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The Grit

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 27 reviews )
Contact 706-543-6592

199 Prince Ave, Athens, Georgia, USA, 30601

Vegetarian restaurant located in a historical building that has been restored. Menu consists of classic American food like pancakes and sandwiches plus hot bowls, salads, desserts, plus a whole cakes and pie service with 48 hours request. Open Mon-Fri 11:00am-10:00pm, Sat-Sun 10:00am-3:00pm, Sat-Sun 5:00pm-10:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, International, Bakery, Beer

Reviews (27)

First Review by HermosaJulieJo

Golden Bowl! - Edit

The Grit is a must visit place for vegans and vegetarians who find themselves in lovely Athens, Georgia. It is an eclectic restaurant serving southern food, vegetarian style. If you can only order one thing on the menu, please consider the golden bowl. It is a lovely, simple bowl with rice, delicious cubes of tofu, veggies, and, cheese for the vegetarians out there. They have a veggie plate with some standards, and some daily specials that change seasonally. If you have a sweet tooth, it is a good idea to save room for dessert. Their selection is mouth watering, and they have lots of choices for vegans and vegetarians. If you go to the Grit on Sunday or Saturday, they have a different menu for brunch. My favorite is their regular menu, but it is a nice, chill place to enjoy a weekend morning if you are into the brunch scene. The only thing that is a negative about The Grit is that it can be a little hard to park. My recommendation is to try to park in the little parallel spots on Meigs Street behind the restaurant.

Pros: Amazing desserts, Reasonable prices, Tasty southern yumminess

Cons: Parking can take a little while sometimes

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An Athens staple - Edit

I've made trips from Atlanta to Athens that were centered around eating at the Grit! Brunch menu is a little more limited vegan-wise than I think it could be (maybe offering vegan cheese would help) and I've sometimes I've gotten service that is less than friendly, but everything I've ordered tastes incredible! I found that the lunch/dinner menu was more accommodating to vegans. Also, their vegan cakes and pies are a must. Get a slice for the road if you're too full!!

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Nice Brunch - Edit

I visited The Grit for brunch. The selection is a little bit heavy on the egg side (which I don't eat), but we were happy with the items we ordered. Portions are good and everything was tasty, especially the biscuits. Service was very good; fast and friendly.

Pros: nice atmoshpere, fast and friendly service, good sized portions

Cons: would like to see more vegan selection

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I love visiting new places and finding vegan or vegetarian restaurants. I was thrilled with this one.

When you walk in, there’s a counter area and several tables. Then, there’s another room with a lot more tables. There’s a chalkboard with all the day’s specials, be sure to look at it.

I had a veggie platter: collard greens, “sausage” stuffing, and garlic mashed potatoes (yeah, I got what would make me feel the fattest!)

The garlic potatoes were insanely delicious! They come with a side of yummy gravy. The stuffing was good, but a little dry-ish and I didn’t care for the “sausage”. The sausage didn’t taste bad, it was kinda like a hot-dog in the stuffing; I just didn’t care for it – someone else might love it. The collard greens were very good and proof that you don’t need to cook collard greens with a pig-foot to make them taste good.

I also had a delicious southern sweet tea.

This restaurant has a cool vibe with all its music history. The décor is simple and basic, and I loved all the character of the building. The restaurant is very clean, and the service was excellent!

You most definitely do NOT come away hungry from this place. The portions were plentiful and it is stick-to-your-ribs food. The prices are really reasonable and you get a lot of food for your dollar. Wifi was free, and there is street parking all around the restaurant. I didn’t have any trouble finding a spot at all.

When I find myself in Athens again, I will definitely be back.

Suggestion for something to do while in Athens: If you are eating here, you must be in Athens. Might I suggest something fun to do? There is a “Walking Tour of Athens Music History” that you can get off the Internet (the public library might also have a map?). It lists many, many buildings in the downtown historic area and tells you a lot of the building’s music history. It’s free and something really fun to do (and get some good exercise). I printed it out, then followed the map and enjoyed learning about these buildings’ incredible histories. This restaurant, The Grit, is on the list – and everything is within walking distance.

