In a city known for its distinctive neighborhoods, one that stands out as the artsy, eclectic and fun home of Atlanta’s counterculture is Little Five Points. Its history goes back more than 100 years to the early 1900s, when it became the commercial district for the nearby neighborhoods of Candler Park, Edgewood and Inman Park. When it was founded, there was also a 5-point intersection at its center where Moreland Avenue crosses Euclid Avenue. They were met by Seminole Avenue, though this road’s crossing was converted to a plaza where visitors now relax al fresco at the site of the original Little Five Points intersection.
A trolley line ran along this part of town, and with its arrival businesses and homes followed. Residents from surrounding neighborhoods began to do their commerce in this area as a substitute for shopping downtown, and Little Five Points began to thrive. Given its beginning as an alternative option, it’s no wonder that some of that alternative character was retained.
After going through many changes over the years, the late 1970s and early 1980s saw Little Five (as it’s called by most locals) become the hub of Atlanta’s independent and bohemian retail scene. The neighborhood attracted locals, suburbanites and tourists looking for offbeat items and entertainment. This vibe has stayed strong in the area for the past 40 years. It’s a part of town filled with colorful murals and more colorful locals on every corner and street. For a day in Atlanta, this hip neighborhood is the perfect place to spend your time and your money. We’ve come up with some of the best ways to spend a day in Little Five Points.
At the start of your day you will probably want a tasty latte, fresh juice or bite of breakfast. Little Five offers some great local cafes to choose from.
- Java Lords is a delightful coffee shop open late (until 10 p.m.) with house-roasted, fresh-brewed coffee. It has a chill atmosphere, and there’s also a full bar if you’re looking for an Irish coffee.
- Village Coffee House is another delicious option for coffee, pastries, juice and even sandwiches throughout the day located along Findley Plaza for prime outdoor seating.
- Aurora Coffee is an independent coffee house open until the afternoon. They offer coffees from all over the world and display local art throughout their shop.
- Arden’s Garden doesn’t have coffee, but this store specializes in fresh juices, smoothies and healthy snacks.
Little Five Points also offers some of the best bites in town. When you’re ready for lunch or dinner, there’s something for whatever mood you’re in just within a few blocks.
For fast casual
- Zesto is an Atlanta-exclusive fast-food option that morphed from a 1940s ice cream shop to a citywide staple with an eclectic menu that’s still family-owned and operated.
- Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is a popular Nashville transplant that sells just what their name suggests – Nashville Hot Chicken – and fans love it.
For casual seated dining
- Elmyr is a popular taco spot that has outdoor seating and a takeout window.
- El Bandido is a traditional Mexican restaurant with a colorful atmosphere.
- The Vortex is an Atlanta favorite known for its burgers. They also opened a Midtown location a few years back, complete with a comedy club. But, the Little Five Points location is the original, well known for its huge skull-shaped facade. Few are brave enough to attempt the “Coronary Bypass Burger” and the no-holds-barred menu is famous for its attitude and blatant honesty.
- Niramish is a classic Indian restaurant offering in-room dining, takeout and delivery.
- Thai 5 has a well-loved Thai and sushi menu with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
- Cameli’s Pizza is a pizza favorite using freshly made dough and local ingredients.
- Savage Pizza has its own unique vibe as it is as well known for its comic-book themed décor as its famous local pizza made from scratch every day.
For the gastropub experience
- Brewhouse Cafe is a premiere destination for soccer-lovers in Atlanta and a popular spot for locals during international tournaments.
- The Porter is well known for their wide beer selection and traditional pub fare.
- Wrecking Bar Brewpub has one of the more extensive gastropub menus with unique specials for local fare.
Before sitting down for a delicious dinner or maybe both before and after a yummy lunch, you have to hit some of the area’s famous retail spots to get the full Little Five Points experience. Here are a few of the many interesting options.
- Junkman’s Daughter must be mentioned first because it’s one of the most iconic stops in Little Five Points. It’s storefront is painted with an incredible mural with psychedelic themes – an immediately recognizable landmark even if you’re just driving through. The store is full of everything from odd collectibles and platform shoes to costumes and rockabilia merch over 10,000 square feet.
- Clothing Warehouse is the main spot to go if you are looking for a vintage clothing selection, and it’s right in Findley Plaza.
- Criminal Records has a vast selection of records, cds, comics and music merchandise, and they sometimes sponsor intimate in-store artist sessions.
- Wax ‘N’ Facts is another classic record store that’s strictly vinyl. It’s the spot for finding rare or vintage LPs.
- Crystal Blue has everything to suit your gem and mineral needs, and they’ve been serving the neighborhood for 33 years. Its blue storefront is a beacon for crystal-lovers everywhere.
- Rag-o-Rama has a diverse selection of secondhand items with some eclectic new pieces as well.
- Sevananda is a well-loved natural and organic food and health store for the discerning shopper. All your organic, free-trade, holistic and small batch goods are here.
Arts and entertainment
Evening entertainment in the area brings its own unique, alt-scene vibe. While the pandemic has slowed things down at these venues, they are all hoping to resume normal operations in 2021.
- 7 Stages Theatre is a nonprofit enterprise bringing social, political and spiritual productions to Atlanta. They also offer other theater companies space to produce their shows of choice. It’s the perfect place to catch a unique play or show.
- Variety Playhouse hosts some of the biggest acts from a variety of genres throughout the year in a mid-sized classic venue with an iconic red-curtained stage and auditorium.
- Aisle 5 is a smaller venue where you can catch some great up-and-coming bands and even more well-established artists on smaller tours. It’s also a well-known spot for catching local bands.
- Horizon Theatre hosts some of Atlanta’s most innovative contemporary theater, bringing nationally and internationally acclaimed plays to Atlanta in a 172-seat theater.
It’s impossible to have a boring day in Little Five Points. Even with this guide, you’re likely to find things in the neighborhood that catch you by surprise. There is always something new and exciting to check out in Little Five Points, and a visit to Atlanta isn’t complete without checking out this iconic neighborhood that the locals know and love.
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