Best Lunch in Athens GA: Top Picks for Unforgettable Meals

Nestled in the vibrant heart of Georgia, this bustling college town, home to the University of Georgia, is a paradise for those who love to indulge in diverse culinary experiences. From the classic city charm of downtown to the innovative flavors served up in its many eateries, Athens is a place where your taste buds can embark on an unforgettable journey.

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Check out some of my related posts like the best local restaurants in Athens, the best outdoor dining areas in Athens, and best vegan restaurants in Athens.

What’s the best place to get lunch in Athens?

In Athens, GA, the best lunch spot is undoubtedly the Last Resort Grill. This iconic eatery, once a celebrated music venue, now delights with its Southwestern-style Southern cuisine. Its fusion of flavors, coupled with a rich cultural history, makes it a standout in Athens’ vibrant culinary landscape.

Imagine strolling through the streets of downtown Athens, where each corner offers a new taste adventure. Here, you can savor everything from Asian cuisine to classic American dishes, not to mention the city’s signature barbecue. Are you a fan of Asian cuisine? Or perhaps you’re in the mood for comfort food? Downtown Athens has it all.

The Top Lunch Spots In Athens, Georgia

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Last Resort Grill

At the heart of Athens’ culinary scene is the Last Resort Grill, a place where history and flavor meet. Once an iconic music venue, this restaurant now serves a tantalizing mix of Southwestern-style Southern cuisine. It’s more than just a meal; it’s a dive into Athens’ rich cultural tapestry.

Mamas Boy

For those who seek a taste of home, Mama’s Boy is a must-visit. Beloved by both locals and students, this cozy cafe offers everything from biscuits and french toast to hearty fried chicken. It’s the epitome of Southern comfort, served in generous portions that promise to satisfy.

Chuck’s Fish

In the heart of downtown Athens, Chuck’s Fish stands as a beacon for sushi and seafood enthusiasts. Known for its fresh and exquisite seafood selections, this restaurant is a must-visit. Imagine indulging in tender salmon or fresh shrimp sushi rolls in a setting that’s as inviting as it is convenient. It’s a seafood experience that’s hard to beat. It’s one of the best seafood restaurants in Athens.

Lindsey’s Culinary Market

Lindsey’s Culinary Market isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a culinary experience. Offering a taste of Southern lunch staples, it’s perfect for those who love traditional flavors or need catering for special events. From pimento cheese sandwiches to mac and cheese, Lindsey’s brings the soul of Southern cooking to your plate.

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The Place

For sandwich lovers, The Place is a paradise. Known for their mouth-watering Southern food, this eatery takes sandwiches to a new level with fresh ingredients and unique combinations. Whether it’s a classic tomato and bacon marmalade sandwich or something more adventurous, their offerings are a delight for the taste buds.

Trappeze Pub

Trappeze Pub combines a laid-back atmosphere with an impressive selection of craft beer and pizza. Their unique pizza options, featuring fresh, quality ingredients, make it a top choice for those seeking a casual yet delicious dining experience. It’s the perfect spot for pizza enthusiasts looking for something out of the ordinary.


Clocked offers a unique blend of American-style food with a retro ambiance. Known for its delicious pizza and quirky setting, it’s a fantastic place for those craving American-style pizzas. Imagine biting into a slice of pizza loaded with onions, tomato, and melting cheese in a setting that takes you back in time.


Bringing a taste of Hawaii to Athens, Poke is known for its fresh and flavorful poke bowls. Ideal for those seeking a nutritious and satisfying lunch, their bowls feature tender fish and zesty sauces, creating a perfect balance of flavor and health.

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Thai Spoon

Thai Spoon transports you straight to the streets of Bangkok. With a menu boasting classic Pad Thai, spicy green curry, and more, their dishes are crafted with authenticity and fresh ingredients. It’s the perfect spot for those craving a true Thai experience.

New Red Bowl Asian Bistro

At New Red Bowl Asian Bistro, dive into a world where Chinese cuisine meets sushi artistry. Their extensive menu, featuring favorites like fried rice and a variety of sushi dishes, caters to all tastes. It’s a top pick for anyone craving the rich and diverse flavors of Asian cuisine.

Utage Athens Sushi Bar

Utage Athens Sushi Bar is a dream destination for lovers of Japanese cuisine. With an array of sushi rolls, sashimi, yakitori, and tempura, it stands as a testament to the rich and varied flavors of Japan. It’s the perfect spot for an authentic and memorable Japanese dining experience.

The Table Bistro

Experience the vibrant flavors of Vietnam at The Table Bistro. Known for its delicious Pho and flavorful Banh Mi sandwiches, this bistro is ideal for those seeking a comforting lunch filled with noodles and aromatic soups.

