There are many incredible local restaurants near Boone, NC to cure all of your foodie cravings. Here is a list of some of some of the best eateries that I have personally visited and enjoy eating at when traveling to Boone, NC.
I love to escape to the mountains any free opportunity I can. Boone, NC is just a 4 hour drive from my house, which makes it an easy getaway. I choose my destinations around food and atmosphere. Boone has spectacular views, unlimited things to do in the outdoors, great shopping, and most importantly, fantastic eateries. These Boone area restaurants have three things in common: They take pride in their food by sourcing fresh, local ingredients; almost everything is made in-house, and food is always served with friendly Southern hospitality. There is never a reason to leave “The High Country” hungry. Here is a list of some of the local favorites I have personally discovered that I recommend visiting and eating at!
Melanie’s Food Fantasy | Boone, NC
Melanie’s Food Fantasy is a hot spot for a fantastic lunch or breakfast in the heart of downtown Boone, NC. They pride themselves in using local ingredients, fresh produce, and local farm raised eggs for their dishes. The whimsical menu features dishes such as Eggs DaVinci: Two poached eggs, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts on a bed of fresh spinach finished with scratch-made hollandaise and homemade toast; and Trucker Breakfast: Homemade split biscuit covered with mushroom gravy, then topped with two eggs your way, cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to try the the banana nut waffle or the stuffed French toast that is layered with raspberry cream cheese spread, topped with bananas, strawberries, raspberry coulis, and whipped cream!
The Dan’l Boone Inn Restaurant | Boone, NC
The Dan’l Boone Inn Restaurant is nestled in the heart of downtown Boone, NC. It resides in a beautiful historic building that was once a hospital, then later renovated into a rooming house for students at Appalachian State Teachers University. In 1959, it was converted to a family style restaurant. They serve breakfast or lunch, and there is usually a long line out the door to wait for seating. The wait is worth it. When my children were small, this was one of their favorite places. Breakfast includes an array of handmade biscuits, stewed apples, bacon, country ham, preserves, eggs, sausage, grits, pancakes, and many more. Dinner includes fried chicken, country style steak, country ham biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, and other sides. Save room for dessert because it is always fantastic. Wear pants with a little elastic and give. You will leave happy and full for sure!
Vidalia | Boone, NC
Vidalia is located in Boone, NC. It is a contemporary restaurant, with a pretty atmosphere, featuring unique Southern inspired cuisine. It is a perfect place for a special occasion or date night. The menu is incorporates local Carolina ingredients. The menu changes based on the availability of ingredients. Some current highlights to the menu include crab cakes with Texas caviar; house pickled beets with goat cheese, spiced pecans, and Watauga country ham prosciutto; and chicken and waffles with Southern fried chicken breast, sawmill gravy, collard greens, sweet potato waffles, and hot honey. All of the dishes are plated beautifully. They are also open for brunch.
Gamekeeper Restaurant and Bar| Boone, NC
The Gamekeeper Restaurant and Bar is tucked away in a beautiful cottage in Boone, NC. The menu features a large selection exotic meats that include emu, bison, venison, elk, boar, mountain trout, and duck. Ingredients are locally sourced and organic when possible. If meat is not your thing, they provide vegetarian options also. Each dinner is plated beautifully begging for you to eat with your eyes. Don’t pass on the opportunity to order the mixed game grill appetizer with a variety of house-made sausages and game meats for sampling. The beet and brie salad will not disappoint. I personally like the grilled pekin ducked the elk was tender and delicious, but the Emu with spinach risotto and sun-dried tomato jus sound exquisite!
The Cardinal | Boone, NC
The Cardinal is a very popular local hangout for good burgers and tasty appetizers in Boone, NC. All of the food and cocktails are handcrafted. Try the hand dipped corndog served with a homemade mustard. Or you can’t go wrong with the grass-fed beef burgers. They are flavorful and juicy. If you are feeling adventurous, select the Emu or Bison burger! Vegetarians and vegans are welcome also. The Cardinal serves a variety of vegan dishes such as a Beet Burger, Tempeh Tender Sandwich, and a hot dog veggie dog. They have gluten- free options for those that have allergies. This place is kid friendly also with a ski-ball machine and pin-ball machine to keep them busy while them busy while they wait for their food.
