12 Famous North Georgia Restaurants Southern Foodies Love


When it comes to Southern food, people can be quite particular. It’s not just the food itself, it’s the atmosphere. Yes, Southern cuisine thrives on authenticity, and a true foodie knows where to go and what to avoid.

If you’re looking for the best restaurants in North Georgia to enjoy genuine Southern food, look no further. What follows is the quasi-education on the subject you’ve been looking for.

Best Places To Eat in North Georgia

If you happen to find yourself in North Georgia, you’re in prime foodie territory. Have a look at this list of North Georgia restaurants that’ll be sure to more than match your appetite.

1. Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant

Visitors to the Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant are amazed by the proximity of the hotel to Lake Rabun itself and the Blue Ridge Mountains. That’s not to mention the quality of the food they can get in its restaurant. It’s no surprise that guests are impressed, though. Lake Rabun Hotel is home to one of the most famous restaurants in Georgia (with one of the top-rated brunches in the nation), thanks to the many creative chefs they’ve had on staff, including a James Beard Chef who put Southern Cuisine on the map.

From the farm-to-table experience at Lake Rabun Hotel Restaurant to events, like weddings, retreats and conferences and a wide assortment of outdoor adventures, there’s plenty to keep you as busy as you want to be.. For foodies, spending a few days relaxing on one of the decks in the hotel gives you the opportunity to take it all in – the natural beauty, full gourmet breakfasts, remarkable dinners, outstanding craft cocktails and a surprisingly good wine selection. The location itself also offers a great chance to wander around the magnificently beautiful mountains, farms and farm stands, vineyards, and wineries.

What guests say:

“Food was absolutely phenomenal!” San Francisco

“Amazing meal and atmosphere. One of the best meals we’ve had in GA.”-Dana R.Atlanta

“This was one of the nicest dining experiences I have had in a long time! The service was wonderful. The food was delicious. The atmosphere was delightful. Between sitting on the screened porch with twinkle lights and fireflies – and the dinner music that included Frank Sinatra – I literally felt LIGHTER. It was an experience we will repeat at every opportunity.” – HeidiJ Chicago

Location: 35 Andrea Ln Lakemont, GA 30552

2. Dottie’s Kitchen

If you’re looking for mom-style cooking, look no further than Dottie’s Kitchen in east Helen, GA. Literally dedicated to a Southern mother, this country cafeteria-style restaurant welcomes you with meals that warm the heart.

What guests say:

“So worth the early morning wake up and 45-minute drive across the mountain. This place has incredible Southern soul food.” – Gracian S.

Location: 8287 S Main St Helen, GA 30545

3. The Flying Trout Restaurant

Declaring themselves to be “always fresh, always new, always comfort food,” you get the sense of what the Flying Trout wants to be for its guests. With a menu that showcases the Southern classics, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

What guests say:

“This is my second visit to this great place. I had the southern fried chicken today. Last time I ordered the pork chop. That was fabulous! Great food!” – Kathy F.

Location: 171 Copperhead Pkwy Blairsville, GA 30512

4. Cupboard Cafe

The owner of the Cupboard Cafe, Charlene Johnson, believes you have to give customers what they’re looking for. If you serve good food at a fair price, customers “will come back, again and again.” That’s the philosophy that aims to please, and they’re willing to put their money where your mouth will be.

What guests say:

“Great breakfast! Generous portions and excellent service! Visiting the area and were very pleased with this restaurant.” – Karen L.

Location: 7388 Hwy 441 Dillard, GA 30537

5. Fortify Kitchen and Bar

Farm-to-table fare is the name of the game at Fortify Kitchen and Bar in Clayton, GA. You can expect great food and cocktails here, with the Southern experience that’ll warm the heart and linger long after you’ve returned home.

What guests say:

“The breads and spreads were unexpected and delicious. Every entree was outstanding! If we vacation in northern Georgia again, we’ll be back!” – Mary M.

Location: 69 N Main St Clayton, GA 30525

6. Sunday Diner

What does Sunday Diner bring to mind? That’s right: good, hearty meals. You will find one that satisfies your appetite (and more) at Sunday Diner. They serve breakfast all day, and really good dinners, too.

