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Daytime view of Ponce City Market, Old Fourth Ward Atlanta - ©Emma Valerio, Unsplash

In the Neighborhood: Your ultimate guide to Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward

Just northeast of downtown Atlanta lies the history-rich Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, which has become one of the city's coolest quarters in recent decades.

By Joanna Tweedy | December 18, 2023

Head to Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward — or O4W as locals call it — and you’ll find yourself in a neighborhood with massive historical significance. After all, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s childhood home is here, among other important sites. It’s also one of the city’s most fashionable districts with vibrant street art, creative dine-and-shop spaces and impressive parks and trails.


Cool and characterful, the Old Fourth Ward’s restaurant scene centers around Edgewood Avenue. Try:

- Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall: Located alongside the Beltline Eastside Trail, this rustic, primarily outdoor eatery specializes in “elevated campfire cuisine.” Try the shareable smoked meat trays or chow down on smoked brisket pastrami or a pulled pork sandwich.

- Krog Street Market: Make yourself at home on the communal benches in the “living room” at this colorful market. With about 20 eateries boxing up delights such as falafel, dumplings and cookies, you're sure to find your next favorite dish here.

- Marcus Bar & Grille: Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson delivers inventive comfort food and cocktails in a funky space with an impressive open kitchen. Don’t miss out on the double stack B & G burger with a side of truffle fries or wood-fired four cheese mac.


A key landmark in the civil rights movement, O4W remains one of Atlanta’s most historical neighborhoods. Explore:

- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park: This 35-acre site (14 hectares) features MLK’s birthplace and boyhood, as well as his final resting place. There’s also a museum dedicated to his legacy of activism and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King delivered his first sermon.

- Historic Fourth Ward Park: Easy to miss but certainly worth the detour, this 17-acre (7-hectare) urban oasis has a beautiful pond, a summertime splash pad and a nearby skate park. It’s the perfect place for a peaceful picnic close to other O4W attractions.

- Beltline Eastside Trail: One of the most popular stretches of this 22-mile (35-kilometer) loop can be found in O4W. Whether you want a bit of exercise or just a convenient way to get from one attraction to another, exploring this gem — and all the street art along the way — is a must.


Ponce City Market is the place to shop and dine in O4W, with more than two million square feet of retail, restaurants and more. Browse:

- Citizen Supply: The stalls in this curated community marketplace offer everything from vintage vinyl to handmade jewelry. Keep an eye out for fun events like candle-making workshops and weekly skate sessions at the rooftop skating rink.

- Sugarboo and Co.: A homegrown favorite, this store describes itself as a “dealer in whimsy and fine fanciful goods.” Pick up souvenirs including art, candles and tote bags, as well as items for your home and garden that are both practical and fun.

- The Village Retail: Show your support at this collection of stalls that champions the work of Black-owned brands and businesses. Chat with artisans and browse stylish apparel, home goods and beauty gifts.

A visit to the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is a must on any Atlanta itinerary. Factor in the exciting restaurants, shops and bars, plus an amazing park and trail, and this is Atlanta at its most captivating.

Hero Image Courtesy of Emma Valeria on Unsplash

Joanna Tweedy is an award-winning travel writer and editor who lives in London. A former UK national newspaper travel editor, she now contributes across many titles, and specializes in writing about family travel, wellness breaks and luxury vacations.