10 Best Breakfast Spots in Athens, GA

Published: March 1, 2015

These restaurants are some of the best spots in town to grab a delicious and satisfying bite to eat in the morning. Not only will these places serve up some great food, but they also have a unique atmosphere. Start your day in Athens off the right way with any of these awesome local spots!

  1. Walker's Coffee & Pub

    One of my favorite spots to spend my mornings in college was Walker's Coffe & Pub. Coffeehouse by day and pub by night, it has a very "Cheers" atmosphere where everybody knows your name. They carry several types of locally roasted coffee that is always brewed to perfection. Their breakfast menu includes several must haves like their Drunken Waffle, a waffle with Guiness in the batter and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, and their breakfast buritto stuffed to the edge with chorizo. There is several deating options, including their second room downstairs. Walker's is definitely a must see when you're in Athens. 

  2. Ike & Jane Cafe and Bakery

    Ike & Jane is a Normaltown-neighborhood cafe and bakery selling and serving coffee, sandwiches, baked goods & fresh bread from Luna Bakery. In addition to their Prince Avenue flagship, they have an off-site shop at the Georgia Museum of Art. With several vegan friendly options, it's a favorite among locals. Kids will be just as happy with kiddie friendly options like their peanut butter and Nutella sandwich! They also offer a discount if you bring your own mug for coffee! Pick up one of their famous donuts at the closest spot, you'll never look at a chain store donut the same way! Free wi-fi at Normaltown location.

  3. The Grill

    An Athens mainstay, The Grill has had it's doors open for over two decades. While the doors are open 24/7, you can only get their breakfast in the morning but it's well worth it to get up and go. There's a fully functional juke box in the corner for the right ambiance for your meal. It has a vintage diner feel and showcases several old timey toy, comics, and lunch boxes in their center case that almost runs the length of the diner. If you feel like getting indulgent with your pancakes, waffles, or Grill Muffin, go for one of their milkshakes! They're handmade and the best in Athens!

  4. Kumquat Mae Bakery and Cafe

    If you're looking for breakfast for dinner, head over to Kumquat Mae! They just opened their new location on Mitchell Bridge in November! Kumquat Mae has been providing fresh, delicious breads, assorted pastries, and healthy meals since 1995. They offer gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian offerings as well. Kumquat Mae is one of the few places in Athens where you can get a proper Croque Monsieur. If you're a bit more particular about your breakfast, they have a make your own omelette option also! You can't go wrong with some good Southern country ham and red eye gravy either. 

  5. Mama's Boy

    Open bright and early at 7:00, Mama's Boy is another great place close to campus to get your breakfast on! While you can always go with some coffee or orange juice, surprise yourself with Mama's Boy's homemade strawberry lemonade! It's like summer in your mouth! Any of their breakfast options are a great choice for starting out your day, but if you're in a rush, they've got you covered with their Grab and Go option. You get a free small Jittery Joe's coffee to-go with the purchase of any of their breakfast sandwiches. If you've got time to sit down and evjoy your morning, go with whatever their daily special is! It's always something new, creative, and delicious!

  6. The Grit

    One of the absolute musts in Athens, this vegetarian restaurant has converted many a carnivore. The Grit makes a point of keeping things local, including their regular rotation of local artists on their walls. If you're afraid that a place that centers around veggies will be boring or bland, you couldn't be more wrong! They do not shy away from good flavor and you can count on whatever you order there to be just as good-if not better-than any meat option in town. While there's the standard pancakes and eggs, the breakfast buritto is where its at! You'll get a giant helping and can wash it all down with a mimosa!

  7. Little City Diner

    Just a short drive from Athens to Winterville, Little City Diner is well worth the trip. An extension of the Big City Bread folks, Little City Diner focuses on good ol' Southern cooking for their breakfasts. There's no way you could turn down their delicious cornbread, sawmill gravy, or their fluffy blueberry hotcakes. If you're looking for a lighter option, check out their Garden Omelette or their Vegetable Saute, which will bring a delicious plate of seasonal veggies over spinach and potatoes to your table. You can enjoy the artwork of several local artists while you sit and enjoy your morning in their sunny, open space. 

  8. Athens Bagel Co.

    If cream cheese and lox is more of your morning style, make your way to Jackson Street and check out Athens Bagel Co. A locally owned bagel bakery with a refined, yet casual atmosphere offers a myriad of options for your round piece of bagel heaven. All of their bagels are boiled and baked in house for nothing but the most freshest taste. With 10 varieties plus seasonal specials to choose from, even a New Yorker would feel right at home in the 100 year old building that the Athens Bagel Co. calls home. 

  9. Always Baked

    Sometimes you just need some milk and cookies to make everything feel better. Always Baked has been baking up their fresh and creative cookies for grown ups and kids alike since 2011. Alongside their "create your own" option, they offer a list of cookies cleverly named after some of Georgia's finest musicians. Not only will these cookies make you feel good eating them, you'll feel good long after the last bite knowing that a portion of all of their profits go towards local charities. If you want something a little more substantial than cookies, go for their Widespread Pancakes, sausage bites wrapped in a pancake with a sweet Sriracha sauce!

  10. Mayflower Restaurant

    If you're looking for a good ol' fashioned Southern breakfast like your grandma used to make, all you need to do is stroll across Broad Street from The Arches and walk into Mayflower Restaurant. An Athens landmark, the Mayflower has been in the same spot with the same owners since 1948. You're not going to find any fancy, experimental dishes here, just traditional Southern breakfast that has never failed to satisfy the hungriest of patrons. Try their Country Boy Special and get a sampling of what the Mayflower has to offer. With a friendly staff and family values, you can't go wrong with the Mayflower Restaurant. 

With all of these options to start the day with, Athens, Georgia should become a go-to spot for anyone who enjoys the first and most important meal of the day!