It’s summer, time to soak up the sun. Whether it’s cocktail hour or brunch—or both—Atlanta is brimful with great patios.
Here are some favorite patio escapes to enjoy a bit of the outdoors with a cold beverage and good eats.
Nine Mile Station
Take the East freight elevator to the top of Ponce City Market for modern surroundings that evoke a traditional beer garden. It’s a place where you can order plates to share of riffs on European classics that tend to go well with beer. There are 12 rotating beers on tap and a well-rounded cocktail menu. A meat and cheese board is the way to begin. And this is a place where you can add meats by the foot ($1.50 an inch for Bratwurst). The name is a nod to 9 Mile Circle, the trolley circuit of 100 years ago that brought folks from downtown to the far out lands of Ponce de Leon. The view is probably the best in the city with sweeping views of the nine-mile circle. On cool evenings, an outdoor fire pit heightens the experience and pairs well with their three variations of a Manhattan. 675 Ponce de Leon. Poncey-Highlands. 770-999-1532. 9milestation.com
Char Korean Bar and Grill
It’s difficult to not use the word “irreverent” when it comes to Char. This traditional Korean hot spot is all about having fun. It’s tricked out and scented with grilling meats. Inside tables are grill tops with cuts of meat smoking and being turned. The four-sided bar opens up to a patio. The music is a mixture of old school rap and cheesy tunes from the 80’s and 90’s. Often the whole place joins in a sing along. The menu, while traditional Korean, is thrilling for the uninitiated adventurer. Servers are attentive and will explain everything in detail. Share the bossam, spicy braised pork nestled in lettuce wraps, and definitely go for the smoked veal brains with scallion pancakes. On the patio the high quality meats are cooked for you in the kitchen. Bartenders are quick shakers, and there is an extensive whiskey menu. Check out the wall-to-wall mural by Rising Red Lotus, and ask a server to help unfold the ancient Korean story. Don’t miss the one in the bathroom! 299 North Highland Ave. Inman Quarter. 404-525-2427. Charatlanta.com
Empire State South
In the heart of the city, Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South has ample patio seating surrounding a scenic and charming bocce ball court. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the menu has a little something for everyone. Whether it’s strawberry jam on toast with Intelligentsia pour-over coffee or “in Jars,” a selection of house made spreads like boiled peanut hummus and pimento cheese topped with bacon marmalade, it tastes better on the shaded patio in comfy Adirondack chairs. A stunning wine list curated by Sommelier Steven Grubbs may keep you enchanted on the patio for a while. Cocktails are stunners too with a bar program helmed by Kellie Thorn who’s knowledge of foraged ingredients, herbs, and spirits makes for a singular sipping experience. 999 Peachtree St. NE. Midtown. 404-541-1105. Empirestatesouth.com
Photos: Courtesy of Nine Mile Station, Char Korean Bar & Grill, Empire State South