100 Plates Locals Love

100 Plates Locals Love

We covered every region of Georgia to find the best local dishes from tasters all over the state. Study up, hit the road, and share your favorites using #GeorgiaEats. (Menu items subject to change and seasonality. Call ahead for availability.)

Chef Holly's Top 10

Chef Holly Chute knows fresh ingredients. As executive chef of Georgia Grown, Chef Holly loves to share the flavors and produce that make Georgia’s culinary scene unique. To start off our list, she shares 10 of her must-try locally sourced dishes in Georgia.

Braised Lamb Shank, Aria, Atlanta. Chef Gerry Klaskala never disappoints. This incredibly tender lamb shank is elevated with the creamy polenta, shitake mushrooms and the tartness of the gremolata.

Cheshire Pork Tenderloin, Canoe, Atlanta. For an Aussie, Chef Matt Bassford gets Southern cuisine. The croquette and collard greens really complement the flavor of the pork, and the potlicker gives him Southern credibility.

Pappardelle, Colletta Italian Food & Wine, Alpharetta. You can’t go wrong with good pappardelle, but Chef Jason Stern’s combination of duck ragu, pistachios and black truffles make this dish sublime.

Blueberry Cobbler with Molasses Ice Cream, The Farmer & The Larder, Brunswick. This simple dish served in a cast iron skillet is Southern food at its best. The blueberries pop and are enhanced by the uniquely delicious molasses ice cream. This is an absolutely delicious, approachable dish from the kitchen of James Beard nominee Chef Matthew Raiford.

Quail Madeira, The Grey, Savannah. Chef Mashama Bailey takes the ingredients from her Southern roots to a new level of creativity and flavor.

Soul Rolls, Harvest Moon Cafe, Rome. Collard greens are synonymous with the South, but this preparation breaks the stereotype of mushy overcooked greens. The bacon and the crisp apple enhance the collards, and the honey chipotle sauce completes the dish while leaving you wanting more.

Pecan Crusted Bramlett Farms Trout, Harvest on Main, Blue Ridge. Anyone can crust trout with pecans, but the flavor of Branlett Farms trout and the unique smokiness of the chipotle corn along with the bacon really stand out in this dish.

Duck Gumbo, the LOCAL Kitchen:Bar, Tifton. Chef David Scarbrough takes duck, which a lot of people are afraid to try, and makes it approachable yet very unique. This dish says…more.

Shrimp and Lemon Linguine, Saltyard, Atlanta. Chef Nick Leahy takes the best quality simple, local ingredients and turns them into a party of flavors in your mouth.

Fried Chicken, Table & Main, Roswell. Chef Woody Back’s fried chicken has been referred to as one of the best, and I have to agree. The quality of the chicken along with the crispy, crunchy crust makes this a winner.

Atlanta Metro

Ooey Gooey Mooey Burger at Uncle Jack's Meat House in Duluth, Georgia

Ooey Gooey Mooey Burger, Uncle Jack's Meat House, Duluth. This burger is unlike any I've ever had! The quality of the meat is fantastic. It's served with a secret sauce, onion jam, maple pepper bacon, and a buttermilk blue cheese fondue that puts it over the top. –Jessica W.

Black Spaghetti, Boccalupo, Atlanta. Perfect al dente squid ink pasta with spicy sausage and plump shrimp. –Bob L.

Pimento Cheese Fritters, Chicken and the Egg, Marietta. Pimento cheese is the ultimate Southern snack, and Chicken and the Egg sure knows how to make it right! It’s creamy, zesty, and the perfect consistency. –Charles C.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Food 101, Sandy Springs. That crisp, tangy crunch of the fried chicken and the melt-in-your-mouth whipped potatoes are the definition of delicious! –Melissa L.

Gyro Plate, Graffiti's Pizza A Greek Taverna, McDonough. Graffiti’s Gyro plate is simply amazing. The gyro meat is cooked to perfection, and the creamy house-made tzatziki sauce is made fresh daily from a 50-year-old secret recipe. –Jeff H.

Spicy Thai Kale Salad, Green Love Kitchen, Lithonia. I love everything about this dish, from the bell peppers and onions to the spicy peanut butter-infused kale – it’s green goodness with an Asian twist, and it's DELICIOUS. –Angela W.

