North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for the teeny-tiny village of Helen, Georgia, which may be found in their foothills. Despite having a population of less than 500 people, this Bavarian-themed hamlet draws approximately 2 million tourists every year due to the magnificent natural peacefulness that it offers.
It is home to a variety of Native American and Georgia state historic sites, in addition to a broad range of opportunities for outdoor leisure. Helen, Georgia is home to a wide variety of wonderful restaurants in addition to traditional Appalachian handicrafts, small stores, Christmas festivities and decorations, and Oktoberfest.
In 1969, Helen was hardly noticeable to travelers who were driving through the area. On the other hand, the leaders of the community decided to take some extreme measures in order to encourage people to stop and spend some time in the area. One of the primary reasons for their enormous amount of success is the exceptional quality of their meals.
While traveling from Atlanta, Birmingham, or Chattanooga, you will take winding roads that appear to parallel the Chattahoochee River until you suddenly find yourself in a scene that will make you feel as though you have been transported to the Alps of Old World Germany. This will happen when you reach the scene of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The buildings have weatherboarding that is painted in brilliant colors, gabled roofs, ornate trim, balconies, and decorative trim.
What started out as the design of the Bavarian facade now has the realism that comes from the fact that a large number of German people really live in Helen and work in the kitchens and restaurants there. After then, the achievements of those business owners inspired additional people with broader tastes to get in on the action. You now own the third most visited location in the state of Georgia, placing you directly behind the cities of Atlanta and Savannah in that ranking.
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- 1 5 Must-Try Restaurants in Helen
- 2 Other notable restaurants in Helen, GA
- 3 Which of these restaurants in Helen, GA do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
- 4 FAQs
5 Must-Try Restaurants in Helen
64 Munich Street // (706) 878-1026
Chef Aurel Prodan and his wife Doina started their married life in Romania working in a small restaurant as a chef and a waiter until they relocated to Bavaria, Germany in 1981. Chef Aurel Prodan is known for his traditional Romanian cuisine. It was there that he honed his abilities to prepare classic German meals, and it was there that both of them gained an understanding of the European culture of leisurely hospitality.
25 years ago, Chef Aurel and his wife took all of their skills and charisma to Helen, Georgia, where he quickly rose to the level of highly regarded Master Chef. Doina spent the first few years of their time in Helen going to restaurants in the surrounding region. They ate, watched, and “stayed incognito” to figure out how to make their own restaurant distinctive and genuine.
She is certain that “We are not turning the tables.” People are receiving services from us. If they want to hang around for four hours, that’s OK with me. She instructs her wait staff to wait to clear the table of dishes until the very last patron at the table has finished eating and placed his or her utensils down. After that, they simultaneously remove each and every dish off the table.
They have been in business for seven years and have established a substantial following of devoted customers.
Doina declares as a matter of fact that she is “double wedded,” meaning that she is married to both her husband and the restaurant. It is clear that both of them are investing a significant amount of time to the endeavor of making Bodensee successful. The Prodans’ daughter does the majority of the baking and front-of-house labor at Bodensee, while the Prodans’ son-in-law provides assistance in the kitchen. Bodensee is a family business.
By the way, they got their name from one of their most beloved locations in Bavaria, which is Lake Constance, which is located on the Rhine River. The name Constance in German is referred to as Bodensee.
Everything on the menu is prepared in-house by Chef Prodan, who uses spices that are flown in from Germany once or twice per month. For example, the sauerbraten must be marinated for four or five days, and Doina cultivates a significant number of the herbs herself. She freely imparts her words of wisdom, which are as follows: “Drink the juice from the sauerkraut. You’ll never get a cold again!” and adds that the sole need for appropriate attire in Bodensee is “Don’t be nude.” Put something on your feet, and cover your head with a hat!
She is a wonderful hostess to each and every one of her visitors, and the cuisine is out of this world. The smoked pork chop, the spaetzle, and the German potato salad are all excellent in my experience, and I can personally recommend them. Make sure you spare some space for the warm apple strudel that will follow. This wonderful establishment is certainly a rare find when it comes to Helen’s dining options.
MULLY’S NACOOCHEE GRILL
7277 South Main Street // (706) 878-1020
At the restaurant that Mully built when he was 60 years old, he can be seen weaving his way through the tables. It is clear that he enjoys mingling with both his long-time friends and first-time customers. His given name is Greg Ash, but he earned the moniker “Mulligan” due to his skill in golf and his frequent practice of requesting a do-over. He is familiar with Helen, Georgia, having served on the town council there and also held the mayor’s office there within the last several years. He wants his customers to have a pleasant experience while enjoying a delicious meal, whether it is breakfast on the weekend or supper throughout the week.
Some of the foods are grilled over a wood fire by the chef, Fern Frechette, who is originally from Wales; however, some dishes are prepared in a more specialized manner. I requested cheddar grits and collard greens to accompany the grilled fish that I ordered.
