2061 Hog Mountain Road Watkinsville, GA 30677. 706-310-4414 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. 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 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.
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. The early-evening three-course prix-fixe is a great deal. Drinks: Wine list by James Beard nominee; unpretentious but smart cocktails; excellent after-dinner drinks.
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 entrees, 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, Tue–Fri. Dinner, Tue–Sat. Sunday brunch. The Look: Cozy space in downtown Watkinsville. Menu: Mexican-accented fusion. Tapas, entrees and frequently changing specials: crab cakes, Cajun pasta, fish and grits. 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. Sunday brunch includes pancakes, steak and eggs, and the frittata of the day. 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, Vegetarian Friendly. Features: Full bar, counter service, trivia. Hours: Dinner and late night, Mon–Sun. Lunch, Fri and Sat. Sunday brunch. The Look: Family-friendly neighborhood bar with eats. TVs for sporting events. Menu: Hot dogs with lots of toppings, plus veggie and vegan versions of most menu items. Pierogi scramble and tempeh hash for brunch, plus housemade caramel corn and more. Drinks: Full bar with 14 draft beers (with one rotating nitro line) and a well-curated selection of bottles and cans; half pours; 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 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.
184 W. Clayton St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-549-0810 View Map
File Under: American, 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, sunny little restaurant in the middle of Winterville. Menu: The younger sibling of 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, peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters (raw or cooked), grilled or blackened entrees and sides 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.
2131 Hog Mountain Road Watkinsville, GA 30677. 706-705-6333
File Under: Mexican and South American, Bakeries. Features: Counter service, take-out. Hours: Mon–Wed, 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Thu–Sat, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. The Look: Lovely bakery/restaurant in a Watkinsville strip mall, across from Publix, with a nice kids' area. Menu: Uruguayan choripan, chicken milanesa torta, breakfast all day. The baked goods are excellent, with a huge array of Latin American sweet breads at super-cheap prices, and don't miss the empanadas, both sweet and savory. Some things are made with rice flour.
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 à la carte sides and a classic wedge salad. Brunch is all-you-can-eat Southern, with 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: BYOB, catering, outside seating, delivery. Hours: Lunch and dinner, seven days. The Look: Next to the railroad tracks in the Leathers building, with 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.
247 E. Washington St. Athens, GA 30601. 706-395-6125
File Under: American, Bars and Clubs. Features: Full bar, catering. 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. Gluten-free menu. Drinks: Draft beers in full or half pours, good wines by the glass (and bottle) and regularly changing craft cocktails with housemade ingredients.
135 W. Washington St. Athens, GA 30601. No # specified
File Under: American. Features: Full bar. Hours: Lunch and dinner. The Look: Second location of a Columbus sports bar, opening soon. Menu: Fancier sports-bar fare, from burgers to salads that incorporate kale, oranges and blue cheese. Steaky entrees, too.
269 W. Washington St. Athens, GA 30601 . 706-543-8997 View Map
File Under: Something Different, Vegetarian Friendly, Bars. Features: Full bar, outside seating, Wi-Fi. Hours: Lunch, dinner and late night, seven days. Sunday brunch. The Look: High ceilings, plenty of character. Menu: Fun snacks and plenty of real meals. Stuff for people who love bacon, and tasty choices for vegetarians and vegans. Interesting sandwiches and salads. Entrees like cider slow-roasted ribs and North Carolina trout. Lunch specials are a good deal. Drinks: Serious beer, with more than 200 well-described options in the bottle and 30 on tap, plus wine and nice cocktails from Highwire Lounge (under the same ownership and accessible through a door).
217 Hiawassee 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, Mon–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: 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; great daily specials and seasonal sides. At brunch, try a biscuit sandwich or stack of pancakes covered in pulled pork.