RC’s Chargrilled Oysters, Hugos Oyster Bar, Roswell. The flavor is out of this world together with the French bread to dip up the juice! –Lo V.

Fried Green Tomatoes, Palmer's, Peachtree City. This dish has an incredible balance of sweetness and tartness. An incredible variation on the classic! –Brian L.

Meatball Al Sugo, Sugo Kitchen, Johns Creek. The Meatball is a must! You can often find owner Mr. C giving a cooking class on how to prepare this family recipe. –Shelby M.

Pork Cheek Tacos, The Iberian Pig, Decatur. Stuffed with savory braised pork, grilled corn salsa, avocado crema, and topped with cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lime, this is one small plate to be sure to try. –Elizabeth E.

Classic South

Grilled Pork Chop at The National Tavern at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia

Grilled Pork Chop, The National Tavern at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro. This pork chop comes with the perfect sear from a wood-burning oven. Plus, the pork is equivalent to marbled Kobe beef. You can cut it with a fork, no knife. –Brianna M.

Haus Garten, Farmhaus Burger, Augusta. One of the best veggie burgers I've ever had - and even better knowing the ingredients are locally sourced. I stop in for my burger every time I'm in Augusta. –Jennifer R.

Fried Okra, Finch And Fifth, Augusta. Perfectly fried okra served with pimento cheese and bacon jam. What's not to love? –Sandy F.

Tonkatsu Pork, Good Day Cafe, Waynesboro. One of my many favorites on their menu, be sure to check this place out. –Heather H.

Half Barbecue Chicken, Goolsby's, Evans. Best BBQ sauce! –Joy S.

Barbecue Pork Platter, Heavy's Barbeque, Crawfordville. Best barbecue in the state. Best meat, best sauces, best tea (yeah, that's part of it), and best service (oh HELL yeah that's part of it). And no, it ain't like your momma or daddy or granddaddy made it. It's better. –Robert S.

The Bee’s Knees, Honey Cafe & Catering, Millen. A croissant with homemade pimento cheese, ham, and pepper jelly — YUM, YUM!  Napkins are a must. –Mandy U.

Potato Salad, Lew's Bar-B-Que, Twin City. If I could make a full meal out of this potato salad, I really would. –Graham S.

Shrimp and Grits, The Stadium Bar And Grill, Tennille. An unexpected but delectable classic Southern dish at this fabulous sports bar. –Carla H.

Soul Rolls, Sweet Tea Grille at the Mill, Swainsboro. Collard greens, black-eyed peas, pork, rice, and onion fried to perfection in an egg roll. Out of this world! –Amy L.


Shrimp and Grits at ECHO on St. Simons Island, Georgia

Shrimp and Grits, ECHO, St. Simons Island. Georgia's own Gayla's Grits and delicious Wild Georgia Shrimp make a mouthwatering combination - loved by locals and guests alike! –Bud S.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Belford's Savannah Seafood and Steaks, Savannah. It’s perfection. –Vivian G.

Cumberland Surf and Turf, Captain Seagle's Seafood Restaurant & Saloon, St. Marys. The filet mignon is tender and cooked to order. You can enjoy fresh shrimp fried, grilled, or blackened. The mashed potatoes are just like mama's, and the vegetables and bread round out the meal perfectly. –Angela W.

'Merica Burger, The Local on 17, Richmond Hill. Exceptionally and always perfectly cooked. –Christy S.

Gorgonzola Sirloin, Millhouse Steakhouse, Kingsland. The rich robust sirloin paired with the buttery garlic gorgonzola cream sauce makes me choose it every time I visit. Definitely my go-to choice! –Sherry P.

Fresh Blue Crab Bucket, Sunbury Crab Company, Sunbury. What's not to love about fresh caught seafood?! My family and I love to head out here on a weekend for fresh seafood paired with one of their mouthwatering sides. –Erin J.

BLT Salad, The Olde Pink House, Savannah. When you combine the slightly sour green tomatoes with the sweet tasty bacon, spicy black pepper, and rich buttermilk dressing, each bite takes you one step closer to heaven! –Jeremy H.

Tomahawk Pork Chop, The Public House, St. Simons Island. It is the best pork chop I have ever eaten. It is tender and juicy. The sauce and side dishes complete the meal with an awesome blend of flavors. –Debbie H.