After that, I found out that the fish used at Mully’s are sourced from North Carolina, and that Nora Mills Granary is responsible for the grinding of the grits used there. White cheddar cheese, chicken stock, and cream are the three ingredients that Chef Frechette incorporates into the grits in order to make them even more delicious.
The dish that sells the most at Mully’s is their rainbow trout, followed by their baby back ribs, and then their shrimp and grits. Desserts such as cheesecake, fried Oreos, and bread pudding are sure to win your heart. The blackberry bread pudding that I had was delicious and well worth the calories that it included.
The structure that is now home to Mully’s Nacoochee Grill was once a rural farmhouse that was constructed in the early 1900s. It was taken apart, moved from the Leaf Community that is located nearby, and then reconstructed. The genuine antique details of that residence contribute to the warm and inviting atmosphere that the house exudes for visitors.
Mully’s already has a lot going for it in terms of cuisine and atmosphere, but adding live music elevates the experience to a whole new level. Kurt Johnson, who was a member of Bon Jovi for ten years, plays popular favorites from Wednesday through Sunday nights. On Sunday mornings, he sings gospel and jazz tunes. When you go to their music hall, I am certain he will be delighted to perform “your song.” I can promise you that.
Mully is certain that Chef Fern and Kurt Johnson are the “soul” of the restaurant, despite the fact that he is the “face” of the business. There is no way that the Helen dining scene could be considered complete without include Mully’s Nacoochee Grill.
BERNIE’S AT NACOOCHEE VALLEY GUEST HOUSE
2220 Highway 17, Sautee-Nacoochee, GA // (706) 878-3830
The affable Bernie Yates, who has worked in the hospitality industry for the last 49 years, is the owner of both the Guest House and the restaurant that bears her name. She is also the hostess at both establishments.
The Guest House has two rooms, each with a king-size bed, private bathrooms, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Those guests who have the good fortune to reserve those rooms will be located just 5 miles from the heart of downtown Helen and smack dab in the thick of all the things White County has to offer. Others reserve the whole home for events such as parties, reunions, mini weddings, and other similar gatherings because of the exceptional cooking that is provided on-site and the great location.
Monda Dodge, Bernie’s daughter, is in charge of the kitchen. She has thirty years of experience in the kitchen and attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where she obtained her training in the art of food preparation. Lindsey Bryant, popularly known as Monda’s “right arm,” is a valuable member of the Bernie’s restaurant team because of her immaculate competence and extensive expertise.
Until recently, this structure was known as the Crumley Residence and it was constructed in 1920. Since 1989, Bernie has deftly handled everything concerning it. The breathtaking panorama of the Nacoochee Valley and Sal Mountain is a distinct advantage of this property.
Every day, the pleasant wait staff dresses the tables with linens, sterling silver flatware, fresh flowers, and funny salt and pepper shakers. “Start with the freshest ingredients and let the cuisine speak for itself,” is the credo of the kitchen. At lunchtime, guests may choose from a variety of entrees, including a daily quiche, handmade soups, freshly baked bread, sandwiches, salads, and chef specialties.
The first course of my dinner was an appetizer of baked brie and veggies that had been roasted. After that, I was served a piece of quiche with ham and white cheddar as well as what was most likely the tastiest creamy tomato basil soup I would ever have. For dessert, my companions at the table and I split individual servings of handmade chocolate and lemon cakes. Moist and loaded to the brim with many layers of taste.
Roast ducks, steaks, seafood, chicken or veal piccata, and chicken or veal marsala are some of the new items that have been added to the supper menu.
The dining area is rather little, yet it manages to be both beautiful and cozy. Excellent for a supper that is both peaceful and incredibly delectable.
HOFER’S OF HELEN
8758 North Main Street // (706) 878-8200
Both a bakery and a coffee shop, Hofer’s of Helen is widely considered to be among the finest establishments in the area. In Helen, there is a fantastic selection of restaurants serving American and German cuisine that was founded by Ralph Hofer. The bread at Hofer’s is baked fresh every day in an oven with a stone hearth, which lends an air of genuine authenticity to the Old World flavor and allure.
When customers enter the establishment, they are greeted with a display case that is groaning under the weight of a variety of enticing treats, including tortes, strawberries, blueberries, and apple Kream Kuchen, cannolis, and fresh strudel.
Products imported from Germany may be seen on the shelves of the surrounding cabinets. These discoveries are very valuable to the Germans who have relocated to the Helen region from other parts of the country. Hofer’s is located in what was was a bank building, and the bank’s safe has been converted into an entertaining gift store.
The breakfast offerings at Hofer’s bakery are quite well-liked. Kassler Rippchen, also known as smoked pork chop, Leberkase, also known as beef and pork loaf, Bratwurst Gravy, and Apfelkuchle are all items that may be found on the menu in addition to items that are clearly recognizable to American tourists (apple slices, dipped in batter, fried and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar). THAT was the option that I went with. So delicious!
After breakfast and up until the late afternoon, when Hofer’s shuts, customers may choose from more than a dozen different sandwiches, goulash (a classic meal from Hungary), and a daily soup special.
