The test of time is no issue for Athens-trademark and Southern-dining-favorite, The Mayflower Restaurant. Located across from the arch on Broad St., this visionary diner is complete with bright booths, tall stools, and art decor that brings the restaurant’s history to life. Owner Ricky Vaughn and his wife continue to serve Athens the same customer service, food, and hospitality the Mayflower started with in 1948, the year his parents first opened her doors (!!!)
If you ask him if things have changed in the fifty-two years that he’s been there, he points you to the picture on the wall dating back to 1965. With original tables, diner-top surfaces and largely unchanged menu items, the restaurant immediately brings you to its roots. What also hasn’t changed: the flavors and the customers. They were recently visited by a customer who had once enjoyed a 42 cent breakfast at Mayflower in 1973. Another regular has been around since 1959. The point is — The Mayflower is an Athens landmark and a tradition for many.
When was the busiest they’ve ever seen the restaurant? They replied, when Athens hosted the men and women’s soccer games during the Olympics in 1996. I wonder how many other local restaurants could say that?
What can you expect when you visit this timeless gem?
Everyday enjoy all the flavors of the South during Breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, I suggest one of the many egg varieties, a huge buttery biscuit, and some of Ricky’s famous grits (that he makes each morning at 4:30..am). For lunch, any of the sandwiches, and of course the meats (both breakfast and lunch). Some goodies to note — special fried chicken, hand-cut fries, and the popular Country Boy Special (two eggs, grits, bacon/sausage, and three hot cakes). If you haven’t realized it yet, you’ve got allllll your bases covered at The Mayflower.
After fifty two years, Ricky claims he “never gets tired of good food”, even if he’s the one cooking it every morning.
Bon Apetit, Athens! Happy Eating!