Having lived in the Macon, Ga. area for more than fifty years I can safely say we have visited all the best Restaurants and developed our favorites. My list of 10 restaurants Where The Locals Eat In Macon, Ga. consist of places we have visited multiple times.
We have shared many conversations over meals in just about all of these Macon, Ga. restaurants, some more than others.
My husband and I decided many years ago to patronize local restaurants more often than chain restaurants. The owners have a vested interest in providing not only good food but also great service.
Service can fall short from time to time in any restaurant but if the food is good, we’ll go back anyway.
We are beginning the list with fine dining but you cannot talk about southern eating without BBQ, burgers and fried chicken! I am sharing those local favorite hot spots too!
Natalia’s (Fine Dining)
201 North Macon St. 31210
If you are looking for Fine dining, Natalia’s is a Macon favorite since 1984. Great food, fabulous service and romantic atmosphere.
While planning my daughter’s wedding in 2013 we went restaurant hopping one night with my daughter’s future in-laws in search of rehearsal dinner options. We had so much fun that night and Natalia’s was our favorite stop. Hay House Wedding photos here.
Reservations are not required but highly recommended.
Natalia’s is located near I-75 and close to Bass Pro Shop.
Back Burner (French Fine dining)
2242 Ingleside Ave.
Shrimp and Grits are a menu staple for lots of fancy southern restaurants but my favorite menu item at The Back Burner has always been the Escargot.
The Escargot is served with Herbed Garlic Butter and Crostinis. My hubby and I share them but I could eat them all without his help. They are some of the best Escargot we have ever eaten.
We go to The Back Burner to celebrate special occasions like our anniversary. If you want to experience an especially nice evening The Back Burner will make that happen with wonderful food, fabulous service and a romantic ambience.
Nu Way (Burgers and Hot Dogs)
11 locations in the middle Georgia area
If you are in the mood for a burger or hot dog Nu Way is the place to go! Nu Way first opened in downtown Macon in 1916. They now have 11 locations in the area. Our favorite location is on Russel Parkway in Warner Robins but the Zebulon Rd. location in Macon is also very popular.
The original downtown location on Cotton Ave. is currently closed for remodeling following a fire. Keep checking their site for when they will reopen.
We go for those red wiener hot dogs but have an affinity for the Mega Burger too! Be sure to try both a slaw dog and a chili dog for the full experience!
Johnny V’s (Burgers and Hot Dogs)
5854 Columbus Rd. 31206
Open for breakfast
Johnny V’s is off the beaten path. If you are near Middle Ga. State University it’s just right up the road on the back side of the college. They are closed on Sunday and their normal hours are 5 am to 5 pm.
It is super duper busy at Johnny V’s during breakfast and lunch. George, the owner speaks to the regulars from the grill where he is usually cooking.
We love breakfast at Johnny V’s. The biscuits are made from scratch! Get the hotcakes, they are crazy good and Johnny V’s has that thick syrup option if you like.
I like the fact that they serve Tater Tots! We have been going to Johnny V’s for so long, George will tell me when we come in for lunch, “Got your fries down” because he knows I like crispy fries. Makes me smile.
From time to time someone will post a thread on Facebook posing the question Nu Way or Johnny V’s? A lively conversation always ensues.
The Bear’s Den (Southern style home cooked meat and vegetables)
1191 Oglethorpe St. (near downtown)
I pretty much always order the Fried Chicken dark meat when we visit The Bear’s Den.
Their Mac-n-cheese is just like Mom made.
You’ll find an array of desserts at the beginning of the cafeteria style line including Banana pudding and Pecan pie.
If you are a homemade lemonade lover, get that and just know up front that is is super sweet. Beverage refills are free.
Multiple locations in Macon and Warner Robins.
Fincher’s is iconic to the middle Georgia area having been around since 1935. The oldest location on Houston Ave. still resembles the old car hop style restaurant. They even have a walk up window for to-go orders. Their dining room is reminiscent of the 1950’s.
Southerner’s are serious about their BBQ and everyone has their own favorite ‘BBQ joint’. Fincher’s serves the vinegary type BBQ so if you are not a fan, just order yours without the sauce. That meat have been slow smoked for hours and is super delicious!
Personally, I am a big fan of Fincher’s Brunswick Stew. My hubby and I have met for lunch at the Davis Dr. location many times and order Stew and Fries. That is a good lunch folks!
2395 Ingleside Ave. 31204
Ingleside Village Pizza is a treat we give ourselves from time to time. The decor is eclectic and fun. The food is fabulous.
Their dough is made fresh daily. The pizza is hand tossed, New York style. Our must have menu item is the Sloppy Bread Sticks. You may need some cardio after eating them but treat yourselves anyway!
One slice of pizza will cover an entire plate so choose wisely.
Fancy schmancy toppings include spinach, artichoke, tomatoes, feta cheese, anchovies, broccoli.
My personal favorite at Ingleside Village is the White Pizza with spinach, mushrooms and extra cheese. Why not have the extra cheese, heck I already downed those Sloppy Bread Sticks!
121 Tom Hill Sr. Blvd (Exit 169 off I-75)
We are pretty boring when it comes to eating Greek food as we always treat ourselves to a Gyro and a Greek salad. I have always heard, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ and our love for Papouli’s Gyro is not broken!
Anytime we are on their side of town in Macon, Papouli’s becomes an option for lunch!
They are located off the I-75 so it’s an easy stop for lunch if you are traveling. If you are in town for the Cherry Blossom Festival or other events, they are right off Riverside Dr. which is an easy drive from downtown. You’ll drive very near Papouli’s if you’re heading out to The Shoppes at River Crossing too.
5080 Riverside Dr. 31210
La Parrila is a southeastern chain restaurant serving delicious Mexican fare. My Mexican Three Meat House Special Copycat Recipe was inspired by the House Special at La Parilla.
In Macon you will find La Parrila located at The Shoppes at River Crossing which is the largest shopping center in middle Georgia. We enjoy dining at the Warner Robins location which is where we have been known to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and often meet friends for dinner.
Our waitress always accommodates my request for burrito sauce instead of the hot sauce which comes with the chips. I never know when to stop eating the chips because they are so good!
Fish N’ Pig (Seafood and BBQ)
6420 Moseley Dixon Rd. Located on Lake Tobesofkee
Know in advance that it is very crowded on the weekends and it gets that way early. There is plenty to do while you wait because they always have a live band on the weekends outside or you can sit in a rocking chair by the lake.
My favorite thing on the menu is their Fried Shrimp dinner. The slaw and hush puppies are good too which makes the whole meal good for me! My hubby likes the fried gator for an appetizer. If you have been wanting to try a Low Country Boil, it is on the menu!
The Fish N’ Pig is a nice family dining evening overlooking the lake. Do not go if you are in a hurry. Plan to spend a nice evening chatting with family or friends followed by a delicious meal.
There are oh so many more places to eat in Macon and middle Georgia! This list is only 10 of our favorites!
More Places To Visit In Georgia
- Yoder’s Deitsch House Restaurant Montezuma, Ga.
- Buckner’s Family Restaurant Jackson, Ga.
- Geocaching At Georgia State Parks
- 3 Don’t Miss Sites at Andersonville, Ga.
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- Birds of Georgia Field Guide
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