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken, Savannah Taphouse, Savannah. Pounded chicken breast marinated overnight in herbs and strong tea, breaded, and fried. Served over homemade mashed potatoes and covered in a sweet tea gravy. Best thing I've ever eaten. –Macey F.

Fried Pork Chop Sandwich, Willie's Wee-Nee Wagon, Brunswick. Awesome sandwich. –Michael D.

Historic Heartland

Iron Fork Steak Sandwich at the Iron Fork Cafe in Eatonton, Georgia

Iron Fork Steak Sandwich, Iron Fork Cafe, Eatonton. It's perfect — from the toasted buttery bun to the high-quality steak and delicious gravy. It's also great with a beer from Oconee Brewing! –Valerie D.

Lamb Burger, Big City Bread Cafe, Athens. I love the combination of the salty, juicy lamb with the richness of the egg yolk, contrasted with the cool freshness of the chimichurri. The roll soaks up all the juices and keeps everything together. –Melanie R.

Ropa Vieja, Cuban Island Cafe, Bonaire. The flavors are wonderful, and the meat is so juicy. –Kimby E.

Walter White, Fully Loaded Pizza, Watkinsville. Best pizza ever!! So gooooood!! –Brandy B.

Double Shrimp and Grits, Grits Cafe, Forsyth. Southern twang of barbecue added to a great Southern dish. –Marlies P.

White Pizza, Ingleside Village Pizza, Macon. It’s delicious. I get mine with extra black olives and a salad. –Billie I.

Ooey Gooey, Mama Jewel's Kitchen, Athens. Deliciousness! Fried chicken, homemade biscuit, melted brie, and jalapeño peach jelly. Nothing could be better. –Kelley P.

Carrot Casserole, Oil Lamp Restaurant, Perry. Silky, sweet, and nutritious! Homemade comfort. We usually eat it as dessert. –Gabriela G.

Bahn Mi, The Perfect Pear, Perry. I love the combination of flavors — you have sweet, tangy, and spicy all wrapped up into one! –Michelle R.

Filet Mignon Bernaise, Seven Gables Restaurant & Bar, Conyers. The filet and béarnaise are such a wonder combination that I don’t even open the menu. Have enjoyed it over the past 20 years. –Tom H.

Historic High Country

Sourwood Fried Chicken at Sourwood in Marble Hill, Georgia

Sourwood Fried Chicken, Sourwood, Marble Hill. This fried chicken is not greasy. It is lightly battered with a golden crust after being brined for 24 hours and slowly cooked before frying. It became my favorite dish after the first time I tried it. –Wayne T.

Texas Dirty Bird, Bub-Ba-Q, Jasper. What's not to love about the most tender brisket I've ever had? With a fried egg on top to boot. – Kerry P.

Veal Parmigiana, Charlie's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, Ellijay. Fresh ingredients, authentic recipe, superbly cooked with melt-in-your-mouth veal prepared by a truly gifted chef. –Gary P.

Rueben, Christian & Jakes Bistro, Calhoun. Large amount of meat; perfect combination of flavors. –Sally W.

Bacon Dusted Tator Tots & Pimento Cheese, Farm to Fork, Ringgold. Bacon dust! And some of the best pimento cheese in the state. –Naja W.

Chicken & Waffles, Freight Kitchen & Tap, Woodstock. Simply the best chicken and waffles in Georgia. This dish is delicious. It features pickled green tomatoes, cardamom honey drizzle, and bacon-braised collard greens. –Kyle B.

Seared Scallops, Seasons, Rome. What's not to love about pan-seared scallops with beurre blanc sauce and wild mushroom risotto! –Angela D.

GA Trout, Table 20, Cartersville. This dish is absolutely scrumptious! The parmesan asparagus risotto pairs perfectly with the tender flaky trout, and it is cooked to perfection every time I order it! –Jenni M.

Italian Pot Roast, Taverna Mediterranean Grill, Cartersville. It feels like Sunday dinner when you need your momma! –Lynnanne M.

Original Golden Rum Cake, The Rum Cake Lady, Blue Ridge. It is amazing! –Jan H.

Magnolia Midlands

Chicken Marsala at Deano's Italian in Dublin, Georgia

Chicken Marsala, Deano's Italian, Dublin. The flavor fusion between the mushrooms and marsala, with the potatoes au gratin under the juicy chicken – every bite is something to savor. –Bryan R.

