- Lori McMillen Brown for The AJC
Music events, festivals, artistic playgrounds and wide-open community space. This and so much more draw locals and visitors alike to this panacea for green, urban relaxation.
Nothing spoils the mood like having to pile in the car to find some mid-afternoon or evening delicacies and liquid libations.
Here are some solid, reliable choices you can reach by foot from Piedmont Park's 14th Street entrance.
Empire State South — 11 minute walk (0.5 miles)
Once you taken in all that is Empire State South, you will gladly walk three times as far to indulge in their chic, yet approachable version of Southern fare. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as offering limited take-and-go options. But honestly, there’s no reason to use this stop for quick take-out. Even their coffee beckons you to stay. Why sip an iced coffee in a generic to-go cup when you can indulge in their iced java, Georgia coffee, served in a 16-ounce Mason jar?
If you use Hugh Acheson's "A New Turn in the South" as your kitchen bible, then you know that vegetables are the unsung heroes, giving flair and life to the feature. The restaurant mirrors his cooking sermons. Southern staples such as pimento cheese and pickles can be found making an appearance throughout the menu. Lunch offerings span from interesting things in jars to a fried chicken po'boy. Dinner will spread your wings of options - a long list of appetizers "Beginnings," and a shorter list of carefully crafted entrees will make it difficult to save room for dessert, but save room somehow. Following the etiquette of the region, brunch is also served on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 999 Peachtree St. NE, #140, Atlanta.
Flying Biscuit — 7 minute walk (0.3 miles)
Unique mimosa flavors, pimento cheese and shrimp and grits. Really, do I need to say more? Oh yes, everything is served with their signature biscuit. Five thousand of these "flying" biscuits are baked a week per location.
Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with breakfast served anytime of day.1001 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta.
The Nook on Piedmont Park — 1 minute walk
Sitting directly across from Piedmont Park and boasting one of the best patios in Atlanta, The Nook has your neighborhood tavern feel. Don't pass judgment from this pub vibe. There is so much more here than meets the eye. There is a lot of go-big-or-go-home items such as gallon-sized fishbowl drinks or even their Bloody Best, a 32 oz Bloody Mary topped with pepperoncinis, jalapenos, tots, steak, toast, lemon, lime, and a hard-boiled egg. If you have always dreamed of taking on a “Man vs. Food” experience then try their Macho Totcho, five pounds of their signature tot creations combined into one.
Conservation is also served up on their menu. From their organic garden to compostable takeout containers, they strive to make earth-friendly a way of business. Community service integrates into their menu with daily special drinks and food items that benefit a local charity. Piedmont Park Conservancy is a standing recipient of a portion of the proceeds from every sale of their Local Lemonade.1144 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta.
Campagnolo — 9 minute walk (0.4 miles)
Brunching on the patio is a perfect adjunct to a day spent at the park. Bonus: refills on your Bloody Mary are discounted. Italian cuisine is the star here. Do not miss their orechiette with house made sausage and broccolli rabe. Weekday hours are for dinner only, but they open their doors at brunch time on the weekends. 980 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta.
Henry's Midtown Tavern — 11 minute walk (0.5 miles)Named for the owner's dog, Henry's is open from brunch to late-night . Their outdoor patio is dog-friendly and indoors you will find the "Dog Wall of Fame." Don't let your pooch be frightened, you will find "Dogs" on the menu here. No worries: they’re Hebrew National dogs that are dressed up and served with Parmesan fries. Ahhh, the Parmesan fries. Go here for the patio and the Parmesan fries. 132 10th St. NE, Atlanta.
G's Midtown — 8 minute walk (0.4 miles)
Your experience here can be as varied and eclectic as the crowd. G's is a late-night establishment during the week, but offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Their 10P Signature Chicken and Waffles is wildly popular. Pair it with bottomless mimosas or choose to have it as part of the "Brunch In a Jar." Imagine a Bloody Mary dressed up as the Chiquita banana woman. 219 10th St., Atlanta.
Eclectic Bistro and Bar — 13 minute walk (0.6 miles)
Open since 2012, Eclectic serves up bistro dishes with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Open for dinner every day except Monday, and Sunday brunch starts at 11 a.m.1425 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta.
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