Fayetteville is a melting pot of International diversity creating a rich, variegated food scene. Explore the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC from its small mom and pop diners and its modern Southern local spots, to unique authentic ethnic eateries for delicious meals.
Best Restaurants in Fayetteville, NC
I was born and raised in Fayetteville. This is my home town. Because I am a food blogger, I am obviously a huge FOODIE! Therefore, I thought I would share with you the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC. We have a lot of hidden local jewels that are unique and special to Fayetteville itself. Here is my list, in no particular order:
Fowler’s Southern Gourmet
This is my favorite local barbecue joint, and I am not the only one! Fowler’s Southern Gourmet has been featured in Our State Magazine and City View Magazine. Using Cheshire Pork and only high-quality ingredients, Fowler’s offers a selection of barbecue, ribs, chicken, and traditional Southern sides with a gourmet twist.
EVERYTHING is made in house to include the ketchup! They are only open for lunch and they are known to sell out, therefore come EARLY! The menu changes seasonally. If you see burnt ends, ribs, poutine, or a burger… you better order it while you can; these sell out first!
Fowler’s is located on West Rowan Street. With the new road construction and road re-routes, it can be a little tricky finding it. Just be patient and follow the re-routes in your navigation. It is worth the hunt if you are new to the area!
Fowler’s made the best restaurants in Fayetteville list for its quality and uniqueness. EVERYTHING at Fowler’s is delicious, but here are a few recommendations: Mixed Meat Plate (because the more meat, the merrier!) Burger, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Burnt Ends, The Angry Hawaiian, Caesar Salad, Baked Beans, Jalapeno Slaw, French Fries (better than Five Guys!), and Collard Greens.
Circa 1800 is a locally own restaurant featuring Southern food with a modern gourmet twist. It definitely ranks in the top 10 of the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC.
Circa sources most of their ingredients are locally from North Carolina. Located in downtown Fayetteville, it is a great place for a date night or special night out. They serve craft beers and signature cocktails. They make PERFECT dirty martinis. Visit on a Sunday if you like brunch. Sundays have a special brunch that includes a Bloody Mary Bar.
Circa accepts reservations Monday thru Thursday. If you want to dine on the weekend, get there a little early and enjoy a signature cocktail while you wait for your seat.
Circa’s menu changes seasonally. The steak, bone in pork chop, tuna nachos, and scallops are always a hit. For brunch, try the chicken and waffles, french toast, or cinna-bun burger! Circa 1800 does not take reservations, so arrive early to grab a table.
Gohan Bistro is a cute little mainstream sushi/poke/ramen restaurant. The sushi is individually handcrafted with their own special twist on the ingredients.
You can select from one of their authentic Japanese ramen bowls or pick a base and create your own. Vegetarian options are availabe also.
Gohan Bistro has a variety of fresh poke selections to choose from such as yellow fin tuna, spicy salmon, pork belly, crabmeat, chicken, or barbecue eel. It is served on rice or lettuce.
Gohan Bistro is located in a little shopping center on South Reilly Road. The restaurant is kind of hidden, mixed in with the other stores. You might almost miss it when you drive by looking for it if you are not careful.
This made the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC list for their hand crafted sushi and poke. Some suggestions to try are: Fire Torched Salmon Roll, Rainbow Roll, Tucker’s Baja Style Sriracha Ramen, Pork Belly Ramen, Spicy Tuna/Crab and Avocado Hand Rolls, and Gohan Classic Poke.
E Tae Won Restaurant
E Tae Won serves authentic traditional Korean dishes. Lunch time brings in a large crowd for its daily lunch buffet ( Sunday is menu only). The buffet is clean, and kept fresh and warm. Friday and Saturday there is a larger selection on the buffet. The food is made in house. The friendly owner tries to make time to greet each guest.
On the buffet, you can find a variety chicken, beef, pork, and fish dishes. They have noodles, rice, soups, and salad dishes also. They are known for their raw crab with spicy sauce, Korean bbq, spicy wings, bulgogi, and seafood soup. If you prefer, you can order off the menu.
E Tae Won is located in a shopping center on South Reilly Road.
This made the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC list for their delicious Korean dishes. I personally love the bulgogi, spicy wings, yaki mando (dumplings), Gochujun (Korean stuffed peppers), glass noodles, kimchi, pickled radishes, bean sprout dish, fried fish, Korean bbq, and shrimp.
