There are many great things to do in Augusta, a charming city along Georgia's South Carolina border. Diners in town for a romantic getaway can enjoy a number of fine dining options, ranging from clever New American speakeasies to traditional steakhouses and pubs. Unique Southern fusion joints serve up Creole, Cajun, Lowcountry, and Caribbean-influenced fare, while European-style restaurants highlight German, Italian, and French fare.

1. Manuel's Bread Cafe

Manuel's Bread Cafe
© Manuel's Bread Cafe

Manuel's Bread Cafe is a unique farm-to-table restaurant in Hammond's Ferry in North Augusta, owned and operated by executive chef Manuel Verney-Carron, who sources all ingredients for dishes from his Blue Clay Farm operation, a sustainable community vegetable garden with French cuisine influences. The restaurant focuses on preparing Southern-style twists on classic French fare, serving up brunch, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. Elegant entrees such as boeuf bourguignon, steak frites, pheasant chasseur, and steak au poivre for two are complemented by a full menu of hors d'oeuvres and tapas, including charcuterie and crudite platters, fried ravioli, and the restaurant's famed French fries served with roasted red pepper aioli or prepared in gourmet poutine. Farmer's wine dinners are hosted throughout the year at Blue Clay Farm, which also offers a large grassy reception area for private special events.

505 Railroad Ave #100, North Augusta, SC 29841, Phone: 803-380-1323

2. Craft and Vine

Craft and Vine
© Craft and Vine

Craft and Vine is a hip New American-style lounge and cocktail bar tucked away along downtown Augusta's Broad Street, opened to the public in 2013 by the Frog Hollow Hospitality Group. The modern-style speakeasy serves up elevated bar fare in an Art Deco-style dining lounge, showcasing an extensive handcrafted cocktail program alongside shareable snacks and small plates. Couples can choose from unique appetizers and small plates such as wood-fired salted pretzel bites, cauliflower popcorn, duck confit poutine, or seared scallops or shrimp served up with rosemary cornbread and tarragon chile cream. A regional and national charcuterie program is also offered, along with a selection of wood-fired pizzas ranging from comforting favorites such as margherita and Hawaiian pizzas to elaborate concoctions such as duck and brussels sprout pizzas with shaved sweet onions and black pepper honey drizzle. Local draft beers are available on tap, along with a selection of fine wines and international liquors.

1204 Broad St B, Augusta, GA 30901, Phone: 706-496-8442

3. Cucina 503

Cucina 503
© Cucina 503

Cucina 503 is a delightful Italian-style restaurant in Augusta, helmed by executive chef Edward Mendoza. The upscale-casual restaurant strives to blend classic and modern cooking techniques and craft dishes with the finest locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients available. Authentic Italian dishes such as eggplant parmesan, lasagna rustica, shrimp scampi taglione, and pasta carbonara are paired with land and sea entrees such as pan-roasted branzino, braised beef short ribs, and scallops served with balsamic pepperade and asparagus. A full menu of antipasti is also available, along with vegetarian and protein risotto selections. Couples can enjoy an eclectic wine list or a selection of housemade cocktails or seasonal craft beers on tap, available from the restaurant's full-service bar. Monthly wine dinners showcase pairings cultivated by regional winery representatives.

502 Furys Ferry Rd, Augusta, GA 30907, Phone: 762-994-0142

4. Abel Brown Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar

Abel Brown Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar
© Abel Brown Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar

Abel Brown Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar is a romantic New American restaurant located within Augusta's Surrey Center, named in honor of the traditional sea shanty of the same name. The Southern-style kitchen and oyster bar offers refined, authentic regional dishes with modern twists, prepared by executive chef Todd Schafer, known for his work at area favorite Bistro 491. Upscale entrees available at dinner throughout the week include Bay of Fundy salmon with Beluga lentils, Springer Mountain chicken prepared with housemade bacon and onion low carb-o-nara, and pecan-smoked ribeye steak with pomme frites and onion butter. A full oyster bar is also available, highlighting selections from Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, and Martha's Vineyard. Couples can choose from a sizeable wine list offering regional and international selections, available by the bottle.

