The Vortex Bar & Grill - Midtown

The Vortex Bar & Grill - MidtownThe Vortex Bar & Grill - Midtown
The Vortex Bar & Grill - MidtownThe Vortex Bar & Grill - Midtown
Bar, Eatery

878 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, Georgia, 30309-4412
United States

(404) 875-1667 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 47 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of acmurphy696
4.98/5  rDev +22.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love this place. I used to drop in for lunch occasionally before work at Georgia Tech in the late 90s. I don't remember ever having a beer, but I remember being impressed by their selection.

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Photo of Kappakoosh
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Service was great and very friendly. Beer selection was also good. One draw back to this place is the bright red lighting they use all over the place....for some reason it just isn't easy on the eyes for very long. Reminds me of watching a 70's horror flick. We had to leave earlier than planned, the lighting really drug us down.

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Photo of Pabetism
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I come here every time I come to Atlanta. They don't have so many beers on tap--just 18, but they have a great bottle selection, and, of course, a great liqueur selection. Sometimes their bartenders can be dicks, but its the Vortex, no nonsense here! Their house beer, the laughing skull, is OK, but they have much better selections.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.98/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Ate lunch and had some beers with friends here, we sat outside on a nice afternoon.

Eccentric burger place with a good selection of beer and cocktails. Loved the brash humor of the food and drink menus.

They had about a dozen or so beers on tap, mostly local or mainstream craft beer. Drafts were reasonably priced as they were 20 oz. imperial pints. They had a more extensive bottle list if you couldn't find a draft beer to your liking.

I had the "house" beer and another local Atlanta brewed beer to go along with my Coronary Bypass burger. If you love meat and good bar food, you'll love the menu.

Our waitress was attentive and asked about the next beer before we were finished. Thumbs up!

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This a great place, not really a beer bar, but more of a burger joint with a good beer selection, I had a Bell's Two Hearted Ale, on tap. You won't find hard to find beers here, but what you will find are good beers to go with the awesome burgers.

The atmosphere has been great every time that I have been, a very eclectic crowd with rock & punk music blaring in the background. The service is always good and they know what they are talking about, beer-wise and food-wise. I would like to see a bigger tap list, but they do have a rather extensive bottle list with many styles and brewers to choose from.

This is a place, if and when in Midtown Atlanta that you should hit up at least once if not more often. The prices are reasonable and the overall experience is worth it.

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Photo of FoxiBoxi
4.18/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Had a blast at The Vortex. The service was very good, and the vibe is very hip but diversified. We ran into a bachelorette party and business people while in line for drinks.
The beer selection is better than average, but they mostly have a large selection of mainstream beers. There is a craft brew selection, but not a lot of specialty series, one-offs, or rare beers. Still, simple clean beers pair awfully well with a great burger, and I think that's what they're going for here.

Overall, the sexy photos on the brick walls, crazy good burgers and upbeat atmosphere make this place what it is, not the beer selection. Still a goodie, though, and an Atlanta must.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Such a fun place! The decor is fun and the atmosphere is fun. Its a little cramped and crowded, but it was very hospitable and quick. The service was friendly and knowledeable.

The beer menu is a large one. It doesn't have anything hard to find, but plenty of quality beers to choose from.

The food was amazing. I've been twice. I got the quadruple bypass burger the first time. This included a half pound burger, 5 slices bacon, 5 slices of cheese, a fried egg, grilled onion, and in place of the buns were two grilled cheese sandwhiches. I couldn't eat it all but it was absolutely delicious. The second time I got the blue shroom and it was awesome too. They also have an Elvis burger that has fried bananas and peanut butter on it. The place is known for its burgers, but my wife had other stuff and raved about that too.

Definitely a fun place, good service, good beer selection, and a friendly atmosphere. If you are ever in Atlanta, you should go.

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Photo of DrewKid4
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

This is definitely the go-to burger joint in Midtown Atlanta (and the Lil' 5 Points one is the burger joint of Lil' 5). Not only a great burger but the variety is incredible. What surprised me in coming here was not only how consistently great the burgers were, but their surprising beer menu. If you are looking for a place to try uncommon beers, this isn't that place, but their selection is better than most restaurants. I usually get a pitcher with friends while eating here, but am always intrigued by their micro brew and foreign beer lists.

