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

Madison County Championship Rodeo

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

26 Restaurants to Visit on a Special Occasion

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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.

benneoneagle.com

 


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.

riverhousenc.com

 


 

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.

thecopperdoor.com

 


Postero

 

Postero—Hendersonville

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.

postero-hvl.com

 


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.

vintagehouserestaurant.com

 


 

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.

stardinerwnc.com

 


 

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.

lonesomevalley.com

 


Newman’s—Saluda

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.

orchardinn.com

 

 

 

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.

beefandbottle.net

 


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.

mcninchhouserestaurant.com
 


kinship milk bread feat img

 

Kindred—Davidson

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.

kindreddavidson.com

 


 

Saint James Seafood—Durham

Steam pots, shrimp and grits, and Calabash platters are all elevated by an extra, inspired flourish. Even saltines, the sidekick of every smoked-fish dip, arrive at the table seasoned and fried. There’s plenty of New Durham sensibility, too: in the daily crudo, the oysters baked with bone marrow, the octopus with avocado.

saintjamesseafood.com

 


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.

washingtondukeinn.com
 


 

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.

burkemanor.com

 


 

Colonial Inn—Hillsborough

Chef Bennett’s twist on time-honored Southern cooking is one of many ways that the inn’s new owners are 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.

colonialinn-nc.com

 


 

The Prescott—Kernersville

A Kernersville chef brings the intimacy and familiarity of a local diner to high-end entrées — and even a fancy burger — that defy small-town expectations.

theprescottrestaurant.com

 


 

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.

oldnorthstatewinery.com

 


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.

elliottsonlinden.com

 


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.

fearrington.com
 


 

Angus Barn—Raleigh

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

angusbarn.com
 


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.

second-empire.com
 


 

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.

ashtens.com

 

 

 

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.

spoonrivernc.com

 


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.

thebluepoint.com
 


a chef's life

 

Chef & the Farmer—Kinston

In 2006, Chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight, opened their hugely successful fine-dining restaurant in Howard’s native Kinston. Fifteen years later, it remains a foodie mecca.

vivianhoward.com

 


 

PinPoint—Wilmington

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

pinpointrestaurant.com

 


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.

facebook.com/beefmastor

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.