2061 Hog Mountain Road Watkinsville, GA 30677. 706-705-1501 View Map
File Under: Italian, Mexican and South American. Features: Reservations, catering, beer and wine. Hours: Lunch and dinner, seven days. Sunday brunch. The Look: Quiet dining in a Watkinsville shopping center with a covered patio. Menu: Many Italian standards but some Latin accents, too, especially in the sides section, where you can get sweet or savory plantains to go with your chicken piccata. Gluten-free pastas, kids' menu and lunch specials on pastas and sandwiches.
393 N. Finley St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-353-0029 View Map
File Under: Bakeries, Something Different, Vegetarian-Friendly. Features: Beer and wine, catering, counter service (breakfast and lunch), outside seating, Wi-Fi. Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, six days. Sunday brunch. The Look: One of the best patios in Athens has sidewalk chalk for the kids and plenty of shade. Inside is just as pleasant. Menu: Big City does good business all day, starting with early a.m. biscuits, not-too-sweet French toast, omelets and more. Mid-day brings sandwiches, burgers and salads, with a few bigger entrees and many nice touches, and in the evening there's a shift to table service and brasserie-style French standards. The bakery makes fresh breads, pastries, muffins and cakes daily, and bakes special items for order during holiday seasons. Drinks: Small but good selection of bottled, canned and draft beer; wine by the glass or bottle.
140 E. Washington St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-546-1102 View Map
File Under: Something Different, Bars. Features: Catering, trivia, delivery. Hours: Dinner and late night, seven days. Weekend brunch. The Look: Brewpub with a dark, quiet environment. Menu: Pub stuff with some international accents and American standards. Brunch includes hot wings alongside omelets and amaretto French toast. Drinks: Housemade beers may be Belgian, English, German, Scottish or American in style, and the long list of options changes constantly. Guest beers, too.
590 N. Milledge Ave. Athens, GA 30601. 706-354-8688 View Map
2450 S. Milledge Ave. Athens, GA 30605. 706-542-6359 View Map
File Under: Something Different, Vegetarian-Friendly. Features: Catering, counter service, outside seating. Hours: Breakfast and lunch, seven days, Sunday brunch (N. Milledge). Lunch, Tue–Sun. (Botanical Garden) The Look: North Milledge location has big, sunny rooms and a playroom for kids. Botanical Garden visitor center houses a small satellite location. Menu: The Bot Garden location has sandwiches, wraps, coffee, baked goods and sesame noodles. The Cobbham location does hot breakfast and lunch to order until 2 p.m. but stays open later on weekdays for pick-up of pre-made items. To-go meals in the fridge and the freezer include breakfast stratas, casseroles, desserts and more. Brunch served on Saturday and Sunday. Walkers, bikers and bus riders get a 5 percent discount.
1073 S. Milledge Ave. Athens, GA 30606. 706-546-7300 View Map
File Under: Something Different. Features: Full bar, reservations, catering, outside seating. Hours: Dinner, seven days. Sunday brunch. The Look: Hugh Acheson's flagship restaurant is on one of Athens' most beautiful streets in a superlatively renovated historic home. Menu: Serious dining that stays up on trends and pushes the envelope without being obnoxiously hip. Some items recur frequently, but there's always something new to eat, based on the season. Tuesday nights bring housemade ramen at the bar, Sunday nights are for fried chicken, and an early-evening three-course prix-fixe is low-priced. Drinks: The wine list is wide-ranging, pithily described and fun. The bar mixes unpretentious but smart cocktails and pours a great selection of ports, sherries, single-malts and the like.
269 N. Hull St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-543-5515 View Map
File Under: American, Bars. Features: Full bar. Hours: Dinner, Tue–Sun. Late night, Fri and Sat. Sunday brunch. The Look: Two levels of dining, lit by multiple chandeliers, but not formal. The Menu: Five options of snacks and entree, plus nightly specials, are a little bit Southern, a little bit Asian and all bar. Baked avocado, gyoza, cheeseburger, market catch from Destin and more. Brunch brings breakfast cheeseburgers and chicken and waffles. Drinks: Wine, beer and signature cocktails (all in groups of five, again).
24 Greensboro Hwy. Watkinsville, GA 30677. 706-310-0410 View Map
File Under: Something Different. Features: Beer and wine, reservations, catering, outside seating. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Tue–Sat. Dinner, Sun. Sunday brunch. The Look: Fine dining in downtown Watkinsville. Menu: Mexican-accented fusion. Tapas, entrees and frequently changing specials: crab cakes, Cajun pasta, fish and grits, Chicken Suizo (with a cilantro jalapeño cheese sauce). Sunday brunch includes waffles, omelets cooked to order and a buffet.
