East Atlanta: Hip, Eclectic and Fun

Atlanta’s unpretentious neighborhood offers bars, music, art and people-watching

East Atlanta is a funky, hip, unpretentious neighborhood that is becoming one of the city’s most popular enclaves for music, independent boutiques, street art, festivals, eclectic food, bars and people watching. It is perhaps not as well known as say, Little Five Points or Virginia-Highland, but it’s quickly catching up.

Located in DeKalb County by Interstate 20, Edgewood and Kirkwood avenues, East Atlanta is perhaps best known for The Earl, a dive bar with great nightly live music acts and a diverse and tasty menu.

Another iconic club is Mary’s, which is one of the most popular gay bars in Atlanta. In addition to being an awesome gay bar, it is one of the city’s best karaoke bars (with more than 15,000 songs available) and skilled DJs who keep the fun going. While it attracts mostly gay men, Mary’s makes it clear that lesbians (lesbian bar My Sister’s Room is next door) as well as straight people are more than welcomed. However, according to its website, it does reserve the right to “make fun of you if you wear flip-flops.” So be warned!

East Atlanta is a fantastic neighborhood to leisurely walk and explore. You’ll find antique shops, vintage clothing stores, book shops, music stores and unsurpassed urban street art. Works by international artists such as Fefe Talavera as well as local artists such as Shannon Willow can be found on street corners and alleys everywhere.

Photo credit: Erica Arnots

Of course, the restaurant scene is bursting with a variety of eateries including the Flatiron Bar and Restaurant (21 and over but dogs are welcomed); 529 EAV (another bar with live music); Holy Taco (try the organic margarita); and We Sui Sui, which describes its cuisine as a “global grub collective,” meaning that five independent chefs operate in the space that features a community-style eating area with an indoor street vendor vibe.

One thing that can be said about East Atlanta is that the residents know how to have a good time. The neighborhood hosts some of the best festivals in Atlanta including the East Atlanta Strut, The East Atlanta Craft Beer Festival and the East Atlanta Twilight Criterium.

For history buffs, the Battle of Atlanta was fought in East Atlanta. Several historic markers tell the story throughout the neighborhood and B*ATL offers tours and events throughout the year to commemorate the battle.

So go down to East Atlanta, spend some time, take in the vibe and chill.

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