Ryman Recommends: Patio Round Up



The weather is heating up, and after weeks of rain, it seems we have fast forwarded straight to summertime. Not that Ryman is complaining. This dog lives for an evening spent begging for leftovers lounging on a patio as the sun sets and the heat of the day cools off. Ryman spent some time rounding up all of his favorite patios around town. In no particular order:

Ted’s Most Best

The obvious front runner for the Athens Patio Scene. This pizza place has ample room to spread out and enjoy a cold Creature Comforts beer or a crisp Vinho Verde while you wait for a pizza and garlic knots. What started as a bocce ball court is now the most popular sandbox in downtown, giving parents the opportunity to throw a couple back without having to worry about their youngsters – awaiting some sandy pizza crusts from tiny hands is what keeps Ryman coming back.


The National

What it lacks in size, The National’s outdoor dining makes up for in flavor and people watching. With just a few tables outside, the seating feels casual and intimate while you enjoy some of the freshest, most delicious dining in town.

Photo via Awesome Athens


Ike & Jane

Ryman has sung the praises of Ike & Jane on many occasions. Its cute picnic tables with umbrellas make it the perfect spot to enjoy a sandwich and an Arnold Palmer on even the hottest of days.

Normal Bar

It’s a dog party every night of the week at Normal Bar, and Ryman never misses a good soirée. Sip on a Loving Cup or a Hecho en Mexico on the back porch, and soak up all the townie goodness that makes Athens the special place that it is.

Normal Bar Back Patio

Pulaski Heights BBQ

Pork, pooches, and patios go together like peanut butter and jelly. Pulaski Heights has ample outdoor seating to enjoy the roar of the train and the scents of the outdoor smokehouse. Ryman recently tried the new Cuban sandwich on the menu. Good lordy, it’s good! He has a new go-to when burnt ends aren’t on the menu.

Cuban Sandwich at Pulaski Heights


For brunch on a Saturday or Sunday, there is nowhere better than Heirloom Cafe. The Love on a Biscuit rotates weekly, and every week it is inexplicably better than the week before. The coffee is strong and the patio is peaceful. What more could a pampered pooch ask for before 11am?

Love on a Biscuit


The most historic of our featured patios, the 5&10 porch is covered, so you are safe from any sudden Southern thunderstorms making their way through town on a summer evening. Warning (maybe from personal experience…): 5&10′s porch is so fabulous, an hour can easily turn into 3, and 1 bottle of wine can quickly become 1 too many bottles of wine. But a life filled with “one too manys” is a life well lived in Ryman’s book.

Photo via MW Eats

Georgia Theatre Rooftop / Branded Butcher Rooftop

While what was the best view in Athens is now blocked with a monstrous student housing development (Don’t get Ryman started on this topic), the Georgia Theatre roof is the best spot to grab lunch, an after work beer, or a late night show. The food matches the atmosphere with Branded Butcher at the helm. Fans of the original Farm Cart (ME!) will be thrilled to see the Bahn Mi sandwich and burger on the menu.

Georgia Theatre Roof (pre-monstrosity) Photo via The Georgia Theatre


The Globe

The Globe only has 4 tables outside, but in the center of town on the corner of Lumpkin & Clayton, they provide some of the best people watching in Athens. Ryman likes to get a couple Twin Pine burgers and a cold brew and chill out for the day.


Seabear has quickly become a weekly ritual in our house. Warm evenings amble on when sitting on this porch located at the hopping Bottleworks Building. The inventive cocktail list is a perfect accompaniment to the fresh seafood. Ryman is partial to the fried clam strips and the chicken steam buns, but everything on the menu is fabulous.

Photo via Seabear

Dozen Beausoleils, please.




