Sometimes I think there’s a place you’ve just got to know about and my Public Service Announcements (PSAs) will give you the full skinny.
I’m gonna be honest with you; I’ve never been an Atlanta fan. I know it’s supposed to be the “coolest” city in my native state of Georgia, but I always preferred my hometown of Savannah. Atlanta has always been too spread out for me – there was nowhere to go to just walk around, pop in and out of places, and get a local flair. I still think places like that are few and far between in Atlanta, but I finally found a place that felt like a true destination: Ponce City Market.
If you’re familiar with Chelsea Market in NYC, Ponce City Market is basically the same thing. It’s a large space filled with a food hall, retail stores, and activity centers. Similar to Chelsea Market’s location on the Highline, Ponce City Market can be found along the BeltLine, a walking park with cool street art. I spent several hours walking around the area – pretty much the first time I’ve spent several hours doing anything in Atlanta.
Ponce City Market is located inside the old Sears & Roebuck building, which means 1) it’s all industrial, loft-like, and cool 2) it’s a historical landmark, which is pretty cool. They’ve kept the original steel and beams, and note fun facts about the building and city throughout the building, like the gears below.
Ponce City Market can be broken out in a few parts:
- Food Hall:
- ALL types of food can be found here. You can get the famous Holman and Finch burger, or a gourmet hot dog, ice cream, retro candy, ramen, coffee, drinks, Moroccan, and so so much more.
- I had already eaten lunch, but I stopped into Biltong Bar, which is a combo cocktail bar and beef jerky store. I tried a bunch of the jerky flavors and brought some home with a special spice blend for my beau.
- Street Vendors: People’s Pops and gelato sandwiches can be found along the BeltLine so you can easily cool down after a long walk in the sun.
- Food Hall:
- National Chains: West Elm, Anthropologie, Frye, William Sonoma, Lululemon, etc.
- Local Boutiques: There are tons of retail outlets with a very local Atlanta vibe. There’s a denim shop, toy store, florist, paper goods, custom suiting, and a designer collective.
- Unique Shopping Experiences:
- Cobbler Union: Getting shoes is great, but getting custom shoes from a cobbler is way cooler
- Candlefish: Not only do they sell tons of different [amazing smelling] candles, offers candle-making classes.
- Goorin Bros. Hat Shop: They’ve got a long history of hat-making and even have a feather bar so you can make a chapeau your very own
- 18.21 Bitters: Found within the Food Hall, this is an entire shop dedicated to bitters so you can craft a unique cocktail.
- The BeltLine: This outdoor park is basically one long walkway. There’s some cool street art along the way, some pretty wildflowers, and great views of the streets below. I noticed there’s a weekly run club that jogs along the BeltLine, which I think would be so much fun.
- Art Gallery: Check out come modern art on the second floor of the building
- Events: From classes to concerts, this building has a FULL events calendar
- Biking: Rent bikes to ride along the BeltLine or any of the nearby trendy neighborhoods
- Fitness Clubs/Yoga Studio: I’m sure it would be fun to go to a class and then get a bite/shop with a friend.
- Skyline Park: Up on the roof, you can find a beer garden, event space, and Skyline Park, which features carnival games, rides, and mini golf. (Sadly, it was closed for a private event when I was there)