Georgia Tourism announces 2018 “100 Plates Locals Love” list

Calhoun’s Christian & Jakes Bistro makes the list; List included in the new state Culinary Guide, Georgia Eats

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division (GDEcD) today released the 2018 state culinary guide, Georgia Eats. The fourth annual digest-sized guide features the wildly popular “100 Plates Locals Love” list, as well as 10 flavor tours that showcase inspiring dining options, a gallery of the state’s most Instagrammable foods, unique festivals, delectable recipes from a few of Georgia’s celebrated chefs and more.

Calhoun’s Christian & Jakes Bistro, located at 555 Highway 53 in Calhoun, made the list for their Rueben sandwich.

Georgia Eats was initially published in conjunction with the “Year of Culinary” campaign in 2015. The enthusiastic response from visitors led tourism officials to continue publishing it annually. Georgia Eats has become one of the state’s most popular marketing pieces with a print circulation of 187,000 and 62,000 unique page views via

With diverse and flavorful crops, farm-to-table dining, food festivals, cooking schools, award-winning wineries, agritourism trails, talented local chefs, u-pick farms, and much more, Georgia continues to emerge as a leading culinary destination in the South.

“There is no better way to immerse yourself in Georgia’s history and culture than through our unique food and dining offerings,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Whether you’re looking for local favorites or finding the best food festival for a weekend away, Georgia Eats is the perfect guide to delicious experiences you can’t find anywhere else.”

The cover of Georgia Eats features Chef-farmer Matthew Raiford, owner of The Famer and the Larder in downtown Brunswick, Ga. A 2018 James Beard nominee, Chef Raiford’s restaurant gives a whole new meaning to farm-to-table as many of the ingredients come from Raiford’s nearby family farm, Gilliard Farms, which has been in his family since 1874.

“It’s an honor to be featured in the Georgia Eats culinary guide; with the great bounty of food that Georgia has to offer and the openness we have received from farmers, fisherman, and ranchers all over the state, it has made cooking amazing food easy,” said Chef Raiford. “We are looking forward to many more years of bringing good food and community together!”

Since the inaugural issue of Georgia Eats, Georgia Tourism has designated the “100 Plates Locals Love” as a way to provide visitors with locally sourced suggestions. Nominations from around the state are gathered via and evaluated by a panel of judges who curate the list down to the final designees. The list has been likened to recommendations that Georgians would share with family and friends, and it has received rave reviews from visitors as well as restaurant owners. View the full “100 Plates Locals Love” list online at

The Georgia Eats culinary guide is available at the state’s 12 Visitor Information Centers across the state and on the state’s consumer tourism website To learn more about Georgia’s rich culinary experiences through videos, tours and more, visit Share your favorite food finds using #GeorgiaEats.

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About GDEcD

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts events and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.