Salmon Pontchartrain, Company Supply, Dublin. I've had salmon served a lot of different ways in a lot of different places, but this is the best I've had. –Chad P.

Shrimp and Grits Friday Special, Eagle Creek Brewing Company, Statesboro. Full of flavor! Grits are cooked and seasoned perfectly. The shrimp is delicious and complimented nicely with sausage, bacon, and chives. Chasing it with an Eagle Creek beer isn't too bad either! –Justin S.

House Fried Noodles, Eric's Chinese, Alma. It's tender, saucy, savory...yummy! –Matt H.

Turkey & Dressing, Holt's Bakery Inc., Douglas. This dish is a Douglas classic! Holt’s is known far and wide for their dressing. People from out of state travel here to get the dressing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s a Southern classic, and it’s wonderful! –Jordan S.

Cornbread, Jomax BBQ, Metter. Every good barbecue needs a good side, and Jomax's cornbread does not disappoint. –Kevin L.

Seafood Risotto, Peter's Cafe, Dudley. The creamy taste, the amount of seafood, the texture of the broccoli done just right, the risotto isn't sticky or mush – Peter's presentation is well-proportioned and plated. –Penny N.

Steeplechase Chicken, Steeplechase Grille & Tavern, Vidalia. My favorite go-to local dish! Marinated chicken breast is simply charbroiled and then smothered in delicious sautéed mushrooms and onions with melted Swiss. Yum! –Jimmy D.

Steak Gordita, Super Mercado Tarahurama, Douglas. It's the fresh ingredients, homemade tortillas, slow cooked beans, and the tastiest steak ever — and in one delicious sandwich! –Lori H.

Cowboy, Tumpies Steakhouse, Fish and Seafood, East Dublin. It is the best steak I've ever had! No steak sauce needed. –Brian B.

Northeast Georgia Mountains

Pecan Encrusted Mountain Trout at Lake Rabun Restaurant in Lakemont, Georgia

Pecan Encrusted Mountain Trout, Lake Rabun Hotel & Restaurant, Lakemont. This dish highlights the best of the mountains and plains of Georgia. The earthiness of the Georgia pecans perfectly accents the mild, sweet flesh of the trout. The lemon-caper butter sauce cuts through the fattiness of the pecans and adds a layer of flavor without sacrificing the delicate nature of the trout. –Jenna T.

Shrimp and Grits, 83° West New Orleans Seafood Grill, Lavonia. The best grits I have ever eaten – creamy and flavorful, topped with cheese, tomatoes, and green onions. Seasoned to perfection. A gem in hiding. –Tammy T.

Rouberspiess, Bodensee Restaurant, Helen. This is DELICIOUS! A little bit of spice and a lot of flavor. Like a German kabob: pork loin, paprika and onion with a spicy gypsy sauce. –Katie P.

Baby Back Ribs, Jim's Smokin' Que, Blairsville. THE best barbecue ribs and smoked chicken in the Southern U.S. Their original barbecue sauce is so good I could drink a gallon of it. –Teresa B.

Brasstown Beef Bistro Filet with Gen. Tso Brussels Sprouts, marc at Château Élan, Braselton. Typically, I'm not a huge fan of Brussels sprouts, but oh my word, these are amazing! Brasstown Beef in general is so delish, and this filet was everything. –Emily T.

The Ridge’s Shrimp and Grits, The Oaks Lakeside Kitchen, Hiawassee. Classic shrimp and grits with a kick! Has some spice but not enough that it over powers the dish. Chopped country ham and an amazing sauce! –Amanda D.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Rolling Chefs, Hartwell. The tenderness of the chicken and the crunchy parmesan crust goes well with the asiago cream sauce. Rolling Chefs has the best cream sauce in Hartwell! –Karen B.

BLT Sliders, Tam's Tupelo, Cumming. Nothing says the South quite like fried green tomatoes! This dish adorned with fresh green tomatoes, then piled up with pepper-crusted bacon, arugula, tomato jam, with a drizzle of balsamic reduction on toasted buns. It's a go-to favorite at this Cajun gem located in Cumming. –Michelle D.

My Take on Pimento Cheese, The White Plate Restaurant, Elberton. Absolutely incredible food...creative, fresh, and delicious. If you are in the area, this place should be at the top of your list. Try the smoked Gouda pimento cheese!! –Catharane G.

