We can say this without blinking: Atlanta’s patio game is strong. And if you’re looking to get reacquainted with some sweet sidewalk sunlight, the Inman Park Spring Festival has you covered. Grab some shades and hit this east-side event from April 30 – May 1. Wear your comfortable kicks because there’s a lot to take in: a street parade, artist’s market, music, kids’ activities and the Tour of Homes, which is from noon – 4 p.m. Friday, and noon – 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; the rest of the festival runs from 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday. Tuckered out by all the people-watching? Head over to one of these patios and tuck into a plate while you savor the scene.
Upstairs, the kitschy Beetlecat is a nautical-themed oyster bar and cocktail lounge with a comfortable patio and laid-back vibe. Downstairs, it’s a funky, retro hideaway where you can drop anchor at the bar or grab a table. But whether above or below the waterline, Ford Fry’s 10th Atlanta restaurant is more than a bit of seaside whimsy: it takes a deep dive into some of the most inventive seafood you can find in Atlanta. Served small-plate-style, Executive Chef Andrew Isabella’s menu of shellfish, lobster rolls, fish, salads and other delicacies are made for sharing. Not sure what to order when you wash up on the patio after the festival? You’d be a sucker not to try the salt and pepper squid.
If you’ve been on your feet all day, you’re likely to become one bitter southerner by sundown. But we’ve got your antidote: the Bitter Southerner #2 at Ticonderoga Club in Krog Street Market. One of a handful of creative cocktails from award-winning bartenders Greg Best (Restaurant Eugene) and Paul Calvert (Paper Plane), it’s a reviving brew of apple brandy, lime, bitters, Herbsaint, cane sugar and tonic. You’ll want to get there early to enjoy it in the only captain’s chair at the bar (yes, captain’s chair). It’s just one part of Ticonderoga’s delicious atmosphere that also has notes of the Revolutionary War steeped in a generous air of Southern hospitality. So if you have the cannonballs to sample something different, try the butternut squash salad – with pomegranate and papaya – for lunch, or take aim at the dinner menu.
Looking for the most delicious, low-cost patio experience in Inman Park? Victory wins by a landslide. With a wide patio overlooking Bernina Avenue, and not too far off the Beltline, it serves up impressively creative, panini-style sandwiches for around $4 each. Order at the counter and then get ready to walk away with two fists of glory, like their satisfying Hambo sandwich with prosciutto and apple paired with their sunny day staple, the Jack and Coke slushie. With a mouthwatering menu of items like the Italian Cowabunga Dude, the smoked pork Castro and the pimiento cheese jar swirled with a fat dollop of bacon jam, victory is yours.