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Morgan Lanier or Valerie Miller
Melissa Libby & Associates
GAME DAY DINING: BEST RESTAURANTS NEAR MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM
AND ATLANTA MARTA STATIONS
ATLANTA - For those lucky souls who’ve scored a ticket to the game or just want to be close to the action, Atlanta boasts an unbeatable roster of championship-caliber restaurants and fan-friendly hangouts at or near Mercedes-Benz Stadium— not to mention the MARTA stations where fans congregate on their way to the festivities. Here, then, are the city’s hands-down best spots for fueling up en route to the big game on Feb. 3.
At the Stadium
Gamechanger at Mercedes-Benz Stadium provides sports fans with a lineup of tasty bites inspired by Atlanta chef, restaurateur, speaker and cookbook author Kevin Gillespie’s most popular dishes. From Revival’s craveable Closed-on-Sunday chicken sandwich to a sweet onion pot roast sandwich and beer battered spiral fries with cheddar fondue, the elevated arena food is perfect fuel for the big football game. And of course there are drinks, too, including adult slushies, craft beer and soda. Located on the 200 concourse western end zone, Gamechanger opens two hours prior to start time.
Near the Stadium
4 Rivers Smokehouse offers a welcoming spot for pre-and post-game action. Fuel up with mouthwatering 30-day aged Texas-style brisket, homestyle sides and fresh bakery items. 822 Marietta Street N.W.; 844-474-8377; 4rsmokehouse.com.
At Beni’s Cubano inside The Hub at Peachtree Center, downtown dwellers and visitors get a fast casual taste of Havana - minus the travel expenses – with innovative takes on classic Cuban dishes. 231 Peachtree Street N.E.; 770-212-9076; beniscubano.com.
A classic neighborhood tavern found in Atlanta’s Westside, Ormsby’s is a comfortable gathering spot with a full bar that features an extensive craft beer selection and classic cocktails alongside a fresh pub menu. At Ormsby’s, guests can also partake in a wide range of traditional games, including backgammon, bocce, darts, pool and shuffleboard. 1170 Howell Mill Road; 404-968-2033; www.ormsbysatlanta.com.
Ray’s in the City features an award-winning menu with an emphasis on fresh fish flown in daily from the Atlantic and Pacific, made-to-order sushi and an oyster bar. This superior dining experience in Downtown Atlanta also includes house-cut chops, prime steaks and extensive wine offerings from around the world. 240 Peachtree Street; 404-524-9224; www.raysrestaurants.com/raysinthecity.
The downtown location of Tin Lizzy’s Cantina features an inviting atmosphere with a flavorful FlexMex menu that includes Buffalo chicken nachos, authentic street tacos, loaded nachos and much more. 26 Andrew Young International Blvd. N.E.; 404-671-9450. All locations of Tin Lizzy’s have football specials such as $5 boneless wings and $4.50 for 16-ounce aluminum bottles of Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. For locations around Atlanta, visit tinlizzyscantina.com.
A modern American restaurant, 5Church Atlanta offers a casual yet refined dining experience at the city’s busiest Midtown intersection. The Colony Square restaurant combines a technique-driven menu with cutting-edge design and genuine hospitality. 1197 Peachtree Street NE; 404-400-3669; 5churchatlanta.com.
Babalu is a fun, one-of-a-kind, sharing-style dining experience. The Latin-inspired dishes -- each with a unique Southern flair -- are sure to bring people together. Babalu is proud to use hyper-local produce and products for its made-from-scratch dishes and handcrafted cocktails. 33 Peachtree Place NE; 404-900-9595; eatBABALU.com.
Acclaimed Atlanta chefs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere named their intimate steakhouse inspired by worldly travels The Federal after the nearby Federal Reserve Bank. The menu is a roadmap of Doty’s and Gummere’s culinary experiences from New York City to Belgium. 1050 Crescent Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets in Midtown; 404-343-3857; thefederalatl.com.
Atlantans in the know meet at Marlow’s Tavern for American tavern fare served in a modern atmosphere. The menu offers a diverse combination of classic dishes that are updated and elevated to a higher level. There are multiple locations throughout the Atlanta area, including Midtown. 950 West Peachtree Street; 404-815-0323; www.marlowstavern.com.