The service is always friendly, knowledgeable, and quick. The atmosphere is definitely one of the most unique places in town. Definitely go here for the burgers (their Pesto Burger is amazing), but you can enjoy a wide variety of beers here!

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Photo of tigerpaws
4.1/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Not really a beer bar per se but they have a excellent selection of very good brews. The atmosphere of The Vortex is very different than any other place I know. Old stuff all over the walls and hanging from the ceiling etc. The staff is well a bit different is how I'll put it :). But let me add in a good way, it's one of the things I enjoy about going there.

As for food everything I've had is good but this is the place for BURGERS! Just how many ways can you fix a burger? Well The Vortex list has many combinations with catchy names and they are EXCELLENT as are the sides as well.

We always try to make it to one of the locations when in Atlanta. I prefer the one in Midtown simply because there is more room. But the one at Little 5 Points seems to have a more diverse crowd. Either way just go it's a fun place with good food and a beer selection to make you happy.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

When we arrived (three guys) the place was rocking. I think it was about 8 pm last Friday night (Jan 16). We put our name in to get seated and we headed to the bar.

First off the menu basically says everyone is an idiot and they are supreme beings and you better play by their rules. I figured it was just a macho readneck kick and I was pretty much right. The bartender looked like someone out of Roadhouse or easy rider. I told him I wanted a St. Bernardus Apt 12 and he snorted - "I hate Belgium beers". That's like saying I hate France beers or I hate America beers. Not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed but a tool non-the-less.

I get most of my beer. A good 1/5 runs out as foam because he uses the bar bottle opener to open it as opposed to a hand opener. He apologizes and then pours it into the proper glass. Oh well its good but way way too cold. You can tell they would rather serve BMC only but are catering to a beer snob crowd.

Well we get seated and the waitress is decent enough. We order - I got the Blue Shroom Burger and it was amazing. I have to say the food and beer were better than the service.

After I get the bill I see yes it is a bit pricey here, but good just the same. I figured it was worth it so we leave a good tip and hit the door. I probably won't be back but it's worth a try if you're in midtown.

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Photo of shivtim
3.25/5  rDev -20%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

The Vortex is a pretty average bar with an above average tap and bottle selection. It's a smoky, dark, loud place, and not exactly a beer destination. Sure, the bottle selection is pretty darn good, but I'm not sure how long some of that stuff has been sitting around. I'm also not sure why the hamburgers are so famous - they're good, but nothing special. Certainly not the best in Atlanta. Service is average, and they don't seem to know much about beer (with the possible exception of the bartender).
Overall, it's a decent place, just not a beer mecca. If I'm in the area, I'd choose Cypress Street Pint&Plate and Taco Mac Metropolis over Vortex any day.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped here after finding it on beerfly and subsequently checking out the website. Let me say first that the walls are covered with pictures of girls and all kinds of skeletons (pretty much as advertised), but the servers are not the same quality as the website would lead you to believe. The burgers are good, <$10 for specialty burgers, made quickly too. The beer selection is decent, with about 16-18 taps and maybe 80 bottled selections. I stuck with local beers like Terrapin and Sweetwater.

After dinner we went 1 block north to Taco Mac, and I have to recommend that place over Vortex. Much wider selection of beers on tap at Taco Mac.

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Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The atmosphere is good, just walked through the downstairs on the way to our table and there was a lot of stuff going on. Upstairs is kind of plain but all the windows made it seem like we were sitting outside but with A/C.

Quality was not what I'd hoped. I've heard good things and think I just hit a bad day but the DFH 90 Minute I got on tap was warm and a little flat. It was served in a goblet though, which was nice.

Service was good, everything was out quick and nothing was messed up.

Bottle selection is great, I just wish they had more draft selections. I can only remember about five non-mainstream beers that they had on draft.

Food was really good, I got the burger, which they're known for. The buffalo wing sauce is also really good (had them with my fries). They actually cooked a burger medium rare, which is pretty rare.

I'll definitely go back, it's not really cheap but it's certainly not overpriced. I'm also curious as to how often they change their draft selections.

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Photo of BertSugar
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Finally found a decent place in Atlanta for a good beer that is a semi-convenient walk from the business district "hotel area". There is a nice sort or alternative culture thing going on here that I found comfortably familiar. Interesting bar layout. Very long with a short elevated "leg" facing the bottle cooler so you can see what's going on. DogFish Head 90 minute was very fresh on tap. Very nice, comprehensive bottle selection that is very reasonably priced. Heck, I very nearly had a PBR tallboy! Did not try the food, but it looked good. Decor is a mashup of Bennigans and Mad Max. A couple of beauties on the staff. Most definitely this place will be my base camp in Atlanta when there next.

