As part of ongoing Best of Atlanta 2023 coverage, Urbanize’s third-annual Best Atlanta Neighborhood tournament is kicking off with 16 places vying for the prestige of being called the city’s greatest. (Note: Seeding from 1 to 16 was determined by reader nominations this month—so no pitchforks, please.)

For this Round 1 contest, which is publishing on a Friday, voting will be open until noon on Monday. Please, let’s keep the tourney fun and positive, as one neighborhood rises above the rest in very public fashion. The eliminations begin now!

(5) Grant Park

Berne Street facades and porches today. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

This year, Grant Park has a chance to exact early revenge on the neighborhood that booted it from the tournament in 2021. For such a celebrated place to live, relatively little changed around Grant Park in 2023 (unless you count a game-changer BeltLine segment breaking ground as part of the neighborhood). That relative idleness could speak to how awesome Grant Park already is (with one idle, hollow exception), a place where gorgeous Victorians and bungalows soiree with one of Atlanta’s prettiest, most functional greenspaces. If anything, Grant Park added a dash of modern amongst its antiquity, with BeltLine-adjacent townhomes and a large new apartment stack that look plucked from Sweden. Believe it or not, Grant Park has never taken the crown across a decade of these competitions. Could lucky ’23 change all that?


(12) Kirkwood 

A recent Monday evening scene on Hosea Williams Drive in Kirkwood. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

With the exception of last year, when eventual winner Avondale Estates showed it the door in Round 1, Kirkwood has enjoyed a strong tourney history, making the Final Four in 2021 and winning the whole enchilada back in 2014. That’s understandable, given K-wood’s status as a historic place that’s packed on hundreds of new living options in recent years, alongside fresh amenities such as the extended Eastside Trolley Trail, now finished. 2023 saw a groundswell of activity on previously abandoned lots, especially near Memorial Drive, where townhomes both for sale and not continue to sprout as we speak. Kirkwood’s historically protected Pullman Yards also made a splash this year, debuting the AlcoHall concept and bagging a “Large Development of the Year” award that prompted some urbanists to shake angry fists at the sky.