Happy Hours in Atlanta

Happy Hours Atlanta

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Atlanta, Ga., has many distinctive neighborhoods with unique local bars and restaurants. Each little segment of the city has its own flavor and demographic. What's common among Atlanta happy hour restaurants and bars is the spirit of southern camaraderie. You will find that each bar and grill serves up the best conversation along with the drinks. New to the area or visiting? Don't be shy. Share a drink and a point of view. If anything, Atlantans love to talk. Read on to find the best happy hour in Atlanta.

1. The Lenox Square Grill in Buckhead

Every hour is happy hour at this fairly new grill and bar, which is conveniently anchored to Lenox Square Mall in upscale Buckhead. Usually, you pay heavily for the surroundings - but The Lenox Grill (3393 Peachtree Rd, NE; 404.841.2377) is a pleasant exception. They serve up $2 margaritas, vodka cocktails, and martinis all day long. They are not weak drinks, either - although at that price they are served in slim glasses. You can order the $3 cocktails for twice the size of the $2 ones.

We recently dined here and were pleasantly surprised. The building's interior is lined in mahogany and the tables are covered with white tablecloths. It is anything but stuffy -patrons were having a great time and enjoying the happy hour specials on a Friday after work. The ambiance of the patio is another plus when the weather is nice. The bistro and bar is located right by the valet parking at the entrance of the mall.

On Thursdays, Lenox Square Grill offers free appetizers with the inexpensive drinks. The dinner menu is a mix of Southern and eclectic - specialties are the macaroni and cheese skillet dishes. I had prime rib with a baked potato and it was delicious. You will find some oddities on the menu, like funnel cakes. Both the mix and the bargain are delightful and unexpected.

2. The Dark Horse Tavern in the Virginia Highlands

If you love band music and a true bar experience, The Dark Horse Tavern (816 N. Highland Ave; 404.873.3607), has it all. Not a single appetizer or main course on the happy hour menu is priced over $10 and most are even less. The Virginia Highlands neighborhood is part-residential and part-boutique. Filled with quaint shops and trendy people, this area is a small Mecca of cool amongst the beautifully restored homes along Virginia and Highland Avenue.

The Dark Horse Tavern bar sits upstairs while down below, 10 High offers live band music every night beginning at 8:30pm. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, local bands are showcased. Other nights feature Metalsome - a live band karaoke experience like no other.

Drinks are cheap and the main cuisine is typical American bar fare, but they do it well, inexpensively, and in large portions. You will not leave hungry. Their burgers are incredible and their soups of the day are made in-house. If trivia is your forte, visit on Wednesday nights for the trivia contest where winners earn house cash. After the quiz, head downstairs and hear a great local band.

3. Manuel's Tavern near Little Five Points

Manuel's Tavern (602 N. Highland Ave; 404.525.3447), is located between Ponce de Leon and North Avenue. While considered on the edge of the Virginia Highlands, Manuel's is a well-known Atlanta local bar just five minutes from both downtown and Little Five Points, a bohemian neighborhood where the young and hip tend to hang out.

Manuel's is an Atlanta political tradition. Everyone in the bar gets involved in the political discussion of the day - be it local or national. Close by is the Carter Center, the museum and policy-making arm of former President Jimmy Carter. Manuel's will always be known as the location where Carter announced his intention to run for Governor in 1970. According to the website, the New York Times called it "Atlanta's quintessential neighborhood bar."

Every kind of draft beer imaginable is available and most are priced from $4-$5. Items on the happy hour menu are priced well below $10 and the menu features several $2 items. The atmosphere there is one of a kind. You truly never know who will drop in, from the mayor to the police chief to famous novelists! Manuel's entertains them all. Hours are Monday-Saturday 11am-2am and Sunday 11am-midnight.

4. The Peasant Bistro in Downtown

Looking for a more upscale happy hour environment? Then head downtown to the back of the Embassy Suites and Centennial Park to the Peasant Bistro (250 Park Ave West; 404.230.1724). This two-story restaurant with a view of the incredible Atlanta skyline and is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic dinner or happy hour specials.

Specials include house wine for $5 per glass and on Monday nights you can have all-you-can-eat mussels with a bottomless glass of house wine for $25. Hours are Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm and Friday-Saturday from 11am-11pm and curbside valet parking is available for $5.

5. The Sweetest Happy Hour in Atlanta

Just past the DeKalb County Line, you will find the Chocolate Bar (201 W. Ponce de Leon; 404.378.0630), a sheer treat in Decatur, Georgia. Their signature drink is the $7 chocolate martini, but if you're not a martini fan, at least try the most decadent chocolate to be found in metropolitan Atlanta. Southern specialties such as the Mississippi Sidehand Martini and Sweet Tea Martini are available, too.

This establishment is wonderfully romantic for two. Small plates of savories such as specialty nuts, cheeses and olives are available. Most items on the menu run $10 and under, but they are small. With delicacies this rich, one could not handle a large plate!

You will find downtown Decatur a pleasant respite from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta proper. Just minutes but a world away, there are many small boutiques, bookstores and little restaurants lining the streets. Everything is within walking distance, so park the car and explore. Much renovation has gone into the area and the result is a village-type atmosphere.

A visit to any local bar for happy hour in Atlanta is always pleasant, offering the chance to enjoy great food and great Southern company.

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