Gwinnett”s Best Kept Dining Secrets

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Aqua Terra
Seared Scallops by Aqua Terra, Buford

By Rebekah Wortman

We”ve all heard the assumption that there are no exciting dining options outside the city, or in the case of Atlanta, OTP (outside the perimeter).

“Not true!”# say the Gwinnettians!

Gwinnett”s melting pot community has produced some of the most diverse dining experiences available anywhere in the metro Atlanta area, from contemporary to traditional, from elegant to exciting. Whether you”re craving Thai food, modern American, Indian cuisine or a good, old-fashioned BBQ sandwich, chances are that one-of-a-kind taste is available right around the corner.

We polled our staff, readers and Facebook fans to find out where Gwinnett”s truly hidden dining treasures can be discovered. The following are some of your favorites!

Hi Life – Norcross/Peachtree Corners

Hi Life
Hi Life

Hi Life is a local favorite for upscale casual dining in the Norcross-Peachtree Corners area. Offering continental cuisine, Hi Life is open for breakfast and lunch, and features both a bar and patio. They also feature an extensive wine list and have a large room for private parties.

Menu items include jumbo lump crab cake, goat cheese medallions, rack of lamb, peanut crusted pork loin, lobster ravioli, chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya, and numerous additional grilled, seafood, pasta and salad options.

Dress code is casual and reservations are recommended.

3380 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Norcross, GA 30092

Open Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday 5-10 p.m. Closed on Sunday.

Hi Life shared their recipe for Grilled Thai Shrimp with Baby Arugula & Raw Vegetable Salad.

Rico”s World Kitchen – Downtown Buford

Rico's World Kitchen

Rico”s World Kitchen prides itself on introducing its customers to a wide variety of regional and world comfort cuisine and providing a comfortable, homey atmosphere.

Perfect for lunch, the menu features a broad selection of soups, sandwiches and desserts, including fried green tomato salads, apricot ham and brie sandwiches, and strawberry cake.

306 West Main Street,
Buford, GA 30518

Open Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Closed on Monday.

Three Blind Mice – Lilburn
Three Blind Mice is a restaurant, wine bar and market offering diverse cuisine in a warm neighborhood environment.

Menu selections include wild mushroom risotto, slow roasted beet salad, lowcountry shrimp and grits, and Scottish salmon, to name a few. The menu is constantly evolving, so visit often to experience new and exciting creations!

Three Blind Mice also offers wine tastings, beer tastings and live music weekly, as well as menus for both breakfast and lunch.

1066 Killian Hill Road, Ste. 101, Lilburn, GA, 30047

Serving lunch Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday 5-10 p.m. and Sunday from 5-9 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Local Republic – Downtown Lawrenceville

Local Republic
Local Republic

Located in historic downtown Lawrenceville, an area quickly becoming a Gwinnett favorite due to its wide variety of unique dining experiences, Local Republic offers an eclectic menu of burgers, sandwiches and entrees.

Choose anything from fish tacos and shrimp and grits to jerk chicken and local sausage. Patrons are also praising Local Republic because of its extensive beer selection and knowledgeable staff.

225 W Crogan St, Lawrenceville, GA, 30046

Open Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Closed on Sunday.

Dominick”s – Downtown Lawrenceville


If Italian cuisine is what you are craving, Dominick”s is the destination for you, using family recipes and fresh ingredients since 1996.

Located in a renovated space and providing an intimate and elegant atmosphere, Dominick”s is known for large portions, an extensive wine selection, and great food. In addition to traditional Italian dishes, such as chicken scarapiello and eggplant parmigiana, Dominick”s also offers selections of steak, chicken, veal and pork, as well as spinach, Sicilian and caprese salads, tiramisu and cannoli, and their famous garlic bread.

Dominick”s offers an express lunch and has additional locations in Buford and Norcross.

197 W Crogan St., Lawrenceville, GA 30045

Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and serving dinner Monday through Thursday 5 -9:30 p.m., Friday 5 -10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m., and Sunday 5 -9 p.m.

Big Nose Fish-N-Grits – Lawrenceville

If you”re in the mood for authentic battered and fried Southern cuisine, check out Big Nose Fish-N-Grits in Lawrenceville. This family-owned restaurant prepares recipes passed down for generations, and breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees are available.