199 N. Lumpkin St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-353-4721 View Map
File Under: Bars and Clubs, Sandwiches, Burgers and Chicken. Features: Live music, outside seating, Wi-Fi. The Look: Exposed brick interior, comfy couches and a big brass bar create a charming and relaxed atmosphere. Soccer and live music upstairs. Menu: Pub cuisine including fish and chips, burgers, sandwiches, vegetarian chili and housemade potato chips with gorgonzola sauce. Drinks: An eclectic selection of over 80 craft beers, 60 wines and 40 single-malt scotches.
1354 Prince Ave. Athens, GA 30606. 706-850-8561
File Under: American, Bars. Features: Full bar, vegetarian friendly, counter service, live music, trivia. Hours: Dinner and late night, Mon–Sun. Lunch, Fri and Sat. Sunday brunch. The Look: Normaltown neighborhood bar attracts families early in the day but plenty of locals too. Menu: Hot dogs with lots of toppings and lots of veggie and vegan sandwiches. Sunday brunch features dishes such as a pierogi scramble, tempeh hash and the Guten Morgen (an open-faced reuben topped with a sunny side up egg). Drinks: Full bar with 14 draft beers (with one rotating nitro line) and a well-curated selection of bottles and cans. Classic cocktails.
2310 W. Broad St. Athens, GA 30606. 706-353-7667 View Map
File Under: American, Bars. Features: Reservations, live music, full bar, outside seating. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Tue–Sun. Dinner, Mon. Sunday brunch. The Look: Big Craftsman-style building with warm atmosphere, fireplaces, a big Jack Davis mural and a large patio. Menu: A step up from chains that go for the same kind of feeling, Hilltop Grille serves American comfort cuisine: artichoke dip, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, Key lime pie, steaks, wedge salad, fried pork chop. Drinks: Large wooden bar serving beer, wine and cocktails with weekly happy hour specials.
1155 Mitchell Bridge Road Athens, GA. 706-850-1442
File Under: American, Coffee Houses and Bakeries, Vegetarian-Friendly. Features: Beer and wine, live music, outdoor seating, catering, art, gluten-free options. Hours: Breakfast and lunch, Tue–Sat. Dinner, Thu–Sat. Sunday brunch. The Look: Warm and pleasant cafe with lots of different areas for seating. Menu: Breakfast until 4 p.m., with egg dishes, hash, pancakes and tofu scramble. Lunch and dinner (which ends at 7 p.m.) feature sandwiches, burgers (beef and veggie), chips and dips, salads and daily blue plate specials. Baked goods in the case all day. All dietary restrictions accommodated with cheer. Drinks: Regular beers, good beers, well-crafted cocktails, specials for teachers, military and police.
184 W. Clayton St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-549-0810 View Map
File Under: Something Different, Vegetarian-Friendly, Bars. Features: Outside seating, art. Hours: Dinner, seven days. Lunch, Mon–Sat. Sunday brunch. The Look: Exposed brick walls, tight but cheerful quarters. Menu: Southern meets Southwestern, with lots of black beans, corn, avocado and peppers alongside fried green tomatoes, peaches, black-eyed peas and bacon. Brunch has a line out the door for breakfast enchiladas, stuffed French toast and crab benedict. Drinks: American vodkas, gins and vermouths, as well as Armagnac, ice wine, Madeira, sherry and lots of wines by the bottle.
135 Cherokee Road Winterville, GA 30683. 706-742-7590 View Map
File Under: American. Hours: Breakfast and lunch, Mon-Sat. Dinner, Fri. Sunday brunch. The Look: Pretty little sunny restaurant in the middle of Winterville. Menu: The younger sibling of Athens' Big City Bread, Little City Diner does great food without the wait. Southern breakfast and brunch include country ham biscuits, hotcakes, Red Mule grits and sawmill gravy. Lunch has a hot blue-plate special plus soup, salads and sandwiches. Dinner one night a week offers burgers and a lot of local veggies. Fab pie.
1195 Milledge Ave. Athens, GA 30605. 706-850-3451 View Map
File Under: American. Features: Full bar, outside seating. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Tue–Sun. Dinner, Mon. Sunday brunch. The Look: Lots of outdoor seating in a beautifully renovated historic house. Menu: Georgia and Gulf seafood: lightly fried baskets of seafood, peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters (raw or cooked), grilled or blackened entrees and sides that include standards like coleslaw and hush puppies. A few options if you hate seafood. Cornhole on the lawn. Park at the fire station if you need to; they have an agreement. Drinks: Beachy cocktails, beer and wine.
