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Atlanta’s Ponce City Market: Southern Food Mecca

Atlanta’s Ponce City Market: Southern Food Mecca

You might know about the Ponce City Market if you’re familiar with Atlanta. A longtime gathering place for Atlantans, it’s much more than a market; some consider it a food mecca.

Why is this particular market so special?

We dug into the details of this fantastic marketplace to see what it has to offer, including some of the better food stops. We’ve also got some of the best places to park your RV in the area for you.

This should be fun. Let’s go!

What Is Ponce City Market in Atlanta?

Nicknamed the PCM, Ponce City Market is where Atlantans look for the latest and greatest food and events. You’ll find the city’s best, from morning coffee to lunchtime shopping and date-night dinners.

It was renovated in 2014 and contains retail, office space, and dining facilities. The market also recently opened a residential section with easy dining, shopping, and work access.

The Central Food Hall is a daily gathering place and a year-round culinary destination. The dining at the market features world-class food by award-winning chefs. Featured meals include Georgia and the Carolinas seafood to burgers and house-made pasta. 

Another highlight of the PCM is Skyline Park. Situated on the rooftop of Ponce City Market, Skyline Park is an amusement park that opened in the summer of 2016. 

The carnival-style attraction is a throwback to the Ponce de Leon Amusement Park. Also known as the Coney Island of the South, the park features games, a beer garden, and a giant slide. 

Additionally, the Ponce City Farmers Market features only products grown in Georgia. Called a producers-only market, the vendors only sell their own products.

Girl drinking a glass of wine and eating seafood in Ponce City Market.
Take your pick of Atlanta’s best culinary creations in Ponce City Market.

Where Is Ponce City Market?

Ponce City Market, located at 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue, is in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. You can find it in the fully renovated old Sears & Roebuck building, which dates to the 1860s.

Settled in the early 1800s, the Old Fourth Ward is a historic neighborhood located just east of downtown. It’s a National Historic Site home to the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Sweet Auburn Historic District. It’s also the birthplace of America’s best-known civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Historic Fourth Ward Park encompasses 17 acres of new green space. There’s a two-acre lake, playground, and a state-of-the-art splash pad. In addition, you’ll find an outdoor theater, an athletic field, and a world-class skate park. 

Walking down Edgewood Avenue, you’ll find bars and other hot spots. You may even find a hidden speakeasy. Some of Atlanta’s top restaurants call OFW home, so come hungry.

Currently, there’s construction around the market and parking is limited. However, other ways to access PCM are in the works.

Pro Tip: Go for a swim in one of these 7 Best Lakes in Georgia (and Awesome Nearby Campsites).

Is Ponce City Market Kid-Friendly?

With a carnival-like amusement park on its rooftop, kids will love this place. 

When it comes to food, many of the offerings are for adults. However, kids will like Hop’s Chicken, for classic chicken and biscuits, and Botiwalla, for Indian street foods. For sweets, check out the Collier Candy Company, Honeysuckle Gelato, and King of Pops for a treat while shopping.

You can sign up in advance at Bellina Alimentari. This Italian restaurant offers hands-on cooking classes with the chef for you and your 8-12-year-old. It’s a great way to bond with your child while learning to make pasta from scratch.

You can find a wide range of handmade children’s goods at shops like Sugarboo & Co., Archer Paper Goods, and Citizen Supply. Sugarboo & Co. is home to the popular baby moccasin brand, Freshly Picked. You’ll also find whimsical, wooden animal-shaped plates and utensils.

Archer Paper Goods has children’s books, and at Citizen Supply, you’ll find trendy toys, games, and stylish baby clothes in the children’s corner.

You can purchase a re-loadable card to play games, but golf is not included. Ultimately, this can be an expensive outing. Rides and games are priced individually and go quickly, so spend some time looking out at the city and enjoying the view. 

Be aware that there’s no shade on the rooftop. So wear sunscreen or go when the sun isn’t so intense. 

