33. Best Breakfast
We love Sunrise Grill and Metro Spirit readers agree. It’s difficult not to love a locally owned breakfast and lunch spot with two locations (in Martinez and North Augusta) that is inexpensive, consistently good and offers great service. Sunrise has soups, sandwiches and a wide variety of breakfast options, but the real star of the show is the egg. Whether they’re in a Patty O’Sullivan omelet with corned beef hash or are served on top of Canadian bacon and English muffins with Hollandaise sauce as part of Eggs Benedict, the eggs will always be cooked perfectly — no easy feat when the folks in the kitchen serve as many customers on the weekends as they do. If you absolutely have to have something sweet at breakfast, though, don’t worry: Sunrise does pancakes, waffles and French toast equally well. Looking for something different? We recommend the sweet potato pancakes with cinnamon cream syrup. Decadent and delicious.
34. Best Brunch
53. Best Onion Rings
Whiskey Bar (Kitchen)
Don’t let the name fool you: “kitchen” may be in parentheses, but the food here definitely isn’t an afterthought, as Metro Spirit readers can attest. After perusing the extensive whiskey menu and deciding on a burger, you may be tempted to order the sweet potato fries. They’re not a bad choice, that’s for sure, but apparently you don’t want to miss the onion rings. Huge, crunchy and piping hot, you’ll want an entire plateful. Try them with the remoulade sauce. On the weekends, our readers also say that you should visit Whiskey Bar (Kitchen) for brunch. In addition to the regular menu, they have a small selection of dishes like bacon-battered French toast, Graceland chicken and, our personal favorite, shrimp and grits benedict. Pair that with a mimosa or a bloody mary and you’ve got yourself a pretty good start to the weekend.
Call 706-814-6159 or visit whiskeybarkitchen.com.
35. Best Place to Go for a Date Night
41. Best Asian Food
Far East meets Southwest in TakoSushi’s totally fresh take on Asian-southwest fusion food. Take your pick of three locations in the CSRA; each one has a funky, eclectic vibe that really makes for a special date night. Ingredient-driven recipes, friendly service and always some great tunes playing in the background, TakoSushi wows its customers with its creative approach to fusion food. The sushi is simply out of this world, but then again so are the tacos, and the green chili pork… It’s never easy to make your choice, so we’re thankful TakoSushi is sticking around because we certainly will keep coming back for more.
36. Best Dessert
The Boll Weevil
The Boll Weevil makes cakes. Really big cakes. With delectable treats like the restaurant’s Coffee Toffee cake and Turtle Crunch cheesecake, these desserts are too good to resist. Everybody in Augusta has their favorite, but nobody can go wrong with the 7th Heaven Cake ― two layers of dark chocolate cake surrounding a layer of cheesecake, covered in butter cream and topped with ganache and chocolate chips. It is the definition of delicious.
38. Best Beer Selection
70. Best Trivia Night
75. Best Draft Selection
The Pizza Joint
Mike Schepis has a lot to be proud of. Sure, the Pizza Joint is known for its pizza, strombolis and calzones, but each of its four locations has a vast selection of domestic and draft beers, microbrews and imports. And as if that’s not enough, each location has daily specials and Beer Me Tuesday. Trivia Night takes place Thursdays at both Evans and the downtown Joint and it’s free to join. Trivia Night covers all the stuff you never knew you needed to know, from history to TV, to sports and more and winners win cash prizes and pizza. Woot woot!
39. Best Outdoor Dining
Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar
If outdoor dining means a fancy patio to you, Rhinehart’s ain’t that kind of place. If, however, you prefer beach shack chic, this is definitely the spot. We doubt if anyone would give you a second look if you wore a bathing suit and flip flops to sit at one of their picnic tables, but you might want to at least wear a cover-up. Even if you’re coming from work, though, the food and atmosphere will evoke that kind of relaxed, waterfront vibe. So sit on down, grab a bottled beer or a mixed drink in a plastic cup and prepare to have some of the best seafood around.
40. Best Place to Grab Coffee
Metro Coffeehouse & Pub
One of downtown Augusta’s most well-established spots has kind of a split personality. During the day, you’ll most likely walk into Metro and find the place filled with loners typing away on laptops while they drink coffee and tea. In fact, that’s one of the greatest things about this place is that you can sit as long as you like and no one will say a thing. As the afternoon wears on into evening, however, the laptops are put away in favor of pool cues and coffee and tea turn into beer and drinks. Many nights there’s live music and sometimes you’ll find members of the local rugby team in there raising hell. Whatever time of the day or night, however, if you want coffee, you’ll get some of the strongest and best around.
