Atlanta Cuisine just released their list of the Top 25 Beer Destinations in Atlanta for 2011. It’s a good list featuring both bars and restaurants. Two things jump out at me: Location and Duration. You’ll notice that roughly half the list falls outside the city limits with Decatur nabbing six spots. Which is a great turn of events for people who live further out. You may also notice that the growth in beer culture has lead to several of these places being opened in the last three years. I have no problems with either or these things. But it leads me to something I’ve been thinking about recently…
What are the classic Atlanta bars? Not a ranking of the most popular bars in 2011. Not a list of which places have the biggest and best collection of beers and liquor. But a list of great Atlanta bars that have been around for awhile and will still be around in ten years. I plan to spend some real time on this in the future and really flesh it out with links and reviews, but for now, here are my thoughts. To qualify, the bar must be located in the city limits and have been opened at least ten years ago. Then there’s some subjective qualifiers that basically come down to being unique and “barness” or whether or not I personally like the place. If someone has lived in Atlanta for awhile you should scoff “You haven’t been there?”.
Virginia Highlands: Dark Horse Tavern, Atkins Park, Neighbors, Moe’s and Joe’s, Highland Tap, Fontaine’s, Manuel’s Tavern, Clermont Lounge
Little Five Points: Euclid Yacht Club, Brewhouse, Star Community Bar
Grant Park/East Atlanta: Six Feet Under, The Earl, and then maybe Gravity Pub or Flatiron
Piedmont/Midtown: Park Tavern, Smith’s Olde Bar
Buckhead: Churchill’s, Five Paces Inn, Fado, Johnny’s Hideaway, Treehouse
Westside: The Northside Tavern, Mr. C’s.
Did I leave anything off? Do you disagree?