Best Martinis in Atlanta: Bang for your Buck


This is the first in a series of articles on “Your Money’s Worth”, about the most iconic drink in America – the Martini. From Nick and Nora Charles to James Bond, it has played a prominent role both in film and literature (as well as distorting our senses depending on the number consumed). Dorothy Parker quipped “Martinis are very dangerous, have two at the very most.

Have three and you’re under the table, have four and you’re under the host.” With that in mind, the following is a list of restaurants/bars, concentrating in the Highland Avenue corridor, from Rosebud to Inman Park, and their ranking as far as what you get for your money when you order a martini. This is a purely objective rating, quoting the price per ounce of the drink served by each establishment. The numbers do not lie.

My definition of a good pour is that I should have to lean over to take the first sip for fear of spilling the precious liquid if I lifted the glass. Sadly, most establishments do not fill the glass beyond two thirds. Given the shape of the glass and the laws of physics, the top third of a martini glass accounts for one half of the volume.

The bartenders either need to use a smaller glass or fill the ones they do use. If they pushed a two thirds full glass across the bar in New York, their life expectancy would be two seconds. For consistency, all drinks were ordered the same – a Grey Goose martini, straight up, so there would be no price variation for different brands. Herewith the results, with additions to follow as my liver allows.

Fritti                            7 ounces          $11.50             $1.64 per ounce

Murphy’s                   6 ounces          $10.00             $1.66 per ounce      

*Murphy’s is contemplating raising their price or lowering their pour. I will update after I find out their decision*

Sweet Auburn BBQ    5 ounces          $10.00             2.00 per ounce      

*If you don’t specify that you want it dry it will have too much vermouth for my taste*

Manuel’s                     4.5 ounces       $ 9.25              $2.05 per ounce

Barcelona                    5.5 ounces       $12.00             $2.18 per ounce

Wisteria                       5 ounces          $11.00             $2.20 per ounce

Rosebud                      4.5 ounces       $11.00             $2.45 per ounce

Fontaine’s                   4 ounces          $10.00             $2.50 per ounce

Highland Tap              5.5 ounces       $14.00             $2.55 per ounce

La Tavola                    3.5 ounces       $10.50             $3.00 per ounce


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