Mama’s Boy

Mama’s Boy is that place you see every weekend packed to the brim with patrons. And yes, the food and service is well worth the wait. Photo by Joshua L. Jones @JjoshGA

Although returning to UGA for the spring semester may be routine to some people, those unfamiliar with Athens and its surrounding areas could find a culture shock. Athens brings together all different sorts of people, restaurants and shops leaving much to the imagination. For all those newly minted Dawgs, here's a list of places to check out in Athens.

Mama’s Boy - 197 Oak Street, Athens GA

Known as the poster child for Athens cuisine, this southern restaurant offers some of the best breakfast food around and at fair prices to match. The only downside: parking. Being a popular restaurant can make for hard times finding a place to park and even worse-a place to sit. If you’re ever driving down Oak Street, you’ll be sure to see the long line of people sitting quietly outside anticipating the mouthwatering biscuits and eggs.

Wuxtry Records - 197 East Clayton Street, Athens GA

Music is a cornerstone of Athens culture, and that makes Wuxtry Records one of the epicenters. A family owned business, Wuxtry offers some of the best records (old and new) from every band and genre imaginable. Looking for some old Earth, Wind, and Fire albums? Wuxtry has them, for cheap too. Definitely give the place a look through, you never know what you’ll find!

Big City Bread Cafe - 393 North Finley Street, Athens GA

Family owned restaurants are a staple of the Athens diet, and Big City Bread is one of the top dogs. They offer all sorts of food options to fit every vegan, vegetarian, carnivore and everything in between. Even if the portions are smaller, the food is packed with flavor and variety. The friendly environment is emphasized by the nice outdoor dining area where people bring their dogs. You might not want to pet the dogs, but you can stare longingly at the especially fluffy ones.

The Grill - 171 College Avenue, Athens GA

If anyone is remotely familiar with the Athens area, they’ve heard of or eaten at The Grill. Known for their famous burgers, The Grill throws out class with an old timey diner feel that is only emphasized by strategic jukebox placement. The feta cheese dressing may not sound ideal for a fry topping, but it’s definitely worth a try. Any time of the 24 hour day, The Grill is the place to go for good burgers and shakes.

The Grit - 199 Prince Avenue, Athens GA

For all those vegetarians and vegans out there, varied options for dining is hard to come by. Luckily, Athens is home to the renowned meat-free establishment The Grit. The building is historic with a freshly renovated interior, which only serves to match the style and pace of the food. The black bean chili is a highlight, and if that isn’t your cup of soup the menu offers options such as the Banh Mi vietnamese hoagie, teriyaki tofu wraps and handmade original bean patty creations that leave any mouth watering.

Native America Gallery - 195 East Clayton Street, Athens GA

Native America Gallery is the number one stop for jewelry in Athens. The prices are reasonable for the beautiful quality of the pieces, and even better are the unique designs and patterns that show characteristics of Native American influence. Another influence is color; Native America Gallery has options, and all of those options come in just about every stone and colored glass imaginable. The turquoise pieces are a best seller, because we all want to feel a little colorful.

Community - 119 North Jackson Street, Athens GA

Being college students means that everyone is broke. Like a blessing from Macklemore himself, Athens has been cultured around the college lifestyle meaning one thing: thrift stores. Community is a nook of a store that showcases a mix of clothing and lifestyle pieces that are either vintage, handsewn, locally made or all of the above. Local artists sell their pieces on displays adorned with background descriptions of the artists and their works. If clothing isn’t your forte, Community also sells a section of handmade soaps and trinkets that add a touch of originality. Sustainable fashion never seemed so enticing.

Hendershots Coffee - 237 Prince Avenue, Athens GA

As a coffee, bar and music venue combination, Hendershots is a pretty casual place. It offers a variety of beers and wine (for those of age!) and even better couches. Why couches? Because besides dining and drinking, Hendershots boasts an open mic night for all those hot shots wanting to voice off their chops. On second thought, that’s probably why the alcohol is available too. 

Georgia Theatre - 215 North Lumpkin Street, Athens GA

The Georgia Theatre is the pinnacle point for artists both local and visiting. Not only is it the biggest venue in Athens, but it also boasts a stylish two-story interior complete with upstairs seating and the downstairs pit. The Theatre also has a rooftop with its own separate bar and mini stage. Having a little bit of everything, The Georgia Theatre is truly an experience of its own. It’s a must see for any Athenian, just for the combination of cheapish beer, good music and 300 of your new closest friends.