Eating Out in Augusta, GA: 10 Local Restaurants You'll Love
Augusta in Georgia is steeped in American history, from Native American settlements to its British colonisation during the 18th century. The complex origins of Augusta mean that many of the city’s institutes, venues and restaurants are influenced by and celebrate the city’s multicultural nature. Building on our previous restaurant guide, we’ve been back to Augusta to check out 10 more must-visit eateries that capture the culture and culinary dynamism of this great city.
This restaurant certainly lives up to its name, with The Bee’s Knees Tapas being one of the premiere venues in Augusta for small plates. Inspired by Spanish cooking and the tradition of tapas, The Bee’s Knees has cleverly evolved the tapas philosophy to include dishes from other countries as well as Spain on their menu. Alongside Spanish and Mediterranean bites such as cheese and olives or fried calamari, this charming restaurant also offers international fare, such as Japanese tempura and sashimi carpaccio, or Mexican quesadillas, nachos and tacos. Local favourites include the avocado chop chop, a baked half-avocado with shrimp and Japanese aioli. There is also a range of vegetarian and vegan tapas to choose from, meaning there is something to suit ever palate. The restaurant also features a great selection of homemade seasonal desserts, teas and coffees which punctuate a memorable experience at The Bee’s Knees.
Housed in a charming setting of a historical 19th century mansion, La Maison on Telfair is the venue to visit for fine dining. The building has had a number of incarnations, and first became a restaurant in the 1970s. Nowadays, the restaurant is owned and run by Chef Heinz Sowinski, who creates a menu of elegant and European-inspired dishes. Escargot in garlic butter, frogs’ legs provençale, lobster bisque, and Angus filet mignon are just some of the highlights. There are also a few further international plates on offer, such as Australian kangaroo with huckleberry cassis sauce. La Maison also prides itself on its prized collection of over 5,000 bottles of wines, meaning there is ample choice when selecting an accompaniment for the delicious dishes. Furthermore, for those who prefer a more casual evening at La Maison on Telfair, the in-house wine and tapas lounge Veritas is on hand, with a menu of soups, breads, salads and cheeses, for a more relaxed dining experience. La Maison on Telfair is the venue for any occasion.
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Open for 23 years, Augustino’s is a fusion of Italian cuisine and an American steakhouse, with a twist of Southern flavour. The menu is designed by Chef Laponzina, whose Italian background influences his choice of ingredients, which are sourced from local, regional and emerging producers to guarantee freshness and quality. He has also introduced in-house preparation of cured meats and pickled vegetables. Steak is one of the highlights of the menu, with their beef undertaking a 21-day aging program, resulting in great flavour and tenderness. However, there are other options for diners, such as appetisers of fried calamari or lobster and artichoke fonduta, main courses like stuffed manicotti, and chicken and broccoli alfredo, all finished off with desserts such as flourless chocolate torte, and Augustino’s famous ‘Road to Augusta’ ghiardelli double-chocolate brownie, with bourbon and burnt sugar ice cream. Topped off with an impressive wine and cocktail list, Augustino’s is definitely one to visit in Augusta.
Located in Augusta’s riverfront area, near the Riverwalk park and Amphitheatre, Boll Weevil is a cosy and eclectic café with an extensive menu of over 30 desserts. The name derives from a boll weevil, which is a cotton-eating bug, and is a reference to the building’s original function as a cotton warehouse in the 1870s. Nowadays, Boll Weevil is renowned for is sumptuous desserts and cakes, washed down with a cup of hot coffee or tea. All the sweet treats in this café are baked in-house, resulting in fresh and quality eats, and a number of awards and accolades, including ‘Best Desserts’ by Augusta Magazine. Popular choices include the classic red velvet cake, and the glutinous Seventh Heaven cake, comprising layers of dark chocolate and butter cream icing. Sweet eats are not the only food on the menu: Boll Weevil also serves up meals for lunch and dinner, such as fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, all accompanied by a vast selection of wine by the glass or bottle.
For an ambient and upscale dining experience, the place to visit is Craft and Vine, one of Augusta’s newest restaurants. A sister venue to Farmhaus Burger and Frog Hollow Tavern, Craft and Vine exemplifies a similar level of quality and success as its counterparts. Freshly oven-baked wood fired pizzas, perfectly grilled meats, and delicious shaken and stirred cocktails are the staple of this cultural eatery. Tucked away on Broad Street in downtown Augusta, Craft and Vine mixes old with new, with their décor a fusion of antique wood, sleek chrome and art deco. There are also a number of house rules, including the mantras ‘Be adventurous’ and ‘Don’t even think about asking for a Cosmo … try something new’. With their impressive selection of cocktails, beers, wines and liquors, it is no surprise that Craft and Vine is growing in popularity due to its relaxed and speak-easy style.
