One of my favorite things to do is to try new restaurants, so today I thought I would share my list of restaurants I am wanting to try in North Carolina. If you haven’t seen these posts, here is my list of restaurants to you should try in North Carolina and the best BBQ places in the triangle.
Crawford & Son (Raleigh): Crawford and Son is in Oakwood, which is my favorite neighborhood in Raleigh. I love that the guys went to Warren Wilson College in the western part of the state. I have some friends who frequent here, and their photos of the ambiance alone have me desperately wanting to get here.
What I’d order: braised octopus, local flounder
Fearrington House Inn (Pittsboro): My love of the Fearrington Village and the Inn are no secret around these parts, but I have never eaten at the restaurant. I have thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon tea and their wine list is amazing, but I definitely would love to have dinner here, soon!
What I’d order: acorn squash with chestnut
Lantern (Chapel Hill): I have heard rave reviews about Lantern for years, and I am still not entirely sure why I haven’t made it yet. Some awesome North Carolina chefs got their start at Lantern.
What I’d order: Vietnamese-Style NC crab & pork spring rolls, tea and spice smoked chicken
Oakleaf (Pittsboro): Oakleaf is located in Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, but is soon moving to Carrboro. I am actually checking this restaurant out in its original location in a couple of weeks, and I am ridiculously pumped!
What I’d order: cheese, fruit, and crostini, ricotto and parmigiano gnocchi
Saltbox Seafood Joint (Durham): I love the concept of this seafood stand in downtown Durham. The day’s specials are written on a chalkboard daily.
What I’d order: fried fish sandwich and fried Brussels sprouts
Second Empire (Raleigh): Second Empire is one of the prettiest buildings in downtown Raleigh, and the restaurant itself looks amazing. I love that there various dining options, from formal to a more casual tavern feel.
What I’d order: grilled rosemary chicken breast
St. Roch (Raleigh): I am definitely loving oyster bars, and the fact that this restaurant has a New Orleans feel makes me more interested. I’ll get here soon, that’s for sure.
What I’d order: allllll the oysters, crab st. roch
1587 (Manteo): I mean, I’ll be honest, the fact that this restaurant is named after the Lost Colony makes me even more interested. I also love that this restaurant is in The Tranquil House Inn.
What I’d order: Brussel sprout and la soda potatoes, seared tuna steak
Amos Mosquito’s (Atlantic Beach): I spent a lot of time down at Atlantic Beach during high school, college, and right after college, and somehow I never ate at Amos Mosquito’s. I love the location, which is right on the way to Fort Macon. DG has never been to Atlantic Beach, so I’m hoping to get down that way so he can experience it, but also so we can check out Amos Mosquito’s.
What I’d order: baked oysters, crab & shrimp gratin
Back Porch (Ocracoke): I’ve eaten at this restaurant twice; once when I was in college and once at the bar with my parents and DG. When I was in college and on a budget, I’m pretty sure I just ordered an appetizer as my entree and the bar menu is a lot different than the dinner menu. I definitely want to try this restaurant for real.
What I’d order: crab beignets, pork belly and littleneck clam ramen bowl
Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe (Nags Head): When I was in high school, I ate here with my BFF, Lindsey. I am not entirely sure I had an appreciation for food at that time, but it was a lovely restaurant. I would love to try this restaurant again as an adult.
What I’d order: she crab soup, flounder with jumbo lump crab stuffing
Beef Master Inn (Wilson): The Beef Master Inn is an eastern North Carolina staple. It’s not frivolous and it only has 10 tables, but the experience is perhaps the best part. You put your name on the list and you tailgate in the parking lot while waiting for your table. The menu is simple, a baked potato, slice of Texas toast, a steak, and then a salad bar.
What I’d order: the only thing on the menu
Spoon River Artworks & Market (Belhaven): Belhaven is such a cute little town on the Pungo River in one of the prettiest parts of North Carolina. I love that Spoon River opened in this little town. DG & I had reservations last year for part of our Christmas trip, but I ended up coming down with a nasty case of the flu. I am hopeful to get back and spend a weekend in Belhaven.
What I’d order: Since it’s farm to fork, the menu changes daily, so I’d go with a local seafood option.
Starlight Cafe (Greenville): I lived in Greenville for almost four years, and never had a full meal at Starlight Cafe. Starlight was one of the first farm to table concepts in North Carolina and dates back to 2000. It has such a beautiful atmosphere and I love that it is an anchor in eastern North Carolina.
What I’d order: shrimp toast, Charleston shrimp and grits
Sugar Creek Seafood (Nags Head): It has been years since I have been to Nags Head, but I have always wanted to eat at this restaurant. Sugar Creek sits out over the water and boasts an amazing selection of seafood.
What I’d order: crab bisque, soft shell crab, seafood quesadilla
Artisanal (Banner Elk): This farm to table restaurant is beautiful! It does have seasonal hours, so DG and I will have to look into this for a spring trip!
What I’d order: pork belly, swordfish
Curate (Asheville): I love the location of Curate in downtown Asheville and the Spanish tapas. DG and I actually had reservations here for our first trip to Asheville, and we had to cancel because our brewery tour ran late. I am still sad about it!
What I’d order: too many good things to list… I’d have to ask the server for their recommendation.
Cyprus (Highlands): I adore that there is a rooftop option for dining here. I am not super familiar with the western part of the state, but to dine at some of these restaurants, I am thinking DG and I need to make our own culinary tour.
What I’d order: okra fries, Lebanese mezze plate
The Dining Room at Biltmore (Asheville): What better way to experience the Biltmore Estate than to have dinner in their dining room? I still cannot believe that I’ve lived in North Carolina my whole life but have never been to the Biltmore. DG and I were trying to get there this year for the Christmas decorations, but there just isn’t enough time right now for us.
What I’d order: lobster & dumplings
Fahrenheit (Charlotte): I love that this is located on the 21st floor in Charlotte with an amazing view of the city. It also has fire places all throughout the space to really capture the fahrenheit name.
What I’d order: wood grilled avocado, Mr. Fungi pizza
Gideon Ridge (Blowing Rock): This beautiful bed and breakfast is on my list of places that I’d love to stay and the restaurant has an amazing terrace with the best view of the mountains. It is absolutely gorgeous!
What I’d order: fried green tomatoes, NC grouper
Heritage (Waxhaw): This restaurant is temporarily closed while it is moving to a new location and I can’t wait to check it out!
What I’d order: we’ll see once the new menu is released!
Kindred (Davidson): I am loving the mission of Kindred and their decor is swoon worthy, to go along with their amazing menu.
What I’d order: crispy oysters, red curry sweet potato soup
Rhubarb (Asheville): Rhubarb in Asheville has an awesome location in downtown as well. I love that the chef is originally from North Carolina and his pastry chef is from western New York, since that’s mine and DG’s story as well.
What I’d order: pimiento pups, grilled half chicken
River’s End (Bryson City): This restaurant has an amazing location on the Nantahala Outdoor Center in the Appalachian mountains. We have grand aspirations of making a trip to the Nantahala to take our boys on hiking and I have to have dinner here!
What I’d order: Nantahala gorge wrap + tater tots
What restaurants are you hoping to try? And if you’ve tried any of these restaurants on my list, I’d love to hear your experience! I hope you have an amazing weekend! Be sure to follow along on my Instastories for this long weekend!