Ponce City Market is great for foodies of all ages.

Best Places to Eat at Ponce City Market

The food hall at PCM is home to 20 vendors and restaurants, with more on the way. So many choices certainly make it challenging to figure out where to start. Have no fear. We’ve cherry-picked some of the best places for food and drinks.

Bellina Alimentari

This Italian gourmet market offers slow-cooked foods and fresh ingredients. Inspired by the cafes and food shops in northern Italy, Bellina Alimentari thinks every meal should be healthy and delicious. 

The market selection, seasonal menu, and culinary classes originate from the love of Italian food, culture, and community. Bellina sources most ingredients from local farmers to support the local community. Anything Bellina cannot source from local farmer friends is imported straight from Italy.

You’ll find the market at 675 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE, at N-131.

Pro Tip: You can make reservations for cooking classes on Bellina Alimentari’s website.

Botiwalla

Botiwalla is Chef Meherwan Irani’s homage to the lively Irani Cafes of India.  Specifically, tea and kabab houses ran by Parsis who immigrated to India in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Another inspiration behind the menu is the late-night street food scene of India. Botiwalla aims to bring the streets of India to life. Chef Irani does this by offering crispy, crunchy, multi-textured street snacks in the most delicious way possible.

9 Mile Station

Located on the rooftop of the PCM, 9 Mile Station offers excellent views of all three of Atlanta’s distinctive skylines. From the rooftop, you can see the foliage of the city’s green canopy along the Beltline, Piedmont Park, and all four local neighborhoods that merge at Ponce City Market.

The restaurant offers a reinvented brunch menu with indulgences such as eggs benedict with prosciutto. Dinner brings more delectable treats, from a vegetable curry or shrimp and grits to beef short ribs.

Reservations are required to dine in the main dining room. Additionally, due to limited rooftop space, reservations require a $25 per person deposit. The deposit is refundable 24 hours before your reservation and will automatically apply to your bill.

Pro Tip: After fueling up at Ponce City Market, go on an epic adventure to these 7 Amazing Waterfalls In Georgia.

Best Camping Near Ponce City Market

Atlanta’s a good-sized city, so it has no RV parks within the metro area to speak of. Still, we’ve got you covered if you want to camp and explore the Ponce City Market. Whether you tent camp or travel in an RV, nearby campgrounds can accommodate you.

Stone Mountain Park 

Stone Mountain Park Campground is at 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It’s about a 30-minute car ride from Ponce City Market and adjacent to Great Stone Mountain attractions.

The park offers multiple lodging options. For example, you can rent a yurt, safari tent, or park-owned RV. Additionally, tent camping and RV sites are available. 

Reports say that the premium sites are great. However, they also state that not all sites have FHU, and it may be hard to get large RVs in them.

Amenities include free WiFi and cable, a swimming pool, and volleyball courts. You’ll also find grills, fire pits, picnic tables, horseshoe pits, and a children’s playground.

Brooks Lake

Located about 32 miles from the PCM, Brooks Lake is 35 to 45 minutes away by car. Our research shows that this campground is much more rustic than Stone Mountain. One website says there are six sites, while another reports 31. 

However, one reviewer states that there aren’t any “sites” per se. You just pull up to an electric outlet, and they’ll run a water hose to you.

The spots are grass and dirt, and the campground website states that leveling is required. So that can be read as nonlevel sites. 

While you’ll find potable water, trash bins, showers, and free firewood. The park doesn’t offer WiFi, and the WiFi service from ATT and Verizon is weak, based on reports.

That said, the park is beautiful and serene, and Campendium reviewers give Brooks Lake four stars.

So, Is a Trip to the Ponce City Market Worth It? 

Ponce City Market is a mecca for foodies and a gathering place for locals and visitors. If a hip warehouse turned into local artisan shops and great food is up your alley, then absolutely make the trip. And don’t forget the amusement park and kids’ activities. Of course, it may be a pricey day, but it’s fun to look around and soak up the atmosphere. 

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