10 Must-Try Foods and Drinks Across North Carolina

North Carolina is a foodie’s paradise with a diverse culinary scene that reflects the state’s history and cultural influence. The food and beverage sector is constantly evolving with new and exciting offerings as well as tourism. To truly experience North Carolina’s culinary scene, you should check out some of the must-try food and drink spots in cities across the state.


From Asheville to Wilmington and Raleigh to Durham, this article provides a list of the best restaurants, bars and breweries that offer unique and delicious experiences. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these North Carolina city bites are sure to satisfy anyone’s cravings and create lasting memories.

Related: Asheville Eats: How to Explore the Best Restaurants in the City

10 Dame’s Chicken & Waffles

As the name suggests, Dame’s Chicken & Waffles specializes in the combination of fried chicken and waffles, a classic Southern dish that has been enjoyed for generations. The restaurant has received many awards over the years, including being named the best chicken in North Carolina by Southern Living magazine.

Visitors will enjoy Dame’s boneless chicken breast, wings and drumsticks served with homemade waffles that are crispy on the outside and on the inside. There are also a variety of toppings and sauces to make their food. In addition to chicken and waffles, Dame’s offers a variety of appetizers, salads and desserts.

  • Address:
    With 4 locations in NC
    (
    Cary, Greensboro, Durham, and Chapel Hill)

  • Hours:
    Monday to Thursday 11am – 9pm; Friday to Saturday 8am – 10pm; Sun 8am 5pm

  • Price:
    $$%

9 indicate

PinPoint is a farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Wilmington. It offers a modern take on Southern cuisine, using fresh, local ingredients to create unique and flavorful dishes.

Pinpoint’s menu includes dishes such as shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, grilled fish, and smoked pork shoulder. The restaurant also offers a variety of appetizers, salads and desserts, as well as a wine list and cocktail menu.

The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, as well as Sunday brunch. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.

  • Address:
    114 Market St., Wilmington, NC

  • Hours:
    Sun to Thu 5:30pm – 9:30pm; Friday – Saturday 5:30pm – 10:30pm

  • Price:
    $$

8 Haberdish

Those looking for a great place to experience Southern cuisine with a modern twist, enjoy craft cocktails, and relax in a cozy and fun atmosphere should head straight to Haberdish in Charlotte, known for name Queen City.

Haberdish is a popular spot for brunch, which is served on weekends. The brunch menu includes Southern staples like biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and waffles, and eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. This restaurant uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients and offers a variety of small plates, entrees and sides, including fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and mac and cheese. First time guests must try their creative cocktail concoctions like “Mama’s Old Fashioned”.

  • Address:
    3106 N. Davidson St., Charlotte, NC

  • Hours:
    Tuesday to Thursday 11am – 10pm; Friday 11am – 11pm; Saturday 11:30am – 11pm; Sunday 11:30 am – 10 pm

  • Price:
    $$

Related: 10 Cute Small Towns Just a Short Drive from Charlotte You Should Visit

7 Saint Jacques French cuisine

Anyone who visits this excellent restaurant that offers classic French cuisine with a modern twist will be able to say “bon app├ętit” loudly after a full dinner.

Chef Serge Falcoz-Vigne, a French-born chef with over 30 years of experience in the food industry, created the seasonal menu of Saint Jacques French Cuisine. The menu includes classic French dishes such as escargots, bouillabaisse, and coq au vin, as well as modern interpretations of French cuisine. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list that includes more than 300 bottles of wine from around the world.

  • Address:
    6112 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh, NC

  • Hours:
    Tuesday to Thursday 5pm – last seating 8.30pm; Friday to Saturday 5pm – last seat 9pm

  • Price:
    $$

6 your relative

When people are looking for buttermilk bread, homemade pasta, and wood-fired pizza, they have to look to Kindred. Kindred is an award-winning restaurant located in Davidson, a suburb of Charlotte.

