A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Find restaurants in your region. Western      Central      Eastern   Benne on Eagle—Asheville Benne’s menu, and its concept — as a restaurant rooted in a specific place and

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Find restaurants in your region. Western      Central      Eastern   Benne on Eagle—Asheville Benne’s menu, and its concept — as a restaurant rooted in a specific place and

24 Restaurants to Visit on a Special Occasion

Find restaurants in your region.

Western      Central      Eastern


Benne on Eagle—Asheville

Benne’s menu, and its concept — as a restaurant rooted in a specific place and culture — has turned a spotlight on Asheville’s culinary scene, past and future.



River House Inn & Restaurant—Grassy Creek

At this 1870 farmhouse turned inn and restaurant surrounded by Ashe County countryside, sip a pre-dinner cocktail on the front porch, which overlooks the North Fork New River.




The Copper Door—Hayesville

The chef infuses dishes with Southern and Appalachian elements, but it’s his love for Louisiana that enlivens the table: fresh oysters Bienville, crawfish crepes with tasso cream, Brie en croûte with Ponchatoula strawberries.






Walk through Postero’s glass door, and you’ll enter a space that’s modern and open and minimalistic. But there are also subtle reminders of the building’s past as an early-20th-century bank: Edison bulbs strewing soft light upon exposed brick, and a bank vault door standing wide open in the back — displaying wine.



Vintage House—Hickory

A glass of wine and an elegant meal at this 1915 home feels like having dinner at your fanciest friend’s house — if your friend hand-cut and aged their own filet mignon.




Star Diner—Marshall

Dark wood paneling; a long, tall bar with glassware that picks up the dancing light reflected off of the French Broad River just beyond the tracks; and tables laid with thick white linens create a mood both classic and intimate. The menu features classics such as aged beef tenderloin crowned with both bordelaise and béarnaise sauces; steak aux champignons; brown butter local trout; and saltimbocca made with a Southern fried chicken breast instead of veal.




Canyon Kitchen—Sapphire

A majestic box canyon — the largest one east of the Mississippi — serves as the soaring backdrop of this restaurant, which is open seasonally from May through November and serves farm-to-fork fare inspired by the landscape.




The former summer lodgings for railroad employees now house The Orchard Inn and its on-site restaurant, where a glassed-in dining porch offers a breathtaking view of the mountains — and an unforgettable Sunday brunch.





Beef ’N Bottle—Charlotte

You can’t just drive by the plain little building and understand the pull of Beef ’N Bottle. You have to go inside, past the framed photos of celebrities from the golden age of Hollywood. You have to walk into the dim front dining room, where it takes a reservation well in advance to score a booth on a Saturday night.



McNinch House Restaurant—Charlotte

This pink-and-purple Queen Anne-style mansion once belonged to Victorian-era Charlotte mayor Sam McNinch who, in 1909, even hosted President William Howard Taft there. Inside, discover perfectly plated dishes that are as exquisite as the exterior.


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Since Chef Joe Kindred and his wife, sommelier Katy Kindred, opened their restaurant, it’s turned the quiet college town of Davidson into a culinary destination, where artful dishes like squid ink conchiglie and wagyu beef tartare have earned Kindred national recognition.



Washington Duke Inn—Durham

This prestigious hotel offers weekend brunch and an upscale dinner menu — as well as an afternoon cuppa. Order a pot of tea and an array of sweets, scones, and dainty tea sandwiches, and put your pinkie up.



Saint Jacques—Gibsonville

The couple behind the Burke Manor Inn and its restaurant, Saint Jacques, whisk their guests away for classic French fare and Old World elegance — all without leaving Guilford County.




Colonial Inn—Hillsborough

Incorporating twists in time-honored Southern cooking is one of many ways that Colonial Inn is celebrating its legacy in this small Triangle town: Built in 1838 by Isaiah Spencer, the two-story building initially provided food and lodging to travelers.



Old North State Winery—Mount Airy

Don’t let the name fool you: When it comes to pairing sips and savories, Old North State Winery offers so much more than cheese and crackers. The plates are so beautiful, so interesting, that it feels almost disrespectful to disturb them.



elliott's on linden pinehurst


Elliott’s on Linden—Pinehurst

Locals flock to Elliott’s for upscale dishes, from rabbit-pistachio sausage with Welsh rarebit-style grits, to Cheddar waffles with spicy fried shrimp and zucchini pickles.



Fearrington House Restaurant—Pittsboro

At this award-winning restaurant in a 1927 Colonial Revival farmhouse, you’ll know you’ve arrived when you spot the black-and-whites — the famed Belted Galloway cows lounging in the shade of a silo.



Angus Barn—Raleigh

This famed steakhouse seats almost 1,000 people, who flock there for juicy grilled steaks and chocolate chess pie.


Second Empire—Raleigh

Make sure to look up from your meal to notice the original heart-pine floors and red-brick masonry walls in this ornate 1879 Victorian-era home downtown.



Ashten’s Restaurant & Pub—Southern Pines

For more than 20 years, before “local” gained a name, much less a movement, Ashten’s has been sourcing its menu ingredients from area farms.





Spoon River—Belhaven

Feasts at Spoon River combine gourmet dishes, views of the Pungo, and an ever-changing art space that would rival any meal at Tiffany’s.



The Blue Point—Duck

Watch the sun set over the water — and dig into jumbo lump crab, oyster stew, and seared sea scallops — at this seafood restaurant perched on the edge of Currituck Sound.




There’s a lovely balance to everything in this easygoing space where meals are special enough to linger in memory.



beefmastor inn


Beefmastor Inn—Wilson

The Beefmastor serves rib eye — only rib eye — up to 700 pounds a week. Each customer makes their selection and explains exactly how they want their steak cooked. Then the server slices the properly sized hunk of rib eye and takes it to the grill.


This story was published on Mar 16, 2021

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.