A stroll through downtown Braselton is like taking a trip into the past. Historic two-story homes marked by spectacular architecture and stately white columns dot the landscape, an... read more
By Ken Abramczyk
As metro Atlanta rolls into 2022, metro Atlantans will be looking for new locales and communities to visit to start off the new year right. Braselton, Chamblee and Smyrna continue to evolve with new development yet manage to maintain their charm as welcoming locales for couples to relax and enjoy an evening out. Check out these must-try spots for your next date night.
Downtown Braselton, located 49 miles northeast of Downtown Atlanta, is buzzing with activity, while preserving much of its history. What’s more, the downtown district is brimming with delectable food and drink options.
Braselton Brewing Company, housed in an old cotton gin, is a brewpub with an impressive selection of craft beers, ranging from the easy and light Fast Flyer cream ale to the robust Coffee Milk Stout. When a snack is in order, you can try the fried pickles or sweet and smoky pork rinds; main dishes like a barbecue pork platter or fish and chips elevate standard bar food to new levels and will make date night one to remember.
The Cotton Calf Kitchen, a contemporary American steakhouse, serves top-notch appetizers such as confit duck egg rolls, a charcuterie board and colossal lump crab meat. As one might expect, the dinner menu pleases the meat lover’s selective eye with the Wagyu New York strip, Delmonico ribeye, filet mignon and a special chef’s cut. Hungry? The porterhouse for two weighs 48 ounces, while the ribeye tomahawk tips the scales at 32 ounces.
Additionally, friends and couples looking for a cozy lounge to savor the flavor of signature cocktails, wines and tapas can venture to Blake’s of Braselton. Described as Braselton’s only speakeasy, Blake’s serves Prohibition-style cocktails, red and white wines and beer in a 1930s ambience.
Fifteen miles northeast of Atlanta, Chamblee touts itself as a vibrant, urban city with an international flair. In addition to an array of boutiques and specialty stores, Downtown Chamblee boasts an array of sophisticated restaurants that are sure to please every palate.
Bluetop, a restaurant and bar, was named after the taxi stand that once operated on the site, and a 1969 45-foot moving van was converted into the restaurant’s kitchen. The menu, described as “culinary but approachable,” is a burger lover’s dream. The bar’s namesake burger, created with angus beef, is topped with traditional burger toppings but also features bacon jam. Shrimp burgers, veggie burgers and more round out the menu.
Hopstix, an Asian brewpub, transports the Indonesian spirit into the heart of American cuisine. Beer connoisseurs are directed to a dazzling variety of brews, ranging from pales, ambers and malty lagers to the hearty flavors delivered for winter in the porters and stouts. The menu will delight adventurous taste buds with bluefin poke and the super bowl, which is a mix of sashimi, smoked eel, fresh octopus and grilled pork belly, among other ingredients.
Southbound serves Southern-inspired cuisine that celebrates the local farmer with seasonal selections. Southbound’s hot small plates include grit fritters, fried green tomatoes, wild Georgia shrimp and Hot Chamblee chicken. Follow that with wood grilled lamb or steak, meat and two (pulled pork or sliced brisket with two sides) or the pork tenderloin with Oaxacan mole, and the evening is set to be an absolute culinary delight.
Only 17 miles northwest of Downtown Atlanta, Smyrna is a truly convenient option for your couples night out in metro Atlanta. Riverview Landing, the city’s newest sustainable mixed-use development located right along the Chattahoochee River gives visitors an excellent place to relax, gather and socialize.
Reformation Brewery, a Woodstock-based brewery, continues to expand its reach in metro Atlanta with its Chamblee location at Riverview Landing. Brew crews can try Jogr, a German pilsner; the Silver Comet Nolan V10, an IPA; or Stark, a toasted porter. Those who want a different flavor on their palates can try the sour or wheat-based brews, which change on a regular basis. The brewery schedules beer launches and offers selections from the nearby Grand Champion BBQ on Tuesdays through Sundays.
Grand Champion BBQ, also located in Riverview Landing, smokes baby back ribs, brisket and chicken and serves some of the best pit-to-plate fare around. You can order meat by the pound and slather on sauces including traditional, vinegar-based North Carolina or mustard-based South Carolina.
If you’re enjoying a day date, the Chattahoochee Coffee Company, located at The Eddy in Riverview Landing, is a perfect spot. This specialty coffee shop is not only known for serving up a delicious cup of joe, but also for its commitment to bringing positivity into the world and offering an environment of community building. Grab a cappuccino or an espresso, along with a delectable danish or pastry, and sit down to enjoy an afternoon of coffee and conversation with your favorite person.
Share Your Love of College Football
Looking for an outstanding day date idea? Look no further than the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, the perfect destination for enthusiasts who share a passion for this beloved American game. Located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta and in the center of the city’s famed entertainment and attractions district, the College Football Hall of Fame is a 95,000-square-foot marvel, with a 45-yard indoor football field, more than 50 exciting and interactive exhibits, a helmet wall display and the Kia Performance Challenge, where you can test your own football skills. The venue honors the game itself, as well as the best of the best players. So take a walk hand-in-hand through the history of college football and celebrate your favorite teams and players together. For more information, visit cfbhall.com.