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Clubs in Atlanta
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The best clubs in Atlanta

The best clubs in Atlanta keep the party going all night with Latin, R&B, hip-hop, EDM and more

Written by
Gerrish Lopez
Contributor
Mike Jordan
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Atlanta is, and will always be, one of the best cities in the US for clubbing and nightlife. After all, entire songs have been dedicated to the city’s top party spots, and, if you play your cards right, you might end up at the kind of in-demand nightclub that brings out the big-name celebs and musicians that call the ATL home. While trends and tastes have changed over the years, the best clubs in Atlanta are pretty much always in-demand.

The nightlife scene in the capital of Georgia is a true beast: from popular hookah bars to bars frequented by mostly locals, the city is varied – but it is the best clubs in Atlanta that provide the clearest picture of what life after dark in this town really looks like.

Maybe you need to blow off some serious steam with your crew at an all-night dance party, or maybe you want to impress that special someone with a venue that’s a little more discreet and sophisticated. Either way, if you’re looking to drink and party the night away, check out one of the lively nightclubs, music venues, dance halls and raucous haunts that populate this list.

So get out there and bust a move, and if you do it right, you can keep the party going by heading straight to one of the best brunch spots in Atlanta.

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Best clubs in Atlanta

Both gen-X-ers and millennials can agree that the subterranean MJQ is one of Atlanta’s greatest venues for losing yourself in music. This is why – like many of the timeless tunes carefully curated by DJs like Kemit and Karl Injex over the years – it has lasted for more than 20 years (which is much longer than some of the songs you’ll hear in other clubs this summer). While the neighborhood around it has certainly become swankier (it’s hard to be a few steps away from Ponce City Market and not see the changes), MJQ has not simply retained its stains and grungy, sweaty club appeal, it has celebrated them with few changes. Without a doubt, this is the most beloved club in town and still the best option for literal underground hip-hop.

Gold Room’s past is an interesting one: originally an esteemed-but-ill-reputed strip club in the 1990s (with mafia ties and prostitutes counting professional athletes as clients) it eventually transformed into a shiny shrine to Atlanta’s gilded nightlife scene. The original spirit of the Gold Club is still alive inside, thanks to the golden poles lining the transparent window rail fencing in the main area. Though now there are also large plants, sectional gold couches and splashy lighting that can only be described as tropical, all of which help you and everyone else be as noticed as possible. 

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This Buckhead club is the longest running Latin club in Atlanta. Upscale yet welcoming to all, Sanctuary is the place to be for hot Latin sounds. On Fridays, dance to the best in salsa, bachata, merengue, Latin pop rock and reggaeton. LGBTQ Saturdays feature guest DJs and a great vibe. No matter what kind of dancing skills you have, head to Sanctuary for an all-night baile

Graveyard Tavern’s basement level is where the bass beats bang during themed dance parties (think: disco, all-Beyonce, etc.) that bring out the sweat in everyone that can fit inside. It’s also a great venue for intimate performances, particularly with the hip-hop and indie set; The Basement has hosted satellite shows for the annual All Three Coasts (A3C) Festival that have included live shows from Scarface, Project Pat and other Southern rap legends.

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Moving through Havana Club is like moving through an international soundscape. From the main room where house music is the standard to the Latin lounge and on back towards the EDM-festival inside Havanahaus, you’ve got 15,000 square feet of partying. It’s not a cheap date spot – tables and bottle service never are – but you may notice an upcharge of $100 or more here. But if you want a scene where you’ll be seen and snapped by paparazzi, this is the place; so dress in your absolute best or at least present as much confidence as possible.

District always brings the party, where lights, lasers and spine-tingling beats get the crowds going and keep it going all night long. Big name DJs perform regularly here, and it's a totally immersive, sensory experience whoever is performing. An outdoor terrace hosts open-air events or lets you catch your breath every now and again. Go for VIP bottle service if you're up for a splurge.

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M Bar makes great use of less space in order to create an atmosphere of exclusivity or, at the very least, discernment among the evening entertainment set. There’s a balance of casual upper-classism here, where you don’t necessarily need a millionaire’s savings to present yourself as valuing quality company, music, ambiance and attitude. It’s a place where you can sit down on the plush silver velvet banquette, which lines half of the interior, and smoke hookah with friends or hang on the other side of the room and enjoy dance-worthy love songs while propped up along the bar. It’s a place where excellence is the norm and no one inside feels excluded.

Though the name suggests a restaurant, there’s much more to Suite than the menu. The massive, multi-floor building boasts thousands of square feet on the main floor for general mingling, but it’s the metallic-gold VIP section and indoor/outdoor SkyDeck (which extends through retractable garage windows to an open-air platform with a killer view of downtown), that gives you that upgraded feeling. Get upstairs and claim one of the white leather couches or challenge a friend to a flashy game of billiards on the sparkling blue pool tables. You’ll always find a crowd here – the prime location in the convention area near Centennial Park means it’s always packed with in- and out-of-towners on weekends, but even on weekdays there are unique events like crab legs and karaoke happy hour to occupy your time.

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The geometric shapes of the golden chandeliers, recurring celebrity hosts like Big Tigger, Jermaine Dupri and others, regular appearances by the hottest recording artists in hip-hop and pop music (Teyana Taylor, 50 Cent, YG...), and a deep West Midtown location have given this off-the-beaten-path party complex a major reputation. That’s particularly impressive when you remember Revel is only six months old and closer to the industrial backstreets of Marietta Boulevard than Peachtree Street’s city lights.

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