Trip Ideas

Taste of the State

Sample Southern flavors and seek out these Georgia food souvenirs as you travel the Peach State.

  • Curbside Dining at The Varsity

    The world's largest drive-in restaurant has been serving customers since 1928 in Atlanta.

Creamy grits with sweet Georgia shrimp when you’re on the coast, a perfect cup of coffee before a day of shopping in Thomasville, a chili dog with a frosted orange after a football game in Atlanta -- these are things you just have to try when you’re in town. You’ll love them so much, you won’t want to leave without these souvenirs of your stay.

  • Atlanta Metro

    Doux South Pickled Foods. Atlanta chef Nick Melvin pickles organic local produce to create Drunken Angry Cukes (with seriously spicy, crunchy cucumbers), and more. Available at H&F Bottle Shop in Buckhead. $10 each.
    Sweetwater Growler. Tour Atlanta’s 25,000-square-foot SweetWater Brewery, a pioneer of the city’s robust beer scene. Be sure to take home a 64-ounce glass growler (that’s almost half a gallon) filled with the famed SweetWater 420 or Blue. $9.
    Varsity Hats. A classic memento from the world’s largest drive-in The Varsity, this paper hat has been a part of The Varsity servers’ uniforms since the restaurant’s inception in 1928. It’s available with a purchase at all eight Atlanta-area locations. Free.
  • Classic South

    Chinaberry Foods Cheddar Cheese Straws. Made from scratch with butter and extra-sharp cheddar, these crisp wafers pair well with hors d-oeuvres and a glass of wine. Purchase them at Chinaberry Foods, a fourth-generation business in Thomson. $9.95.
    White Hills Herb Farm Tea. The lavender calamint rooibos tea from the lavender farmers at White Hills Herb Farm in Dearing blends lavender, Georgia calamint, rosehips and rooibos. Call ahead for an appointment to pick it up from the farm. $8.
    Ogeechee River Mill Grits. Want to purchase some Southern staples on your road trip? Make a stop at Gurley’s IGA in Warrenton for stone-ground grits from the Ogeechee River Mill, perfect for cooking up some shrimp and grits, cheesy breakfast grits and more. $6.
  • Historic Heartland

    Blue Willow Inn Cookbook. Now you can whip up cornbread and chicken and dumplings like the chefs at the famed Blue Willow Inn Restaurant, a Greek-revival mansion and restaurant in Social Circle. Find it at the restaurant’s gift shop. $19.95

    Dickey Farms Peach Preserves. Dickey Farms in Musella is home to Georgia’s oldest continuously operating peach packinghouse, and it serves up sweet creations, such as preserves made from whole ripe peaches and sugar -- perfect with your next biscuit. $5.50.
    Terrapin Beer Growler. Athens’ own Terrapin Beer Company crafts hoppy ales, IPAs and porters with playful names, such as HI-5 IPA, and trippy packaging. Pick up a growler at 5 Points Growler locations in Athens. Starting at $6.
  • Magnolia Midlands

    Claxton Fruitcake. Since 1910, Claxton Fruitcake Company has been churning out rich fruitcakes made with pound-cake batter and filled with nuts, raisins, pineapple, cherries, lemon peel and orange peel. Bring this holiday tradition to your home by visiting their Claxton location. $20.95.
    Red Brick Farm Pickled Okra. It’s the staple of every Southern home’s Bloody Mary bar: pickled okra for a salty garnish. Head to family-owned Red Brick Farm in Douglas, where you can grab a hand-packed jar to complement your Bloodies or even to eat as a healthy snack. $5.
    M&T Meats Country Ham. Let M&T Meat Company's fresh ham take center stage at your next gathering. Simply cut from all-natural pork without any processing, it’s available at the extensive meat counter at the butcher’s Hawkinsville location. $5.99/slice.
  • Historic High Country

