Big cities don’t have a monopoly on fine dining. You can find some excellent high-class restaurants in the smallest of towns, and Valdosta in southern Georgia is a lot bigger than a town. You can find a few different places in Valdosta where the food is a cut above normal, so if you have some money to spare on high-quality meals you should visit at least one of the places on the following list.
Steel Magnolias Restaurant
Steel Magnolias is right in the heart of the city on North Patterson Street and a block away from West Hill Avenue. The menu they offer is all Southern, but the trained chefs in the kitchen put a new spin on every dish, experimenting with things like spices, flavor choices, and presentation. For example, you can get pork-belly tacos with pickled red onions and charred corn salsa, shrimp and grits with roasted red-pepper gravy and a fried egg on top, or a fried chicken confit with honey sriracha butter and braised collard greens.
Image via Flickr by John S. Quarterman
306 North is just up the road from Steel Magnolias on Patterson Street, and the address matches the name. Much like Steel Magnolias, 306 North offers classic Southern foods but adds a modern, high-class twist to the old recipes. It also has more of a bistro feel with outdoor seating, and they make a point of getting all their produce and meats from local Georgia farms. 306’s menu is fairly short, but that’s because it tends to change with the seasons as the list of ingredients they can get changes.
The Salty Snapper
Image via Flickr by Jules Morgan
The Salty Snapper is a seafood restaurant up in the northwest part of town off Gornto Road. The Snapper has a fairly big bar with a good list of wines, beers, and cocktails, and you can hear live music on most nights. The food itself is a cut above the usual quality, even for seafood, and you can tell they care about presentation when you order a Scottish salmon with blue crab on the side, or you get the day’s fish on a bed of penne pasta. They also have an oyster bar for when you want some shellfish.
Austin’s Cattle Company
Austin’s Cattle Company may have a rustic interior, but the meals you can get here are a lot better than what you’d get from cooking over a sputtering campfire. The menu includes steakhouse classics like chicken wings and potato skins, but then you can try some excellent options like a half-pound burger made with steak trimmings or a filet kabob made with peppers, mushrooms, onions, and cubes of filet mignon. Austin’s is connected to Kinderlou Inn on West Hill Avenue, making a good option for visitors who want a good hotel room and a convenient location.
With tasty options like these, a visitor in Valdosta can eat well every night and never have to stop at the same restaurant twice. If that sounds appealing to you, make sure you bookmark this list when you get ready for your visit.