Pros: Good food, Good service, Loved the character of the place

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Fun vibe, good food - Edit

A classic sort of hippy-vegetarian-cafe vibe, with good service and great food. Using flags to cross the street from the parking lot is a fun addition for the kiddies! It would be nice if they didn't cook so many veggies in the same pot as the noodles, because that would expand the gluten-free options considerably. The tofu cup is great!

Pros: Great Food, Good Service, Professional without being snooty

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Virtually no options for a gluten-free vegan - Edit

I used to love eating at the Grit when I was vegetarian. It's low-key, inexpensive, and has a gritty character. Now that I'm vegan (and gluten-free), I won't be going back. The vegan options are few and far between, and virtually all of them contain gluten (with the exception of a side salad, chips & salsa, and beans & rice). I realize that the restaurant doesn't advertise itself as a vegan/gluten-free restaurant, but I was shocked by how few options there were and how unaccomodating and annoyed the server was. I ended up getting a side salad that was really just a pile of iceberg lettuce and a bowl of pinto beans with about a tablespoon of rice and some shredded carrots on top. Disappointing.

The Grit is a classic Athens eatery, but it's not for the health conscious vegetarian.

Pros: Funky ambience, Inexpensive

Cons: Grouchy server, Insufficient vegan options

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Worth a meal - Edit

We ate at The Grit for lunch one day then breakfast the next, and the food was consistently good and filling. We ordered seitan sandwiches for lunch, which were delicious but not at all healthy, along with salads topped with the most delicious sesame ginger dressing ever. The service that day was marginal.

For breakfast the following day we had the burrito made vegan, which was big and filling, and we stayed on until lunch time to order the specials platter. All the food was delicious, and the specials were much healthier options and very filling. The service that day was superb, and spanned two servers between shifts who were each amazingly helpful and friendly. I recommend The Grit for a delicious and filling meal, though I wish there were more options in Athens, and I wish The Grit was more vegan-centered than egg-and-dairy-centered (that was a little disappointing).

Pros: Delicious ample food, Great seitan, Vegan baked treats available

Cons: Too much dairy & eggs, Service varies, Only veg option in Athens

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Golden Bowl!!! - Edit

I love the golden bowl so much! The desserts are always excellent as well. I've tried other menu items and while they're always at least tasty, most haven't been great so I just stick with the golden bowl now. Service is hit or miss depending on who's working that day; could be fantastic, could leave a lot to be desired, but if you order the golden bowl that will always be amazing!

Pros: Golden Bowl, Desserts, Cookbook

Cons: Russian roulette staff

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Great Service, So So Food - Edit

We stopped through Athens while traveling and found this place through Happy Cow. We had breakfast. We're vegan and used to green smoothie breakfasts. This place was more southern cooking vegan, which was fine and filling, but a bit too heavy for me. The service was great and the atmosphere was great too.
Updated from previous review on Saturday April 27, 2013

Pros: Service, Atmosphere, Portions

Cons: Not a big variety, Not good vegan ingredients, Lacking fresh flavors

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Tasty, good find! - Edit

We went to Athens this past weekend on a quick getaway - I love college towns and figured they must have a veggie restaurant! Thanks to Happy Cow, we found The Grit. I had the vegan bahn mi sandwich, made with seitan, which was huge! I couldn't finish it. My omnivore husband had the Mediterranean plate. The tabbouleh was a little dry, but the hummus and falafel were good. I wanted a piece of the pecan pie, but the server said it wasn't vegan. My husband had a piece of the chocolate cake and liked it. Good atmosphere and with two people, we didn't have to wait on a Friday night - we sat at the bar. I would definitely recommend the Grit!

