You might be surprised, but the small mountain town of Ellijay GA has some really great places to eat! Don't miss the best restaurants in Ellijay GA for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These picks are all based on our personal experience visiting Ellijay Georgia.
The total population of the charming mountain town of Ellijay GA is 1,700. No, we're not missing any zeros. It's a small mountain town, and wonderfully so. There is an old historic downtown, wrapped around a town center with a big old courthouse.
Ellijay is like something you would see in a Hollywood movie and is full of great things to do, and great places to eat.
As locals to the Blue Ridge Mountains, we've become Blue Ridge Mountain foodies if you will. We've travelled all around the Blue Ridge visiting many different restaurants and we know good food in these mountains.
We are sharing our picks for the very best restaurants in Ellijay GA. We'll tell you the good and the bad, and many of these won't break the budget either, but a few will.
Of course, this list will be highly controversial, but all "best restaurants" articles always are, people are passionate about their food!
So, what are the best restaurants in Ellijay GA? Let's go!
Disclosure: We were invited by the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce and meals were complimentary; however, all opinions, information, and photos are our own and we were not asked in any way to influence our thoughts, comments, or the content of this article. All opinions are our own - We believe in putting our readers first.
The Best Restaurants in Ellijay GA
During our visits to Ellijay GA, we've found some amazing restaurants. From casual coffeehouses and cafes to upscale restaurants that would challenge larger cities, Ellijay's restaurant options definitely impress.
Whether you're looking for something quick and delicious or a unique fine dining experience, you'll find it in Ellijay GA.
Here are our our picks for the best restaurants in Ellijay GA!
The Pink Pig
Located in Cherry Log, just outside of Ellijay GA, you'll be hard pressed to find better BBQ and fixins than at the Pink Pig. The folks here smoke the ribs, pulled pork, and even brisket to perfection.
Be sure to start with their Fried Green Tomatoes, Oink Onion, or fried pickles. All of these are delicious and lightly fried. We really enjoyed the fact that these weren't super greasy and they serve with with ranch and their own in house spicy sauce.
Oh, and don't forget to try their Garlic Salad, which is unique and amazing. They mix chopped garlic into oil, and cover the lettuce with this divine dressing. We loved it so much we even bought the dressing to bring it home.
For dinner, grab one of their specials like the BBQ quesadillas or Brisket Nachos, or grab a full plates of BBQ, Brisket, Ribs and other items. Everything comes with two delicious side items.
Speaking of sides, try some homemade coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, Brunswick strew, fries or more. You will not be disappointed, the plates are full and you will not leave hungry.
To wrap things up, try the amazing banana pudding, cobblers, or Peanut Butter Pie. All were delicious, but that banana pudding ... well, it's to die for.
Go early and don't forget your appetite. The Pink Pig is open seven days a week, so be sure to stop by for the best BBQ around! We will definitely be back.
Located in downtown Ellijay, Bev's Diner is an old school 50s style diner, serving up smash burgers, handcut fries, and some of the best tasting milkshakes you'll find anywhere.
Bev's in a historic old building in downtown that honestly pretty unremarkable. In fact, you might even drive right by Bev's like we did when we first pulled up. But don't let the exterior fool you. While they may lack a fancy restaurant building, that fully make up it for in quality food and service.
The interior of Bev's has a simple 50s decor and the staff is dressed up just as you would expect to find in a 50s diner. Records on the wall, 57s Chevys, and music by Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, the Penguins and more plays in the background.
Where Bev's really shines is with fantastic smash burgers, fries, onion rings, and milkshakes. Bev's offers a number of different smash burgers, from the Old American (a traditional bacon cheeseburger) to the Wake Up, which features an egg, hashbrowns, candied bacon, and cheese sauce!
We tried three of their burgers, The All American with fries, the Bacon Cheeseburger with hand battered Onion Rings, The Howdy Ya'll with fries. The Howdy Ya'll has onion rings and sweet bbq sauce on it.
All of their burgers are made using local all natural beef, and the fries are hand cut right there in the kitchen.
