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20 great food stops in Macon

Two tacos make for a full meal at El Camino. Photo by Justin Baxley.
Two tacos make for a full meal at El Camino. Photo by Justin Baxley.

The best way to learn about a city is to sample its food. Cooking is like any other artform; the end product is just one you consume with your mouth rather than with your hands, your eyes or your ears.

The methods of preparation and presentation are creative expressions influenced by time and place, and Macon’s food scene paints a one-of-a-kind picture.

The goal of this list is to give starting points for your own exploration. You will find it includes no chains and is by no means all-encompassing. Prices range from $ on the low end to $$$$ on the high end.

Only one of the restaurants listed is located in Mercer Village (we still love you guys), but you will find restaurants on the list that are Mercer staples and some that are off the beaten path.


This is an updated list from last year’s article “19 Must Eats in Macon.”


Bearfoot Tavern (American/Traditional) ($$)

Bearfoot reopened in early 2016 after moving to a new location, and the restaurant is slowly becoming one of my top five favorites in Macon.

468 2nd St., 478-305-7703

Open: Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.– 9 p.m.

Recommended dishes: J.L. Dagg burger, the Rufus burger


Biscuits, Burgers & More

101 GA-49 (31211), 478-746-0533

Open: Mon.–Fri. 6 a.m.–2 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Dickey Betts’ burger, pork chop biscuit and cheese grits.

Tip: Go for breakfast. Mike Seekins, the man who runs the operation, is one of the nicest guys you'll meet so be prepared to have a good conversation as you eat.


Chico and Chang’s (Korean/Mexican fusion) ($)

This Korean/Mexican fusion spot opened about four months ago and is just as good as you imagine.

3850 Riverside Drive, 478-477-1688

Open: Tues.–Sun. 11 a.m.– 10 p.m.

Recommended dishes: spicy chicken quesadilla, beef pasta


Cox Cafe (Southern) ($)

694 Lower Poplar St., 478-745-7171

Open: Mon.– Fri. 6 a.m.–2 p.m.

Recommended dishes: catfish, chicken and dumplings


Dovetail (Southern) ($$$)

Open: Tues.–Thurs. 5:30–9:30 p.m.; Fri. 5:30–10:30 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., 5:30–10:30 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.  

543 Cherry St. Suite B, 478-238-4693

Recommended dishes: fried black grouper and rabbit pappardelle

Note: Downstairs is the Rookery


El Camino ($ to $$)

El Camino is the first foray by the Moonhanger Group — the company behind other ventures like the Rookery and H&H — into Mexican food. It’s Macon’s only Taqueria and Cantina.

Open: Tues.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

Recommended dishes: the good shepherd (el pastor) taco, bandito torta


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

6420 Moseley Dixon Road, 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.


Fresh Air BBQ (Barbeque) ($)

3076 Riverside Drive, 478-477-7229

Open: Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m–8 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 a.m.

Recommended dish: pulled pork (on bun) and brunswick stew

Tip: Keep an eye out for the daily specials. They have great deals.


Grey Goose Players Club (American) ($$)

4524 Forsyth Road, 478-471-0987

Open: Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

Recommended dish: gooseburger


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

1019 Riverside Drive, 478-743-4663

Open: Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m–3 p.m., (not in the summer) 4:30–7:30 p.m.

Recommended dish: southwestern chicken and grow chicken tacos


H&H (Soul food) ($)

807 Forsyth St., 478-621-7044

Open: Tues.–Sat. 7 a.m.–3 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Recommended dishes: fried chicken, turkey and dressing and caramel layer cake for dessert.

Tip: The lunch menu changes daily, but fried chicken is served everyday.


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 (Jamaican) ($$)

1686 N Atwood Drive, 478-476-1108

Open: Mon.–Sat. 10:30 a.m.–8 p.m.

Recommended dishes: oxtail, jerk chicken and beef patties

Note: J&F’s oxtail may be my favorite dish served in Macon.


Macon Pizza Company (Pizza) ($)

5978 Zebulon Road, 478-474-0000

Open: Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

Recommended dish: super pepperoni and dixieland specialty pizzas


Nu Way (American/Hot Dogs) ($)

Several locations throughout Macon. My favorite is 6016 Zebulon Road, and there is now one in Mercer Village. The original location, 430 Cotton Ave., was heavily damaged in a fire in March 2015.

Open: Mon–Sat. 6:30 a.m.–10 p.m.

Recommended dishes: slaw dog, chili cheese fries and malts


Pho Saigon (Vietnamese/Pho) ($$)

3076 Riverside Drive, 478-477-1117

Open: Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun, 12–4 p.m.

Recommended dishes: pho tai nam gau


Rookery (American/Burgers) ($$)

543 Cherry St. Suite A, 478-746-8658

Open: Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.

Recommended dishes: Big "O" burger, Jimmy Carter burger, Allman burger and rookery burger.


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

900 Northwoods Plaza, 478-743-3100

Open: Mon–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., 4:30–9:30 p.m.; Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., 4:30–10:30 p.m.; Sat. 4:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.; Sun. 4:30–9 p.m.

Recommended dishes: lobster tempura boat, fuji roll and honto roll


The Backburner Restaurant (International/fusion) ($$$ for diner, $$ 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, herb-crusted new zealand rack of lamb.

Tip: A good place for a fancy date night or if the parents are paying. Make reservations. Also, dress is business casual.


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: filet oscar, Chairman Reserve 16 oz. ribeye

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


Note: A previous version of this article listed Biscuits, Burgers & More's address at 2497 Millerfield Road. This is the address listed in Google Maps and will take you across the street from the restaurant. The eatery is located inside C & J's Supermarket at 101 GA-49 (31211).

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