If you're not fleeing from Atlanta to the nearest large body of water on most Fridays, follow this patio-hopping guide to soak up some summer sips and bites in the city. Here are my top 9 patios for your life's current moments...because different conversations call for different settings and refreshments.
...when you haven't seen each other in "like, FOR-ever" and swapping vacation stories is a must, head to Buckhead's Big Ketch for sunny or shady patio tables, fresh seafood, live music seven nights a week, oysters on the half shell and awesome wine specials like Ketch a Cork Tuesdays: buy a bottle of wine and receive a free appetizer. Because sometimes it takes a little liquid courage to divulge the details of that "vacationship." thebigketch.com. 3279 Roswell Road, Atlanta.
...when you are ready to show off your new, short haircut, visit Superica! Krog Street Market's booming new block is made for urban hipsters and Superica boasts a stony patio with a laid back vibe. Mex-Tex for noshing, El Diablo for sipping and a cool backdrop for those Instagram pics (including a potential Ford Fry photobomb). I suggest the guacamole, chicken verde enchiladas and tacos de carnitas. Pronunciation really is "SOUP-er-EEka!" supericaatl.com. 99 Krog Street, Atlanta.
...when you need to get back in the game post break-up, post up at Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant. This Inman Park patio is excellent for people watching day or night and it's always host to a good-looking crowd. Spanish tapas like albondigas or spiced meatballs in a ham-tomato sauce are perfect for sharing, if you do happen to meet "Mister or Miss Rebound" in their lively bar space. www.barcelonawinebar.com/atlanta.htm. 240 N. Highland Avenue, Atlanta.
...when it's time to blow off steam near the office with your co-workers (the ones you actually like as people), Friday happy hour at Cinco Atlanta's roof top bar is above the daily grind at Akers Mill Road. Join a packed perch above the shopping center, shed the tie and mingle with other business types to kick off your weekend with $5 margaritas. All 3 Cinco locations - in Atlanta, Suwanee and Cumming - host live music regularly and drink specials nightly. cincorestaurants.com. 2851 Akers Mill Road, Atlanta.
...when you want to show off your sports knowledge to the guys, hoping they're eavesdropping on your conversations, it's on at STATS downtown. There's potential for a home-run hitter in this crowd. All-American fare, 70 HDTVS, beer tap tables and more macho than you thought you could pack into one restaurant. The rooftop patio boasts a sleek, curved rooftop, full-service bar and an Atlanta skyline view. statsatl.com. 300 Marietta Street NW, Atlanta.
...when it's time to cool down from that bike ride through Piedmont Park, park it at the Nook Midtown. Sample their famous smothered tater tots called Totchos, local brews on tap and an extensive brunch menu under shady trees. The Nook believes in community and they feature a menu item every day that benefits a local charity. It's their "Do Good While Being (a little) Bad" campaign. thenookatlanta.com. 1144 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta.
...when you are celebrating your boss' vacation more than your own...can you say, "empty inbox?" Score! Now that's a reason to celebrate and grab a sweet sip at Shake Shack atop the Buckhead Atlanta District. I highly recommend the black and white shake: vanilla with fudge bits, all the luxury without the high-end price tag. www.shakeshack.com/location/atlanta-ga. 3035 Peachtree Road NE, Suite A146, Atlanta.
...when you're looking for a date with an international accent, cozy up at Brewhouse Cafe. Soccer, or as the rest of the world calls it, Football is making headlines not only due to the FIFA scandal. Its fans are passionate, worldly and have great legs. (Think lots of running, not lots of scoring.) Brew House has a laid-back patio, wings, burgers, pizza and cool servers whom you should get to know now before Atlanta launches our own MLS soccer team in 2017. I predict the place will be packed! www.brewhousecafe.com. 401 Moreland Avenue, Atlanta.