Apache Café is that chill music club where you can catch an underground artist or a spoken word set. The admission is usually nominal, and there is a good crowd most nights.
Located in an old warehouse district, you will feel like you are at a trendy resort, as the front half of the club is situated outdoors. There are plenty of spaces to explore in this spread-out sanctuary for the trendy and the tasteful. No specials here, unless someone from the AUC is hosting the party. Be prepared to pay at the door for most events, but despite the cost, this is a club you want to get into, even as a broke college student.
Havana Club boasts salsa dancing lessons for all levels and a unique cigar bar.
247 Buckhead Ave.
Leopard Lounge is a great weekday hangout. Generally, they don't charge a cover, and you can get a good drink at a decent price. Going to Leopard Lounge is like going to that friend's place in high school whose parents were never home. They've got plenty of rooms you can explore unsupervised, and they won't get mad if you sit on the couch with a drink in your hand. Have fun and enjoy some amusing party people-watching (as people come and go from Vision Nightclub) from the porch.
Rocky Mountain Pizza Company
You'll find tons of college students here, mostly because the drinks are so cheap and it's right near Georgia Tech. Some bottles of beer and shots are $2 daily! And it has a great selection, with more than 12 beers on tap and 30 different kinds of bottled beer.
255 Tapas Lounge
The main lounge has nice high ceilings and plays a good mix of music. If you're looking for somewhere a little more intimate, you can hang out on the patio where there are two VIP cabanas that can accommodate small private parties.
Bucket Shop Café
You cannot beat the Bucket Shop when it comes to a cheap drink, and it is open late! There are drink specials every day, including mugs of Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, or Miller Lite for only $3.95.
Copeland's of New Orleans
Copeland's generally has well-priced drinks, and on the weekends, it turns into a club that student party promoters can afford to rent out. The parties always have drink specials under $5.
Django serves food, but most people know it as a bar and party spot. Promoters will rent out the event space downstairs, known as "the Belly," which is a great space to throw a party because there is a bar and a DJ booth. For a restaurant/bar, there's nice amount of space and seating. This is a good place to drink late! It is open until 3 a.m.
Known for its soul food, Harlem Bar is also a fun place to come get a drink. It has a cool atmosphere, and there's a DJ on the weekends.
This is another hot spot for college and homecoming parties, mostly due to Luxe's upstairs private room. The bar here is a great place to have an intimate drink with someone special.
89 Park Pl.
The Here to Serve restaurant group has hit a goldmine. Two of their restaurants have emerged as the top hangout spots in Atlanta and are places to see and be seen. Shout is in the heart of Midtown and boasts a beautiful view of the city, great drinks, and two levels to party in. Shout brings in DJs during the weekend. The drawback is that on Fridays and Saturdays there is sometimes a cover charge, so arrive early to get in free and avoid drama at the door. Parking is also limited in the area, so be prepared to pay or walk several blocks.
A DJ spins on many nights of the week. Admission is free, it is less than five minutes from the school, and you can get a pretty good slice of pizza!
Not as popular as its counterpart Shout in the Here to Serve Restaurant Group, Twist is still a great place to get a martini. The sushi is great, too. There is a DJ on the weekends to keep the energy high. There is free admission every night, but the best advice is to get there early.
What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?
There are some clubs that will let you in even if you aren't 21. Try Buckhead. Also, most of the restaurant-bars will let you into the establishment, but you just won't be able to enjoy the libations! Places like the Tabernacle, Velvet Underground at Hard Rock Café, the Fox Theatre, Chastain Park, and Lakewood Amphitheatre have live shows you can attend. Here are a couple of coffeeshops that stay open a little later and are a tad bit trendier than the local Starbucks:
You won't have to beg your way into this bistro if you are under 21. Of course, don't try to order any liquor, but with pages of non-alcoholic drinks and desserts you might get arrested for having a sugar high once you leave this place. It is cozy and intimate-perfect for a date or to impress someone who isn't familiar with the city. They stay open late, and there is always a wait after major concerts or when parties let out.
1845 Peachtree Rd.
This is a cool, cozy place that doesn't card. Great for a quick cup of joe and a dessert. Also nice to go to with your 21-and-up friends who want a glass of wine but know you can't get into the regular bar and club scene.
Tarrazu has two locations. They are a popular after-dinner spot to grab a glass of wine and a tasty dessert. They don't card, and you can be sure to have an entertaining evening, as they host some of the best jazz musicians in the city at both locations. Arrive early to get a seat, as space is limited. Admission is always free. Specials: Spoken Word Sunday, Moet and a Movie Monday, Conversations Tuesday, Wine Down Wednesdays (wine tasting), and live jazz Thursday-Saturday