Who says big towns have all the fun? Dahlonega, a small town in North Georgia, boasts fabulous eateries, several award winning wineries and of course spectacular mountain views.
Dahlonega is about an hour and a half drive from Atlanta. It is well worth the drive, as you’ll enjoy the small town charm instantly.
Would you expect to find a spectacular seafood restaurant in this small town? What if I told you the head chef is also a sommelier? At back Porch Oyster Bar they fly their fish in daily to ensure the freshest quality. Their catch of the day changes according to what’s fresh but for me the standout was the Maine oysters with their slightly sweet finish and the Tuna Tartare marinated in secret, 3-sauce blend.
For a bit of New Orleans, visit the Bourbon Street Grille. You can’t go wrong with the Frenchalatte, their version of the classic Muffaletta, served open faced. What’s especially notable about this restaurant is the second story patio seating. Each seat is positioned to overlook the lovely town square. It’s a fun option for a large group. Plus, they have a wonderful offering of craft beers like Dogfish Head Namaste and Dixie Blackened Voodoo, in addition to specialty wines.
What happens when a chef from New York moves to Atlanta and tires of the city life? He takes his talent to Dahlonega and works as head chef. That’s what happened at Yahoola Creek Grill when Chef Nick Alicea left Downtown Atlanta to move north of the city. Before ending up in Atlanta, Nick worked at many high-end restaurants in New York City and event spent five years honing his culinary skills in Europe. Did you know? He went to culinary school with Bobby Flay? Yahoola also has a large private events room, perfect for celebrations.
It’s not just food that impresses in Dahlonega but wine too. Did you know Dahlonega has been dubbed the Wine Tasting Capital of Georgia? If you enjoy vino and art, try the Wine tasting passport, which includes tastings at downtown galleries all within walking distance of each other. Pick up your wine tasting passport at the Dahlonega Visitors Center (open daily) for $25. It features a sampling of four wines at each location (a $15 savings). There are several wineries represented on this self-guided tour, each offering their own distinct varietals.
Montaluce Winery is a destination in and of itself. The planned community is designed to replicate a Tuscan village. Some of the villas are available for rent should you want to spend more than an afternoon at Montaluce. The entire estate encompasses 400 acres. But the real gem is Le Vigne restaurant, which overlooks the vineyards. The food is every bit as inventive and creative as a bustling metropolis.
Whether you want a romantic getaway for your and your partner or you’d like something out of the ordinary to do with out of town guests, Dahlonega is a fantastic choice with culinary delights, beautiful mountain vistas and a surprising wine country.