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#MyPCM: Spend the day at Ponce City Market
ponce

About this article

This article was originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of M: North Atlanta, a publication of the Forsyth County News. To read the entire magazine, click here.

Story highlights

* PCM’s ten stories are filled with unique artisan shops and Atlanta-owned businesses on each level. There are still a few bigger name, corporate stores like Williams-Sonoma and Anthroplogie, but the vast majority are locally owned so you feel like you are getting an Atlanta centric experience.

* There are more than 26 places to eat and drink in the market, with many of them headed up by James Beard Award-winning chefs offering everything regional seafood, to classic burgers (my boyfriend’s choice), coldpressed juices, locally-made kimchee and Korean steamed buns.

* My favorite thing about the Food Hall is that each restaurant has an option to dine in or grab your food to go “cafeteria” style so if everybody in your party wants to eat/try a different place, it’s no problem. You can all still take advantage of the communal seating in the middle of the hall.

It may not have been the smartest idea to plan a trip to downtown ATL to visit the new Ponce City Market on the weekend of the Fourth of July and the world’s largest 10K race, but the plans were made and I headed out with my sweet but reluctant boyfriend. I was super excited to explore the 2,100,000-square-foot building, (one of the largest in the Southeast) which was once used by Sears, Roebuck and Co. from 1926-1987.

Accessing PCM from North Atlanta is actually an easy commute — minus traffic, because that’s just a given in this city. Once we took the
exit off of 75 South and took a left on North Avenue and another left to Piedmont Avenue, we were there.

That was such a relief for two easily-stressedin-Atlanta-traffic people. After paying just $4.00 for parking for two hours at the market’s designated parking area, we walked into the gigantic old brick building full of excitement, great energy, wonderful smells and opportunity.

I don’t usually have a set agenda or list of designated places to see and things to do, so I was content to stroll along and let the day unfold. We quickly learned that there are several entrances to the building, including an entrance from the Atlanta BeltLine. So, of course, we’ll
be renting bikes next time.

PCM’s ten stories are filled with unique artisan shops and Atlanta-owned businesses on each level. There are still a few bigger name, corporate stores like Williams-Sonoma and Anthroplogie, but the vast majority are locally owned so you feel like you are getting an Atlanta centric experience. My favorite stop was SugarBoo & Co. The owner is a UGA grad and Georgia native. You can visit another one of her
locations at The Collection at Forsyth, but her shop at Ponce is larger and contains hundreds of handmade signs, accessories and home goods.

Honestly, I could have shopped there for hours. After checking out several shops and walking through the halls from the top floor to the bottom, it was definitely lunch o’clock and I was July | August 2016 m North Atlanta Magazine 17 excited to check out the infamous Food Hall.

The same Food Hall that floods my (and probably your) Instagram feed every weekend. Let me tell you, it really is foodie heaven.

There are more than 26 places to eat and drink in the market, with many of them headed up by James Beard Award-winning chefs offering everything regional seafood, to classic burgers (my boyfriend’s choice), coldpressed juices, locally-made kimchee and Korean steamed buns.

I had the toughest time narrowing down what to eat and even considered grabbing another meal after deciding. Second lunch, if you will.

I ended up eating at Marrakesh, a familyowned Moroccan/Mediterranean restaurant. I tried my first spicy “Falafel Laffa” — which is so fun to say. Falafel is a vegetarian-friendly “meat” made by frying chick peas with native Mediterranean spices, and Laffa is freshly made Greek bread similar to a pita. It was basically a delicious warm, spicy falafel and veggie sandwich wrapped into one spectacular meal.

My favorite thing about the Food Hall is that each restaurant has an option to dine in or grab your food to go “cafeteria” style so if everybody in your party wants to eat/try a different place, it’s no problem. You can all still take advantage of the communal seating in the middle of the hall.

Be on the lookout this July for PCM’s latest addition, Skyline Park. A 1.7- acre vintage rooftop amusement park on top of the market.

There will be miniature golf, food and drink options (as if the place needed more) a dunking booth, a giant slide and a free-fall ride.

The remaining 4.3 acres of The Roof will have even more restaurants and a large event space. The rooftop space will mimic the original
old-school amusement park once on the site in 1903. The bottom line? You just have to go.