West Midtown (Westside), once largely industrial, is now a revitalized area of historical neighborhoods, retail and restaurants that will leave you with a full stomach and heart.
It's growing even further with the development of the Atlanta Beltline's westside trail, venturing into territory that has before been less traveled. Step outside of your comfort zone, expand your horizons and try hanging out somewhere other than the usual suspects (Midtown or Buckhead).
Here are 6 stars of the West Midtown scene:
1093 Hemphill Ave. NW, Atlanta. 404-724-2333.
Pizza enthusiasts appreciate a good pie, and this family-run pizzeria serves just that. Since owner Giovanni Di Palma opened Antico back in 2009, crowds have lined up out the door. Antico's simple designs and communal wooden tables alone are enough to inspire a trip to Italy, and that's just the decor. It doesn't stop there - everything at Antico is flown in from Italy: the ovens that cook at around 1,000 degrees, the flour, and even tomatoes. With a heart of authenticity and a full stomach, what's not to love.
1170 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-500-4737.
Finding this futuristic den of tasty Asian street snacks and strong drinks isn't hard to do, especially with its iconic neon lights - more specifically the front wall, where many people stop to pose for a picture. In addition to the selfie-wall aside, this Westside gem is known for its friendly crowd and stiff Japanese whiskeys.
1198 Howell Mill Rd. #18, Atlanta. 404-355-2252.
One of Ford Fry's successful creations, JCT Kitchen and Bar gets almost everything right. From its name ("JCT" meaning junction in railroad terms, since it does overlook active tracks) to the atmosphere and food. The restaurant meshes industrial with swanky, with its popular upstairs bar, live music and a skyline make for a scrumptious view.
1170 Howell Mill Rd. #P12A, Atlanta. 404-994-3144.
Fun fact: Billy Reid outfits musicians like John Paul White, Jim James and members of Old Crow Medicine Show. Reid's well-constructed rugged menswear and luxurious women's apparel are pieces you'll be comfortable wearing - apparel that lives and ages with you (like a fine glass of wine).
1058 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta. 404-874-8745.
A Westside dive bar that fuses rhythm & blues and a good time, whether it's the first stop on your night out or a last call for alcohol into the morning hours. This reliable spot for blues music was built in the 1940s - it was a plethora of things (including a grocery store) before it turned into the well-known blues bar it is today.