LaGrange is one of Georgia’s hidden treasures. It gets overlooked in favor of its neighbor, Atlanta. Those who bypass LaGrange don’t know what they are missing. Aside from some unique restaurants in LaGrange GA, the place has a lot more to offer. One of its first European admirers was the Marquis de Lafayette. It got its name when he remarked that the beautiful rolling hills reminded him of his homeplace, LaGrange, in France. LaGrange remembers Lafayette with a lovely fountain and statue in the square downtown.
Fuller Callaway loved the countryside so much he named the home he built in 1916, Hills and Dales. He built the home to complement the gardens, which were planted and nurtured by a friend from his childhood, Miss Sarah Ferrell, who began the garden in 1841. Today, people come from all around the world to visit Hills and Dales to see the home and gardens. Hills and Dales formal boxwood garden is one of the best-preserved 19th century gardens in the Southeastern United States.
Fuller Callaway earned his fortune in the textile industry and his son, Fuller Callaway, Jr. followed in his footsteps. Some of the original mills are still standing and you can take a 3-mile walking tour through mill villages of the old Unity, Elm City, and Hillside mills.
One of the most popular attractions in Lagrange takes you back to Biblical times. The Biblical History Center is a unique attraction that interprets Biblical history. Many of their exhibits are based on archaeological artifacts from Israel.
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The 7 Best Restaurants in LaGrange GA
204 Morgan St LaGrange, GA +17068825382
Taste of Lemon is one of the more unique restaurants in LaGrange GA. It’s housed in a restored 1892 Methodist Church. They serve traditional southern dishes, a meat and two or three veggie choices. It’s a second-generation family-owned restaurant opened by Betty Daniel about 40 years ago.
I spoke with her daughter, Donna Close, who now runs the restaurant.
She told me the building had to be moved twice, but her mother wanted to maintain the beautiful Victorian Gothic style church. In tribute to the name, the walls are painted yellow. They are adorned with paintings, mostly by Donna’s husband Steve, who teaches art.
The food is typical Southern comfort food. Pick a meat and chose two or three veggies to go with it. Or have a vegetable plate.
Taste of Lemon’s menu changes often depending on what’s fresh on the market. Diners usually have a choice of seven or eight meats and 10 or more vegetable sides. My companion, who is a local, told me to order fast as popular choices often run out.
I loved the barbeque ribs, turnip greens, and their special pineapple casserole made with chunks of pineapple topped with grated cheddar cheese, and crushed Ritz crackers baked and served hot. Donna told me people either love or hate it.
There’s no middle ground. My companion chose quiche, green beans, and the pineapple casserole. We both loved the cornbread.
110 Greenville St LaGrange, GA +17068823775
Another gem amongst the restaurants in LaGrange GA favored by locals is Gus’s Grill. It’s just about a block off Lafayette Square and housed in a small building with a simple blue and white awning over the front. Gus’s Grill is a multi-generation family-owned tradition in LaGrange since 1949.
They serve breakfast and lunch every day except on Monday.
Their daily breakfast and lunch specials keep locals and visitors coming back for more. I went for breakfast and loved the French Toast; it was fresh and tasty.
I saw a lot of orders going out for their traditional eggs, bacon, and grits plates.
They also had omelet specials that looked interesting, like the Landfill with ham, bacon, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, cheddar, and Swiss cheese.
Since the family is originally from Greece, there are lots of Greek specials like their Authentic Gyros made with freshly sliced meat on a grilled pita bread topped with onion, tomato, and fresh tzatziki sauce made with a recipe that has been in the family for 25 years.
128 Bull Street LaGrange, GA +17068845416
At first glance, you might dismiss Charlie Joseph’s as just another takeout or counter order place. Take a second look and then go in and order one of their fabulous hot dogs. This is why it’s one of the best restaurants in LaGrange GA.
They’re been operating as a family business since 1920, so you know they’ve been doing things right.
Charlie Joseph’s is one of the oldest hot dog stands in the United States for a reason. Those are some delicious dogs.
