Ponce City Market, Atlanta

The place that inspired the blog.

New Beltline 780

On a recent work trip to Atlanta, I took a spin around the Beltline Bike Path got my first glimpse of Ponce City Market, which is accessible from the Beltline bike path. Originally a retail store and the regional offices of Sears Roebuck + Co. from 1926–1987, this massive brick structure looks almost like an old train depot.

New Ponce Exterior 780

The building is now home to apartments and offices on the higher floors and a bustling city market on the main floor– filled with one hip food shop, clothing store, or specialty boutique after another. I didn’t have time to stop in on my bike ride, but returned a few days later after my conference ended for dinner.

Hops 780

The Central Food Hall has everything from H&F‘s burgers to fried chicken at Hop’s Chicken, and fresh food from Farm to Ladle to the “coming soon” Biltong Bar, featuring “beef jerky and booze.” I decided on W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, lovingly referred to by those who know it at “Dub’s,” for my first bite.

Fish Camp 780

I wandered past the aquariums of fresh shellfish and fish-nets hanging from the ceiling and chose a stool at the old-fashioned diner counter. I’m not much of an oyster fan, and I couldn’t bring myself to order a lobster roll as a Boston-dweller. So I asked the waitress about the one thing on the menu I hadn’t heard of: the crab beignets.

Menu 780

The waitress paused when I asked and sort of smiled–clearly I was not a southerner. She described them as a “savory crab donut,” which sounded weird to me, so I obviously said “I’ll take it.”

Beignets 780

The beignets were delicious– sort of like a deep-fried crab cake– and my ginger, lime, and honey seltzer was the perfect pairing. I settled the bill and headed over to my next stop: Bellina Alimentari.

Pasta 780

At Bellina Alimentari, the pasta is handmade daily, and local ingredients are selected seasonally based on what’s fresh. They are committed to eco-friendly and ethical business practices, and their food is delicious! Order at the counter from the old-school-apron-clad wait staff and find a seat, or sit at the bar and sip on a house-made soda while you wait. I tried the pappardelle al ragù with a pomegranate and balsamic soda. Fantastic.

Glasses 780

After dinner I browsed the shops, stopping in Anthropologie (I can never resist), Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, and West Elm before discovering Karoo, an eyeglass shop. A chandelier of multicolored eyeglasses hung from the ceiling, and a pair of avocado-colored cat eye glasses beckoned from the shelf. With just five minutes before the store was supposed to close, I bought them! Fourth in my beloved collection of cat glasses, these were the perfect souvenir for a perfect weekend of hipstorical inspiration.

Ponce City Market defines hipstorical; it’s the perfect blend of history and hip. The market has given new life to an old beauty, preserving the original integrity of the building with a modern twist.

Ponce Nigth 780

If you’re planning to visit Atlanta, don’t miss Ponce City Market! If you’re not planning to visit Atlanta– plan to visit Atlanta! It’s a vibrant and diverse city with lots of hipstory and so many fantastic tourist sites for the whole family. I arrived with zero expectations and left on a wanderlust high. I can’t wait to go back!

I’m not the only one who thinks Ponce City Market is a top Hipstorical spot. Kayak agrees! Check out their list of historical hot spots: CLICK HERE.

Suggestions for more hipstorical places in Atlanta? Email me and help me build my archives!