Food & Drink in Athens

Select Local Merchants

From one side, it’s a traditional wedding cake: dainty piped swags swoop across smooth white tiers. But as the quadruple-decker delicacy slowly rotates on its motorized stand, they come into view—fondant zombies. Carnage. Chaos. And, notes Deborah, real buttercream frosting.

This monstrous delicacy is only one example of the heights to which Deborah aims to reach in her quest to personalize cakes. The inveterate baker has frosted life-size guitars with intricately wrought whammy bars, and has solved the logistics of balancing a cake atop a perfect sphere. Each triumph is the result of in-depth consultations with clients. “I have to get to know them, get to know their personality,” says Deborah. Once she has ascertained her client’s style, a sketch and negotiations ensue, and the end result is a centerpiece that harmonizes with the celebration. Along with her careful attention to appearance, Deborah does not shirk taste: 10 pounds of butter and four heaping cups of real vanilla go into her buttercream frosting, which remains as airy and light regardless of the design.

197 Holly Hills Ct
Athens,
GA
US

A singing ballerina, Marilyn Monroe, a dainty geisha, and a tap-dancing chicken are just a few of the characters that deliver the singing telegrams that oft accompany CareAway Cakes & Gifts celebratory cupcakes. The crooning characters arrive to requested locations, whether that be the home of a loved one or the board meeting of a Fortune 500 CEO, to croon out personalized messages. Aside from the singing and sugar offerings—CareAway Cakes & Gifts acts as a one-stop shop for all party essentials including flowers, gift baskets, and specialty treats. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience, their pastry chef craft anything from cheesecakes and cupcakes to cookies, homemade pies, and gluten-free brownies. They also decorate customized cakes bearing designs such as a 3D rendition of a Georgia Bulldog, a 3D electric guitar, or cakes displaying cherished comic book heroes such as Spiderman and Business Casual Dan. Most baked goods are available for local shipping, and some are available for national shipping via UPS.

1055 Gaines School Rd
Athens,
GA
US

?Here?s to you, Andrew Volstead, NICE TRY!? The owners of The Volstead have good reason to raise a toast to this congressman, who famously passed the prohibition laws in the 1920s: he became the inspiration for everything their bar and restaurant wouldn?t be. To show their appreciation for libations, the team took great pains to restore the space to reflect the way it originally looked in 1893??the height of the American saloon era. But while the decorative archways, pressed tin ceiling, and William McKinley impersonators evoke the gilded age, the bar also holds a few modern twists. An ice rail runs along the wooded bar top to help keep cocktails and brews cold while draft beers are poured out at a 32 degree temperature and shots are shot back at a bone-chilling 5 degrees. Just under 100 guests can cozy into indoor tables and bar seating to enjoy weekly karaoke or trivia nights or linger on the outdoor patio as they gaze upon a handful of TVs and the large projection screen, which showcases Sunday football games and date-night movies.

Back in the kitchen, Chef David Perez leads a skilled culinary team as they handcraft 12 types of half-pound burgers, classic sandwiches, and 14 different appetizers to help create what part-owner Brian Holloway described to the Online Athens Banner-Herald as "a casual eating experience with an upscale feel." Black Angus beef patties are crowned with a variety of toppings, from jalape?o-pimento cheese and sliced hot dogs to fried eggs, while other hearty entrees include beer-battered fish and a 10-ounce rib-eye steak. Savory eats can also be consumed during the restaurant?s Sunday brunch, which serves up plates of shrimp and grits, ham and cheese omelets, and a pair of Elvis pancakes which arrived painted onto a velvet plate.

351 E Clayton St
Athens,
GA
US

Athens native Emily Ullrich began cultivating a fervor for food at an early age, spending her youth cooking southern-style dishes under the guidance of her grandmother. At age 16, Emily took a job at the local Hawthorne Drugs’s soda fountain, working there intermittently before taking charge and transforming it into a full-service restaurant 12 years later. Visitors to the drugstore can meander into the restaurant’s intimate dining room, where apple-green and azure walls and antiques create a welcoming household kitchen atmosphere. The eatery’s menu of classic and specialty sandwiches placed it among the top local restaurants at Taste of Athens 2012, and its signature Brunswick stew landed it in the list of finalists for the Flavor of Georgia 2012. If the scent of baking cheesy biscuits and roasting authentic Cuban sandwiches don’t inspire nostrils to belt out the chorus of Yankee Doodle, the dexterous chef welcomes guests to suggest their own creations from kitchen ingredients.

975 Hawthorne Ave
Athens,
GA
US

Bull Dawgz Wings & East Side Deli satisfies cravings with gigantic burgers, inventive sandwiches, and plates of hot wings. Dig into the sweet chic grilled chicken sandwich or fiery jerk burger with a side of peanut butter soup. After filling up on a housemade tuna or chicken salad sandwich, explore the shop's aisles for groceries including fresh produce, juice, and basic household items.

50 Gains School Rd.
Athens,
GA
US

Chefs at Bulldawg Pizza’s two locations hand toss pizza dough to form regular-, thin-, and thick-crust vehicles for alfredo sauce, barbecue chicken, or feta cheese. They ready gourmet pies for delivery, carry-out, or dine-in (Baxter St. location only), loading spicy buffalo-chicken pizzas with a blend of blue cheese, ranch, and tomato sauce or piling Hawaiian pies with ham, pineapple, and ukulele sauce. As calzones and toasted subs share oven space, the chefs scoop house-made alfredo sauce over steaming plates of pasta.

2026 S Milledge Ave
Athens,
GA
US