42. Best German Food
Oktoberfest wouldn’t be the same without schnitzel, bratwurst, sauerkraut and a boot full of Yuengling at Villa Europa. Opened in 1989, Villa Europa on Deans Bridge Road has been serving all of the CSRA traditional German fare such as its famous jaegerschnitzel, beef rouladen, rahmschnitzel and Bavarian platters for more than 25 years. One trip to Villa Europa will make you want to break out the lederhosen and celebrate Oktoberfest all year long.
43. Best Indian Food
Taj of India
Whether you are craving traditional Chicken Makhani with tandoori diced chicken in a rich creamy tomato gravy with a side of naan bread or crispy, golden vegetable samosas that are bursting with flavor, Taj of India on Furys Ferry Road is home to incredibly authentic Indian cuisine that will leave you craving for more. Serving loyal customers since 2002, Taj of India provides customers with incredibly delicious food and friendly service in a nice, relaxing environment.
44. Best Italian Food
Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday, Giuseppe’s on Wheeler Road near Bobby Jones is a family trattoria open since 1993. Folks comes from all over the area for their weekday lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., but we prefer the extensive menu offered at dinner. On that menu, patrons will have a hard time deciding between a variety of pizzas and sandwiches or traditional Italian dinners like mussels marinara, chicken marsala or eggplant parmigiana. Their combination of tomato and alfredo sauces are customer favorites, but the combo platters are, in our opinion, the best bet. Whatever you choose, you’ll leave Giuseppi’s stuffed and smelling of garlic, and that’s a very good thing.
Call 706-855-0527 or visit gpizza.net.
45. Best Mediterranean Food
Although it hasn’t been open long, Zoe’s Kitchen and it’s dedication to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet has already won over customers in Augusta. In case you’re unaware, the Mediterranean diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, healthy fats like chickpeas, avocados and olive oil, lean proteins and healthier grains to control weight and promote heart health. Their menu certainly reflects that dedication, with hummus, kabobs, salads, and pita sandwiches all making appearances. And you won’t find any French fries on the sides list; instead you’ll find salads, roasted vegetables and fresh fruit. Don’t feel like eating in? Try one of their family meals or tubs of hummus or other items to go.
Call 706-867-5429 or visit zoeskitchen.com.
46. Best Mexican Food
49. Best Burrito
When your slogan is “We roll ‘em fat,” there’s really only two things you could be talking about. Lucky for those who love this downtown institution, Nacho Mama’s is talking about burritos… and they’re not lying. Whether you order a House or a Basic Burrito, the dish you pick up at the counter after they yell your name weighs about five pounds and is enough to feed at least two, although you’ll be surprised to find that you can finish it off in one sitting. Don’t like burritos? Just ask the person in line in front of you what they always get when they visit; everyone has a favorite that they’ve probably tweaked to suit them. The staff is very accommodating that way. For newbies, a few notes: sit at the bar and you won’t have to wait in line, order extra mango habanero sauce because it is the elixir of the gods and no amount is ever enough, and always indulge in a Top Shelf Margarita. Be careful, though: their unofficial motto is “We Mix ‘Em Strong,” which is why we love Nacho Mama’s so much.
Call 706-724-0501 or visit nachomamasaugusta.com.
48. Best Barbecue
Everyone knows that barbecue is a Southern tradition. But at Sconyers Bar-B-Que, it is also a family affair. Founded in 1956 on Peach Orchard Road, Sconyers’ barbecue has been served to presidents, members of Congress and generations of Augustans. Known for its old-fashioned, oak and hickory, pit-cooked barbecue, Sconyers is all about good food, a comfortable atmosphere and a staff that will treat you like family. Whether you are hankering for tender ribs, lean tenderloin or flavorful hash, nobody does pig better than Sconyers Bar-B-Que.
52. Best Milkshake
Steak ‘n Shake
When the word “shake” is in your name, you’d better be good at making them. And Steak ‘n Shake definitely is. In addition to the classics (van, choc, straw, etc.) and the side by side milkshakes, this ‘50s-themed diner really puts a lot of effort into their seasonal milkshake offerings. Right now, for instance, you may have a hard time deciding between the caramel apple milkshake or the salted caramel one. Or the cookie butter milkshake versus the Nutella one. Whatever you decide, know this: you can always come back for another.
54. Best Pizza
Pizza lovers have been worshiping at the Mushroom for years, and for good reason ― with specialty pizzas like Funky Q Chicken, Holy Shitake Pie and Kosmic Karma, Mellow Mushroom is not your average pizza place. It specializes in creating mind-blowing pizzas that keep patrons coming back for more. While the specialty pies are out of this world, guests can also develop their own pizza from the many choose-your-own ingredients offered on the menu. With each and every visit, Mellow Mushroom always keeps pizza new, exciting and delicious.
