We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“hometown favorite”
Review of Heirloom Cafe

Heirloom Cafe
Ranked #20 of 441 Restaurants in Athens
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$6 - US$30
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 9 August 2018

As the name suggests, this place started out serving up excellent sophisticated Southern fare. For the first couple of years, it was, all things considered, our favorite restaurant in Athens. Then a few years ago, it took a turn in a fusion direction with Asian accents in many of its offerings. Think kimchee mac and cheese, for example. That was a big disappointment to us because we aren’t into fusion cuisine. So we stopped coming here until recently.

We’re delighted that the restaurant has returned to its roots, serving the sort of food that drew us to it originally. At our latest lunch, I had possibly the best reuben sandwich I’ve had anywhere. It rivals the one I’ve had at the James Beard Award winning General Muir in Atlanta. The standout feature of Heirloom’s is the house-made pastrami. Often in my experience the pastrami is dry and sort of crumbly. But here they leave enough of the fat on to keep the meat moist and very flavorful. Good stuff!

My wife had one of her favorites, the pimento cheese sandwich. The cheese is laced with an onion relish that she really enjoyed.

For dessert, we shared what they call s’mores in a jar, which was a chocolate pot au crème, with graham cracker crumbs and Italian meringue. The pot au crème was a little stiffer than the best we’ve had but that was a minor lapse. The dessert menu included about half a dozen items, all so appealing that we had a hard time making up our minds.

Athens is the kind of place where farm-to-table really works. It’s surrounded for miles around by thriving small farms, several of which sell at the weekly Athens Farmers Market, recently named by Southern Living Magazine as one of the South’s best. Local restaurants benefit from all those growers and Heirloom partners with them to very good advantage.

Unlike some reviewers, we don’t find the restaurant especially pricey for what it offers. Our two sandwiches, two glasses of tea and a dessert came to $33 and change before tip. That’s not at all out of line with what we’re used to paying at comparable restaurants here and elsewhere.

We’re very pleased that Heirloom has gone back to its original concept. We look forward to being regulars again.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Leon G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (146)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

6 - 10 of 146 reviews

Reviewed 26 July 2018

This restaurant was recommended by a local resident. It is located in the Historic Boulevard neighbourhood. It did not have as many vegetarian dishes as I expected.
For a main course I had a choice of an omelette or a Veggie Burger. The menu is divided into Cheese Plate, Firsts, and Seconds. According to a publication the Heirloom's mission is to create community, celebrate local farmers, and tell a story through food. They source as many of their ingredients as possible from local farmers, producers, and artisans.
We selected an Urban Tree Cidery cider to slake our thirst.
My husband's Pastrami Reuben, which contained housemade pastrami, was served in Luna rye. It also contained sauerkraut, 1000 island dressing, and swiss cheese.
My omelette contained mushrooms and other veggies, and was served with crisps.
Both meals were very good. Our server was knowledgeable, helpful, and attentive.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank chasevalley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2018

Food- the black bean humus was amazing, as was the rest of the food we ordered (1 appetizer, 1 entree, 1 sandwich). The black bean sandwich was also really good.

Drinks- The rosemary old fashioned was really good- unique but not too "out there". There was also a mezcal grapefruit cocktail that was a perfect combination of flavors!

Service- The server came to our table and asked if either of us were meat eaters before reciting the specials, because the specials that day were meat. I found that great! Why waste time reciting specials if the patrons are unlikely to even consider ordering them?

The only bad thing about going to Heirloom was the prices. They were a little higher than what I expected, especially for a "cafe". The prices weren't unreasonable enough for my rating to be 4/5 instead of 5/5 stars though!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Huey L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2018

Location is awesome, atmosphere is better. It’s a converted gas station with the garage bay open for a spring brunch, really neat - with a shiny 1950s Ford pickup outside! Food was awesome (‘The Omelet’ is highly recommended), service was outstanding, everybody was friendly.

Thank JimmyR81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2018

Usually service is prompt & efficient; not this time. Perhaps it was because our group numbered 8. I’ll go back, but next time in a smaller group.

Thank Jenny C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Heirloom Cafe also viewed


Been to Heirloom Cafe? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing