Downtown Augusta offers an eye-popping (or is it gut-busting?) array of unique locally owned restaurants. I haven’t included a price guide, because food is uniformly affordable here—no $40 entrees. Hope you find one that you enjoy!
211 10th Street
Dinner only weeknights; brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
An extensive tapas menu and a few Asian-style entrees (seared tuna, pad thai) with a full bar. Bee’s Knees features lots of vegetarian options in both tapas and entrees. Two dining rooms; may have live music on First Friday. A long-time favorite of my book club gal pals.
Blue Horse Bistro
302 6th Street
Lunch and dinner in a lovely old building. Jazz at night.
Blue Sky Kitchen
990 Broad Street (on the corner)
Lunch weekdays; Dinner only on First Friday
Blue Sky is my favorite out of all the downtown restaurants. The Cuban style sandwiches are great—try the roasted fish, or the meatloaf (mmm, meatloaf). Salads are yummy, there is a great coconut curry chicken soup, and the entrees are eclectic. Ideal for a group of people with varied tastes, because everyone will find something appealing on the menu. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a corner location make for great crowd-watching on First Friday.
Boll Weevil Café and Sweetery
10 Ninth Street
Lunch and Dinner
Right out the back door of the hotel, so odds are you may find yourself here at some point during the meeting. This café is famous for deserts—over 20 on the menu and they are sized to share. Cakes are four layers and they serve them on a dinner plate, so you can start drooling now.
Lunch Tuesday—Saturday, dinner Thursday--Saturday
Indoor/outdoor dining on the first floor of the old JB White Department Store, now a renovated loft apartment building. Usually features live music on First Friday. Tapas, salads, soups, sandwiches and dinner specials.
Frog Hollow Tavern
1282 Broad Street
Dinner only, Wednesday through Saturday
Upscale new Southern cuisine made from local, sustainable sources. The restaurant has a lovely interior and well-presented food. The wine list is large and they have a full bar. Probably the most expensive option on Broad Street, but well worth the price (and still not that expensive).
590 Broad Street
An Augusta institution that still looks the way it did when the Rat Pack was around. Traditional Italian-American and Greek fare. Back in the day, if there was a wait for a table, you could go have a beer next door at the Sports Center bar and the hostess would come get you when your table was ready.
The dining room is tiny but the staff is friendly. Another local institution, the Discotheque Lounge, is across the street. I don’t know if the Snake Lady still does her striptease there, though.
1167 Broad Street
This is the local outlet of an Atlanta pizza chain. The converted gas/service station carries the theme indoors with old gas pumps and VW van panels over the bar. Extensive draft beer list and tasty pizzas and sandwiches. If you have a large group, they have huge booths and better seating for parties of 6-8 than Pizza Joint.
976 Broad Street
Lunch and Dinner Monday through Saturday
“We roll ‘em fat” is their slogan, so if you like your burritos well-stuffed and your Margaritas strong, this is your place. Order your food at the counter and they will holler out your name when it’s ready. Tacos, salads, nachos, tostadas (known here as “45s”) and a few pasta dishes in addition to the large burrito menu. Let us pause a moment in remembrance of the no-longer-on-the-menu “Soul Burrito No. 1” named for the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown. One of the first “new” restaurants to open on Broad Street back in the mid-90s, they helped jump-start the downtown revitalization, just on the strength of their menu and funky atmosphere. The line to order can get crazy long on First Friday, so you may want to hit this place at another time.
New Moon Café
10th and Broad
Breakfast, lunch and Sunday Brunch
This café is a popular choice for locally roasted coffee, baked goods, smoothies, soups and sandwiches. They offer a different soup and sandwich combo special every day. This is the only downtown café that sells Cheerwine and RC cola. On weekends they have yummy brunch specials too. And they bake some freaky cookies, like the current fave which combines chocolate and bacon for a sweet and salty treat.
1245 Broad Street
Lunch and Dinner every day
Another local place that started small and now has two larger locations, one downtown and one out in suburbia. They offer a wide variety of thin-crust specialty pizzas and lots of beer choices. Indoor and outdoor seating. Loud and kind of rowdy on First Friday.
215 10th Street
The Beak has started a “Righteous Grub Revolution” and gained a loyal following downtown, bringing ‘em back with unique tacos (such as the charred pork with grilled pineapple salsa), home-made sides and the only frozen drinks on Broad Street. The Beak offers daily specials, a tasty pizza and a decent selection of entrees.
Soy Noodle House
1032 Broad St.
Lunch and Dinner
Features a wide variety of noodle, rice and stir-fry dishes. I’ve enjoyed a beef noodle soup there as well as a Thai curry stir-fry full of vegetables and shrimp; however, there are numerous online reviews of this place that are less than favorable. Seems like the food and service are a toss-up at times. Portions are large.
1209 Broad Street
The bakery is a classic delicatessen, open for breakfast and lunch since 1949. Nothing fancy, just good simple deli sandwiches and soups. Cookies and breads are for sale as well.
Within Driving Distance
La Maison on Telfair
North Augusta SC (across the river)
404 Telfair Street
Dinner only; wine bar opens at 5pm, restaurant at 6pm.
A long-time downtown fine dining establishment, La Maison has a classically-trained chef and its own wine bar, Veritas. Definitely the place for a special, quiet dinner.
Manuel’s Bread Café
505 Railroad Ave., in the Hammond’s Ferry neighborhood.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Inside the heart of the planned community of Hammond’s Ferry sits this small indoor-outdoor café. Manuel bakes his own bread and uses locally-sourced ingredients throughout his French-inspired menu.
The upscale shopping destination Surrey Center, located behind the Augusta National golf course, has several interesting local restaurants. The French Market Grille is an Augusta institution, serving raw oysters, Cajun and Creole dishes and a full bar. Try the dirty martini with some chicken liver pate. Bistro 491 is another upscale fine dining choice; meals are lovingly prepared and their wait staff are some of the best in town. TakoSushi is the odd combination of Southwest cuisine and sushi (two entire menus of both), but it works somehow and is a hit with locals. Try the fried asparagus appetizer. Calvert’s is another old fine-dining institution, a great date night destination. Quiet and attentive staff.