Once a drab shell of hollowed warehouses and industrial artifacts from Atlanta’s manufacturing heyday, the Westside has reemerged in recent years with a live, work, play mantra and a hefty platter of top-tier dining, arts, and nightlife destinations for the city at large. Indie art galleries banded together with the communities and other institutions to establish the Westside Arts District, and large, mixed-use developments such as Atlantic Station and the Westside Provisions District have helped reclaim some of the most derelict expanses. With a growing number of young, ambitious professionals choosing to call the area home, this long-overlooked expanse of western ATL seems primed for yet another chapter of growth and revitalization.
Truly Living Well is a nonprofit urban farm located near the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Old Fourth Ward. Atlanta local food advocate K. Rashid Nuri founded Truly Living Well in 2006 to increase access to fresh foods in urban areas. TLW also offers programming and other initiatives aimed at providing healthy food, agricultural education, and job creation within the community.
The mega-popular barbecue joint serves up super-smoky ribs, pork, chicken and brisket that inspires passionate barbecue love on good days. The atmosphere the brothers have created is admirable, turning the space into what feels like a genuine Texas shack.
Located in the Southern Dairies' former engine room, 4th and Swift epitomizes industrial elegance. The Swift in the name refers to chef Jay Swift, who came to prominence as the chef at South City Kitchen. Here, he maintains his focus on Southern cooking, but with a more refined and personal touch — taste comes first, not aw-shucks gimmickry.
Located in Krog Street Market, the Cockentrice is the first full-service restaurant from the Spotted Trotter owner chef Kevin Ouzts. Expect plenty of local ingredients and an array of interesting, meat-centric dishes. Highlights include Southern-smashed noisettes and mushroom custard with bone marrow.
There are three components that make a taco superb: the tortillas, the filling, and the salsa. El Rey de Taco gets them all right. Pat yourself on the back if you're lucky enough to catch one of the tortilla mavens making handmade tortillas that emanate the unmistakable smell of fresh masa. When it comes to tacos, the chivo (goat) and cabeza (beef cheeks) are standouts, and the salsas -- although limited -- are pure picante perfection. A chilled glass of horchata (a drink made with cinnamon, rice, milk, and other ingredients) is a refreshing addition to your meal.
This tiny, tiny space features cutting-edge work by a great mix of young, emerging artists with smaller pieces cleverly stored in old record crates. The exhibition openings — often with live music — are like house parties where only the cool kids show up.