A Review of Athens, GA


Sixty miles northeast of Atlanta, Athens, GA is a beautiful town known for its music, food, and, probably most notably, its lodging of the University of Georgia. Athens is home to the well-known bands’ REM and the B-52s and never disappoints with its music scene. You could call it a mini-Nashville. As far as food goes, you can find anything from classic southern to sushi to Cuban food to coffee bars. You cannot go wrong in this city, as it offers something for everyone.


Georgia Theatre

The live music in Athens is one of a kind. It has even become a destination for musicians to start to make a name for themselves. It can be named an important place for the development of genres like alternative rock and new wave. The rock scene can be traced back to the 1950s, but attention came to Athens in the 70s with the release of music by the B-52s. If you ever find yourself in the city, definitely look and see if there are any bands playing (if you are an indie rock, rock, alternative, or country fan it will not be hard to find something). Popular venues include the Georgia Theatre and the 40 Watt Club (both really cool places.) They have both fostered some of the most popular names in music: 40 Watt Club with Nirvana, The Strokes, and Snoop Dog, and Georgia Theatre with Tame Impala, Willie Nelson, Big Boi, and The Zombies. To find a convenient schedule of all performances for the week, Flagpole Magazine has you covered (pick one up). There is pretty much live music seven nights a week, so you are bound to find something.

As for nightlife, it is pretty easy to always find something to be doing at night. Literally, just walk downtown, and you will figure it out. It is a college town for sure. If that is not evident to you, I do not know what to tell you. If you get hungry, you are always able to get a slice of pizza at Little Italy (open until 2 am).


The only thing that keeps me driving for four and a half hours is that glazed salmon and grit cakes

— Emily Pilla

Bourbon glazed salmon w/ grit cakes and collards

Another notable aspect of Athens, Georgia is the food. And let me tell you, I have eaten GREAT food when I have visited. Starting with The Place, located directly across the street from the infamous arch that marks the entrance to north campus of UGA. The Place has both lunch and dinner menus, containing classic American southern food. I have only been for dinner, and I definitely recommend the southern bruschetta to start, followed by the Bourbon Glazed Salmon. This entree comes with, of course, really well-done salmon, but also two grit cakes (insane) and amazing collard greens. This was a possible 10/10 meal. As Emily Pilla puts it, “The only thing that keeps me driving for four and a half hours is that glazed salmon and grit cakes.”


Cubano Milanesa

Next, we have Cali and Titos, a classic for Athens residents and UGA students. At Cali and Titos you will find a taste of Latin, and there is a huge menu, with Latin salads, sandwiches, wings, burgers, and entreés of steak, chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetarian options. Also, though we did not try it, apparently they have a really good banana smoothie. Upon entering the restaurant, you order at the counter and are brought your food momentarily (it is not a sit-down option if that is what you are looking for). It has really nice outdoor seating, and it is such a friendly environment. Cali and Titos was AMAZING when I went. I was exhausted, my hunger levels were through the roof, and it did not disappoint. Pictured is the Cubano Milanesa, and we also ordered a side of Yuca Fries (definitely recommend it if you have never tried it before). The spice was well countered by the freshness of the avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro, making for an almost perfect meal.


The next restaurant is Chucks, an infamous Athens restaurant. They do not take reservations, so be prepared to wait. It will depend on how badly you want to get in. I know people who were willing to wait three hours if that tells you anything. Chucks menu consists of seafood, including mussels, fried oysters, tuna, shrimp, seafood pasta, a surf and turf dish, and a sushi menu. There also is a chicken scaloppine and a filet of beef (for those of you who do not like seafood or are allergic). If you want a classic, good, nice, sit-down dinner, this is the perfect place. Also with a bar, the interior of this restaurant is alive. The design is very modern looking and does not fail to surpass expectations.


The last restaurant I will mention is Grindhouse Killer Burgers, a modern smash-burger restaurant with options for everybody. Like Cali and Titos, you walk up to the counter and order and are brought your food. Like every other restaurant in Athens, there is also a bar and the upstairs turns into a bar scene after a certain time The menu has burgers themselves, and also a build-your-own option, with all different types of patties including beef, turkey, veggie, and impossible burger. You then get a choice of cheese, veggies, sauce, and other options. This was the first restaurant I ate at in Athens, and possibly the best smash burger I have ever had. There are also amazing starters available, including fried pickles, fried green tomatoes, cheesy poofs (fried pimento cheese nugs with sweet chili sauce), and dirty south fries (fries with chili, pico, bacon, cheddar sauce, jalapeños, and chipotle ranch). If you are looking for a quick, heavier meal and are very hungry, this is definitely the spot to be.


Athens is like no other and is definitely worth a visit, even if you are just passing through. I like to compare it to a mini-Nashville, as there is always something going on. I am sure you will love it and Go Dawgs!!!