Located in Atlanta's historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood on the iconic throughway Ponce de Leon Avenue, this historic former Sears, Roebuck & Company building was completely renovated and re-opened in 2014 as the city's largest adaptive used project, Ponce City Market. Adjacent to the Beltline Eastside Trail and across from the neighborhood's namesake park — one of the city's best — the building features an expanse food hall, local and national retail shops and a rooftop amusement park as well as office space and high-end apartments.
Whether you need to grab a quick coffee before a meeting or Beltline stroll, want to indulge in retail therapy, sample food from local vendors or enjoy a meal and skyline views while the sunsets, here's your guide to the best food, shops and activities at Ponce City Market.
History and Background
Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building that houses Ponce City Market was initially owned by Sears, Roebuck and Co., which built the facility in 1926 on land that once featured an amusement park and natural springs. At over 2 million square feet, the original structure included a retail store, warehouse and regional office. The store and warehouse closed in 1979, while the regional office continued to operate until 1987.
In 1900, the city of Atlanta purchased the building and converted it into "City Hall East," an office building for city, state and federal employees with an art gallery on the lower level.
The property was then sold in 2011 to Jamestown, developer of New York City's famed Chelsea Market as well as Atlanta's own Westside Provisions District, and the company renovated the property and re-opened it as Ponce City Market in 2014.
Where to Eat
Whether you're seeking a quick jolt of java pre meeting or workout, need to grab a bite on the go or want a full sit down experience, Ponce City Market's Central Food Hall — the Southeast's largest — has an option for you.
For breakfast, grab coffee and a fancy toast (we recommend the avocado with egg) at Hugh Acheon's baseball themed Spiller Park. Don't miss the house-made pastries, croissants and toasts at Root City Baking Co. or the all-day breakfast at restauranteur Anne Quatrano's all day breakfast spot, Pancake Social, which offers savory and sweet pancakes, grain bowls, sandwiches, juices and more.
Want a quick bite? Grab Indian street food like lamb burgers and tikka rolls from Chai Pani's sister restaurant Botiwalla, Latin-inspired sandwiches like the "Cubano Mixto" (Cuban bread with roasted pork, ham, salami, pickles, yellow mustard and Swiss cheese) at Top Chef alum Hector Santiago's El Super Pan, ramen at Ton Ton or the famed H&F burger — one of the city's best — from the namesake restaurant. Seating is available at tables or high tops scattered throughout the hall or, weather permitting, on benches outside for stellar Beltline views.
Have more time for lunch or dinner? Sit down for a meal at Sean Brock's Atlanta outpost of Minero for tacos and other casual Mexican fare, City Winery for a dinner and a show or 9 Mile Station, the rooftop beer garden offering snacks, local brews and unparalleled skyline views.
What to Do
In addition to eating around the globe, Ponce City Market's primary attraction is its rooftop amusement park, Skyline Park. From miniature golf to boardwalk games like ring toss and Skee-Ball to the three-story slide, the park offers fun for the whole family. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under and free for kids three and under. The park is open from 12 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, 3 to 10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and 3-11 p.m. on Thursday. On Friday, hours are 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with tickets from 5 p.m. on both days dedicated to crowds 21 and over.
Tickets can be purchased at the glass ticket booth in the courtyard.
Get hungry while you play? Tacos, hot dogs, soft pretzels and other snacks are also available for purchase.
If shopping until you drop is your kind of fun, Ponce City Market has a variety of options. For one-of-a-kind pieces, stop by Citizen Supply, which features a mix of clothing, jewelry, accessories and housewares from more than 200 local and international artisans and vendors. The store also has its own bar and lounge, Likewise, which offers cheese, charcuterie and other snacks as well as cocktails, beer and wine by the glass. Shop for crystals, tarot cards, candles and more at the Modern Mystic Shop and for socially and sustainably conscious vintage clothing, handmade jewelry and more at Coco & Mischa, both locally owned stores.
As far as national chains, Anthropologie, Madwell, lululemon, West Elm and Sephora all have a presence here.
How to Visit
Both the food hall and retail shops are open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Ponce City Market is best accessed on foot or bicycle via the Beltline Eastside Trail, but also offers valet and self park for those coming via car. For self parking, you'll need to either download the ParkMobile app and enter your license plate number and 222 as the zone number or use the pay by foot kiosk (you'll still need your license plate number and to pay before you enter the building).
While the closest MARTA station, North Avenue, is 1.5 miles away, you can catch two busses — #2 (Ponce de Leon Ave) and #102 (Moreland/Candler Park) to the development.
What to Do Nearby
Just west of Ponce City Market on Ponce de Leon Ave lies the popular Hotel Clermont, with the can't miss Tiny Lou's French-American brasserie in the basement and the rooftop lounge with city views above. Drink cocktails in a neon retrofitted shipping container at 8ARM, directly across the street, and don't miss Ink — the intimate bar within a bar — inside.
To enjoy the outdoors, stroll south on the Beltline to visit Old Fourth Ward Park, which features a playground, a splash pad, 2 acre lake and skatepark, or north to Piedmont Park, the city's largest. And the Beltline itself offers public art installations, murals and plenty of restaurant patios for sitting, grabbing a drink and people watching.
History buffs will enjoy visiting the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, 1.5 southwest of Ponce City Market, or the King Center and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, about a mile south of the complex.