A college town in the middle of what would otherwise be farmland, the city of Athens, Georgia, is famous for college parties and rabid football fans.But if you go for a game, you may end up staying for the food. We've rounded up three of the best culinary reasons to visit Athens for your next weekend trip.
Across from the University of Georgia campus sits an old-style diner lit 24/7 with neon signs. The Grill offers classic diner grub, often serving as comfort food or settling the stomachs of late-night drinkers. Guests rave about their milkshakes and feta cheese sauce, but the menu also includes burgers, salads, sandwiches, malts, and several vegetarian options.
A few blocks over you’ll find Clocked! Diner, an offbeat joint that serves classic milkshakes and specialty burgers. The menu includes a peanut butter bacon burger and a burger topped with gouda cheese, bacon, and an onion ring. Everything served is made to order, fresh, and 100 percent natural, and they also have an extensive vegetarian menu and gluten-free options. Clocked! is both quirky and classic.
Athens boasts the highest number of bars per capita of any city in the country: 80 in a single square mile. Bars and breweries strive for unique tastes and atmospheres to stand out.
Creature Comforts Brewery creates an atmosphere fit for its trendy clientele with new special release beers announced each Tuesday, flavored with ingredients like watermelon, coffee, or chocolate. Additionally, they encourage eating locally by providing a “go eat local” wristband that provides the wearer with discounts at participating Athens restaurants.
Terrapin Beer Company, just a short drive away, offers live music and open-air games. With more beers available on tap, they also tend to be more crowded. Terrapin is pet- and kid-friendly, a bonus for those traveling with family.
The newest of Athens’s breweries, the Southern Brewing Company, is quiet on weekdays, as it can be considered relatively undiscovered thus far. Like Terrapin, it has plenty of outdoor space, and it actually offers a wider variety of games to choose from. True to its name, the venue has a distinctly southern feel and offers free boiled peanuts, which is a Georgia staple. There are usually eight beers on tap and different glasses every month.
If there’s one thing Athens has in abundance, it’s sorority girls. If there’s one thing sorority girls know well, it’s good brunch.
Mama’s Boy is by far the most popular brunch location in Athens, located minutes from campus. The venue offers characteristic southern cuisine with huge serving sizes — think cinnamon buns the size of your face — in a relaxed atmosphere with southern flair.
On the fringes of downtown Athens you can find Big City Bread Café, a locally-sourced and family-owned restaurant serving house-made bread and more-than-generous portion sizes of brunch staples such as French toast, breakfast potatoes, and quiche. Eat on the patio under the shade of several large elms and draw with chalk while you wait, or sit at their recently-added indoor seating area for a cozier feel.