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The Spring 2022 Flagpole Guide To Athens

Restaurants Downhome and BBQ

  • The Bar-B-Que Shack

    facebook.com/bbqshackathens

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 4320 Lexington Road Athens, GA 30605. 706-613-6752 View Map

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Drive-thru. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Thu-Sat. • Old-school barbecue, with chicken, pork and rib plates served with coleslaw, stew, chips and bread, which is all you need. Famous banana pudding for dessert. Currently drive-thru only.

  • Biscuit Basket

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 723 Boulevard Athens, GA 30601. 706-548-3412 View Map

    File Under: Downhome. Hours: Breakfast and lunch. • New name and new sign but not much else new at this counter inside a neighborhood convenience store. Fat biscuits with sausage, ham, eggs, tenderloin, cheese, gravy and more. Grits, eggs or hashbrowns on the side. Lunch items rotate and include corn dogs, chicken fingers, pork chops and fish on Fridays.

  • Bulldog Bistro

    hotel.uga.edu/dining-in-athens/bulldog-bistro

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 1197 S. Lumpkin St. Athens, GA 30602. 706-338-8781 View Map

    File Under: American, Coffee Houses and Bakeries. Features: Take-out, outside seating, full bar. Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. • This restaurant inside UGA’s Georgia Center does a wide variety of dishes throughout most of the day, including some grab-and-go stuff and made-to-order breakfast. Bar snacks, Savannah Room favorites like celestial chicken, Thai chicken salad, burgers and more.

  • Butt Hutt Bar-B-Q

    butthuttathens.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 480 Macon Hwy. Athens, GA 30606. 706-850-8511 View Map

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Full bar, live music, catering, outside seating, delivery, trivia, karaoke. Hours: Lunch and dinner. • The rare barbecue place that has both good smoked meats (especially pork and ribs) and a full bar. Sides like chicken mull, corn nuggets, fried okra, meat skins and a meaty potato salad are legit. Desserts are well thought of.

  • Cabin Creek BBQ

    Find Us on Facebook

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 199 Memorial Dr. Nicholson, GA 30565. 706-757-2267

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Catering, take-out. Hours: Lunch and dinner. • Worth the drive a bit outside of Athens to Nicholson for some of the best barbecue around. Also: chicken mull, Sunday buffet with Southern standards and cobbler for dessert. Holiday specials.

  • The Carriage House of Athens

    Find Us on Facebook

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 3755 Atlanta Hwy. Athens, GA 30606. 706-546-0385

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Buffet, catering, take-out. Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner. • All-you-can-eat Southern-style cooking off the buffet, featuring Fish Fridays and Pasta Thursdays. Lots of dessert choices.

  • Dawg Gone Good BBQ

    dawggonegoodbbq.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 224 W. Hancock Ave. Athens, GA 30601. 706-613-9799 View Map

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Catering, counter service, delivery, outside seating. Hours: Lunch and dinner. • Cheerful, Black-owned barbecue joint that does ribs, chicken, pork and sausage, plus southern-style veggies (available in small, medium and large) and fruit cobblers. Picnic tables out front plus seating inside.

  • Food for the Soul

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 1965 W. Broad St. Athens, GA 30606. 706-546-0052 View Map

    File Under: Downhome, Vegetarian Friendly. Features: Catering, take-out. Hours: Lunch. • Real-deal southern food, available in meat-and-sides combos. Menu changes daily but could include pork chops, fried chicken livers, catfish, greens, yams, black-eyed peas, mac and cheese and more.

  • Fresh Air Bar-B-Que

    freshairbbq.com

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 5170 Atlanta Hwy. Bogart, GA 30622. 770-725-5227 View Map

    • 1110 Hull Road Athens, GA 30601. 706-546-6060 View Map

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Catering, counter service, take-out. Hours: Lunch and dinner. • Both locations have classics like chopped pork and chicken, Brunswick stew, baked beans, chicken tenders and banana pudding. Kids menu, tailgating specials, meats and sides in bulk.

  • G Brand BBQ

    gbrandbbq.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 1140 Athens Road Crawford, GA 30630. 706-743-7000

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Catering, take-out, drive-thru. Hours: Lunch and dinner. • Downtown Crawford eatery prides itself on brisket but also offers pork, chicken and ribs. Five different sauces, great green beans among the sides and a kids menu that offers grilled cheese or a hot dog. Occasional steak nights.

  • Mama's Boy

    mamasboyathens.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 197 Oak St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-548-6249 View Map

    • 8851 Macon Hwy. Athens, GA 30606. 706-850-8550

    Athens Favorites Logo

    File Under: Downhome, Vegetarian Friendly. Features: Catering, curbside pick-up, counter service, outside seating, art, Wi-Fi. Hours: Breakfast and lunch. • Both locations do Southern breakfast and lunch all day: biscuits with lots of toppings, hash, egg plates, tacos, pimento cheese burger, chicken salad, strawberry lemonade. Lots of great sides. Very accommodating to those with special dietary needs.