Logan Turnpike Grit Fries, Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery, Dahlonega. These French-fried strips of grits are fried to a delicious gold brown and then served with a delightful pimento cheese sauce. So good! –Morgan H.

Plantation Trace

Heirloom Tomato Pie at The American in Bainbridge, Georgia

Heirloom Tomato Pie, The American, Bainbridge. The blend of cheeses and heirloom tomatoes in a superb flaky crust! –Margie T.

Pork Chop Dinner, Big Nick's, Valdosta. Fried pork chops just like grandma did them! –Amanda P.

Blue Crab Deluxe Plate, Big Willy's Seafood, Albany. The blue crab is fresh and cooked to perfection in their special spice blend that is out of this world! This is better seafood that I get on the coast. –Rob M.

Chicken Salad Sandwich, The Brown Bag Sandwich Shop, Nashville. Not your standard chicken salad, this tropical version features pineapple and walnuts! My favorite. –Brooke L.

Ahi Tuna Dinner, The Catch Seafood Room & Oyster Bar, Albany. Tuna is cooked perfectly. The Seaweed Salad is to die for. Wasabi condiment is perfect with dish. –Beverly L.

Big Art, Fuller's Restaurant & Catering, Moultrie. The Big Art is a Moultrie favorite! –Tommie Beth W.

Greek Salad, The Plaza Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Thomasville. It's been one of my favorites since I was a child. –Diane P.

Chili Dog, Shady Lane Drive Inn, Tifton. Shady Lane is a Tifton institution. The chili dogs are must haves! –Abbey B.

Pimento Dumplings, So.Ho., Thomasville. I call them pimento cheese wontons, but Carolyn the owner says they are dumplings. I love wontons and pimento cheese...the combination is wonderful! –Debra S.

Strawberry Ice Cream, Southern Grace Farms, Enigma. The ice cream is so fresh and delicious, it's like you picked the strawberries yourself (which you can do too!). –Jill T.

Presidential Pathways

Brunswick Stew at Stripling's General Store in Cordele, Georgia

Brunswick Stew, Stripling's General Store, Cordele. Stripling's Brunswick stew is fabulous as a side dish or as a main meal, and perfect year-round in any weather! It's far tastier than most ho-hum stews, and you know it's made with time-honored techniques coming from Stripling's! –Megan B.

Blackened Sushi Grade Salmon, 6th Street Pier Steak & Seafood Grill, Griffin. High-end salmon and blackened just enough to add taste. Paired with grilled zucchini and potato puffs. –William T.

Drunken Fried Chicken Sandwich, Brickhouse Grille, LaGrange. A solid chicken sandwich, the real winner is the wasabi honey mustard sauce — a little bit sweet, a little bit of kick. –Sydne S.

Filet Mignon & Lobster Tail, Carriage & Horses Restaurant, Pine Mountain. The filet is so tender and cooked to perfection. The lobster tails are tender with a hint of sweetness. Favorite celebration dinner for my family! Perfect plate complemented by a the most wonderful host and owner, Dager! –Amanda L.

Rusty Rooster Chicken Salad, English's Cafe, Thomaston. Rusty Rooster chicken salad is fabulous! Sweet tea is perfect over that wonderful crushed ice. Great atmosphere; we felt like we were part of the family. –Cherie S.

Peanut Butter Pie, Hunter's Pub and Steakhouse, Hamilton. The best pie ever! The crust is perfect, and the filling is awesome, light, and creamy and not too sweet. Everything you could want in a pie. Perfection! –Martha R.

Philly Cheesesteak Fries, Nic & Norman's, Senoia. It is not possible to eat at Nic & Norman's without ordering this appetizer. ­–Holly W.

Red Velvet Pancakes, Ruth Ann's Restaurant, Columbus. Tastes like red velvet cake. Not too sweet with all that cream cheese drizzle! –Mary H.

Troy Burger, Troy's Snack Shack, Montezuma. Best burgers in Georgia. They cook their burgers fresh. Double burger with chili and cheese – you can’t beat that anywhere. –Randy L.

Strawberry Cobbler, Wild Daisy Farm and B&B, Molena. Everything comes from the owner’s farm, so it is extremely fresh. Duck eggs are used in the recipe, which gives it a rich flavor. –Dixie M.

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Published: June 2018