CHIC SHOPS The leafy, bungalow-strewn Virginia-Highlands neighborhood is noteworthy for sophisticated stores and galleries. At Back to Square One (1054 N. Highland Ave. N.E.; 404/815-9970), you'll find folk art by "Missionary" Mary Proctor and Butch Anthony. • Katie Couric, Elton John, and Madonna are fans of designer Jules Burt's "diva" paintings—bold caricatures of pouty ladies. You can find her divas, and much more, at the Purple Hall (1037 N. Highland Ave. N.E.; 404/815-1077) • Mitzi & Romano (1038 N. Highland Ave. N.E.; 404/876-7228) specializes in flirty cocktail dresses from local designers and of-the-moment accessories such as Hervé Chapelier bags and chunky leather belts. • Stevie Nicks types float to Mooncake Clothing Co. (1019 Virginia Ave. N.E.; 404/892-8043) for seventies-inspired floppy hats, flowing scarves, and vintage jewelry. • Andrew Men Women & Home (1545 Peachtree St.; 404/607-1747), the store best known for its groundbreaking men's shop in Buckhead, has moved to a bigger space in midtown. It now offers a new line of Paul Smith women's wear, as well as Knoll chairs and other mid-20th-century furniture, in addition to its original collections of Etro and Cerruti.
WORLD OF INTERIORS Two areas in Buckhead—Bennett Street and Miami Circle—have become the city's premier places for antiques and flea-market finds. Best bets on Bennett Street: Bittersweet Antiques (45 Bennett St., Suite B; 404/351-6594), for English bone china, majolica, and antique British sporting goods; Nottingham Antiques (45 Bennett St., Suite A; 404/352-1890), for Eastern European kitchen tables and bed frames in oak and pine; English Accent Antiques (22H Bennett St.; 404/351-9433), which features 18th- and 19th-century European furniture; and the Stalls (116 Bennett St.; 404/352-4430), a mini-market with dozens of vendors selling everything from vintage kilim rugs and Moroccan light fixtures to linens and garden accessories. On Miami Circle, don't miss Curran Designer Fabrics & Furniture (737 Miami Circle; 404/237-4246), a showroom jammed with miles of exotic silks, trims, and tassels, as well as sofas and end tables; Antonio Raimo Galleries (700 Miami Circle; 404/841-9880), which has an outstanding selection of period maps, botanical prints, and leather-bound books; Maurice Chandelier (715 Miami Circle; 404/237-5402), where some 900 light fixtures are on display, many with a 19th-century provenance; and Objects (721 Miami Circle, Suite 106; 404/262-0423), a haven for French home accessories and cookware—copper pans, ceramic roasting dishes of all sizes, even vintage pots.
RAISE A GLASS To unwind after a day of antiquing, score a stool at Highland Tap (1026 N. Highland Ave. N.E.; 404/875-3673) in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood. You'll be served classic cocktails (huge Manhattans, martinis, and wonderfully spicy Bloody Marys) in a laid-back, no-frills setting. • A Sex and the City crowd—seductive singles swilling Cosmopolitans—haunts midtown's Halo Lounge (817 W. Peachtree St. N.W.; 404/962-7333), the stylishly remodeled basement of the Biltmore Hotel. Seventeen single-malt scotches are available by the glass, candy-colored lawn furniture is scattered about the indoor space, and the long, lit-from-below bar glows in several colors all night long. • Eddie's Attic (515 N. McDonough St., Decatur; 404/377-4976), in the newly happening Decatur area, showcases both up-and-coming singer-songwriters and big names such as the neo-folkie Indigo Girls (both local gals) and alt-rocker Ani DiFranco.
FINGER-LICKIN' GOOD: REAL SOUTHERN FOOD Atlanta has more-than-decent barbecue, but what you really want when you come to this part of the South is soul food: fried chicken, ham hocks, collard greens, and other damn-the-cholesterol fare. In the rapidly gentrifying Candler Park neighborhood, the Flying Biscuit Café (1655 McLendon Ave.; 404/687-8888; dinner for two $14) serves breakfast all day long. On the menu alongside standard eggs and gigantic biscuits: organic oatmeal pancakes, homemade granola, turkey bacon, and free-range chicken sausage. • In a 1790 log cabin called Greenwood's (1087 Green St., Roswell; 770/992-5383; dinner for two $25, no credit cards; open Wednesday-Sunday), the decorating theme—Day-Glo Grateful Dead posters on dark pine slats—doesn't deter diners from standing in line for chef-owner Bill Greenwood's honey-pepper-dipped fried chicken or fresh cherry pie topped with homemade vanilla ice cream. • There's nothing even vaguely healthful at Bobby & June's Kountry Kitchen (375 14th St.; 404/876-3872; dinner for two $20), where Smithfield hams dangle from the rafters and the fried okra proves just how delicious vegetables can be. • Mary Mac's Tea Room (224 Ponce de Leon Ave.; 404/876-1800; dinner for two $30) has been serving its marvelously yeasty rolls since 1945. And call your dentist: the iced tea here is the epitome of Southern "sweet tea."
Atlanta native Kelly Alexander is a senior editor at Saveur.