Atlanta's Industrial-Chic Westside

Formerly home to factories and warehouses, today, artisan goods, hip shops and gourmet restaurants have made this one of the city's hottest 'hoods.

If you’ve been to this concrete- and brick-dominated area of Atlanta, you won’t be shocked to learn that it was once a booming industrial district—and still is. On any given day, you’ll see a steady stream of 18-wheelers on the Westside’s main thoroughfares. Atlanta's Westside Provisions District (WSPD) stands as a neighborhood centerpiece. This shopping complex manages to at once embody the area’s history and revitalized spirit.

Occupying a former meat packing plant, WSPD’s pig mascot hangs on walls and clings to sign posts that exclaim “Oink if you love WSPD!” Kitsch and all, this district draws some of Atlanta’s best eateries, boutiques and creative institutions. Stray from WSPD and you’ll encounter even more charm lining Marietta Street that will have you oinking in no time.

Atlanta MADE, Atlanta, GA
No clutter here—Atlanta MADE's spacious showroom is perfectly laid out and easy on the eyes. (Courtesy Atlanta MADE)

Artisanal Goods

Locally made products abound in the Westside (also known as West Midtown), where shops focus on one-of-a-kind and artisanal products.

The aptly named Atlanta MADE will make you swoon over everything from salts and sauces to skin care and ceramics made by more than 70 ATL-based artisans all hand-picked by store owner Michelle Larrabee-Martin.

Simply Put Paper & Gift will give you something to write home about—and with. Georgia-native Ashley Toporek Woodman’s passion for graphic design resulted in this paper palace filled with elaborate occasion cards, stationery and invitations. You’ll fall pen over paper for Woodman’s modern illustrations and letterpress details.

Visit The Merchant, which recently doubled in space, to lose yourself in a wonderland of flawlessly designed housewares, office supplies, gifts and one-of-a-kind vintage finds.

The Optimist, Atlanta, GA
One of The Optimist's two full bars (Courtesy The Optimist)

Incredible Eats

You could spend a full weekend tasting the Westside’s many acclaimed eateries.

Bacchanalia is hands-down Atlanta's most acclaimed restaurant. Here, Chef Anne Quatrano and husband Chef Clifford Harrison take "farm-to-table" seriously, sourcing all produce from their own nearby farm. This Atlanta staple serves up its exceptional contemporary American menu by way of a five-course, prix fixe meal with two appetizers, an entree, cheese course and dessert for $85.

For an exquisite seafood feast with two of the best bars in the city, try Ford Fry’s The Optimist. This massive, open-concept restaurant is a triple threat—perfectly prepared and seasoned food, exceptional cocktail service and a killer ambiance. The Optimist answers your every wish with two bars, an outdoor patio and even mini-golf.

Just down the street, you’ll encounter the home of what many consider to be Atlanta’s best burger, Bocado. A fresh palette of colors and simple, industrial-inspired decor make this eatery feel airy and comfortable. The menu extends far beyond a heavenly burger. Try the mouthwatering quinoa salad with avocado, cranberry beans, cilantro, radish, cucumber and lime crème fraiche.

And for sweet tooths that won’t quit, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Vintage Frozen Custard offer decadent frozen treats in creative flavors that will haunt your dreams. Take, for instance, our editor's favorite Jeni's order—a scoop of the tart lime cardamom buttermilk frozen yogurt alongside a scoop of the decadent the decadent goat cheese with red cherries. Or try our editor's top pick at Vintage---the Monkey Business, which smothers two scoops of vanilla frozen custard with caramelized banana sauce and chocolate sprinkles, all made from-scratch on-site.