A few months back, I was having dinner in Houston with two of my favorite women, Abby and Niken, and we came up with the idea to spend 48 hours in Atlanta, eating our way through the city.
Abby is simultaneously the most fabulous and most humbled woman I know. She’s currently on sabbatical from the liquor industry, pursuing her entrepreneurial dreams. This woman looks as natural rocking a pair of fast fashion pointed toe boots and a designer handbag as she does busing a table at Aces of Taste. No joke, I wake up in the morning and try to motivate myself to hustle half as hard as Abby does. She’s fiercely loyal and always down to dance, which are basically prerequisites for being friends with me.
Niken is a core part of the Greenway Coffee family, which is a household name in Houston hospitality and beyond. She’s up at the crack of dawn most days (even while on vacation) making sure that things run smoothly at Greenway Coffee, Inversion, Morningstar, Blacksmith, and the team’s newest addition, Prelude. She seriously knows her stuff when it comes to good coffee and good service, and she’s loved by everyone in the biz. Her unabashed honesty and realness is so appreciated (and often LOL funny), but I most appreciate the level at which she is down to try everything on a menu. A woman after my own heart.
Anyway, as I was saying… A few months back, the three of us were having dinner at Nobie’s. We were talking shop, as we do, discussing our favorite spots in various cities. A little shipping container coffeeshop in Atlanta called Brash was brought up and, next thing you know, we were picking dates and booking flights.
No joke, this was one of the most deliciously awesome trips I’ve been on, made all the better by the good company. And while you may not be able to replicate the magic that is our unique friendship, I thought the least I could do was pass on our itinerary and can’t miss meals. (A big thank you to the Atlantans who sent their recommendations. I bragged throughout the entire trip about the epic, local-approved list I’d put together.)
lunch – Ponce City Market
After getting early flights out from Austin and Houston, the first order of business was obv food and coffee. We figured Ponce City Market was a perfect first stop that we could make without much thinking. We grabbed coffee at Spiller Park and then divided & conquered for lunch. I grabbed a salad and potatoes from Bottiwalla, an Indian fast casual spot. Abby got Hop’s Chicken, and Niken got fish & chips from W.H. Stiles Fish Camp. I don’t think any of us were overwhelmed by the food, but it was a solid first choice to get something in our bellies while we still had our bags in tow. We killed about an hour exploring the retail shops. Citizen Supply was a favorite. It’s like a mini market within a market, full of cute clothes, home goods, and local prints.
After strolling through PCM, it was time to check in to our Airbnb and drop our bags off. We were instantly in awe of our place, The Red House in Reynoldstown. This 1912 duplex has been refreshed, but maintains so much of the personality, including hardwood floors and wood paneled walls. It was minimally decorated, warm, and still somehow ultra chic. The best part is that it had 2 king beds and 1.5 bathrooms.
snacks – Krog Street Market
After catching up on work and chilling out for a bit, we decided to get back out and explore the neighborhood. Krog Street Market was a short walk away, so we headed that way. We started off by tasting more than our fair share of chocolates from XOCOATL, walking away with a frozen hot chocolate and hot hot chocolate. Neither were too sweet, and both were richly chocolatey. So freaking good. Then, because we hadn’t quite had enough decadence, we got ice cream at Jeni’s.
After getting supremely sugared up, we decided to take the long walk to Octane Coffee’s Grant Park location. We got iced coffee, a pour over, hot tea, and some espresso/Coke concoction and talked about all the life that had happened since our last trip (Mexico City). We then decided to Uber back to our place and rest up before dinner.
dinner – Gunshow
I made this reservation a few weeks before our trip after reading about the concept. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but knew it’d be a unique experience. I was not wrong. Gunshow kind of works like a dim sum restaurant. They have a handful of in-house chefs who each create their own dish(es) for the evening. Each chef will visit your table, presenting his or her dish and you can then choose if you want it or not. As you might expect, we basically got one of everything. Standouts were the hush puppy battered fish & “chips” that were more like a deep fried potato gratin and banana pudding for dessert.
After dinner, we bopped around town for a while looking for a place to dance. We were somewhat SOL on this front so I’ll spare you the details and keep going with the food.
brunch – Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall
We woke up hungry (shocker, right?) and quickly chose Ladybird for its drool-worthy Instagram and fun, campy vibes. We walked there, basking in the crisp weather and gorgeous morning sun. The place was packed but, once we were seated, we settled on The Woodsman’s Breakfast, the Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit, and Sticky Buns. Did I mention we were hungry? The Woodsman’s Breakfast consisted of a host of breakfast items served on a wooden plank– maple bacon, biscuits, potatoes, eggs, grilled veggies. It was a fun sampler, and the hot chicken had good spice, but the stars of the show turned out to be the totally unassuming sticky buns. They were so simple but so. freaking good. The texture was totally addicting. Ugh, yum. I miss them.
coffee – Brash
Ah, the little coffeeshop that made this trip come to life. The building is actually a shipping container that’s been transformed into a quaint, clean, and somehow spacious shop. It felt bright and airy despite its small size. As is our style, we got one of everything and fueled up for a bit of shopping in the area.
dinner – Le Fat
There is no such thing as a perfect trip, and I’d say that Le Fat was the mar on our otherwise flawless vacation. The food (Soft Shell BLT Bánh Bao, Papaya Salad, Drunken Noodles [definitely the best], Rice Plate) was fine, but the service was unapologetically poor and the restaurant was low energy overall, despite its beautiful interior.
drinks – Little Trouble
This bar is apparently an homage to Blade Runner, but if you know me, you already know I don’t watch many movies, Blade Runner included. So while all of those references were lost on me, I did notice that the bar and its inhabitants were super cool.
brunch – The General Muir
Easily the hippest Jewish deli I’ve ever visited, with the crowd to prove it. The wait was about 45 minutes, so we trekked to the bakery next door for a little pastry breakfast appetizer. (Doesn’t everyone do this?) Once we were seated, we got coffee big time and ordered a secondary matzoh ball soup appetizer. (Soup for breakfast is also very normal, right?) Then we all shared the smoked salmon platter with extra bagels and a pastrami hash. Not quite New York bagels, but comforting nonetheless.
last coffee stop – Muchacho
This turned out to be such an unexpected gem. Muchacho is a relatively new, West Coast-inspired coffee & taco shop. It was gray, cold, and rainy outside, but the vibe of the shop’s interior instantly made us feel warm and happy. The staff was amazingly friendly, and even gave us a tour of the attached (and stunning) restaurant that wasn’t yet open for the day. If we had any room for more food, we would’ve had some tacos and grain bowls, but we settled for coffee and some pastries to go. I bought a mug to take home for the ~*memories.*~
While I’m by no means a travel blogger, our two days in ATL were too fun not to share. And, if this isn’t your bag, let me leave you with this: make friends with women who inspire you, travel with them whenever the opportunity arises, and if you’re going to have dessert(s), enjoy every damn bite. No guilt allowed. There’ll be a salad waiting for you when you get home.