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West Midtown/Westside

In West Midtown/Westside Atlanta neighborhood guide, I’m going to take you through one of my favorite areas of the city. 

In this Atlanta Neighborhood Guide – West Midtown/Westside, you’ll learn:

Atlanta Neighborhood Guide – West Midtown/Westside: About the Area

Atlanta’s Westside area is located – unsurprisingly – west of the core part of Midtown, just west of Georgia Tech. West Midtown is a really large area and it overlaps the burgeoning Westside neighborhood. This area is not officially designated by city maps and it’s hard to tell where West Midtown ends and Westside begins, so I consider them basically the same area for this purpose.

Key streets in West Midtown/Westside are Howell Mill Road, Northside Drive, 14th Street, 10th Street, Marietta Boulevard and Marietta Road.


West Midtown and the Westside were once boring if not depressing areas – filled with some businesses, but also marked by abandoned, dilapidated warehouses, vacant homes, and dead farmland.

Today, it is teeming with galleries, lofts, chic high rises, new parks, spectacular shopping, unique recreation options and some of the best restaurants in Atlanta. And, most importantly, it connects to the all-important Atlanta BeltLine (LINK) making it one of the most sought-after areas of the city. 

Much of Atlanta’s Civil War history took place in West Midtown/Westside. In fact, the marker for the Surrender of Atlanta is on Marietta Road – but sort of hidden behind a shrub.

There are several long-established and historic neighborhoods in the area, including Blandtown, which was one of the first settlements founded after the Civil War by a freed Black man. Howell Station is on the National Historic of Historic Places. It was burned down in the Civil War but built up in the rush of development that followed the war and you’ll find wonderful examples of craftsmen bungalows and other period architecture. 

Precisely because this area has burgeoned, seemingly overnight, it is FULL of construction ALL THE TIME. The roads were NEVER designed for the amount of traffic there and it can get pretty gridlocked.

As with most areas of Atlanta, I strongly urge you to use Uber or Lyft to get there. Parking is a nightmare – there are not enough spaces, it’s expensive and the enforcement is aggressive – you’ll get ticketed or booted the minute your meter runs out. 

Atlanta Neighborhood Guide – West Midtown/Westside: Eating

Atlanta’s West Midtown and Westside neighborhoods have THE best restaurants in the city, in my humble opinion. There are no massive chain restaurants here. Instead, the area is full of some of the most interesting, fresh foods driven by local chefs, many of whom are internationally renowned.

West Midtown and Westside boast everything from extraordinary, special occasion restaurants to hole-in-the-wall gems and quite literally everything in between. You’ll find exquisite steak, inventive tacos, homemade pasta and outstanding barbeque here. Oh, there’s also a really cool food hall here (one of several in Atlanta). 

Here are my picks for the best bets, covering everything from fine dining to tacos.

Bacchanalia is one of THE BEST restaurants in all of Atlanta, if not the country. It features contemporary American cuisine by celebrated chef/owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. The nightly prix fixe menu showcases seasonal, organic ingredients, many of which come from Anne and Clifford’s own farm. 

(Side note – next door is their Star Provisions, with delicious sandwiches, baked goods and home items.)

Ford Fry is another celebrated Atlanta chef, and he happens to operate three of my very favorite Atlanta restaurants, conveniently all in West Midtown. 

Marcel is an exquisite French steakhouse. MAKE SURE you get the bread course! I am not kidding.

Optimist features fresh seafood – which I realize is odd considering Atlanta is landlocked, but I promise you it’s delicious. The oysters are incredible. 

JCT Kitchen is elevate Southern food. The fried chicken is one of the best in the city and the truffle fries are not to be missed.

Miller Union was one of the first “farm to table” restaurants in Atlanta and the restaurant and chef Steven Satterfield have earned a number of very deserving accolades. The menu changes frequently, but farm egg baked in celery cream is a regular item and a must-try. 

Cooks & Soldiers is an upscale tapas restaurant which features a variety of small and large plates. You MUST get the Bikini – a grownup grilled cheese with white cheddar, jamón ibérico and black truffles.

Forza Storico is a really yummy Italian restaurant with homemade pasta and nourishing comfort foods, plus lighter fare like grilled octopus. They have a lovey and extensive wine list too. (Note there are other restaurants in this group in Buckhead but this one is my favorite. The vibe is very cool but not too hip.)

There are a couple of good sushi places in West Midtown but I recommend Eight Sushi Lounge. It has all the usual items plus some very inventive rolls, appetizers and main dishes as well as a really cool cocktail menu.

Bone Garden Cantina is not your average Mexican place (and there are many amazing ones in Atlanta). The menu features homestyle Mexican fare, plus a great array of tacos and killer margaritas. Add in the cool Day of the Dead décor and it’s a really great place to hang out.

