Although it seems like 2020 was the year when all things came to a screeching halt, the town of Hartwell, Georgia experienced an inspiring boom in new businesses last year. While the world was learning to adjust to many new challenges, this small town knew that staying local was the best way to combat the “new normal.”
This ‘Welcome To Hartwell’ mural is painted on the newly remodeled Little Japan restaurant.
If you haven’t been to Hartwell in a while, you are going to be very pleased with the variety of things to do. With so many dining, shopping, and playing options, you don’t want to miss this charming town on Lake Hartwell.
Where to eat in Hartwell, Ga
The biggest changes in Hartwell have taken place in the charming downtown area where you’ll now find plenty of dining options to suit a variety of tastes. However, your options are not limited to the square. Here are all the places to go out to eat in Hartwell.
Downtown Hartwell Dining Options
Discover fresh local cuisine, friendly hospitality, and extraordinary options from our local restaurants in downtown Hartwell.
This sushi roll from Little Japan is all of the things sushi fans love.
Boasting some of the best Sushi in the area, Little Japan is a culinary gem of downtown Hartwell. With locations in both Royston and Hartwell, you’re never too far from great-tasting authentic cuisine. With appetizers, lunches, and dinner specials, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Eat-in or conveniently order online for the Little Japan experience!
Sample beer and cider at Southern Hart Brewing Co.
Souther Hart Brewing Co
When asking the Hartwell locals for recommendations for the best brewery in the area, the answer will be a resounding “Southern Hart!” Situated in convenient downtown Hartwell, this is a hot spot for evening and weekend activity around the square. Combining an urban industrial style with sweet southern charm, Southern Hart has truly stolen the heart of our community. Featuring live music, craft beers on tap, brushes and brew events, private party hosting, and fabulous pub food be sure to add this delightful spot to your must-visit list!
Step inside and experience exquisite Greek and Italian cuisine from the friendly staff at Downtown Cafe. The ambiance is set for a true, authentic dining experience. Select from a variety of Greek or Italian options that are prepared daily using the freshest of ingredients. Sit down with the family or drop in and take a seat at the bar. We recommend the gyros and Mediterranean pizza!
With a burger named after every state, you are sure to find something unique to taste at Iconic Burger.
New York Pizza
Are you craving a New York style pie? Then look no further than downtown Hartwell! The friendly team at New York Pizza makes your craving dreams come true! Select a delicious specialty pizza or build your own. Add an appetizer (or two). Ordering is easy via phone, online, or walk-in. Conveniently located in downtown Hartwell, this delightful pizza shop is destined to be a favorite!
Described as “New Wave American Cuisine,” Rolling Chefs offers uniquely crafted options for the local pallet. From steaks, salmon, and shrimp, to some of the best street tacos around, discover all the options this downtown business has to offer. With vegetarian options, weekend specials, new creations, and more, Rolling Chefs truly offers something for everyone in the family. From date night to a family outing, to catering your special or corporate event, don’t leave Rolling Chefs off your list!
Around Town Dining Options
Enjoy local favorites just beyond the historic downtown area. Stroll around town for exciting dining options.
Blazer’s Hot Wings
Recently relocating to a larger space, Blazer’s Hot Wings of Hartwell boasts some of the best…you guessed it…hot wings in the area! A local favorite, there’s always fabulous food being prepared by the friendly team at Blazers. But they’re more than just hot wings. There are great options for the whole family including Burgers and Hotdogs, Seafood, Sandwiches, Apps, and much more. Whether ordering carryout to watch the big game at home or seeking a fun atmosphere for the family, add Blazer’s of Hartwell to your to-do list!
Sip lakeside at Boathouse Grill at Hartwell Marina
Looking to dine on the water? You’ll love the casual, beachy atmosphere at the Boathouse Grill. Conveniently located at the Hartwell Marina, this fun spot is always lively and entertaining. A summer favorite for open-air seating, the Boathouse Grill features the best Patty Melt around. Stop in for sandwiches, salads, wraps, their signature bird dog, and much more. Enjoy live music and lake views from this Hartwell favorite.
Kobe Express Japanese Steak House
Located just beyond downtown, Kobe Express is your destination for Hibachi-style meat and veggie dishes. Discover hibachi and teriyaki meats, vegetables and rice, sushi, appetizers, and salads. Have your entree prepared at the hibachi grill area, choosing from fresh chicken, steak, shrimp, and vegetables. Kobe Express boasts its secret recipes and uses only the freshest ingredients.
