Dig in: 7 flavorful restaurants to try near Columbus

Credit: Courtesy of Epic Restaurant

Credit: Courtesy of Epic Restaurant

Whether you're planning a getaway to get a bit of history or in search of old-fashioned charm and down-home traditions, Columbus, Georgia, makes the perfect Southern pit stop.

You'll want to be sure to sample some local cuisine. And with such a wide selection of cafes and restaurants, you're sure to find just the thing to whet your appetite.

These top-rated spots around Columbus and the rustic neighboring community of Pine Mountain, will surely make your dining experience worth every penny.

So, the next time you’re in the area, check out these local favorites and see for yourself what all the fuss is about:

Epic Restaurant

1201 Front Ave., Suite E, Columbus, 706-507-9909, www.epiccuisine.com, Hours: Tuesday through Thursday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday: 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Closed Sunday and Monday

Located along the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Epic Restaurant offers an elevated dining experience with varied culinary options. While you dine, take in the natural scenery along the river as well as the stunning local artwork lining the walls.

Fox's Pizza Pine Mountain

703 Gardenview Dr., Pine Mountain, 706-663-2002, www.foxspizza.com, Hours: Sunday through Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

You haven't experienced pizza until you've tasted the hand-tossed pies at Fox's Pizza Pine Mountain. They use 100% real cheese, a wide variety of toppings and their special award-winning sauce to create a truly delicious slice. And if someone in your family doesn't feel like pizza, Fox's also offers specialty hoagies, wedge sandwiches, strombolis and salads.

Credit: Courtesy of Cricket's Restaurant

Credit: Courtesy of Cricket's Restaurant

Cricket's Restaurant

14661 Georgia Highway 18 W, Pine Mountain,706-663-8136, www.cricketsrestaurant.com, Hours: Monday through Thursday: 1 a.m. to 11 a.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday through Sunday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Savor the taste of authentic New Orleans cuisine at this family-owned restaurant right in Pine Mountain. From jambalaya and red beans and rice, to mouth-watering crawfish ettouffé, you'll enjoy every bite. If you can't take the heat, don't worry: all foods are carefully seasoned.

Oyster House

110 S. Main St., Pine Mountain, 706-489-3233, www.oysterhousepinemountain.com, Hours: Sunday through Thursday: Noon to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday: Noon to 10 p.m.

This 30-year-old family-friendly location offers a full menu featuring steaks, seafood, chicken, a children's menu and even oyster shooters, all in the heart of downtown Pine Mountain. Adults can enjoy happy hour from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, featuring everything from craft beers to cocktails.

Credit: Courtesy of Callaway Resort & Gardens

Credit: Courtesy of Callaway Resort & Gardens

The Piedmont Dining Room at Callaway Gardens

4500 Southern Pine Drive, Pine Mountain, 706-663-6750, www.callawaygardens.com, Hours: Daily breakfast: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Daily lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Daily dinner: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Located within Callaway Gardens, you won't need garden admission to enjoy the delicious fare at The Piedmont Dining Room. From fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese fritters, to Creole shrimp and smoked pancetta, there's something for everyone at this highly-rated eatery.

Eatz Grill

100 North Commerce St., Pine Mountain, 706-489-3244, www.eatzgrill.com, Hours: Monday through Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday:11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Closed on Sunday

At Eatz Grill, you'll please everyone in your family with their varied menu and mouth-watering selections, ranging from steaks and seafood to burgers and fries. Known for their unbeatable hot dogs and burgers, you can't go wrong with choices like the Jamming Junk Yard Dog and Magic Portabella Burger.

Credit: Courtesy of Your Pie, LLC

Credit: Courtesy of Your Pie, LLC

Your Pie Columbus Pizza Restaurant

5592-L Whitesville Road, Columbus, 706-507-1743, www.yourpie.com, Hours: Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

At Your Pie Columbus, you become the chef building your own personalized pizza. This whimsical restaurant is perfect for families with children, and offers an exciting experience creating pizza using hand-tossed dough, fresh ingredients and a wide selection of vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options.

One-tank trips is an occasional series from The Atlanta Journal Constitution that highlights places you can visit on – you guessed it – one tank of gas. Contact Stephanie Toone at stephanie.toone@ajc.com with questions or ideas.