Your guide to exploring Atlanta’s historic West End

West End Mural at Wild Heaven Beer Sign in West End Lee & White on August 21, 2022
Brandon McKeown

One of Atlanta’s most historic neighborhoods, Atlanta’s West End is located on the National Register of Historic Places. It was known to be a wealthy neighborhood in the late 1800′s, with a bustling commercial district of successful businesses, with a continuous push to modernize through the twentieth century. As with many inner-city neighborhoods, the creation of the interstate highway system drastically changed the makeup of the city around the 1970s when Interstate 20 cut through the neighborhood’s northern business district. Yet today, the community has a socially diverse makeup with a tight-knit community of residents and businesses. It is known to be a community centered around art; in fact, the name “West End” was derived from London’s famous theater district, the West End. Without further ado, learn more about what Atlanta’s historic West End has to offer below.

Where is Atlanta’s West End located?

West End is located south of I-20. It borders the neighborhood of Adair Park to its east, the Atlanta University Center to its north, Westview to its west, and Oakland City to its south. It is easily accessible by MARTA by taking the Red/Gold lines and exiting at the West End MARTA Station. If you prefer biking, running or walking, West End is accessible by the Atlanta BeltLine.

What are some recreational activities to do in the West End?

Both the start of the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail, as well as a strip of the Atlanta BeltLine West End Trail, are located within the West End.

The West End MARTA Station is one of multiple MARTA stations that offer StationSoccer, a project of Atlanta nonprofit Soccer in the Streets that offers free soccer programs for youth in underserved communities.

The Hammonds House is the former residence of Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, who was a Black physician, anesthesiologist and arts patron who passed away in 1985. Today, the Hammonds House Museum is a museum that pays homage to the art and culture of the African diaspora, from America to Africa and the Caribbean.

On the flip side, stop by The Wren’s Nest, the home of Joel Chandler Harris, writer and journalist best known for his tales of Uncle Remus, Brer Rabbit, et. al. His historic house is also located in the West End and now serves as a museum.

Enjoy performing arts at the West End Performing Arts Center, which offers classes for adults and children. Whether you’re looking to explore dance, singing, musical instruments or photography, you’ll find a new passion or hobby here. The center also offers a variety of other community events, such as community headshots and more.

The Omenala Griot Afrocentric Museum & Event Center teaches African American history and culture through a variety of artifacts and artwork on display that express the creativity and history of the African diaspora. The space is also used for local community discussions and events.

If you prefer mall shopping over online shopping, stop by The Mall West End to explore 50 brick-and-mortar stores, such as Foot Locker, Journey’s, Rainbow and Lids.

Where can I eat and drink in the West End?

Lee+White is a former warehouse complex turned mixed-use destination that offers breweries, whiskey bars, taprooms, restaurants, coffee and ice cream shops and even a climbing and bouldering complex, all along the Atlanta BeltLine West End Trail. Check out Best End Brewing Company, Wild Heaven, FiNCA to FiLTER, Golda Kombucha, Boxcar, Cultured South, Monday Night Garage, ASW Whiskey Exchange, Honeysuckle Gelato, and The Overlook Boulder + Fitness.

Lean Draft House, located minutes from the entrance to the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail, has a large patio, festive music and great food filled with both Southern and Latin flavors, as well as plenty of cocktails and beers. They also offer plenty of games, trivia nights, and television screens for a perfect social outing.

“B. Social” at Bogg’s Social and Supply, a pet-friendly hangout spot that has a fully-stocked bar with rotating food pop-ups. No matter whether you drive, walk, run, bike, skate or more, you can easily access this pedestrian-friendly restaurant located near the Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail.

The West End has multiple vegan-friendly restaurant options. Run by the Hebrew Israelite Community of Jerusalem, the original Soul Vegetarian #1 is located in the West End (with the other location, Soul Vegetarian #2, in Poncey-Highland), offering vegan comfort food “before it was cool.” Not too far away, Tassili’s Raw Reality offers raw vegan cuisine in a fast-casual setting, with options for the vegetarian, vegan, “flexitarian,” and raw expert. In addition, enjoy a “Hot & Vegan” food menu at UniTEA and Coffee Cafe, such as fiesta breakfast burritos and avocado toast. And Bakaris Plant-Based Pizza serves up vegan pizzas, vegan burgers and vegan chili.

If you’re looking for a no-frills sandwich shop that offers delicious New York-style sandwiches, check out the West End hidden gem with the fitting title of New York Sandwich Shop. Likewise, if you’re looking for the authentic tastes of Philadelphia, don’t miss Weeyum’s Philly Style, which was named one of “100 Plates that Locals Love” by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

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