North Georgia’s Favorite Restaurants

Written By: Bre Humphries

IF COOKING THREE MEALS A DAY from home for months on end has taught us anything, it’s this: We are so thankful for local restaurants!

Luckily, many of our favorites have continued to provide take-out and curbside pick-up to give us a break in the kitchen during this unusual season. As many continue to do so, and some dining rooms cautiously reopen at press time, we asked readers to point us towards their favorite local restaurants.

Editors Note: At press time, many restaurants were still figuring out how to navigate the quickly changing nature of the foodservice industry. Please check each restaurant’s website for updated information.

19 DEGREES NORTH

19 N. Chestatee St., Dahlonega, 706-525-7075, 19dgnorth.biz

WHY WE LOVE IT: Southern coastal cuisine so fresh you’ll forget you’re in the North Georgia mountains instead of sitting somewhere on a beach.

FAVORITE DISH: Sweet tea-glazed salmon filet and traditional Low Country Boil

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes

211 MAIN STREET

211 West Main St., Lavonia, 706-356-2877 211mainstreet.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: Freshly baked breads and decadent desserts; this is definitely the place to go for a special treat! Layer cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, gourmet cupcakes and pies make our mouths water, and a selection of salads and sandwiches ensures your meal is balanced, too.

FAVORITE DISH: BLT sandwich on homemade bread with a slice of homemade pie (chocolate caramel pecan, anyone?)

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; curbside and local delivery

2 DOG

317 SUMMER St. SE, Gainesville 770-287-8384, 2dogrestaurant.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: A casual spot for incredibly fresh flavors in everything from burgers to brunch. Breads are baked fresh in-house each day, along with house-made desserts and sauces, while everything else is sourced as locally as possible.

FAVORITE DISH: The Rosa, with tomatoes, white cheddar and balsamic vinegar, though anything on the daily specials menu is worth consideration

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; regular menu and “Family Dinners” available for delivery and pick-up; brunch available on Saturdays only

7 ACRE BARNGRILL

850 Hickory Flat Road, Milton 770-777-2273, 7acrebarngrill.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: Fresh, local, scratch-made food in a stylish modern farmhouse setting; this is garden-to-table fare in its truest form, with many ingredients growing right on the restaurant’s own 7-acre property.

FAVORITE DISH: Shrimp and grits with kielbasa, peppadew peppers and Vidalia onions over pimento cheese grits in a sherry butter sauce

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; limited curbside to-go menu features 7 Acre favorites, desserts, batch cocktails and Sangria

BABA’S GYRO & KABAB

2310 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming, 770-888-8100, babasgyros.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: Unassuming from the outside, yet surprisingly sophisticated on the inside; the fresh Mediterranean fare whisks our senses away with a delightful taste of Greece.

FAVORITE DISH: Avegolmono (a chicken lemon soup) and gyro plates with your choice of lamb or chicken

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes

BAR H BARBECUE

1380 Franklin SUMMERs St., Royston, 706-245-0022

WHY WE LOVE IT: This is some serious homegrown barbecue that makes North Georgia proud! Pulled pork barbecue, ribs, chicken, Brunswick stew … what’s not to love? FAVORITE DISH: We like to go old school with a delicious pork plate with slaw, and of course your meal wouldn’t be complete without one of their homemade cakes and pies, just like mama used to make!

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes, open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. or until they run out of food!

THE BLUE BICYCLE

30 Industrial Park Rd., Dawsonville, 706-265-2153, bluebicycle.net

WHY WE LOVE IT: A true hidden gem boasting seasonal dishes that blend French and Southern influences.

FAVORITE DISH: Coq au vin and freshly cooked bleu cheese chips scattered with scallions and bacon

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; limited bistro menu available, plus family-style meals and the “Covid 19 Cocktail Assistance” program of unique mixes for your favorite spirits.

DOMINIC’S TRUCK ‘N DINE

340, Gilmer Ferry Rd., Ball Ground, 678-454-346, dominicsnewyorkpizza.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: A permanent food truck, parked outside the old general store in Downtown Ball Ground, firing up all kinds of fabulous fare in its wood-fired brick oven; personal-sized pizzas are a daily fixture, while weekly specials include everything from wood-fired tacos to ribeye steaks. A second truck onsite scoops out scratch-made, all-natural ice creams and organic Italian ice.

FAVORITE DISH: The signature Staten Island pizza with pepperoni, bacon and sausage TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; all orders are placed take-out style at the food truck; limited seating is available in the general store or on the back porch. Dominic can also dispatch one of his pizza trailers to cater your next event!

