The Comerian: A great little bakery out in Comer, GA (about 20 miles away). The baker is a retired physics professor. There’s a nice state park nearby, an excellent cafe, and a lovely farm store nearby.
Independent Baking Co.: An excellent bakery in Five Points.
Dawg Gone Good BBQ: Good BBQ near campus.
Pulaski Heights BBQ: Solid BBQ, excellent veg options and a nice sauce selection.
Tamez BBQ: Excellent brisket. I rate the cornbread and greens too. Prices are high.
Big City Bread Cafe: This place has grown on me. It’s a simple menu, but the food is tasty, portions are generous and the outdoor space is nice.
Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market: We like this farm to table restaurant for brunch.
Note: There are lots of other places that serve brunch in Athens. I am not entirely persuaded by Mama’s Boy, and I can’t deal with the weekend lines. J Christopher’s is a cheerful (chain) place in Five Points.
Clocked: Excellent burgers at a pleasant place with a good diner feel.
Kelly’s Jamaican Food: Good jerk chicken and pork. Large portions.
New Red Bowl: Not amazing, but they have some good Szechuan dishes.
Comer Coffee: Lovely micro roaster and cafe out in Comer.
Half-Shepherd Market and Cheese Shop: A great deli. Very good cheese and charcuterie.
Athentic: I might like this brew pub more than Creature Comforts. It is resolutely family friendly, and they allow you to bring in food from outside. The beer is nice too.
Creature Comforts Tasting Room: A superb brew pub.
Dinner Party: You can get a good drink sitting at the bar of this restaurant.
The Expat: The owner co-authored a book on Southern cocktails.
The Old Pal: A very good bar in Normaltown. Perhaps the best cocktails in town.
Seabear Oyster Bar: Nice drinks and a very good oyster selection.
Mannaweenta: Is it great? No. Have we had some delicious food there? Yes.
Tacos Los Plebes: A taqueria on the eastside. My favorite until I found Juaritos.
Taqueria Juaritos: Excellent gas station taco stand. The gorditas are great. Superb salsa bar.
Note: I think Tlaloc El Mexicano is adequate but overrated.
Jinya: We’ve ordered from them twice. I like the noodle texture, but the soup bases are mediocre at best.
The Expat: I love the feel of the place but my dining experience has been a bit mixed. On the other hand, the To Go menu during the pandemic was very good. And, as mentioned above, it’s a great place for a drink.
Five & Ten: New Southern. Excellent space. Nice food and drink.
home.made: Regional. Local. Good food. Don’t love the space.
The National: A solid European-inflected restaurant downtown and certainly one of Athens’ best. Consistent but not surprising.
The Grit: Great space, great vibe, tons of history. I’ve been mixed about it, but recently ate a very good vegetarian gyro there. And the sweet potato fries are excellent.