15 RESTAURANTS IN HELEN GA: THE BEST PLACES TO NOSH

Helen, Georgia is one of the state’s cherished towns in the North Georgia Mountains, with so much to do! Whether you are exploring the Georgia Mountain Coaster or Alpine Mini Golf in the Downtown district, or hiking the falls at one of the many Georgia State Parks…you’re going to need some fuel!

Ready to explore all the best places to eat in Helen? Here are 15 of our favorite restaurants in Helen GA that we know you will love too!

15 RESTAURANTS IN HELEN GA: THE BEST PLACES TO NOSH

COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN HELEN GA

Best For AdultsValhalla Resort is one of the top-rated hotels in the area, accommodating couples in a romantic setting just atop the hill not too far from Hardman Farm. You’ll find a pool and restaurant on site.

Best Location In TownBlack Forest Bed and Breakfast is right in the middle of Downtown, sitting on Main Street. Since it’s up on the hill, though, covered in trees you will not hear the hustle and bustle below. Breakfast is always included.

Best For Families In Town: One of the newest hotels in the area, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Helen is a great family option. It’s right off Main Street and comes with multiple room configuration options.

RESTAURANTS IN HELEN GA: DELIGHTFUL DINING OPTIONS

HOFER’S BAKERY AND CAFE

When I say “where to eat in Alpine Helen” most people (rightfully) sing the Hofer’s Bakery and Cafe name immediately. If you eat nowhere else, go here!

This could not have been a more perfect family-friendly lunch spot.  The food was spot-on, the staff was superb, the atmosphere was casual and light, and …well….the German bakery! You’ll love the fresh breads made daily in their stone hearth oven!

From the bakery, we love the large pretzels. If you’re visiting for breakfast, put the apfelkuechle on your list – it’s a traditional German pastry featuring apple slices dipped in batter, fried, and then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

Can’t wait to try eating on the outdoor deck next time. The outside tables each had umbrellas to keep off the sun, with vinyl tablecloths, reinforcing a comfy, family-friendly atmosphere. (365 Favorite!)

NACOOCHEE VILLAGE TAVERN

Nacoochee Village Tavern is the perfect family eatery for lunch or dinner, with craft style pizza using corn mill from Nora’s across the street. This pizza is dynamite! The boys just wanted cheese, but Dan and I settled on the Carnivore…so good!

We also split the spinach and bacon salad. Y’all, this salad in amazing! That dressing is just everything. And since you’re eating salad, don’t feel bad about adding a skinny margarita – the bartender here knows how to do it right! (365 Favorite!)

CIMMI’S COURTYARD CAFE

Cimmi’s Courtyard Cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch, so plan accordingly because you will not want to miss this place! And no worries, she serves breakfast all day long.

You’re going to wait for service here, but it is worth it. I promise! There is coffee on the courtyard while you wait, or if you can run across the street to visit Charlemagne’s Kingdom like we did!

The kids settled on chocolate chip pancakes…Dan got the Philly cheesesteak, and I filled up on country fried steak and eggs (with a side of her famous homemade biscuits). Y’all – every tiny morsel was amazing. I know, because I nibbled off everyone’s plate.

Fun Fact: “Cimmi” Cinnamon Spurlock was recently the mayor of Helen, and you’ll find her in the restaurant cooking up a storm – be sure to say hello. Cimmi’s was also a film location for the 2019 and 2020 Christmas films shot in Helen. (365 Favorite!)

Read More: HELEN GA CHRISTMAS: 13 REASONS YOU SHOULD VISIT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON (2022)

OLD SAUTEE MARKET

We can’t stop thinking about the “adult” grilled cheese at the Old Sautee Market – farmer’s cheese, bacon and tomato, with black bean soup. Hmmm. My mouth is drooling just thinking about it.

It’s great for the kids, too, with an outside dining area complete with shade, bubbles, and a place to run around. We do not go to the mountains without stopping here for lunch! (365 Favorite!)

PAUL’S STEAKHOUSE

We visited Paul’s Steakhouse and really enjoyed it. Ask for a seat in the dining room by the windows so you can see the river. Steak and country-fried steak are winners. I love when I ask for medium-rare and I actually get it.

There’s a kiddo menu and a great adult beverage selection.

