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OTHER THINGS TO DO IN ATLANTA
Are you in the mood for something in addition to tango when you travel to festivals and marathons? Here is a list of April's favorite things to do in Atlanta.
Jeju Sauna: www.jejusauna.com
A magical place. Cheap, very clean. Family kind of place. Some people stay here overnight as an alternative to a hostel- you will have to be ok with communal sleeping conditions. I go and enjoy Jeju as a day spa, place of healing and cleansing. Great place to hangout with a group of friends. Lockers for your sammiches and clothes and a restaurant inside if you didn't bring food and get hungry. Bring your book, leave the phone behind for once. Ask April all about it if you want to go and have never been.
Exceptional coffee- Octane: www.octanecoffee.com
The manager of the store is the hipster barista meme guy. Just google it. Long lines sometimes, worth the wait. Anthony Bourdain recommended. Get a latte and DO NOT ADD SUGAR- it's sweet enough on its own and sugar masks the flavor of the coffee, and this is one to enjoy. Actually, get two lattes and bring one back for me. If you ask for a caramel macchiatto they *might* be nice enough to not roll their eyes at you, but they will educate you.
Henry And June: http://www.henryandjuneatl.com
It's a hipster clothing boutique with some of the best damn baristas in Atlanta serving coffee inside. I had the best cup of my life in there. Parking can be troublesome in the neighborhood if you are there during peak hours, but park on a side street and walk- it's a nice neighborhood. If you want lunch or dinner while you are in the neighborhood, I recommend Surin of Thailand http://www.surinofthailand.com/nhighland/ I usually have lunch there when I'm in the neighborhood and I walk over for coffee after.
Hankook Taqueria: www.hankooktaqueria.com
Korean tacos. I highly recommend the sesame fries and shredded pork taco with extra limes or portabella tempura taco. It's a dive, but there is likely to be a line outside the door during lunch hours- there's a reason for that line, go there. If you can't find parking in front, go back to the street before the underpass and walk to the place- it's worth it. Famous foodie tv chefs go there.
Pho24: 4646 Buford Hwy, Atlanta, GA 30341
Great after-milonga grub. Actually, pre-milonga grub, too- get the coffee there, iced, with milk...keeps you wide awake. Excellent broth, flavor is consistently well-balanced. They have veggie broth, too. Open 24 hours.
Marietta Diner: www.mariettadiner.net
It's a bit of a haul to get there, but if you like diners, THIS is THE diner to go. Famous food tv chefs go there. Open 24 hours, you can get french toast and a beer if you're into that crazy kind of meal. Check out the dessert cases and feast your eyes upon the Baklava Cheesecake. Order it. The coffee makes you poop. If there is a line, don't worry- it is never a long wait. Service is very fast there.
Georgia BBQ- Fat Matt's: www.fattmattsribshack.com
Anthony Bourdain made love to a slab of ribs on the patio here. His eyes rolled to the back of his head while he licked his fingers. Just go there. Get the rib sandwich...you'll get four ribs on the bone, between two slices of bread, which is $4 less than a half slab of six ribs with one piece of bread. The Collard greens are good. They have live music at night and seating is communal inside. Eat there BEFORE showering to go to the milonga.
R Thomas: www.rthomasdeluxegrill.net
A very groovy place. Enjoy the birds outside. Eat some magic mushrooms- or not. Enjoy the hippy vibe inside. Very vegetarian/vegan/raw friendly. They serve mate in the gourd there, but make sure to tell them you want it in the gourd. Order the Big Bang to sip and have the flax chips with guacamole to nibble. I recommend the Portabella Sauté bowl or the French toast. Sometimes the old guy puts birds on people's heads when he's there. Open 24 hours. Don't go there if you are short on time, service is slower- but worth the visit there.
Mary Mac's Tea Room: marymacs.com
The go-to place for good southern food. Tell them it's your first time there- they will give you a special something. Eric Jørissen had his shoulders rubbed by a southern granny waitress there and he loved this place. Not very vegetarian/vegan friendly...not that they have anything against them, they just put meat in some of the veggies. You write down your order on the papers they give you and then hand those to the waitress. Yes, get the cornbread AND the biscuits when they ask you. The fried chicken is amazeballs.
