10 BeltLine Spots For Good Food When It’s Too Damn Hot To Work Out guide image


10 BeltLine Spots For Good Food When It’s Too Damn Hot To Work Out

Exercise your right to get food and drinks instead.

Somehow, “let’s walk the BeltLine” has become the new “let’s meet for coffee” social invitation. At first, you’re game to join your friends to stroll, cycle, or skate on the popular trail, but then Atlanta gets real Atlanta-y and hits you with blazing hotness out of the blue. You could suck it up and continue the hellish course, possibly drawing the eye of a casting agent for the Ozark prequel. Or you can yield to the heat and retreat to one of these spots for a refreshing drink and bite. We choose the latter. Best of all, you can come in your workout gear without judgment.


Eastside Trail Near Piedmont Park

Woody's CheeseSteaks

A Piedmont Park pillar since the ’70s, Woody’s is the sizzling sound of distraction you need on a day you’re ignoring all your tasks and your fitness apps. One of the city’s best cheesesteaks, the Woody’s Steak consists of a generous portion of grilled meat, onions, and white American cheese on a toasted bun. Don’t sleep on the gooey chicken steak, either. The Orange Freeze is an unforgettable flavor rush masquerading as a shake, but drink the whole thing to prepare yourself for the half-mile trek back to wherever you parked your car.

Eastside Trail Near Ponce City Market

When you see people on the Rina patio sipping frozen drinks garnished with fresh orchids and fruit slices, you may find yourself mindlessly drifting to the walk-up counter for one of their fruity slushies or spiced sangria. If you’re feeling too depleted for alcohol, ask for the mocktail version of their Metzitzim, which hits the spot just as well. Order a hummus plate and any one of their big stuffed pita sandwiches. We also really love their Jallah Fried Fish, crispy grouper nuggets with a lemony, green tahini sauce.

With rooftop and front patios, outdoor beer garden space, and a massive dining room, New Realm feels like a Chutes and Ladders game board, where you can roam in and out any of the spaces with a beer in hand. Even with the crowd, though, you’re always able to find a seat when you need to cool off. Our favorite things on the menu are the burgers and sandwiches—and, of course, we grab a few beers. But if you’re still too flustered to navigate the menu yourself, we recommend the Hot Chicken Sandwich, New Realm Burger, and the B-ALT Grilled Cheese, which is a thick bacon, arugula  lettuce, and tomato sandwich made with a locally produced cheese.

Eastside Trail Near Krog Street Market

Located right next to Pour Taproom, the interior of Nina and Rafi is all industrial chic, with tile walls and red accents on the lighting fixtures above the bar. But the casual outdoor patio is filled with people, who, like you, jettisoned their BeltLine trek in favor of craft beer and Detroit-style pizza. If you’ve got time and a crew, order the Detroit-style pizza, which takes about 30 minutes. We recommend the sweet n’ spicy pie.

After a long walk on the BeltLine, it’s nice to retreat into the cocoon of a massive burrito. Bell Street has a shaded patio that’s situated almost underneath the BeltLine, so it’s perfect if you need a break from groups whizzing past on bicycles. Real fans of Bell Street know to “Grill My Burrito” for an extra 75 cents, but if a burrito sounds too heavy, their tacos or quesadillas are an excellent back up with plenty of veggie options like their broccoli, potato, or bean tacos.

If you’re in a grumpy mood, a simple walk past Ladybird’s colorful, always-bustling backyard can brighten things up. When the weather cooperates, this spot on the Eastside Beltline near KSM is easily one of the most popular patios in the city. Yellow umbrella-topped picnic tables, firepits, and even a beer-serving Airstream will make you nostalgic for summer camp. Besides boozy Capri Sun-like pouches, they serve food too, with standouts like the juicy double burger and a hot dog smothered in a cheesy chili, and larger options such as the BBQ board.

While the hidden speakeasy and full service restaurant behind the cafe bookshelves isn’t the place you’d want to go in workout gear (there’s a strict dress code), you’ll feel totally welcomed in the front cafe. By day, The James Room serves coffee and a variety of pastries and desserts like macarons (ask for the Negroni macaron), cheesecake, and homemade pop-tarts. The clean, bright white front room is small with just a few tables and leather chairs, but there’s outdoor seating with views of the BeltLine. Whether you sit inside or out, you’ll feel like you’re at a quaint European bakery as you sip your coffee and devour a sweet treat.

Eastside Trail Near Reynoldstown/Southside Trail By Glenwood Park

Muchacho in Reynoldstown  has quickly transformed into one of the best and most versatile spots on the BeltLine. The sunny spot is laden with plants and foliage hanging from the ceiling, a lush complement to the bright colors and ’70’s-era decor. Muchacho fills up fast, so head to the outdoor patio to order a round of tacos, sandwiches, bowls, and a frozen “bevvie” or cocktail from the bar without having to brave the masses inside. When you order at the counter, make sure to try one of their seven salsas, which goes from their mild Verde to “you motherf*cker” Macha. With housemade chips, you kinda have to try their creamy guac, too.

Westside/West End Trail

With its motorcycle-garage decor and beer-heavy drink menu, it’s understandable if your first thought about this spot off Ralph David Abernathy is that it’s not the best place for you and your scooter-riding 3-year-old to lounge after a stroll. But almost on cue, a mom pushing a stroller comes in and orders the small-but-mighty grouper tacos ($15). By the time she adds a Terrapin brew to her order, you realize, parent or not, we can all appreciate a good pour. Plus, the patio atmosphere is welcoming to everyone—pets, underaged humans, and probably even Saints fans.

This warehouse-turned-restaurant has steadily become one of the Westside BeltLine’s go-to spots for every scenario, from big parties to impromptu pit spots. If you’re bypassing your 10,000 steps today, walk your eyes over to Boxcar’s extensive beer menu (a 28-draft rotating tap powered by Hop City downstairs) or peruse a sandwich section that includes the cheesesteak-y Butcher’s Bun and the heavenly G.O.A.T. (Greatest Turkey of All Time). Your tummy, not to mention your relaxed feet, will thank you later.

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photo credit: New Realm Brewing Co.

10 BeltLine Spots For Good Food When It’s Too Damn Hot To Work Out guide image