7 Lucky Foods to Eat in Georgia for the New Year

  • Apples at Mercier Orchards

January 1, the official first day of the New Year, is believed to be the most celebrated day around the globe. In celebrating the birth of a new year, we are also celebrating new life and hope, and what better way to do so than with food! Foods have always been symbolic of new life and richness, and eating them on the first day of the New Year may just guarantee you a very Happy New Year!

Lucky Foods: Peanuts
Lucky Foods: Peanuts

7. Black-eyed peas are traditionally known for bringing you good luck in the New Year, and the Busy Bee Café in Atlanta has been offering them up (and good luck) since 1947.

6. Greens — be they collard, kale, turnip, mustard or even cabbage — is considered a culinary necessity for money and good fortune. Try your greens cooked in classic Southern style at The Colonnade in Atlanta.

5. Apples are symbolic of love and fertility. Mercier Orchards in Ellijay is open year-round and offers apples in a delicious “drinkable” form: hard cider! It’s never too late to pick up a bottle and toast in the New Year.

4. Eat a variety of nuts for great potential and endless possibilities in the year to come. Pick up boiled peanuts at Davis Produce in Savannah or one of many Georgia road-side or produce stands.

3. Noodles for long life . . the longer the noodle the longer your life. Remember to slurp them whole, cutting them up means shortening your life! Raku (locations in Atlanta and Duluth) is my go to place for noodles. Their Tonkatsu Ramen Bowl should make me immortal.

2. Pork. Believe it or not, pigs are a symbol of progress because they continuously root forward. At Jim’s Smokin’ Que in Blairsville, please feel free to root your way through some of the best ribs and wings Georgia has to offer.

1. Cake – especially round cakes (often with coins baked inside) – can mean having come full circle and being ready to start anew. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to name just one place as having the best cakes in the state, but here’s one that offers a HUGE variety to choose from: Piece of Cake in Atlanta.


Jennifer Hill Booker

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker is a Georgia Grown Executive Chef, Atlanta based cookbook author, and culinary educator, and believes that “food should taste like food.” Jennifer has spent her 20-year culinary career educating people about food, nutrition, and healthy cooking practices. Jennifer is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and the author of “Your Resident Gourmet,” full of innovative recipes, cooking trends and fun kitchen gadgets. Click here for more content from Jennifer.

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