Georgia is well-known for its Southern hospitality and delicious cuisine. The “Peach State” is home to a number of iconic dishes and famous foods that have been passed down through generations.
From Columbus to Atlanta, across to Augusta and the shores of Savannah, the state is home to some of the most famous dishes that have made their way to other parts of the United States. From fried dishes to the creamiest sugary desserts, there are plenty of mouth-watering options to choose from.
Here are among the best foods to eat in Georgia, in no particular order:
While chicken is made across the world, southern fried chicken is in a league of its own. An essential meal found across Georgia, fried chicken is great for large gatherings and social events.
While recipes vary, the tastiest fried chicken dishes include a variety of spices to create a tantalizing flavor that’s complimented by a crispy exterior and juicy interior. Best served hot and fresh, from east to west, there is never a shortage of fried chicken for Georgians.
Biscuits and Gravy
The classic biscuits and gravy combination can be found on most breakfast menus across the state. It’s a hearty dish that will seemingly stick to your ribs for the entire day. This meal is perfect on a cold winter morning, and the gravy is usually made with sausage or bacon, and served over a warm and flaky biscuit – usually made from scratch.
Fried Green Tomatoes
This fare was made famous in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” which took place at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette, Georgia. One of the most iconic dishes in the state, Georgia’s warm climate and long growing season allow for plenty of ripe tomatoes to be harvested and prepared in a variety of manners, including frying them.
Making for a great appetizer or side dish, fried green tomatoes can act as both the star of a meal or a perfect accompanying item. Crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, once you try one, you’ll be hooked.
Chicken & Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings is a traditional southern meal that has been a staple in Georgia for decades. A hearty soup made from boiled chicken, a rich broth, and dumplings made of biscuit dough that have been boiled, chicken and dumplings is a great comfort food, particularly in the winter.
Whether you want to curl up with a bowl during the colder months or are simply craving this classic, nothing screams Georgia like this dish.
Pimiento cheese – it’s creamy, cheesy, and delicious. Despite the fact that you can buy many store-bought versions of pimento cheese, the homemade kind is simply unbeatable, and it’s also easy to make at home.
In order to prepare this dip, you’ll need shredded cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise, and seasonings. If you’re being adventurous, add extra sharp cheddar and chopped jalapeno peppers. It’s known as being served at the concession stands at the Augusta National Golf Course during The Masters.
A popular snack in Georgia is boiled peanuts, and you can find them at many roadside stands and markets. In order to prepare boiled peanuts, raw peanuts must be boiled for several hours in water. This process produces a soft and mushy peanut that’s full of flavor. Boiled peanuts are popular party food, and they are often associated with tailgate parties. Go Dawgs!
Fried okra is one of the most popular dishes in Georgia and has a history that ties into the state’s slave-owning past. Brought to the United States from Africa, the dish is traditionally served with a side of ranch dressing or remoulade. To make fried okra, fruit is sliced ad coated with cornmeal before being deep-fried. A delicious snack or side dish, it can also be served as an entree.
Low Country Boil
Georgia is well-known for its Low Country Boil, a seafood meal that is served at many seafood restaurants. It’s named after Georgia’s Low Country region, which spans from Savannah to Brunswick.
This dish is made with shrimp, crab, and lobster, and is typically served with rice, vegetables, and corn on the cob. Georgia’s Low Country Boil is a wonderful way to enjoy the state’s fresh seafood, and it’s sure to please even the most discerning palate.
Served at many local barbecue restaurants, Brunswick Stew’s origins are disputed; however, many accredit the dish to the city of Brunswick in Georgia. Often slow-cooked for hours until deliciously flavorful, Brunswick Stew is thick, hearty, and full of vegetables and meat.
In a tomato-based stew, ingredients typically added include okra, beans, local produce, and small game, however, chicken is most often used.
Country Fried Steak
It has been said that Georgia is home to some of the best country fried steak in the country. The beef steaks are breaded and fried until they are crisp and juicy on the outside, and juicy on the inside. Also known as chicken fried steak, it’s a hearty and satisfying meal that is usually served with mashed potatoes and gravy.
BBQ Pulled Pork
Slow-cooked pork is beautifully tender and flavorful, and Georgians add their own special touch to it by adding a sweet and tangy Georgia-style barbecue sauce to it. It has been slow-cooked over a wood fire for several hours until it is tender and flavorful.
Pulled pork is offered in a variety of ways that are hard to beat, and no matter what kind of occasion you are celebrating, it’s sure to win the crowd.
This hearty green plays a significant role in the cuisine of Georgia. Collard greens are often dressed up with butter, smoked ham, or bacon, which adds a unique flavor to the dish. It’s also possible to prepare collard greens with vinegar or hot sauce. Serve alongside your favorite entree.
Georgia is well known for its Vidalia onions, which are produced in this state. There’s only a small area of the state where these onions grow and they are renowned for their sweetness.
Vidalia onions thrive in Georgia’s climate, which is characterized by warm days and cool nights, and sandy soil that helps the onions grow well. They are typically harvested in late spring or early summer. These onions can be found in supermarkets across the country.
Peanut Butter Pie
There are almost as many peanut butter pie recipes as there are Georgia families, so this rich and creamy dessert is a staple for church potlucks. The ingredients are simple – sugar, cream, peanut butter, and eggs – but the outcome is truly delicious. Let the pie sit overnight in the refrigerator to get the filling firm enough. Peanut butter pie is a staple at every Southern gathering.
Chicken and Waffles
The combination of a warm waffle topped with a rich, tasty, mouth-watering chicken that’s been lightly breaded and deep fried to perfection is one you must try. One of the most delectable dishes in the world, this dish can be enjoyed in its simplest form or as an appetizer.
While there are many variations of chicken and waffles, each claiming theirs is the best, the blend of sweet and savory is the best way to start or finish a day. When served hot from the grill, this dish can be accompanied by a warm honey butter sauce with a dash of hot sauce for dipping.
To make the traditional pecan pralines, you’ll need only four simple ingredients – sugar, cream, butter, and of course, pecans. The result is a sweet and nutty treat that Georgia locals absolutely love. Although pralines were originally made in France, Southern cooks added their own twist to the classic confection that is still popular today.
They’re so popular you can find them in states around the country. You can even find them at Costco or buy the Kirkland brand Praline Pecans (affiliate link) on Amazon.
Georgia is known for its delicious peaches, hence “The Peach State”, so it comes as no surprise that the peach cobbler is a dish that is well known throughout. There is a type of candied pecan in this dish, which is made by coating the pecans with sugar and butter. If you wish to make it truly decadent, serve it with vanilla ice cream.
The banana pudding is one of the sweetest treats you can find in Georgia and is one of the most popular desserts there. If you happen to be in this state, you should definitely make a special trip to try this delicious dessert.
The recipe is a mixture of vanilla pudding, bananas, and Nilla Wafers. Usually, it comes with whipped cream or marshmallows when it is served. There’s even an annual event in April called the Banana Pudding Festival.
If you’re planning a trip to Georgia, make sure to try one or all of these iconic meals. Found as staples on menus across the Peach State, there’s nothing better than taking in stunning views while eating delicious southern food. And you never know, you may end up finding your new favorite dish.