Located in the same space that used to be Fletcher’s, Casa Grande still serves their traditional southern buffet on the weekends.
Located just outside historic downtown, Casa Grande is your destination for #TacoTuesday any day of the week! With a full menu of delightful appetizers, entrees, meals, and more, their classic menu is packed with made-from-scratch cuisine. Daily specials incorporate seasonal, local ingredients. Feeding a crowd? Their event space is perfect for large groups hungry for a fabulous Mexican dish.
Speaking of #TacoTuesday, travel over to Benson street for a great option for any occasion. El Parian was voted Best Mexican Restaurant and Best Margarita by the Hartwell Sun People’s Choice for 2020. So bring your friends and family and stop in for a wonderful atmosphere, friendly staff, and amazing food.
Last, but certainly not least, of our Mexican restaurant options is La Cabana. Situated just across the street from Ingles Markets on Old Highway 29 is a gem for the whole family to enjoy. With lunch specials, great dinners, and happy hour Saturday – Thursday, you must try La Cabana!
Knotheads Bar & Grill
Knotheads is a fantastic dinner option just outside of downtown. But this veteran owned restaurant is more than just great steak! Enjoy options for every taste. Grab a lunch special during your lunch break or wind down from the week with one of their fabulous drink specials. You can’t go wrong with Knotheads Bar & Grill!
Where to Shop in Downtown Hartwell
Now that your tastebuds are happy and your stomach is full, discover some of the top places to shop around Hartwell! Treat your date to a special gift. There are some great shopping options on the square and beyond!
Browse the market and enjoy a cup of coffee at Market 50.
With sandwiches, coffee, gifts, and more, Market 50 is your place to shop downtown. Just in case you work up an appetite, Market 50 offers scrumptious made-to-order deli options, coffees, and delicious treats. Explore the dessert corner for your sweet tooth. Shop the gift store for the perfect option for any occasion. From canned goods to candies, hand-crafted designs to home goods, Market 50 is a must-see when in Hartwell.
G’s Southern Traditions
When shopping for the perfect gift, look to G’s Southern Traditions. Offering custom embroidery and monogram services, G’s is a go-to for apparel and gifts. Discover on-trend clothing, fabulous accessories, heavenly scents, home goods, and more when you stop by G’s Southern Traditions.
Tena’s Fine Jewelry
For fine diamonds and jewelry, make Tena’s the first stop on your list. Wow your loved one with exquisite options from Tena’s Fine Jewelry of Hartwell. Whether you’re preparing to pop the question or celebrate your unending love, Tena’s offers stunning diamonds that will leave her speechless! You’ll also find an incredible collection of jewelry, watches, estate jewelry, and much more.
Red Barn Canvas
Design your story on canvas! Red Barn Canvas is the perfect option for thoughtful keepsake gifts and home decor. Featuring custom wood art, anniversary/occasion prints, growth charts, wallpaper & decals, wrapping paper, photo prints, and custom options, Red Barn Canvas takes your design to the next level. Enjoy your photos, memories, and mementos for years to come.
Going Native Outfitters
For hunters, preppers, and arms enthusiasts, Going Native Outfitters offers a unique selection of apparel, hunting, and prepping supplies. Shop tactical gear and a variety of new and antique guns and knives. Make sure to ask questions about some of their rare finds – these guys really know their stuff!
It just isn’t a trip to Hartwell without perusing the styles of Empire South. Offering stylish men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel, Empire South is perfect for back-to-school, holidays, special occasions, or just-because shopping dates! With on-trend styles, you’ll look and feel your best in the latest options from Empire South.
Experience modern home decor, clothing, and accessories at Provision.
Be swept away into your dream home when you step into Provision of downtown Hartwell. One of the area’s newest shops, Provision offers home & lifestyle options to turn your house into your dream space. Shop home decor, clothing, accessories, and gifts. Be inspired by the stunning displays as you escape to this enjoyable shopping experience.
Browse home decor and handmade art at 12 South Artisan Gallery
Twelve South Artisan Market
Shop creative and local items from our incredibly talented local artisans. Twelve South features fabulous vendor booths of home decor, clothing, accessory, and gift options. Freshen up your home with new decor, shop oil paintings, even sign up for art classes! This artisan experience is a must-see for all visiting downtown.
Winnie J’s Boutique
Winnie J’s Boutique specializes in women’s apparel, accessories, and home goods. Offering a mix of breezy bohemian pieces with touches of southern charm, it’s easy to see why Winnie J’s is a Hartwell favorite. Shop gifts for a loved one or grab some items for yourself! Enjoy a day out on the town with a stop at Winnie J’s Boutique.
