1. Southern Soul Barbecue, 2. The Dillard House Restaurant, 3. Maggiano’s Little Italy, 4. Home Grown GA Restaurant, 5. Aviva by Kameel, 6. Canoe, 7. Bones Restaurant. We adore Georgia's lesser-known restaurants. They are usually the ones with the most fascinating menus and the greatest flavors. Consider this a follow-up to our exhaustive coverage of little-known locations and hole-in-the-wall eateries. (Or part three or four, if you're lucky.) This time, we went even deeper into Georgia's little communities to pick the brains of inhabitants who swear by their hidden treasures. Take a look at these ten joints that made the cut for our list.
- Southern Soul Barbecue
- The Dillard House Restaurant
- Maggiano’s Little Italy
- Home Grown GA Restaurant
- Aviva by Kameel
- Bones Restaurant
Southern Soul Barbecue
For those who enjoy their cuisine as much as their travel adventures, a visit to one of Georgia’s most popular barbecue restaurants is similar to undertaking a pilgrimage. A dinner at Southern Soul is bound to be love at first bite, as the eatery consistently provides mouthwatering fare. There is both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as excellent courteous service, in this former petrol station. The pulled pork, beef brisket, and burnt ends are amazing, and they’re accompanied with four delicious sauces. The service is swift and efficient at one of South Georgia’s greatest restaurants, the beer selection is fantastic, and the experience is amazing. Also excellent are the fried okra and fried green beans.
On a typical day at Southern Soul, patrons on barstools converse with the counter staff, creating a buzz of excitement in the small dining room. Diners sit at wooden picnic tables in the warm seaside air under a large, high-sloping umbrella, munching into baskets stacked high with sliced turkey, smoked chicken, and juicy brisket.
The wide menu of Southern Soul combines traditional Lowcountry Georgia fare like hoppin’ John and sour Brunswick stew with a few out-of-town guests, including as burned ends, brisket chili, and a “Barbecuban” sandwich with pork, Swiss, and pickles on a griddled bread. The ribs are the best—thick and meaty, with a wonderful blend of tender and chewy texture, a beautiful sweet char on the outside, and plenty of smoke.
Location: 2020 Demere Rd, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522, USA
Cuisine: American, Barbecue
Opening Hours: Daily, 11AM-9PM
The Dillard House Restaurant
The Dillard House, one of the top restaurants in north Georgia for a full home style supper, is known for its quaint & historic location as well as spectacular mountain vistas. Guests can taste the whole menu with their unique all-you-can-eat serving approach, allowing for a fascinating and enriching eating experience. When in the area, a peaceful supper in a gorgeous location in the little town of Dillard is a must-do. Country fried steak, Lima beans, acorn squash soufflé, and cobbler are some of the most flavorful and tasty recipes made using fresh ingredients.
You would expect merely a meal when you visit the Dillard House Restaurant, but you’re in for a true Southern culinary experience. Their meals feature big quantities of traditional Southern delicacies prepared using recipes passed down through the decades by Dillard House cooks and Dillard family members. Every day of the year, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are offered “family-style.”
The fundamental purpose of the Dillard House restaurant is customer happiness and friendliness. Every meal is meticulously prepared to ensure that no one goes hungry. In fact, if you keep asking for more, they’ll keep giving it to you. It’s also worth noting that they have holiday meals. Since 1917, the Dillard House Restaurant has been run by a family. Their family takes pride in delivering only the freshest meals, prepared daily using ingredients sourced from local and nearby farms. They were honored by Southern Living Magazine with two Reader Choice Awards. One for the Best Breakfast/Brunch Restaurant and the other for the Southern Favorite Restaurant.
Location: 768 Franklin St, Dillard, GA 30537, USA
Cuisine: American, vegetarian friendly
Opening Hours: 8-10:30AM; 11:30AM-8PM (Mon-Fri), 7:30-10:30AM; 11:30AM-8PM (Sat-Sun). Closes at 7:30PM on Sundays.
Maggiano’s Little Italy
From the start, the restaurant was a huge success. Eager guests queued for hours to enjoy Italian–American cuisine in a family setting, evocative of a Sunday night visit to their grandmother’s house — or, as they say in Italy, nonna’s casa! These delectable food, combined with excellent service, ample servings, and a welcoming ambience, kept their guests and their families returning.
From the moment you walk inside Maggiano’s, you’ll feel welcomed by the beautiful chandelier at the entrance, the exquisite furnishings, and the pleasant ambiance. This lovely business gets a big thumbs up for its incredible food and fantastic service. It’s considered one of Georgia’s best Italian restaurants. The personnel are extremely attentive and efficient in meeting customer demands, and the cuisine is fresh, flavorful, and well-presented. The veal marsala, shrimp pasta, gnocchi, ravioli, and lasagne, as well as the cheesecake with fresh strawberries, are all outstanding. For a lovely dining experience, dig into your sumptuous Italian dinner while sipping a drink from their well-stocked bar. Their substantial portions and eat-one-take-one deal provide excellent value.
Maggiano’s has one primary goal: to make customers feel special, and that begins with the food. Their Team Members must also make their Guests feel unique. By honoring their diversity, originality, and personal triumphs, they ensure that their Team feels a feeling of belonging and ownership in their successes.
