A Taste of Atlanta: Little Five Points in One Day

| | ,

Just because you have limited time doesn’t mean you can’t explore a place. Sure, you won’t get in depth history lessons, or memorize all the sweet jumps on a trail, or hit every brewery for that matter. But if you don’t explore at all, you won’t even get a taste of the place. And isn’t a taste better than nothing at all? We think so, and that is exactly what we got: a taste of Atlanta’s Little Five Points.

Walking Little Five Points

Having only one day in Atlanta (we had places to go, people to see), several friends recommended the funkiness of the Little Five Points neighborhood. Spending the day here on a walking tour everywhere, we were not disappointed.

Located only 2 1/2 miles east of downtown Atlanta (known as Five Points) and referencing the intersection in the neighborhood where five points come together, Little 5 Five Points or L5P was named. Known for its creative culture, arts scene, food and drink, along with a rocking-night life, L5P is the place to visit if you only have one day in Atlanta.

Parking on a side street somewhere near Wrecking Bar Brewpub (which ironically, we never visited – you must go for us), and stealth camping there that night (stealth is not synonymous with obvious, hence my vague description), we walked only a few blocks north to L5P, located at the intersection of Moreland and Euclid Avenues.

Criminal Records

Believe it or not, our first stop was not about the beer. Whether you like music stores or not, you must at least step in for a moment to Criminal Records. Being the only physical record shop in Atlanta, Criminal Records has a vast collection of CD’s, vinyl, posters, comic books, and more. I do have to admit, I did only step in, but Kenny, however, could have spent the entire day there. If only we didn’t have beer to drink.

The Porter Beer Bar

And speaking of beer, right next door to Criminal Records is the infamous Porter Beer Bar. With pages upon pages of cellared beers available (over 800 bottles if you must know), along with 44 taps, two hand-pulls, and a full cocktail bar, we could stay here for days and never sample all of the beer. We did, in fact, stop in, have a beer (or two), before we headed out into the sunshine to explore the rest of Little Five Points. And then we came back later. Although we didn’t get a chance to eat here, the mac-n-cheese is supposed to be something you’d kill for, and I laid eyes on a uniquely Southern dish – the shrimp and grits. Seriously, this dark and divey bar is actually quite heavenly.

Streets of Color

Wandering through the streets here is a bit like wandering through an art museum, only in the sense that there is so much color. Color in the people, the words, the businesses, the murals, the vintage clothing, the junk, the conversations, the brick, the wood, the vibe. This neighborhood, with its eclectic vibrations and unique culture, breathes life, or dare I say…color, back into the city.

Freedom Park

Tooling around the neighborhood, we came across the Freedom Park Path, Atlanta’s largest linear park offering trails for biking, walking, and just plain meandering. With art projects highlighting much of the path, the color continues all the way to New Realm Brewing Company.

New Realm Brewing Company

New Realm, a mere mile away from Little Five Points, offered an expansive patio to enjoy a brew or two, along with the warmth of the early spring sunshine. Sipping on an imperial wheat winter warmer called Wheats of Strenth and a Belgian Blonde called the Commissioner, we were quite content…but we had places to explore, daylight was waning, and time was ticking away.

beer at New Realm Brewing Atlanta

Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall

Strolling along the bike path, not wanting to miss out on anything, we chose to make a pitstop at Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall. With a kick-ass patio full of umbrellas, bikes, and greenspace, we couldn’t resist. Ordering a couple of local beers from Reformation Brewery in Woodstock and Second Self Beer Company in Atlanta, we settled in to wait for our appetizers. When in Rome…well, we ordered the collard greens. Anything with oil, butter, garlic, and all that jazz will be tasting quite yummy.

The Vortex

Back on the path again, we meandered our way back towards L5P. It was time for a Vortex Burger. This divey, dark, over-the-top, break-your-senses grill and bar will draw you from the outside in. Known for being an official idiot-free zone (their words) and serving everything that’s bad for you (their words, and we agree, and please don’t stop serving this), complete with a Vortex Eating Challenge, how can you not go here. ‘Sides, you enter through a giant skull with spinning eyes! Come on!

Back at The Porter Beer Bar

The night was young, and being the beer lovers that we are, and we had yet to fully explore the pages upon pages of cellared beer at the Porter Beer Bar, we had to go back. We waddled our overly full, yet content bellies down the street (even a tiny bit of exercise makes room for more beer), and back into the heavenly darkness.

Finding a spot at the bar, we ordered a couple of pints and began reading…from page one. After hours upon hours of deliberation, we finally decided upon the 2012 Klein Duimpje Erik de Noorman Netherlands. A Winter Ale, clocking in at 9.5% and just under $30 for a 750 ml bottle, it was an epic way to start off an epic night.

Remembering that the outside world still existed – not just bottles of beer – we looked up from our studies and realized there were people sitting next to us, live, breathing ones. So we said hi to some strangers and they became our best friends for the rest of the night. It’s always good to have drinking buddies, especially when you stumble from one bar to the next.

Kenny trying to find beer at Porter Beer Bar in Little Five Points

Closing Down the Star Bar

And that is what we did. Stumbling down the street to the now closed, star of Little Five Points – The Star Community Bar. Conversing with our new friends, we found out they were visiting Atlanta from Norway and in town for a helicopter conference. They found it just as interesting that we lived in an RV and were in the area for an RV Entrepreneur Conference. Shit, there are conferences for everything. Where’s the beer conference? Oh, yeah, we’ve found that one, too!

friends at the bar in Little Five Points

Closing down the bar, we bid our new friends farewell, maybe Norway will be in our travels in the future, but right now our only travel was finding our way back to RAIF without getting pulled over for drunken stumbling, too much laughing, and falling on our asses.

Recovery and Coffee

Making it safely back to the camper, we barely got our shoes off before we laughed and stumbled our way into bed, within seconds, snoring and still smiling. (OK, maybe not quite as pretty as that, but you get the idea.)

P.S. It took us the entire next day to recover. And coffee from Village Coffee House (just around the corner from The Porter Beer Bar) definitely helped with that.

Note to self: Beer is good in moderation…and in excess…and…oh, hell…Beer is just good! Also, don’t let someone else take photos with your phone, you never know what you’re gonna get.

So Much More to See

There are so many cool places to check out when in and around Little Five Points. Follow our path, yes, but create your own, too. Be sure to check out L5P’s site for a listing of all the places to visit. And if you can’t fit it all in one day, well, you’ll just have to come back with us.

Businesses open and close, so forgive us if something closed down. We promise it was open when we were there, and we’re sorry that you weren’t with us. Now get your ass out there and travel for the beer.

We Are…

Kenny and April drinking a beer at Jester King in Austin Texas

Ken and April, craft beer and travel lovers. We live and work from, RAIF, our 24 foot RV, while traveling to drink good beer, visit Mother Nature, and mountain bike. We are not experts and don’t want to be. We are, however, tourists, just like you, and we want to do everything and visit everywhere. We also know that this is impossible (dammit – and wrote a post on it), so in order to help you experience as much as you can in the time you have, what we experience, we pass onto you. We hope to only give you guidance (although our friends say to never follow April), because you need to also create your own adventures along the way. Happy craft beer travels!


Baja Beer and Travel Journal: Expat Stories at Cielito Lindo

Not the New Normal

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments