Located in the historic Inman Park neighborhood, Parish is a fun place to go for any meal, but my favorite is brunch. Built in a renovated pipe factory dating back to 1890, this place has character. They host a brasserie, facing Highland Avenue, serving up some fine brunch items including a fried chicken benedict, acai smoothie bowl with granola, fresh fruit, and coconut, and my favorite, a sweet potato apple cinnamon roll, baked fresh to order, topped with a mound of cream cheese icing. Downstairs, facing the Beltline, they have the “neighborhood cafe,” with a barista, deli style sandwiches, pastries and a cooler stocked with a fine assortment of local beers and even Bloody Mary in a can (of course you may also order one made fresh from the bartender upstairs). The cafe patio is usually bustling with runners and dog walkers who stop by for a coffee or quick bite while traveling the Beltline.
Located on Hemphill Avenue on the westside of Atlanta, Giovanni Di Palma has created his own “Little Italy.” Beginning as a humble pizzeria, Antico Pizza Napoletana opened in 2009, and has since grown to include Gio’s Chicken Italiano & Maccheroni, Cafe Antico and Bar Amalfi. Gio has brought in everything direct from Italy, including the pizza ovens themselves. You order at the counter (no substitutions on anything!) and then make your way into a loud, hot kitchen with first-come, first-serve family-style seating. The tables are equipped with a roll of brown paper towels and a stack of disposable plastic cups. You maybe BYOB, although they do have several Italian sodas and beers for sale. Most tables are scattered with bottles of wine and happy diners, listening for their number to be yelled from the staff as they auction off some of the most authentic and delicious Italian dishes found in the city. On my most recent trip to the westside, I dined at Gio’s Chicken and ordered the Chicken Amalfi, consisting of roasted chicken, garlic and onions with Castelvetrano olives in a savory broth with roasted potato wedges. My husband always orders the chicken parmesan, which he claims (and I agree) to be the best in the city. After our meal, we walked over to Bar Amalfi for drinks with friends. Many stop in Caffe Antico for gelato and espresso, if they have room after indulging in the huge portions that surely will put one in a food coma for the rest of the night. Come hungry and make a night of it!
A short walk down the Beltline from Parish, in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, you will come across a fun place called Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall. Patrons will be hanging out at the campground-themed property with their dogs, drinking beer and playing ping pong at the self-proclaimed “basecamp for the urban explorer.” I ordered a “Dirty Money,” a cocktail consisting of ginger-infused gin, cucumber ginger syrup, Prosecco, and lime, and then took a seat outside, and watched the passers-by.
A hidden gem in the heart of Little 5 Points, the original bohemian neighborhood, The Porter Beer Bar is a must for beer drinkers. They feature over 800 beers from all over the world, as well as a full bar and my personal favorite, lemon gingerade. It’s like a fresh dose of Summer with a splash of vodka, served over ice, in none other than a pint (or quart, if you dare) size Mason jar. They also offer a full menu and a fine variety of snacks including salt and vinegar popcorn–it will burn your nose hairs, but leave you wanting more.
Written and photographed by Monica Farber for Paprika Southern