Nothing works up an appetite more than cheering on your favorite North Carolina college football team. A mix of tried-and-true institutions and hidden gem eateries, here’s our pick of restaurants for game day. View Part Two of the list here.
Winston-Salem is known for its hip brunch spots, but venture off the beaten path to Alex’s Café, a modest neighborhood spot, before heading to campus for the game. The dishes are simple and classic, and the waffles are out of this world.
750 Summit Street, Winston-Salem • (336) 725-0112
Lunch — Putters Patio and Grill
The nondescript sign on top of the roof may only read “RESTAURANT,” but the American fare at Putters certainly isn’t forgettable. This popular game-day spot has the reputation of serving some of the most juicy, flavorful, and tender steaks in the area. The beer-battered onion rings also make the cut as one of our favorite appetizers.
The landscape of Franklin Street has changed a good bit over the years, but locals and a rotating rank of students alike have been getting their fill at Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe, a Chapel Hill institution since 1972. On weekends, the line outside can be long, but the waffles are worth it. We recommend the M&M’s waffle dusted with powdered sugar.
When the downtown crowd builds as game time nears, head west to the less explored side of Franklin Street. West Franklin Street offers many fine dining options, but for lunch, we recommend the informal, vibrant Mediterranean Deli. Just like the never-ending cases of light-yet-filling Greek and Middle-Eastern dishes, seating is plentiful.
There’s a reason why everyone makes a beeline for Top of the Hill at the conclusion of an afternoon game: A coveted patio table is a great place to watch the sunset and sip a beer or spirits made at the on-site brewery or nearby distillery. You might be celebrating a Carolina victory, but the Arizona Chicken entrée is also a winner with its creamy gemelli pasta and chipotle heat.
On chilly game days, you’ll want to stop for a cup of locally roasted coffee that’ll warm your hands, but don’t skip out on the baked goods. The homemade cinnamon rolls are perfectly sticky and topped with cream cheese icing at Stick Boy Bread Company, which has a location right across the street from the university.
Whether the Mountaineers win or lose, you’re guaranteed to feel good following a visit to the Hob Nob Farm Café. The eatery boasts organic and local ingredients on its worldly and eclectic menu, which draws on flavors from Watauga County, Thailand, and everywhere in between.
If you love the down-home comfort of tailgating food but don’t enjoy the prep work, sit down for a hearty, family-style meal at Dan’l Boone Inn, Boone’s oldest restaurant. With so many just-like-Grandma-made-them dishes on the menu, a trip to this restaurant requires strategy. Save room for an extra helping of mashed potatoes.
A restaurant where the coffee selection is as good as the breakfast is a rare gem, and The Scullery fits the bill. Cheering on the team requires some serious sustenance, so order The Hungry Pirate, which comes with pancakes, crisp bacon, and eggs topped with a generous portion of cheese.
431 Evans Street, Greenville • (252) 321-1550
Lunch | Sup Dogs
Ask current East Carolina students and they’ll be quick to tell you: A four-year degree nowadays also requires at least one visit to Sup Dogs. The atmosphere is as fun as the menu, which features hot dogs and hamburgers smothered with toppings like slaw, chili, and jalapeños.
213 East 5th Street, Greenville • (252) 752-7682 • supdogs.com
Dinner | Cinnamon 419
A buffet serving Indian food might not exactly be on your radar following a football game, but trust us on this one. The quality and freshness of food at Cinnamon 419 makes it one of the best Indian restaurants in the area.
The ultimate neighborhood restaurant, Elmo’s Diner serves classic, from-scratch dishes the way you love them, with the consistency of a well-oiled machine. Get there early and grab a booth to watch the morning unfold. You’ll be there a while; the portions are large.
Located in an unassuming commercial complex, NOSH is an eclectic eatery with spunky décor and a strong sense of community. Owney’s Crunchy Chicken Sandwich is well seasoned and a local favorite. While you wait for your order, unwind with the restaurant’s collection of board games.
Make your way downtown for a post-game celebration at Satisfaction, a popular alumni hangout known for its specialty pizzas. Check out the many local beers on tap and stick around for a pint. If you feel so inclined, belt out Queen’s “We Are The Champions” during Saturday night karaoke. We won’t judge.
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The Southern lifestyle is all about good times with family and friends. So whether it’s an evening boat ride, tailgating, or sipping mint juleps on Derby Day, Haley and the Hound can outfit you in style and comfort. The line is machine washable and is proudly made in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
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