807 Edelweissstrasse // +1 706-878-2739
It is more probable that you will hear Bigg Daddy’s before you really see it. Because it has both flat-screen televisions that broadcast all of the most popular sporting events and live music on the weekends, it is a happening spot among the restaurants in Helen, making it an ideal location for getting together with friends in a lively setting.
Along with the family-friendly rates of the children’s menu, the nightly specials, such as Taco Tuesdays and wings for fifty cents on Wednesdays, give further reason for patrons to pay a visit. The tacos, wings, burgers, and pizzas take the spotlight on the menu, but there are also a variety of other mouthwatering options to choose from.
Along with fried portabella mushrooms, fried green tomatoes, and terrapin shrimp, the Appalachian Smoked Trout Dip is a beginning that is consistently a hit with the patrons. In addition to chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits, other options for dinners include steak, salmon, ribs, and chicken served with waffles.
The dress code of Bigg Daddy’s restaurant is informal, and it is open seven days a week from eleven in the morning until midnight. The spacious outside dining terrace at this establishment is my go-to spot whenever the weather is nice enough to sit outside. You will be able to get a view of the Chattahoochee River from where you are sitting.
CLYDE’S TABLE AND TAVERN
5 East Jarrard Street, Cleveland, GA // (706) 607-8707
The proprietor of the establishment, Ward Gann, describes it as “a fantasy that came true that I wasn’t anticipating.” After spending 24 years working for Farm Bureau, he saw that downtown Cleveland lacked access to high-quality dining options. Gann notes that the community support has been outstanding since they opened their doors nine months ago. It would seem that he is sitting on a winner here.
The restaurant gets its name and most of its decor from Gann’s English setter, and Gann takes credit for one-third of the cuisine at the establishment. The structure itself was a dime shop when it first opened in 1948, and the brick walls and wood flooring are still there today.
Inside, the atmosphere is established by tables made of wood, seats made of metal with cushioning, and wall paintings depicting hunting scenes. Many of the items on the menu are prepared with the use of a smoker called a “outback.” The smoked meats are without a doubt the most notable aspects of the presentation. Despite this, the wonderful handmade pecan pie, the five-alarm wedge salad, the deviled eggs served over slaw, the avocado fries with remoulade sauce, and the deviled eggs served over slaw all come together to provide an exceptionally mouthwatering dinner.
The dog motif is also carried over into the cocktail menu, which has a drink called “Tie Me to the Porch Puppy Punch” as well as a number of other Pup Tinis and Dog-Aritas.
The lunch menu includes a total of four different kinds of macaroni and cheese, as well as burgers, sandwiches, salads, and quesadillas. Dinner will now include a variety of seafood items in addition to steaks. The menu for the Sunday brunch has a number of variations on Eggs Benedict, sweet potato pancakes, filled French toast, and chicken and waffles, among other dishes. Your customer service is second to none.
At the moment, there is enough for forty patrons to dine inside Clyde’s and an additional thirty on the terrace that is located outside. The expansion of the deck is already being planned for and planned for. Clyde’s is a restaurant that serves lunch and supper every day of the week. That indicates that the smell coming from the smoker is always luring in eager clients who are interested in giving this new location a try. A fantastic recommendation among the restaurants in Helen.
Other notable restaurants in Helen, GA
Cimmi’s Café and Café International are a few of the other eateries in Helen, Georgia that are worth noting. Try some delicious cider or a peach or muscadine slushy when you stop by Fred’s Famous Peanuts. They also have a selection of munchies that are influenced by the surrounding area. You might also try some of Hansel and Gretel’s Candy Kitchen’s handcrafted fudge, which is located downtown.
Restaurants in Helen are a welcome addition to this outdoor recreation paradise, which draws people who like activities such as mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, and tubing. Therefore, you can relax knowing that there will be plenty of possibilities to burn off the calories you are going to ingest when you pay a visit to this charming tiny town that is full of individuals who have a little population but are accomplishing huge ambitions.
Which of these restaurants in Helen, GA do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
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What is Helen Ga most known for?
The yearly Oktoberfest celebrations in Helen are the city’s most well-known event. During these celebrations, participants dress in traditional garb, such as lederhosen and dirndls, and enjoy dancing to the polka, as well as eating and drinking traditional German fare.
Is it worth visiting Helen in GA?
The attractions that can be found in Helen, Georgia, are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the North Georgia Mountains have to offer. You’ll discover even more opportunities for outdoor exploring, one-of-a-kind shopping, and delicious dining all around the area.
How many days should you spend in Helen Georgia?
How long are you required to remain here? Because Helen is such a tiny town, there is no need to spend more than a weekend there to see the most important attractions. You may choose to spend one day adventuring in the surrounding area and another day touring the main town.
Is Helen Ga walkable?
Helen is a highly walkable town; but, during the peak tourist months of June through October, it may get quite congested with walkers as well as automobiles.
Which Hallmark movie was filmed in Helen GA?
What are some more movies that have been shot in the state of Georgia? Another film set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Christmas in Homestead was produced by Hallmark and was shot in the town of Dahlonega, Georgia, which is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.