Today’s 24 Hours in Athens, GA City Guide comes to us from renowned chef and author, Hugh Acheson. Although born in Ottawa, Canada, Hugh developed a love of the South and its cuisine and eventually opened his first restaurant, Five & Ten, in Athens, GA. Since then, he’s opened several more restaurants in and around Georgia and penned the popular (not to mention, James Beard Awarded Best Cookbook of 2012) A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen. Today he shares with us his ideal day in the city he calls home: Athens, GA. Thanks for taking us on a tour, Hugh! —Stephanie
Illustration above by David Saracino
Read the full guide after the jump…
Athens, GA is my community. Known for its music and arts, football and academics, it is a city that is constantly progressing, while retaining a Southern, small-town feel that can’t be beat. What has always impressed me is the number of amazingly talented citizens who could live anywhere but choose to call Athens home. At its core, the town is very magnetic to good souls.
In my smaller world, my neighborhood is called the Boulevard Historic District, about ½ mile away from the northeast corner of downtown Athens. We live in an old house, which is beautiful and decaying at the same time. We walk the kids to a great public school around the corner, a requisite for me, as I always loved walking to school.
If I drove out of town I would encounter rural Georgia in about five minutes, as long as I didn’t head west toward Atlanta. In the other directions you find farms and small towns, streams and foothills. It is a beautiful landscape that has provided for the communities that dot its red clay.
To me it is home, and that will never change. I will go many places, but my pillow will always be in Athens.
7:45 am: Independent Bakery, for a quick morning coffee and a fresh baguette.
9:30 am:Waffle House for some mid-morning waffles and a small order of well-done hash browns, smothered.
11:17 am: The REM Trestle for a break from the hustle and bustle.
12:35 pm: Delicious Tacos: for delicious tacos. (It’s really called Los Amigos, but Delicious Tacos are what I eat.)
2:30 pm: Two Story for a mid-day writing session with a good cappuccino.
7:00 pm: Dinner at my restaurant, The National. I will enjoy fabulous vittles with Mediterranean sensibilities created by my pal Peter Dale.
…speaking of pals…
8:30 pm: Old Pal to sit at the bar and drink some bourbon.
10:00 pm: End up at 40 Watt to wrap up the day with a show.
Some additional places to hit up…
Treehouse Kid and Craft – if you have kids, it’s a great place. If you don’t have kids, it’s a great place. Crafting classes regularly.
Normal Hardware – because why would you drive out to Lowes and choose to not support a local hardware store? Who has hardware stores anymore? They’re awesome.
Ideal Bagel – my friend Matt doing great things with bagels and coffee.
Indigo – the place I’d stay in Athens if I didn’t have a house here.
Agora– cool spot for vintage shopping.