Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ansley Park is a groundbreaking neighborhood near Midtown Atlanta. It was designed in 1904 by Edwin Ansley as a rival to Inman Park and the first suburban neighborhood centered around automobile access. Inspired by Frederick Law Olmstead, it broke free of the traditional grid and embraced curved roads, expansive park space, and access to greenery steps away from Piedmont Park. Full of lavish mansions, numerous small parks, a private golf course, and a variety of housing types, Ansley Park is an urban oasis. Even a century later, the neighborhood is still overwhelmingly residential — a time capsule surrounded by the rapid development in Midtown and along the Atlanta BeltLine. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great venues to visit all around the neighborhood.
What can I do for fun in Ansley Park?
Explore the canopies and creatures of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Atlanta’s premiere green space, Piedmont Park, is also home to its most colorful refuge. Situated on the edge of Ansley Park and Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens has 30 acres of outdoor plant life and sculptures, a greenhouse, a full-service restaurant, and a tree canopy you can explore from above. October is a great time to visit with scarecrows designed by local artists and organizations perched throughout the grounds and numerous spooky events on tap. Don’t forget the annual Garden Lights each holiday season, when the entire grounds are illuminated in miles of colorful lights.
Find a quirky gift at Richard’s Variety Store. This decades-old family-owned shop has brought their selection of oddities to a new Ansley Mall location. Amidst the narrow aisles and colorful shelves lie a wealth of games, books, toys, and funky gifts for all ages and hobbies. Where else can you find housewares, wooden puzzles, gag gifts, and a giant stuffed animal on the same shopping trip?
See a show at Synchronicity. Down the road from the more infamous Alliance Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre — on the edge of Midtown and Ansley Park — is a great venue to catch up-and-coming playwrights and unique smaller-scale shows. They produce bold shows that uplift women, new writers, and independent productions. The theatre’s 2023-24 season will cover everything from the dark side of 1950′s domesticity to Chinese folklore to a fresh look at the Atlanta Washerwomen’s Strike of 1881. Learn more here.
Celebrate Pride and fly free at The Eagle. The infamous gay bar moved from Ponce to Ansley Park last year. Grab a drink (or three) and enjoy the dance floor. October brings daily special events for Pride, but the club also hosts DJs, drag brunches, and comedy nights throughout the year.
Where are the best places to eat and drink in Ansley Park?
If a morning trip to Einstein’s won’t cut it anymore, this New York-style bagel shop has your breakfast covered. Choose from a wide variety of fresh, chewy bagels, or turn one into an egg sandwich topped with protein and veggies, or served the “Brooklyn way” with potatoes, egg, and cheese. Beyond bagels, Brooklyn Bagel stays well-rounded by offering a selection of deli sandwiches, drinks, and breakfast bowls to enjoy.
Location: 1544 Piedmont Ave NE, Suite 203; Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Website: brooklynbagel-deli.com
Bantam and Biddy
Shaun Doty’s contemporary Southern diner has been going strong in Ansley Park for many years. Grab a quick bite to go at the front counter or relax in the diner with its ample patio space. Start off with fried green tomatoes and devilled eggs before you dive into a crispy roast chicken with piri piri sauce or meatloaf. Brunch fans will love their all-day breakfast offerings, including savory chicken and waffles (try the bacon cheddar waffle) or banana pancakes for those with a sweet tooth.
Location: 1544 Piedmont Ave, Suite 301; Hours: Every day, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Website: bantamandbiddy.com
Intown Atlanta has no shortage of good Asian restaurants, but not many have been around as long as Bangkok Thai. First opened in 1977, this unassuming eatery off Piedmont packs flavor into every dish. They largely stick to the classics like pad thai, basil chicken, coconut soup, and curries, but if you’re feeling peckish, dig into the chef specials. There you’ll find crispy fried duck, sea bass topped with a ginger and mushroom sauce, and lobster pad thai.
Location: 1492 Piedmont Ave; Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Website: bangkokthaiatl.com