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Friday, Mar 24, 2023

19 must eats in Macon: H&H, Bear's Den, The Back Burner and more

It may be known as the ‘Heart of Georgia’, but Macon’s culinary talents suggest it should be called “Georgia’s Kitchen.” From soul food and fusions to Caribbean delight, everyone's palate receives some attention in “The Central City.”   

In honor of the Class of 2019, here are 19 spots for you and your taste buds to explore. This list includes no chains and leaves off a number of fine establishments. Prices range from $ on the low end to $$$$ on the high end. You will find restaurants on the list that are Mercer staples and some that are off the beaten path.  Please, enjoy.


H&H (Soul food) ($)

807 Forsyth St, (478) 621-7044

Open: Mon.- Sat., 6:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Fried Chicken, Chicken and Dumplings, chicken biscuit for breakfast and caramel layer cake for dessert.

Tip: The lunch menu changes daily, but Fried Chicken is served everyday.


Bear’s Den (Soul food) ($)

1191 Oglethorpe St., (478) 745-9909

Open: Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Can’t dine in after 3 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Meatloaf, Baked Chicken and Dressing, Chicken Tenders and Peach Cobbler for dessert.

Tip: The menu varies daily.


The Back Burner (International/fusion) ($$$ for dinner, $$ for lunch)

2242 Ingleside Ave., (478) 746-3336

Open: Tues.-Sat., 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.,  5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Braised Veal Short Rib Osso Buco, High Choice Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, Herb-Crusted New Zealand Rack of Lamb, Grilled Scottish Salmon and Eggs Benedict.

Tip: A good place for date night or if the parents are paying. Make reservations.


Griffin’s Right on Q (BBQ) ($ to $$ depending on your craving.)

3189 Mercer University Dr., 478-951-5357

Open: Tues.-Thurs., 11 am - 8 pm, Fri-Sat., 11 am - 10 pm

Recommended dishes: Pit Beef sandwich with Griffin sauce or Smoked Chicken with White Alabama sauce.

Tip: Don’t let the small, drive-thru appearance fool you. It’s the real deal. Very limited seating outside.


Rookery (American/Burgers) ($$)

543 Cherry St., (478) 746-8658

Open: Every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the exception of Friday and Saturday. The Rookery closes on those nights at 10:30 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Big "O" Burger, Jimmy Carter Burger, Allman Burger and Rookery Burger.

Tip: The Dovetail upstairs is a wonderful stop as well for date nights or if your parents are paying.


Back to Edenz (Vegetarian/Vegan) ($)

3348 Vineville Ave., (478) 405-3336

Open: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Meatless meatloaf and fried green tomatoes.

Tip: Ask which items are vegetarian and which are vegan before consuming. Back to Edenz is buffet-style.


Joe D’s on Ingleside (American/Sandwiches) ($)

2329 Ingleside Ave., (478) 745-4118

Open: Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Chili and Cold Cut Plate


J&F Caribbean Delight 

1686 N Atwood Dr.,  (478) 476-1108

Open: Mon.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Oxtail, Jerk Chicken and Beef patties

Tip: J&F’s Oxtail may be my favorite dish served in Macon.


Fish N’ Pig (Seafood/BBQ) ($$ to $$$ depending on your craving.)

6420 Moseley Dixon Rd., (478) 476-8837

Open:Tues.-Thurs., 4:30 – 9 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 4:30- 10 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Low Country Boil or any of the ‘Fish n’ Pig combos.

Tip: It’s often busy. Go early.


Tic Toc Room (American/Fusion) ($$$)

408 MLK Blvd., (478) 744-0123

Open: Mon.-Thurs., 5- 9:30 p.m, Fri.-Sat., 5-10:30 p.m.

Recommended dishes: South African Seared Ostrich Tenderloin Medallions, Chairman Reserve 16 oz Ribeye and Lobster Ravioli.

Tip: Great for date night or if your parents are paying.


Molly’s Cafe (American/Sandwiches/Vegetarian) ($ to $$)

402 Cherry St., (478) 744-9898

Open: Open every day expect Saturday, 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Turkey Club and Tomato soup


Pho Saigon (Vietnamese/Pho) ($$)

3076 Riverside Dr., (478) 477-1117

Open: Mon.-Sat., 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 pm, Sunday: 12- 4 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Grilled Shrimp and pork bowl with egg rolls and Pho Saigon Dac Biet


Grey Goose Players Club (American) ($$)

4524 Forsyth Rd., (478) 471-0987

Open: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.

Recommended dish: Gooseburger


Grow (American/Farm-to-Table) ($$)

1019 Riverside Dr., (478) 743-4663

Open: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m- 3 p.m.

Recommended dish: Southwestern Chicken and Grow Chicken Tacos


Macon Pizza Company (Pizza) ($)

5978 Zebulon Rd., (478) 474-0000

Open:    Daily, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Recommended dish: Super Pepperoni and Dixieland specialty pizzas


Papouli's Mediterranean Cafe and Market (Mediterranean/Greek) ($$)
121 Tom Hill Sr. Blvd., (478) 474-0204

Open: Daily, 11am - 10pm

Recommended dishes: Super Gyro and Baklava


Nu-Way (American/Hot Dogs) ($)

Several locations throughout Macon. My favorite is 6016 Zebulon Rd. The original location, 430 Cotton Ave., was heavily damaged in a fire.

Open: Daily, 6:30 a.m.- 10 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Hot dog all-the-way, chili cheese fries and malts


Shogun (Japanese) ($$ to $$$ depending on your craving)

900 Northwoods Plaza, (478) 743-3100

Open: Mon. - Thurs., 11:30 am – 2 pm, 4:30 – 9:30 pm, Fri. 4:30 - 9 p.m., Sat. 4:30- 10 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Lobster Tempura Boat, Fuji Roll and Honto Roll


Taste and See Coffee Shop and Gallery (Coffee Shop/Bakery) ($)

546 Poplar St., (478) 238-5191

Open: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.- 10 p.m

Recommended dish: Gold Rush, Peach Cobbler muffins and Pimento cheese sandwich


Honorable Mention:

Ginger (Stir-Fry/Asian Fusion) ($$)

496 Second St., (478) 254-8153


Taj Indian Restaurant (Indian) ($$ to $$$ depend on your craving)

5033 Brookhaven Rd., Suite 300, 478-785-8540


Natalia’s (Italian) ($$$$)

201 N Macon St., 478-741-1380


Twang Southern Tastes and Sounds (Southern) ($$)

342 Rose Ave. 478- 621- 4121


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