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The National

Ratings and reviews

Certificate of Excellence2015 - 2018 Winner


Marinated Olives
Sumac, warm flatbread. Available with gluten-free flatbread (not vegan)
Hummus with Lamb
our hummus & flatbread with spiced ground lamb with piquillo peppers, mint & pomegranate molasses
Stuffed Medjool Dates
celery, manchego cheese, smoked paprika
Patatas Bravas
home fries with spicy-tomato sauce and aioli
Boquerones (Anchovies)
pickled chili, caperberries & tomato-garlic toast
Three Cheeses
Garrotxa (goat, Spain), Sky Pilot (cow, GA), Gouda Lindale (raw cow, NC), toasts, marcona almonds, apple, quince
sampler plate with hummus, two stuffed dates, marinated olives, labne with tomato, warm flatbread
Grilled Romaine Heart
creamy piquillo dressing, bacon, parmesan, crispy capers, breadcrumbs
Local Arugula Salad
frisee, grated pear, pecans, grilled red onion, comté (raw cow) cheese, dijon-white balsamic vinaigrette
Cup of Cucumber Gazpacho
tiny shrimp, radish, sumac, olive oil
Pizzette #1
roasted grapes, gorgonzola, caramelized onions, arugula, pecans, balsamic
Pizzette #2
chorizo, Georgia peach, fontina, arugula, local honey
Warm Salad of Okra & Chickpeas
spiced ground lamb (Oconee Co.), harissa, yogurt, pomegranate, marcona almonds, cilantro
Roasted Chicken Breast
butternut-chickpea pancake, herb ricotta, radicchio and frisee, rosemary-thyme oil, balsamic roasted peppers
Pan Roasted Fish of the Day
cornmeal-dusted, warm black rice with field peas, salad of corn, radish, scallion and capers, romesco sauce
Grilled Pork Chop
buttered Carolina Gold rice, collard green slaw with lime vinaigrette and marinated onions, green tomato-peach relish
Grilled Beef Hanger Steak
roasted red potatoes, grilled cabbage, horseradish crema, savory tomato jam
Vegetable Plate
field pea salad with basil, corn, tomatoes and marinated onions; seared okra and chickpeas with yogurt, harissa and pomegranate; marinated eggplant with tahini and oregano; seared broccoli rabe in tomato-fenugreek sauce; squash fritters; lightly dressed arugula
Open for lunch Monday - Saturday and dinner daily; our bar also remains open for coffee and tapas during the day 2:30 - 5pm. The idea behind The National is simple: to provide a casual neighborhood gathering spot reminiscent of the bars and cafés we’ve enjoyed on travels to Europe. Mediterranean inspired food and wine is served for lunch and dinner in the dining room and throughout the day at the bar. While our menu points to culinary traditions from abroad, we value our local farmers and our dishes reflect the changing seasons in Northeast Georgia.
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch
Bar, Mediterranean, American
Takeout, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Highchairs Available
Reviews (335)
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All reviews hummus stuffed dates vegetable plate summer salad cod patatas bravas lamb hanger steak tapas potatoes shrimp burger fries chef peter by the glass fine dining wine list
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1 - 10 of 331 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Packed lunch 1:15 on a Wednesday. Lunch solo at the bar. Bartender professional and helpful. Had power lunch ($12) and basque pear cake ($9) IPA ($5). Power lunch reminded me of an ethiopian platter i ate at Godjo in Paris. 5 or 6 different vegetarian...More

Date of visit: January 2019
Thank mayhem03
Reviewed 1 week ago

The National is our favorite restaurant in Athens, GA, and actually a favorite anywhere. Food is consistently delicious with fabulous favorites on the menu and ALWAYS fun specials. The staff is professional, friendly and supremely competent. The atmosphere is a perfect and somehow comes off...More

Date of visit: December 2018
Thank kmayathens
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks so much! We love to keep things exciting, especially for our favorite regulars.