What guests say:

“So this place was definitely not on my radar when I went to Clayton, but I happened upon it while trying to figure out a quick meal in-between hikes. I ordered the fried chicken family meal and was not disappointed. It was perhaps one of the best fried chicken meals I’ve ever had.” – Melissa O.

Location: 36 Stave Mill St Ste A Clayton, GA 30525

7. Cottage House Restaurant

The Cottage House Restaurant in Cleveland, GA, specializes in old-fashioned, home-style country meals. Just off of Highway 115, their menu — made up of the best meats and veggies — is sure to exceed expectations. Its hearty dessert selection sweetens the deal!

What guests say:

“Solid southern cooking restaurant — cafeteria style — so if you don’t want to wait, you will appreciate the food being immediately on your plate. The atmosphere and food are both pleasant and very typical of a southern restaurant.” – Nicole G.

Location: 5702 Hwy 115 Cleveland, GA 30528

8. Commerce Country Cafe

In the South, there’s always a market for delicious, home-cooked meals. The Commerce Country Cafe (and Gift Store) more than provides that service. With prices that are sure to please — plus arguably the best country biscuits in town — the Commerce Country Cafe drips with the authenticity of the Southern variety.

What guests say:

“Biscuits are amazing! Peach cobbler is amazing! Great spot for a home-cooked meal. This place will make you feel like home and make sure you leave with a full belly.” – Jared T.

Location: 176 Faulkner Rd Commerce, GA 30529

9. Mary’s Southern Grill

If you’re in need of a true Southern breakfast diner at the best restaurants in the north Georgia mountains, look no further than Mary’s Southern Grill. Of course, that’s not all. Sloppy Joes? They have ‘em. Black Angus burgers? Have at ‘em. Their specials change from time to time, but that just calls for repeat visits!

What guests say:

“The food is just straightforward, country fare, and they get it all right.”- Tom C.

Location: 1615 State Hwy 17 Ste 104 Young Harris, GA 30582

10. The Sawmill Place

The Sawmill Place features meals made with the freshest ingredients sourced from local farmers. Georgia-grown, Georgia-made, the home-cooked meals on offer are of the sort you can’t get anywhere else. Once you’re done eating, explore how farm-to-table translates from dining to shopping in their gift shop.

What guests say:

“Service and food were both excellent. I never had brisket hash for breakfast before, and all I can say is OMG. If you’re in the area, give this place a visit, and you will be oh so glad you did.” – Richard N.

Location: 1150 Pat Haralson Dr Blairsville, GA 30512

11. Papa’s Place

At Papa’s Place, they want you to imagine you’re gathering around the table for a home-cooked meal at this diner-style restaurant — and it shows. Family meant everything to the Papa after whom the restaurant is named, and the owners want to extend that feeling to everyone who walks through their doors.

What guests say:

“This was my first time in this restaurant, and I was pleasantly surprised. The service is incredible, and the food is also excellent. It’s a nice family-friendly environment with a feel of true Southern hospitality.” – Michael T.

Location: 3651 Dawson Forest Rd Dawsonville, GA 30534

12. Rabbittown Cafe

The menu at Rabbittown is much larger than rabbit at this cafe — with chicken tenders, chicken pot pie, chicken dumplings, and more. Hop over yourself to see what it’s all about.

What guests say:

“Solid, fresh, and easy-going cafeteria-style spot. Really nice, helpful, and patient staff. We all had breakfast meals, but it was hard not to get enticed by the lunch offerings and sides.” – Ethan F.

Location: 2415 Old Cornelia Hwy Gainesville, GA 30507

Explore the Finest North Georgia Restaurants on Your Next Trip

You’ve been briefed on some of the finest North Georgia restaurants for Southern fare. While going on a massive food tour around the area is exciting, at the end of each day, you will definitely want to rest your head — and your stomach. With a legacy of 99 years and counting, Lake Rabun Hotel stands ready and waiting to accommodate you with great food, service and atmosphere and quick access to all the adventure and munch-worthy sites that call North Georgia their home.

Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and just a short walk from gorgeous Lake Rabun, you’re in one of the most coveted spots in the Georgia. Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant is at heart of Georgia’s farm to table capital where you can find the exact sort of Southern food you’re in Northern Georgia to find.

Get in touch with Lake Rabun Hotel today, and treat yourself to an authentic Southern stay.

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