Dining and Nightlife
Sumptuous dining has been an honored tradition in the South for hundreds of years and several cities in North Georgia sponsor annual food festivals for public enjoyment. In Alpharetta, the Taste of Alpharetta food festival attracts more than 70,000 food connoisseurs each May for a public banquet of food sampling.
The City of Athens has A Taste of Athens food festival in February featuring food from over 50 local restaurants. In the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Georgia Apple Festival is celebrated in Ellijay during the second and third weekends in October, and the City of Blairsville’s most popular event is Georgia’s official Sorghum Festival in October. Sorghum syrup lovers travel from far and wide to attend this celebration of Georgia’s sorghum industry featuring the famous Biskit Eatin’ Contest. Each day people compete to see who can eat the most sorghum drenched biscuits baked by the Sorghum Mill, and the person who traveled the greatest distance from their home to attend the Sorghum Festival is awarded a trophy.
Most popular cuisines in North Georgia
Because North Georgia’s mountains, rivers and lakes attract so many tourists, restaurants offering various cuisines from around the world are popular throughout North Georgia. Restaurants serving Southern regional cuisines are a traditional favorite. Southern style barbecue restaurants typically serve hickory smoked ribs, hand pulled pork, smoked chicken and turkey with side dishes like fried okra, fried onion rings and barbecued beans. Cajun and Creole style restaurants feature fresh caught shrimp, catfish and oysters prepared by mesquite grilling, charbroiling or pan blackening, and famous dishes like Jambalaya, crawfish Etouffee, shrimp Creole and spicy sausage gumbo.
Almost every city in North Georgia has upscale restaurants that specialize in cuts of tender, aged steak accompanied by seafood specialties like conch, alligator, lobster, crab, crawfish and salmon. Chinese restaurants and Japanese Sushi bars are very popular and other International cuisines such as Italian, French, Mexican, Indian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Thai and Vietnamese are also featured North Georgia’s restaurants. Original gourmet cooking by highly respected chefs is provided at many of North Georgia’s vacation resorts and featured at well known restaurants owned by the chefs themselves.
Nightlife in North Geogia
North Georgia is characterized by small, friendly cities and towns where residents are inclined to spend their evenings relaxing at home with their families or at local establishments socializing with their friends. One of the most popular nighttime activities in North Georgia is gathering at local sports bars for cold beers, hot wings and whatever sports games happen to be showing on the establishment’s big screen TV’s. Sports bars may offer more than 100 different beers on tap in addition to several hundred different bottled beers, and food served typically includes hamburgers, spicy hot wings, fried chicken fingers and fresh salads. Many bars and grills in North Georgia also provide live acoustic music and bands, Karaoke contests, pool tables and video arcade games for people to enjoy.