Surrey Center, 491 Highland Ave, Augusta, GA 30909, Phone: 706-738-6491

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5. Augustino's Italian Eatery and Prime Steaks

Augustino's Italian Eatery and Prime Steaks
© Augustino's Italian Eatery and Prime Steaks

Augustino's Italian Eatery and Prime Steaks is the centerpiece restaurant of the beautiful Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center, serving up Southern-inspired prime steaks and classic Italian pasta dishes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. Diners can choose from gourmet steakhouse entrees prepared as part of the restaurant's 21-day aging program, including USDA prime flat iron, Delmonico, and filet mignon steaks paired with side dishes such as garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and Boardwalk French fries. Land and sea entrees include pan-roasted Atlantic salmon, macadamia-crusted trigger fish, and shrimp and Italian-style grits prepared with sausage and polenta. Vegetarian and gluten-free entrees are available upon request, including the restaurant's signature vegetable lasagna, prepared with eggplant, spinach, and parmesan cream. Build-your-own pizzas are also available, along with a selection of regional craft beers and fine wines served by the glass in the restaurant's lounge area.

2 10th St, Augusta, GA 30901, Phone: 706-823-6521

6. Cadwalladers Café

Cadwalladers Café
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Cadwalladers Café is an elegant dining establishment located conveniently near the Augusta National Golf Course, owned and operated by Colden and Mary Waller since 1987. The restaurant, which is open for dinner service Tuesdays through Saturdays, serves up a seasonally-changing menu of fresh American cuisine, including 28-day dry-aged steaks, chargrilled center-cut black Angus filet mignon, American duroc pork chops, and handmade pappardelle pasta with roasted Mediterranean-style vegetables. Couples can enjoy shareable plates such as charcuterie boards, lump crab cakes with chipotle-orange remoulade, and crispy duck wings with fig drizzle and smoked blue cheese dipping sauce. Desserts are prepared by Mary Waller, featuring decadent selections such as Godiva chocolate crème brûlée, shortcake with lavender honeyed peaches, and chocolate tortes with homemade chocolate-hazelnut ice cream. An extensive wine selection is available to complement all meals, along with a selection of craft cocktails and fine whiskeys.

106-A Davis Road, Martinez, GA 30709, Phone: 706-860-7444

7. Calvert's Restaurant

Calvert's Restaurant
© Calvert's Restaurant

Calvert's Restaurant has been an Augusta mainstay for more than four decades, located within the city's Surrey Center. The restaurant, which is open for dinner service Tuesdays through Saturdays, offers classic American land and sea fare in a romantic upscale atmosphere, highlighting fine entrees such as Chilean sea bass Charleston, lobster Savannah, 10-ounce filets with Cabernet mushroom sauce, and seared duck breast with Montmorency cherry wine sauce and pistachios. Lobster tail dinners are also served up single, double, or Savannah style, along with a selection of shareable appetizers, including bacon-wrapped shrimp, Gulf Coast crab cakes, and oysters Rockefeller on the half shell. Children's menu options are also available for couples dining with young ones in tow.

475 Highland Ave, Augusta, GA 30909, Phone: 706-738-4514

8. Edgar's Grille

Edgar's Grille
© Edgar's Grille

Edgar's Grille is a welcoming New American-Southern fusion restaurant in Augusta, known for its extensive charitable service. The restaurant is named in honor of Goodwill Industries founder Edgar Helms and donates a portion of each dining sale to regional educational programs, including support for experiential learning opportunities for culinary students at nearby Helms College. Excellent bistro fare is served up at brunch, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, with indoor and outdoor dining spaces available year-round when weather permits. Diners can enjoy artisanal brick-oven pizzas and calzones prepared with ingredients such as prosciutto, roasted wild mushrooms, pimento cheese, and ricotta cheese or select from a variety of elegant land and sea entrees, including spinach-stuffed chicken, 14-ounce New York strip steak, and fresh daily seafood catches.