Napkins Restaurant is located at Dirt Bag Ales Brewery and Taproom. While it is in a standing building, food is ordered at a counter window creating a food truck vibe. Seating is shared with Dirt Bag Ales Brewery and Taproom, therefore you can order your food and grab a beer while you wait.
Their menu items are locally sourced and made fresh. The menu changes seasonally with daily specials. They are famous for their juicy handmade burgers made to order with hand cut fries or sweet potato fries.
In addition to their big juicy burgers, you MIGHT find: fried catfish, wings, chicken wraps, prime rib sandwiches (a big seller), hot dogs, crab cakes, egg rolls, tacos, nachos….. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW UNTIL YOU SHOW!
On Sunday mornings, Dirt Bag Ales holds a farmers market. Napkins Restaurant shops the market’s vendors that morning to prepare for their Sunday brunch menu.
Next, Napkins gets creative in the kitchen and creates sexy gourmet brunch plates. I am talking beautiful, colorful, fresh, made from scratch DELICIOUS FOOD! This is something you don’t want to miss out on. However, when they run out, they run out, so order early!
EVERYTHING Napkin’s Restaurant prepares is PERFECTION!!! I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday than to shop Dirt Bag Ale’s Farmers Market, grab some delicious brunch, drink a local beer, and hang out listening to live music. Can you?
Bruce and Mickey’s
When my friends and family come down from up North, the first thing they ask is where to get the best fried chicken… and the first place that comes to mind is Bruce and Mickey’s.
Bruce and Mickey’s is another little mom and pop diner serving barbecue, fried chicken, fried shrimp, fried flounder, and deviled crab.
The fried chicken and fried shrimp are what it is all about! The breading is light and crispy. If you order the fried shrimp, they pile it high on your plate. If you try the fried chicken, it will be piping hot, juicy, and delicious!
Unfortunately, the new median on Legion Road has significantly hurt their business. People find it hard to get to their side of the road if they are on the opposite side. It is worth it to drive to a turn around and make your way there. The food is inexpensive and a huge value for the money.
Other menu suggestions: If you see the chicken and pastry on the daily special, splurge and get it. You can’t go wrong.
Antonella’s Italian Ristorante
Antonella’s Italian Ristorante is a small, cozy, romantic place for delicious Italian food. The Italian food is made fresh from scratch and delicious. Antonella’s is located downtown with indoor and outdoor seating. They do not accept reservations and they only seat a few tables. You will want to get there early to wait for your table. It is worth the wait.
This made the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC list for their atmosphere and homemade Italian dishes. A few suggestions include: Frutti De Mar, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Caprese, Chicken Picatta, Tiramisu, and Cannoli.
Love Mediterranean food? I do. And I also love Pharoh’s Village. Pharoh’s Village offers an extensive menu of authentic Mediterranean cuisine featuring lamb, gyros, tabbouleh, and other traditional favorites.
The portions are big and the prices are reasonable. Every dish is plated beautifully. I loved the hummus, stuffed grape leaves, Greek salad, and Pharaohs Kofta.
A few additional menu suggestions include: Kosharri, saffron rice, tabbouleh, falafel, chicken kofta, kebab platters, and baklava.
Blue Moon Cafe
The Blue Moon Cafe is a small little cafe located in the heart of downtown Fayetteville with indoor and outdoor seating. They offer a wonderful selection of gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups, flatbreads, and small plates. Everything is handmade and served from fresh ingredients.
They have vegan and gluten free options for those with dietary restrictions. Blue Moon Cafe also serves craft beer and wine. On Sundays they offer a brunch and mimosas. On a nice day, it is the perfect place great place to sit outside and enjoy the downtown scenery.
The menu changes seasonally. My favorites have been the tuna melt, chicken salad, crab dip, turkey panini, salmon panini, and vegan ciabatta. Anything with their sriracha tahini is AMAZING!
Prik Thai Cuisine
Prik Thai Cuisine is a little whole in the wall serving authentic made from scratch Thai food. Food is made quick and fast. Hot is hot… so make sure you are aware of that when placing your order.
Portions are generous and fairly priced. I love the Tom Kha with chicken( Hot and Sour Coconut Soup), Yum Nuer (beef salad), Pad Thai, and Drunken Noodles.
You can eat on premises, but seating is limited. Or you can do carry-out.
Some additional menu suggestion: Pad Prik, Kra Prao, Thai Fried Rice, Pla Rad Prik, and Sesame Chicken.
Bowls On a Roll
If you are watching your waistline or trying to eat healthy, Bowls On A Roll is the place to go. Bowls On a Roll is a healthy bistro offering all meals under 500 calories with no added sugar or salt.
