I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite places to eat, snack, and drink here in Athens, Ohio. (subject to change due to large quantities of food consumed daily)
I cannot simply wrap my head around people who skip out on the greatest meal of the day, but to each their own, right? For me, breakfast is essential, the reason I get out of bed, and what fuels me through my day. There are so many variations of breakfast options depending on what mood you’re in. You’ve got your bagel sammies, boundless egg creations, endless toast toppings and spreads, plethora of cereals and (nut) milks to choose from, or maybe you’re the savage type who prefers an XL cup of coffee with ten sugar packets. Nonetheless, I have a few suggestions to feed the inner food voyager inside you.
Village Bakery & Cafe
First, I’d be fooling myself if I said choosing my favorite breakfast nook in Athens was easy; it’s immensely challenging and I’m growing hungrier by the millisecond. Why Village Bakery you say? Well, the menu never ceases to satisfy my eyes and my tastebuds, but most importantly, they only use sustainable, locally-grown ingredients. They support local small businesses like themselves, and are persistent about using only solar and geothermal energy to keep the business up and running. How neat is that?
Here I present to you my palate’s most favorable breakfast option on the menu; The Egg & Cheese Sandwich on a freshly baked, warm and flaky biscuit equipped with fresh tomato slices, onion, and a side of fresh citrus fruits and greens.
Oh, and of course, the obligatory golden cup of freshly brewed coffee; refills highly supported.
(Photo taken by me)
2. MID-MORNING SNACK
Don’t judge me, yet. I eat a lot and I need an abundance of food to fuel me through my long days of class, eating, going to the library, eating, studying, eating, sleeping, repeat.
Since breakfast time usually occurs around 8:00 am-10:00 am at the latest, I can’t simply make it until lunch hours without a little energy push. This is when I make my way over to the little health foods store down the road for a sweet or savory treat to delve into.
The Farmacy The Natural and Organic Grocery of Athens, OH, since 1971
The crunchy, granola, health-food obsessed monster is drawn out of me when I enter the doors of The Farmacy, well worth the walking commute to get to. I would describe this health food store to be something comparable to a deeply condensed, downsized version of your local farmers market and Whole Foods, all jumbled together to create this baby general store.
Usually I find myself browsing the shelves for a few grocery items and snacks — like plantain chips, dried fruits, chocolate — but also sensational at the same time, and of course, kombucha (fermented tea drink; good for your gut).
Anyways, I make my way over to my favorite area of operation, the prepared foods and deli section. Today I am going to get my favorite, The Carob Delight Smoothie; made with carob milk, almond butter, organic soy protein powder, and frozen bananas. All the nutrients and delectable flavors needed to send me on my way; to the cash register because that smoothie cost $6 (seriously worth it). If I wasn’t on the go, I would usually order the Sweet Potato Falafel sandwich on Nan bread; need I say more?
The school day is over and I’ve worked up quite the appetite, again. It’s 1:04 pm and the urgency to devour something both refreshing and savory for lunch is on the agenda. With so many options to choose from, I head towards W. Washington Street to meet my friend Sarah for lunch at Restaurant Salaam.
Restaurant Salaam Fine Global Cuisine
Being Greek, I am constantly craving and on the search for Mediterranean food, and early this year, I discovered one of my favorite places to eat in Athens. The vibrant, serene, and cultural way of decorating the entire restaurant with beautiful tapestries, tablecloths, art work, unique sculptures, and radiant green plants overflowing the window spaces, makes me want to sit down and stay for a while; like maybe a week.
The menu is seasonal, which I enjoy greatly, but it is so hard to choose what to order due to the alluringly varieties that they have to offer. I opt for one of my favorites, The Salad Sampler Platter; which consists of a sampling of there own Salaam salad, Fattoush salad, curried couscous, with a giant scoop of freshly made hummus and warm pita bread to dip into. Simply divine.
(Photo taken by me)
After a long day of studying and anticipating my next meal, I had already decided what I was in the mood for: Thai food. The idea of diving into a big bowl of Pho filled with rice noodles, broth, spicy herbs, bean sprouts and assorted veggies had my mind foggy all afternoon. My go-to on the menu is usually a Thai tea, which is a a strong brewed black tea blended with cardamon, anise, and other spices, that is poured over sweetened condensed milk for a decadent treat to sip with my meal. Then, I order either egg drop soup or vegetable spring rolls for an appetizer. If I weren’t already so set on a massive bowl of Pho, I would order my second favorite, which is Pad Thai with tofu or shrimp. It would be hard to order something even slightly mediocre on this menu, so I encourage all to exercise your palates and tastebuds, and venture to this tasty little Thai eatery just down Union Street.
ATHENS AFTER HOURS: My favorite late night food spots: ranked in order of greatness
(Big Mamma’s Burritos will never be on this list, sorry)
O’Betty’s Red Hot
My order every time, without hesitation:
- The Tempest hot dog (Habanero Salsa, Chopped Jalapenos, Shredded aged sharp Cheddar Cheese, and Sour Cream).
- Very Cheesy Fries (Shredded aged sharp cheddar cheese AND mildly spiced cheese sauce).
Union Street Diner
Because breakfast food is meant to be enjoyed at all hours:
- Option 1: Two dippy-eggs (over-easy), with hash browns completely doused in hot sauce and ketchup, sausage links, and bagel with cream cheese. Next, try your best to construct a bagel sammie with all the components intact. You’re welcome.
- Option 2: Become a complete animal and order the Cheeseburger with fries, (side of ranch for dipping) and chocolate milkshake to wash it all down.
Don’t have to argue this one; best pizza in Athens that just so happens to be open for the late night feasters.
- Veggie Rainbow Pizza: I recently had a professor that allowed us to order Avalanche Pizza every class; insane, I know. I fell in love with this veggie pizza because it’s far more diverse than any other veggie pizza I have ever consumed.
Consists of: Broccoli, melted provolone and mozzarella, marinara sauce, sliced zucchini, sweet corn, Roma tomatoes, spinach, topped with their own homemade basil pesto.