderful breakfast. Forget about oatmeal for the duration of your visit and go for the buttermilk biscuits, eggs, bacon and sausage.

  36. Madison Hipp

    imagine driving down a gravel road into what feels like the middle of nowhere, only to stumble upon a huge warehouse-like building.

    no, it’s not the setting of a horror flick, it’s TWO Urban Licks (, one of Atlanta’s hottest restaurants. the menu features an eclectic blend of small dishes from a “big ass” burger, to a low country boil, to watermelon gazpacho. and for dessert: rum raisin bread pudding or homemade smores sound quite tastey, yes?

    Atlanta is just one of many cities to exemplify the wonderful, warm charm of the South (:

  37. Libby

    Lots of good suggestions above and lots that are off base.

    where to go…

    The west side of town – some call it west Midtown now – is a must do. The Westside urban market is wonderful. Carve out time for browsing Star Provisions and eat lunch. JCT Kitchen around back – go to the bar at a minimum but amazing food as well. The complex also has Ann and Sid Mashburn’s shops, new Jonathan Adler store too. Across the bridge is Room & Board and Miller Union for more food (reservations needed). The westside is also home to numerous fabric stores, Bungalow home and a warehouse district with all sorts of great finds.

    Yes to VA Highlands – specifically the intersection of Virginia and Highland for window shopping, walking and Murphys is an institution for brunch. Follow Highland south to Ponce Highland (Pura Vida) and into Inman Park (Wisteria, Cacao, Sotto Sotto) and lots of new fun shops. Inman Park is Atlanta’s original “suburb” with wonderful Victorians and Bungalows. Little 5 is funky and fun. And Candler Park is nice and more homey with more bungalows to browse.

    Decatur – my town – is better for food than shopping but is still a nice stroll. Cakes & Ale, Leon’s Full Service, the Iberian Pig and The Brick Store pub are all winners here.

    Skip Margaret Mitchell house (waste of time); The high special exhibits are wonderful; the regular collection leaves something to be desired. Lots of local theater if you like that kinds of thing.

    a few niches in south Buckhead for design (Peachtree Hills area, Miami Circle, Bennett street for art and antiques) but the old Buckhead is gone and not worth sitting in traffic for.

    Too many good choices. Have fun and enjoy our lovely town.

    Oh – get a car. Its worth it. Taxi’s are not plentiful and MARTA is only useful if you need to go to the airport.

  38. LKW

    You would LOVE Paris on Ponce – fabulous vintage treasure trove, located near Midtown.
    For brunch/lunch or dinner, Holeman & Finch Public House – they’ve been getting rave reviews since the doors opened. Or, Miller & Union. Same story…

    Enjoy Atlanta!

  39. Sarah

    Eat At:
    The Flying Biscuit

    Sacred Grounds used to be a super cool coffee shop in East Atlanta, don’t know if it’s there anymore.

  40. Taylor

    [Disclaimer: my recommendations will be entirely food-centric, with some transportation tips thrown in so I don’t seem like a total glutton. The savvy commenters who precede me have the shopping recs covered!]

    I am so excited that you’re already planning to visit my ‘hood – Virginia Highlands! I understand where everyone is coming from re: Murphy’s, but might I offer an alternative, especially if you are considering brunch? Rosebud ( is by far my favorite restaurant in V-H, if not all of Atlanta, and it can NOT be beat (not even by Murphy’s) for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The food definitely has a southern influence but still feels modern, and there’s not a bad thing on the menu. I do insist that you start with the pimento cheese with home-made saltines, however.

    Across the street from Rosebud is its extension, a bar called The Family Dog (, which is a great place to stop to have a craft cocktail (or beer) and listen to live music. Next to TFD is Alon’s, a gourmet coffee shop/sandwich place/bakery. This would be the perfect choice if you wanted to pick up a nice bottle of wine and some prepared foods to take on a picnic or to keep in your hotel room for snacking. It’s also the perfect choice for a coffee and a pastry if you’re looking for a quick breakfast or snack.

    In West Midtown, you MUST MUST MUST eat at JCT Kitchen ( Its rooftop bar has one of the most charming views of the city, and all of the best menu items from downstairs are available upstairs (Angry Mussels. Do it.). This resto shares real estate with the Mashbuns and Jonathan Adler, and tons of other cute design/apparel boutiques, so it would be the perfect place to end an afternoon of shopping with a glass (or bottle) of wine and delicious food.

    In Buckhead, I have only one recommendation: Souper Jenny ( If you need a lunch spot in Buckhead, go nowhere else. Promise me.

    When you are Downtown at the America’s Mart, your food options will be limited (Downtown just doesn’t have much of a dining scene, unfortunately). However, you will be a quick walk from Woodruff Park (, where you can get a fresh, homemade popsicle (think flavors like chocolate sea salt, coconut lemongrass, and grapefruit mint) from King of Pops ( If you HAVE to eat a meal downtown, for lunch I recommend trying Broad Street (one block east of Woodruff Park) – there is a falafel place called Ali Baba’s ( – OMG don’t judge it by its website) that is pretty good, and Rosa’s Pizza (next to Ali Baba’s) isn’t bad either. I can’t give an informed dinner recommendation because I haven’t had that many dinners Downtown, but Ray’s in the City ( is decent, and very close to America’s Mart.