The menu at Kindred also offers grilled steak and grilled chicken and a variety of creative cocktails, beers and wines to pair with the food. This upscale restaurant serves modern American cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. Kindred was named one of the best restaurants in America by Eater and one of the best new restaurants in the South by Southern Living magazine.

  • Address:
    131 N Main St. Davidson, NC

  • Hours:
    Tuesday to Saturday 5pm – 10pm

  • Price:
    $$

5 Trophy Brewing Co.

For beer lovers or those who just want to try something new and delicious, a visit to Trophy Brewing Co. in brewing is a must-try in Raleigh. Trophy Brewing Co. uses only the finest ingredients to create craft beer: fresh hops, barley and other grains.

This microbrewery and full-service restaurant, which started as a 14-seat brewery and pizza place in 2012, offers a variety of craft beers, each with its own unique flavor. Trophy also offers specialty pizzas, salads, desserts, and other satisfying sides.

  • Address:
    in the

    three locations in Raleigh (Wilmington St., W Morgan St., and Maywood Ave)

  • Hours:
    Monday to Thursday 4pm – 10pm; Friday to Sunday 12:00 – 10:00

  • Price:
    $$

4 The Pit

North Carolina is famous for its barbecue, and when in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, one cannot go wrong with trying the award-winning BBQ at The Pit. The Pit specializes in traditional North Carolina barbecue, which is slow-cooked over wood for hours until it’s tender and juicy. One of the most popular dishes, the “Whole Hog BBQ”, is cooked on wood for 12 hours.

The Pit also offers a variety of other Southern favorites, such as fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and pimento cheese dip. The full bar features a variety of beers and cocktails.

  • Address:
    328 W Davie St. Raleigh, NC

  • Hours:
    Sunday-Thursday 11am – 10pm; Friday – Saturday 11am – 11pm

  • Price:
    $$

Related: 10 Most Luxurious Hotels in Raleigh, North Carolina

3 The cow and the beggar

The Bull and Beggar is famous for its contemporary European cuisine, with a menu that includes a variety of dishes, including small plates, entrees, and a daily rotating selection. Some of the most popular dishes at The Bull and Beggar include steak frites, duck confit, and roast bone marrow.

In addition to the delicious food, the selection of beer, wine and cocktails by The Bull and Beggar is also impressive. The restaurant’s bar has a rotating selection of local and regional beers on tap, as well as a selection of specialty cocktails and wines.

  • Address:
    37 Paynes Way, Asheville, NC

  • Hours:
    Thursday 5pm – 9pm; Friday – Saturday 5pm – 10pm; Sunday-Sunday 5pm – 9pm

  • Price:
    $$

2 Buxton Hall Barbecue

Buxton Hall Barbecue is one of the few restaurants in the entire United States that specializes in whole barbecue. The restaurant prides itself on its rich flavor and unique smoke as locally sourced hickory wood is used in the smoker.

Other favorites on Buxton Hall Barbecue’s creative menu include smoked fried chicken, smoked brisket, and smoked pork belly. The restaurant makes every aspect from scratch, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Some popular sides include baked beans, mac and cheese, and collard greens.

  • Address:
    32 Banks Ave. Asheville, NC

  • Hours:
    Sun to Thu 11.30am – 3pm & 5pm – 9pm; Friday to Saturday 11:30am – 3:00pm & 5:00pm – 9:30pm

  • Price:
    $$

1 The dining room at the Biltmore Estate

For a unique dining experience in a historic and impressive setting, The Dining Room at Biltmore Estate has to be one of the top choices. This elegant dining room is known for its exquisite cuisine, impeccable service and ambiance. It is located on an 8,000-acre private estate, Biltmore House, which was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1800s.

Some of The Dining Room’s signature dishes include grilled rack of lamb, scallops, and Biltmore Estate’s famous golden beet salad. Their wines come from Biltmore Estate Winery, located on the property and one of the most visited wineries in the United States.

  • Address:
    One Lodge Street, Asheville, NC

  • Hours:
    Breakfast and brunch: 7 am – 11 am; Dinner: 5pm – 9pm

  • Price:
    $$