A Day WELL Spent: Atlanta
My family and I moved to Atlanta a few months ago when a work opportunity came up for Jason, my husband. Born and raised in Boston, I was super excited to move to the south and start scoping out A town’s green scene. Atlanta is well known for so many things; great music, competitive sports, big culture and Coke. But despite all the hype, I arrived ready to dig deep and find my health niche.
Come to find out, Atlanta has a robust foodie scene. Award winning restaurants with top chefs like Ryan Smith of Staplehouse and Steven Satterfield of Miller Union; both nominated for the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast. Plus, a cool underground prohibition scene with restaurants that need exclusive entrance passcodes like Himitsu sushi bar and Red Phone Booth. And tantalizing niche markets like Krog St. Market or Ponce City Market where you will find shops like 18.21 Bitters, an entire store front dedicated to providing handcrafted, small batch cocktail bitters, tinctures, shrubs, syrups and tonics. It seems like everywhere I turn there is something new and exciting to discover.
Okay so after exploring Atlanta for just about 5 months now, I’ve only just scratched the surface for what this city has to offer. However, if you decide to visit, I have a few recommendations you should definitely consider hitting up.
Okay so the only thing I want when I wake up is the Acai Smoothie from Dtox Juice. Juices, smoothies and superfood snacks made fresh daily, cold pressed and always organic; Dtox is my jam. They also package in glass and recycle their bottles. I usually order their coffee latte too with steamed cocoa almond milk and maple syrup because, obviously. Oh and if it’s in stock you have to snag their locally made dairy-free seed and nut yogurt. Best ever yogurt (literally that’s the name of it).
If you are traveling to town, consider having Bamboo’s 100% organic, cold-pressed juices delivered free to your hotel. The Medicinal Mushroom Almond Milk is a must try.
Next up? Workout. I have fallen in love with FlyWheel, a bangin’ lights out, loud music, stadium seating cycling class that is just plain fun. Atlanta has two locations – I prefer the Buckhead one which is a little bigger, a little more jazzy and parking is easier. A 45 minute class will run you $25.
If a class is not your thing, Atlanta is building out a bike/walking path that is set to circle the entire city called the BeltLine. It is peppered with restaurants, bars, shops and public artwork. If you are ready to get your walk on, I suggest starting at Ponce City Market and walking the line up to Krog St Market – a 35 minute walk. Or if you prefer to bike, Atlanta has a public bike share program. You can find a station near you here at the Relay Website.
For lunch you can find me at True Food Kitchen or YEAH Burger. True Food Kitchen is a chain restaurant but worth the hype. They cater to nearly every food preference offering gluten-free, organic, vegetarian, vegan and low histamine options. Their bar also serves up cocktails made with fresh-pressed fruit and veg juices paired with organic spirits. I am on top of their Kale Guacamole and Ginger Margarita all day. They have a fantastic kids menu too.
YEAH Burger is organic to the max with gluten free and vegan options as well. Dine in or order out. This place also has an incredible kids menu. I love ordering the grassfed bison burger with bacon and fig jam in a collard wrap with a side of crazy cauli. You will never be the same.
The afternoon may be a jaunt through Piedmont Park. Atlanta’s Central Park if you will. With two playgrounds and beautiful city pool this is an excellent place to take the kids or sit and people watch. Also, Atlanta’s Botanical Garden abuts the park with the most beautiful indoor orchid garden I’ve ever seen.
You could also conducer a hike up Stone Mountain. This is about a 20 minute ride outside the city but fun for an adventure. They also have activities like a tree top adventure course and gondolas. Fun for kids.
I am still looking for a great nontoxic nail salon – when I find one this is what I will be doing late afternoon. Fo sho. But for now, you may find me at Atlanta’s own Fig and Flower to shop all things green beauty. Or maybe Made Again a curated local artisan shop selling goods with purpose.
For dinner there are three restaurants that I would recommend.
Staplehouse: Named America’s Best New Restaurant 2016 by Bon Appetit and the most insane crazy good restaurant you will ever eat at. Get ready to splurge though because good doesn’t come cheap. We are talking all organic, local, sustainable and delicious. They even work with Michael Hendrix, a local forager who brings in wild harvested goodies including edible flowers to adorn Chef Ryan Smith’s masterpieces.
Reservations are tough to get (read impossible) BUT the bar seats 8 and it’s first come first serve. If you show up at 5pm you will probably get in, I did! Oh and 100% of the restaurant’s profits after payroll and taxes go to The Giving Kitchen, a charity that aids crisis-stricken restaurant workers.
Miller Union: Finalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards in Outstanding Wine Program and winner of Best Chef Southeast. This restaurant sources local, mostly organic and clean meats. They also pay to recycle (because Atlanta doesn’t recycle) and the also run their own compost and compost most everything – very unique to the restaurant world. Plus they offer a beautiful selection of organic and biodynamic wines. This place is the real deal.
Bacchanalia: Recommended to me by Neal McCarthy, owner of Miller Union. Their seasonal menu relies entirely on organic ingredients, many sourced from Anne and Clifford’s farm in Summerland. On my list to try!
An after dinner nightcap at Skyline Park on the roof of Ponce City Market roof is a must. As the industrial freight elevator that takes you up opens, Skyline Park greets you with a DJ bustin’ beats to this 365 days a year adult playground. Mini golf, carnival games, a giant slide and breathtaking 365 degree views of the city are worth a trip. Cozy up next to the outdoor fire pits with provided blankets at 9 Mile, the roof’s beer garden/food hall, and enjoy the views. 21+ after 5pm but great for kids before that.
Or you could scrap this whole day and head out to Serenbe – an organic utopia where you can enjoy a meal, culinary workshops, festivals, music events, films and lectures, boutique shopping, art galleries, a spa, trail riding and more. I haven’t been yet but can not wait to go.
What would you do?
xo, Lisa – This Organic Girl