For the Foodie
Itinerary for the Foodie
If you’re anything like us, you plan your vacations around where you’re going to eat. If you’re planning your vacation in Gwinnett, you’re already off to a good start. Together with local foodie expert and Eat Your Heart Out ATL blog owner, Brittany Sharp, we’ve created a list of Gwinnett hot spots you should be sure to hit on your foodie ventures. Enjoy craft cocktails, beef brisket and pastries made locally and with love. Sample international and southern flavors in style or in comfort. Gather with friends, meet new ones and make a toast to a fun and fulfilling trip to Gwinnett County.
1. Friday, 4:00 PM: Juice Bar – Suwanee
Kick off your weekend in Gwinnett with some healthy vibes at Juice Bar on Old Peachtree Road. As soon as you enter the spa-like bar, a refreshing smell of freshly-cut produce will come over you, accompanied by an extensive menu of nutritious smoothie and juice options. Don’t see a combination on the menu that tickles your fancy? You’re in luck as “Mix Your Own” is an option, and all of the ingredients in house are a possibility. These ingredients come directly from local farmers whenever possible. Additionally, an assortment of local, prepackaged products is available for purchase. You’ll find unique treats like wheat grass from Decatur, kale chips from Norcross, vegan cheese from Atlanta, local honey and granola. They call themselves the “Happiest place in Gwinnett County” and after our visit, we see why. Who wouldn’t be happy after treating themselves to a delicious and healthy snack? We recommend the Fresh Greens juice for an extra boost of energy to get the weekend started right.
2. Friday, 7:00 PM: Graft – Grayson
The brainchild of Gwinnett natives, Graft is the ultimate neighborhood dining experience. Using ingredients from local farmers, owners Seth and Ashley Clemence have come up with quite the menu for your enjoyment; think habanero peach BBQ beef brisket for starters. Clear your schedule Wednesday (and maybe Thursday too...) for Whiskey Wednesdays, which means half-priced whiskey cocktails for you, and a very fun happy hour for Grayson. Considered a boutique bourbon bar, Graft doesn’t mess around with the cheap stuff – they offer more than sixty craft bourbons and whiskeys to choose from. Ashley, who is also the chef, says they try to support small family businesses and provide sustainable and organic practices whenever possible. We think you should support family businesses like Graft too – your palate will thank you.
3. Friday, 9:00PM: Grayson Coffee House – Grayson
End the day of good eating with a cozy beverage and live coffeehouse music. Located in downtown Grayson, this neighborhood hangout serves up Jittery Joe’s coffee and delicious pastries sourced from their neighbor, Graft. Come hang with the locals and unwind over a cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or even Italian soda – Grayson Coffee House has it all.
4. Saturday, 9:00 AM Blue Rooster – Lawrenceville
Located in Downtown Lawrenceville, this adorable bakery offers a wide selection of cakes, cakes and cakes. Local food blogger, Brittany Sharp of Eat Your Heart Out ATL , described Blue Rooster’s sweets as “out of this world.” Brownies, cupcakes, cakes, cookies – you name it, they have it. Don’t stop at just the desserts. Blue Rooster also offers a delicious lunch menu with all kinds of deli sandwiches. Brittany recommends the signature Chicken Salad Sandwich paired with a soup.
5. Saturday, 12:30 PM: Umaido – Suwanee
Tucked in a shopping plaza off of Lawrenceville Suwanee Road, some of the best ramen in town awaits. Grab a seat in the Umaido dining room arranged with retro tables and chairs or at the bar for a view of the happenings in the kitchen. If you choose this seat, you will get a firsthand glimpse of just how fresh the food is as the chefs make the noodles in-house. Try a sip of the barley tea, available by the pitcher at every table, while you wait for your meal to arrive. Umaido also offers the option to customize the heat of your food with the 1-50 spicy scale — levels 1-3 being a “normal spicy.” Feeling adventurous and a little insane? Try level 50 made with Ghost Pepper. If you’re really hungry, loosen that belt and try the Time Challenge. Eat four bowls of ramen with broth in 20 minutes or less and you win some free ramen for the future and get your photo on the wall of winners. Our recommendations: Seasoned Seaweed Salad and Tori Ramen.
