Peaches, which grow well in the region’s famously hot climate, adorn Georgia’s official quarter and many of its license plates and come in whimsically named varieties like Flavorich, Starlite, Georgiabelle and Juneprince. Fortunately, the bounty of the state’s farmlands finds its way onto the menus and tables of Atlanta’s restaurants and retail outlets.
So, go on. Find your perfect peach dish—or better yet, sample them all for the full Georgia experience. Let a little of the juice run down your chin.
We won’t judge.
Chef Hilary White loves the agrarian traditions of her home state and can often be found working in Serenbe Farms in her non-kitchen time. Her love of farm-fresh ingredients shines through in each and every dish at The Hil, and the peaches she serves are no exception. She roasts them to develop their flavor and caramelize their natural sugar just a bit, serving the slices over a piece of crusty, hearty multigrain bread with sheep’s milk Brebis cheese from nearby Many Fold Farm, then finishes with a drizzle of local honey. The roasted peach toast ($8) could really bookend any summer meal: it’s apropos for either a starter or dessert.The Hil at Serenbe
If peaches and grass-fed beef don’t seem like an obvious match, give this burger ($9.50) a chance. Farm Burger’s chefs turn Pearson’s Farm peaches into chutney and pair the sweet, jammy goodness with their signature beef patty, arugula and Decimal Place Farm’s tart goat cheese. The result tastes like the best pleasures of summer on a soft, white bun. If guests would rather get creative and add the peach chutney to a custom burger (with BBQ sauce? with pimento cheese?), it’s available a la carte as long as the fruit’s in season.Andrew Howard
Apple pie might be all-American, but Georgia’s signature summer dessert is pie of the peach variety. South City Kitchen Pastry Chef Eric Wolitzky creates his version with a flaky crust forged of cream cheese and butter. He makes the filling of slowly roasted peaches folded into heavy cream, eggs, vanilla bean, cinnamon and nutmeg, all of which bake into an impossibly creamy custard. Topped with brown sugar pecan crumble and served with butter pecan ice cream, this decadent pie ($8) is quintessentially Southern and undeniably delicious.Scott Long, The Reynolds Group
The flavor of a juicy, just-picked peach is cause enough for celebration, and what better way than a boozy treatment of Georgia’s state fruit? Lure, a favorite outpost for fresh seafood, has a playful beverage program (including house-carbonated sodas, bottled with liquor), and its punches, served in vintage silver bowls, give barmen the opportunity to have some fun with the season’s ingredients. This Italian-influenced punch ($50)—which serves five to eight revelers—combines puréed peaches with prosecco, peach Schnapps and a bit of ruby port for a drink that’s fizzy, sweet and refreshing.Fifth Group Restaurants
The tradition of preserving fresh fruits to enjoy out of season goes back ages, but we can almost guarantee that this delicious peach and ginger jam ($13) with a spicy kick won’t last long. The team at Preserving Place, which offers classes to teach curious students how to “put up” produce at home, uses minimal sugar in this recipe and keeps the cooking process traditional and slow to allow the peaches to caramelize, which also eliminates the need for added pectin. Ginger and red chiles produce a zippy kick on the finish, which gives the jam an unexpected depth. The options for how to use the sweet spread are nearly endless: smear on biscuits, use it to glaze pork or chicken, pour it over a block of cream cheese, dilute it with vinegar and olive oil to make a bright salad dressing or shake it with some liquor for a craft-style cocktail.Clara Chambers
MORE SUMMER TRAVEL QUESTS
43) Eat Atlanta's Best Peach Dishes on a Peach Crawl