By Mike May

Many restaurants in the U.S. will state that customers must wear a shirt and shoes in order to be served.  Well, when you visit The Dillard House restaurant (; 706-746-5348; 768 Franklin Street, Dillard, Georgia), a healthy appetite is also an absolutely necessity.  Otherwise, you are wasting your time and money.

Besides local residents in Dillard, Georgia, The Dillard House is a very popular dining destination for visiting tourists.

Rock House building

Located in the extreme northeastern section of Georgia, The Dillard House is not far from the Georgia-North Carolina state line.  Besides a guaranteed good meal, its current location gives visitors great views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, at all times of the year.

The dishes at The Dillard House are homemade and served “family-style.”  It’s Southern cooking at its finest.  By “family-style,” it means that if you want more food, they’ll bring it to your table, at no extra charge.  That’s the case for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – 365 days a year.  Each item on the menu at The Dillard House comes from a recipe that has been passed along from one generation of the Dillard family to the next.  The Dillard House has been serving three meals a day since it opened more than a century ago – starting in 1917.

To pinpoint certain items on the menu would be doing a disservice to all other items on the menu since every item is tasty and delicious.  But, it’s worth noting that the fried chicken may be the best in the South.  The vegetables – which include potatoes au gratin, green beans, creamed corn, steamed broccoli, glazed carrots, Ford Hook lima beans, and Harvard beets — are as good, if not better, than what your grandmother cooks.  The sweet iced tea

gets better with every sip.  And, the breakfast may be among the nation’s best – definitely second-to-none south of the Mason-Dixon line.  Yes, it’s that good!

“Our family prides itself on serving only the freshest food which is prepared on site and cooked daily,” said Louise Dillard, owner, The Dillard House.  “We are truly a farm-to-table restaurant.”

At The Dillard House, the objective at this family-owned and operated restaurant is for each guest to never leave hungry.  To date, that mission has been accomplished.

One of the philosophies at The Dillard House is rather simple and straightforward:  “As long as you keep asking for more, we’ll keep it coming.”

If you happen to visit The Dillard House during a holiday, you will see a special holiday menu.

In addition to providing a first-class and filling meal, the goal is to provide the best dining experience possible.

Not surprisingly, restaurant critics at Southern Living Magazine have showered The Dillard House with some well-deserved recognition, two Reader Choice Awards — one for Best Breakfast/Brunch Restaurant and one for Southern Favorite Restaurant.  The Dillard House Restaurant is also Zagat rated.

If you want to enjoy the complete experience at The Dillard House, you can spend the night there, as well.  The various forms of accommodation include modern rooms, quaint cottages, secluded and romantic chalets, and the original rock house rooms.  Making a reservation is suggested by calling 1-800-541-0671.

On your next trip to North Georgia, do yourself a gastronomical favor and include a visit to The Dillard House.  Make sure you wear a shirt and shoes.  And, bring along a healthy appetite, too.