Where To Get Your Drink On During College Football Championship Weekend In Atlanta

With the National College Football Championship taking place in Atlanta this Monday (January 8), the city will surely be (safely) boozing it up this weekend. Atlanta will soon welcome thousands of folks from out of town, so I figured I should welcome y’all to “The A” by offering my picks for the best places to get you drink on near Mercedes-Benz Stadium (where the big game will take place).

To be honest with you guys, there aren’t a ton of amazing food/drink options in the immediate area near the stadium. Fortunately, we have a streetcar in the downtown Atlanta area that’s surprisingly ideal for bar-hopping. A few of the places featured on my list are easily accessible by taking the streetcar. If you’re near The Benz or Centennial Park, your likely streetcar stop will be on the corner next to the SkyView ferris wheel. You can find a map for the streetcar here.

Check out my picks below, cheers!

McCormick & Schmick’s: Listen, finding a decent Happy Hour in downtown Atlanta is like finding the lost city of Atlantis. It’s rough. Thankfully, there’s McCormick & Schmick’s. Their Happy Hour is everyday from 4 to 7 P.M., and features both food and drinks. My favs are the Lemon Drop Martini and Crispy Baja Fish Tacos. FYI: This pick is also the closest to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

Ray’s In The City: The Mai Tai at Ray’s In The City on Peachtree Street is hands down one of my favorite drinks in all of Atlanta. Their calamari is also pretty divine. Unfortunately, their Happy Hour menu is only available Monday through Friday, so go now!

MOTHER: MOTHER is my jam! This is definitely a place you want to hit up, during late night hours. There’s usually a deejay playing some classic Atlanta tunes, so it can get pretty lively. If you’re not quite ready to turn up, grab yourself a local brew and partake in one of the numerous board games available at MOTHER. 

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Atlanta’s Newest Food-Centered Pub, The Drafting Table, To Please Both Foodies & Cocktail Connoisseurs

I love great food just as much as I do amazing cocktails and while finding a restaurant or bar that dishes up both can be pretty tedious, you’re likely to find this tantalizing duo at a gastropub nearest you. What exactly is a gastropub you ask? Well, it’s basically a bar that has a high focus on above average food. So you certainly won’t find beer nuts or cheese fries at your local gastropub, but what you will find are culinary delights that are likely crafted by a dedicated team of chefs.

I had the opportunity to check out Atlanta’s newest gastropub, The Drafting Table, earlier in the week and I’m definitely plotting my return. During the private open house, there were a total of four cocktails available to guests and all were made using spirits from Portland, Oregon-based House Spirits Distillery. I wasn’t on full Lushworthy mode so I only had the opportunity to sample three out of the four cocktails (pictured below). My favorite was hands down the “Swift Kick In The Mule” which was made using vodka, Pur Elderflower Liqueur, lime, ginger, grapefruit bitters, and ginger beer. I’m beginning to love any cocktail made using ginger beer so the “Swift Kick In The Mule” was an easy win in my book.

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Lushworthy In Puerto Rico: You Had Me At “Rum Punch”

Now when you’ve spent a full day walking around the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan and you’re trying to find a restaurant to fill your empty stomach the first thing you notice when checking out a restaurants menu is the food, right? Well if you’re the Lushworthy type like myself you probably can’t help but check out their drink menu first. So when we found Jamaican restaurant Blessed Cafe my eyes immediately went to their drink menu, their rum punch menu in particular. And there were quite a few Lushworthy choices to choose from.

I ended up getting the “Caribbean Splash” which was both tasty and potent, my kind of drink. And I had a Corona with dinner which consisted of curry chicken, rice & beans, and a side salad. It was all just as delicious as the drink. Blessed Cafe was an all around amazing experience. The owner Tony was super friendly, I was loving the Bob Marley they were playing, and they were showing “Cool Runnings” on the TV above the bar! Looove that movie!  

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