Southern restaurants in Georgia are very important to the state’s heritage.
If there’s one thing that’ll make us happy, sad or ready to pick a fight, it’s hunger. The one solution for us all is Southern cooking.
Whether it’s your grandmother’s recipe, a meal from a high-end restaurant or some deep-fried, artery-clogging deliciousness from a drive-thru, we don’t care. We will eat it all.
That being said, here are seven Southern restaurants in the Peach State that keep us all coming back for more.
Mary Mac’s Tea Room – Atlanta
Are you from out of town and desiring greasy food after the Braves game? Go to The Varsity. Otherwise, Mary Mac’s is where you need to go.
Tea rooms are a thing of the past, but Mary Mac’s keeps going strong at its location on Ponce De Leon Avenue. Aside from the historical flair, you’re going to get authentic Southern cooking with which few places can dream to compete. For an appetizer, dine on Mary Mac’s signature “Pot Likker” — seasoned collards with bacon. Whatever choice you decide for your main course, make sure you get the fried okra or mac and cheese as a side.
The place is an Atlanta institution still remaining a secret to many.
The Dillard House – Dillard
What Mary Mac’s is to Atlanta, The Dillard House is to the entire North Georgia region.
The restaurant, located a stone’s throw from the North Carolina border, has been around since the turn of the 20th century and is known for its Southern family-style cooking portions. The menu changes daily, but one thing is guaranteed: There will be fried chicken at supper time.
Aside from the cuisine, The Dillard House also has horse stables and serves as a bed and breakfast.
Blue Willow Inn – Social Circle
Anyone familiar with Southern cuisine between Athens and Atlanta knows the Blue Willow Inn all too well.
The restaurant is hidden inside the Greek Revival architecture of the building. While looks can be deceiving, Blue Willow Inn delivers quality food through its buffet.
Items at the Blue Willow can range from chicken livers and baked ham to prime rib and baked salmon. As the photo above shows, Blue Willow’s desserts ain’t bad either.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room – Savannah
Much like it’s South Carolinian sister Charleston, the culinary scene in Savannah is also well-established.
Just because the city is on the coast, you shouldn’t be fooled by thinking seafood is the only option here. Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room was formerly a boardinghouse in Historic Savannah, but has since turned into a restaurant, store and inn.
Much like Blue Willow Inn, the meals are buffet style. Fried chicken, beef stew, sausage and meatloaf represent the meats available, while a plethora of vegetables is also available for consumers. It’s best to wash down all this Southern love with some sweet tea.
Pearly’s Famous Country Cooking – Albany
Nothing better represents the South and its cuisine than the phrase “Breakfast served all day”.
At Pearly’s, eggs, bacon, grits and English muffins are always available. During lunch hours, the menu expands with a “hot plate” consisting of a meat and two sides, or a “vegetable plate” with four sides.
The restaurant offers 16 different meat specialties including: chicken and dumplins, turkey and dressing, fried chicken and spaghetti. Vegetables include lima beans, fried okra, mac and cheese and rutabagas.
Mama’s Boy – Athens
Every college student and townie alike will tell you Mama’s Boy is the best brunch in town, if you can handle the wait.
For me personally, I’m always sold on the place because they have breakfast tacos, not to mention they have salmon cakes Benedict. If you talk to anyone else though, the recommendation is going to be the Mill Town Breakfast Plate, which serves as your typical Southern breakfast.
If you’re at Mama’s Boy, there really is no bad decision. That explains why it continues to be packed in the summer, when the students are out of town.
Whistle Stop Cafe – Juliette
Last on the list is the small town of Juliette and the Whistle Stop Cafe. The restaurant opened after the 1991 film of the same name was filmed in the town; and its staple dish is fried green tomatoes.
Of course, if you don’t want plain fried green tomatoes, you can get a fried green tomato sandwich or a fried green tomato salad. I’m guessing it isn’t overly healthy. Alas, there are options available that don’t have the tomatoes in it, but what would be the point of otherwise going, from so far away?
Before being an infamous southern restaurant, the Whistle Stop Cafe was a general store, vital to the community. Juliette is located just north of Macon in neighboring Monroe County.
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