They serve something for every type of diet from low carb, high protein, clean eating, and vegetarian. The food is portioned controlled and made fresh to order.
They also are a meal prep restaurant. The meal prep meals are also all under 500 calories, and sold for a great value: 5 for $42, 10 for $72, 15 for $102.
Fridays are food truck days… MY PERSONAL FAVORITE DAY… because they sell low carb tacos and quesadillas in their food truck in their parking lot. The taco shells and quesadilla shells are made out of cheese!! They are DELICIOUS!
This made the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC list for their healthy 500 calorie or under food menu. Some other favorites include: Cheeseburger Bowl, Veggie Melt, Buffalo Chicken Salad, Poppin Peruvian Cherry Pepper Panini, Chili, and Tomato Soup.
I am also a huge fan of Southern Coals. They are serving up Fayetteville with a friendly smile, some good, quality, Southern barbecue and smoked meats. The pulled pork is moist and the brisket comes out tender. Both have incredible flavor.
They also offer delicious ribs, chicken, pork chops, and sausage dogs. I had the smoked chicken on my last visit and it was FANTASTIC. I haven’t tried their hot dog (I love a hot dog), but I want too. I am always distracted by the other smoked meats.
If you are a sauce person, (I totally am! I love to drown my food in a good sauce), then you won’t be disappointed. Try some of that, “Redneck Yum Yum” or “Big Daddy Hump” sauce on any of the meats. They are soooo good!
Save room for the sides. The mac and cheese is cheesy, the fried okra is crispy, and the boiled potatoes are tasty.
Menu suggestions: You can’t go wrong with the pulled pork, chicken, or brisket, but the pimento cheese sandwich is good too! Come hungry. The portions are a good size.
Drop By The River-Straight Drop Seafood
If you love seafood, Drop By the River-Straight Drop Seafood is your place!!! Straight Drop offers a large variety of fresh seafood from steamed to fried. Every platter is HUGE, so prepare for leftovers. The food is of high quality and delicious.
Straight Drop offers a large variety of seafood from lobster, crab clusters, oysters, shrimp and crawfish.
Straight Drop is famous for their “buttery” sauce. The sauce is mixed and poured over the steamed seafood platters. Personally, I like to have the sauce on the side and dip my seafood in it. The sauce can get very messy with the peeling and cracking of the seafood. But to each his own….
Straight Drop has 2 locations. For a casual setting or to-go platters and plates, visit: 594 S. Reilly Road Suite 116. For sit down and a larger menu selection, visit: Drop By the River 1130 Person St.
A few suggestions include: King Albert, Lobster and Shrimp, Fried Seafood Platter, Shrimp Po Boy, Fried Cheesecake.
Luigi’s Italian Chophouse and Bar
Luigi’s Italian Chophouse and Bar features homemade Italian dishes, hand cut Black Angus steaks, and fresh seafood. They use quality ingredients and EVERYTHING is DELICIOUS!
Their lasagna and spaghetti with meat sauce are my favorite in town. While their pasta dishes are always delicious, I absolutely love their steaks and pork chops. They also have a fantastic dirty martini… just ask for extra olives.
It is family owned and operated for over 50 years. The staff is always friendly and welcoming. It is a great place for family dinner, date nights, or drinks. They have live music on the weekends. Luigi’s does get packed and also accepts reservations. I recommend reservations if you can plan a head.
A few suggestions include: Ahi Tuna, Mozzarella Caprese, Antipasto Salad, Lasagna, Spaghtetti, Parm Crusted Double Bone Rack of Pork, and Ribeye.
Chris’s Steak and Seafood House
Chris’s Steak and Seafood House is a great place for date night for steak and seafood. Locally owned and operated for over 50 years, Chris’s serves hand-cut Angus and U.S.D.A. Beef, cooked to temperature over hardwood coals in an open hearth.
Dinners are served with homemade cheese and crackers, fresh rolls, and a salad bar featuring homemade salad dressings.
Pair dinner with one of their selections of fine wine or a craft cocktail. I personally love their martinis and Bloody Marys. Wednesday nights are 1/2 off wine at the bar.
A few suggestions from the menu include: Stuffed Mushrooms, Lamb Pops, Prime Rib, Ribeye, Shishkabob, Ahi Tuna, and Alaskan King Crab Legs.
