A sign marks the center of Atlanta's Virginia-Highland neighborhood, originally built around the then-streetcar. (©Michelle Khouri Jachim)
At the intersection of Virginia and Highland avenues, this once streetcar-centric neighborhood is now one of Atlanta’s most walkable areas. At its center, Virginia-Highland’s namesake avenues are lined with buzzing restaurants and boutiques. Beyond the retail district, side streets are adorned with historic bungalows whose stunning interiors open to the public each December during the Tour of Homes.
Walk two doors down to enter what feels like a secret garden of handmade goods. John McDonald founded Twelve 18 years ago as a full-service floral design boutique in Midtown. In 2012, McDonald moved his floral-design business to Virginia-Highland, adding to it an artisanal menagerie. Peruse the shelves to find everything from local art to handmade jewelry. Down the street is another wonderland of beautifully designed housewares, trinkets and clothing—Urban Cottage. This freestanding, two-level shop is filled with stylishly rustic furniture, home decor and textiles that will make you swoon. Urban Cottage also designs and fabricates custom pieces for the discerning decorator.
Sitting side by side are two of the neighborhood’s longest-operating businesses, Dakota J’s and Highland Tap. An 18-year Virginia-Highland veteran, Dakota J’s is a vibrant boutique that exudes whimsy with its wide selection of clothing, jewelry and gifts. A subterranean hangout, Highland Tap has been the neighborhood’s only steakhouse since 1989. With great service, a steady flow of regulars and a laid-back atmosphere, it’s no wonder “the Tap” continues thriving.
No matter the time of day, size of appetite or preference of cuisine, Virginia-Highland’s many restaurants deliver. Bistro-style Murphy’s has been a local favorite for over 30 years. The Family Dog serves stellar fare while providing markedly different experiences. Visit Rosebud for a fresh, farm-to-table meal. Stop in at The Family Dog for a rowdier, bar-focused experience with live music every Friday and Saturday and most Sundays. Some of our other favorites include Yeah! Burger, Genki and American Roadhouse.