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The Great American Bar Search: Atlanta

Your one-night stand starts here...

6:00 p.m. HAPPY HOUR
St. Regis Bar

Even if you’re not racking at the hotel, crash this stately wood-paneled bar for cocktails. It boasts the best Bloody in the South and its own in-house bourbon. If any models are in town, they’ll be
giggling on the red leather couches.

8:00 p.m. SUSTENANCE
South City Kitchen

Think upscale Southern comfort food. Drink: The Hot Brown (mint julep with ginger, mint, and soda). Eat: Cornmeal Crisped Catfish (with stewed okra and tomatoes, mustard greens, scallion remoulade). Sides: Grits, butterbean succotash.

10:00 p.m. BOOZE SESSION
The BookHouse Pub

This is one of Atlanta’s best gastropubs, but the food isn’t the draw here—it’s the dizzying craft-brew menu. Also dizzying: the beer-loving creative-class cuties and tatted hipster honeys who pack this place nightly. Bonus: Outdoor patio. Nearby: The owners of BookHouse also run the Drunken Unicorn across the parking lot, one of the nation’s best ear-bleeding underground music clubs.

2:00 a.m. NIGHTCAP(S)
The Highlander

Scuzzy, awesome dive bar in a friggin' strip mall. Go for the cheap booze and canned beer. Stay because it’s open till three and has a giant air hockey table.

Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken & Waffles

Yep, that Gladys Knight. (Ron was a gospel singer.) Once you get over the R&B kitsch, order the Midnight Train: four Southern-fried jumbo chicken wings and one original waffle. Wash down with the house sweet tea.

To see our favorites bars in other cities--including New York, Dallas, Austin, and Atlanta--check out more Great American Bar Search.