Best Restaurants in Athens GA Near UGA: Top Picks for Foodies and Students

Athens, Georgia, known as the home of the University of Georgia, unfolds a dynamic culinary tapestry that resonates with students, locals, and tourists alike. This Classic City is a treasure trove of dining experiences, ensuring every palate is catered to. Athens distinguishes itself from morning delights to nocturnal cravings with its culinary diversity.

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What are the best restaurants near UGA?

Near UGA, Athens boasts a vibrant culinary scene with top-notch eateries like The National, The Last Resort Grill, and The World Famous. Whether you’re seeking creamy pasta at DePalma’s Italian Cafe, jerk chicken at The Royal Peasant, or unique doughnuts at Ike & Jane, Athens promises a delightful dining experience.

Athens is the place to be whether you’re yearning for a wholesome breakfast, a sumptuous lunch or dinner, or a unique gastronomic journey. It’s pivotal to highlight that plant-based enthusiasts, coffee lovers, and dessert aficionados will find Athens a paradise. Moreover, Athens takes pride in its spirited beverage scene, boasting an array of wines, beers, and handcrafted cocktails.

Key Highlights

  • Athens, GA is a beacon of varied culinary offerings, from breakfast to dinner.
  • A haven for vegetarian, vegan, coffee, and dessert explorations.
  • A vibrant array of wine, beer, and cocktail venues for those who appreciate a good drink.

Diving into Athens’ Gastronomy

Venturing into Athens, Ga, it’s clear that its allure isn’t just the University of Georgia but also its remarkable food scene. As a distinguished college locale, Athens presents many dining venues catering to a spectrum of tastes.

What sets Athens apart from its academic counterparts is its culinary breadth. From heartwarming Southern dishes to international culinary adventures, Athens is a food lover’s dream.

Our gastronomic expedition in Athens spotlighted several standout eateries in proximity to the UGA campus. These venues, catering to a range of tastes and budgets, are worth noting:

  • Southern Delights: Relish the essence of the South with staples like fried chicken, BBQ, and biscuits.
  • Worldly Cuisines: Dive into authentic global flavors, from Italian to Japanese.
  • Farm-to-Fork: Establishments prioritizing local produce, ensuring meals are fresh and supporting local communities.
  • Plant-Based Choices: Athens offers a vibrant selection for those leaning towards vegan and vegetarian dishes.

With such culinary richness, Athens, GA beckons every food lover. We recommend every visitor to delve into the city’s gastronomic offerings. Athens is poised to delight and satisfy every culinary adventurer.

Breakfast Spots Near UGA

Mama’s Boy

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A beloved breakfast haven in Athens, Mama’s Boy is celebrated for its mouthwatering biscuits and gravy.

With a menu featuring omelets, waffles, and French toast, and their locally-famed coffee, it’s an ideal spot to kickstart your day.

Mayflower Restaurant

Located just a stone’s throw from UGA, the Mayflower Restaurant is Athens, Georgia’s breakfast gem.

Its inviting ambiance and classic Southern breakfast offerings make it the go-to spot for students and locals seeking a hearty morning meal before a day on campus.

Lunch and Dinner Options

Athens Georgia

The Place

A brainchild of UGA graduates Ryan and Alan Pope, The Place is a Southern culinary gem on College Ave.

Renowned for its comfort food, diners can indulge in their signature burgers, fried chicken, and biscuits.

The National

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Nestled on Lumpkin St, The National is a wine-centric bistro with a welcoming ambiance. Under the guidance of Chef Hugh Acheson, it offers a diverse menu, from tacos to steaks.

The Last Resort Grill

An Athens staple on College Ave, The Last Resort Grill captivates with its array of choices, from pizzas to salads. Its Southern-inspired dishes, coupled with its warm service, make it a must-visit.


For those seeking an international flavor, Mannaweenta offers authentic Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes. Known for its vegetarian delights, friendly service, and laid-back vibe, it’s a culinary journey worth taking.


Offering a fresh, local dining experience, Home.made stands out with its Southern dishes with a modern twist. Gourmet cornbread, spiced peach salad, and grilled shrimp and grits are just a few of its offerings.

Five and Ten

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A pinnacle of Athens’ dining, Five and Ten on Milledge Ave presents a contemporary Southern menu. From the Expat burger to the salted caramel cake, it promises a memorable dining experience.

Dive into these lunch and dinner spots to savor the best of Athens, GA, in proximity to UGA.

Late Night Eats and Pubs

World Famous

Ever thought about where to find the heart and soul of Athens, GA’s nightlife? Especially near the UGA campus? Enter World Famous.

This snug haven isn’t just a name; it’s an experience. Bursting with a rich tapestry of flavors, it’s where the city’s pulse beats the loudest. What’s on the menu, you ask?

  • Smoky Barbecue that dances on your tongue
  • Mediterranean plates that transport you to sun-kissed shores
  • Tasty bites that are the perfect companions for their craft brews

But wait, there’s more! Thirsty for a drink? World Famous stands proudly near the Creature Comforts brewery, ensuring that a refreshing cocktail is always within arm’s reach.

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Trappeze Pub

Ever had that late-night craving that only a classic pub can satisfy? Trappeze Pub is your answer. Nestled near UGA, it’s the embodiment of comfort and camaraderie. Dive into:

  • An extensive range of tap and bottled beers
  • Comfortable seating areas that beckon you to relax and chat
  • Delicious appetizers that are best enjoyed with good company

In essence, both World Famous and Trappeze Pub are the luminaries of late-night dining near the UGA campus. So, next time you’re in Athens, GA, why not let them light up your evening?

