Just because a city is OTP doesn’t mean it can’t have a thriving restaurant scene. Buford is packed with fantastic restaurants of all types and cuisines, from the bustling downtown area to the outskirts.
Whether you’re in the mood for refined fare with a Southern influence or deliciously authentic Chinese food, here are some of Buford’s finest eateries.
Editors Note: this article was originally published on January 12, 2022 and last updated on October 9, 2023.
55 E Main St NE, Buford, GA 30518
This is one of the best date night spots in Buford, with an intimate ambiance and tremendous food. Start with an order of the loaded potato egg rolls or the charcuterie board. As the restaurant name suggests, they’ve got food from the water (the “aqua”) and from the land (“terra”). Get your aqua on with shrimp and grits or seared scallops and make it to land with the country fried chicken or pork chop.
The real star, though, is the dipping sauce. Everybody gets an order of bread and their homemade dipping sauce. The sauce is so fantastic that they’ve started selling it on its own. Make sure you don’t leave without at least one jar so you can enjoy it whenever you’re craving it (which will be often).
306 W Main St, Buford, GA 30518
Rico’s serves up “world comfort cuisine.” What exactly does this entail? Simply put, it’s food from all over the world that will make you feel good! Look at some of the menu items and you’ll quickly see why.
The fried green tomato salad stars Rico’s award-winning fried green tomatoes in a salad with smoked-in-house bacon, bleu cheese, and Roma tomatoes, all tossed with their famous homemade celery seed dressing. You can also enjoy these fried green tomatoes as an appetizer, served with Creole style remoulade. You can also enjoy po boys with their latest fresh catch, bursting with flavor. The mojo pork sandwich is culturally influenced by the Canary Islands, filled with mojo-marinated pork, hickory-smoked and pulled between a potato bun with guava barbecue sauce and pickles. Or if you’re craving a comforting American sandwich, the Royal Rooster, with fried habanero chicken breast, baby swiss, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a potato bun, is as good as it gets.
3350 Buford Dr #200, Buford, GA 30519
Parma Tavern is a neighborhood gathering spot where you can relax and enjoy no-frills but fabulous Italian-inspired food with a twist. Start your meal with the calamari with pomodoro sauce and pesto aioli; or the brussels sprouts with candied bacon, asiago, and balsamic glaze (talk about a glow-up for these divine veggies!)
Once it’s entree time, you have a wide array of options depending on your mood and hunger level. The Krispy Kreme burger is as incredible as it sounds: a half pound patty of fresh black angus, applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, American cheese, and BBQ sauce piled onto…you guessed it…two Krispy Kreme donuts. The final product somehow exceeds the sum of the parts.
You can also get the Italian Taco, combining the two tastiest cuisines – tacos and Italian – into one glorious dish with marinated chicken, three cheeses, and chili aioli. Or go a bit simpler with the penne bosco, loaded with roasted chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomato, garlic, scallion, basil, marsala, chicken stock, parmesan, and cream.
101 E Main St NE, Buford, GA 30518
Bare Bones will remind you why you love steakhouses. No matter which course you’re on, you’re going to have a magnificent list of options. To start, you can’t miss the battered and fried onion rings drizzled with Georgia honey and red pepper flakes or the kale caesar salad.
For your main course, try the Hawaiian ribeye marinated in pineapple juice or go for a classic and split the 42-oz Prime Tomahawk for two. Accompany whatever cut you get with Alice’s Fried Okra or the Logan Turnpike Grits with cheese. Then for dessert, treat yourself to the Bananas Foster with spiced Pecans, Italian meringue, and spiced rum butter sauce.
554 W Main St, Buford, GA 30518
Tannery Row Ale House is named for Buford’s lucrative 19th century leather industry and thus located in a historic leather factory. But don’t let its history fool you: this massive sports bar has some of the finest bar grub in town. They take many of the usual favorites but bring the finest quality and craftsmanship to elevate them to the next level.
The Pecan-Smoked Bacon with Bourbon Peanut Butter Dip is exactly what it sounds like: perfectly crispy bacon with a sweet and savory dip. The Mile High Nachos pile oven-baked tortilla chips with ground beef and cheese and top them with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. When you’re ready to really fill up, take a Tour of the Tannery. This glorious combo comes with two or three smoked meats (pulled pork, pot roast, or brisket) and two sides with Texas toast.
37 E Main St NE, Buford, GA 30518
This “rock cafe” is a concert venue with a hefty lineup of cover and tribute bands to keep your foot shaking while your mouth’s chewing. Now what is it that you’ll be chewing?
Four cheesy, gooey, creamy, and divine mac n cheese muffins are a great start! Then move onto something like the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, consisting of buttermilk fried chicken tossed in spicy house seasoning and served on a toasted bun with pickles. You can also go for the chili-lime crusted steak fajitas cooked in a chili-lime sauce on a bed of peppers, onions, and sliced avocados with tortillas. And would it even be an order of fajitas if they didn’t come out on a sizzling iron skillet to attract the envy of the entire restaurant?
