8 Best Places to Eat Around Athens, OH

8 Best Places to Eat Around Athens, OH

If you haven’t already pointed your front wheel to Athens, OH, you should. Located near the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway and the famous Windy 9, the roads around the city make for a great motorcycling destination.

After a long riding day, though, your stomach will be grumbling. Lucky for you, Athens has a whole slew of top-notch restaurants, bars, and diners to fuel yourself up for the next day’s tour.

Here are eight fantastic places to eat in and around Athens you must try while visiting..

O’Betty’s Red Hot

The hot dog is one of the most quintessentially American foods out there. And few make them better than the folks at O’Betty’s Red Hot.

This unique burlesque-themed hot dog restaurant opened in 2003. Today, their five-star all-beef hot dogs, served with hand-cut Old World-style fries, taste just like they did 20 years ago—that is, fantastic.

Don’t just take our word for it, either. O’Betty’s dedication to perfecting the hot dog has been recognized with a whole slew of awards.

While your mouth and stomach feast on delicious hot dogs, your eyes can feast on the restaurant’s charming interior that pays tribute to the great burlesque stars of the past. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Hot Dog Museum while you’re there.

Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery

Fans of craft beer shouldn’t miss popping over to Jackie O’s when visiting Athens. After all, the beer maestro’s in charge of creating the beverages have a mission—make beers that you simply can’t get anywhere else.

We’re not talking about just a couple of unique varieties, either. Jackie O’s beer menu boasts dozens of tasty treats, from stout to saison and IPA to lager and beyond.

In addition to beer, Jackie O’s serves great pub grub to go with your drink. While you enjoy your meal, you can chat with the friendly staff who are always more than happy to share the finer details of the art of brewing (as they have time from pouring beer after beer).

You also have choices of where to go. Jackie O’s is a great success for a reason and they now operate three locations in addition to their original Uptown Brewpub where it all began.

Big Mamma’s Burritos

Do you like ‘em big? Then head on over to Big Mamma’s to gorge yourself on delicious and humongous burritos.

The restaurant’s menu features big Mexi-Cali burritos for every taste. Whether you enjoy your burritos traditional or creative, mild or burning with spice, there’s a rolled tortilla calling your name.

If you really want to impress Mamma, pit your stomach against the Mega Mamma Challenge. You’ll get a five-pound burrito and one hour—can you clean the plate in time?

Winners receive a commemorative T-shirt and a place on Mamma’s Wall of Champions. And speaking of those walls, they feature some cool murals to keep your eyes busy while you devour your burrito.

Sol Island Bar and Grill

Sol Island Bar and Grill brings the vibes of South Florida and the Caribbean to Athens. Whatever time of day your stomach grumbles, Sol is there to serve you a delicious meal and some southern sunshine.

The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are filled with Caribbean-inspired dishes. And if that’s not your jam, don’t worry—Sol’s cooks can also whip up great traditional American options.

And we haven’t even mentioned the drinks yet. The bartenders at Sol whip up delicious cocktails, and the beer list features more than 30 entries, including craft brews.

Whether you’re looking for a pre-ride brunch or to refresh yourself after a day in the saddle, Sol is the place to be.


The night after the ride ran a bit long, and now your head is splitting and your mouth’s drier than Dakar’s desert sections. Drag yourself over to HangOverEasy and revitalize yourself with a creative, delicious brunch.

The names on the menu will make you feel better, first by tickling your funny bone. Why not order a Fungus Amongus, a Silence of the Hams, or a Sloppy HOE?

Despite the silly menu, HangOverEasy takes its dishes seriously. No matter what you ordered, you’d better prepare yourself for a flavor explosion.

In case you arrived in Athens late and today is a day off the saddle, HOE also serves great drinks to spice up your brunch. From hot coffee to classic mimosas and quirkier cocktails, you’ll find something to sip between bites.

Little Fish Brewing Company

Athens is a wonderful destination for craft beer lovers. Little Fish Brewing Company takes a local, farm-to-glass approach to their brews.

Case in point—in 2016, they brewed the first 100% Ohio-grown beer since the days of Prohibition. Little Fish sources as many ingredients as they can so you can savor an authentic Ohio taste in your beer.

Although the brewery focuses on barrel-aged sours and saisons, that’s not all that’s on the menu. You’ll also find wonderful lagers, IPAs, stouts, and even malt liquors.

Of course, Little Fish also serves food. For a bite between drinks, try the Spanish-inspired bar snacks, or go for any of the tasty burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas.

Blue Bell Diner

Now, the Blue Bell Diner isn’t exactly in Athens. That said, it’s well worth your time to hop in the saddle and motor 35 miles northeast to McConnelsville to visit this historical establishment.

And when we say historical, we mean it. The Blue Bell Diner was originally opened in 1884 and has been filling Ohioans’ stomachs since.

With a major renovation in 2022, the feast won’t stop any time soon. On the Blue Bell Diner’s menu, you’ll find huge servings of traditional American diner food, creative coffee drinks, and a whole lot more.

This restaurant might not be on Route 66, but it still serves up that same classic diner experience motorcyclists crave.

Triple Nickel Diner

Like the Blue Bell, the Triple Nickel Diner isn’t in Athens—but it’s not too far either, sitting only 22 miles away in Chesterhill. It has become something of a tradition for riders doing the Triple Nickel to stop at the route’s eponymous diner for a bite.

It’s easy to see why. The Triple Nickel Diner serves simple (in a good way), no-fuss all-American diner fare, alongside some excellent desserts.

But while the food is great, the excellent and friendly service is the star of the show here. In fact, the staff is known for letting riders enter the restaurant to use the restrooms and grab a cup of coffee if they arrive slightly before the official opening times.

Add to all of this the welcoming, homey feel of the interior and the Triple Nickel Diner truly lives up to its slogan—simple, affordable, and memorable.

What Are You Waiting For?

Quirky eateries are a big part of what Athens, OH, is, but they’re not all it is. This small, hip, and rider-friendly college city is a top-notch motorcycling destination.

Athens is surrounded by a spider’s web of excellent backroads, ranging from sweeping two-laners to twisty single-lane roads (both paved and unpaved). Whatever kind of road you hit, it’ll take you through beautiful Ohio countryside with gently rising hills, expansive farmland, and peaceful woods and forests.

If you need some city action after the rural ride, you got it. The city of Athens is popping. Its cute downtown is filled with restaurants and bars of all kinds (as you already know) alongside other cool hangouts, events, and festivals.

It’s easy to find a place to lay your head to rest, as the hotels and inns in Athens are incredibly friendly toward motorcyclists. Case in point, when we visited Athens, Fairfield Inn & Suites had a whole table set up to welcome riders with towels and other goodies.

Yet, the best thing is that all of this is just scratching the surface. Put Athens in your motorcycling itinerary—you’ll be glad you did