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Wife had wanted to visit because she is a big fan of Hugh Acheson. The food was great. I had the impossible burger – first time – and it was awesome. My wife loved her salad. The food is extremely fresh and high quality. The...More

Date of visit: November 2018
Thank mja1982
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Glad you enjoyed your time spent with us! We are indeed a small restaurant in downtown Athens, so while reservations aren't always required, we do recommend going ahead and making one if you know you want to come. Our bar and patio are always first...More

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I tried The National for the first time during my last trip to Athens. We wanted somewhere that we could get brunch before the UGA game. We got here right when they opened and were sat immediately, just avoiding the crowd. The grits here are...More

Date of visit: September 2018
Thank MattMan
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Go dawgs! See you again next fall.

Reviewed 13 December 2018 via mobile

I’ve visited the National a few times while living in Athens and it is quite expensive for an athens restaurant. Their food is good but nothing special. Maybe I’ve just visited on the bad menu nights, but I’m not impressed and wouldn’t choose to go...More

Date of visit: December 2018
Thank Ava K
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2018

Ava, thank you for taking the time to review us. If you'd like to discuss your experience further, I'm all ears at erin@thenationalrestaurant.com. Our menu does change all the time to reflect the seasons and what is new and exciting to our chef, so I...More

Reviewed 11 December 2018

The food here is always of high quality. At times it can be a bit trendy (e.g. too much pickling), but for the most part this is a very solid go-to for entertaining out of town guests or for a nice night with friends. The...More

Date of visit: December 2018
Thank Meredith W
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2018

Thank you for your review! We strive to serve high quality food through an exciting, ever changing menu.

Reviewed 7 November 2018

This is easily one of my favorite restaurants in all of Athens. The food is creative, flavorful and well sourced. I love that they are so accommodating to different diets too. Thank you for the awesome plant-based options!

Date of visit: October 2018
Thank sarah_rae20
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2018

We love veggies at all times of the day! In case you didn't know, we are also offering the Impossible Burger at lunch.

Reviewed 31 October 2018 via mobile

The National is arguably the best restaurant in Athens. My wife and I have eaten here an several occasions and we have never been disappointed. The food is prepared and presented very well. The salads, tapas and main courses are all quite delicious and the...More

Date of visit: October 2018
Thank Bob C
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2018

Happy birthday! To many more

Reviewed 30 October 2018 via mobile

Loved the food. The flavors were there and the presentation was great. We had the hanger steak, warm chickpea and ocra salad and anchovies bruchettas. I was impressed by the combinations of spices. A perfect crossover between southern and Mediterranean food. As dessert we had...More

Date of visit: October 2018
Thank stalvik
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2018

Thank you for taking the time to review your experience with us! You hit the nail on the head - we love to find that perfect meeting place of the Mediterranean and the South. I apologize it took a lengthy time to receive your food...More

Reviewed 2 October 2018

Peter Dale (owner and chef) came out to greet us. Wait staff were friendly and helpful in deciding wines and menu. I had the Cod which fast a big flaky piece with wonderful flavor. The others had the scallop special and all raved about it....More

Date of visit: October 2018
Thank Southernpoultry
Erin W, General Manager at The National, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2018

I hope you'll make it back again soon! We first opened as a wine bar and restaurant in 2007, so it's essential that our staff has extensive knowledge of our full wine list and the talent to guide you to the perfect choice of food...More

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Questions & Answers
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22 February 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from 806LindaK | Reviewed this property |
No private parking but plenty on the street. Dress code is casual to dressy. Enjoy
10 November 2016|
Response from Erin W | Property representative |
Unfortunately we take Thanksgiving Day off to enjoy our families. We will have regular hours however on Wednesday 11/23 and Friday 11/25.
Andrea V
3 August 2016|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Erin W | Property representative |
We do take reservations! You can call 706-549-3450 or email us. We don't require reservations, but we do recommend making them as our restaurant is small and tends to fill up quickly when it gets busy. However we always... More
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