When it’s time to end with something sweet, you won’t want to miss out on Sugar Don’t Bite, with six deep-fried Oreos coated in batter and fried golden. Scientifically, this can’t be anything other than perfect.
2685 Buford Hwy NE #800, Buford, GA 30518
Over the Top Burger Bar is a classic burger spot, but everything’s just a little bit over-the-top. All of their burgers are served with fries and a signature sauce, not to mention a recommended beer pairing. Two popular options are the GA Summer (two patties, peach-jalapeno chutney, grilled onions, pickle, onion, and signature sauce) and the sizzling hot Flame Thrower (two patties, pepper-jack cheese, Flaming Hot Cheetos, scorpion glaze, pickle, onion, and signature sauce then dipped in queso and Flamin Hot Cheeto dust…damn!)
They also offer an incredible brunch. The bacon onion jam omelette is filled with gruyere, bacon-onion jam, sauteed mushrooms, and drizzled with hollandaise and potato hash. You can also get the Sausage Party hash (get your head out of the gutter, it’s filled with three types of sausage).
You can accompany your meal with shakes, either for the whole family or boozy. Finally, if you really want to take it over-the-top, tackle the Stallone Eating Challenge. You have 45 minutes to eat four burgers of your choosing, a pound of fries, an order of funnel cake fries, mac and cheese, a pop-cone chicken, and a shake. We wish you luck.
2669 Buford Hwy NE #200, Buford, GA 30518
Diesel Tap House dubs itself “the blue collar place that your momma warned you about” as well as “a place to let it all hang out. We will not apologize for being loud and proud.” As you can tell, just about everybody will feel like they belong when they’re here. With 16 beer taps, team trivia, karaoke, poker nights, and free pool, what’s not to like?
Diesel Tap House also has fantastic wings in a variety of flavors, fried cheese curds with marinara, and several delicious tacos, including Asian Beef, Wicked Pork, and Fabulous Flounder. No matter what you’re craving, Diesel will leave you satisfied.
33 Buford Village Way, Buford, GA 30518
Friends is your friendly neighborhood grill & bar, offering delicious takes on classic bar items with plenty of love. They offer three types of wings: classic, boneless, and smoked with flavors such as Stinging Honey Garlic, Sweet Heat, and (of course) Lemon Pepper. You can also get the aptly-named Very Huge Pretzel or the succulent pimento cheese wontons.
There’s also a huge selection of main courses, so don’t fill up on apps (or do…we don’t judge). The Revenge of the Monte Cristo is a pressed ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich with homemade tempura batter and fried to a golden brown crisp. There’s also the Loaded French Dip with dry-rubbed and house-braised roast beef piled high with mushrooms, onions, and provolone. If you’re not in a sandwich mood (huh?!), check out the Cajun Chicken Pasta or the Bada Bing Shrimp Tacos.
2033 Buford Highway, Buford, GA 30518
Bravo Mexican Grill operates with the simple mantra that “fresh is delicious.” You’ll find this to be true no matter what you order. You can get the go-to items on any Mexican menu or you can choose to go for the lighter options. For example, the Bravo Bowl has your choice of meat (steak, grilled chicken, shrimp, or black Angus ground beef), rice, black or pinto beans, and plenty of toppings (pico de gallo, roasted chili-corn, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, onion, cilantro, and salsas). Or get the taco salad, a crispy tortilla shell filled with lettuce, choice of meat, black or pinto beans, toppings, and salad dressing.
We’re not ignorant about the best parts of eating out at Mexican, though. If you’re feeling indulgent, enjoy an order of beef empanadas served with a side of salsa and sour cream. Or enjoy a burrito, quesadilla, or nachos and you’ll be muy contento.
2625 Mall of Georgia Blvd, Buford, GA 30519
Feast26 offers fantastic Creole and Cajun food to fill your stomach with pure comfort. You’ll feel like you stepped right into the French Quarter with all your favorites such as shrimp po boys, gumbo, red beans and rice, and crawfish etouffee.
Make sure you save room for dessert, because their bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce is life-changing.
3320 Buford Dr #40, Buford, GA 30519
WEI prepares some of the best Chinese food in Buford, and it tastes as fresh as it is authentic. It’s hard to beat the Sichuan chili wontons: eight pork wontons in a delicious hot chili sauce. Or maybe you’re in the mood for the soup dumplings made in-house and steamed with your choice of pork or chicken filling
Mapo tofu is one of the best Chinese dishes you can order, and WEI serves a worthy version. It’s soft tofu mixed with ground pork and numbing Sichuan peppercorns, providing a unique type of spice that is far milder but still an exciting experience. Their crispy beef is also fantastic: fried slices of beef dry stir-fried with numbing Sichuan peppercorns and fresh cilantro.