Sweet Grass Dairy & Cheese Shop in Thomasville, Georgia

Sweet Grass Dairy & Cheese Shop in Thomasville, Georgia

18 Thomasville Restaurants with Big City Epicurean Delights

The best way to sample the many delicious, locally owned Thomasville, Georgia, restaurants is to sign up for one of the Taste of Thomasville Food Tours. Not only will you sample some of the best places to eat in Thomasville, but you'll hear a good bit about the history that makes this town in the southwestern portion of the state such a unique destination.

But what if you don't have three hours to stroll around downtown? Don't worry, we know how to get your morning off to a good start, where to kick back after a bike ride, or grab a cocktail with the girls. Whatever your dining pleasure, read on to find the perfect spot.

Special Occasion Restaurants

Liams Restaurant in Thomasville, Georgia
Liams Restaurant in Thomasville, Georgia

Best Drink with the Girls

Liams Restaurant. This was our favorite downtown restaurant in Thomasville for a night with the girls, or pretty much anytime. You'll find lots of locals here, too, especially for happy hour. Choose from a curated wine list, or go for something a little stronger. We recommend the smokey old fashion. Not only is it a flavorful drink, it's fun to watch the bartender wielding a blow torch to make it!

For nibbles, you want the cheese board. Owner Rhonda Foster is a sommelier for cheese, and she'll give you a detailed tour of your plate. The offerings change constantly, so if you like something be sure to buy an extra serving immediately from the small take out case.

Learn more about fun things to do in Thomasville beyond eating.

Cocktails at Chop House on the Bricks in Thomasville, Georgia
Cocktails at Chop House on the Bricks in Thomasville, Georgia

Best place to celebrate

Chop House on the Bricks. If you are looking to impress, this is the place with its farm-to-table menu of Angus prime beef and gulf seafood. Our sources put Chops menu up against some of the finest steak houses in Atlanta, and owners Matt and Kimberly Hagel hit a home run with the upscale ambiance. Not in the mood for a full dinner? The copper bar is a sophisticated place for apps and a drink.

Jonah's Fish & Grits in Thomasville, Georgia
Jonah's Fish & Grits in Thomasville, Georgia

Best Place to Catch up with an Old Friend

Jonah's Fish & Grits. Jonah's is well-known for its mouthwatering shrimp and grits. This delectable twist on a down-home favorite is true comfort food (just like that old friend). And don't discount the hushpuppy that comes with the dish – smother the crunchy ball with a little honey butter and OMG.

For something vaguely healthy, the flash-fried Brussels sprouts are the ticket. Get to this local favorite early. During our weekday visit, there was a line 10 people deep at 11:30 a.m.!

Three Square Meals

Grassroots Coffee in Thomasville, Georgia
Grassroots Coffee in Thomasville, Georgia

Best Place to Caffeinate

Grassroots Coffee Company. I'm not a coffee drinker, but those in our crowd were impressed with Grassroots fresh ground beans. I was more interested in the talk about the balsamic bacon breakfast biscuit and the fact that Grassroot's sausage biscuits include Bradley's Country Store sausage. Don't know Bradley’s? I didn’t either, but it's a tiny country store on the way to Tallahassee that makes its own sausage, and boy, can you tell the difference.

Empire Bagel in Thomasville, Georgia
Empire Bagel in Thomasville, Georgia

Best Breakfast

Empire Bagel. Great New York bagels in Thomasville? You read that right. Owner and New York native John Gregory rolls the authentic NYC bagels by hand, a process he says contributes to the goodness. I always heard it was the NY water. Whatever it is, the bagels make this one of the best breakfast restaurants in Thomasville.

Don't leave without some schmear, too – I'm a sea salt butter kind of girl, but there is also standard cream cheese or a little bit crazier blends like asiago jalapeno. When you stop by, say hi to John's wife and business partner Anna Carroll, who can often be found behind the counter.

Best Traditional Southern Eats

The Plaza Restaurant and Oyster Bar. This Thomasville gem is also the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Georgia, and many think it is one of the best seafood restaurants in Thomasville. Michael Regina, another transplant from the Manhattan restaurant scene, is the current owner. We heard good things about the oysters but were told the fried chicken is a total must, too – so don't count this place out if you aren't a seafood eater.

Greek salad at George and Louie's in Thomasville, Georgia
Greek salad at George and Louie's in Thomasville, Georgia

Best Outdoor Seating

George and Louie's Fresh Seafood Restaurant. George and Louie's inviting deck sits below a giant green retro sign that is a landmark in Thomasville. The sign lured me in, but the food in this family-run operation will keep you coming back.