HARVEST ON MAIN

576 E. Main St., Blue Ridge 706-946-6164, harvestonmain.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: Globally influenced food in a rustic Southern setting in one of our favorite little mountain towns; the cabin-style building is at once sophisticated and unpretentious, with an emphasis on local ingredients and its own farm for the production of specialty produce, honey, eggs and meat, including chickens, quail and pheasant.

FAVORITE DISH: Locally farmed rainbow trout with creamy succotash and lemon tapenade

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Only from sister restaurant La Pizzeria at Cucina Rustica in nearby Morganton

HEIRLOOM CAFÉ & FRESH MARKET

815 N. Chase St., Athens 706-54-7901, heirloomathens.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: A nod to tradition with an air of charm in both atmosphere and menu; the aptly named café supports local farmers and artisans and fosters a sense of community.

FAVORITE DISH: The pasta special with pappardelle, confit tomatoes, greens, mushrooms, preserved lemon, pine nuts, chili flake and shaved gouda

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; limited menu available, as well as wine by the glass (a rare find!)

HENRY’S LOUISIANA GRILL

4835 N. Main St., Acworth 770-966-1515, chefhenrys.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: Some say it’s the best Cajun fare in North Georgia, and you’ll be hard-pressed to argue after sampling Crescent City favorites that have been featured on Food Network.

FAVORITE DISH: Fresh from N’Awlins crawfish by the pound (seasonal)

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; limited menu available curbside

LAKE BURRITO

3050 Keith Bridge Rd., Cumming, lakeburrito.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: Hip, casual counter-service dishing out the some of the freshest tacos and burritos around along with a side of good vibes.

FAVORITE DISH: Lake Burrito Bowl, fully customizable with your choice of meat and toppings, but take it from us: the pastor pork with rice, black beans, fresh guac, red cabbage and garbanzo/lime salsa is hard to beat!

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; regular menu as well as “Party Boxes” for 6 to 8 amigos

MAGGIE’S CAFE

1976 Main St., Comer 706-783-3000, maggiescafega.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: A casual spot to grab whatever you’re craving, from salads and sandwiches to burgers and wings, plus the most decadent desserts.

FAVORITE DISH: We should say the Ciabatta & Avocado sandwich with your choice of protein, but we’re leaning toward the key lime cake!

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes

MILTON’S CUISINE & COCKTAILS

800 Mayfield Rd., Alpharetta 770-817-0161, miltonscuisine.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: A preserved and restored 150-year-old farmhouse paying homage to the rural character of downtown Crabapple while providing a gathering spot for the community. Here, the emphasis is on local ingredients, many of which come from Milton’s Acre, an onsite garden.

FAVORITE DISH: Chef’s Signature Pimento Cheese Dip with white cheddar, peppadew and poblano peppers

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes

RIVERSIDE TAVERN

10 Turners Corner Rd., Cleveland, 706-865-0190 riversidetavernturnerscorner.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: The perfect spot to wind down and fill up after a hike on nearby Blood Mountain; offers finger-lickin’ traditional pub fare, plus a full bar and two-story screened deck overlooking the Chestatee River.

FAVORITE DISH: Smoked barbecue chicken and Riverside peach slaw

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes

ROOSTERS CAFÉ

216 Atlanta Rd., Cumming; 770-889-6890 89 Long Branch Rd., Dahlonega 706-867-0244; roosterscafe.net

WHY WE LOVE IT: Everything you want in a hometown hangout: low lighting, kitschy décor, service, and simple, satisfying food

FAVORITE DISH: Wings, wings and more wings! Hands down the best around. Try them Rajun Cajun-style if you like dry seasoning or Rooster Red if you’re feeling adventurous!

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes

TAM’S BACKSTAGE

215 Ingram Ave., Cumming, 678-455-8310, tamsbackstage.com

WHY WE LOVE IT: A favorite spot for dinner and a show, or just a date night out on the town, located in the basement of the historical Cumming playhouse and serving up American cuisine with an Italian flair.

FAVORITE DISH: Roasted duck ravioli in a decadent mushroom alfredo sauce

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes

ZEB’S BAR-B-Q

5742 Highway 29 N, Danielsville 706-795-2701

WHY WE LOVE IT: Beloved Southern fare without too much fanfare—just delectable slow-cooked meats with all the best sides, served up exactly how we like them, plus a little something for your sweet tooth to finish it up.

FAVORITE DISH: Banana pudding cupcakes

TAKE-OUT AVAILABLE: Yes; call to place an order and consider reserving dessert in advance—cupcakes go fast!

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