An Atlanta institution since 1979, Taco Mac offers over 100 beers on draft, the Southeast’s Original Buffalo wings and multiple HDTVs for watching sporting events. Locally owned, Taco Mac has been named the best sports bar in Atlanta by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jezebel and Groupon and one of the five best sports bars in America by ESPN. There are 25 locations in Georgia, including restaurants near the Midtown, Decatur and Lindbergh MARTA stations. tacomac.com.
Willy’s Mexicana Grill offers a host of Fresh-Mex menu items – like award-winning signature California-style burritos - made from the freshest ingredients. Willy’s success is built on a concept of simplicity, freshness and most of all, quality that is second to none. The company has multiple locations convenient to MARTA stations throughout metro Atlanta, including Midtown, Peachtree Center, Inman Park/Reynoldstown and Brookhaven/Oglethorpe. willys.com.
MARTA North Avenue
At Livingston Restaurant + Bar, located inside The Georgian Terrace Hotel, guests can immerse themselves in more than 100 years of history while catapulting their appetite into the future. Inspired by the 107-year-old building’s towering ceilings, marble staircases and namesake terrace overlooking one of the most historic corners on Peachtree Street, the Southern-inspired menu is a brilliant combination of beloved American traditions, locally sourced ingredients and modern execution. 659 Peachtree St. NE; 866-845-7551; www.livingstonatlanta.com
Far below the bustling lobby of The Georgian Terrace Hotel and just down a sleek set of marble steps is the entrance to Edgar’s Proof & Provision, one of Atlanta’s best-kept secrets. The city’s self-proclaimed community drinkery is Midtown’s coolest basement, staffed with bartenders who crack wise with the regulars and know their way around the now-legendary handcrafted cocktail menu. 659 Peachtree St. NE; 866-845-7551; www.proofandprovision.com.
ATL Taco serves hungry shoppers and visitors at Lenox Square in Buckhead. ATL Taco is “by ATL, for ATL,” singing the city’s praises by showcasing a menu of Tex-Mex favorites with a Southern twist, décor built by local artists and tunes from local musicians for a dining experience that is straight ATL. 3393 Peachtree Road NE inside Lenox Square; 404-841-7559; www.atl-taco.com.
Since opening in spring 2000, Aria has been on the top of the list for Atlanta fine dining. Just a year into business, Esquire Magazine recognized Aria as one of the country’s best restaurants. Chef and managing partner Gerry Klaskala delivers top-notch regional dishes that are both sophisticated and edgy in style. The freshest and highest-quality ingredients arrive daily and culminate into dishes that are simple yet refined, with many of the meats braised, roasted, stewed, or simmered for long periods of time to generate the perfect flavor. 490 East Paces Ferry; 404-233-7673; aria-atl.com.
Just like the name implies, HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern provides a warm and inviting atmosphere while also pouring one of the most comprehensive bourbon lists in the city. The restaurant’s menu of refined tavern fare highlights classic Southern dishes designed to deliver comfort, including gourmet burgers, classic entrees, gluten-free options and more, with a special steak menu. 804 Town Boulevard; 404-464-8971; hobnobatlanta.com.
The dining experience at The Alden is focused on seasonal ingredients, accommodating service and a sense of culinary celebration. The menus encompass modern twists on Southern classics and other culturally influenced mainstays paired with a dynamic, high-quality wine and cocktail program. The restaurant’s namesake, which translates to “old friend” in Old English, is a nod to the convivial atmosphere diners experience in the comfortable, intimate space. Parkview on Peachtree at 5070 Peachtree Boulevard; 678-395-6982; thealdenrestaurant.com.
Revival is a nod to owner and chef Kevin Gillespie’s formative years, offering a proper version of the traditional Sunday dinner. Following Gillespie’s allegiance to Southern cuisine, Revival focuses on farm-fresh ingredients and a dining experience that reflects the traditions his own family follows. 129 Church Street; 470-225-6770; revivaldecatur.com.