Choose from classic Southern dishes such as fried catfish, fried chicken or shrimp po” boys accented with traditional Southern sides such as grits, collard greens, fried cabbage and coleslaw, to name a few.

2449 Lawrenceville Hwy, Ste. 101, Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Open Tuesday through Thursday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Aqua Terra – Downtown Buford

Aqua Terra
Aqua Terra

Located in historic downtown Buford, Aqua Terra has become a favorite of Gwinnettians all across the county. Offering a fine dining experience in a rustic atmosphere, Aqua Terra”s menu features#traditional American bistro classics inspired by influences from world cuisine.

Menu features include potato egg rolls, French country salad, seared scallops and a filet tips sandwich. Aqua Terra also boasts a significant wine selection and caters to large parties, private parties and special events.

55 East Main Street, Buford, GA 30518

Open for lunch Monday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and serving dinner Sunday and Monday from 5-9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 5-9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5-10 p.m.

Aqua Terra has shared their recipe for Seared Scallops.

Thai Taste – Loganville

Thai Taste
Thai Taste

Loganville”s Thai Taste serves authentic Thai cuisine, each dish handmade by the resident chef.

The menu features numerous dishes using traditional Thai flavors such as hot chilies, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and coconut milk added to fresh seafood, meat, poultry and vegetables and cooked in a myriad of ways. Choose from a wide variety of curry, noodle, rice and meat based entrees.


1009 Athens Hwy, Suite 1, Loganville, GA 30052

Open Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m., and Sunday 12-9 p.m.

Lunch specials are available weekdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

JW”s Steakhouse – Duluth

JW's Steakhouse

Located at the Marriott on Pleasant Hill Road, JW”s Steakhouse was praised by Gwinnett Magazine readers as a must-experience destination for exquisite food and exemplary service.

Featuring American cuisine, JW”s is open for dinner, and features#generous cuts of choice beef, fresh seafood and savory pasta entrees with a la carte vegetable sides and desserts. They also feature an extensive wine list and seasonal chef specials.

Entrees are priced from $31 to $50. JW”s also caters to large groups and special occasions, and walk-ins are welcome.

1775 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth, GA 30096
Located inside the Marriott Gwinnett Place

Open daily from 6-10 p.m.

Smart casual dress

Umaido – Suwanee


If you are looking for a Japanese dining option outside of the traditional Habachi experience, Umaido is the place. Umaido offers authentic Japanese ramen in a unique noodle house atmosphere. Enjoy your ramen with flavored sake and Japanese beer! Attire is casual and reservations are not needed.

2790 Lawrenceville Suwanee Rd., Ste. 140, Suwanee, GA 30024

Open for lunch Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and serving dinner Monday through Thursday 5-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5-11 p.m., and Sunday 12-9 p.m.

Taqueria Los Hermanos – Lilburn

Taqueria Los Hermanos
Taqueria Los Hermanos

For lovers of Mexican cuisine, our readers recommend Taqueria Los Hermanos. Founded by six brothers – Miguel, Eddie, Raul, Alejandro, Orlando, and Roel – Taqueria Los Hermanos has become famous for their food quality, unique flavors and homemade flan.

Choose from a wide selection of nachos, tacos, burritos in addition to unique dinner entrees, fajitas and desserts. Lunch and dinner menus are available, as well as takeout and catering services. If Lilburn is out of your way, visit additional locations in Tucker, Lawrenceville and Suwanee!

4760 Lawrenceville Hwy, Suite #B-3, Lilburn, GA 30047

Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Need more? May we also suggest –

Papi”s Cuban and Caribbean Grill – Lawrenceville
Grace 17.20 – Peachtree Corners
Holy Smokes BBQ – Dacula
Athens Kouizzna – Discover Mills Mall
Mickey”s Hotdogs – Buford
Cinco”s Mexican Cantina – Suwanee
Bukharaa Indian – Suwanee
L”Thai Organic Cuisine &#Wine Bar – Tucker
Sri Thai – Snellville
Iron Wok China Bistro – Dacula
Niko Niko Sushi – Buford

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