Pros: Atmosphere, Vegan options, Quick service

Cons: Wish they had more vegan choices

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Love/Hate - Edit

OK, The Grit has a decent lunch/dinner menu. There are a lot of vegan options. The only issue is they are a bit pricey and the service sucks. My favorites are the daily noodle bowl, or the bahn mi sandwich. The brunch they offer is very limited and is soooo expensive. A plate with potatoes and veggies and a little nutritional yeast is $8! I can make that for 5 people for $3 at home!
Overall, it is a MUST when visiting Athens!

Pros: Big menu, Noodle Bowls are AMAZING, Cool atmosphere

Cons: Expensive, Brunch is limited, Service

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Fun(ky) and Tasty - Edit

Enjoyed my visit to The Grit. Had the Deluxe Quesadilla with crunchy veggies and cheese. Warning, the portion size is huge. As much as I wanted to, I could not finish it. Two people could probably share. The menu is large and varied, with something sure to please most veggies and nonveggies alike.

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Good Southern Comfort Food - Edit

The Grit wants to be that trendy, casual, fun-loving downtown hangout - complete with kitschy menu - where you take friends, family and visitors to prove to them that Athens is cool. The Grit succeeds quite well on this front.

The menu is extensive and has, without question, something for everyone - even non-vegetarians. Soups, salads, sandwiches (both hearty and light), filling main courses and more than a few re-imaginations of American staples (club sandwich, cheese dog, burgers and chili). There is also a full page of the menu devoted to international-style dishes from India, Mexico, Italy and the Middle East.

My main, the Golden Bowl, was very tasty. The mix of perfectly sautéed tofu, nutritional yeast and brown rice was great - I couldn't finish it all. My friend ordered the Tofu Reuben Sandwich which was good - a flavourful Russian dressing is used.

We were both too full to consider dessert but their 100% homemade selection was appetizing.

Other notes: it can get crowded inside. We went for an early lunch and didn't have to wait, but the place started filling up quickly after we arrived. We were lucky enough to snag a spot on their terrace out front and enjoyed the sights of college students and smell of fresh Georgian air. I remember the water being particularly good, too!

Also, be aware that they do not split up bills at The Grit. If you sit a a group, you pay one bill.

Overall this is a good restaurant in a very nice little city. It serves good food in a relaxed atmosphere but it's not on par with places like the Chicago Diner or Watercourse Foods in Denver where the food doesn't merely fill you up, it makes you forget where you are.

Pros: Atmosphere, Tasty, Extensive Menu

Cons: Can't split cost among table

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Great food - Edit

The first time I went here I wasn't even a vegetarian and I loved it. Now several years later I am a vegan and I still love it. There are several choices for vegans which sometimes makes deciding on a dish difficult.

I take my meat eating friends to the Grit and they love it!
I use a lot of the recipes from the cookbook and people can't even tell that a dish is vegan of vegetarian.

As for the desserts, the cakes are moist, the cookies are substantial, and the flavor is AMAZING!

As a rule you must go back at least 3 times so you can sample enough menu items to get a taste of the Grit.

Pros: Great food, All veg

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Reviewer Avatar

Amazing Food! - Edit

I moved to Athens almost 6 years ago (from California), and this has to be the best restaurant I've ever eaten at even if you're not a Vegetarian! My favorite is "The Golden Bowl". It's fried tofu, with soy sauce, nutritional yeast, veggies and or cheese if you request it, all on top of brown rice! Oh, and the "Death by Chocolate" cake is Vegan and it is the most amazingly moist and tasty cake...heaven in your mouth! =D The staff is wonderful too! I've never had a complaint about the food or the service! Oh, the prices are awesome too!

Pros: Vegan Friendly, Friendly Staff, AMAZING Food!

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Great lunch! - Edit

This place has delicious sandwiches and the chocolate cake is the BEST I've ever had (including cakes from my pregan days)! The outdoor seating is nice because you can bring your dog and avoid the loud music and crowdedness of the inside.

Pros: outdoor seating, inexpensive

Cons: loud, too many hipsters

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