Searching for a stylish and trendy spot to unwind on a laid-back Sunday in Atlanta? Set your sights on Ponce City Market! The Food Hall and Park situated within the premises offer an entertaining and awe-inspiring experience!
Ponce City Market is a hallmark of Atlanta’s revitalization drive in its established city centers, lying at a historic downtown stretch of Ponce De Leon Avenue. The multi-purpose project rests within the Sears, Roebuck & Co. Building, providing accommodation for residents, offices, retail stores, and dining establishments. With a pedestrian-friendly layout, the facility connects to the Beltline corridor, expanding its accessibility and enhancing the surrounding community’s convenience.
During our visit to Atlanta last summer to see our daughter and her family, we had the delightful opportunity of spending a Sunday at Ponce City Market. Our original plan was just to grab lunch there, but we ended up extending our stay to play at the Skyline—the amusement center located on the rooftop.
Atlanta is known for its plethora of dining options, yet we found ourselves at a loss for where to go for lunch. After much deliberation, my daughter proposed a trip to Ponce City Market’s Food Hall in the city, even though she resides in the nearby suburbs. While some may argue that it’s similar to a food court, albeit a more upscale version than those found at malls such as the nearby Mall of Georgia, it’s anything but ordinary.
Ponce City Market’s Food Hall surpasses the average mall food court. Award-winning chefs prepare locally grown or caught ingredients from Georgia and the Carolinas, providing culinary delights. Its likeness to Manhattan’s Chelsea Market Food Hall is not coincidental, seeing as the latter’s developers also spearheaded the former’s creation.
At the Food Hall, satisfy any culinary desire, be it a mouthwatering handmade burger and fries from H&F Burger, which are simply scrumptious, or indulge in delectable Southern Fried Chicken at Hop’s Chicken, which is absolutely delicious.
The Simply Seoul Kitchen’s Kalbi beef buns were a hit with my grandson, who devoured them all. For Middle Eastern cuisine, Marrakesh is the go-to spot, with their chicken shawarma and falafels being absolutely amazing.
Treat yourself after your meal at either Honeysuckle Gelato for a creamy dessert or King of Pops Bar & Good Grubs for an icy treat. Alternatively, opt for a cup of coffee at The Dancing Goat Coffee Bar or enjoy a glass of wine or draft beer at The Tap on Ponce.
In the Food Hall, you’ll discover a variety of culinary delights from Italian, Chinese, Mexican, and Japanese cuisines, in addition to a candy store, bakery, gourmet olive oil purveyor, and coffee shop. After indulging in a delicious meal, you can also explore these delectable options to take home with you!
Should you choose to dine at the Food Hall, there are essentially two choices available to you. The first involves being seated at a specific restaurant and being served at your table like any traditional dining experience. However, this option may not be ideal if your party cannot agree on which restaurant to choose. If that’s the case, there is always option 2!
The food hall boasts a dual-level seating area, with every restaurant offering a take-out window. While the main level can get congested, especially for larger groups, the upper level solves the seating scramble. Accessible by either elevator or stairs, we didn’t need to deliberate long on our group’s location. After all, we were 13 strong.
Post our midday meal, we strolled towards the Skyline Park, accessible via the Roof elevator. Admission fees, costing $10 per individual for infinite access, could be paid in front of the elevator. Once admission is paid, a gigantic freight elevator can be used to reach the park.
The park boasts a plethora of recreational activities including a mini golf course, a big slide, and midway games. Additionally, there is a bar with outdoor seating that has a drink menu available. To play any of the games, you must first purchase a game card. It’s important to note that all activities are ala carte and not included in the admission fee paid earlier.
Skyline Park’s most stunning feature is undoubtedly the awe-inspiring Atlanta skyline view it offers. Alas, our visit to the park coincided with a sweltering day where the heat proved unbearable. Nevertheless, after the children completed a game of mini-golf and played all the midway games, it was time for our family to call it a day and head home.
Unless you’re keen on indulging in midway games or mini golf, or have a desire to savor the view, I’d give Skyline Park a miss for now. In my view, the $10 entry fee doesn’t really justify the limited options for entertainment. However, it’s only fair to mention that during our visit, the park was under heavy construction as part of its expansion plan, so it may improve in the future. On the other hand, if you’re in the vicinity, the Food Hall is an absolute must-visit!