Some of the finest restaurants in Georgia can be found by venturing just outside the big cities. Buford is one such place, located a short drive from Atlanta. Here are 10 recommendations for the best places to eat in town.
Elegant cuisine in a rustic atmosphere. Buford’s historic downtown region plays host to a number of fine restaurants. Aqua Terra Bistro is among the finest of them all. The menus are inspired by traditional classics from world cuisine and are then refined and served in the fine-dining tradition. The menu covers both the “aqua” and the “terra,” with fresh seasonal meat and seafood dishes taking prominence. Due to the seasonality of the menu, it is often subject to change at short notice depending on the availability of the ingredients. This means you can always guarantee a fresh, tasty meal. At this restaurant, the old meets the new and the land meets the sea.
A taste of the coast in the suburbs, Coastal Breeze is the top choice for any seafood enthusiast in town. They serve up a wide range of fresh seafood, from Alaskan snow crab, oysters, shrimp and mussels. There are also their fresh catches such as grouper, swordfish and tilapia, as well as their ever-popular salmon dishes. Their juicy Angus steaks also get diners’ mouths watering. These show that the restaurant is just as comfortable on land as they are on the sea. The interior is quite simple and relaxing, with a number of wooden and nautical features, plus a large fully-stocked bar. From small dishes to refined entrees, the restaurant caters to all your seafood needs.
When picking a restaurant, keep yourself out of the dog house by heading down to The Dawg House. It may not be the most refined restaurant, but when it comes to fresh, tasty, quick food for those with a hearty appetite, few other places can compete. It is very much a casual dining experience, with many choosing to eat on the front porch after ordering from the walk-up windows. Choice is king here, with build your own burgers, a wide variety of hot dogs and award-winning buffalo wings. There are also southern specialities including fusion seasoned fried chicken, po’ boys, and some of the finest southern fried fish and shrimp on the East Coast. Bring your appetite. And a napkin.
Pizza Counter | Courtesy of Luigi's A Slice Of Italy
Korean food is growing in popularity in the United States, particularly in the more northern states. With quality restaurants such as GamCho setting up shop in Georgia, you can feel this being a more nationwide trend. Owners Sang and Richard first met while working in a restaurant. After extensive traveling and development they finally set up shop in Buford, opening up southerners’ eyes to Korean cuisine. The restaurant’s name comes from an essential ingredient in traditional Korean medicine. Once you’ve tried their food, GamCho will be an essential ingredient in your culinary repertoire. Their menu changes frequently, so check their website before heading down to see exactly what’s on offer. Or, just pop in and take a chance on new, inventive Korean dishes.
This is a slice of Italy in the heart of Buford. As with any truly good Italian restaurant, Luigi’s puts taste and customer satisfaction at the heart of everything they do. The eponymous Luigi grew up in Naples – arguably the city with the best pizza, but we wouldn’t want to cause controversy by making such bold claims. Here he learned the art of cooking, just as mama used to make it. He has since brought his cooking to the Atlanta region, always maintaining his passion for fresh ingredients cooked with love. There is plenty of choice on the menu, especially with the build your own pasta and pizza. The Speciale dishes are particularly worth trying. This place has expertly baked dishes and provides service with open arms.
Parma Tavern is Buford’s resident rustic Italian restaurant of choice. They serve up a mix of Italian-inspired tavern dishes and combining the old with the new. The stone-baked pizzas are cooked in the oven at 600 degrees and their pastas feature sauces that are made from scratch on the premises. They have field-fresh bruschettas. And, bringing Italian food up-to-date and into downtown, they also have Italian tacos, meatball subs, and, famously, a Krispy Kreme burger. Their exciting menu, friendly atmosphere, late opening and fully stocked bar makes this one of the neighborhood’s most frequented eating and drinking destinations.
Come for the name, stay for the food. As the congregation of diners bend down and begin to tuck in their barbecue meats, they declare: Praise The Lard. While the atmosphere, and indeed branding, may be fun and playful, you can have no doubt that they take their barbecuing very seriously. They don’t let the flavor of the meat hide in the sauce. Their melt-in-the-mouth pork, brisket, chicken and ribs is dry cooked then comes with a selection of sauces at the diner’s choosing. These range from hot vinegar and tangy mustard to the popular Praise The Lard sauce. For the full barbecue experience there are a number of sides, and premium Southern style sides, to choose from. They also take off-menu requests. If it can be barbecued, they can do it.
Buford as a town may feature an enviable variety of different cuisines, but Rico’s World Kitchen wanted to one-up the town that it resides in and place the variety all under one roof. While their dishes take influence from all across the globe, there is still a very distinctively southern element to their menu. The menu has regular changes in line with ingredient availability and the creative spark of the cooking team. The restaurant itself is spacious and simply decorated, with travel pictures adorning the walls to give your eyes the wanderlust that your palate will soon catch up with. Comfort cuisine from the world over is what to expect here.
Sperata is a fine dining addition to Buford’s historic Main Street district. High-quality, inclusive service, food and atmosphere makes the restaurant an attractive destination for diners ranging from the most discerning to the more casual. This is particularly this case for the lunchtime bistro menu. Dishes largely come from the classical repertoire, with high-quality southern-influenced dishes also making their way onto the menu. There is also the option of the Chef’s Four Course menu for those who are looking to have a more broad taste of the restaurant’s expertise. After dinner hours the restaurant puts on live music events, making it an ideal place to come early and stay late.
Rounding off our list is Sushi Niko Niko, taking us from the US East to the Far East. The dining experience is quite a spectacle. The open kitchen allows guests to watch Chef Lee in action as he makes up dishes at the sushi bar. The restaurant’s name means ‘with a smile’ and both the service and the feeling that you get as you dine will leave smiles all around. The interior is elegantly decorated, with artistic contemporary light fittings and wall hangings alongside some more traditional Japanese features and aquariums. The expertly served dishes are all made using the freshest ingredients. And, contrary to the name, there is a wide variety of cooked and non-seafood based dishes alongside the wide-ranging sushi menu. Fine, fun Japanese dining at its best.