No ordinary burger joint, Farmhaus Burger is the home of delicious gourmet burgers in Augusta. Made from local, fresh and organic ingredients, the menu features a wide variety of unusual and unique burger feasts, such as a bison burger with cabernet grilled onions, an organic turkey burger with spicy sriracha sauce, and, for vegetarians, the organic Sea Island red pea veggie burger. Furthermore, Farmhaus Burgers can be served on gluten-free buns, meaning everyone can enjoy a distinctive burger experience at this eatery. There is a wide range of sides and snacks to accompany your patty, from haus red bean chilli with shredded Georgia red cheese, to sweet potato tater tots, and hotdogs made with humanely raised beef. This burger boutique also serves draught beers and craft cans, as well as shakes and floats with booze, for an added kick. For burger-lovers everywhere, Farmhaus Burger is the place to try in Augusta.
Serving up farm-to-table Southern cuisine with a touch of French flair is French Market Grille. Priding itself on being voted the best restaurant in Augusta for the past 14 years, this eatery focuses on seafood dishes, with appetisers such as oysters Rockefeller, crawfish or alligator popcorn, and the popular Creole file gumbo. Main dishes include po’ boys, salads, seafood crepes and honey-pecan fried chicken. The restaurant also has a number of specials every day of the week, with Monday’s special comprising steamed snow crab leg dinner, Thursday’s special featuring the Chef’s choice of fresh fish or shrimp, and cheese grits, and Friday and Saturday consisting of the Chef’s choice of steak, perfect for those who cannot decide what to pick from the impressive menu. Dessert highlights include the popular bread pudding and peanut butter pie. A firm favourite of Augusta, this restaurant is one not to be missed. French Market Grille, 425 Highland Ave, Augusta, Georgia, USA ,
Although it calls itself a tavern, Frog Hollow is much more than that. A stylish restaurant meets bar, with a relaxed yet exciting atmosphere, Frog Hollow tops many food-lovers’ lists in Augusta. The restaurant takes pride in its menu, using only locally grown seasonal ingredients, to create dishes with robust flavours. The menu consists of small plates and large plates, with popular choices including braised Berkshire pork shoulder, smoked Gouda mac and cheese, and vinegar-braised collards. The food is not the only positive point about the restaurant: their value-driven wine list is also worth noting. The Frog Hollow features a selection of over one hundred wines that focus on sustainable, organic, or biodynamic practices. The bar features a variety of scotches, cognacs, bourbons, vodkas, and whiskey barrel-aged cocktails, as well as classic and seasonal cocktails made from fresh-squeezed juices and homemade mixes. Frog Hollow is not just a tavern and a restaurant, but also a meeting place for friends and family who want to enjoy good food and conversation. Frog Hollow Tavern, 1282 Broad St, Augusta, Georgia, USA
Bringing the flavour and fiesta of Mexico to Augusta is Nacho Mama’s. This restaurant serves up the tastiest Mexican treats with unique twists, such as crispy or soft tacos, stuffed to the brim with a choice of fillings like mahi mahi and pulled pork, burritos bursting with flavour, delicious quesadillas, and nachos piled high with savoury toppings. Popular choices include the Step Daddy nachos, which consist of pinto beans, pico, Monterey Jack and mango salsa, and the Godfather burrito, which is filled with pulled pork, guacamole, black beans and mango habanero. Complementing their gourmet fare is the interior of the restaurant, which is decorated with local art and posters, adding to its convivial atmosphere. With margaritas, beers and spirits available, diners will fail to leave Nacho Mama’s with an empty stomach.
A recent edition to Augusta’s cuisine scene is Finch and Fifth. The interior has a stripped-back appearance, with subway tiles and ambient lighting. This establishment is also known for their select-your-own-items charcuterie platters which consist of a variety of meats, speciality cheeses, pate and sausages. Food to share and enjoy is the theme of this restaurant, with other items on the menu created in a tapas style. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner, with a menu designed by Head Chef J.D. Wier. Popular and intriguing dishes include blackened catfish with corn, okra and tomatoes over stone-ground grits, and smoked barbeque pork with cornbread and brussels sprout slaw. Highlights from the dessert menu include chocolate flourless cake with caramel ice cream, beet dressing and peanut brittle, which is unusual and delicious at the same time. The same care and attention to their food is also seen in the drinks menu, with handcrafted cocktails and selected fine wines which can be enjoyed at the long bar. It is no wonder that Finch and Fifth is topping foodie’s lists for their inviting and innovative fare.