    Mercier Orchards Hard Cider. After an action-packed day in Blue Ridge, drop by Mercier Orchards, an area mainstay since 1943. Peruse aisles of local goods and pick up a bottle of crisp hard cider made from apples grown in the orchards, family-owned for four generations. $7.
    Pigeon Mountain Trading Company Honey. This LaFayette company’s pure honey is known as “wildflower honey” because the bees that make it drink nectar from the wildflowers that bloom in the region from spring through summer. Find it at their general store. $8.75.
    Barrel and Barley Growler. Instead of tap-filled growlers (resealable glass jugs filled with draft beer), Barrel and Barley Craft Beer Market in Woodstock uses counter-pressure fillers to ensure your premium beer remains carbonated for several months. $5.
  • Northeast Mountains

    Blue Haven Bee Company Honey. At Blue Haven Bee Company in Canon, 5 million honeybees produce some of the best raw honey around. Try the delicious Georgia Wildflower and be sure to pick up a handcrafted glazed pot for serving. $10.99, honey; $40, pot.
    Currahee Vineyard and Winery Blueberry Wine. Ole Blue wine from the lovely Currahee Vineyard and Winery in Toccoa is handcrafted with muscadine grapes and little blueberry. Expect a surprising tartness that pairs well with French vanilla ice cream, according to critics. $14.
    Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery Corn Whiskey. Using recipes handed down through generations of Appalachian moonshiners, Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery offers corn whiskey in flavors such as Georgia Mountain Apple Pie. Purchase the 109-proof alcohol at City Liquor of Dawsonville. $22.
  • Plantation Trace

    Grassroots Coffee. Beloved for its fresh-roasted, single-origin coffees, Grassroots Coffee Company is one of Thomasville’s most popular haunts. Sample the Costa Rica Tarrazu, a medium-bodied brew with floral notes and hints of lemon and pecan. $13.

    Still Pond Distillers Muscadine Moonshine. Made from muscadine grapes instead of corn, this moonshine from Still Pond Distillers in Arlington is a smooth sipper with no aftertaste. Don’t be fooled, though: It’s still 80 proof. Purchase it from Warehouse Package Store in Albany. $14/pint.
    Hot Tar Tartar Sauce. Add some kick to your catfish with this creamy tartar sauce from Hot Tar, a habanero-blending company in Cairo. It packs heat from fresh, Southwest Georgia-grown, chocolate habanero peppers. Find it at Center Drugs and Gifts in Cairo. $7.95.
  • Presidential Pathways

    Stripling’s Wild Mayhaw Jelly. Grown in South Georgia swamps, wild mayhaw berries have an apple-like taste. Spread this mayhaw jelly, available at Stripling’s General Store in Cordele, on everything from blueberry muffins to roasted chicken. $6.59.
    Billy Beer Cans. On your way through President Jimmy Carter’s hometown of Plains, pick up a vintage can of Billy Beer at Bobby Salter’s Plain Peanuts. The collectible item (no longer in production) was first brewed in 1977 and named after the president’s colorful younger brother, Billy. $4.99.
    Hotlanta Red Wine. You’ll get a kick out of this hand-bottled red table wine, made with locally grown muscadine grapes and spicy jalapeno peppers. Pick up a bottle at Warm Springs Vineyard and Winery, located on 14 sprawling acres just over a mile from downtown Warm Springs. $15.
  • The Coast

    The Salt Table Seasoning. Spice up your grill skills with the signature Savannah Grilling Blend from The Salt Table. A mixture of 13 ingredients -- including Himalayan salt, chili pepper and smoked paprika -- it tastes like sweet barbecue with a little zing. $8.95.
    Bloody Amazing Bloody Mary Mix and Seasoning. This mix isn’t limited to cocktails -- it’s also a full-bodied marinade and seasoning for veggies, seafood and more. Purchase it at The Still and Winery on St. Simons Island. $9.99.
    Sugar Marsh Cottage Cookies. Nothing says the Coast more sweetly than these seashell-shaped shortbread cookies. The buttery coquilles dipped in chocolate and raspberry coatings can be found at artisan confectioner Sugar Marsh Cottage in Darien. $13.