  • Mayflower Restaurant

    mayflowerrestaurant.weebly.com

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 171 E. Broad St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-548-1692 View Map

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Cash only, delivery. Hours: Breakfast and lunch. • The oldest restaurant in Athens (since 1948), with Southern comfort food for breakfast and lunch. Lunch options rotate and include pot roast, fried chicken livers and lemon pepper tilapia alongside vegetables like fried okra, cabbage, sweet potato souffle and squash casserole.

  • Off the Vine Produce

    facebook.com/offthevinewinterville

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 302 Athens Road Winterville, GA 30683. 706-899-0400

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Take-out, vegetarian friendly, drive-thru. Hours: Lunch, Mon–Sat. • Country store/restaurant in Winterville does hot lunch (hot dogs, grilled corn, chili, pork chops, hash brown casserole), fresh produce, cakes, grab-and-go stuff from a cold case and excellent homemade ice cream on Saturdays in warm weather, often with fresh fruit.

  • Peach Pit Cafe

    facebook.com/PeachPitCafe

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 321 Athens Road Winterville, GA 30628. 706-899-0001

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Catering, take-out. Hours: Lunch and dinner. • Winterville barbecue restaurant has pulled pork, barbecue chicken, ribs and brisket, slaw, stew, chips and bread, plus frequently varying desserts: cakes (red velvet, Key lime, Devil's food, German chocolate), cobblers, banana pudding. Karaoke for entertainment.

  • The Picnic Basket Meal Market

    picnicbasketmealmarket.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 1973 Hog Mountain Road Watkinsville, GA 30677. 706-705-1292

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Drive thru, take-out, vegetarian friendly. Hours: Lunch and early dinner (closes at 6 p.m.) • Don't feel like cooking? Check out this local company that makes home-cooked meals. Order ahead on the website or stop by to see what's on offer. Options change daily, but could include tomato pie, lasagna, salads, cheesecake, enchiladas, pork chops and anything else the owners feel like making. 

  • The Place

    theplaceathens.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 229 E. Broad St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-850-2988

    Athens Favorites Logo

    File Under: Downhome, Bars. Features: Outside seating, full bar, take-out. Hours: Lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. • More refined takes on Southern standards, like shrimp and grits with gouda. Big salads, chicken and waffles (not just at brunch), shrimp burger, collard spring rolls. Cocktails that play on things like peanuts and Coke.

  • Plantation Buffet

    plantationbuffet.com

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 1119 Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy. Athens, GA 30601. 706-353-3663 View Map

    File Under: Downhome and BBQ. Features: Buffet, catering, counter service, take-out, outside seating, checks. Hours: Lunch, Mon–Fri. • Old-school Southern restaurant opened in the 1970s serves an all-you-can-eat buffet. Expect fried chicken, steak and gravy, barbecue, meatloaf, turnip greens, black-eyed peas, fried okra and Southern desserts.

  • Pulaski Heights BBQ

    pulaskiheightsbbq.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 675 Pulaski St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-583-9600 View Map

    Athens Favorites Logo

    File Under: BBQ, Vegetarian Friendly. Features: BYOB, catering, outside seating, delivery. Hours: Lunch and dinner. • The basics are always solid at this chef-owned barbecue place that smokes high-quality meats daily. Watch the Instagram for specials and to see if things are running low; when they're out, they're out. Good vegetarian options, too. Proudly inauthentic ramen on Wednesdays.

  • Rachel's Southern Style Restaurant

    facebook.com/rachelssouthernstylerestaurant

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 1021 Jamestown Blvd. Watkinsville, GA 30677. 706-310-0091 View Map

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Catering. Hours: Lunch and dinner, MonFri. • Traditional Southern cuisine with a rotating menu written on a whiteboard. Choose among pork chops, chicken, fish and more, grilled or fried, plus fried chicken livers and a host of vegetable sides (rutabagas, cabbage, carrot-and-raisin salad, turnip greens, hash-brown casserole). Homemade desserts.

  • Saucehouse Barbeque

    saucehouse.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 830 W. Broad St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-363-3351 View Map

    File Under: BBQ, Bars. Features: Full bar, catering, curbside pick-up, delivery, outside seating, take-out, counter service. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Wed–Sun. • Barbecue in a cavernous space in a variety of iterations: pork, brisket, ribs, tofu, hash or stew, served over a starch, plus sides: slaw, beans, potato salad and more. Bar menu is smaller and focused on snacks. Bulk orders and margaritas.

