Cabbagetown Rising: 7 things to do in the emerging arts district

  • Adam Kincaid
  • For the AJC
Updated Dec 23, 2017

The insular community that exists on and around Wylie and Carroll Streets − the Cabbagetown area − has become a favorite hangout for film industry workers in town, Atlanta artists and those who just love living life a little alternatively.

Review: Neighborhood bistro Petit Chou in Cabbagetown

A little history

Cabbagetown was built as the residential arm of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill, which today looms over the neighborhood as loft apartments and condominiums. Carroll Street itself is an interior street that cuts into the center of the residential quadrant that once housed mill workers. Today, the once mill town is a bustling community for the artistic and innately hip.

Flashback Fotos: Atlanta's Cabbagetown in the '70s and '80s

Where factory workers once lived, today spirited millennials and Atlanta’s artisans live in brightly colored shotgun homes painted in almost neon hues. The homes announce that the sense of community in this place is at once loud, original and quirky in the most lovable of ways.

To truly embrace the spirit of this colorful corner of Atlanta, one must become familiar with the events and locales that make it so great.

We've collected some of the best places to go and things to do in Cabbagetown. (You're welcome.)

Rogelio Nino stirs vats of chili during the 12th annual Cabbagetown Chomp & Stomp in Atlanta on Saturday, November 1, 2014. The one day festival attracts tens of thousands of people to taste chili, look at art, listen to music and celebrate the historic neighborhood. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL Photo: Jonathan Phillips

Chomp and Stomp

For the uninitiated, there will be no better time to come to Cabbagetown than November's Chomp and Stomp, the annual chili cook off and bluegrass music festival in Cabbagetown Park. No details for 2018 yet, except to say that if you go, get there before 12:30 p.m., or you might be disappointed how quickly the chili is "no mas."

The Krog Street tunnel, aka, gateway to cabbagetown. AJC FILE

Forward Warrior

Another exceptional Cabbagetown event, Forward Warrior is a public mural event that turns itself into a bit of a block party. The event brings together many of Atlanta's best muralists and artists to the wall along Wylie Street for one weekend of art-making in unison. The resulting murals will last the entire year along the wall. 

Forward Warrior is organized by Peter Ferrarri Art. Ferrari himself, who can be seen regularly riding a bike around Cabbagetown is a street artist of high acclaim in the city. Like him on Instagram to stay tuned into Forward Warrior updates.

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97 Estoria

727 Wylie St. SE

404-522-0966

97 Estoria has long been the anchor bar in the Cabbagetown neighborhood. 97 Estoria is one of the first things you’ll see as you come out of the famous Krog Street tunnel. Look to your right. The menu is strictly bar food, but that’s OK, and it has a large patio so you can observe the locals as they pass by.

Carroll Street Cafe

208 Carroll St. SE

404-577-2700

Serving more than just breakfast and all-day coffee as the name suggests, Carroll Street Cafe is actually a great place to snag a happy hour drink special. Though, you would be more likely to do so if you lived in the area, as parking comes at a premium along the narrow street. The chill spot sometimes offer half-off bottles of wine and appetizers. The Cafe offers an eclectic menu and one of the best sidewalk seats can find for watching “rambling 2-way traffic on a one-way street.”

Late evening sun sets on Oakland Cemetery after a historic tour of the cemetery lead by volunteers on July 19, 2014. The 48 acre cemetery sits near downtown Atlanta and is bordered by Memorial Drive, Oakland Avenue, Boulevard and the rail line running along Decatur Street. The cemetery (originally six acres) has grown since its opening and host the remains of many of Atlanta's leaders and political figures. (CHRIS HUNT/SPECIAL) Photo: CHRIS HUNT/ SPECIAL

Oakland Cemetery

248 Oakland Ave, SE

404-688-2107

Right on the edge of Cabbagetown, wedged between Boulevard and Memorial Dr., Oakland, to borrow another o-a word, is an oasis of green calm amid the steady traffic on those two streets. The cemetery was founded in 1850 and has lots of interesting tombstones and mausoleums and is the final resting place for many famous Atlantans, whom the cemetery calls “residents.” It’s a beautiful park-like stroll.

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Milltown Arms Tavern

180 Carroll St SE

404-827-0434

Right down the block from the Carroll Street Cafe, you'll find Cabbagetown's signature bar, Milltown Arms Tavern. There you’ll find a mix of artists, young professionals and other Cabbagetonians. It's a bit of a sports bar and a great place to catch a game or snag a drink. It’s a neighborhood bar, perhaps not the "all are welcome kind," but maybe more of the "people look at us when we walk through the door to see who we are" kind. But, worth visiting, if you want to be local to Cabbagetown.

Single cheese --  a 2 oz patty, ground fresh in house, served with American cheese, grilled onions, mustard and pickles -- at Little’s Food Store in Cabbagetown. (BECKY STEIN PHOTOGRAPHY.COM) Photo: Becky Stein

Little's Food Store

198 Carroll St SE

404-963-7012

If you like grocery stores that are more than grocery stores, then you are really going to enjoy Little’s Food Store. Because it's more than a grocery store. In fact, it might be the home to Atlanta's most underrated burgers. The bacon at Little's is delicious. The burgers are outstanding. The onion rings are on point. And there is a decent selection of beer and wine which you can enjoy with your food while seated at the bar. Little's is sneaky good, and sneaky good places always have one thing in common: You can't beat the quality for the price.

In short, whether you’re looking for a new place to call home in a cozy counterculture or just want to cruise some Atlanta street art, Cabbagetown will likely fit the bill.