You have lots of choices; grilled or boiled, chili, sauerkraut, cheese, or mustard, or all together. Their fresh-baked cookies are a winner, too, or go one better and order an ice cream sandwich. It’s made with two of those cookies with a slab of ice cream between them.
I don’t get hot dogs often, but I drooled over this one with cheese and sauerkraut.
124-A Main Street LaGrange, GA, 30240 +17062980650
If you are in the mood for upscale dining, try Mare Sol, a great joint amongst the restaurants in LaGrange GA. They are locally owned and have been here for over a decade.
They locally source most of the food. You can look at a chalkboard by the bar to see the local providers. There are over a dozen craft beers on tap, including ones from the local Beacon Brewing Co., over 100 wines, and a full bar for cocktail choices.
I went in for dinner on a busy weekend night and the friendly maître d’ found me a table very quickly.
The atmosphere is clean and modern. They offer some Mediterranean dishes with a new American modern twist.
Some tempting choices were the Bang Bang Shrimp, which I had elsewhere and loved, and their Baked Rigatoni with their special house made meat sauce, topped with mozzarella, parmesan, but I couldn’t resist their Shrimp and Grits and did not regret it.
Rock Salt Milk Bar
If you have a craving for some of the best ice cream ever, drive out to the Hillside Neighborhood, once a thriving mill community, in LaGrange to Rock Salt Milk Bar.
I visited on its opening day, April 15, when Taste of Food was held. Since Taste of Food is an annual festival celebrating food, music and life in the Hillside Neighborhood, Rock Salt Milk Bar could not have picked a better time to open.
Rock Salt Milk Bar specializes in one-of-a-kind flavors made in-house.
It offers classic ice cream flavors like vanilla, chocolate brownie, cookies n crème but has many unique seasonal flavors like orange cardamom, blueberry earl gray, honey, lavender, lemon lavender and, during the summer, blueberry lemon lavender.
Naturally, they have sundaes and milkshakes. I had a strawberry waffle cone. It was so good and filled with fresh strawberries.
They also had some tasty-looking cookies and baked goods in their showcase.
They have a baker in Newnan that bakes everything from scratch, including the mix-ins that go in the ice cream.
It’s owned by Cynthia Hendricks, who was thrilled to have a shared back deck with Vannessa Looney’s Home & Thread Thriftique, and soon to open The Oink Joint.
Although The Oink Joint was not yet officially opened when I visited, they had a small pop-up booth going for the festival and their barbeque was selling like crazy.
Its owner, Matt Crawford, has two other locations in nearby Newnan and Zebulon, Georgia and the Newnan restaurant was Voted Best BBQ Of Newnan 2019, 2020, and 2021 by Newnan Choice Awards
1339 Upper Big Springs Rd. LaGrange, GA. 300241 +17068817401
Nutwood Winery sits on a ten-acre farm dating back to 1833, although the winery is newer.
The Greek Revival manor home, which you pass as you enter the winery grounds, is surrounded by pecan trees planted over 200 years ago and believed to be the first pecan trees in Troup County.
They gave the winery its name. At the 6,000 sq ft tasting room, there’s a full wine bar with both indoor and outdoor seating. You can stroll in the vineyard while dining at the Tasting Room & Vineyard Café.
Grape vines grace both the front and back of the tasting room. They are beautifully decorated. My favorite is an antique truck in front. If you step off the path and circle around the truck, there is a sign on its bed proclaiming Nutwood Vineyards, LaGrange, GA, Est. 1833. A table made of a barrel is adorned with artificial grapes, and a much larger-than-life green frog perches on a brown tree trunk near the front wheel.
In the back section, there is a lovely waterfall made of stone, with a wine barrel perched on top. It’s covered with vines and the iron gate style gazebo next to it is a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the peace and beauty of the nearby vines.
