The place that inspired the blog.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!