Greenery and grub: Your neighborhood guide to Cascade Heights

Aerial photograph of Cascade Road in Cascade Heights on Wednesday, June 29, 2022.(Hyosub Shin /

Southwest Atlanta’s Cascade Heights may be a few miles from downtown, but this largely residential neighborhood features vast arrays of greenspace steeped in history that feel a world away. Settled along Creek Indian trails, and home to a Civil War battle, Cascade Road remained a rural region throughout the 1800s. By the twentieth century, the area’s rivers and water features attracted visitors to Cascade Heights eager for its natural springs.

What started out as a predominantly white neighborhood would shift after a prominent Black physician, Dr. Clinton Warner, bought a home and 20 acres in the area in the 1960s. This set off a controversial episode that led to barricades, white flight, and the area morphing into a home of Black affluence and influence. Several former mayors such as Maynard Jackson and Shirley Franklin have called the neighborhood home, as have Hank Aaron, Benjamin E. Mays, and a Real Housewife of Atlanta, among others.

Today, Cascade Heights is anchored by its vast nature preserve, 1920s bungalows, and a bustling commercial district that has seen many unique new restaurants and businesses move in over the last several years.

What can I do for fun in Cascade Heights?

Get in tune with nature at the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve. One of Atlanta’s oldest forests, and the site of the Civil War’s Battle of Utoy Creek, today this urban oasis is the crown jewel of the area. Featuring Atlanta’s only waterfall and over 120 acres of greenspace, Cascade Springs is home to a two-mile hiking trail, remnants of old buildings and Civil War-era trenches, and a variety of wildlife you may spy during your visit. Despite being minutes from downtown Atlanta, it feels just like you’re in the remote North Georgia wilderness.

Tee off at John A. White Golf Course. A far cry from the gated members-only courses on the east side, John A. White Golf Course is a public access, 9-hole course just outside of Cascade Heights in Southwest Atlanta. Book a tee time for your friends, a work outing, or just let off some steam with solo play. This historic course — first opened in 1929 — is a great place to relax. =

Where are the best places to eat and drink in Cascade Heights?

Buzz Coffee and Wine

A morning mainstay for the last several years, Buzz Coffee is the place to go for a caffeine boost or an afternoon glass of wine. They’ve got everything from cappuccino and Cubanos to chardonnay. Beyond drinks, Buzz is an event space for wine tastings, yoga, artist and author lectures, and local business meetings.

Location: 2315 Cascade Road; Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Website:

Spice House

Born of an old gas station, these days Spice House fuels the neighborhood with Caribbean flavors from islands across the region. Kick off the meal with egg rolls filled with jerk chicken or a drink from the bar, and then choose from entrees across land and sea. Will you choose the zesty braised oxtail bathed in spices or a deep-friend snapper topped with peppers and creole seasoning? Either way, Spice House will spice up your evening.

Location: 2247 Cascade Road; Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Website:

La Panarda

One of the newest additions to the neighborhood, this Italian restaurant from chef Deborah VanTrece (of Twisted Soul fame) offers local and seasonal takes on traditional Italian fare. Shuck oysters to start, and dine on sweet potato ravioli, lamb shank with polenta, or smoked pork carbonara tossed in black ink pasta. For large parties, indulge in sharing the group feast, a seven-course family-style meal. Dessert options include Southern touches like panettone bread pudding with bourbon sauce or a Georgia peach crostata.

Location: 2317 Cascade Road; Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; Website:

Barrio ATL

Barrio ATL is not your usual Taco Bell fare. This new fusion venue likes to say they offer “Mexi-soul” food with a side of DJ tunes in the lounge. Serving up the popular birria tacos and heaping plates of nachos, Barrio also offers funky flavors like birria ramen simmered in consommé and jack fruit tacos, alongside the usual taco fillings. If you get thirsty, grab a cool cocktail from the bar, like a spicy watermelon margarita.

Location: 2310 Cascade Road; Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.; Website:

Aiskrimu Ice Cream Bar

Cool off after a hike at Cascade Springs with this modern ice cream parlor. Their offerings cover a range of treats as chill as their atmosphere. Choose from a selection of dairy and vegan soft serve (such as vanilla, butter pecan, or strawberry), cookie sandwiches, milkshakes, and fruity passion fruit popsicles.

Location: 2291 Cascade Road; Hours: Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m.; Website:

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