The wines offer some unique choices including Felicity Raspberry, a White Zinfandel wine, Silas Green Apple, made with a Riesling grape, and Plantation Peach 36 for those seeking a stronger drink, it’s Nutwood Peach wine blended with Muscadine Moonshine to create a strong 36 proof wine. For non-wine drinkers, they also serve beer and soft drinks. You can order a tasting trees where you have a choice of five different wines.
A musician playing a guitar and singing entertains you while you dine on the patio. They offer light dining, including fruit & cheeseboards, salads, and sandwiches. My choice there was the Quiche & Side Salad. The quiche has bacon, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. The side salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, pickles, feta cheese, and croutons includes a serving of their homemade refrigerator pickles.
While there, I met Jolene Rose, the resident Great Pyrenees. She wandered around the patio, getting petted by some of her local friends, and then perched on a sofa in the inside dining area as if she owned the place.
150 Tom Hall Pkwy LaGrange, GA 30240 +18444739653
LaGrange has its own Great Wolf Lodge. Besides the lodging and all the attractions that make it almost a city in itself, there are lots of food and drink choices, 10 altogether.
From breakfast at Campfire Kitchen to lunch at Hungry as a Wolf Pizza to nighttime cocktails at the Outpost, any diner will find something to their liking here.
While playing in Wiley’s Waterpark, you can grab burgers, sandwiches, salads, and vegetables, as well as their signature Tipping Bucket, a family-sized treat filled with ice cream, brownies, cookies, candy, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream at Buckets without leaving the park.
If playing in the Waterpark makes you thirsty, you can grab mixed drinks, beer, or a soft drink at The Watering Hole located inside the park.
If hunger strikes while you are wandering around the other attractions, you can grab a sandwich or salad at Timbers, a cute retro bus made into a takeout spot. If you are planning to venture away from Great Wolf for a picnic or just want a light meal to take back to your room, Freshwoods Market has ready-to-go meals.
If playing around in the Adventure Park has worked up a big appetite, Hungry As A Wolf can fill your needs with a Brooklyn-style hand-stretched pizza, or Italian-style subs. If that’s not your thing, try Barnwood for a full entrée menu with beer, wine, mocktails, or soft drinks.
They serve dessert too. For an adult playground, visit The Outpost and enjoy a craft beer or a cocktail. There’s a Ben and Jerry’s for your favorite ice cream or Dunkin’ Donuts, both in the lobby.
I had breakfast at the Campfire Kitchen. It’s a large, well-stocked buffet. While it’s not cheap, $24 for adults, and $12 for kids, it has just about any breakfast food you desire. I loaded my plate up with biscuits and gravy, eggs, sausage, bacon, cheese-topped grits, and a banana. It’s definitely one of the best restaurants in LaGrange GA.
Final Thoughts: The 7 Best Restaurants in LaGrange GA
LaGrange is only about an hour away from Atlanta, but it has a completely different personality. It’s filled with art, culture, history, and, of course, some of the best restaurants around. What it doesn’t have is the traffic, parking meters, and congestion you find in Atlanta.
Visiting other destinations in Georgia? Check out our other delicious guides:
- 9 Must-Try Restaurants In Cartersville, Georgia
- 6 Must-Try Restaurants in Helen, GA
- Best Georgia Food
- Best Bainbridge GA Restaurants
- 10 Best Inman Park Restaurants
- 16 Amazing Things To Do In Georgia USA
- 17 Best Restaurants in Decatur Square, GA
I’m Kathleen Walls, former reporter for Union Sentinel in Blairsville, GA, currently publisher/writer for American Roads and Global Highways. I live in Middleburg, FL but travel extensively, mainly in the U.S. I’m the author of travel books, Georgia’s Ghostly Getaways, Finding Florida’s Phantoms, Hosts With Ghosts, and Wild About Florida series, and several novels. All available at my site, katywalls.com/.
Publications I write for include Travel the South, Roadtrippers, Travel Awaits, World Footprints, Snowbirds and RV Travelers, Family RVing, Deep South, Florida Country, and more. My photographs appear in many publications. I also do videos. I’m a proud member of International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers (IFWTA), Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), and North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).