Georgia Tour Company has offered walking tours featuring Senoia filming sites for several years but only recently introduced their twice-weekly food tours.
The two-and-a-half hour Senoia Small Bites Food Tour serves as a welcome to and a relatively quick overview of the city, according to Tour Company owner Julie Brown.
While leading guests from eatery to eatery, the tour guide points out interesting spots and regales tourists with Senoia history pertaining to local buildings and film-making. The walking tour gives participants an overall lay-of-the-land that helps them navigate the area through the remainder of their visit, particularly when it comes to choosing where to dine, according to Brown.
The food tour wraps up at Georgia Mercantile, on Main Street, the sister company to Georgia Tour Company and located next door. Brown’s first business, the Mercantile opened in 2012 and offers Georgia-made products including local jams, honey, and barbecue sauces.
“We usually have a sample of our own Zombie Jolt coffee, made especially for the Mercantile after filming of ‘The Walking Dead’ occurred in this very location,” says Brown.
The progressive meal winds through town as it makes stops at local restaurants, a bakery, and a bed-and-breakfast. Rain or shine, tours begin at Georgia Tour Company on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. At the first restaurant, diners enjoy an appetizer; the next few stops feature house specialties, and the tour winds down with dessert to top off the equivalent of a full meal.
While there are other fine restaurants in town, like Nic and Norman’s and Maguire’s Irish Pub, Brown concentrates her tour on smaller or newer establishments usually not as well known.
Whether visiting for a small bite or a full meal, Senoia enjoys a food scene that most towns its size would envy. For a taste, turn the page.
Senoia Coffee and Café
David and Suzanne Pengally entered the new millennium by opening this corner café at 1 Main Street on Jan. 1, 2000. Among the first to renovate a downtown building in Senoia, the couple operated their café for 16 years before selling to Brent and April Anderson in 2016.
Senoia Coffee and Café specializes in coffee creations and breakfast, which they serve all day. Their menu also features lunch items, soups and a quiche of the day. They host private events, including wine and painting parties. Their menu includes Grits with Bacon Jam and Spicy Pimento Cheese; the popular jam is also featured in their grilled cheese and bacon jam sandwich.
“These grits are comfort food,” says Sandy, a food tour participant visiting from Fayetteville, Ark. “If I was depressed, I could eat these and be happy.”
Open since January 2018, Jacob’s Table serves fresh, healthy and fun fare that’s locally sourced. The family business is named for everyone in the Orme family: Jules, Abbey, Chase, Olivia, and Brian, whose first letters spell Jacob.
Located at 15 Barnes Street, the restaurant’s first year in business coincided with the arrival of Senoia’s new block of retail shops and loft apartments. Kicking off their business with a bang, Jacob’s Table took home top honors at last April’s Taste of Senoia with their Beer and Cheese Soup.
Jacob’s Table specializes in paninis, flatbreads, wraps, soups, salads, and smoothies. Their Buzzbars are an “adults only” treat—the world’s first gourmet line of ice cream and sorbet bars infused with alcohol. Varieties include Mojito Madness and Bourbon Street Chocolate.
Hilary White was inspired by the fresh farm produce surrounding her as she grew up in rural Shelby, Ohio. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., she worked at 103 West, an upscale restaurant in Atlanta’s Buckhead community, and eventually became its first female executive chef. In 2007, she opened her first restaurant, The Hil, at Serenbe. Ten years later, she opened Bistro Hilary, a fine dining establishment on Senoia’s new Barnes Street block. A member of Southern Foodways Alliance, Chef Hilary sources fresh food from local farmers for her seasonal menus.
Brunch, lunch and dinner are served at the bistro, and the bar always features one locally brewed beer and custom-made cocktails. The menu includes everything from Beef Bourguignon and Mediterranean Wood Grilled Chicken to Le Cordon Bleu and Trout Meuniere Amandine.
Katie Lou’s Cafe
Bill and Claudia Rutledge and their daughter, Jenny, opened Katie Lou’s Café on Senoia’s Main Street in 2012 and named it for the couple’s granddaughters Kate and Louise. Their made-from-scratch menu features Southern flavors and a few Southwestern ones reminiscent of Bill’s New Mexico upbringing. They specialize in slow-smoked barbecue, seasonal vegetables, and fresh salads and offer breakfast all day long. There’s also a good selection of beer and house wine and, beginning in December 2018, they now serve mimosas and a nice Bloody Mary.
The barbecue sauces at Katie Lou’s include Bill’s own 45 Sauce, a red sauce he concocted with a friend, according to food tour guide Julie Brown. “It was created after Bill and his friend, who both enjoyed cooking with a cocktail, got lost in the spreadsheet and landed on the perfect flavor,” says Brown. “They couldn’t figure out which evolution it was, so they settled on 45.”
Cutie Pies & Cakery
Scott and Theresa Young opened Cutie Pies & Cakery in downtown Senoia in 2009. Their shop caught the attention of The Walking Dead’s craft services during Season Two of the hit show when reps came searching for a cake for an event. The relationship between Cutie Pies and TWD has been ongoing ever since as they provide cakes and other goodies for cast birthdays and show events. Their delicacies have served as show props, including Carol’s Cookies, Maggie’s Apple Pie and the bread for Dwight’s and Daryl’s sandwiches.
Cutie Pies makes cakes to order along with other specialty treats, from red velvet or key lime cupcakes to cookie sandwiches and all in-between. Their cheesecake flavors include pumpkin, Oreo and caramel apple. They also prepare breakfast and dinner casseroles to order.
The Veranda Historic Bed and Breakfast Inn
As former guests of The Veranda Historic Bed & Breakfast Inn, Laura and Rick Reynolds fell in love with the idea of becoming innkeepers, and in 2005, they purchased the inn and made their dream come true.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1906 Greek Revival originally served as the Holberg Hotel. With 8,000 square feet, the inn features a wrap-around veranda and nine guest bedrooms with original Georgia heart pine floors, ornate tin ceilings, chandeliers, and fireplaces. An overnight stay includes a four-course breakfast, but you don’t have to be a registered guest to sit at the table. Secure your spot by calling in for a breakfast reservation.
Breakfast features fresh fruit and yogurt, egg dishes, pancakes or French toast, pork loin, bacon, and ham. On occasion, breakfast fried chicken, shrimp, and grits, or a breakfast casserole may find its way on the menu. The inn’s homemade peach is a Georgia-grown dessert.