Just small enough for a toddler to walk from one end to the other and just big enough to include everything you need, East Atlanta Village is one of Atlanta’s best-kept secrets. Bring a local with you to introduce you to all the business owners, because walking up Flat Shoals Avenue is kinda like that bar in Cheers where everybody knows your name—and, even if they don’t, they are always glad you came.
EAV (or, as locals call it, “the village”) straddles the intersection of Glenwood and Flat Shoals, just east of Moreland and just south of I-20. You’ll find plenty of free parking in several lots and on the street (but read the signs, because some of the suspiciously empty parking lots are only for particular stores). Ditch the car and explore this ‘hood on foot.
Stop in at Joe’s Coffee for a latte and a bagel—or better yet, a piece of cake. With coffee from local roaster Bratdorf & Bronson and baked goods from nearby Highland’s Bakery, Joe’s will satisfy your sweet tooth and make you feel at home. And if you’re in desperate need of adult conversation, try hanging out at Joe’s for a while. Plenty of locals come here to use the wifi and work, but many are here just to hang out—and possibly even strike up a conversation with a stranger.
Stroll north on Flat Shoals and you’ll find the East Atlanta library. On most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, you can stop in for free storytime at 10:30. (Tuesday storytimes are shorter and cater to the younger set; Wednesday is for preschoolers and includes a craft activity). But on any day you can curl up in a spacious window seat in the children’s section and let your little ones pick out a pile of stories to read.
And if your library reading uncovers a new favorite book you just have to own, head back down Flat Shoals to Bound to Be Read Books. Their children’s selection is small, but it includes a good collection of local authors. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, they’re happy to order it, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, they’ll help you figure that out, too.
Time for lunch? The Village has plenty of kid-friendly options. Holy Taco is a family favorite, with a menu that goes way beyond your typical Tex-Mex (chicken hearts?) alongside plenty of options your kids will love (lots of dips). Much of the food is made from local ingredients.
And if local food is your thing, don’t miss Urban Cannibals, a little sandwich shop that doubles as a grocery. Not only can you get a fresh, artisanal sandwich made from organic ingredients, you can also pick up essentials like toothpaste and organic Cheerios.
And finally, if you happen to be in the Village on a Thursday afternoon between April and November, a few blocks south on Flat Shoals will take you to the East Atlanta Farmer’s Market. Get your produce and meat from a local farmer, grab a Spotted Trotter hot dog for dinner, and make your kids’ day with King of Pops for dessert.
Time to burn off some of that energy? Brownwood Park is just a few blocks away. It’s small, but it’s got a good-sized climbing structure, plenty of slides and swings and even a Kid’s Club (for ages 7 and up) that meets in the recreation center.
What is your favorite family-friendly ‘hood in ATL? Tell us below!