TROLL TAVERN

The Troll Tavern is a fun and upbeat restaurant, catering to locals, visitors, families, and couples.  I noticed that, like us, most families were seated out on the patio overlooking the Chattahoochee River. (Wave to the tubers during the summer months!)  

The Troll Tavern is a place people come to eat dinner (or lunch), but also to hang out for an extended period, have a few beers, enjoy the weather and the company of those around them.  The noise level is hyped a bit (again, great for families).

BODENSEE

I am a huge fan of Bodensee restaurant! The care Chef Aurel Prodan and his wife Doina put into it the food is obvious, as it is delicious. The atmosphere is family-friendly, and the staff is super kind to kids.  For such a casual and relaxing atmosphere, and large food portions, the price was also right. If you’re looking for delicious authentic German food in Helen, this is where to go!

Pro tip: While not “German,” the baby back ribs here are some of the best in Helen! Get them with the pasta gratin.

COWBOYS & ANGELS RESTAURANT AND BAR

Cowboys & Angels Restaurant and Bar is where you’ll find a fun and friendly atmosphere, delicious food, and Southern hospitality.

Open for lunch and dinner (and Sunday brunch!) — you’ll find appetizers like their Bourbon Street crab cake or fried green tomatoes. You’ll also find soups and sandwiches, burgers (try the Bison Burger!), steaks and pork chops, seafood, shrimp and grits, and a large selection of craft and domestic beers, extensive wine list, full liquor bar and specialty drinks. This place has it all!

BIGG DADDY’S RESTAURANT AND TAVERN

Great burgers. Great wings. But I love the tacos at Bigg Daddy’s Restaurant and Tavern!! The salads are huge, the baby back ribs are delish…there really is something for everyone here.

It’s also a fun place to enjoy live music on the weekend.

MULLY’S NACOOCHEE GRILL

Set in a 1900’s farmhouse, Mully’s Nacoochee Grill is a lovely romantic casual dining option. The most popular items here include the slow-cooked baby back ribs and the shrimp & grits. Those cheese grits are over the top!

CAFE INTERNATIONAL

Cafe International is another superb option with outdoor deck dining right on the river. Brats and kraut…Rueben sandwich…or a delightful cheese platter are perfect after a day of exploring.

RESTAURANTS IN HELEN GA: SNACKS AND TREATS

CHATTAHOOCHEE CHEESE MARKET

On your way to Unicoi or Anna Ruby, you’ll pass Chattahoochee Cheese Market – be sure to stop in! They offer a wide variety of wines, cheeses, meats, and baked goods. I mean, it was heavenly!

You can get a cheese board, meat board or meat and cheese – which we opted for. We got the large, which also came with nuts, cranberries, chutney and fruits. It’s so affordable, and so great.

The staff was super helpful and attentive – and she knows her meats and cheeses – asking us questions about things we like and don’t like, to ensure our plate was perfect. And it was! (365 Favorite!)

FRED’S PEANUTS

Stop in for the peanuts, but take time to look around Fred’s Peanuts and enjoy yourself.  Say hi to the “old folks” dolls perched on the porch. If you’ve never had the Cajun flavored boiled peanuts, try a sample, and take home a bag! It’s not in Downtown Helen – it’s on the road toward Unicoi. (365 Favorite!)

HANSEL & GRETEL CANDY KITCHEN

The owners of the Hansel & Gretel Candy Shop literally wrote the book on candy making (Candy Making for Dummies).

Five thousand square feet of production space includes peanut brittle, chocolate covered cherries, nut clusters, and over 100 different candies. Get a sample and take some home.

BETTY’S COUNTRY STORE

Betty’s Country Store is the town’s grocery store, and it’s a great place to stock up for the weekend if you’re camping. There are also great sandwiches and a deli in the back.

SCOOP DE SCOOP ICE CREAM

Scoop de Scoop Ice Cream is great for an ice cream treat with the kids after playing a round of mini golf next door (although you don’t have to play in order to indulge).  The inside was set up like an old soda shop, which is fun.

My peanut butter shake was awesome, and the kids had delicious scoops! The soda-shop décor is neat for a rainy day, but head outside on the patio to enjoy great weather.

MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO HELEN

WHERE TO STAY IN HELEN

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