(Really tied in this category in the area are Taqueria del Sol and Nuevo Laredo Cantina – check them all out!)

Souper Jenny is super casual but a personal favorite. Jenny makes all the soups from scratch, plus fresh salads and sandwiches. What’s more, there is a large garden on site for many of the ingredients. 

If you’re hungry for brunch, check out West Egg Café for everything from challah French toast to some of the best shrimp and grits in the city, coupled with a perfect Bloody Mary. 

If you have a sweet tooth (and who doesn’t), check out Jeni’s Ice Cream and Five Daughters bakery, both in Westside Provisions. The smells alone may curb your cravings, but probably not. 

Finally, check out The Works, one of the newest food halls in Atlanta (there are at least five currently open with more coming). It is one of my favorites – not as crowded as some of the others and featuring everything from amazing BBQ to authentic Vietnamese. 

Atlanta Neighborhood Guide – West Midtown/Westside: Drinking

West Midtown and the Westside do not feature as many clubs as other parts of Atlanta. For me, this is a good thing. The bars that are here are terrific in their own way and most of the restaurants feature lively bar scenes. In fact, I usually prefer to sit at a bar and eat, particularly if it’s just me and my husband. But there are a few great places to enjoy a beverage – or two.

Northside Tavern is one of the MOST venerable bars in Atlanta. It is also the biggest dive bar I have ever been to, which is saying a lot. It usually doesn’t get going until after 11 pm, and most nights there is live music. 

Ormsby’s is a wonderful upscale pub, with craft beers, upscale bar food and a variety of games, from backgammon to bocce ball. 

The Bellyard Hotel has a wonderful rooftop – or rather mezzanine – bar called Drawbar. It is a lovely space with great city views. 

The Works features several watering holes, from Dr. Scofflaw’s brewing to a soon-to-open rooftop bar. Most of the food stalls also sell adult beverages. 

Finally, the westside is FILLED with breweries. Scofflaw has two locations – in The Works and its original location – and there are others, including Monday Night Brewing (this is the original location), Bold Monk Brewing (with a great food menu), Fire Maker Brewing, Steady Hand Beer, Second Self Beer Company, and Round Trip Brewing. 

Atlanta Neighborhood Guide – West Midtown/Westside: Shopping

Atlanta’s West Side is full of fun, unique stores. Even the “chain” stores seem to be nicer here, in cool warehouses and big spaces. Many of these stores are in Westside Provisions, so you can walk around, eat, drink and shop!

One of the coolest stores in Atlanta is a men’s clothing store! Sid Mashburn also has a women’s business, but in my opinion, the men’s side is what makes this store truly special.

Sid Mashburn features bespoke clothing and even shoes and accessories. It is about as custom and old school as you can get. It’s definitely not inexpensive, but it’s an amazing place. 

Crafted Westside features unique, handmade items from Atlanta artisans and designers. In this store, you’ll find one-of-a-kind items, from small keychains to statement jewelry pieces to impressive art. 

There are national chains here, but the physical store and space designs make them seem more interesting than say, mall locations. Take Anthropologie. It’s in a cool, reclaimed warehouse giving it a bright, airy feel. 

Hudson Grace is a small chain with a handful of locations across the country – in mostly very upscale areas. This store sells some of the coolest housewares and home items you’ll find. A personal favorite item is the tear-off napkin/coaster roll.

Atlanta Neighborhood Guide – West Midtown/Westside: Staying

There aren’t a lot of hotel and lodging options in the West Midtown/Westside area – yet. Several hotels are planned but for now, check out Bellyard Hotel, which is in the new Interlock building (and features the aforementioned Drawbar). 

VRBO boasts several properties in the area, from houses to rooms and some pretty fun and funky residences. 

Atlanta Neighborhood Guide – West Midtown/Westside: Recreation

West Midtown/Westside is NOT all just shopping and eating. There are a lot of recreational activities in this area, too. The overall vibe is “upscale games” as you’ll see. 

Top Golf is a high-end driving range, complete with a bar, restaurant and lots of TVs. Bonus – it’s really close to Star Provisions and Bone Garden Cantina.

Puttshack is a high-end, indoor putt-putt center. Late night it’s for adults only so time it accordingly if you’re bringing kids. 

The Painted Duck is bar and restaurant with a duckpin bowling alley and game room. 

Slingshot Social Game Club is due to open later in 2021 and is known to be a sort of hipster arcade, with dozens of indoor and outdoor games, along with food and a full bar. 

Thankfully, not all activities are hipster gaming places.  In fact, one of my favorite areas to hang out is a new, HUGE city part. Westside Park, at 280 acres, dwarfs all other parks in Atlanta and features miles and miles of bike and jogging trails, as well as one of the coolest views of the city overlooking the massive quarry and reservoir. As a park, it’s free to go and there’s plenty of free, safe parking onsite.

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