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If you’re visiting Cleveland, GA, you’re gonna have to eat sooner or later. You might as well do it in style.
Although Cleveland is a small town and is less active with tourists than nearby hotspots such as Helen and Dahlonega, it still has a few great places to eat. Including some of the area’s best Southern, Mexican, BBQ, and 50s diner fare, you’re sure to find something that interests you if you’re staying in the area.
If you’re ready to get some grub in White County, read on. Here are the top 10 restaurants in Cleveland, GA.
1. The Cottage House
The Cottage House Restaurant is one of the area’s best sources of authentic Southern cuisine.
You’ll be able to find some of the South’s favorite entrees including fried chicken, pork chops, country fried steak, burgers, and pulled pork sandwiches. You can also add enjoyable side options such as fried okra, baked sweet potato, cornbread, and peach cobbler to your combo as well.
The Cottage House uses only fresh meat and ingredients and the difference shines through in the delicious Southern food that you can find here. Be sure that you check out this local restaurant while in the area.
2. The Riverside Tavern
Almost considered a landmark by locals, Turner’s Corner is an intersection that you’re likely to go through when passing between Dahlonega, Blairsville, and Cleveland, GA. At this popular intersection, you’ll find a great local restaurant known as the Riverside Tavern.
Riverside Tavern features American and Southern favorites including pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, wings, wraps, and more. The location also features a full-service bar that serves spirits, mixed drinks, and draft beer.
To make things even better, you’ll also find live music at the Riverside Tavern fairly often as well. Also, be sure to visit the gift shop and country store before you leave!
3. Creekside Deli
The Creekside Deli is close to the historic Cleveland square and offers an excellent selection of delicious meals. This small creekside eatery offers plenty of deli sandwich options along with burgers, chicken sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks, and more.
If you’re looking for a relaxed and comfortable meal in Cleveland, be sure to pay the Creekside Deli a visit.
4. The Country Bake Shoppe
Another small restaurant in Cleveland, The Country Bake Shoppe is also one of the most interesting.
Although some locals refer to it as the “Amish Bakery”, The Country Bake Shoppe is actually owned by kind German Baptists who make delicious deli sandwiches along with bakery favorites such as cookies, bread, sweet rolls, and more.
Aside from the Boar’s Head cold cuts, they make everything the old-fashioned way and craft their tasty items from scratch.
5. El Campesino
The premier Mexican restaurant in town, El Campesino offers all of the Mexican favorites that you’ve come to expect from establishments such as these. With a great selection ranging from tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, and much more, you’ll be sure to have a great experience at the restaurant.
El Campesino has a comfortable and impressive family atmosphere, so if you’re in the mood for Mexican food, consider visiting this hilltop eatery.
6. The Soda Fountain Cafe
The Soda Fountain Cafe will take you back in time to the 50s when root beer floats and jukeboxes were all the rage. At this popular local establishment, you can get root beer floats with ice cream, delicious burgers, homemade lemonade, and plenty of diner favorites.
Be sure to visit the Soda Fountain Cafe if you’re looking for the best restaurants in Cleveland, GA. You’re unlikely to be disappointed!
7. Smith’s Soda Shop
Similar to The Soda fountain Cafe, Smith’s Soda Shop is a small local establishment that has been around since 1947. While it was once located in the square of Cleveland, it’s now located just outside of the historic downtown area.
The small restaurant serves cheeseburgers, chili dogs, chicken sandwiches, corn dogs, onion rings, and some delicious soda and ice cream options. Be sure to visit Smith’s Soda Shop if you’re looking for American favorites at a low price.
8. Yonah Burger
Named for nearby Yonah Mountain, a perfect place for a strenuous North GA hike, Yonah Burger can supply you with some much-needed energy after a day on the trail.
While there are many chain fast food restaurants in town, Yonah Burger is a great alternative that offers delicious American fare including burgers, veggie burgers, french fries, onion rings, and much more. They also offer some great breakfast biscuits as well.
9. Rib Country BBQ
If you find yourself in the mood for BBQ favorites while in Cleveland, then you might want to pay a visit to Rib Country BBQ.
You’ll find all of the BBQ meals that you would expect from an excellent BBQ joint and there are also plenty of great side options available. Be sure to try the cole slaw and hand-breaded onion rings during your visit!
10. Clyde’s Tavern
More than just run-of-the-mill “pub grub”, Clyde’s Tavern offers all of your pub favorites including chicken tenders and burgers along with a great selection of other entrees, sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides. From salmon dishes to ribeye to shrimp skewers and smoked brisket, you’ll find a lot to love at Clyde’s Tavern.
Additionally, if you’re simply interested in having a drink, then you also can’t do much better than this popular establishment on the historic Cleveland square.
Having a Great Dinner While in Cleveland, GA
If you want to enjoy yourself to the fullest while in North GA, be sure to visit some of the restaurants in the area during your stay. This list of the best restaurants in Cleveland, GA will serve you well whether you’re staying a while or passing through this small town.
Interested in staying occupied while in the area? Check out our list of the best things to do while in Cleveland, GA.
Hey, I’m Harrison! I’m the creator of Southern Portals and the writer of many (but not all) of the posts you’ll find here. I’m a native of the North GA mountains, an avid traveler, and a singer-songwriter. This website is one of my passion projects and I hope to share a bit of my expertise with the world through it, so I hope you enjoy the articles that you find here. Thanks for reading!