Atlanta, Georgia in 48 Hours
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
Having a sister and a best friend in the Atlanta area means I have plenty of reason to go, and I've definitely taken advantage of the opportunity! I've visited Atlanta in as short as 24 hours, which means I know how to fit in a good time, so keep reading for my list of the best food in Atlanta and the best things to do in Atlanta.
Best Restaurants in Atlanta
Buttermilk Kitchen—Located just north of Buckhead, Buttermilk Kitchen is your classic southern brunch spot that can't be missed! My mom and I couldn't decide what to get when we went, so we settled on spilting the grit bowl and the buttermilk pancakes with caramelized banana on top. Opps, did I make your mouth water? Or is that just me?
St. Cecilia—This fun little coastal European restaurant sits in the heart of Buckhead. St. Cecilia is know for their seafood, and that, they do a good job at. We started the meal with their house-made focaccia + warm olives, and then we, of course, couldn't decide, so my mom, sister & I spilt a cheese board, squid ink malfadini and turbot Milanese—all were to-die-for.
Chops & Lobster Bar—This one is definitely for a special occasion because, I'm not going to lie, it's pretty expensive, but it is absolutely amazing. Chops will not disappoint. "Lobster Bar" is in the name, but what they're actually known for is their fried lobster, which sounds sacrilegious if you're a Floridian like me, but trust me, it's amazing.
Victory Sandwich—Located just off the BeltLine in Atlanta, Victory Sandwich is an awesome spot to grab some lunch with some great pals. I thoroughly enjoyed their hambo + frozen whiskey coke (as do many others).
The Varsity—I know what you're thinking: why is that greasy Georgia fast food chain on this list? But The Varsity is so much more than a greasy Georgia fast food chain; It's an institution, and if you're on the road, this place is a must-stop. I remember all the road trips to see my aunt as a kid and loving the precious words "what'll ya have?" when my dad would let us stop at The Varsity. My only recommendation is that you get an "FO" (Frosty Orange).
Grind House Killer Burger—Though they have a handful of locations, I visited the Grind House Killer Burger in Piedmont. I got the burger dixie style, and it was truly amazing—it had pimento cheese, green fried tomato, carolina cole slaw and chipotle ranch.
La Grana—Ironically enough, La Grana is located just across the street from one of the Grind House Killer Burger locations, but it couldn't be any more different. This Italian restaurant makes everything from scratch, and it shows.
Chattahoochee Food Works—This new food hall has more vendors coming in all the time, but when I visited Chattahoochee Food Works, I was super impressed with the sushi from Flying Fish, sangria from La Luz & the coffee heath caramel ice cream from Morelli's Ice Cream!
Baffi—Located in west midtown Atlanta, Baffi is a modern, cute and delicious Italian restaurant. We honestly sort of stumbled upon it, but they had a fun drink menu and amazing pasta options.
Buena Vida Tapa & Sol—I believe Buena Vida is primarily known for their dinner + tapas menu, but we went for their brunch and were not disappointed. We thoroughly enjoyed their pimento chicken biscuit and flan french toast. Plus, they had a seasonal white sangria that made for a super fun brunch drink!
Bold Monk Brewing Co.—Though a slightly more up-scale brewery, Bold Monk makes a beautiful and rich collection of German beers. I got the Discipline Dubbel (the deep red colored beer), and it was awesome!
Best things to do in Atlanta
Ponce City Market—A true staple of Atlanta culture, the Ponce City Market is located right off the BeltLine. This two-story food hall is home to variety of boutiques, food stalls and even a mini brewery!
New Realm Brewing—Just a short walk from Ponce City Market, New Realm Brewing is also located on the BeltLine and has a pretty extensive list of beers and a giant space to accommodate guests inside and outside.
The Regent—This cozy little rooftop bar made a great way to spend the evening on a cold, winter night. The Regent is located on the 3rd floor (I know, it's not much of a "rooftop") of the American Cut, and while it might not actually be that high up, it's an intimate space with a beautiful view. Plus, they have super cute mini fireplaces during the winter that they pull close to the couches.
Krog Street Market—Another food hall situated just off the BeltLine, this bad boy has a great bunch of restaurants, but the only place I've really been to at Krog Street Market is the famous Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, and the boston cream pie ice cream should not be missed.
Georgia Aquarium—Many ask "Is the Georgia Aquarium worth it?" and my answer is: If you're from a coastal town, no, it's likely not worth it. If you don't have over half a day to spend there, no, it's likely not worth it. But if those instances don't apply to you, then I actually think the Georgia Aquarium is a super fun way to spend the day, especially with children!
Best coffee shops in Atlanta
Brash Coffee—I actually visited the location inside the Atlanta History Center, but I heard they have a couple other locations that are actually old shipping containers turned into cafes! No matter which you visit, Brash Coffee serves a mean cup of craft coffee.
Circa Coffee House—Located in Tyrone, Georgia (just west of the Atlanta Airport), Circa Coffee is one of the most eclectic coffee shops I've ever visited. They have fun coffee flavors, yummy pastries and an antique shop next door, so you can browse while you wait for your coffee!
Heirloom Market Co. & Bakeshop—This was is a little further west of Atlanta (one located in Sharpsburg & one located in Newnan), but man, do they make yummy donuts! Heirloom not only has a precious cafe, but also a couple stories of small boutiques and shops.
Perc Coffee—I visited the Perc Coffee location in Virgina Highlands and loved it! Most of the time, the home-made pop-tart is one of those things that looks way better than it actually tastes but this was actually amazing. Plus, they were a third-wave coffee shop, featuring specialty drinks like The Bobby Jones (old school coke, espresso and lemon) and The Hosea Williams (espresso, rosemary simple syrup and lemon).
Best hotels in Atlanta
Atlanta Marriott Marquis | Moderate—Located in the "hotel district," very close to the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca Cola and CNN Studios, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis makes for an awesome stay if you're looking for a clean & decent hotel in a very central location. They have a few dining options in the hotel (as well as a Starbucks) and a spa, gym and swimming pool.
St. Regis Atlanta | Luxury—This hotel is located in Buckhead and is definitely more suited for the "luxury" stay. St. Regis Atlanta is also a Marriott property but is much nicer and equip with more amenities. They have free daily coffee and/or tea, a swimming pool, a spa, two on-property bars, afternoon tea, a restaurant and more. The hotel is very centrally located if you want to spend time in Buckhead, but its two closest attractions are Chops & Lobster Bar (right next door) and The Garden Room (the hotel's newest bar).