ON A QUIET WEEKDAY AFTERNOON the new Krog Street Market has only about 10 visitors. The vendors all have the wide eyes of sellers at antique stores, trying to lure you to their table, to sample something (and better yet, buy something). “You keep circling,” one says.
The Krog Street Market, which opened in late November in Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood, was still flirting with fledgling status when we visited. “Coming soon” signs and vacant corners awaited vendors. But there’s little doubt that those signs and vacancies will look different, fuller and more alive every week.
THE MARKET, housed in a 1920s warehouse with brick walls and exposed beams, feels industrial and fun, a bit like a less cozy Sweet Auburn Curb Market, a similar spot minutes away. And 3 p.m. on a weekday is not its busy hour. “But imagine it around lunch,” a friend says.
I’m already wishing it was lunchtime; I want to eat everything. Selling itself as a “destination for Atlanta’s intown culture,” the Krog Street Market pairs retail with restaurants, claiming to be a “West Coast-style market.” The retail vendors are eye-catching and easy to approach with their brightly colored goods, yet the food-hall culture stands out as the Market’s go-to.
IN ONE CORNER, you’ll find a third location of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, an Ohio chain that seems to draw everyone who sees it. On the other end, Hop City Inman Park provides local craft brews. Restaurants like the Luminary flank the outside edges, opening to the Krog Street sidewalk, but it’s the inner eateries that boom with their compact sizing and tempting menus. With these order-and-eat stalls, you’ll want to engage in an ultimate food crawl.
Fred’s Meat & Bread, a sandwiches-and-burgers joint from the General Muir team, is diner heaven, with rows of old-fashioned sodas lining the wall and stools you can sit and watch cooks create your burger stack or mortadella-and-bacon sandwich. Yalla, also from the General Muir team, features a Middle Eastern menu of kebabs, falafel and shwarma. “Yalla” means “come on” or “hurry up” in Arabic.
The Little Tart Bakeshop at the entrance is a second location (the other is in Grant Park). Market-goers looking to buy take-home groceries can belly up to the butcher bar at the Spotted Trotter, a full American butchery, charcuterie and cheese shop. Pannus Bakery will operate next door.
What to do when your arms are laden with food from across the world, all made in Inman Park? Take a seat in the come-all dining area called the “Living Room” where guests commune over meals at family-style tables.
THE SHOPS PLAY IT SMART, harmonious not only with Atlanta but with each other. The bean-to-bar chocolate shop Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate smells so good it catches your attention while you’re still several stalls away. When you reach it, a counter sign reads “Don’t forget flowers!,” pointing you toward the vibrant French Market Flowers across the way.
Mama Handmade Bath and Body plays into the niche perfectly, featuring neighborhood-based candles and olive oil artisanal soaps. They come from Avondale Estates, Virginia-Highland, Grand Park, Midtown, Inman Park and more. Even pets are included, with Krog Street Pet Works selling collars, treats and toys for tail-waggers.
As the vendor spaces fill up here, it seems clear that this convenient food hall-and-retail fusion will boast some of the best eats in the city, and have shopping to spare. That quick Jeni’s cone on my walk out makes looking forward to my next visit all the sweeter.