6. Saturday, 3:00 PM: Mac Lab Bakery – Duluth
If you didn’t have a packed foodie schedule we would suggest staying in this dreamy bakery all day. Coffee and macarons – what more do you really need? Set against bright natural lighting and very clean, white decor, the little pastries create a pop of color that greets you as soon as you enter. Each macaron is made with a lot of love, by hand, and might be the best pastry you have ever tasted. Good luck trying to pick just one –with flavors like Salted Caramel, Rose Lychee, Pistachio and Raspberry Lemonade, we suggest ordering a few. Treat yourself!
8. Saturday, 8:00 PM: 45 South Cafe – Norcross
End your evening with a beverage and fresh, locally made dessert. Situated in the heart of historic Norcross, this cultural cafe also offers a full breakfast and lunch menu daily with dinner available on the weekends. Peruse the artwork on the walls while sipping on one of the many beverage options, from black coffee and specialty lattes to bottled beer and boutique wine. 45 South Cafe truly encourages bringing together the people of Gwinnett with a variety of events scheduled each month. Come out for live music, wine tastings and art shows or catch one of their ongoing events, like Cigars on the Patio, every Wednesday night, where you can enjoy a craft beer or glass of wine with a hand rolled cigar.
9. Sunday, 11:00 AM: Three Blind Mice – Lilburn
Head to Lilburn for Sunday brunch. Just off of Killian Hill sits a very popular restaurant among the locals, Three Blind Mice. Offering seasonal brunch, lunch and dinner menus along with desserts and a wine bar, there are plenty of reasons to check out this neighborhood favorite. After brunch, grab a glass of wine or a cocktail and head to the patio or check out the lounge area. The rustic decor coupled with the industrial architecture make for a very chic dining experience.
10. Sunday, 3:00 PM: Rico’s World Kitchen – Buford
Stop off at this local neighborhood spot and grab a sandwich to hold you over until dinner. Tucked behind the Mall of Georgia, this gas station-turned-family-owned-restaurant will take you on a food journey around the globe. Owner and chef, Rico Cunnington, prepares foods from all different backgrounds and countries to bring you an array of what he calls “international comfort food.” Choose from popular dishes such as the Chicken Cuban, the Authentic Louisiana Po Boy or Nett’s Lumpia, named for the owner’s mother, also known as Filipino style eggrolls. Whether you are looking for Asian, Cajun, French, or Southern food, Rico’s World Kitchen has it.
12. Sunday, 7:00 PM: 1910 Public House – Lilburn
Located in the heart of downtown Lilburn, this rustic yet modern restaurant is the shining star of the neighborhood. Exposed brick walls coupled with locally made wooden tables and metal chairs create an ambiance you never want to leave, and once the food arrives you might not. The seasonal dishes are delicious and made from scratch, and per the menu, the ingredients “are sourced from local and regional farms, ranches, and dairies guided by principles of sustainability.” Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, the options are close to endless. After your meal, order a craft beer off their extensive Growler menu, and grab a seat outside on the patio. Adjacent to the dining room you can also find a market, which offers a variety of goods including bottles of wine, house-made spreads and baked goods for purchase.
13. Sunday, 9:00 PM: Universal Joint Lawrenceville
End your foodie weekend with a “cheers” over beers at Universal Joint located in downtown Lawrenceville. Open seven days a week, this auto service station-turned-neighborhood pub offers a large rotating beer menu and a variety of food options; from edamame to brisket sandwiches, black bean burgers to BBQ Nachos, there’s something for everyone here. Inside you will find big screen TVs and plenty of bar seating, where you can enjoy watching your favorite team play. If it’s a nice evening, grab your beverage and head outside to the huge patio to enjoy the Lawrenceville Square happenings.