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Photo of jophish17
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Review of Midtown location

Atmosphere - rock bar. Very typical, I could understand where this would be a biker's haven. The place is pretty dark with a pretty long bar. Servers ranged from god awful ugly to calendar beauties.. so yes that was part of the atmosphere :) An interesting fit in midtown, home to mostly yuppie hangouts

Quality - nothing too special, beer was still fresh which is a plus when it comes to micros on tap in ATL bars.

Service - sat at the bar. Bar staff was quick and worked together well. Food and drinks were both delivered pretty quick, and I was a bit surprised to have a goblet show up with my Pranqster.

Selection - looking at their menu online, I would have thought it was pretty damn good. However, neither St Bernardus or Chimay are on tap anymore, so the lineup consists mostly of Georgia micros, and standard American and European macros. The bottle selection was a little more interesting, but not much better than a franchised Taco Mac.

Food - definitely the highlight of the place. Excellent burgers, and they offered them in tons of interesting ways. Nice homemade taste, and they were huge. I went with and would recommend the jerk burger.

Price/Value - fair. Expect to pay $5 for a beer ($10 if you want a Rogue bomber) and about $8-10 for a sandwich. Very fair on the beer and I'd consider the burgers to be a pretty good deal.

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Photo of Sammy
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

A rock/punk type of bar, not for me. Smoking and the like. Body piercings, not too bad in this conservative state. Some craft beers and imports, nice part of town. But nothing special-one non-local craft beer, Bridgeport. Laid back service. Good size of the place. I heard it's much much louder at night, but i do not plan to be back. Decent bottles.Did not try the food. Has good windows and viewing onto the street. Parking is available. Not a bad place to go if you can't get up to the 5 Seasons.

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Photo of ruckzuck
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 5

This is a review of the L5P location, as I've never been to the Midtown one.

The Vortex is something else. It's got sort of this vibe of having the most random retro/weird junk on the walls they can, but it works for them. They have a fairly decent beer selection for the type of place, and you probably wouldn't know it looking at it from the outside.

The real star of the place is the food. The burger is one of if not the best in Atlanta. They have so many varieties, and everyone's been great. My go-to is The Cowboy, which is your standard burger with BBQ sauce, swiss cheese, and a piece of ham on it. Mmm, decadent. Everything I've ever eaten there has been enjoyable, and there's nothing like taking a huge burger down with a Duvel by your side.

Service has always been fine. Nothing special, but this isn't the kind of place that strikes you as going out of their way to be friendly, especially if you read their rules on the front page of the menu.

Two points of advice for first-timers: if they ask you to pay to park in the lot next to the place just tell them you're going to the Vortex and you won't have to pay. You may also want to avoid Thursday nights, as that's traditionally biker night and tons and tons of motorcycles show up and crowd the parking lot.

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Photo of sleazo
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4

looking through beerfly this place looked the best and was close enough to my hotel. There is sort of an industrial vibe here. Tables to the left as you walk in and a bar that snakes around the right. First part is devoted to spirits the second part has refrigerated cases full of beer. Also about 20 or so beers on tap. The selection was good but not great. Too many of their taps or bottles are devoted to macro lagers from round the world. however I was able to get a Dry Hopped St Rogue Red, some 90 Minutes on draught and some locals. They have beers from Rogue, Dogfish head, Brooklyn, flying Dog, Duvel St Barnardus and a few others. Quality wise they shouldnt keep their beers on display like that and i felt the taps could have been a bit cleaner as something in the 90 minute tasted off.

