From restaurant expansions and remodels to new menus, the dining opportunities on Lake Lanier just don’t stop. Owners are upping the game with bigger menus, a broader selection of specialty beverages and more seating than ever.

Here’s what’s cooking on Lake Lanier this summer.

Smokey Q at Bald Ridge has expanded its menu. The restaurant features dry-rub, small-batch barbecue, and brisket is now a regular menu item. Owner Judson Holder has added smash burgers and offers house-smoked bacon that can be added.

“We’re now serving breakfast items on Saturdays and Sundays, including peppered sausage biscuits,” Holder said. “As for the smash burgers, people are still asking me why we didn’t put them on the menu sooner.”

It will also be open this fall as a late-season eatery.

Smokey Q BBQ, Bald Ridge Marina, open Wednesdays through Sundays, call 470 499-1279 or search their name on Facebook. A new website is in the works and will be

Outside seating under shade sails at Skogies Restaurant, Gainesville Marina.

Skogies at Gainesville Marina has added sails above much of their outside dining.

Skogies at Gainesville Marina added more covered seating as part of its off-season remodel. “We’ve brought in a new kitchen manager/chef and have expanded the menu,” said Tony Jonovitch, owner. “And with suspended sails to add more shade and our other improvements, it looks totally different.”

The lakefront restaurant continues to serve its all-you-can-eat brunch on Sundays from 9 am. to 2 p.m.

Skogies, Gainesville Marina, open Friday through Sundays, call 678 450-1310 or visit

Pelican Pete’s at Port Royale, now open year-round, has expanded its seating again. “We’re the lake’s only on-the-water eatery,” said Brian Grill, manager. “We’ve also begun a partnership with Bacardi to create our new fish bowl rum punches and even more frozen drinks.”

Appetizers from Pelican Wings to Drunken Mussels and a raw bar lead the way to craft handhelds featuring mahi fish tacos, double-stacked burgers and Nashville-style fried chicken sandwiches. Full entrees range from bourbon-glazed salmon to Nana’s Jerk Chicken.

Pelican Pete’s, Port Royale, open seven days a week, call 770 887-5715 ext 5 or visit

Twisted Oar, Holiday Marina, is an American restaurant that serves fish, salads, Mexican specialties, build-your-own-pizzas and handheld sandwiches. Call 678 714-7572.

Pig Tales, Aqualand Marina, open-air dining specializing in barbecue, burgers and fish entrees, plus sandwiches and baskets. Call 678 828-7676 or visit

Fish Tales, Hideaway Bay Marina, features inside and open-air dining specializing in fried, steamed, blackened and boiled seafood, plus burgers, baskets and entrees. Call 770 967-3775 or visit

Margaritaville eateries
  LandShark Bar & Grill’s new menu features an array of dining choices, plus nearly a dozen appetizers, plus fresh-made salads. Shrimp baskets, fish tacos and Cajun salmon are complemented by burgers, that can also be made with chicken, turkey or a veggie burger.

Sandwiches and wraps include jerk chicken wrap, blackened salmon BLT, Philly cheese steak, or a roasted turkey club.

Elsewhere in the park, guests can enjoy plenty of sit-down choices, such as L2C Grill, where burgers and hotdogs are the focus; Frank and Lolas for made-to-order pizzas with a choice of toppings; Paradise Cantina’s burritos, tacos and salad bowls; and for a quick bite, Feeding Frenzy’s baskets of fried shrimp or chicken, plus cotton candy, popcorn and ice cream desserts.

Margaritaville, call 470 323-3440 or visit

Lanier Islands
The big news is Game Changer, not only for its wall-to-wall arcade games, escape room, virtual sports suites, ax throwing and challenge golf, but for the newest eatery at the resort.

Serving classic Americana dishes like a selection of burgers, salads and sandwiches, the Game Changer Bar and Grill offers Coca-Cola glazed wings, Nashville hot chicken and Steak Frites. Chef de cuisine Tom Brailey has created an extensive made-from-scratch selection of foods for all members of the family.

Indoor restaurant seating at Sidney's, Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge.

Sidney’s dining room at Lanier Island’s Legacy Lodge

At Legacy Lodge, Sidney’s serves a buffet breakfast, plus made-to-order omelets, fresh pastries, waffles and French toast. It’s also the site of holiday weekend dinner buffets.

Bullfrog’s Bar and Grille serves lunch and dinner seven days a week. The menu, created by new chef de cuisine Olivia Bell, is a mix of Southern-style favorites like shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, collard greens, fried chicken and signature items like Duroc pork chop.

Lanier Islands dining choices, call 770 945-8787 or visit

Photos: Skogies, courtesy of Skogies; Game Changer(feature photo) and Sidney’s, courtesy of Lanier Islands