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The National

The National brings a Mediterranean twist to Athens with its Spanish and North African influenced dishes. Their lunch menu, featuring items like paella and bolognese, offers a unique and delightful dining experience, perfect for those looking to explore Mediterranean cuisine.

White Tiger Gourmet

For those seeking vegan and vegetarian options, White Tiger Gourmet is a must-visit. Known for its breakfast offerings and homemade jams, it caters to health-conscious diners looking for a variety of tasty and nutritious meals.

Em’s Kitchen at Hawthorne Drugs

Em’s Kitchen at Hawthorne Drugs is a beloved spot for a hearty breakfast. With homemade jams and a range of breakfast options, it’s the ideal place for starting your day with a fulfilling and homey meal.

Five and Ten

Under the guidance of renowned chef Hugh Acheson, Five and Ten offers a luxurious brunch experience with a focus on Southern cuisine. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a high-end brunch in a sophisticated atmosphere.

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Cali n Tito’s

At Cali n Tito’s in Five Points, a fusion of Latin flavors awaits. This laid-back, family-friendly spot is perfect for enjoying a weekend brunch with a Latin twist, offering a unique and enjoyable dining experience. It’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in Athens.


Seabear is not just an oyster parlor; it’s a seafood lover’s dream. Known for its Sunday brunch and an impressive selection of oysters on the half shell, it’s the go-to place for fresh and delectable seafood dishes.

The World Famous

For those seeking a refined afternoon tea experience, The World Famous is a perfect choice. Indulge in freshly baked scones, rich clotted cream, and an assortment of finger sandwiches in a setting that’s both casual and elegant.

Taqueria del Sol

Taqueria del Sol stands out with its unique blend of Southern and Mexican cuisines. Offering both fusion dishes and classic American fare, it’s a great spot for those looking to enjoy a delicious lunch with a twist.

Related Post! The Best College Bars In Athens

The Royal Peasant

Experience the charm of a British-style pub at The Royal Peasant. Known for its juicy burgers and classic pub fare, it offers a relaxed dining atmosphere, perfect for a laid-back meal.

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Creature Comforts

Creature Comforts is a testament to Athens’ thriving local business scene. While known for its brewery, it’s also a popular spot for grabbing a refreshing beer and soaking in the local vibe.

Munch Hut Deli & Store

For a quick and satisfying lunch, Munch Hut Deli & Store is the place to go. Offering sandwiches, salads, and soups, it’s perfect for those in search of a casual yet delicious meal.


Home.made prides itself on dishes made from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. Their Southern flair is evident in every dish, offering a unique and authentic dining experience.

The Expat

The Expat mixes French cuisine with a Southern twist in a cozy cocktail bar and bistro setting. It’s perfect for those seeking an elegant dining experience with creatively crafted dishes.

Taqueria Tsunami

Taqueria Tsunami offers an exciting mix of Latin American and Asian flavors. Known for dishes like Korean BBQ tacos and sushi rolls with a Mexican twist, it’s a paradise for anyone who loves fusion cuisine.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top-rated restaurants for lunch in Athens, GA?

There are several top-rated lunch spots in Athens, GA. Some of the favorites include The Place, home.made, and Cali N Tito’s. These restaurants offer a variety of cuisines and have garnered positive reviews from locals and visitors alike.

Which seafood restaurants are popular for lunch in Athens?

For seafood lovers, Seabear is a popular choice for lunch in Athens. This petite oyster parlor offers a rotating roster of six varieties on the half shell, along with other seafood options.

Which restaurants are open for lunch in Athens, GA?

Most restaurants in Athens are open for lunch, with many offering a specific lunch menu or special lunch deals. To find out the opening hours and lunch offerings of specific restaurants, it’s best to check their websites or online listings, such as OpenTable.

What are some upscale lunch options in Athens?

For diners seeking a more upscale lunch experience in Athens, both The Chop House and The National are recommended options. The Chop House is a well-known steakhouse with a classy atmosphere, while The National offers Mediterranean-inspired dishes in an elegant setting.

Where can I find a good Mexican lunch in Athens, GA?

A popular choice for Mexican cuisine in Athens is Cali N Tito’s. They offer a wide variety of Mexican dishes with a focus on fresh ingredients, and their festive atmosphere makes it a popular spot for lunch.

Are there delicious homemade lunch options available in Athens, GA?

For homemade lunch options, home.made is an excellent choice. They pride themselves on creating dishes from scratch using locally sourced ingredients, resulting in a unique and authentic dining experience.