Still a good selection and good prices. Worth a shot if in the area

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.63/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Vortex is a fun bar, unpretentious and with just the right amount of sleaze. The outrageous decor includes some skeletons (I presume they are plastic models, not the real thing!) on motorcycles, sort of the bar's mascot. Beer selection is very good - they have a number of local brews and quite a few craft brews, plus an impressive selection of imports, both in bottles and on tap. Food is delicious and reasonably priced. Serving people are quick, friendly but not overly so, and efficient. Music is turned up but not so loud that you can't have a nice conversation. Smoking is allowed, so it is open only to patrons 18 and older; however, this means you don't have to worry about screaming brats running amok and interrupting your meal, date, Meetup, or whatever. A great place to get together with friends, or just hang out and enjoy some good brewskis.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I just kinda fell off of the Marta and stumbled into this place on a recent trip to Atlanta. The edge-y demeaner of the bar is exciting, intriguing, and slightly intimidating. It's kinda like a hole-in-the-wall, biker bar meets a Topix mall store. A spit shined, grunge bar. However it's a bit too nice but tries to be too bad, I appreciate the cover pages to the beer menu and food menu. Their no-nonsense approach is dead-on! The taps are favorable as well. After browsing the coolers (stocked with about 300 beers) and their taps (aobut 30) and the list, I settled on a Lagunitas Censored bottle and a St. Bernardus Abt. 12 from the tap. Although the staff was not overly friendly, they were timely and helpful, but don't expect a ton of dialogue here. They try too hard to act so bad. Although the place resembles a goth-cartoon, it's very clean and presentable. I recommend the bar when in the area, but never mind the attitudes; it's all in pretense.

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Photo of Alanthebeerguy
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I eat/drink at the midtown location of the Vortex at least twice a month and I absolutly love the place. They have some of the best burgers in Atlanta (and you have to try some of the variations for tater-tot toppings). The beer selection is first class and they have done an excellent job of stocking the high proof beers. If you are also a liquor drinker they have something to make just about everyone happy. On busy nights service can be a little slow but not to bad, and they always bring out the food hot and fresh. The Vortex is also a great place for a first date because with the colection of odd art (for lack of a better word) gives more than enough Conversation starters. My biggest complaint about the place is the parking, the pay lots close by are very tight and overpriced and all the street parking is usually full. Still if you are a resident who has never been to the Vortex or are planning a trip to Atlanta you have to check out this place.

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Photo of ogrerugby
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This was a really fun place to go. Wild decorations abound. The beer selection was great. They had about 150 bottles and another 30 taps. The beer samplers they offered were good. Some of the local GA brews were decent. The 420 and Terrapin Rye Pale Ale were excellent. Check out their website for all of their "policies" about their customers and how you should act. The burgers were also very good. It was alot of fun and any time I'm back in Atlanta for business, I will definitely be back at the Vortex.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I stopped into Vortex's Midtown location this weekend for lunch, and definitely want to go back the next time I'm in Atlanta. The menu was by no means complex, but there was a great variety of burgers to try (I had the Bleu 'Shroom, and highly recommend it) and the food was great.

More importantly, the beer list was really impressive. Not as many draughts as I would like to see, but hundreds (literally) of bottled offerings--a quick count put the total beer options at about 250, counting "mixes" like Black and Tans, etc.

The atmosphere was eclectic (decorated with tons and tons of stuff--no better way to describe it) and the wait staff was friendly and helpful. I'd like to go back and check it out at night to see what the crowd is like.

I tried the house beer, Vortex's Laughing Skull Pilsner. Review to come soon, but it was solid.

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Photo of bushwhacker
4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The "Little 5 Points" location is enjoyable with a great bottle selection and lesser draft selections than the Midtown shop, both domestic and imported. A small outdoor seating area was available. I enjoyed sampling many domestic and imports; however I was slightly disappointed by their local "Laughing Skull Pilsner". It fell short of expectations in body and taste. My impression was that of a hastened process, so I may have just gotten a "shorted" sample. Though my local friend concurred with similiar results on prior visits. Nonetheless, a great place to sample many good beers.

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Photo of doho95fu
5/5  rDev +23.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I will base this review on the Midtown branch, but my overall rating would be the same for either location. The atmosphere is dark and eclectic, with random memorabilia and signed pictures everywhere. There music used to be great, and is now ok since the addition of Muzak. The quality is high, as far as I can tell. I never had a bad beer. The service is great, everyone there is laid back. Tattoos are a plus in applying, I would guess. They have at least 20 taps going with new beers added frequently. With the amount of business they do, the kegs do not sit long. As far as bottled beer goes, they have well over 200 lined in glass-front fridges right behind the bar, which makes it fun to pick out what you'll have next. Food is what originally brought me to Vortex and it is great - the best burgers in Atlanta. As you can tell I am a big fan of the place and as luck would have it, I lived in the lofts above the place for two great and fattening years.

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The Vortex Bar & Grill - Midtown in Atlanta, GA
Place rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 47 ratings