This east DeKalb enclave has become something of a post-hipster nesting place — or, as one resident described it, “a punk rock retirement village.” Due to the proximity of the International Rescue Committee, which helps refugees establish stable homes, Clarkston’s also a melting pot of eastern European, African and Middle Eastern communities.
The tiny, shacklike entrance reveals an eclectic and loyal late-night crowd. Music at this underground clubber’s club ranges from hip-hop and Brit-pop to downtempo and rare grooves. The dim basement space feels like the most happenin’ speakeasy in town.
Many local ramen-yas have popped up, attempting to establish superiority, but Jinbei still reigns supreme. The broth made buttery with broken-down pork and chicken bones cooked on low for hours on end, springy yellow noodles, and tender spirals of pork are still a go-to when you are under the weather, hungover, or just hungry.
Perched on the edge of Decatur Square and swimming in Spanish romanticism — dark wood, twinkling lights, and wine bottles as decor — the Iberian Pig exudes charm. As do the owners, members of the Castellucci family, who roam the dining room dishing out stories of their family's five generations of restaurant ownership. And the menu's nods to Spanish flavors and presentations are often delicious, regardless of the lack of authenticity or modernity.
This Little Five hangout serves burritos, quesadillas and other Mexican favorites, with a heaping side of atmosphere and character. It's also a prime drinking spot, with plenty of beer (appropriate to the hipster-leaning environs, Pabst Blue Ribbon is available by bottle, can and tap), margaritas and specialty concoctions.
It's a great place to grab a bite and a buzz before or after a show at Variety Playhouse.
Originally a cotton-gin manufacturer, the Goat Farm is a Westside haven for working artists and performance companies, a frequent location for movie shoots (cough cough, Hunger Games, cough cough), and a great live music venue.
Established in 1979 with city, state and federal funds, the 120-acre woodland and former Creek Indian settlement features steep inclines, a babbling creek, a waterfall, and is home to deer and more than 150 native plant species. It includes an old spring house where tourists once bathed and the remains of a quarry that produced materials to build nearby homes.
The Downtown music venue, art space, and burgeoning community center has become one of the most exciting additions to South Broad Street in recent years. On the nights when the Mammal Gallery hosts a show, the street springs to life, animated with music and modest crowds of people admiring the colorful murals from urban renewal program Elevate.
In a town where cocktails are taken very seriously, Kimball House quietly took over the title of everyone’s favorite cocktail bar. Headed by superstar Miles Macquarrie, the bar is the kind of place you go to learn about new or eccentric spirits (traditional absinthe service is offered), although they do make excellent classics such as a Sazerac. You have to try the oysters — Kimball House has one of the most extensive lists you will ever see. It’s almost impossible to leave without at least getting a dozen.