    As far as transportation goes, MARTA will be convenient if you plan to travel between Downtown (where America’s Mart is) and central Midtown (where the High Museum is). If you want to travel east (to Virginia Highland) or West (to West Midtown, where the Mashburns are), you’ll have to find a cab. MARTA’s convenience to commerce/shopping/dining dwindles as you head north, so once you get off the train in Buckhead you’ll still need a cab to get you where you ultimately want to go (unless where you want to go is the Lenox Square Mall). All that being said, I strongly recommend renting a car if you can, even if it’s just for the one day that you plan on sight-seeing V-H and Buckhead.

    Enjoy your time in Atlanta and try not to MELT in the July heat!!



  41. Lauren

    Katie! Atlanta is my home town – you’ll love it there. The cutest, most interesting area is definitely Virginia Highlands. A couple restaurants to try – Empire South, Miller Union, Local 3, depending on where you are staying. Definitely visit Ann Mashburn (or Sid Mashburn for the men!) for adorable, beautiful, classic and preppy clothes. I grew up in Buckhead and know you’ll just love Atlanta! It’s all about shopping, food, and relaxing. :)

  42. Barbara

    Hi Katie- first time to your blog…nicely done! I live in Midtown- lots of places to walk here and a great park. You will want to visit The Westside design area. I have a showroom at the Mart and at ADAC- Palecek- come see me during the show! There are so many great restaurants to chose from and I know you will be very busy- I like Feast in Decatur, Top Flr in Midtown is good too. Enjoy your visit! We are looking forward to hosting you!

  43. nicole b.

    My husband and I are visiting friends in Atlanta in July. Thanks for so many great recommendations from your readers! When we’ve been to Atlanta in the past, we’ve loved the Georgia Aquarium, Braves games and the low-key vibe of the Little Five Points district where you’ll find funky thrift shops, record stores, dive bars, etc. HAVE FUN! xo.

  44. annechovie

    Thanks for the sweet comment and support, Katie! I lived in ATL for nearly 20 years and would def recommend Murphy’s as one of my faves in Virginia-Highlands. A lot has changed in the 4 years since I left, though, so some of my old faves may not still be around. Have a wonderful trip! xo

  45. Felicia

    Hi Katie,
    Absolutely love your blog and have been following for a while now. I will be in Atlanta for the International Gift and Home Furnishing market too! Would you mind posting more info on where you are speaking on July 15. I will definitely make sure to be there!
    All the best!

  46. Mary Helen

    I’m living in ATL right now so I’ll just second some other comments. Skip Buckhead, definitely do V-H and downtown Decatur, and Sun in my Belly!!! Murphy’s is good but usually has a horrible wait, so I’d definitely recommend Sun in my Belly for breakfast/brunch!

  47. Gwen

    My husband is from Atlanta, so we go there several times a year. I can honestly say that Rosebud (in V-H) is my favorite place for brunch in all of America (and I’ve lived in New York, LA, Philadelphia, and DC in the past four years alone).

    V-H in general is highly recommended. Hit up Piedmont Park if you’re in need of an outdoor stroll. The aquarium is great but way too busy on weekends. World of Coke is surprisingly fun for the collection of vintage memorabilia and the fountains of soda from around the world, but also not a good place during peak tourist times.

    Un-fancy but classic ATL food: The Varsity is an Atlanta institution, and if you’re into old-school fast food, it can’t be missed. Chick-Fil-A started in Atlanta and I swear it tastes better there. Fat Matt’s Rib Shack if you want barbecue. Fellini’s for late night (or any time) quick slices and Sweetwaters.

  48. amy

    Hi Katie! There are some amazing, hip, fun, classy places to be in ATL, but I have to suggest that you check out some of the chains that started in or are a big part of the South. Cracker Barrel, Chick-Fil-A, Bojangles, or Maurices bbq. These will certainly not be culinary highlights, but you’ve gotta try this stuff because it’s just so different than what you get anywhere else. And if you see Shrimp and Grits on a ANY menu YOU MUST ORDER IT!

  49. Whitney

    Hi Katie! I mentioned this on Twitter, but I really hope you make it to Ecco in Midtown — my favorite, favorite restaurant in Atlanta. You MUST try the fried goat cheese (drizzled with honey and a little black pepper) and a Long Live the Queen (Gin-based, which isn’t usually my poison of choice, but this drink is wonderful). (And if you ever make it back in the winter, the Brussels sprouts are super scrumptious.) I also highly recommend the Botanical Garden, which is right next to (and shares parking with) Piedmont Park. (Plenty of pugs in the park!) The flowers and landscapes are breathtaking this time of year.

    As everyone above has noted, Vi-Hi has great shops, bars and restaurants and never disappoints. Maybe even cuter, though, is Inman Park, a smaller neighborhood just a couple miles south of the Highlands (close to Little Five Points). If you make to Inman, visit Parish either for brunch (on the weekends, upstairs in the dining room) or lunch (during the week, downstairs in the back).

    If beer is your thing, Sweetwater Brewery (South Buckhead-ish) is open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, and Brickstore Pub (Decatur) is legendary for its vast selection, including a Belgian bar upstairs.

    And if you get the chance, go see the Braves play at the Ted. Always a good (and usually, cheap) time.

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