Food & Drink in Aiken

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Kneading fresh dough for pizza, roasting meat for gyros, and layering delicate sheets of phyllo pastry to make spanakopita; these are all daily activities at Zorba's Island Bar Restaurant, where cooks prepare traditional Greek recipes passed down through the generations. Diners can pair their meals with the traditional Greek liqueur—ouzo—or opt for a cold beer or cocktail from the full bar. There's a tile porch for those who wish to dine in open air, and a game room that keeps guests entertained with rounds of pool and air hockey.

510 Silver Bluff Rd
Aiken,
SC
US

The chefs at Red Bowl fill their expansive menu with dishes from all over Asia. Chefs showcase their cooking skills in the open kitchen, rolling up dozens of sushi rolls, chopping up fresh mango for a spicy Thai dish, or introducing tender pieces of chicken to lotus flour while preparing general tso's chicken. Diners can sip Asian-inspired cocktails at the tile-covered bar, peering up at the sporting events or paperwork-completing contests on large TVs overhead. Hanging pendant lights cast a soft glow over the rest of the modern interior.

2645 Whiskey Rd
Aiken,
SC
US

It can take an artist years to apply the right brushstrokes to a canvas, but at Corks and Canvas, it only takes one night. During each three-hour painting session, a professional artist walks classes through every step of duplicating a piece of acrylic art. Made up of participants aged 16 and older, the group classes convene at a public venue such as a restaurant. Students can buy food and drinks to snack on throughout the night or smear onto their canvas if they’re tired of painting. For scheduled sessions and private events for adults or kids, Corks and Canvas supplies canvases, paint, brushes, easels, and aprons.

976 Broad St
Augusta,
GA
US

Domino's recently reformulated its pizza recipe, which puts the buyer in command of a plentitude of pie-personalizing possibilities. Test the sturdiness of a hand-tossed thin crust with mounds of hearty marinara, ham, chicken, green peppers, black olives, and spinach, or fill a deep-dish foundation with alfredo sauce, bacon, onions, jalapeños, fresh mushrooms, and banana peppers. While delicious design options stretch into infinity like a taffy pull in a black hole, the eatery's specialty pizzas make choosing more manageable. Peruse pies like the MeatZZa Feast, which is piled high with pepperoni, ham, italian sausage, beef, and extra mozzarella, and the Pacific Veggie, a flashy West Coast–concoction of roasted red peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives, feta, mozzarella, and provolone.

2514 Tobacco Rd
Hephzibah,
GA
US

All styles of homespun cooking share a certain warmth and character, regardless of their regional origins. Bistro 491 proves this by showing how comfort foods separated by an ocean complement each other perfectly. Built off rustic recipes from the French countryside, the plates here incorporate the distinctive flavors of the American South, accessorizing oysters with green-tomato relish or pork chops with macaroni gratin. Much like the order of colors in a rainbow, the menus rotate with the seasons; however, they always marry international styles of home cooking to create upscale yet accessible meals.

The dining room exudes a similarly inviting warmth. A padded bench runs the length of a wall lined with large, framed mirrors and glowing sconces. Opposite this wall hangs an orange and black mural, which adds a small splash of color amid the rows of tables dressed with crisp white linens and flickering candles. The bistro's Old World roots show a bit more in the entryway, which features walls plastered with wine labels.

491 Highland Ave
Augusta,
GA
US

Drawing inspiration from two timeless influences, Finch & Fifth embraces the spirit of a European bistro while incorporating elements of upscale southern cooking. In between sips of wine or one of the bar's specialty cocktails, diners can construct their own shareable charcuterie boards by adding anything from artisan cheeses and dry-cured olives to pickled cherry peppers and p?t? that is made in-house. The menu, termed "delectable and affordable" by Augusta Magazine, grows more eclectic from there, featuring dishes such as roasted mushrooms with wilted spinach and manchego cheese, as well as blackened catfish with corn, okra, and tomatoes served over stone-ground grits. Even with this dose of experimentation, Finch & Fifth exudes a refined atmosphere thanks to touches such as the espresso-hued wooden accents, the rolling library ladder affixed to the wall of wine- and spirit-filled cubby holes, and opera glasses guests may borrow to read the menu.

379 Highland Avenue
Augusta,
GA
US