With a revitalized image and newfound sense of pride, East Lake wins the makeover award. It’s home to a community of do-ers and the East Lake Foundation, which hosts the PGA Championship Tour each year. Situated between Oakhurst and Kirkwood, East Lake has vast green space, not to mention an enormous golf course with majestic views of Downtown, Craftsman style bungalows and two-stories, and an occasional urban farm. You won’t ever feel like a stranger here–East Lake is notoriously friendly.
East Lake Data
East Lake Review
If ever there was a neighborhood in Atlanta that fully embodies the word Community, it is East Lake. It’s seen its ups and downs over the years. Once known as “Little Vitenam” with a crime rate 18 times the national average. It wasn’t until the mid 90s that a rebirth took place, and now the community is a pleasant area with a tight-knit community thanks to Tom Cousins, an Atlanta developer, who transformed the area with the development of the Villages of East Lake (a mixed-income housing property) and the East Lake Foundation.
East Lake is a relatively small neighborhood with few restaurants and businesses that can call it home, but don’t worry because it’s surrounded by some great neighborhoods and a giant golf course that is home to the PGA Tour each year. If you are buying your first home or starting a family, East Lake is a great place to live because the housing prices are less than nearby neighborhoods, but the nearby neighborhoods are so close you can’t really tell the difference anyway.
Oakhurst to the north has a village area with the perfect mix of casual dining restaurants, bars, and a funky little coffee shop Kavarna with the best damn cappuccino I’ve ever had. Restaurants and bars include:
• Steinbeck’s: gastro-pub style food, craft beers, and sometimes live jazz bands play in front.
• Mojo’s Pizza ‘N Pub: NYC style pizza with homemade sauce and thin-crust with sesame seeds
• Mezcalito’s: authentic south Mexican food
• Matador Mexican Cantina and Tequila Bar: a cozy place with standard Mexican fare and a bar dedicated to tequila. Trivia is on Thursdays!
• Saba: handmade pastas and sandwiches with fresh baked ciabatta bread. Great prices too!
• McGowan’s Oakhurst Pub: recently renovated Palate Café is now McGowan’s Pub. It’s a traditional Irish Pub with more than 20 craft beers. But that’s not all. To the right is a wine bar that also serves fabulous desserts all in a living room style setting. Right smack dab in the middle is the Jill Celeste art gallery. There is also a patio area with a fire pit, so it’s great for any season.
• U-Joint: an easygoing bar scene with a massive patio, traditional bar food and excellent burgers, plus several beers. Oakhurst likes its beer.
Decatur square is to the northeast, and I’m not going to bother with listing the restaurants and bars not to mention the many shops because this would turn into a novel. The square has more than enough selection, and it’s a charming place to go for a stroll, buy a few nick-nacks, and enjoy a nice meal.
Kirkwood to the west is sometimes described as a “small town in the big city” with its own post office, fire station, police precinct, and public library. It too has charming restaurants including Le Petit Marche, Dulce Vegan, Aces Bar & Grille, Sun In My Belly, and Urban Pizza.
East Lake with its adjacent, walking friendly neighborhoods and happy-go-lucky yet passionate residents make living here a well-rounded experience. The community spirit can be felt wherever you are, and with its many charms you may find yourself rarely leaving this part of town.What’s awesome
The people, green-space, urban farmsWhat’s not so awesome
Some crime, a few shacks, lack of restaurants
East Lake Cheap + Bonus
East lake is a great location due to lower home prices and taxes than surrounding areas (Decatur and Oakhurst), but still close enough to walk to all the dining and shops in those areas.
It is also just a short drive to the International Farmer’s market.
You can walk to the East Lake MARTA station and be downtown, buckhead, the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, or airport in just a few minutes.
The East Lake Park is awesome. There is an executive golf course (Charlie Yates) that is ranked as one of the best in the country. It is maintained by the same folks as the East Lake golf course; where they have the FedEx Tour Championship every Sept. The tour is a great community event that supports our local youth programs.What’s awesome
The East Lake Farmers Market that is reclaiming an old gas station. Soon to be a center of commerce in the ares!What’s not so awesome
There are still a few homes that need to be better maintained, but that opens the door to opportunity in East Lake
In East Lake you can find the community spirit and pride that is a huge part of the nabe. I live just next door, in downtown Decatur. Although this area is a few minutes from the city (maybe fifteen, with traffic), you will never miss it.
East Lake is largely residential with a big golf course, but close to Decatur andKirkwood which both have plenty of food/shopping.
East Lake is a diverse community of passionate people who really care about their nabe.