City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Where to eat in Atlanta during the Final Four

The areas around the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park are  going to be packed with sports and music fans during this weekend’s NCAA Men’s Final Four championships and Big Dance Concert Series.  That means throngs of people at the chain restaurants downtown.  Instead,  stroll  in any direction — from  Castleberry Hill, the Luckie-Marietta District to the streets of downtown Atlanta — where far better choices await. Here are a few of our favorites:

Pork pibil tamale at Alma Cocina (photo by Becky Stein)
Pork pibil tamale at Alma Cocina (photo by Becky Stein)

Alma Cocina

191 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-968-9662.

A smart, sleek modern Mexican restaurant tucked into the lobby of a downtown office tower. Great margaritas and ceviches as well as more involved entrees. The kitchen also makes a mean tamale.

Lunacy Black Market

231 Mitchell St., Atlanta. 404-736-6164.

Like walking into someone’s living room. This super-casual place serves wine and ridiculously inexpensive small-plates fare in a setting filled with eclectic artwork and comfy lounge furniture. Braised chicken legs and cabbage salad are highlights.

No Mas Cantina

180 Walker St., Atlanta. 404-574-5678.

A Mexican furniture and handicraft store that doubles as a restaurant. The food is fine rather than great, but the atmospheric setting pulls you in. And, really, once you get your chips, cheese dip and cold beer you’re going to be happy.


53 Broad St., Atlanta. 404-589-8889.

Excellent if tiny Vietnamese restaurant on the downtown strip where office workers look for a quick meal. Only open for lunch. Try the pho, a beef noodle soup, if the temperature dips. If the dining area is packed, you can find seating in the basement.

Ted’s Montana Grill

133 Luckie St., Atlanta. 404-521-9796.

The flagship branch of the Atlanta-based burger chain owned in part by Ted Turner. If you’re looking for simple, familiar American food, this is your best option downtown. The floor staff does an excellent job of estimating wait times and getting the food to the table quickly.

Der Biergarten

300 Marietta St., Atlanta. 404-521-2728.

A hilarious second-story German restaurant that usually has a seat if the pizza place and sports bar underneath are thronged. Some of the entrees are a bit expensive, but the imported beers and sausages won’t fail to satisfy.

BLT Steak

45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta, 404-577-7601.

A useful, albeit expensive, restaurant in a part of Atlanta that doesn’t offer much on the high end. The signature steaks and chops won’t disappoint, but there’s also a French bistro menu if you’re looking for something lighter or more interesting. The lobster Cobb salad makes for a good splurge. And if you want to try something quasi-Southern, order the buttered collard greens as a side dish.

- By John Kessler for the Food & More blog

19 comments Add your comment


April 3rd, 2013
6:47 pm

Tons of places

Yeah Burger
West Egg is great and inexpensive
Chow baby

All on west side

20-35 dollars
Jct kitchen


April 3rd, 2013
6:56 pm

Don’t forget McDonalds and the BK lounge! Oh yes and Taco Bell and Moes and everyone;s favorite- Subway!

WH fan

April 3rd, 2013
7:08 pm

Dont forget the best place in town….Waffle House!


April 3rd, 2013
7:21 pm

Good choices. I especially like Alma and Lunacy Black Market. I’d also add Legal Seafood for proximity and my favorite crab cakes.


April 4th, 2013
8:14 am

5 Seasons Westside Restaurant & Brewery. Fresh, sustainable food and beer made on site. AWESOME rooftop patio dining! Minutes from the Dome.


April 4th, 2013
8:51 am

Mary Mac’s on Ponce de Leon!

Lucy A

April 4th, 2013
12:33 pm

The Optimist, Flip Burger, Loca Luna and entire midtown and VA Highland area. Tons and tons of choices!

micheal harris

April 5th, 2013
6:59 am

This is it!! is the best


April 5th, 2013
11:00 am

If downtown: Aviva for a good lunch in Peachtree Center, and White Oak for dinners/drinks.


April 5th, 2013
11:50 am

There’s also Thrive on Marietta Street in Centennial Tower, and the Landmark Diner across from the Rialto in Fairlie/Poplar.

Stevie Mac

April 5th, 2013
1:59 pm

Little’s Food Store on Carroll St in Cabbagetown is close to the Capital, Grant Park/Zoo Atlanta & Turner Field. This small grocery store & grill has great store ground burgers & fresh made Poboys.


April 5th, 2013
2:17 pm

I think this list is meant to be places to go once you’ve arrived in downtown. There are great options in West Midtown, Cabbagetown, etc, but they’re hardly walking distance from the dome. That’s the goal of this list…

Joe Obvious

April 5th, 2013
2:24 pm

Taco Mac, Hooters, Rosa’s Pizza

Mike Bell

April 5th, 2013
3:57 pm

STATS, Dan Tanna’s

Chef Ginger

April 5th, 2013
4:14 pm

Don’t forget to try the hand rolls at Fuji Spa while you’re in town for the final four.
Just ask your taxi cab driver for details.


April 5th, 2013
4:15 pm

After the game your Final Four ticket stub gets you in Alluvia for no charge. Enjoy!


April 5th, 2013
10:23 pm

my favs: Antico for the best pizza, Eats for the best Jerk chicken, Vortex for the best burgers, Honey Bubble for the best desserts, El Azteca for the best margarita pitchers.

[...] Where to eat in Atlanta during the Final Four [...]

Hugh Jass

April 7th, 2013
7:39 pm

Nick’s Food to Go is near the stadiums and has the best Greek food around. By far the best gyro in Atlanta. Owned and run by Grecians for a long, long time. It is a hole in the wall, but awesome.