The Peach State’s cuisine is a combination of Southern classics and international treats.
In addition to Southern favorites like pecan pie, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken, a handful of Georgian dishes boast international flair. Pho, a dish that originates in Vietnam, is heavily present in restaurants across Norcross, and Mexican tortas are more than plentiful up and down Buford Highway. With a variety of go-to eats, both local and international, it’s no surprise that the state continues to draw attention from curious foodies.
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This mouth-watering sandwich with Mexican origins can be stuffed with just about any meat imaginable but is always served inside a crusty, chewy sandwich roll complete with sliced avocado. Thanks to its hearty offering of international options, the strip of road known as Buford Highway is home to several restaurants serving tortas.
Crispy, crunchy, and with just the right amount of savory flavor, fried chicken is a staple throughout Georgia. In fact, debates about who serves up the best fried chicken in the state have gone on for decades. Many soul food restaurants, including the historic Mary Mac’s Tea Room, have served the dish for years.
From distilleries in Kennesaw to Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, bourbon has increasingly become a go-to spirit in Georgia. For booze enthusiasts who prefer a more mature sip, Old Fourth Distillery recently released a straight bourbon whiskey that has been aged four years.
Lemon Pepper Wings
Although the hot wing does hold a tender (though spicy) spot in the hearts of those in Georgia, lemon pepper wings are the true wings of choice. Buttery with a subtle kick of tangy and tart, lemon pepper wings can be found in just about any sports bar in the city.
Shrimp and Grits
Foodies would be hard-pressed to find a restaurant in Georgia that doesn’t serve shrimp and grits. Thankfully, each restaurant does provide its own unique twist on this classic, Southern dish. In Savannah, Narobia’s Grits and Gravy serves its version of shrimp and grits with creamy grits drenched in a pepper gravy sauce.
SweetWater Brewery’s 420 Extra Pale Ale
In the past decade, the craft beer scene in Georgia has soared, thanks in part to new beer laws that help rather than hinder. Among the most popular beers in the state is SweetWater’s 420 Extra Pale Ale. The year-round brew, which is equal parts herbal and floral, gets its name from the date it was born. Additionally, each year SweetWater Brewery hosts its SweetWater 420 Fest music festival in April.
Vegan Junk Food
As much as Georgians love their fried-to-perfection lemon pepper wings and Mexican tortas brimming with meat, they have jumped on the vegan train, especially when it concerns vegan burgers. Atlanta’s Slutty Vegan, a vegan food truck and restaurant, swiftly garnered praise with burgers like the One Night Stand made using a plant-based patty; it also features a sizable helping of vegan bacon, vegan American cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and special sauce.
Although pho is Vietnamese in origin, bowls of broth and noodles are slurped with enthusiasm throughout restaurants in Georgia. Located east of Atlanta, the city of Norcross serves as a sort of one-stop shop for pho lovers. The options are plentiful, and flavorful bowls of pho are served piping hot with fresh ingredients.
The ice-cream options in Georgia are as varied as they are delicious. For a unique offering of flavors, head to Decatur’s Butter and Cream. Specializing in small-batch ice cream, it offers flavors like Honeycomb Forest and Cashew Crème Brulee.
Comprising a mixture of pecans, eggs, butter, and sugar in a buttery pie crust, pecan pie might just be the official dessert of Georgia. With locations in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Gainesville, Southern Baked Pie Company makes it easy to get your hands on one of its famed caramel pecan pies. The bakery also serves a caramel apple pecan pie for those whose sweet tooth requires a little added decadence.