First: Atlanta Lingo Lesson
Before you travel to Atlanta, Georgia, there’s a few things you need to know. ITP means Inside the Perimeter, which basically means anything that is inside of Interstate 285 (I-285). OTP means Outside the Perimeter, which is any city, or suburb that is still technically Metro Atlanta, but is Outside of Interstate 285… yes I-285 is considered the Perimeter.
Atlanta has many of tourists that find themselves visiting family or on business. But what also happens is you find yourself not necessarily IN Atlanta, but stuck just outside of Atlanta because they can’t find a hotel room directly in the city, or that’s because you’re held hostage in your family’s guest room.
But if you find yourself OTP Atlanta leaving an event, dreaded family function, or even worse: a business function that ran late, know that you don’t have to settle for McDonalds or Waffle House to eat. Here’s what I would consider the three top after hour spots in North Atlanta (Marietta) to have a good time!!
Cobb Parkway is the main road that goes North and South through Marietta & Smyrna. If you’re ever on this main road in Marietta, look for the brightly neon lit building; there’s no way you can miss it.
This 24-hour diner spot that was featured on Food Network’s Diners Drive-Ins & Dives, has such a large variety of food that no matter what your preference is, you’re bound to find something that’ll please your palate. You can get breakfast anytime of the day; which is an automatic score for me when I want breakfast for dinner with traditional options. I’ll take classic omelette with a choice of mix in options, pancakes, waffle, French toast selections any day. You can also get lox & bagels, Philly cheese omelettes or Gyro & feta cheese omelettes.
However, if you don’t want breakfast, you can of course get your regular burgers, hot or cold sandwiches, shrimp cocktails, fried calamari, and/or disco fries appetizers (french fries with melted cheddar and gravy). But for more non-traditional choices you can get stuffed grape leaves as an appetizer while you wait on your Sloppy John sandwich (corned beef with Swiss cheese & cole slaw with Russian dressing on rye bread), or any variety of their Greek sandwiches for lunch. I mean the food possibilities are literally endless, so there’s no way you can you go wrong.
There’s no full bar, but you can get draft beer and a full selection of wine.
Make sure to save room for (my personal favorite) one of the mile-high dessert cake or pie slices, or grab some to take home. You will not be disappointed. You can save the slice and can eat on it for 2-3 days & nibble here and there.
With it being a 24-hour spot, there is always a crowd; a nice crowd at that. Not too loud or rambunctious; but try to keep your composure if you see TV cameras because some reality TV scenes are shot here (i.e. Love & Hip Hop Atlanta).
Deemed the best fried chicken in Marietta, this is by FAR my favorite place to go when I’m ready to have a good time after a long week.
That best fried chicken claim is not an exaggeration, so I would suggest coming here when you just don’t care about a diet, or you’re on a cheat day because you will get hooked. It’s most known in the Chicago area, but extended to Atlanta. If you are OTP, you have to check this location out. With an outside patio, premier LED lit Hookahs by CeCe, an upscale VIP lounge, & a full service Ice bar, this is the place to let your hair down, have drinks, meet new friends and have some FUN!!
The most important thing to know: they do not offer those itty-bitty buffalo wing dings that most restaurants sell; they specialize in full wings, along with fried fish (perch, whiting or catfish), and shrimp; along with sides of fries, sweet potato tots, or onion rings, and creamy cole slaw. So you can come here and enjoy your chicken or fish whole size (with their special mild sauce drizzled all over or on the side), in an egg roll, on your salad, or sandwich style.
Full service ice bar is an understatement with a full drink menu, with all day happy hour drinks and top shelf premium drinks along with bartenders that can create any drink you want that’s not on the menu, or just create one on the fly (try the Jolly Rancher – not on the menu)
Whether it’s Sunday, Monday, or Thursday night Football, Old School Friday nights, or just a regular let your hair down & let loose Saturday night, this is where you want to be.
Empire Sports Bar is by far one of the best place to sit, eat, drink and catch a sports game, or boxing match. Immediately when you walk in this large, spacious bar, your greeted and you feel welcome; almost like a “Cheers” vibe, even if not everybody knows your name.
The major highlight of this location is that everywhere you turn, you can see a mega big screen. Not just hanging on the walls, but even stacked up as columns placed throughout the bar. There’s literally a plethora of things that you can watch while you’re here. The best thing is since it’s so spacious, you won’t be elbow-to-elbow even on a crowded busy night.
Ladies, every Friday is for YOU! Because it’s Ladies’ night, go grab your girlfriends, get cute, and make reservations in their neon-lit VIP seating with bottle service.
Their menu is filled with your typical bar food: so be ready to enjoy crispy and a variety of flavored wings, ribs, hot dogs, sandwiches, & sport themed burgers. In addition to a full bar with draft beer, wine list by the glass of bottle, you can also enjoy their “killer slushies” if you’re looking for something that’s more whimsical.
There are at least 10-15 more after hour spots someone can go to if they find themselves awake after a long late night conference, or long distance business meeting in Marietta after hours, but these by far are my top three because of the special touches they provide.
Here’s a few after hour local spots as well that are worth honorable mention you should check out if you ever find yourself in the area.
Have you been to Atlanta before? How about North Atlanta? Where do you think is the best spots after dark?