Whether you’re craving a big slice of pizza, a unique sushi roll, or some tasty street tacos, Athens has a restaurant for everyone. And as the city continues to grow, there are new must-try spots popping up all over downtown. Let’s dig in to some local favorites, some hidden gems, and two new eateries that are opening in 2023.
Athens Alehouse & Cellar
Situated right off the square, the Athens Alehouse & Cellar is a true gem for beer and wine enthusiasts alike. The Alehouse boasts a wide selection of local craft beers, as well as domestic and international options. But it’s not just about the brews; from live music events and trivia nights to small plates and more than 100 international wines, this hotspot has something for everyone, making it a go-to destination for the downtown area.
The Athens Alehouse & Cellar is a true gem for beer and wine enthusiasts alike.
If you enjoy good home cooking served with a touch of Southern hospitality, Eagle’s Diner is the place to be. Whether you’re craving a satisfying breakfast or a scrumptious lunch, this Elm Street eatery serves it all: from pancakes and chocolate gravy to juicy burgers and crispy fried chicken. Too busy during the week to stop by? Try their Saturday breakfast buffet instead!
A Veteran-owned company located inside UG White Mercantile, Hi-Plane Coffee Company roasts high quality beans and serves coffee that is “Just Plane Good.” Their wide range of coffee and espresso-based beverages are complemented by their mouth-watering cinnamon rolls that are baked fresh every Tuesday and Thursday. And try their new Cloud Cream if you like a little extra sweetness in your drink! Swing by this charming Athens gem and discover why locals can’t get enough of Hi-Plane Coffee Company.
Kreme Delite, an iconic dessert spot nestled in the heart of Athens, offers an array of creamy milkshakes – including flavors like vanilla, cherry, butterscotch, and pineapple – delicious soft serve, sundaes, banana splits, and dipped cones. Beyond their frozen treats, Kreme Delite also serves up hot dogs, chili dogs, pretzels, and chips if you prefer savory to sweet!
Kreme Delite is an iconic dessert spot nestled in the heart of Athens.
Sabor Latino’s menu features quesadillas, street tacos, tamales, enchiladas, horchata, and more. Stop by their smaller Hwy 72 location for a quick bite, or head to Athens Plaza on Hwy 31 if you’re dining with a larger group. Pro tip: although guaranteed to be delicious, be sure to give their sauces a taste before smothering your tacos. Otherwise, you’ll likely get a spicy surprise.
Born from a 30-year-old bet, founding brothers-in-law Jerry Gilbert and Norm Cluff wanted Village Pizza to serve the best pizza around and also be an asset to a fast-growing community. Still a family-owned establishment today, Village Pizza has a diverse menu to please every palate. Beyond their pizzas, they also serve delicious wings and subs. You won’t want to leave without tasting their Fire & Ice wings, cheese sticks, margarita flight, or apple cider mimosas, made with local Isom’s Orchard apple cider.
Right off the square next to the iconic Athens mural, Wildwood Deli is going to be your new favorite sandwich spot – if it isn’t your favorite already. Their sandwiches and salads are perfect for a quick lunch on-the-go or a leisurely afternoon meal on their outdoor patio during the spring and summer months. Stop by on Friday evenings from 5 to 8pm for their special dinner offerings, including steaks, crab cakes, a variety of desserts and sides, and wine and beer selections. You can’t make reservations, though, so get there early if you want to secure your spot!
Old Black Bear Brewing Company
If you’ve driven down South Marion Street recently and noticed some construction, you likely stumbled across the new home of Old Black Bear Brewing Company. With its original location thriving in historic downtown Madison, the local spot will get a second location in Athens in 2023. The restaurant and taproom will serve a delicious selection of made-from-scratch food and continue its mission of offering high-quality craft beer at a fair price.
Old Black Bear Brewing Company will get a second location in Athens in 2023.
The Salty Cod
A traditional British pub is headed to downtown Athens! Opening soon at 309 West Market Street, this new eatery will serve authentic fish and chips, rotisserie chicken suppers, Italian desserts, European and Domestic beers and ales, dry aged meats, and more. But if you can’t wait for opening day, get your pub fix in downtown Huntsville at the Salty Cod’s sister pub, The Poppy & Parliament.
While these are just a few of our favorite and most-anticipated restaurants, Athens has many more tasty spots to try. And since Limestone County continues to be the fastest-growing in the state – with new restaurants and retail spots always on the horizon – it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing to call Athens and the surrounding areas home.