The food was delivered hot and freshly made to our table, by our super nice and helpful waitress Zeta! The burgers are all doubles, the portions are large. We could only eat about half of ours in order to save some room for dessert.
For dessert, we tried a Coke Float and a Butterscotch Milkshake. Both excellent, and we highly recommend the Butterscotch Milkshake!
We've eaten many burgers and fries in our lives, and these were some of the best we've had anywhere. We love the fact that Bev's Diner uses such high quality ingredients, and it really makes a difference.
If you have a craving for a delicious old fashioned smash burger, home style onion rings, or an amazing flavored milk shake with a 50s theme, Bev's Diner is your place!
While trying to find some coffee and breakfast one morning during our weekend getaway in Ellijay, we drove past Ellijay Coffeehouse and decided to give it a try. We are SO glad we did, it's truly a hidden gem, with fantastic coffee, breakfast items, atmosphere and staff.
Ellijay coffeehouse is located, like many other places in Ellijay, in an old historic building. The exterior isn't all that remarkable, but as you open the front door, you are immediately struck by the wonderful smells of fresh coffee and capachinos.
The hand written menu on the left highlighted their signature coffees, along with a menu next to it with more traditional faire. Signature coffees included The Honey Bear with honey, vanilla and cinnamon, the Bigfoot Latte with mocha, cinnamon, cayenne and chipotle, the Cinnamon Roll Latte and Apple Pie Latte. They even had a PB 'n Jelly Latte!
We ordered an Apple Pie Latte, a Cinnamon Roll Latte and a hot chocolate, along with a lemon cake, chocolate donut, and some Panini breakfast sandwiches. The Paninis where the Appalachian Sunrise, which includes bacon, egg, spinach, brie, and chipotle peach spread. Everything was fantastic, and we mean truly fantastic.
This coffee house is exceptional, and delivers everything you would expect in a coffee shop, in-house baked goods, excellent coffee, a warm and cozy atmosphere with plenty of seating. The staff makes you feel appreciated and welcomed.
In many coffee houses, we wouldn't feel comfortable just hanging out and relaxing for a while. Maybe reading a good book, or working on an article. At Ellijay Coffeehouse, we definitely felt comfortable being there.
We'll be back.
Looking for a unique experience that offers good food, drinks and a view? You'll definitely want to visit The Roof in Ellijay GA.
The Roof is located, as you would expect, on the Roof of a tall building in historic downtown Ellijay and provides indoor and outdoor seating with an exceptional 360 degree view of the town and surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. It makes for a great location to enjoy dinner, watch the sunset, and enjoy all of the evening activities in Ellijay.
The menu offers many traditional favorites, as well as unique dishes and drinks. Their craft cocktails are also delicious and creative and they offer many beer and wine choices as well. We started with a couple of their cocktails, which were excellent, then ordered the fried green tomatoes as an appetizer.
For entrees, we tried the fresh local Trout, meatloaf, and salmon. All were very good.
We followed this up with some chocolate cake for dessert. Unfortunately, they only had 2 dessert options, and both of them chocolate, otherwise we would have tried more options.
The staff was friendly and attentive to our needs throughout the evening. Our favorite part of the experience was definitely the view – it was breathtaking!
The only negative to note is that it does get a bit warm up there when sitting outdoors, especially in the afternoon and early evening. BUT, the Roof has really done a lot to address that. They have fans all around, and cool water mist blowing all around the perimeter of the restaurant and bar. This both cools you and the air blowing through. It really makes a difference!
Overall, we enjoyed our dinner visit to The Roof in Ellijay. We would recommend it for anyone looking for a memorable dining experience or just a relaxing evening with friends. Truly a unique dining experience when visiting Ellijay GA.
The Cornerstone Cafe is a cozy and "down home" spot, specializing in breakfast and lunch dishes. The menu offers many different items, including traditional breakfast favorites and some unique items as well, like the stuffed pancake.
They also offer a number of daily special. We tried the omelet special, which was delicious! We also had a breakfast sandwich, and the stuffed pancake is a huge pancake stuffed with eggs, bacon and cheese. Think of it as a pancake omelet.