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Unique Dining Experiences

Hungry for something out of the ordinary in Athens, GA, especially near UGA? Downtown Athens is a treasure trove of culinary delights waiting to be discovered.

Cali N Tito’s

First stop: Cali N Tito’s. A local gem that’s a melting pot of Latin American zest and Asian flair. Wondering what’s cooking?

Key Offerings:

  • A tantalizing fusion of Latin American and Asian cuisine
  • Wallet-friendly prices that’ll have you coming back for more
  • A laid-back vibe that’s perfect for those spontaneous food adventures

SeaBear Oyster Bar

Craving the ocean’s bounty? SeaBear Oyster Bar is where the sea meets the city.

Whether it’s oysters that taste like a fresh ocean breeze or a seafood tower that’s a feast for the eyes and palate, they’ve got you covered.

And for those who prefer terra firma, their upscale steakhouse dishes are a gastronomic delight.

Key Offerings:

  • Seafood that’s as fresh and flavorful as it gets
  • Upscale steakhouse options for when you want to indulge
  • A chic setting that’s both welcoming and sophisticated

In a nutshell, both Cali N Tito’s and SeaBear Oyster Bar are culinary beacons in downtown Athens. So, when you’re exploring the city, make sure to let your taste buds embark on this delectable journey!

Delectable Desserts and Coffee

Ever dreamt of the perfect dessert paired with a cup of aromatic coffee in Athens, GA, especially near UGA? Let’s embark on this sweet journey together.

Here are some handpicked spots that promise to make your dessert dreams come true:

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  • Hendershot’s Coffee – Ever had a coffee so smooth it felt like velvet? Pair it with their irresistible doughnuts or muffins. Trust us; it’s a match made in heaven.
  • Jittery Joe’s Coffee – Imagine a cozy nook where you can sip on a fragrant cup of tea, accompanied by jam-slathered toast or a flaky scone. Sounds dreamy, right?

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Thinking of going green with your meals in Athens, GA, near UGA? You’re in for a treat! Here are some eateries that promise a gastronomic delight:

  • Slutty Vegan – Originating from Atlanta, they’ve brought their vegan magic to Athens. Their vegan burgers? Simply irresistible.
  • Mannaweenta – Dive into the rich flavors of Ethiopian cuisine with vegan delights like Yemisser Wot and Gomen Wot.
  • VeGreen Vegetarian Fusion Restaurant – A culinary journey that spans continents, catering to both vegan and vegetarian tastes.

Exploration of Drinks: Wine, Beer, and Cocktails

Ready to embark on a liquid journey in Athens, GA, especially near UGA? Here’s where you can quench your thirst:

Athentic Brewing Company – Nestled in Normaltown, this brewery is a haven for craft beer enthusiasts. From tangy sours to robust stouts, there’s a brew for every palate.

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The Old Pal – Step into an intimate setting where cocktails tell a story. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic or something avant-garde, they’ve got you covered.\

So, whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a beer buff, or a cocktail enthusiast, Athens promises an exhilarating experience for every drinker. Cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top sit-down restaurants near UGA?

Around the UGA campus, you’ll find a plethora of top-notch sit-down restaurants. Dive into the “18 best restaurants in Athens” list to discover gems like The National, The Last Resort Grill, and The Place. Whether you’re craving a sandwich with bacon marmalade or a dish featuring salmon, these establishments promise a delightful sit-down dining experience.

Which fast food places are popular in Athens, GA?

While Athens boasts popular fast-food chains like Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s, it’s also home to unique local options. Craving a burger with bacon or a side of Belgian fries? Check out the list of restaurants near UGA campus for some fast-food treasures.

Where can I find a great lunch spot in Athens, GA?

For a memorable lunch in Athens, GA, consider spots like The Royal Peasant, known for its jerk chicken, or Mama’s Boy, where Sunday brunch is a must-try. Dive into the “Atlanta Eats’ top restaurants near UGA campus” list for more delectable options, including places that serve up delicious sandwiches and green tomatoes.

Which downtown Athens restaurants are highly recommended?

Downtown Athens is a culinary hotspot. From The World Famous, where you can indulge in pulled pork, to SeaBear Oyster Bar with its fresh salmon offerings, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on Cali-N-Tito’s, where plantains are a crowd favorite. For more recommendations, explore the “Insider’s Guide to the best restaurants in Athens GA.”

What late-night dining options are available near Athens, GA?

Late-night cravings in Athens, GA? Head to Clocked! for a side of onion rings or The Grill for their renowned ice creams. For more options, especially those that might serve up a plate of jerk pork or hanger steak, check out the “best restaurants in Athens” list. Some of these eateries even extend their hours on weekends.

Which Italian restaurants are popular in Athens, GA?

For an Italian feast in Athens, GA, consider DePalma’s Italian Cafe, where pasta dishes reign supreme, or La Dolce Vita, where the aroma of fresh tomatoes and onions fills the air. Carrabba’s Italian Grill is another favorite, offering everything from creamy dishes to pizzas. Whether you’re a vegetarian seeking options or someone who loves a good sausage dish, these Italian restaurants promise a delightful experience.