Best Places To Drink Outside
While cold-weather drinking is really more of a necessity (whisky=instant warmth), summertime boozing is a legitimate leisure activity best enjoyed al fresco. Here, the rooftops, backyard gardens, and patios that after a cocktail or three, can make the muggiest of concrete jungles feel like an oasis.
Makan130 Clairemont Ave., Decatur | 404.996.6504
The menu at this Chinese/Korean hybrid runs the gamut of Asian delicacies. There’s Korean tacos and steamed bao for lunch, ramen and braised mahi mahi for dinner, and a dim sum brunch on the weekends. Ingredients are sourced from local farmers who focus on quality and sustainability. The portions are large enough to encourage sharing and go perfectly with the restaurant’s communal vibe—massive tables, a well-stocked bar, and outdoor picnic tables.
Superica99 Krog St. NE, Cabbagetown | 678.791.1310
This is one of those places that immediately transports you somewhere else: in the case, Austin, Texas. In addition to the endless patio outside, there's a stage for live music inside, and the décor is wonderfully Texan, with a big star behind the bar and a classic longhorn mount. If you're there for drinks, get the guacamole, queso, and a Vampire Weekend, their house horchata cocktail. They also have a location in Buckhead.
Bartaco969 Marietta St. NW, Knight Park | 404.607.8226
Bartaco also has a few locations in Connecticut, and you can definitely feel the beachy vibe when you walk inside: The patio is white-washed with blue cushions and accents, and the hanging pendants inside are made from woven baskets. The garage door separating the patio from the restaurant opens wide on warm evenings, when you can sit under the twinkle lights and order from their well-tended cocktail list (favorites are the margarita, the mojito, and a bold blend of chorizo spice, reposado, and mezcal called the CLT). If you're staying to eat, trays of guacamole, salsa, and an assortment of tacos take the stress out of ordering for a crowd.
Leon’s Full Service131 E. Ponce De Leon Ave., Decatur | 404.687.0500
So there are the cocktails (great), but then there are the snacks: cheese, "pub frites," and bacon in a glass. You can pretty much stay all day. The shaded patio is undeniably pleasant, and the open garage door (a big trend in Atlanta) makes it airy and bright.
Barcelona Atlanta Wine Bar & Restaurant240 N. Highland Ave., Inman Park | 404.589.1010
We were sold on this place already for its patio—complete with a fire pit—and, fortunately, the food is fantastic, too. The cozy outdoor space here will make you want to cuddle up with a glass of rioja and order enough tapas to stick around for a while. While we like to go at night (aforementioned fire), we hear the brunch (there’s a bloody mary bar and a seriously good sangria) is just as great. There's an additional location in Knight Park, but this one's our favorite.