Market Watch: Ponce City in Atlanta

The produce section of the Whole Foods is where the best (purchased) seats of Ponce de Leon Park once stood. This baseball stadium was the home of the Atlanta Crackers from 1907 until the Braves arrived in 1966. If during that time you worked at the Sears, Roebuck & Co., however, you would be able to see the game for free.

Sunset Over Skyline

Our current version of Ponce City Market is only five years old, but much of the old Sears retail store and warehouse was preserved. Your first stop should be the rooftop (aka Skyline Park). Yes, they will charge you to go up the elevator…and it’s the best $10 you’ll spend. Not only do you get a 50-second overview of the building by a live elevator attendant, but you get access to panoramic views of the city. For additional charges you can play carnival games, play miniature golf, catch a rooftop movie, and slurp on pretty great frosé. And if you’re a local, it’s a great spot to bring your out-of-town guests.

The rooftop also has a fancy-pants restaurant, 9 Mile Station, that gives you better access to the Midtown skyline so you can take photos like this:

Shade-lanta

But you’re better off eating at the Food Hall downstairs.

For the same price, I’d much rather have a lobster roll from W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, which is as close to Boston on a plate than anywhere else I’ve found in Georgia. I also enjoy a nice taco from Minero and a doughnut from Five Daughters Bakery. I have a love-hate relationship with Biltong Bar in that the drinks and food are absolutely delicious, but I consistently over-indulge. I’ll spare you the details of the results.

No Cap

If you go: Ponce City Market is located at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave, NE. Click here for directions and parking instructions.

What do I do here exactly? : Listen, no one really knows. You could bar hop. You could go to the rooftop. You could go shopping. You could go walk the Beltline. You could circle the Food Hall aimlessly and be satisfied with the people-watching. Or you could do it all. Whenever I’m at the Market, I stop in four places no matter what I’m up to: Posman Books (to look smart), Goorin Brothers (to try on hats) Modern Mystic (because I can’t resist a New Age botanica) and Citizen Supply (to gasp at prices).

Daytime fun-time: The market is right next to the Beltline, which is nice if you like to…you know…be outside.

Late night party scene: Not here. The Market shuts down at 6pm on Sundays and 9pm on every other day. Even if the rooftop is bumping (they have a DJ on the weekends) and everyone is singing loudly to Mary J. Blige’s Real Love, when the clock strikes, security will kindly (but forcefully) show you the elevator.

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