Ryman Recommends: White Violet

We all know Athens is famous for its music, but once and for all, can publications stop referencing The B-52′s and REM as if they are the only bands that have come from our great city? In the last 3 decades, Athens has been churning out incredible music that goes far beyond the pop sensations of the 1980′s and 90′s. One of these bands is the 4 piece Athens-based White Violet. Fronted by Nate Nelson, an Athens local who has had his hand in all aspects of our music scene since his early teens, White Violet creates beautiful, dreamy, almost haunting music. Their new album, Stay Lost, out on Normaltown Records, is out today, and it is the perfect album to soundtrack your autumn cookouts or mountain road trips.

White Violet will be celebrating their cd release today by supporting Pure Bathing Culture at Normaltown Hall (399 Meigs St.) tonight. Being the dog about town that he is, Ryman wouldn’t miss the show, so while you are there, be sure to look down for our furry mascot and give him some love. Doors at 8:30 $8

Ryman Recommends: Ike & Jane

photo 5

Sadly, those of the canine breed are not welcome in many dining establishments, so Ryman has become somewhat of an Athens patio connoisseur. One of his favorite patios during the weekday lunch rush is in Normaltown on Prince Ave. at Ike & Jane. The adorable bakery is known around town for their creative donuts – Lucky Charms topped, Pepper Jelly filled, and “The Elvis”: Banana, Bacon & Peanut Butter just to name a few  - but it’s what this cafe is pumping out after the morning hours that gets Ryman all riled up.

Patio Life

Celebrating their 5th year of business in Athens, Ike & Jane makes some of the best sandwiches in town (See the menu HERE). Every time I bring a friend, and they ask “So, what’s good here?”, I usually find myself rattling off the merits of every single menu item. However, if I had to save only 1 of their sandwiches from a burning building, I would have to go with the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Pulled Pork from a cafe specializing in donuts? I know. I was skeptical too at first, and then I tried it. The pulled pork is sweet with the tiniest hint of spice and topped with a perfect slaw, all on a soft roll. The meat is so juicy you’ll have it dripping down your arms while you find yourself cursing the 1-ply napkins and simultaneously thanking the pig gods from above.

Picture via Ike&Jane

And if you’re like Ryman, and breakfast & lunch just isn’t enough to satisfy you, Ike & Jane partnered up with their neighbor (and Ryman’s favorite bar), Normal Bar to offer Ike @ Nite. Dinner Thursday – Saturday that can be enjoyed on the patio or delivered to Normal Bar. The menu is simple: insanely delicious burgers, hotdogs, Frito Pie, and a dessert.

This bakery+cafe is quintessential Athens with a friendly staff, amazing, creative food, and most importantly, a great patio.

Ike & Jane Cafe+Bakery

1307 Prince Ave.

Athens, GA 30606

Monday- Friday 6:30am-5:00pm

Saturday & Sunday 8:00am -2:00pm

Ike @ Nite: Thursday-Saturday 6-10pm

Ryman Recommends: Shots of Whiskeytown

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, if I could magically make any band get back together, it would be Whiskeytown.

Well, I am about to get a glimpse into my dreams. Tonight at The Green Room current and former members of Futurebirds are joined with various other talented Athens musicians to pay homage to Whiskeytown’s breakthrough album, Strangers Almanac. They will be playing the album from start to finish, and I will be in the front row singing along all night.

Show starts at 10:00 pm at The Green Room (175 N. Lumpkin St.)

Ryman Recommends: The what to do and see in Athens from a real dog about town

With the launch of our new website, we are also launching our new series “Ryman Recommends: The what to do and see in Athens from a real dog about town. It combines our two favorite things, Athens & Athens’ most famous boxer and Hip Pops mascot, Ryman Fontaine.

The hardest working dog in pop business

Hip Pops could have been started in any city, but we picked Athens, because, simply said, it is the BEST. We love every inch of this town, and want all of our pop fans in on our fabulous finds. Each week, pup-extraordinaire, Ryman, will showcase an Athens gem – be it a great restaurant, an upcoming show, a favorite swimming hole – the inspiration is limitless. We hope you enjoy our favorite spots as much as we do! Ryman + The Hip Pops Team

Popping it all over Athens and northeast Georgia.

Contact us about catering your next event!