150 Fritz Mar Lane Athens, GA. 706-850-8220
File Under: Mexican and South American, Bakeries. Features: counter service, take-out. Hours: Sun–Fri, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. The Look: Adorably decked out small bakery next to a Crossfit business, off Newton Bridge Road. Menu: Uruguayan choripan, chicken milanesa torta and a few other options, plus fresh fries. The baked goods are excellent, a huge array of Latin American sweet breads at super-cheap prices, and don't slouch on the empanadas, both sweet and savory.
459 E. Broad St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-369-0990 View Map
File Under: American, Bars. Features: Reservations, outside seating, live music. Hours: Lunch, Mon–Fri. Dinner, Mon–Sat. Sunday brunch. The Look: Locally owned steakhouse is dark and quiet, a grown-up space downtown. Menu: Lunch has lots that isn't steak: fish tacos, grilled salmon BLT, turkey club, crab avocado salad. Dinner is fancier, with steaks alongside surf and turf, traditional a la carte sides and a classic wedge salad. Brunch is all-you-can-eat Southern, made-to-order omelets and pancakes, special entrees and a carving station. Drinks: Four beers on tap, long wine list, full bar.
675 Pulaski St. Athens, GA 30601 . 706-583-9600 View Map
File Under: Downhome and BBQ, Vegetarian Friendly. Features: Catering, outside seating, delivery. Hours: Lunch and dinner, seven days. The Look: Next to the railroad tracks in the Leathers building, this barbecue place has great views from upstairs and a family-friendly patio with sidewalk chalk. Menu: Chef-interpreted barbecue, which sounds pretentious but isn't. Excellent meats smoked out back, but pescatarians and vegetarians will find plenty to eat, too. Ramen, kids eat free Mondays and other specials are well publicized. Housemade pickles, vinegar-lime slaw, smoked potato salad, tacos and a family dinner for take-out that feeds four for $32.
Price: $$☆ Expanded Listing!
705 Sycamore St. Jefferson, GA 30549. 706-367-5721 View Map
File Under: Something Different. Features: Beer and wine, catering. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Tue–Sat. Brunch, Sat. The Look: Simple surroundings in Jefferson but worth a drive. Menu: Chef Josh Aaron mixes up his menu frequently, and its local produce is sourced with care. Burgers, avocado toast, nice sandwiches and a lot of seafood undersell in their descriptions and overdeliver in their presentation. Even heartier options are healthful and fresh. Drinks: Good craft beer on tap, in the bottle/can and for take-home in growlers. You can also get a flight of three 5-ounce pours if you're feeling indecisive.
247 E. Washington St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-395-6125
File Under: American, Bars and Clubs. Features: Full bar. Hours: Lunch, Mon–Fri. Dinner, Mon–Sun. Sunday brunch. Late night, Fri–Sat. The Look: Beautiful historic space with vintage tile and stained glass. Menu: New South cuisine from a polished team. The deviled eggs incorporate Masala curry. The tater tots are made with duck jus. Small plates and large ones. Brunch has egg scramblers and meaty skillets, plus pancakes and special cocktails. Drinks: Draft beers in full or half pours, good wines by the glass (and bottle) and regularly changing craft cocktails with housemade ingredients.
Price: $☆ Expanded Listing!
145 E. Clayton St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-613-8773 View Map
File Under: Italian and Pizza, Vegetarian-Friendly, Bars. Features: Outside seating, art. Hours: Lunch, Mon–Sat. Dinner, seven days. Sunday brunch. The Look: Pizza with table service. Big bar upstairs plus rooms for private parties. Menu: Large thin-crust slices that aren't as floppy as classic New York-style 'za and have a puffier crust at the edge. Lots of toppings and specialty pies. Also: pastas, salads, panini, burgers and delicious oven-roasted potatoes with plenty of garlic. Omelets and scramblers for brunch. Drinks: Draft beer, craft beer in bottles/cans, wine, build-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar on Sunday.
217 Hiawasee Ave. Athens, GA 30601. 706-353-6847 View Map
File Under: Something Different, Downhome and BBQ, Vegetarian-Friendly. Features: Catering, counter service, live music, BYOB, delivery, take-out, art, outside seating. Hours: Lunch, Tue–Sat. Dinner, Thu–Sat. Sunday brunch. The Look: In a historic building in a historic neighborhood, White Tiger supplies toys and crayons for kids and many artistic renderings of its namesake. Menu: Both carnivores and vegetarians will be equally happy. Good ingredients shine in the Happy Top cheeseburger (simple and perfect, with grilled onions, field greens and mayo) or a seared salmon ciabatta. Smoked pork barbecue and tofu-q; dinner menu changes constantly. At brunch, try a biscuit sandwich or stack of pancakes covered in barbecue.