3165 Washington Road, Suite E, Augusta, GA 30907, Phone: 706-854-4700

9. Finch and Fifth

Finch and Fifth
© Finch and Fifth

Finch and Fifth is an artisanal local hangout serving up craft libations and gastropub fare since December of 2013, located within Augusta's Surrey Center. The restaurant, which is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner service throughout the week, is known for its signature cocktail program, highlighting unique drinks such as the Empress, which blends indigo gin and Italicus bergamot liquor with lavender bitters and small-batch tonic, or the Salt of the Earth, which mixes small-batch gin and elderflower liqueur with muddle beets, cucumbers, and honey. Entrees craft contemporary Southern fare from locally-sourced ingredients, including dishes such as curried collards and carrots, dry-aged duroc chops, and truffle burgers prepared with brisket, short rib, and Daneko blue cheese. At brunch, diners can enjoy the restaurant's extensive charcuterie program or select from creative offerings such as cast-iron frittatas, smoky bacon Benedicts, or Surrey Pig pulled pork sandwiches.

379 Highland Ave at Surrey Center, Augusta, Ga 30904, Phone 706-364-5300

10. Frog Hollow Tavern

Frog Hollow Tavern
© Frog Hollow Tavern

Frog Hollow Tavern is the newest offering from executive chef Sean A. Wight, located on Augusta's Broad Street. The restaurant and bar offers a seasonally-changing menu of New American fare served up alongside an extensive menu of regional craft and imported beers, seasonal and barrel-aged cocktails, and more than 100 wines available by the glass. Small and large plates are available at dinner daily, including entrees such as wild-caught shrimp and grits, braised Angus short rib with trigo fuerte spätzle, slow-roasted pork belly and seared scallops, and harvest farrotto with brussels sprout leaves, roasted Georgia apples, and toasted pecans. Couples can also share small plates such as house-smoked Andouille sausage with grits and Vidalia onions, Sapelo Island clams cooked in Georgia Summer Lager, and slow-roasted pork belly rillette with tavern mustard and toasted baguette crisps.

1282 Broad St, Augusta, GA 30901, Phone: 706-364-6906

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11. Luigi's

© Luigi's

Luigi's is Augusta's oldest family-owned restaurant, opened in 1949 by Greek immigrant Nicholas "Papou Nick" Ballas and operated by third- and fourth-generation family members today. The restaurant, which is open for dinner service Mondays through Saturdays and lunch service on Friday afternoons, serves up a unique Greek and Italian fusion fare menu in a dining room full of old-school ambiance, including a working jukebox. Favorite Italian-style entrees include the restaurant's baked lasagna, veal scallopini, and eggplant parmigiana, while classic Greek fare includes half chickens cooked with Greek herbs, seasoned pork chops prepared with olive oil and lemon, and Greek-style pizzas made with a variety of seasonal vegetables and cheeses. For couples in town for the Masters Tournament, the restaurant also offers Sunday service throughout Masters Week.

590 Broad St, Augusta, GA 30901, Phone: 706-722-4056

12. Rae's Coastal Cafe

Rae's Coastal Cafe
© Rae's Coastal Cafe

Rae's Coastal Cafe is a unique Caribbean-Southern fusion restaurant owned and operated by father-son duo Walter and Shadrick Clay since 1992. The restaurant, which is located at the western end of Augusta's Walton Way, is open for lunch and dinner service Tuesdays through Sundays and serves up a wide variety of land and sea specialties, ranging from Florida Keys-style dolphin sandwiches to house speciality Jamaican Jerk chicken platters. Land and sea combination platters are also available, including trilogy platters that allow diners to choose three entree options as part of a platter, including favorites such as blackened mahi mahi, Lowcountry-style Frogmore stew, and Jerk baby-back ribs. For dessert, couples can choose from tropical options such as key lime pie, homemade carrot cake, and frozen mango pie.

3208 W Wimbledon Dr, Augusta, GA 30909, Phone: 706-738-1313

13. Sheehan's Irish Pub

Sheehan's Irish Pub
© Sheehan's Irish Pub

Sheehan's Irish Pub is the partner establishment of Augusta favorite Beck's Oyster Bar, serving up refined pub entrees, draft beers, and craft cocktails at dinner each Wednesday through Sunday. The restaurant, which is housed within an intimately-renovated historic brick house, is known for delectable land and sea entrees, including favorites such as catfish Louisiane, honey-lacquered duck, Chilean grilled seabass, and eight-ounce filets of beef prepared with red wine veal reduction sauce. Casual pub fare such as fish and chips or shrimp and grits is also available, along with a selection of shareable bar appetizers, including Vietnamese spring rolls, chile fried shrimp, and rosemary mussels. Couples can pair dinner selections with a wide variety of apértifs and digestifs, including clever margaritas, martinis, and Irish coffee beverages.

