Nightlife is something we do very well in Atlanta. A touch of refinement is what you'll experience when you frequent Atlanta's best cocktail lounges. These upscale places lend themselves to sophisticated evenings out, and their stylish furnishings and interiors promote conversation and relaxation. For a taste of what Atlanta offers, visit Prohibition, which is known for its inventive cocktails, or lounge about in Drinkshop and discover the ambiance that 10Best users appreciate.
While Tiki bars have made a resurgence in the past couple years, Trader Vic's hasn't missed a beat. Located in Downtown, it is popular with both locals and tourists. Thursday nights feature live music. If jazz music is your thing, you'll definitely want to pay a visit Churchill Grounds.
Looking for a cozy spot that is a bit under the radar. Then you'll want to check out the two speakeasy restaurants that made our list: Eleanor's and Prohibition. Both offer excellent cocktails.
Looking for a place located outside of the city limits with an upscale atmosphere? Then check out Sandy Springs' Three Sheets. Not only do they offer a posh atmosphere but they have special events many evenings. d'Vine Wine Bar is another great lounge for those outside the perimeter.
10 Mood Lounge
This house, turned lounge, is one of Buckhead's trendiest clubs. The club design is captivating, with its chic, modern architecture and sleek glass bar, glowing with color-changing LED lights. DJs spin the latest hits, and the sound is nothing short of incredible, with the state-of-the-art technology. There are plenty of little alcoves to offer privacy to a cozy gathering. They have a very inventive cocktail list featuring their own signature drinks. Try the Thai Tomato Chip - a tomato water and vodka concoction if you are a lover of Bloody Marys. To avoid paying upwards of $15 for a cover charge, RSVP on the Mood Lounge website. (404-627-8464)
Drink Shop masters the art of mixing the perfect cocktail. A DJ spins an eclectic mix of hot music while the talented bar tenders mix up colorful concoctions of fruit-pressed juices and top of the line liquor. The Penicillin is a popular choice made of blended scotch, honey, ginger, lemon juice, and Laphroaig over block ice. The swanky Drink Shop, located inside the W hotel, is truly a one-stop-shop for unmatchable fresh fruit cocktails and trendy tracks. Bartenders are super friendly, not at all snooty like can be found at some other hotel bars. Valet park for a no hassle parking experience. (404-582-5789)
8 d'vine Wine Bar & Shop
Located in Dunwoody, d'Vine Wine Bar has developed quite a loyal following. Many guests love to dine next door at C'om Vietnamese Restaurant and then head here after dinner. However, the menu here is quite tasty here and the light bites certainly compliment the wines you can enjoy if dining in.
Patrons can choose to sip on wine on site or pick it up and take home. Sit on the patio and enjoy your wine. Weekend nights feature live music. On Mondays, they have a fun way of getting rid of the extra bottles of wine that were opened during the weekend: $15 bottomless wine tastings. (770-350-9463)
7 Trader Vic's - Atlanta
Trader Vic's were a hit in the 70s with lots of expansion to many other cities, even international ones. As tastes became more eclectic, a younger generation moved away from Tiki bars. However, there has been a renewed interest and Trader Vic's, being one of the originals, still is a fantastic choice. Visit on Thursday nights for the $6 Mai Tai specials. Be aware these drinks are rather strong and more than two might erase your memory of the night. It is also worth noting there are several non-alcoholic drinks on the menu for those with a non-drinker in your group. (4042216339)
Speakeasy bars and underground bars are all the rage now. Everyone wants to be sipping on a well crafted cocktail at some secret bar that not everyone knows about. Well here's a secret bar you've probably not heard of: Eleanor's. Eleanor's is actually named after an employee. She has a vast amount of training and is now still part of the organization. Eleanor's was started by the wildly popular guys who own Muss and Turner's. In fact, Eleanor's is located inside Muss and Turner's. Though one wouldn't just stumble upon it. You would have to know where to look. You see, to enter Eleanor's, you must walk through what appears to be a freezer door. Heck, even their twitter handle, @thecoolerdoor, gives away their location...sort of. (770-434-1114)
5 Three Sheets
A bit on the outskirts of Atlanta, Three Sheets doesn't miss out on any of the slick and modern sophistication of its Buckhead or Midtown counterparts. Think red drapes and dark leather couches. Tasty cocktails are pricey but good. The high end decor and lounge areas throughout this Sandy Springs establishment lend themselves to Girls Nights Out and Birthday parties or intimate date nights. Guys will appreciate the humidor stocked with a variety of cigar brands. Tickle your taste buds with their once a month Flavor Tripping parties. With upscale cocktails, trendy music and an eclectic small plates menu, this lounge has wide appeal. ((404) 303-8423)
Part of the appeal of this Buckhead bar is in its secrecy. To enter one must dial a certain number in the phone booth that holds the entrance to the bar. Reminiscent of a speakeasy the cocktails are strong and well-crafted. There's an excellent bourbon list with lots of comfy couches that encourage lingering. However, it is one large room, so don't expect any privacy to get cozy with anyone. It is a good choice to take out of town guests. There is heavy cigar smoking allowed here. If you don't like it, this may not be the place for you. ((404) 869-1132)
3 Churchill Grounds
Live jazz is a truly American genre and gets its due respect at this cozy lounge, located next to the Fox Theatre. Around for many years, they could simply be content with average service based on a steady stream of traffic from the Fox, but they have superb service and musical acts.
The venue regularly books top performers and also grants new talents the opportunity to test their wings. Fans can't say enough about the intimate venue, where music is top-notch and patrons are graciously attentive. Boosting the night's pleasure are terrific cocktails and wines, premium cigars, and an elegant, light menu of desserts, coffees, appetizers, and Asian-styled dishes. (404-876-3030)
2 Cosmopolitan Lounge
High-ceilinged and open, this lounge stays busy constantly, packed with attractive, young professionals who come to meet and greet. Weekends are especially crowded, although the place has a more comfortable capacity during the week. And if you can make it to the patio, you'll enjoy the chance for a breath of fresh air and a little more elbowroom. Drinks are well prepared, especially the signature cosmopolitan, and a selection of appetizers (including calamari, shrimp, hummus, and eggrolls) provides added energy. Depending on the night, the lounge offers live music or DJ-spun tunes. Plus, Friday happy hour is a great way to kick off the weekend. (404-873-6189)
1 Halo Lounge
Sleek furnishings of chrome, glass and wood ably temper the poured concrete shell of this hip lounge. Its centerpiece, a white onyx bar, takes on the colors of changing light, and patrons cozy up to it for Halo's fabulous cocktails.
During the week, the scene takes on a low-key vibe, and relaxing with friends is a standard pastime. On weekends, though, the pace picks up, DJs spin the latest tunes, and folks revel in the heightened activity. Drinks are top quality, food is served from 5pm till 10pm, and just so you know, the entrance to the lounge is located on Sixth Street, not Peachtree. (404-962-7333)
About Malika Harricharan
Malika is the Author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta. With a background in marketing, Maika's passion is Writing and Social Media Marketing and she works for various clients in Atlanta.
Malika also seeks Atlanta's hidden gems, writing about them on her Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She believes that an exceptional meal can be found at a hole-in-the-wall joint, as well as in a swanky building.
Exotic travel is also important to our Atlanta expert, who wants to see the whole world. “There are so many great experiences and so much we can all learn from different cultures,” she says.
Read more about Malika Harricharan here.
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