Summertime in Athens is quiet and refreshing without the hustle and bustle of thousands of students on the roads and in the restaurants. This makes the town a great place for date nights, whether you are looking for a romantic night with a significant other or a way to catch up with an old friend. Check out these six local date spots that won't break the bank:
White Tiger Gourmet is a BYOB barbecue joint on Hiawassee Street. The creative barbecue fusion is perfect for casual dining. Each dish is served in a red and white checkered basket. The inside of the restaurant is decorated with every color of the rainbow while the outdoor seating includes numerous picnic tables next to a colorful and playful fence. Unlike many barbecue joints, White Tiger has an entire portion of the menu dedicated to vegetarians. Ranging from a portobello cheeseburger ($7) to grilled pimento cheese and tomato soup ($9), there’s a meal for almost every couple.
New to Athens, Maepole is a one-of-a-kind sustainable restaurant located on North Chase Street. With outdoor picnic tables and string lights forming a canopy over the outdoor eating area, summertime wouldn't be complete without a healthy meal here. The menu is categorized into four sections: one base option, two sides, a protein (which can be substituted for a third side) and a sauce to top it off. Despite a relatively small menu, Maepole caters to every hungry Athenian - the meat lover, food-allergic, earth-conscious and foodie. And even when school is out, the restaurant offers a student discount every Tuesday.
For 20 years, Big City Bread has been serving Athens locals. They bake their bread fresh daily and serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Their food is a marriage between American and French cuisines. Their outdoor courtyard is dog-friendly, with an arrangement of metal chairs and tables under trees. Whether you and your significant other want a casual brunch or a romantic dinner with wine, Big City Bread is there for you!
Heirloom Café’s mission is to create community, celebrate local farmers and tell a story through food. The family-owned restaurant provides spacious and inviting outdoor seating. The exterior is framed with large garage-like doors and plants galore. Sunshine seeps in through large windows, creating a bright and airy place to relax. From cinnamon rolls in the morning ($5) to cheese plates by night ($10), Heirloom Café is a must-try this summer.
There is no place like home, or in this case, like Donderos’. The redesigned home is a restaurant on the tip of Milledge that is both homey and inviting. Every soup and salad is made from scratch. The family-owned restaurant specializes in international cuisine. Unique to Donderos’, their freezer section offers ready-to-go meals made by the chef that can be heated up in the comfort of your home. Make plans to leave your car at home - this restaurant offers a discount if you walk, bike or take the bus there. Whether you’re on the go or have time to relax on the patio, Donderos’ will make you feel like you’re in grandma’s kitchen.
The favorite Italian eatery in the heart of downtown Athens was previously a storage garage but has been transformed into an artesian pizzeria. The green exterior and towering windows are inviting to the eclectic spot. Chevron umbrellas on the outdoor patio are sure to keep you fresh while enjoying a glass of wine and pizza. Happy hour is every day from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., with deals including $1 off drafts and $5 off bottles of wine.