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Life in Old Fourth Ward, Atlanta – Vibrant and Exciting, with Plenty of Entertainment Options

Updated September 2020.

Old Fourth Ward is an urban neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, bordering Piedmont Avenue to the West, The Beltline to the East, Ponce de Leon Avenue to the North, and the Marta Green line to the South. Although the area fell into despair during the 1960s, today it has had a resurgence of interest due to the newest developments in the community.

For many years, it has been the first place many visitors flocked to see and visit the home of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who was born in Old Fourth Ward. The area paid homage to him by creating the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Park.


Old Fourth Ward is filled with lots of cool and eclectic specialty shops, bars, restaurants, and art galleries. The area’s street art can be seen along Decatur St and Edgewood Ave, and along the Eastside Trail of the beltline.

What to Do

Once an outmoded railway corridor, the Atlanta Beltline is now a walking and cycling path on which many Old Fourth Ward residents enjoy getting fit. However, when this isn’t possible due to the weather, they may find themselves working out at either FitWit or Yoga Works.

A versatile hangout spot in O4W is the Ponce City Market, offering everything from restaurants and social clubs to flats and retailers.

Where to Eat

In an area like Old Fourth Ward, it isn’t unusual to find some of the best food in town since this is where many young chefs come to try out their own creations.

You can experience the area’s culinary scene by visiting local restaurants, such as Tiny Lou’s, where they serve seasonal American Cuisine with select French Classics. This brasserie, located in the historic Hotel Clermont, was named after a popular 1950s dancer.

One of the best restaurants is Staplehouse—a former warehouse with a chic vibe that serves Cajun-inspired American cuisine. All after-tax profits from the restaurant go to Giving Kitchen, an organization that provides emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support and a network of community resources.

Mary Mac’s Tea Room is also a favorite among those living in Old Fourth Ward, serving up Southern comfort food, such as fried chicken and collard greens. In fact, this restaurant was officially declared to be Atlanta’s Dining Room in 2011 by The Georgia House of Representatives.

One of the newest restaurants along the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta Beltline is Ladybird, an outdoor bar and dining experience.

Another popular restaurant in the area is Home Grown—an unassuming eatery that offers Southern cuisine, such as biscuits and gravy, and fried green tomatoes.

Where to Drink

Old Fourth Ward is a mix-use community, so you will find many coffee shops here, such as Condesa Coffee. Its industrial-modern décor creates an inviting atmosphere, where you can drink your daily cup of coffee, but you can also indulge cocktails, beer, and food.

Another excellent option is the Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, who are known for their locally-roasted coffee which has been served in Atlanta for the past 25 years. Here is where you’ll find many locals gathering to work and socialize.

In the evenings visit Staplehouse’s sister restaurant, the Paper Crane Lounge—besides hip cocktails and new concoctions, you will have the opportunity to enjoy classic drinks, in a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

Moving to Old Fourth Ward

The neighborhood has experienced a rapid progression of developments in the area since the construction of the Atlanta Eastside Trail, including new homes, apartments, and condominium complexes. Many of these new developments have retail shops and restaurants located on the ground level. New residents move here because it is also a short distance from many of Atlanta’s other hip and trendy neighborhoods, such as Midtown, Virginia-Highlands, and Inman Park.

Real estate information

As one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live in, there is no wonder the cost of renting here is higher than the Atlanta average, reaching $1,740 per month for apartments in Old Fourth Ward. However, compared to other neighborhoods, such as Atlantic Station, the average rent is 19% lower. The distribution between owners and renters is balanced, with renters slightly above, at 54% of the total population.

Schools and employment

Many residents work nearby in downtown, midtown, or the Emory University neighborhoods. For those that work remotely, Alkaloid Networks offers a variety of co-working memberships. With Freedom Parkway conveniently located, access to highways makes major employers such as Delta Airlines and PWC very accessible for O4W residents, due to an easy commute.

As for the educational prospects, there are two elementary schools in the community, Hope Hill Elementary School and The Orion School—which is private. The neighborhood also has two middle schools: Inman Middle School and The Orion School. To round out the education offered in Old Fourth Ward, there is one high school, Grady High School, serving grades 9 to 12.

If you think Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta might be a neighborhood for you and your family to settle in, why not start your research by visiting RentCafe where you’ll find plenty of available rentals to choose from.

Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email. Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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