By: Danielle Profita | Illustrator: Orlando Pimentel
When asking around for the best breakfast hub in Athens, Mama’s Boy receives a vote from the overwhelming majority. Open at the crack of dawn, this venue is the best brunch you can find in the city. Although it stays packed all day, Mama’s Boy isn’t the most popular dining establishment around for nothing. It’s worth the long line. Its brunch crowd, usually late risers waking up after a night out on the town, is the largest. “The chicken biscuit with homemade jelly and the biscuit with bacon, eggs and cheese are both delicious,” says Jenna Beals, a freshman advertising major from Milton. “The biscuits are as big as you face!” For something a little sweeter, Mama’s Boy makes a chocolate cake for breakfast and offers up fresh and juicy fruit plates as a side to any meal. To wash it all down, the strawberry lemonade is a must-have on a warm summer morning.
Location: 197 Oak Street, Athens, GA
Hours: Monday-Thursday: Breakfast 7:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Brunch 11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Friday-Sunday: Brunch 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Ike and Jane
This café and bakery offers the most unique doughnuts in Athens. Built on the site of an old gas station, the fresh, antique feel gives customers a one-of-a-kind experience. It is even named after the owner’s Nana Jane, who had a bakery of her own. Now they carry on the tradition in Athens. Aside from the 20 different types of donuts, the bakery makes fresh lemon bars, brownies, banana bread, vegan zucchini bread, yogurt parfaits with homemade granola and more. To make this possible, bakers work at wee hours of the night to have the lot ready for the morning rush.
Location: 307 Prince Avenue, Athens, GA
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Cali N Tito’s
For a fun, relaxing and interesting lunch spot, Cali N Tito’s never fails. With indoor and outdoor seating and walls covered by a motley grouping of decorations, this Latin American cuisine is sure to impress. In fact, Cali N Tito’s received a 95% approval on UrbanSpoon. Some of their most popular dishes are the maduros (fried sweet plantains), the fish tacos, the Cubano sandwich and the avocado salad. On the sweeter side, Cali N Tito’s offers a banana smoothie, which is very refreshing after a spicy chorizo taco. For the 21 and over crowd, there is also a BYOB option. Lindsey Broscher, a sophomore public relations major from Suwanee, says, “Cali N Tito’s is authentic to Athens, but don’t forget to bring cash!”
Location: 1427 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA
Hours: 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Pouch is a new family-owned restaurant in downtown Athens that offers savory pies with a culinary influence from countries around the world including Ireland, India, Australia and more. There are also vegetarian pie options filled with assortment of vegetables and cheeses. Menu items can also be paired with side items including beer-battered fries, slaw or mashed potatoes to make a dinner out of it. Dessert pies are also available. All savory pies, desserts and side items are made fresh in the shop everyday. Pies are $5.50 each, and side items are $2.50 each. Pouch’s warm atmosphere is complete with dim lighting, wooden furniture and a full bar offering imported and domestic beers as well as brews from Athens’ own Terrapin and Creature Comforts.
Location: 151 E. Broad Street, Athens, GA
Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m
The King of Pops
The King of Pops natural fruit ice pop stand can usually be found at the intersection of College Avenue and Broad Street in front of Starbucks. It’s are a great way to cool down after exploring the Classic City in the hot Georgia heat. Fan favorites and daily specials are listed on the board in front of the stand and usually sell out the fastest. It offer original flavors such as Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Covered Banana and Arnold Palmer. The get-it-and-go nature of these pops is great for a walk through North Campus or a picnic.
Hours: 1:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Arden’s Garden offers fresh juices and smoothies to drink, fruit bars, sweet, salty and spicy packs of nuts and various other snack bites to nom on. It also offers juice cleanses. Situated at the intersection of College Avenue and East Clayton Street below Subway, it draws a crowd looking for a pure, healthy, all-natural fruit or vegetable libation. It has fruit and vegetable ingredients on the side of the juice bottles that tell you exactly how much of each fruit or vegetable is in the drink. Just by drinking one juice you get a huge portion of your fruit and vegetable intake for one day. Fresh, refreshing and not super expensive at less than $4.00 a drink, Arden’s Garden is perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up. “Arden’s Garden is really filling and a good post-workout snack,” says Tina Banjo, a sophomore finance major from Sandy Springs.
Location: 184 College Ave, Athens, GA
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Athens’ Five Bar is a unique restaurant and bar that only has five options for appetizers and five options for dinner. Camren Skelton, a sophomore journalism major from Greenville, SC, is a frequent customer. “Since they only have a few things on the menu, everything is very ornate,” Skelton says. “Everything I’ve ever ordered from there has been delicious.” The menu written up on the wall with chalk gives the bar a hip feel. The bar is always offering a happy hour special, like Wine Down Wednesdays and Ladies’ Night Thursdays.
Location: 269 North Hull Street Suite 100, Athens, GA
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday: 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 5:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
New to Athens, The Place was opened this spring by two UGA alums, Alan and Ryan Pope. Located next to Starbucks on Broad Street, The Place has quickly lived up to its name. Inside, the restaurant is quaint, and the decorations are eclectic. All of the salt and pepper shakers are old-fashioned and mismatched. The use of rustic wood elements and traditional tiled floors give the restaurant a down-home feeling, which correlates with its comfort food. Ansley Manness, a sophomore marketing major from Johns Creek, is a particular fan of the mac ‘n’ cheese and the lemon cake. “It was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had,” Manness says. Lunch meals range from $8-$10 and entrees from $12-$25.
Location: 229 Broad Street, Athens, GA
Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. for lunch and dinner
After dinner service, the full bar opens.