What To Eat in Georgia
A state of tremendous culinary contrast, from the most gracious Old-South tea rooms and dress-up Sunday suppers to raffish barbecue parlors and cheap-eats diners with waitresses who call you Hon’. Georgia must-eats include chopped barbecued pork in Augusta or Atlanta (accompanied by either Brunswick stew or hash on rice), hand-pattied biscuits almost everywhere, and fried-chicken all-you-can-eat buffets.
Pot likker is the spruce-green broth retrieved from the pot in which greens have been boiled. The greens – mustard, collard, turnip, dandelion – cook for hours, leeching vegetable goodness into the water and giving it a tonic punch like no other soup. Top it with cornbread crumbles, and you have a true Dixie delight.
There is memorable smoke-cooked pork throughout the state, but in Augusta you will find an old-time way of serving it – topped with crunchy cracklins. Described by Roadfood correspondent Chickenplucker as "pork candy," these crackly bits of fatty skin add immeasurable pleasure to smoky meat that is luxurious even before it gets sauced and cracklin'd.
There's something of a rivalry between Georgia and neighboring South Carolina regarding peaches. South Carolina produces more, but Georgians say theirs are better. We won't take sides in this debate, but we will tell you that peach ice cream in both states is a dish to detour for, especially in peach season from May through July.
Humanitree's vegan menu includes sandwiches as well as cold-pressed juices & smoothies with superfood add-ins. Its vibe is laid-back, artistic, counter-culture.
Ray's is a welcoming, low-key BBQ with blues music in the background and excellent meats on plates & sandwiches. Ribs are superb. Sauce is bright, tangy, sweet.
Shady Lane is a mid-20th century Georgia drive-in known for chili dogs and slaw dogs. No more car hops, though: dine at concrete picnic tables or in the car.
Creativity rules at Macon's Spud Dog: excellent wieners and sausages with outlandish toppings and big baked potatoes stuffed with meats & veggies.
Jackson, Georgia's cafeteria-style soul food town cafe offers meat-and-3 lunch and spectacular sausages, ham, & sausage gravy at breakfast. Open 7 days a week.
A Macon, Georgia, favorite since 1935, Fincher's features pulled & chopped smoke-cooked pork with Brunswick stew etc. Breakfast, too, Tuesday thru Saturday.
A Georgia BBQ country classic, Fresh Air's menu is a no-frills hall of fame: smoke-cooked pork, meaty Brunswick stew, creamy/crisp cole slaw. Cheap, good, fun.
Local families & friends crowd into Charles Seafood for mullet, crab legs, grouper, shrimp & all that swims. It's casual quality, especially fun weekends.
Staffed by culinary arts students of Helms College but overseen by pros, Edgar's Grille is a stylish beacon of "New American cuisine with a Southern flair."