The food was delicious, served up hot and fresh, and the coffee was great - the most important thing in any breakfast spot.
it is very small, and very busy, but the staff does a great job quickly cleaning tables, and getting people in to keep the wait short. The Cornerstone Cafe is definitely a place we would visit again for a bigger breakfast.
Back Porch Bistro
If you are looking for a quick bite to eat but great food, the Back Porch Bistro is the spot. This small locally owned sandwich shop offers up some of the best sandwiches in town and at very reasonable prices. They even have both indoor and outdoor seating available.
We love a good and authentic cuban sandwich, and the Back Porch Bistro delivers. We also try to eat pretty healthy, especially for breakfast and dinner, and the menu is full of healthy options including salads, warps, and even vegetarian options. They even have a bean burger that is made in house!
If you're looking for a quick place to grab some food, that is delicious and in a clean, welcoming, and dog-friendly environment, the Back Porch Bistro is your place.
Boardwalk Pizza and Pub
Boardwalk Pizza and Pub in Ellijay, Georgia is a favorite local bar that serves pizza and other bar foods. The restaurant serves fresh-made pizzas made with homemade dough and loaded with topping options. They offer up anything from the classic build your own pizza to house specials like the bacon buffalo chicken pizza.
In addition to the good pizza, Boardwalk also serves up hot dogs, pretzels, cheese sticks, and meatballs. While food is decent, they are mainly a bar offering plenty of craft beer on tap, wine, and cocktails.
Boardwalk Pizza and Pub is a popular hang-out for locals, that is fun and laid back. The indoor space is small, but there is plenty of outdoor seating on the boardwalk behind the restaurant for enjoying the warm summer days.
They often have live music playing outdoors, and it always seems to be turned up when we were there. There were plenty of people hanging out, listening to music, dancing, and having a good time.
Worried about leaving your pup at home? Not to worry! Boardwalk is dog friendly and has plenty of outdoor seating for your four-legged friend.
Cantaberry Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Ellijay GA and they serve both lunch and dinner. They also have a location in nearby Blue Ridge GA as well.
Cantaberry is locally known for its fresh sandwiches and salads, and in-house made soups. The atmosphere at Cantaberry Restaurant is casual, friendly and inviting. The restaurant is located right next to the large townhall in Ellijay, right off the main city center.
The menu at Cantaberry Restaurant has lots of options and includes a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, wraps and soups. The tomato basil and chicken & rice soups are phenomenal. They offer a number of delicious bread options for sandwiches. The chicken salad on a baguette was amazing, and we're big chicken salad connoisseurs.
While we didn't try them for dinner, the menu looks delicious, with lots of traditional Southern favorites including Fried Chicken, meatloaf, Country Fried Steak, and a pulled pork sandwich.
If you’re looking for a great dining experience in Ellijay, then be sure to check out Cantaberry Restaurant. It's also dog friendly So don’t forget to bring Fido the next time you go out for dinner.
Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza
Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza is located on East Main Street in Ellijay GA and offers a warm atmosphere and delicious food. The restaurant specializes in wood-fired pizza with many unique toppings to choose from and speciality pizzas.
All of their pizzas are made from scratch using fresh ingredients and cooked in their wood burning oven for an authentic Italian style pizza. They also offer gluten free options.
The atmosphere at Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza is casual and inviting. The space is small but comfortable with plenty of seating available both indoors and outdoors. They also have a great selection of beer, wine, and cocktails to enjoy with your meal as well
What we like about Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza is they don't only wood fire the pizza, the wood fire a number of other items on the menu as well.
We highly recommend you start off with the Wood fired oysters or the Crab & Artichoke Wood Fired Fondue. Both excellent, especially with that classic wood fire flavor.
You can order a pizza your way, or pick from their selection of white or red pizzas. We were just glad to see white pizza as an option, as it's one of our favorites. The Margherita Autentico is a fantastic traditional Margeherita Pizza, The Black Goat is also excellent and has goat cheese, apple maple bacon jam, pistachio, prosciutto, and black garlic molasses.
Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza is dog friendly, like many restaurants in Ellijay, so you can bring your furry family member along for an evening out.
The Shack of Ellijay
Located just outside of the main downtown area of Ellijay, The Shack is a must-visit Asian fusion restaurant that offers a unique dining experience in Ellijay.
The Shack is open for lunch only, from 11- 5pm. Their menu features and Poke bowls, noodle bowls, and Pho.
We unfortunately were not able to try The Shack, although we really wanted to. But we heard great things from locals and friends that have visited Ellijay many times. So we look forward to trying them on our next visit!
Overall, The Shack of Ellijay is an excellent choice for those seeking excellent Asian cuisine in a welcoming environment.
River Street Tavern
Among the many excellent dining options in Ellijay GA, River Street Tavern stands out as another must-visit restaurant.
What sets River Street Tavern apart from other restaurants in the area is its menu - it's a creative mix of classic comfort food and unique offerings. From the Mexican street corn to the Chicken and Waffles and the blackened Mahi Caesar salad, every dish on the menu is very flavorful.
What really caught our attention was the large selection of burgers made from local and all natural beef. They offer up a Southwest burger, a wonton burger, and the Mega cheese and bacon burger. You can even get a "Big Game" burger which features Elk, Bison, Wagyu and wild boar.
They also offer a large selection of wings, and chicken sandwiches.
The atmosphere at River Street Tavern is cozy and casual and plenty of comfortable seating options. It's the kind of place where you can come in after a long day of hiking or exploring the town, relax, and feel right at home. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating, and are dog friendly as well.
The Chili Dog
In the heart of Ellijay GA, The Chili Dog has become an institution, standing out among other dining options due to its long history in the area. This is seriously one of the best kept secrets in Ellijay!
The Chili Dog, one of the oldest restaurants in Ellijay, holds a special place in the local food scene and has been serving up great food since the 1950s.
Breakfast at The Chili Dog is a hearty affair with an array of breakfast biscuit options, sandwiches, wraps, and huge hot and sticky Cinnamon buns that are wonderful!
For lunch and dinner, the restaurant's namesake dish, the chili dog, is a must-try. This isn't your average hot dog; it's a juicy, grilled frankfurter smothered in their signature homemade chili and topped with freshly grated cheese and onions. The balance of flavors is simply perfect, making it a standout dish worth coming back for.
They also have excellent hand pattied burgers, sandwiches and dinner plates as well. Be sure to try the amazing onion rings!
While not fancy, do not be fooled. The Chili Dog is not fancy, but it delivers great local food in a clean and super friendly atmosphere. Our kind of place!
They offer outdoor and covered seating, and for those planning on bringing their furry friends, The Chili Dog is dog-friendly.
Final Thoughts on the Best Restaurants in Ellijay GA
As we wrap up highlighting the best restaurants in Ellijay GA that we experienced, we must say that the restaurant options in Ellijay, Georgia are impressive. They offer a range of delightful dining experiences. From innovative dishes to familiar comfort food, there's something to suit every palate in this charming town.
The restaurants in Ellijay stand out for their exceptional quality and creativity. Whether it's Emily's Bar & Restaurant with its imaginative menu or The Shack with its fusion of flavors, each restaurant brings its own unique flair. Additionally, the welcoming atmospheres of these establishments add to the overall dining experience.
One of the standout features of Ellijay's restaurants is their dog-friendly policies. It's heartening to see establishments that accommodate our four-legged family members, making dining a pleasure for everyone involved.
So, why dine at these restaurants? Besides the delectable food, these establishments offer a glimpse into the local culture and provide a chance to engage with the community.
From Emily's unforgettable chicken and waffle sandwich to The Shack's exciting Asian fusion cuisine, Ellijay's restaurants are sure to impress. Whether you're a resident, a visitor, a gastronome, or just someone who enjoys a great meal, the dining options in Ellijay, GA should not be missed. So, when you find yourself in town, don't forget to explore these culinary hotspots - your taste buds will be grateful!