Finding good local restaurants can be hard to do when you are not from the area, or don’t want to venture too far off your route. Throughout Oconee County there are a number of local spots to grab a bite to eat that aren’t as hidden as you may think. Check out this local’s guide to dining in Oconee County.
You can’t beat a biscuit for breakfast. A great new spot to get a biscuit is Suncatcher Café in Watkinsville. With cathead biscuits, pancakes and some tasty bite-size hash browns on the menu, it’s a great choice for the whole family.
Local’s Tip: Parking may seem limited in front of the restaurant, but there is ample free parking in walking distance throughout Downtown Watkinsville.
“The food is amazing, the prices are so great and the service was the hometown friendly feel! So glad a place like this is on my way to work! Great breakfast option everyday!” – Amanda E. via Facebook
Panaderia Tacuari, also known as Tacuari Bakery, is a Uruguayan restaurant that opened their new location here just a few months ago. The baked goods like fresh breads, cookies and other pastries are terrific. Breakfast is served all day so you can get a savory omelet filled with fresh vegetables any time of the day.
Local’s Tip: Traveling with kids? The restaurant has a play area filled with toys, puzzles, and coloring sheets.
“If you are ready for some variety in your pastry choices, this Uruguayan bakery has many offerings to help with a change of pace from doughnuts and bagels. Additionally they offer breakfast and lunch sandwiches -all reasonably priced.” – Jay S. via Yelp
When you think of good ‘ole southern BBQ you are envisioning Hot Thomas BBQ. Located on Highway 15 a few miles south of Watkinsville, Hot Thomas has been the go-to place for pulled pork, ribs, chicken, and stew for generations. You’ll feel right at home here. Dine in or grab a pound of pork to go.
Local’s Tip: Try the barbecue spot’s delicious cobbler.
“Hot Thomas BBQ — My childhood on a plate! For those of you looking for that “quiet, hideaway spot” that “only the locals know”… Hot’s is the place to get barbeque in Oconee.” – Casey G. via Yelp
For an intimate dining option, Dominick’s serves Italian dishes using fresh ingredients and family recipes. Pair a wine from their extensive list with a fresh salad and Stuffed Pork Chops served over penne pasta in a gorgonzola cream sauce for an experience you won’t quickly forget.
Local’s Tip: Get the best pricing at lunch with their $6.99 lunch specials.
“ I eat here often for lunch, and visited recently for dinner. Dominick’s never disappoints! From the incredible garlic bread with marinara, to the monstrous portions of delicious entrees, everything I’ve ever had here has been a winner!” – DD680 via TripAdvisor
Located on Highway 441, and known for their nursery and fresh buckets of peaches, Thomas Orchards also serves up some delicious homemade ice cream. Peach is the most popular flavor, but other flavors are available too and change occasionally.
Local’s Tip: There is a patio area with outdoor seating, so stay a little while and browse their greenhouse and gift shop.
“This is a lovely place to stop even if you don’t like ornamental plants, tasteful gifts galore and wandering in an out of greenhouses set off by the region’s finest pottery. The homemade ice cream alone is worth the trip.” – Jackie C. via Google
A good home cooked meal like grandma used to make is what you will find at Rachel’s Southern Style Restaurant. Tucked away in a small complex off Hwy 53, Rachel’s offers your typical “meat and three” type meal. The daily specials like meatloaf, fried pork chops, or country fried steak vary from day to day, but are posted right when you walk in.
Local’s Tip: The restaurant has an awesome carrot soufflé.
“I love the variety of veggie’s and have tried all the meats and they are delicious, as well. The little biscuits are heavenly. I could go there and just eat them!” – Cheryl D. via Facebook
Known simply around here as “La Parrilla” this place is busy almost every night of the week and for good reason. Order a burrito, Mexican tacos, Texas fajitas, or their chicken tortilla soup and you won’t be disappointed. Outdoor seating is available for those that want to enjoy the evening weather.
Local’s Tip: Their guacamole is made fresh daily.
“My husband raved about his chicken quesadillas and the rice was on point. The pico de gallo was delicious! We definitely have this restaurant on our list of regulars” – Joy H. via Yelp
This small Mexican-Mediterranean fusion restaurant in the heart of Watkinsville serves the best brunch in the area. Chef Jose is a talented chef, and his restaurant exudes true hospitality. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Sunday, you can get made-to-order crapes, pancakes, waffles and omelets to pair with a full buffet. This is a must-try on the weekend.
Local’s Tip: Don’t see what you’re craving on the menu? Name your dish, and Chef Jose will accommodate your request.
“We love this place. Eat here at least once a month on Sunday. Sunday buffet. Very good choices, everything is excellent. Breakfast bar omelettes are fantastic, blueberry pecan pancakes are to die for! Salad is superb, Desserts taste so yummy! Best of Watkinsville. Hidden treasure.” – mah720 via TripAdvisor