Under Par Golf Club
Under Par Golf Club is known for its Golf Simulator, but it is also a great place to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a craft cocktail. Don’t be afraid to ask the bartender for one of his personal specialties. The Bloody Mary, White Cosmo, and Strawberry Blonde are some of my personal favorites. The food is reasonably priced and tasty. You can’t go wrong with any of their sandwiches.
Under Par made the best restaurants in Fayetteville list for its craft cocktails and incredible sandwiches.
Tuesday is trivia and taco night with $4 margaritas! They also serve brunch on Sundays!
A few suggestions from the menu include: Pimento cheese and crackers, fried okra, club sandwich (it is huge), tuna melt, fried green tomato blt, and ham and cheese melt. Save room for one of their homemade desserts! They are well worth the calories!
Zorba’s Gyro on a Spit
Zorba’s is a great little family restaurant that has been serving Fayetteville since 1974. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner at affordable prices.
Breakfast is fast and cheap. They serve everything from bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, omelets, biscuits, and French Toast. The “Zorba’s Special” offers 2 eggs, grits or hash browns, 2 pancakes or toast for only $4.29!
My personal favorite is the handmade Gyro on a spit. They combine ground beef with special seasonings and cook it upright on a rotisserie grill. When you place your order, they slice the meat and place it on a pita with your favorite toppings.
I prefer my gyro “all the way,” with lettuce, tomato, onions, feta, homemade dressing, and homemade tzatzki sauce. Their souvalki, Greek marinated chicken, and spanakopita are also must tries when visiting.
My daughter always, always orders the spaghetti with meat sauce. This is her favorite.
Their french fries are thick. Order them crispy with cheese and a side of tzatzki to dip them in. You will thank me for that later!
A few other suggestions from the menu: pizza, Italian sub, onion rings, hamburger, meatball sub, grilled chicken breast pita, Mediterranean Greek Salad.
Located in a little Asian market off Santee Dr is Fayetteville’s best kept secret for Vietnamese food. The Saigon Market is a small little Vietnamese restaurant with an inexpensive menu. Everything is homemade, authentic, and DELICIOUS!
If you like Pho, this is your place (Pho-Sure!). The Pho comes out in a large bowl fresh and piping hot. It comes with a large plate of fresh garnishes such as sprouts, cilantro, basil, and jalapenoes.
Grab a combo of the Banh Mi and eggroll with drink for under $8.00. The Banh Mi is filled with your choice of meat (I like the combo of ham, pate, and pork), and it is topped with cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, soy sauce, and jalapenoes served on a fresh baguette.
This place does get packed. The parking is limited and they only have a few tables. You can join a stranger’s table (I did, who knows you might make a friend?) or you can take it to-go if you can not find seating.
This made the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC list for their Pho Noodle Soup and the Banh Mi sandwiches. However, don’t skip out on the egg rolls. They are authentic and FANTASTIC. The rice combos and vermicelli combos are great also.
Elizabeth’s Pizza on Skibo
If you like New York style pizza, then Elizabeth’s Pizza on Skibo Road is your place to go. Elizabeth’s is another locally family owned restaurant that has been around for years serving some of the best pizza in town.
The restaurant has been recently renovated creating a “swanky” atmosphere perfect for a date night or a family night. The menu is reasonably price.
Besides the AMAZING pizza, the Antipasto salad is a MUST! It is big enough to share. We usually order it as an appetizer for the table.
If you like dessert, Elizabeth also serves fantastic desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth. You can’t go wrong with the cannoli or tiramisu.
Some other menu suggestions: Stromboli, calzones, chicken parmiagana, cheesesteak, fried zucchini, caprese, linguine sapore di mare, stuffed shells
Mary Bill’s Cafe and Elbow Room
If you love breakfast and brunch, then Mary Bill’s Cafe and Elbow Room is a must stop. This little cafe gets really packed, so be prepared to wait for seating on the weekends.
Mary Bill’s serves great breakfast food from biscuits, breakfast sandwiches, omelets, waffles, and pancakes. My husband loves the Spicy Piggy which is an omelet stuffed with capicola ham, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and pepper jack cheese.
I like the homemade hash and “Burrito It” which is a burrito stuffed with eggs, sausage, green chilies, and onions, then topped with cheese, sour cream and salsa.
Mary Bill’s is also famous for their homemade cakes and pies. These sell out and are first come, first serve.
A few additional menu suggestions: SOS, French Toast, Cordon Bleu, Patty Melt, Reuben, and Capicola Ham on Sourdough Bread.
Have I missed your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know. I love to try new places and I might not of heard of it. Also, I will be updating this list as I check out other new favorites. Stay tuned for more!!!!!