Our Daily Bread | Boone, NC
Our Daily Bread is a cute little gourmet sandwich and salad restaurant located in the heart of downtown Boone, NC. Ingredients are organic and locally sourced when possible. Food is wonderfully scrumptious. A few sandwich examples include the Roast Beef & Chimmi- Thin sliced roast beef with house made chimicurri sauce, melted goat cheese, spring mix, tomatoes, roast red peppers, and chipotle aioli on a pressed brioche roll; the Tempeh Reuben- Marinated tempeh, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, and brown mustard on grilled rye; and the Smoked Ham and Apple Press- Smoked Ham, cheddar cheese, thinly sliced apples & special sauce on sourdough, hot off the panini grill. Save room for the house-made desserts!
Over Yonder | Valle Crucis, NC
Over Yonder is a special restaurant located in a historic home in Valle Crucis, NC. They feature Appalachian inspired cuisine handmade with fresh local ingredients. The Pork Fat Potato Chips tossed loaded with pimento cheese gravy, napa slaw, and candied bacon is worth the drive out of the way in itself. It sounds a little wierd…. but the combination is AMAZING. They are famous for their shrimp and grits, but don’t be afraid to order the crispy crusted pork and beef meatloaf. I haven’t ordered the tomato cobbler, but that will be next on my list. Their craft cocktails are fun and unusual incorporating some of NC ‘s liquor and bitters. The Shinerita is very tasty made with paw paw’s moonshine, orange liqueur, meyer lemon and key lime sour, and pickled okra. They are open lunch or dinner. I recommend calling for a reservation. They have gluten- free options for those that have allergies.
The Painted Fish Cafe and Beer Bar | Banner Elk, NC
The Painted Fish Café and Beer Bar is in Banner Elk, just a few minutes from Boone, NC. The menu takes traditional dishes and gives them a gourmet twist. Food is made from scratch and when possible, sourced locally. The dish presentations are beautiful and service is always good. The menu changes seasonly. They do served gluten-free and dairy-free options. You cannot go wrong with the lamb chops or scallops. They will be cooked perfectly. The pan seared rare sesame tuna is always delicious. Save room for Krispy Cream cheesecake or creme brûlée. Brunch is also very special at The Painted Fish. Featured brunch items include Sweet Potatoes Waffle Foster, Salmon Hash, Breakfast Tacos, Biscuits and Gravy, and High Country Benedict to name a few!
Stonewalls Restaurant | Banner Elk, NC
Stonewalls Restaurant is a beautiful steakhouse located in Banner Elk. They are famous for their Prime Rib, but also offer a large variety of dishes featuring gourmet steaks, chicken, pork, and seafood. The locals love thier 50 item salad bar with house-made dressings. If you are in the mood for soup, their house-made French Onion Soup is so cheesy, it is served with scissors to cut the cheese! The atmosphere is beautiful and cozy. It is the perfect spot for a date night.
Bistro Roca Antlers Bar | Blowing Rock, NC
The Bistro Roca Antlers Bar is located in Blowing Rock, just a few minutes away from Boone, NC. The food and drink menu is FANTASTIC! They serve both lunch and dinner but is closed on Tuesdays. They are famous for their lobster mac and cheese and the locals like the wood fired pizza. It is a great stop for small plates such as roasted figs stuffed with Manchego, beet hummus, or smoked olives. You can’t go wrong with their black and blue steak or pan seared scallops. They also offer unique dishes such as buffalo oxtail ragout and slow braised veal. Come hungry, you won’t leave disappointed.
Hatchet Coffee | Boone, NC
While this is not a restaurant, my favorite coffee is made at Hatchet Coffee in Boone, NC. Our local coffee shop, Leclair’s General Store serves Hatchet Coffee. Therefore, we try to make a special stop at the actual Hatchet Coffee shop when visiting Boone. The coffee shop is worth the visit. They serve AMAZING cold brew (my favorite), regular coffee, and specialty coffee drinks. You can purchase their beans to take back home with you. If you are a coffee lover, you should definitely add them to your stops!
For more restaurant reviews, check out my travel section on the blog. Some great spots to add to your bucket list include Paulie’s Pig Out in Afton Virginia, The Motor Supply Bistro in Columbia, SC; and Parker’s BBQ in Wilson, NC.