ATLANTA, Georgia (June 6, 2016) -- 

Three Athens restaurants have been awarded the 2016/2017 “100 Plates Locals Love” distinction by Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division (GDEcD). Georgia Tourism’s second annual list of “100 Plates Locals Love” is featured in the state’s culinary guide, Georgia Eats. The restaurants included in this list are Sr. Sol Mexican Restaurant, Heirloom Café and home.made.

“Georgia’s cities, towns and backroads are filled with authentic restaurants and culinary specialties that visitors love to experience when they travel,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “The list of ‘100 Plates Locals Love’ is our way of providing visitors and locals with suggestions, the same way we would recommend restaurants to our family and frien.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division highlights the state’s culinary greatness in the official guide, Georgia Eats. Following the success of the culinary guide in 2015, the Tourism Division decided to recreate this informative and inspiring guide that entices visitors to sample the state’s world-class cuisine. As a part of the “100 Plates Locals Love” designation, each restaurant is featured in the Georgia Eats culinary guide, which is distributed via the 12 Visitor Information Centers statewide; on the state’s consumer tourism website ExploreGeorgia.org; and on Explore Georgia’s social media channels.

“It was not a surprise to find out that three local restaurants had been named to this distinguished list,” exclaimed Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Chuck Jones. “The Athens culinary scene has blossomed over the past decade or so, in particular, with some 60 restaurants in downtown Athens.” He continued, saying, “The fantastic restaurants don’t just exist in downtown Athens, though. Spectacular restaurants are located in a variety of neighborhoods, which are evidenced by this year’s recognized eateries.”

Georgia’s culinary initiative focuses on showcasing the state’s authentic experiences that revolve around food. The state launched a new culinary landing page that features our culinary blogger, the Georgia Flavors videos, flavor tours and more. The second-annual Georgia Restaurant Week will take place July 18-24, 2016 at participating restaurants throughout Georgia. The event will showcase Georgia’s restaurants to consumers and attract new visitors by showcasing the state’s many culinary tourism assets. During this week-long event, patrons, both local and from out of state, will be able to explore the numerous dining options throughout Georgia for a special price and sample locally grown products that are available in Georgia’s restaurants.

The dishes were selected from nearly 600 nominations that were submitted on ExploreGeorgia.org in November 2015 and evaluated by a panel of judges, who selected the final list of “100 Plates Locals Love.”

About GDEcD
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, locate new markets for Georgia products, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects.

About the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau is a proactive sales and marketing organization whose primary goal is to increase the economic impact of the hospitality and visitor industry by attracting individual visitors, group tours, and meetings and conventions to Athens. Tourism WORKS for Athens, contributing $273.40 million in spending, 2,600 jobs and $17.86 million in local and state tax revenue in 2014.

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