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Manuel's Tavern

Not Rated.
Manuel's TavernManuel's Tavern
BA SCORE
89
very good

16 Ratings
Ratings: 16
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.93%
Taps: 29
Bottles: 58
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

602 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, Georgia, 30307-1433
United States
phone: (404) 525-3447

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Cyberkedi on 04-15-2007)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kferq
4/5  rDev +1.5%

kferq, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of halo3one
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

halo3one, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of TastyMcBeerson
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%

This is a no-frills neighborhood bar, and somewhat of a landmark in the area. The place is pretty huge, and I've never been to any of the upstairs rooms.
Smoking in the bar area was recently banned per the owner/manager's decision, which is a good thing IMO...
I go here fairly regularly when I'm out with some friends after a show or something, and sometimes I just walk there on a Sunday for breakfast... The food is well executed though nothing much out of the ordinary. The wings are great, the burgers are good, as is the Reuben...
The beer selection is pretty extensive, but I tend to regularly get their house beer - the 602 - a beer/ale I'm trying to wrap my head around. Who brews it? What exactly is the style? All I know is it is slightly malty, less hoppy, on the dark side, and it's a satisfying brew. Does anyone have more info on Manuel Tavern's house beer, or is it some carefully guarded secret?

TastyMcBeerson, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of bakerbill
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

bakerbill, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of joeysmac
5/5  rDev +26.9%

joeysmac, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of doublewide
5/5  rDev +26.9%

doublewide, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of asabreed
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%

A cool little place located near Beep Beep Gallery, where I ready with a friend a couple weeks ago on a book tour.

Cool atmosphere. Seemed like there were two sides to the place, the bar side to the right, and the tables and seats to the left. We had 4 or 5 people, so we got a table.

A lot of these places touting the fact that they have a great selection of beer don't come through for me anymore. A lot of it can be purchased in six-packs much cheaper, for one, and most of them include all the macro stuff in the mix of the many taps and bottles. The selection's fairly good, yes, but a lot of it was ho-hum for me, and I found very few, if any, beers I hadn't tried before. But for many they'll like the selection. I got a Terrapin Rye, which is a brew I like, and which was great on tap.

The service was good and the server was attentive. Some may say the prices are reasonable, but for what they were offering, many of them were a bit overblown, especially, like I said, when you can go down the street and get a six-pack for a few dollars over what you're paying just for the pint.

I'd go back again if I were in the area, but I wouldn't make this a must-stop place in Atlanta in the future.

asabreed, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of GeezLynn
3.9/5  rDev -1%

Given that a trip to Manuel's is usually a weekly event for me, I figured it was about time to review.

The beer selection is decent. They carry a small offering of craft bottles from some of the bigger breweries such as DFH, Stone and SN along with the full macro spectrum. There are usually 4-5 craft options on tap as well, which typically include a couple of Terrapin options. Once and awhile there will be a special keg (or cask even).

The food is good. Pretty standard bar food, but well done. Especially the wings. Awesome. Service is good more often than not.

The old neighborhood bar atmosphere, with the booth seating and all the old memorabilia on the walls is one of the best things about Manuel's. However, like a lot of these types of places, it can get pretty smoky which is usually when I decide it's time to head elsewhere.

GeezLynn, May 07, 2010
Photo of glid02
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%

I've been here quite a few times and it never gets old.

Atmosphere is great. It's everything a neighborhood pub should be. A portrait of JFK and various old-school Atlanta sports team pennants are some of the paraphernalia dotting the walls. As a few people of mentioned be forewarned that smoking is allowed.

Quality is OK. It seems as though they have a 10 oz. tulip and a 12 oz. pint glass for all of their beers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but I would like to see a bit more options. The pours were all done properly and none of the glassware was chilled.

Service is good. The folks behind the bar were aware of everything on-tap and I never had to wait long to get my beer.

Selection is alright. They have a good amount of BMC on-tap along with a few local selections (Sweetwater and Terrapin). They do have about six taps that they rotate a decent amount which is nice, but nothing exceedingly special.

The prices are reasonable although I can't go as far as to say they're cheap.

Overall this is an institution, not for beer but for other reasons. As long as you know what to expect you won't be disappointed. Worth a stop if you have an extended stay in the area.

glid02, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of bwb0402
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%

Manuel's is the quintessential Atlanta hang-out. It exudes that all-school Atlanta feel, but not in a ghetto way. This place oozes character; from the JFK portrait behind the bar, to Manuel's ashes, to well-worn wooden booths. (A personal favorite of mine is the portrait of the young, nude, southern belle.) Ask the bar tender about the story behind it. The beer selection usually has a few high grav offerings as well as some local brews. The Terrapin Rye Squared and the DFH 90 minute are usually on tap. The bottle selection is decent. However, the beer selection isn't why you should go to Manuel's. The atmosphere, the value, and the perfectly delicious pub food (the nachos are awesome, veggies are fresh) are what draws the crowd. The beer is merely something tasty to wash it all down with. One of my absolute favorite spots after catching a Braves game.

***NOTE*** I recently heard from a fellow BA that Manuel's nachos are using cheese goo instead of real cheddar. I can't confirm this but my recommendation is based on the nachos containing real cheese, not some processed concoction

bwb0402, May 22, 2009
Photo of TheEclecticGent
4/5  rDev +1.5%

I went to Manuel's Tavern for the office Christmas Party recently. It had been a long time since I'd been to Manuel's Tavern. I'm surprised I had not reviewed it earlier. It really is a cool place, not to mention an Atlanta Icon. The bar area is one of the coolest in the Atlanta area, with lots of wood and comforting yet kitschy artwork and knick-knacks. Dusty with history and yellow with 52+ years of tobacco immersion the bar area exudes character. Labeled by many as a Democratic bar, the political climate is not in your face but subtle. This place is usually populated by a wide demographic in all sense of the word. If there is one bar that gives the whole scope of the city of Atlanta, this would be it. There are other areas other than the bar and several overflow areas as well. Most of the areas sport some wood and lots of beer décor. The food is pretty good and the portions are large. Service is generally attentive and fairly prompt. The beer list is fairly long with the majority being in bottles. Macros, American Micros/Craft, Belgian, German, and other imports. The tap list isn't as exciting as the bottle list but the selection is OK for this area. The draw here is the feel of the place (atmosphere).

TheEclecticGent, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of gabeerfan
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%

Went on a Friday night with a group of about 10-12. The group showed up at different times and we were nicely accomodated by our server. This building takes up a whole block. Several rooms off the main bar to the right and left of the entrance. 2nd bar in the room to the right of the main bar. Lots of historic photos on all the walls. Makes sense since this place has been around so long.
Good draft list: DFH 90 min, Sweetwater 420, Sierra Nevada, their "house" beer 602 N. Highland Lager, etc. Everything on draft is availble in pitchers too. Pitcher of 90 min? Sign me up, even at $21. Pretty extensive bottle list with some really quality beers. All the locals, Anchor, Victory, Piraat, Duvel, etc.
Good service. Food service can be a little slow, but beers are usually brought out pretty timely. They don't split checks, but will take multiple cards for one check.
Very good bar food. I like the wings, the Brunswick stew and the Loaded Dogzilla. Our friends really like the pork chop sandwich. I don't think I've had a bad thing to eat here.
Prices are reasonable. Only 3 food items are over $10 and beer prices are reasonable. Maybe a little lower than some other places, but nothing seems overpriced.
A solid choice if in the area and a great piece of Atlanta history. Everytime I go there, I'm reminded how much I like this place.

gabeerfan, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of ruckzuck
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%

Had Manuel's for dinner tonight. First time I've ever eaten there (though I've had drinks there before).

It's pretty cool that this place has been there for 51 years, and seeing some "Congrats on 30 Years!" plaque from Budweiser dated 1986 above our table was interesting. Anyway, it's about what you'd expect. A fairly large place, but the booths by the bar are intimate enough. Ok beer selection. Definitely better than some other bars in the Highlands. Food is also what you'd expect, but it hit the spot tonight. Pretty cheap, too.

Over all, I'd say Manuel's is worth a trip every now and then, but it's not like it'll become my local. Still, a good place for drinks with friends occasionally.

ruckzuck, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%

A so-so place for craft beer. Packed mid-week evening. Kind of dimmer lighting, long beer, narrow passageway, a kind of extended Pizza Plant, as only half a dozen taps were certainly craft, and three of them were local offerings. Also thirty bottles with somewhat more selection. Mid and late twenties crowd. Did not care to stay long. Not too far a drive from Green's but still a buzy area. Good if you live in the area or as an after-hours, but would not otherwise depend on it.So-so, particularly with Twains and Brick Store open nearby.

Sammy, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of number1bum
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%

I had planned to find a good bar to have a beer last Friday night while on a business trip to Atlanta, and this wasn't on my list. Nevertheless, the restaurant my group ended up at was 1/2 block from the place, and having remembered seeing it on BA with good reviews, I figured it had been divined. Or something like that. However, I wasn't too impressed.

First thing I noticed when I went in here was how smoky it was. Stick to your hair and clothes, make you smell like crap smoky. Fun. The bar area was decent sized, with maybe 20 stools or so, but behind it were tables and nowhere really to stand if you couldn't find a stool. We couldn't, so we stood at the end of the bar for a bit until a local got us some stools. I can see how it's quite an eclectic mix of people in this joint, because this guy was a real oddball who ended up following my group to the next bar, grabbing every females ass that he saw on the way. Needless to say, we soon had to ditch him. But back to Manuel's...

The selection was ok but it was really filled with a lot of mass market imports and stuff. Of 25ish taps, there were only about 4 that I was interested in. I had a Sweetwater Festive Ale and Terrapin Rye Pale Ale. The Sweetwater was ok, Terrapin much better. There was another offering from Terrapin on draft as well, and then one other beer that I can't recall that was interesting. But the rest of it was stuff like Guiness and Hoegaarten. No thanks. The bottle menu was decent but unspectacular, as well, as Leffe Blonde seemed to be the most interesting Belgian they had. And that's not saying much.

I wasn't terribly impressed by the service, I must say. For a place that thinks it's a beer bar, when a patron asks the bartender "What can you tell me about this Sweetwater Festive Ale" and gets a response of "that's a high gravity beer," then there is a problem. That patron was me, and when I followed up with "is it hoppy?" he nodded his head with a confused "yeah." It was a winter warmer/Christmas ale. Decidedly non-hoppy. We also waited quite a bit for our second beer after we'd ordered it.

Anyway, prices seemed reasonable, but it was too smoky with too limited a selection and poor service for me to consider coming back if I were in town again. I'd try elsewhere next time.

number1bum, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%

This Atlanta institution may not have the best beer selection or the tastiest chow, but its laid-back atmosphere and status as a quintessential neighborhood tavern more than make up for those shortcomings. Once you walk in, you know that it is a much-loved pub with a rich history. The servers are friendly and efficient; clearly they are well-trained. This is a great place for a small and intimate gathering - it has a couple private rooms closed off from the rest of the place - or a large meeting of dozens of people. They have several small TVs and one large one so you can keep up with sports events.

Food is above average. Beer selection is not spectacular, but their house brew is very good and they have a decent selection of imports and craft brews. This is a great place to just drop in for a brewski or three and some friendly chat.

Cyberkedi, Apr 21, 2007
Manuel's Tavern in Atlanta, GA
89 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.