Fans gathered on the patio of R. Thomas Deluxe Grill for a viewing of the 2012 Peachtree Road Race.
Photo: R. Thomas Deluxe Grill
Photo: R. Thomas Deluxe Grill

Peachtree Party: Where to nosh and watch

For some, being a Peachtree Road Race spectator sounds a lot better than slipping on a pair of running shoes. Many opt to cheer on the participants while indulging in breakfast and getting lost in the revelry. Several restaurants take advantage of race day with choice viewing spots and food and drink specials. Here are a few of the pack:

Cook Hall

A mere jog from the starting line sits this relatively new gastropub at the W Atlanta-Buckhead. Chef David Gross and his team specialize in comfy small plates and the doors open at 6 a.m. for an early race day brunch. Forget the tweeting birds; DJ Hakim will be spinning morning music. Spectators can take their peepers off the runners and peruse the a la carte menu to find pancakes, eggs, bagels, yogurt, Irish oatmeal and more. Servers are set to pour bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys until 1 p.m. Watchers can toast the runners from Cook Hall’s patio. Seats can be had by parking on wooden chairs, pillow lined benches and beneath umbrellas at tables. The Cook Hall staff suggests making reservations in advance. At 5 p.m. the restaurant plays host to its Fourth Fest, featuring live music including headliner Yacht Rock Revue. Tickets for that event are $30 in advance and $35 at the door

3377 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-523-3600,

R. Thomas Deluxe Grill

This health conscious, 24-hour eatery remains a hot spot for race fans. Located between miles 3 and 4, R. Thomas boasts a street side patio with approximately 30 tables holding as many as 89 guests at a time. The staff said spectators typically arrive early on July 4, usually between 6 and 7 a.m. Customers sit amid the colorfully kitschy patio that’s guarded by several resident exotic birds. The menu is vast, but morning favorites range from the breakfast quesadilla to an omelette snuggled with chicken, cheese, mushrooms and zucchini. Its fresh juices, especially orange, and signature smoothies are customer favorites. A popular pick in the latter category is the Donkey Kong, a mesh of strawberries, orange juice, coconut, banana and honey. When it comes to libations, R. Thomas strictly serves beer and wine. But that doesn’t stop them from whipping up sake-fueled Bloody Marys. Since Peachtree Street will be closed, the R. Thomas folks suggest guests arrive via Collier Road and park on one of the side streets behind the restaurant.

1812 Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-881-0246,


The dog-friendly patio of the popular Midtown gastropub bustles on a regular basis, but things go to 11 on race day with live music. Groups of patrons will surely converge at tables and grab some shade from the morning sun beneath the umbrellas. The restaurant will be expanding its patio on July 4 with extra tables and chairs. They’ll even have foldout chairs on the sidewalk. Homemade biscuits and gravy? Check. Huevos rancheros? Si. Chef Nick McCormick oversees those items and other brunch-time grub. Since the respective holiday is all about patriotism, TAP will be promoting drinks featuring stateside liquors, including Porch Swing Punch laced with American Spirit Whiskey. Local brew gets the spotlight, too, and some guests will likely chase bites with SweetWater Road Trip, Red Brick’s Hoplanta and other area suds. The Peachtree Road Race celebration at TAP runs from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

1180 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-347-2220,

The Flying Biscuit Café - Midtown

Looking for a place to celebrate along the home stretch? Although the interior and patio seating of the Midtown location, at the corner of Piedmont and 10th, is limited, the Biscuit rings in the road race by offering grab-and-go treats to sidewalk spectators. The staff will be outside selling assorted breakfast biscuit sandwiches, bagels, bottled soft drinks and juices. You’ll even be able to get your hands on freshly squeezed watermelon juice without having to fight for a table. The doors open at 7 a.m. and those who get there early enough can score a spot on the patio. Barring pedestrians getting in the way, the Flying Biscuit’s large windows give indoor diners a decent view of the action, too. The watermelon mimosas and bellinis may be popular pours on July 4. Some sit-down customers will likely munch on dishes including the Flying Biscuit Breakfast with eggs, chicken sausage, grits and that signature biscuit.

1001 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-874-8887,

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