A Guide to Georgia’s Homestyle Restaurants

The Dillard House

The Dillard House

For Breakfast

Not all homestyle restaurants in Georgia serve breakfast, but when you’re looking for the combination of the two, you’ll need to visit the Dillard House in Dillard. The Dillard House serves up a bountiful breakfast of meats, eggs, potato hash, fresh fruits, homemade preserves, freshly baked pastries and so much more. My favorites are the proteins, and I always have to have seconds of the pork tenderloin. The Dillard House is one of those “food for the soul” kinds of places, and besides breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start your day right by feeding your soul well here. Go with high expectations because you’re sure not to be disappointed.


Buckner’s Family Restaurant

For Fried Chicken and Dessert

One common menu item at all homestyle restaurants in the South is fried chicken. I doubt it’s written law that they have to have fried chicken (and lots of it) on the table, but I’m pretty sure it’s understood. Believe me, I’ve eaten a lot of fried chicken at a lot of great restaurants, but the best fried chicken I’ve eaten in Georgia to date is at Buckner’s in Jackson. Buckner’s is just off I-75 exit 201, and they serve up some of the most delicious Southern classics you can find. While normally I’d go for a leg or thigh, you’ll only find breast on the table at Buckner’s. Breast meat tends to be dry, but Buckner’s keeps its white meat juicy, tender and perfectly crispy. There’s a slight sweetness to it that I’ve not found duplicated anywhere else in Georgia. To top it all off, their dessert is fantastic, too. They only serve one dessert, but they do it right. Buckner’s Georgia peach cobbler is the perfect finish to one tasty meal.

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

For Sides

You can expect a wide array of incredible veggies and carbs at the homestyle table, but no one cooks sides as well as Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room in Savannah. Mrs. Wilkes’ showcases all sorts of fresh veggies like green beans, rutabagas, butter beans, peas and more. They’re even getting cornbread dressing right; it’s incredibly moist and super delicious. Mrs. Wilkes’ cabbage was some of the finest I’ve ever eaten. This homestyle restaurant is one of those places where you could definitely fill up on sides alone. Expect to wait in line for up to a couple of hours, but you and your taste buds will be glad you did.

For Extras

Once you’ve had the best breakfast, the best chicken and dessert, and the best sides, what’s left on the table? Well, the Smith House in Dahlonega is taking the table extras to a whole new level. You’re going to consistently get great chicken, great sides and dessert, but you’re also going to get some great extras. One of my favorite accompaniments to Southern fare is relishes and pickles. The Smith house makes and serves up the best pickled squash you’ll find. It perfectly pairs with the savory veggies and offers a slightly tangy, sweet crunch that you just can’t find elsewhere. You’ll want to take some home, too. Look in the gift shop before you leave to make sure you can have this “secret” treasure at your home table.

Head shotLori Hennesy is a self-proclaimed foodie and author of delisghga.com, a Georgia only food blog.  Lori is on a constant search for unique eats, great Georgia products, delicious restaurants and anything food related.  For Lori it’s all about the bottom line, “what’s the next meal going to be?”  

Georgia Grown: Eagle Creek Brewing Company

1072161_692982684062218_1200291403_oName: Eagle Creek Brewing Company

Where: Statesboro, Georgia

Story: Owners Daniel Long and Franklin Dismuke are new to the Brewery business. Just a couple years ago, Long was given a home brew kit for Christmas and started tinkering with his own brew.  After much success at brewing five gallon batches, Long invited his friend, Franklin Dismuke to go tour a brewery in Athens.  Long describes the experience as basically the moment the idea of their brewery, Eagle Creek, was born.  The two looked at each other and said “we could do this.”  Today, Eagle Creek is doing it!  They have their facility just off of the downtown square open and fermenting hops.  They credit their young brewer Cole Brown, perhaps the youngest in the country at just 22 years old, as following through with their vision and tastes.  “He was a perfect fit” says Long.  The trio of Long, Dismuke and Brown are now touring Statesboro and Savannah to unveil their inaugural brew, the Low Country Pale Ale.  New varieties will be introduced later this year.

EC Low Country Pale AleWhere to Buy: Currently you’ll have to make the drive to Statesboro or Savannah to try the Low Country Pale Ale.  Statesboro is conveniently located off of Interstate 16 and has a lot to offer for foodies and brew lovers.  Try the beer on tap at local restaurants including 40 East Grill, South and Vine, the Millhouse and Gnats Landing.  Want to take some home?  Eagle Creek isn’t brewing yet, but you can get a growler or two at Clyde’s Minit Mart and Tom’s Beverage Center, both in Statesboro.  In the words of the guys at Eagle Creek, “Don’t Fear the Foam!”