Fellini's Pizza: www.fellinisatlanta.com
Go to the Buckhead location. The dough is amazing. The pizzas are amazing. The salad is -meh-, but you can make it amazing by adding hot Italian sausage to it. If you like thick slices, ask for the Sicilian slice- otherwise they are hand tossed. My favorite is the Spinach Mushroom with ricotta added and extra marinara on the side. A slice of cheese pizza is amazingly good also. The calzones are epically cheesy, but they take a little longer to cook...still worth the wait.
If someone in your group would rather have a little mexican cuban fusion, there is La Fonda Latina next door- I recommend the Bocadillo con Chorizo. No one at Fellini's ever gave any of us a hard time about bringing take out from La Fonda to eat with our pizza eating friends in the same table at Fellini's...just make sure to get your drink at Fellini's and do not make the guy working there clean up your La Fonda after you.
Brickstore Pub: http://www.brickstorepub.com/
In the decatur neighborhood- easy to get there via MARTA, in the Square in downtown Decatur. Get the Beer Brat with kraut and put vinegar all over those fries. GREAT beer selection. Walk around the square afterwards- it's a quaint little neighborhood- if you find Java Monkey, get some coffee there and hang out- it's a great little place.
All the good films are either here or at Midtown Art Cinema. And you can order a beer there. If you like blockbuster Hollywood crap, go to CineBistro. You get dinner and a movie on a plush recliner.
Karaoke Melody: www.karaokemelody.com
Evenings only. Good to jump to there after Pho24. Rent a room for a couple of hours with two or more of your friends and sing Hotel California in Spanish. It's a bar when you walk in (and they are smoking at the bar), just ask whoever is working for a room and they will get you started. The smoke is not in the private karaoke rooms. They have a one drink requirement per hour, per person. Get a bowl of chocolate candies for $5. Very fun with the right friends. Once everyone is three drinks in, play Sweet Child Of Mine and make everyone sing it together...film that and then post it on facebook and tag my name.
Southern Comfort Restaurant And Lounge: 1383 Cedar Grove Rd- Conley, Ga 404-361-5675
It's a down and dirty Honky Tonk, the only one left in Atlanta. It looks like a truck stop and people smoke inside. Dirt parking lot. Rednecks galore, but very friendly people. Live music on weekends and karoke on weekend and weeknights. After 10pm the hipster kids come in for karaoke nights and it gets really crazy and weird there. I'm talking Earl with the cut off sleeves singing "You Make Me Feel Brand New" while fat Betsy orders young hipster Banjamin to dance with her, and he kindly obliges as she rests her face on his chest while they are moving together. I've never had one single unforgettable night there.
Metalsome Live Band Karaoke: www.10highclub.com/#!metalsome
The rock star experience. A live band backing you. I still have not done this, but plan to. If you want to go and I'm available, I'm going with you. Make sure your phone is fully charged before you go, because you will want to video some things for posterity.
Clermont Lounge: http://clermontlounge.net
For the night of strange and/or debauchery after 1am- definitely not before. Atlanta's oldest strip club-"Alive Since '65"
Marilyn Manson recommended. Take me with you. Go with a group of friends, mixed sexes and have a beer or two there. Meet Blondie, she's special.
East Palisades Trail: My absolute favourite local hike, with lookouts over the river, rock outcrops and amazing rock formations, and a bamboo forest.http://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/hiking-east-palisades-indian-trail-at-the-chattahoochee-river/
Sope Creek Trail: With Civil War ruins, a nice place to meditate on a rock in the early morning.http://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/a-getaway-close-to-home-sope-creek/
Vickery Creek Trail: This trail has a beautiful spillway waterfall, and is made complete with a cool covered bridge, a rope swing, and a cliff you can jump off. http://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/roswell-mill-vickery-creek-trail/
Stone Mountain: Catch a gorgeous sunset with the Atlanta skyline atop this monadnock. http://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/hiking-stone-mountain-mountain-and-lakeside-trails-near-atlanta/