Small town gem: A trip on Georgia’s ball ground burger bus

Published by Lila Langford on

Small town gem: A trip on Georgia's ball ground burger bus

A quick scroll through the Ball Ground Burger Bus Yelp page will reveal a tidal wave of 5 star reviews raving about the food. The bus has become a fixture of downtown Ball Ground since its arrival in December 2015 and a lure for travelers alike.

Once I arrived at the quaint restaurant in the heart of small town Ball Ground, it became apparent that it was not only a hot spot due to its much hyped burgers and hotdogs, but also its unique setting: a vintage street bus. The bus had been converted into a restaurant with indoor seating. The bus was straight out of a 60s dream and oozed old-school cool.

The restaurant is quite literally a bus.
Lila Langford | Avant-Youth

In order to be seated you are ushered through the kitchen. Framed news articles and awards proudly decorate the walls of the kitchen and serve as a good omen for the food to come. I was promptly seated due to it being a weekday afternoon and began pouring over the menu. 

The dishes are cleverly named: “The 1386” (a probable allusion to the bus’s old route number). Also the “Goin’ South” is an interesting take on southern fare; it is a deep fried hot dog with sweet and sour slaw on a pretzel bun. 

The interior of the Burger Bus has great 60s vibes
Lila Langford | Avant-Youth

I ordered “The 1386” – a generous portion of locally sourced fresh ground beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, their in-house “prohibition pickles” and their tangy “1386 sauce,” which is thousand-island-esque. 

To get another’s opinion asked a fellow diner, who said the bus was “very cute and trendy.”  She ordered their “fried green jacket” burger, which comes with pimento cheese, a spicy wasabi ranch and fried green tomato atop a black angus patty. She described the burger as “spicy, but the ingredients taste very fresh.” The burger bus is a must-go for all foodies in North Georgia looking for a unique restaurant experience. 

They’ve been able to thrive during the COVID-19 crisis by doing things like selling t-shirts on their Facebook page via Shirt Shanty to supplement some income lost during the pandemic. They are currently open Monday through Sunday: Weekdays and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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Lila Langford

Lila Langford is a full-time student at the University of North Georgia and a part-time adult. She is an enthusiast of IKEA and strong tea. After graduation she plans on taking a very long nap and then using her powers for good at a PR agency.


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