Atlanta, Georgia, Weekend Guide: Black History, Food Tours, and Orchids

Drive 10 minutes east to the High Museum of Art, a sprawling Midtown campus with buildings designed by Pritzker Prize–winners Richard Meier and Renzo Piano and a collection of 18,000-plus artworks, including an Auguste Rodin bronze in the courtyard. (Visitor numbers are currently limited, so be sure to reserve your […]

Drive 10 minutes east to the High Museum of Art, a sprawling Midtown campus with buildings designed by Pritzker Prize–winners Richard Meier and Renzo Piano and a collection of 18,000-plus artworks, including an Auguste Rodin bronze in the courtyard. (Visitor numbers are currently limited, so be sure to reserve your ticket in advance.) 

Hang around Midtown and grab pizza at Slim & Husky’s, where the bold murals are sure to catch your attention. Hip hop and R&B serve as inspirations for this restaurant, meaning you’ll find pizzas like the meat-topped Cee No Green and the vegan Nothin But a “V” Thang. 

Star Provisions Market & Café, a sunny breakfast spot and market 

Andrew Thomas Lee/Courtesy Star Provisions

Continue along to the Castleberry Hill historic arts district and browse through Besharat Gallery, the Granite Room, and ZuCot Gallery, the largest Black-owned fine art gallery in the Southeast. From here, drive about four miles north to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Piedmont Park to see America’s largest permanent orchid collection; the thousands of flowers are as boldly colorful and unique as the art you’ve been viewing on gallery walls all day. 

For dinner, slide into the luxe life at Buckhead’s Atlas in the St. Regis hotel. The walls are lined with paintings from a private collection (including works by Picasso, Chagall, and Monet), and the menu includes highlights such as butternut squash ravioli, grilled turbot for two, and a signature steak with tallow tater tots. 

Day 3 

Begin a day of food-themed exploration with brunch in West Midtown at Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours. Here, chef Deborah VanTrece spices up soul food dishes with international influences from her travels, with standouts including hoisin oxtails, lemon pepper basil wings, and a collard-green Caesar salad topped with crawfish tails. 

To truly get a taste of Atlanta’s ever-evolving culinary scene, you’ll need to crisscross the city a bit. Start by driving 15 minutes south to the Grant Park neighborhood, which is known for its ornate Victorian architecture, for a tour with Atlanta Food Walks. Over two and a half hours, you’ll stop for tastings at a number of restaurants, including a French bakery and a seafood spot, before strolling through the 171-year-old Oakland Cemetery.  

The pea panna cotta at Atlas in the St. Regis Atlanta

Courtesy Atlas 

From here, head north on Interstate 85, and in about 15 minutes you’ll reach ASW Distillery at American Spirit Works, where you can learn the ins and outs of making bourbon, rye, apple brandy, and even a Scotch-like peated single malt—the first-ever distilled in Atlanta. 

For your last dinner, go old-school with a visit to The Varsity. This Atlanta institution opened in 1928 as a drive-in where carhops on roller skates would enthusiastically bring orders out to your car. The roller skates may be long gone, but you’ll still find staples like chili cheese slaw dogs, onion rings, and frosted orange shakes. And don’t forget to top it all off with a Georgia classic: fried peach pie. 

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