55. Best Steak
The local steakhouse recently changed hands, but the new owners vow they won’t be changing what they know we love — the steaks. Certified Angus Beef is what’s on the menu and The Snug knows just what to do with their ribeyes, filets and New York strips. Melt in your mouth goodness in a comfortable intimate setting; you can’t get much better than this. Want to really blow your mind? Try them with one of The Snug’s delicious sauces, like the Drunken Blueberry Sauce or Neptune’s Cow Sauce. You won’t be sorry.
Call 706-863-1118 or visit thesnug.net.
56. Best Subs
So the legend goes Firehouse Subs was created by former firefighters and brothers, Chris and Robin Sorensen so its food should be filling enough to feed the men and women who work up an appetite as our first-responders. Right? Yes. We especially love their hot subs, firehouse-themed décor and the convenience of their online ordering service. The fact Firehouse Subs also supports our hometown heroes through its Public Safety Foundation simply endears them to us even more.
58. Best Vegetarian
The Bee’s Knees
Whether you’re hardcore vegan or would just rather not include any meat in your meal, The Bee’s Knees has got you covered. Downtown’s favorite tapas place doesn’t serve red meat or pork and has a lot to choose from, even if you don’t want chicken or seafood. Our favorites are the citrus-ginger salad, the buffalo tempeh small plate, the cheese board, the sweet potato hummus and the coconut curry panang with tofu. The only item we miss is the Buddha salad with fried tofu cubes in place of croutons. Please bring it back! Enjoy it all in a charmingly funky restaurant where you can even get fruits and veggies in your cocktails. Don’t believe us? Try summed mulled wine with fresh cranberries or a Sriracha bloody mary at brunch.
Call 706-828-3600 or visit beeskneestapas.com.
59. Best Wings
Wild Wing Café
We know they have wings — bone in and boneless. But is it the wings we love or is it the vast array of insanely delicious sauces that keep us going back for more? Oh Wild Wing Café, you satisfy our craving for that tender chicken and sticky marinated goodness — sweet, tangy, spicy or a mix of all three, it doesn’t matter because it’s all good. Eat them while watching the game, listening to some great local music, or hanging with family and friends.
60. Best Cheap Grub
Augusta only recently became home to outposts of this North Carolina chain and, boy, are we glad they’re here. Why? Because there’s no place else where you can get a tray of food that includes one main order, two sides and a drink for less than a fiver. And those sides not only include the usual fries and onion rings, but you can get wraps, corn dogs and quesadillas. It’s rare these days that you can feed two people at a fast-food place for under $10, but you can definitely do that here. Our fave? The barbecue sandwich with hot sauce and slaw, the steak style burger, and almost any one of their 40-plus varieties of shakes… although we haven’t worked up the courage to try the watermelon shake available in the summer.
63. Best Grocery Store
Ahhhh… Kroger. You may not be as fancy as some other grocery stores in town, but you get us. You really do. From your create-your-own six-packs for $10 to your “managers special” deals section to the Starbucks outpost, you really know how to make shopping fun. But even if we don’t have all day to tarry in the cheese section (as much as we wish we could), we know that we can always count on you for great deals, huge selections, quality meats and a friendly staff. And that’s really what we want.
64. Best Place to Find a Recipe Ingredient You’ve Never Heard of Before
Nutritional yeast? Check. Hemp hearts? Got it. Braggs Liquid Aminos? There it is. Coconut flour? Yes. Matcha powder? Sure. Whether you’re trying to impress someone or just picked up a healthy food cookbook, if you can’t find what you need, chances are Whole Foods will have it. Watch out, though. While looking for all these odd things, you’ll have to walk by Whole Foods’ great pizza and gelato. Better ask someone; they’re more than happy to help.
Call 762-333-0259 or visit wholefoodsmarket.com.
65. Best Place to Pick Up Something When You Forgot You Were Going to a Friend’s House
The Fresh Market
A bit of a niche grocery store, The Fresh Market sells fresh everything; food, coffee, flowers — you name it, it’s there for the taking. It also has one of the best selections of foreign foods and hard-to-find ingredients. Need to grab something eclectic, unique or ready-made? Their bakery and deli sections are to die for! Have you had their chicken salad sandwiches? No? Go buy one. Like, now. We’ll wait… thefreshmarket.com
66. Best Place to Pick Up Lunch or Dinner When You Don’t Feel Like Eating Out
Some of the most popular items on Zaxby’s menu are simple, but indescribably good such as the chicken finger plate served with crinkle fries, Texas toast, coleslaw and the one and only, Zax sauce. Or how about the “Wings & Things Plate” with boneless wings, chicken fingers, crinkle fries, Texas toast and ranch sauce. If you are in the mood for something a little lighter, Zaxby’s salads are always fresh and delicious. The entire menu is perfect for a family who wants to enjoy a nice dinner, but doesn’t feel like eating out.