Porch & Home
Porch & Home is a casual living store featuring home accessories, furniture, lamps, mirrors, art, signs, and more. You’re sure to find unique gifts for entertaining, frames, candles, napkins, cards, soaps, and bath balms, garden decor, birdhouses & wind chimes. Porch & Home was inspired by the idea that your surroundings bring joy and create happiness for you, your family, and your friends.
Things To Do in Hartwell, GA
Downtown Hartwell Activity Options
There’s more to Hartwell than fabulous restaurants and our retail shop experience. Discover the rich opportunities our little town has to offer!
Historic Hartwell Walking Tour
Did you know that Hartwell has a historic walking tour? This is a self-guided tour that covers just over a mile of our quaint southern town. The tour includes 32 homes, businesses, churches, and landmarks within the historic downtown area. Stroll at your own pace and take in all of the sights and sounds!
Walking tour brochures are available at the Hart County Museum & Chamber of Commerce, located in the historic Teasley-Holland House (31 East Howell Street) or at the Hartwell Downtown Development Authority Office (111 West Franklin Street).
Tour of Sailboats
Have you seen the colorful sailboat statues located around downtown Hartwell? These boats began popping up in 2018 as a project to benefit the local arts center.
From the arts center to the Chamber of Commerce, to local businesses, we break down the location of these sailboats in our Hartwell Sailboat tour guide.
Chucker’s Axe Throwing
Unwind, let out some steam, and enjoy a unique experience with friends and family at Chucker’s Axe Lounge in downtown Hartwell. The ax-throwing trend is sweeping the nation, and our little town is proud to experience the thrill right here downtown. No experience required. Stop by, bring a friend or two, and enjoy an evening of ax-throwing fun!
Hart County Community Theater
Enjoy the arts in motion at the Hart County Community Theater. Discover the talent of our local residents as you enjoy a play or musical performance by a talented cast and crew. Situated in historic downtown, this local gem features actors and actresses of all ages. For family-friendly entertainment, stop by and support not only the local theater but the wonderful talent behind the scenes and on-stage.
High Cotton Music Hall
An intimate listening room for the serious music lover, the High Cotton Music Hall exists to offer talented musicians a venue to perform for those who truly enjoy live music. With a team dedicated to providing the best experience for both the performers and the audience, the hall is a music venue for nationally touring artists as well as regional and local musicians. Come out and enjoy the show, savor the warm, eclectic ambiance that only a 100-year-old room can provide, and be prepared to fall in love with High Cotton Music Hall!
Located just next door to Elizabeth Cakes, Common Ground features coffee, espresso drinks, smoothies, frappes, ice cream, pastries, and snacks. It’s the perfect place to study, read, work remotely, or simply stop in for a quick snack. Bring a friend or family member and enjoy indoor seating or the large patio with a fire pit.
Around Town Must-Visit Locations
Discover true gems of Hartwell just beyond the historic downtown.
Hart County Botanical Garden
The Hart County Botanical Garden exists to provide the local area with a serene spot in nature for the public to explore and enjoy. Educational experiences and opportunities are also available on the grounds. The gardens include an incredible array of sites including a fern garden, butterfly garden, sun perennial garden, herb garden, amphitheater, pavilion, and much much more! The gardens are financially self-supporting through the annual garden sales and maintained by volunteers.
Hart County Historical Museum
The Teasley-Holland house is a one-story frame Victorian-style structure built c. 1881 and home of the Hart County Historical Museum. Many artifacts are housed here by the Hart County Historical Society. These items were generously donated by its members and other kind people. While touring the museum you can find artifacts about Nancy Hart, the revolutionary war heroine, along with other interesting items such as a Coca-Cola bottling machine, Hart County’s first stereo, and clothing dating back to when Hart County was starting up. Come and learn more about Hart County’s rich past as you explore our museum. Open 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. at 31 E. Howell Street.
The Hartwell Dam
Walk the Hartwell Dam for an enjoyable stroll just outside of downtown. Escape to the GA/SC line and explore the nearly 3 miles of hiking trails the dam has to offer. Hartwell Dam Trail is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hartwell, Georgia. Enjoy the site of the lake for individuals of all hiking skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.
Hartwell’s Must-Stops And Shops
Now that you have your list, which shop or stop is your favorite? Is there anyone you would add to this list? We’re excited to see what new and exciting businesses continue to pop up in our historic downtown and beyond!