Athens is a rising star on the food scene. Food critic Krista Reese, in presenting Georgia Trend magazine's Silver Spoon Awards, has high praise for Athens, saying:
"In Georgia, only Athens comes to mind as having some potential to reach that kind of goal [an authentic dining scene in which the restaurants drive a tourist industry,] with its many inexpensive but high-quality restaurants, walkable downtown and generally amiable lifestyle. Why? Surely relatively inexpensive real estate is a part of the formula, but it can't hurt that all are college towns, offering a plentiful supply of entrepreneurial young people who seem to egg each other on. Nor can it be an accident that a nearby enclave of culinary-minded farmers supplies and inspires those young chefs with labor-intensive but long-term vision for organic produce and humanely raised livestock and poultry on sustainable small farms."
Hugh Acheson, chef/owner of Five and Ten:
"Best Chef:Southeast," 2012
"Best Cookbook: A New Turn in the South," 2012
"America's Classics" Award, 2007 (restaurant closed Nov. 2013)
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence:
America's Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small Cities Award, GoVeg.com and Peta: