Whether you’re fresh out of the nest or a returning Techie, we are here to remind you not to let yourself get consumed in the hustle and bustle of life as a college student. College in Atlanta is a unique experience; there is always something to do and places to go. We have put together the best of the best and picked out the most popular restaurants, music venues and entertainment that Atlanta has to offer us as students. So as you are getting to know our great city or reacquainting yourself with it, keep these places in mind and embrace the good times!
1. Tech Square
Tech Square is a convenient place to fuel up between classes. The restaurants here are most familiar to students, capable of satisfying the pickiest glutton. One in the mood for something American and familiar can head to Ribs and Blues or Ray’s Pizza, both providing staple comforts ranging from Ray’s New York-style pizzas to the southern-style barbecue grub found in Blues. The more frugal student can find even faster relief in the Southwestern food of Moe’s. And when the dining hall’s imitation of Asian cuisines doesn’t quite cut it, the Tin Drum can provide temporary relief in its Asian-American fusion foods.
2. Junior’s Grill
The restaurant gem found on campus is Junior’s Grill. Located behind the football stadium near the Student Success Center, this classy little diner is a nice counterpoint to the nearby dining hall with its friendly, charming staff and delicious food. The restaurant survives both lunch and breakfast (it is consistently praised in both) but closes before evening. The food remains in the fast food hemisphere but is a cut above the rest. The breakfast has received particular praise. “I like Junior’s. The guys are really friendly and the chicken tenders are amazing,” said Graham McAdory, a 2nd-year BME major.
3. The Varsity
The crisp taste of wings drenched in a saturated sauce from Wingnuts may be hard to beat at night, but it pales in comparison to the cultural power of The Varsity. A symbol of Southern soul cooking and human gluttony, the Varsity’s spirit-satisfying fast foods is perfect for a true experience of Southern indulgence.
This website is a simple, easy-to-use interface that allows students to order food with the same instrument they use for homework. It features a vast number of restaurants in its listing which includes some that aren’t normally reachable on foot, such as the Chinese restaurant Lucky Buddha and fast food joints like Burger Joy. It provides much needed relief during Dead Week as well as any other stressful, busy time of the year (which can often be all the time).
1. The Tabernacle
The Tabernacle is not your average music venue, but over the past fifteen years it has become one of the most popular venues in Atlanta. Located in a former church, the venue features two balconies of seating while the main floor remains standing room only. The Tabernacle has featured many large acts and tends to only have artists with a larger following. In the next few months they will feature such artists as Asher Roth, Kid Cudi, Mos Def, Mute Math and Snow Patrol. Luckily for students who are without vehicles, The Tabernacle is easily accessible using MARTA.
2. The Masquerade
The Masquerade is both a large nightclub and music venue featuring multiple stages at a former mill. The inside consists of three areas called Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, all of which can host separate acts. Most of the larger acts will play upstairs in Heaven while small or local acts will play in one of the smaller rooms. The outdoor stage behind the building tends to only be used for larger acts. The Masquerade is one of the better venues at booking local talent as well as large acts. Despite being such a large venue, it is somewhat rare to see acts at The Masquerade that won’t fall somewhere under the term of rock.
3. Variety Playhouse
Variety Playhouse is a medium-sized venue located in Little Five Points. The former theater has a lot of history and manages to attract many big and small names alike. Inside there is a mixture of theater style seating, tables with chairs and open floor space for standing room. They offer a large variety of acts of all genres. Of course, this also means it is unlikely that the Variety Playhouse will be a place you attend shows regularly, but don’t be surprised if you hear your favorite band is playing there.
4. CW Midtown Music Complex
If you like live music and you live in Atlanta, you will likely be tempted by at least one show playing at the CW Midtown Music Complex in the next few months. Most people know of the venue by the names of its different stages: The Loft, Center Stage and The Vinyl. The Vinyl is the smallest and is located in a bar setting that is perfect for smaller acts. The Loft is a mid-sized venue that has catered well to many artists who are just growing in popularity or larger artists who want a more intimate show. Center Stage is the largest of the three stages offering plenty of space for larger acts.
1. Atlantic Station
Possibly the site most students have become accustomed to for their dining and entertainment needs, Atlantic Station is conveniently located directly north of campus. One needs only follow State Street from the Howey-Physics Building to arrive at this most decadent of shopping centers. Yes, for those of you seeking the excitement of a mall, Atlantic Station will provide a quick fix with high-end stores and restaurants. It’s enjoyable for its outdoor atmosphere.
2. Midtown Art Cinema
This cinema is a bit more pandering to the needs of the independent film market. Midtown Art Cinema may be a bit out of the way as it sits just fourteen blocks up 8th Street past Boulevard Drive (a good hour and one half’s walk from the east-side of campus). However, this theater may be the only place for some releases, not to mention it is quite a nice little theater. It has a historic atmosphere built up with the posters of bygone favorite films such as Amelie, 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. The actual quality of the theater seats is lacking.
3. Fox Theater
The Fox Theater has been a fixture of Atlanta since the 20s. It is a fabulous place and carries Broadway right to the heart of Atlanta. One of the wonderful qualities about the Fox is that it is so close to campus. Just blocks from campus, the walk is a small price to pay to see a great musical, ballet, comedian or movie in a building of beautifully aesthetic architecture. The large price of one of these grand evenings will be the ticket price, which is usually around fifty to sixty dollars for seats.
4. Ferst Center for the Arts
Placed at the center of campus, the Ferst Center for the Arts sustains a central flow of entertainment for the currently enrolled academic parties. Indeed, the Ferst Center constantly allows the students to get a glimpse of the world. It is a marvelous location. The seats are comfortable and many, everyone has a perfect view of the stage and it is great for presentation. Also, Tech’s own theater house, DramaTech, is located behind on the right side of the Ferst Center.