  • Scott's BBQ

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 4007 Danielsville Road Athens, GA 30601. 706-546-1005 View Map

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Cash and checks only. Hours: Lunch and dinner. • Family-owned place you might have seen on "True South" on the SEC Network serves barbecue pork, chicken, beef and ribs with beans, hash, slaw, potato salad, collard greens and seasonal vegetables. Sauce is hot and thin.

  • Shane's Rib Shack

    shanesribshack.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 680 U.S. Hwy. 29 N. Athens, GA 30601. 706-549-9135

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Catering, curbside pick-up, take-out. Hours: Lunch and dinner, seven days.

  • Southern Culture Fish and Grits

    southerncultureathens.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 810 Hawthorne Ave. Athens, GA 30606. 706-850-1360

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Catering, full bar. Hours: Dinner and nighttime bar. • Black-owned lowcountry-focused grown-up restaurant, with, obviously, fish and grits but also seafood boils, southern veggies, salmon croquettes, wings and more. Signature drinks and bottle service. 

  • Strickland's Restaurant

    stricklandsrestaurant.com

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 4723 Atlanta Hwy. Athens, GA 30622. 706-548-7003 View Map

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Catering, checks. Hours: Breakfast and lunch, Mon–Sat. • Open since 1960, this unassuming place out on Atlanta Highway serves some of the best southern food in town. Menu changes daily but always includes fantastic biscuits. You might also get fried chicken, ribs, catfish, pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn and greens. Good desserts.

  • Suncatcher Café

    facebook.com/suncatchercafe

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 42 Greensboro Hwy. Watkinsville, GA 30677. 706-424-8281

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Take-out, counter service. Hours: Breakfast and lunch, Tue–Sat. Sunday lunch. • As you'd expect from a breakfast place connected to a gas station, speedy service and big biscuits are characteristic, but there are bigger breakfast plates, too, plus meat-and-three Sunday lunch. Kids meals.

  • Tamez Barbecue

    tamezbbq.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 1660 W. Broad St. Athens, GA 30606. 706-850-3939

    File Under: Downhome and BBQ. Features: Drive-thru, take-out, catering. Hours: Breakfast, lunch and early dinner. • Texas-style barbecue with a chef pedigree. Choco coffee and breakfast burritos in the a.m. on unbelievable housemade tortillas, pork and other meats in the p.m. (brisket if you're lucky), plus cornbread, beans, collards. Meats smoked daily.

  • Team Biscuits and Burgers

    teambandb.com

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 745 Danielsville Road Athens, GA 30601. 706-543-8326 View Map

    File Under: Downhome, Sandwiches, Burgers and Chicken. Features: Drive-thru, catering, outside seating. Hours: Breakfast and lunch, Mon–Sat. • Heavily football-themed place that does biscuits with sausage, bacon, bologna, steak, chicken, country ham, tenderloin, smoke-link or salmon. Beef, chicken, salmon and shrimp burgers. Wings available in large quantities geared to tailgating.

  • Weaver D's Fine Foods

    facebook.com/weaverds

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 1016 E. Broad St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-353-7797 View Map

    File Under: Downhome. Features: Catering, counter service, outside seating. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Tues–Sat. • A legend, in Athens and far outside it, and thankfully still open. Look for the bright-green cinderblock building and the sign that reads “Automatic for the People.” Fantastic fried chicken, squash casserole, mac and cheese, collards and the like, varying a bit daily.

  • White Tiger Gourmet

    whitetigergourmet.com

    Price: $$

    Locations

    • 217 Hiawassee Ave. Athens, GA 30601. 706-353-6847 View Map

    • 64 N. Main St. Watkinsville, GA 30677. TBA

    File Under: Something Different, Downhome and BBQ, Vegetarian Friendly. Features: Catering, counter service, delivery, take-out, art, outside seating. Hours: Lunch and dinner, Tue–Sun. • Barbecue and more in an old-timey grocery with high ceilings and a ton of outside seating under fairy lights. Amazing cheeseburgers, pork-cue as well as tofu, excellent veggie sides (including perfect coleslaw, which you can also get on a hot dog), plus salads and banana pudding. Fanta in the cooler, fun specials. Watkinsville "deluxe" offshoot should open this year.

  • Zeb's Bar-B-Q

    Find Us on Facebook

    Price: $

    Locations

    • 5742 U.S. Hwy. 29 Danielsville, GA 30633. 706-795-2701 View Map

    File Under: BBQ. Features: Curbside pick-up, drive-thru, checks, take-out. Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Wed–Sat. Lunch, Sun. • Country barbecue joint of long standing keeps long hours, has great atmosphere and is well known for its peppery, vinegary sauce. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, tots and slaw, too, but the barbecue sandwich is the real attraction.