Best places to meet people that aren’t bars or dating apps in Atlanta

Matt Matuszewski and his yellow lab Murphy play at Fetch Park at Boulevard and DeKalb Ave on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Jenni Girtman

Too often, people try too hard to look for “the one.” This is especially true during times like cuffing season. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s the colder time of year when people feel pressured to find a partner to cuddle with. That being said, don’t rush to find that partner too quickly. Learn to find what you love about yourself and what drives your interests and passions, and you’ll find that forming relationships will come a lot more naturally. But if you already feel like you’ve done that and are sick of bars and swiping, give these Atlanta spots a shot where you can strike up a conversation with a stranger and have it possibly turn into something deeper.

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Coffee shops

If you’ve ever dreamt about a rom-com meet-cute, you can make that a reality at a coffee shop. Flirt with the barista as you order your spiced almond milk latte or strike up a conversation with the cute person at the nearby table about one of their laptop stickers. Some great local coffee shops for socializing include Chrome Yellow Trading Co., Rev Coffee and Dancing Goats.


Making the world a better place AND meeting your soulmate in the process? That’s a win-win. Whether you are passionate about animal welfare, gardening or mentoring, you’ll be sure to find others who share your passion to volunteer time and help your neighborhood. Find opportunities to volunteer at Open Hand Atlanta, Trees Atlanta, Atlanta Humane Society, Atlanta Community Food Bank and more, as well as through social organizations including Community Bucket.

The gym and sports leagues

Compliment someone on their kettlebell swing, deadlift or bench press and let the gainz begin. Dating gainz, that is. Atlanta has plenty of CrossFit and kickboxing gyms, as well as Orangetheory and cycling studios, which are pretty social places. If LA Fitness is more your style, there are lots of them in various neighborhoods as well. You can also join sports leagues such as Atlanta Sports and Social Club.

Dog parks

When your dog Fluffy starts running around with Fido in the dog park, cupid might strike both you and Fido’s owner. Hang out at the Piedmont Park dog parks or Freedom Barkway, or head on over to Fetch, a more upscale dog park with food, drinks and live music.

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Sure, many of the “meetups” on happen to take place at bars. But that’s not always the case. If you’re into learning archery or doing a paint-and-sip class, want to learn a language or find writing buddies, are interested in playing board games or joining a run club, and so much more, you’ll find a group of people who share similar interests on groups in the Atlanta area.

Religious (and non-religious) groups

Let your local church, synagogue or mosque answer your prayers to find “the one.” For example, Buckhead Church offers a young adults singles program called Canopy, and various Jewish institutions such as the Temple and Moishe House have an active young adult population. If you’re non-religious but spiritual, check out Sunday Assembly Atlanta.


Many breweries in Atlanta have activities, such as game nights, movie nights and more, that are perfect to meet people. Not *quite* a bar setting, breweries tend to be in industrial buildings with high ceilings and lots of space to relax and hang out. Try a new craft beer while making new friends at breweries such as Monday Night Brewing/Garage, Scofflaw Brewing, Arches Brewing and so many more.


School or work

For those who are in school or work for a larger company, let’s not discount our single classmates and coworkers. There’s something beautiful about connecting with those who are on similar paths as us. Join school clubs or work business employee resource groups to meet other like-minded peers. (Whatever you do, just make sure there’s no conflict of interest).

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