Everything on George and Louie’s menu is good, but there are a few standouts. For apps, the fried green tomatoes for the win. For a straight, no-frills burger, The Big Louie is a must.

Be sure to get the famous Greek salad as a side. And don't leave before heading down the hall and reading some of George's newspaper columns on local baseball.

Best Pizza & Beer

AJ Moonspin. Owners Allison and Josh use a 200-year-old sourdough starter to make the crust for their mouthwatering pizza and yummy bowtie bread sticks.

Couple of insider tips: go off menu and ask for the Thomasville Pizza - a home-crafted pie with caramelized Vidalia onions and homemade Bradley's sausage (that same sausage we talked about in the Grassroots biscuits and gravy – yummm). And for your breadsticks, the pesto dipping sauce is a must. Yes, even if you don't like pesto, get the pesto dipping sauce – you'll thank me.

Sampling delicious cheese at Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop
Sampling delicious cheese at Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop

Casual Fun

SweetGrass Dairy Cheese Shop. We ended up at this casual joint three times during our short visit. So what should you get, I mean in addition to the cheese from 100 percent Jersey cows who rotate fields so they only eat the top of the grass?

Brussels sprouts flash-fried in a lemon vinaigrette is a keeper. The menu has them with hummus, but you can get them as a side, too – just ask.

The pimento cheeseburger with fresh-cut fries crispy to perfection. You can't go wrong with two double beef patties of grassfed beef, plus bacon, bourbon jam and award-winning pimento cheese. Burger too much? Get the pimento cheese with pickles; the pickles just add a whole different flavor. Delicious.

Best Place After a Bike Ride

Hubs and Hops. This is a bicycle shop with a beer fetish. Owner Roger Hawkes is an avid bicyclist who leads red clay road bike rides each Saturday from the shop through rural Thomas County.

For anyone who bikes, or knows people that do, the whole point, beyond enjoying a nice ride, is earning a beer at the end with friends. And since Hawkes used to own a brewery in Tallahassee, it just made sense to put it all together.

As a bonus, this casual establishment is also next to Thomasville's new amphitheater, making the deck prime real estate during First Friday concerts.

Best Noshing for Train Lovers

SASS – Sweet and Savory Sisters. Located in an old train depot, this Cajun-inspired eatery is another local favorite. Whatever you do, be sure to save room for dessert, or heck, just start with a side of the Sisters' beignets. Funny story, the husband of one of the sisters has his psychology office in the train depot, as well – you'll find the door under the "baggage" sign.

Billiard Academy in Thomasville, Georgia
Billiard Academy in Thomasville, Georgia

Best Fast Food Restaurant Thomasville

Billiard Academy. This pool joint right on the main drag has changed little since it opened in 1949 – except now women are allowed in the place. But many women (and men) still prefer to use the street side window to order up the establishment's famous chili dog, then nosh at the café tables outside.

Sweets and Treats

Best "After Lunch" treat for the kids

Kreamkles Rolled Ice Cream. Rolled ice cream is all the rage in Atlanta, but I didn't expect to see a shop in Thomasville, yet here it is. Kids will love watching them chop the ingredients into the ice cream then spread it thin before rolling it up into a cup.

Best Place to Indulge

Sweet Cacao Chocolates. Yes, the hand-crafted, hand-painted chocolates are beautiful, but it was the red velvet cheesecake in the window that I just could not resist! If you have a sweet tooth like I do, Sweet Cacao is a must visit slice of heaven in Thomasville.

Beyond Traditional Restaurants

Best Place to Find a Gift for Your Foodie Friend

Relish. The best, not-so-little kitchen store right on the main drag in Thomasville. This is a fun shop to browse, or find whatever you need to entertain, inside or out.

Best Way to Feast and Learn

Taste of Thomasville Food Tours. We started this article talking about the Taste of Thomasville Food Tours, but it bears repeating. This tour is a well-paced 2.5 – 3-hour tour that will take you all around town, enjoying some of the most popular food items we've mentioned above, all while learning about the town's unique history.

My favorite story from the tour is the one about Thomasville's iconic brick streets. After the bricks were laid, they had to pull them up and do it again because city officials didn't want the stamp of the town where they were made facing up, but they missed a few – or did they? See if you can find what Georgia town made the Thomasville street bricks.

Check out the Thomasville food scene with @hungryinla!

Published: February 2020
Written by: Sue Rodman
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