Location: 3368 Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30326, USA
Cuisine: Italian, with vegan options
Opening Hours: 11AM-10PM (Mon-Fri); 11AM-11PM (Sat); 10:30AM-10PM (Sun)
Phone: (210) 451-6000
Home Grown GA Restaurant
This retro-style country diner is one of Georgia Atlanta’s top eateries for an authentic Southern breakfast and lunch. The unique decor, old booths, kind friendliness, and wonderful food all contribute to the Home Grown dining experience. All of the dishes are made using farm fresh ingredients, which gives the food its distinct flavor. Customers rave about their fried chicken, which is served with a mouthwatering smokey gravy. Also delicious are the homemade pancakes, freshly squeezed juice, and iced tea. This quaint and cozy restaurant, located on a busy Atlanta street, is a nice spot to enjoy some local comfort cuisine at a fair price.
Sure, you’ve probably seen something similar to this in other areas. Produce cultivated in the area. That’s fine, but it’s been done before. It’s nothing unusual to use fresh ingredients. A delectable dinner that satisfies your palate without clogging your arteries? It’s a test. On weekends, Home Grown serves a full brunch menu with inventive and delicious breakfast selections. Home grown has already established itself as a beloved neighborhood hangout site for locals and a must-stop for anybody going through the east Atlanta area by car, bike, scooter, motorcycle, or foot.
Location: 968 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30316, USA
Cuisine: American, with vegan and gluten-free options
Opening Hours: 7AM-3PM (Mon-Fri); 7AM-2PM (Sat-Sun)
Aviva by Kameel
Aviva by Kameel is the result of a lifetime’s work that is now being passed down to the next generation. Kameel Srouji, the youngest of 11 children born in Nazareth, has always had a passion for cooking. He actively assisted his mother and sisters in the preparation of family meals, which were frequently shared with extended family and neighbors. Kameel’s mother instilled in him culinary values, which he has maintained with him throughout his work as a Chef and Restaurateur.
The use of only premium ingredients and Olive Oil, as well as a strict attention to hygiene and the use of generational family recipes, are among these values. Kameel’s dedication to these values has shaped him into the Chef he is today, culminating in his finest achievement, Aviva by Kameel.
The pleasant and uplifting ambiance is the first thing that strikes you when you walk into this traditional Mediterranean eatery. With his personal attention and complementary meal samples for those waiting in line, chef and owner Kameel takes hospitality to the next level. At one of Georgia’s most popular restaurants serving Middle Eastern cuisine, you’ll find delicious organic and flavorful food served in big portions. Their rosemary chicken, roasted red potatoes, chicken shawarma, and falafels are outstanding, and they come with excellent hummus and other sides. The veggie platter is nutritious, filling, and delicious. Aviva is a great place to grab a quick and healthy bite when you’re in downtown Atlanta.
Location: 225 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
Cuisine: Lebanese, Mediterranean
Opening Hours: 7:30AM-4PM (Mon-Fri)
Phone: (470) 355-6543
One of Georgia’s best restaurants has a stunning location that is ideal for a romantic date or a special occasion. The beautiful planted gardens and riverbank location contribute to the allure of this farm-to-table diner, which serves superb food and provides exceptional service. The servers are competent, kind, and speedy, and they give excellent recommendations for your order. The lamb on chickpea appetizer, seafood dishes, smoked duck breast, roasted vegetables, and rhubarb plum sauce are all outstanding. The exquisite location, tranquil environment, and friendly hospitality set the restaurant apart from its competitors, resulting in an outstanding dining experience.
Location: 4199 Paces Ferry Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339, USA
Opening Hours: 11:30AM-2:30PM; 5:30-10PM (Mon-Thurs), 11:30AM-2:30PM; 5:30-11PM (Fri),5:30-11PM (Sat), 10:30AM-2:30PM; 5:30-9:30PM
Phone: (416) 364-0054
Bones was founded in 1979 with the goal of providing only the best service, steaks, and seafood. Since then, they’ve been hailed as Atlanta’s best steakhouse — and by many, America’s best steakhouse. Along with regional dishes with Southern heritage, prime meat, fresh seafood, and Maine lobster are served.
Bones, which specializes on corporate lunches and dinners, also offers private party rooms and customized menus to accommodate fine dining and special occasions. For the past sixteen years, Bones has garnered the Best of Atlanta Steakhouse Award every year. Bones recently received the top cuisine and service rating of any steakhouse in America, according to Zagat. They are proud of this ranking, and we will do everything in our power to maintain it.
Anyone visiting this historic diner serving the best steaks in town will be left with a lasting impression thanks to the elegant decor and superb service. The bone-in ribeye steak, scallops, lobster bisque, and mixed grill are all cooked to perfection. The bar has an extensive wine menu to choose from, and the extremely experienced waiters provide excellent service. Their consistent quality and wonderful atmosphere make it ideal for a romantic dinner date or a huge official event.
Location: 3130 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305, USA
Cuisine: American, Steakhouse
Opening Hours: 11:30Am-2:30PM; 5:30-10PM (Mon-Fri)