2571 Central Ave, Augusta, GA 30904, Phone: 706-364-1234

14. Sole Augusta

Sole Augusta
© Sole Augusta

Sole Augusta is a modern fine dining destination in Augusta focusing on sushi selections paired with small bites and clever burgers, offering indoor and outdoor patio seating at dinner and late night service Mondays through Saturdays. Couples can choose from a wide variety of clever burger and sandwich options, including frisco melts, fried grouper sandwiches, black and bleu burgers, and grilled chicken BLTs. Land and sea entrees include pepper-crusted ribeye, black and bleu salmon, and chicken Florentine, along with Southern-style favorites such as shrimp and grits. Tapas service highlights international fare such as gyoza, edamame, and Brazilian street tacos, while an extensive sushi menu features maki, nigiri, and traditional specialty roll options.

1033 Broad St, Augusta, GA 30901, Phone: 706-432-9898

15. Tbonz Steakhouse of Augusta

Tbonz Steakhouse of Augusta
© Tbonz Steakhouse of Augusta

Tbonz Steakhouse of Augusta is a unique dining experience that has been voted as Augusta's best steakhouse, originally opened in 1985 by college friends Jerry Scheer and Mark Cumins. The laid-back restaurant chain offers locations throughout Georgia and the Carolinas, all featuring the restaurant's signature James Brown-themed booths. High-quality steak entrees are available at lunch and dinner, including black and bleu filets, drunken ribeye steaks served with Kentucky bourbon sauce, and classic New York strips. Seafood favorites range from Maryland crab cakes to blackened catches of the day, while baby-back rib platters showcase exceptionally tender meats seasoned with the restaurant's signature bold and spicy barbecue sauce. Diners can also choose from a variety of clever chicken platters and sandwiches, complemented by shareable appetizers such as Lowcountry calamari, Waccamaw seafood dip, and the restaurant's clever Almost Famous chicken wings available tossed in a variety of sauces. American craft and imported beers are available on draft, along with house wines, clever martinis, and specialty cocktails and frozen drinks.

2856 Washington Rd, Augusta, GA 30909, Phone: 706-737-8325

16. French Market Grille

French Market Grille
© French Market Grille

French Market Grille has been voted as the best restaurant in Augusta for more than a decade running, serving up an excellent menu of Cajun and Creole-influenced fare in a casual setting in the city's Surrey Center. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, including enclosed patio seating when weather permits. Excellent New Orleans-style entrees include jambalaya, crab chops, whole boiled crawfish, and shell-on boiled shrimp, complemented by sides and shareables such as chicken liver pate, oysters on the half shell, and New Orleans-style red beans and rice. An oyster bar sampler is available for couples to share, along with clever appetizers such as popcorn crawfish and alligator and excellent soup options such as gumbo and she-crab soup. An extensive menu of creative po'boy sandwiches is also offered, along with high-quality steaks and chops. Drink options range from Cajun-style martinis to New Orleans-style cafe au lait coffee drinks.

425 Highland Ave, Augusta, GA 30909, Phone: 706-737-4865

17. Villa Europa Restaurant and Lounge

Villa Europa Restaurant and Lounge
© Villa Europa Restaurant and Lounge

Villa Europa Restaurant and Lounge has been a tradition in the American Southeast since the mid-1960s, originally opened in Warner Robins, Georgia by Kenneth Traylor. The restaurant chain has shifted its focus from European-style pizzas to a wide variety of German and Italian-focused fare throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries, owned and operated today by Anneliese Niese and Patricia Schaffer. Today, it strives to adhere to a philosophy of German-style Gemütlichkeit convivial ambiance, serving up excellent German entree favorites such as jaegerschnitzel, sauerbraten, and zigeuner schnitzel with classic side dishes such as German potato salad. Italian selections include baked spaghetti, lasagna, and chicken parmesan, while international options range from French melts to grilled reuben sandwiches. Diners can also enjoy hearty prime steaks or shareable appetizers such as escargot, Bavarian fritters, and baked pretzels, complemented by a healthy menu of German, American, and imported beers and fine international wines.

3044 Deans Bridge Rd, Augusta, GA 30906, Phone: 706-798-6211

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