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Dillard House
About North Georgia

Home cooking away from home

Restaurant: Dillard House

768 Franklin St.
Suite 184
Dillard, Georgia 30537
Telephone: (706) 746-5348
Toll-free: (800) 541-0671

Dillard House, Dillard, GA
Nestled deep in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains, Dillard House offers a wide range of food for hungry souls who have been hiking, climbing, rafting, visiting, or simply driving in the majestic beauty of one of our favorite places, Rabun County. The service is courteous and quick, meals are substantial and the fried chicken is to die for! (That's Georgian for good).

History of the Dillard House

A land grant for 1,000 acres attracted the first Dillard to the area in the late 1700's. John Dillard was a Revolutionary War Continental veteran who settled this portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains when the Cherokee Nation was so populous that some folks called them the Cherokee Mountains. He gave up his tri-corner hat for one made of fur ("coonskin") and brought his son and family to live with him. Although a lot of his land was not good enough for agriculture, it gave him a steady supply of wild game to supplement his wheat, butter beans and later, corn.

It wasn't until 1917 that two of John's descendants, Carrie and Arthur Dillard, opened up there home to boarders who had traveled a dirt road into the mountains to explore, or got off the Tallulah Falls Railway. Business really took off when U. S. 441, a paved road running from the Smoky Mountains to South Florida went through in 1933 and all those people in automobiles needed a place to stay and a place to eat. Word of mouth and a sign attracted folks to the inn that had grown from a simple farmhouse.

By the late 1930's traffic had increased dramatically between Asheville, North Carolina and Athens, Georgia, the two major cities on the ends of the route served by the Dillards. Although traffic decreased during World War II, the boom of the late 40's revitalized the inn and dining room. In the late '60's interstate travel began to drawn a good deal of traffic from U. S. 441, but by that time Dillard House had become a way of life with those who remembered the inn's charm from a previous stop. Starting in the 1980's and continuing to the present-day, a widening project has moved U. S. 441 from running directly in front of the inn to just a couple of blocks away, a blessing today because Dillard House retains a rural ambiance with the high-speed road away from its front.

Food at the Dillard House

Dillard House Sign
Of course, the fried chicken is the signature dish of the Dillard House, and it is exceptionally good. Served piping hot, the batter-dipped chicken fries up with a uniformly thick coating that has a crunch to it. The deep-frying process locks in the juices, making the center an scintillating stream of flavor. Of course, we don't want to sound overboard in our enthusiasm for this dish, but it is our favorite.

The chicken is pretty much the only dish guaranteed to be served at a lunch or dinner. Other meats, ranging from county ham (this can be salty for some palettes because the ham is smoked in a traditional method) to barbecued chicken and (sometimes) country-fried steak. Vegetables include okra (a traditional Georgia dish, normally deep-fried like the chicken), butter beans, sweet Vidalia onions, sliced tomatoes, corn on the cob and squash. Top dinner off with a blueberry cobbler or strawberry shortcake, all included in the single price for the meal.

In addition to food, the Dillard House offers accommodations, which are also reasonably priced and well-appointed.

Our rating: Excellent
Pros: Homemade food served family style. If you can't get there, the web site will ship many of their favorite hams and jams to your door.
Cons: Don't go unless you are hungry!.

Pricing: Moderate
Web site: DillardHouse.com

County: Rabun County

Dillard House, Dillard, Georgia




Directions


US Highway 441 is a major north-south route through the mountains of Rabun County, in Georgia's extreme northeast corner. Take I-85 North to I-985 North (exit on the left hand side). Continue north on I-985 for 56 miles (it becomes GA 365/U. S. 23 in Gainesville). U. S. 441 North joins this road near Cornelia. Continue north another 25.7 miles (through Clayton) to Dillard. Turn right on Henry Dillard St., then make an immediate right on Franklin. Dillard House is on the right at a large sign.

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