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12 Amazing Restaurants in Banner Elk, NC and Nearby (+ Where to Drink!)

Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on January 4, 2024.

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These amazing restaurants in Banner Elk are another reason we love visiting the NC High Country. We’ve been eating our way through this town for years and want you to know about where to eat in Avery County’s biggest town.

When researching Banner Elk’s restaurants, you’ll notice a nice mix of flavors, including American, Creole, Cuban, Appalachia, North Carolina, and more! We’ve also included a few places to eat outside Banner Elk, a couple of great wineries, and a brewery in this awesome mountain town.

If you’re as hungry as we are ready to share, let’s eat and drink our way through Banner Elk and nearby!

Here’s a guide to everything we cover in case you want to jump ahead:

  • Map of Restaurants in Banner Elk
  • Where to Drink in Banner Elk
  • Restaurants in Banner Elk’s Surroundings
  • Other Things to Do in Banner Elk

Read More: 20+ Wonderful Things To Do In Banner Elk (Events + Food)

Map of Restaurants in Banner Elk

Map of Restaurants in Banner Elk NC

These restaurants in Banner Elk are listed in alphabetical order and do not reflect our personal ranking.

Also, our food guides are always growing and our stomachs are only so big. So if there’s a place we need to include, please feel free to let us know KINDLY, and we’ll take a closer look!

You can visually travel to each restaurant with our Western North Carolina Map or continue reading about one of our favorite places to eat in this awesome mountain town. Banner Elk is the closest town to Grandfather mountain, so if you are looking for some restaurants near Grandfather Mountain, then these will be great for you!

Here’s a list of places to eat in Banner Elk so you can scroll ahead for more information:

  • Artisanal
  • Banner Elk Cafe & Tavern
  • Bayou Smokehouse & Grill
  • Bella’s Breakfast and Lunch
  • Bodegas
  • Kettell Beerworks
  • LP on Main
  • The Pedalin’ Pig
  • Sorrento’s Italian Bistro
  • Stonewalls Restaurant

Read More: The NC Tripping North Carolina Travel Map


1200 Dobbins Rd.

There’s farm-to-table, and then there’s Artisanal, an experimental restaurant that takes advantage of Western North Carolina’s growing seasons to plot its menu.

The entrees and mains rotate according to what’s in bloom at nearby Springhouse Farm, and the rustic converted rustic red-roofed barn brings home the experience.

Bold risks and a farm-friendly approach have catapulted Artisanal to recognition as one of the best restaurants in the country. National acclaim and local flavors simmer together to create some of Western North Carolina’s best fine dining.

Read More: Apple Hill Farm in Banner Elk

Banner Elk Cafe & Tavern

324 Shawneehaw Ave. S

Banner Elk Restaurants BE Cafe

Banner Elk Cafe & Tavern is a one-stop shop perfect for filling up the whole family after a long hike. This was our first ever Banner Elk restaurant experience many years ago and we keep coming back for more.

Between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, an espresso machine, an extensive tap beer list, lodging, and an ice cream shop next door, even the pickiest eaters of the bunch will find something they like on the menu.

The tavern also hosts events like trivia night and live music, which perfectly pair with the delicious food coming out of this kitchen.

Read More: Amazing Hikes near Boone and Blowing Rock (45 of the Best!)

Bayou Smokehouse & Grill

132 East Main St.

Bayou Smokehouse Restaurants in Banner Elk

We mentioned a diverse array of restaurants in Banner Elk and Bayou Smokehouse is another great example.

Creole cookin’ significantly influences southern food, and after one meal here, you’ll see why. This Louisiana-Texas fusion grill has brought the high country some delicious gumbos, shrimp & grits, and Texas-style smoked meats.

Taste two culinary worlds colliding with some fresh-caught blackened North Carolina mountain trout, or stick to the classic Cajun sampler. As long as you opt for the spicy shrimp gumbo over the house salad, you’ll have a good time.

Read More: Colorful Fall Hikes in North Carolina (+ 20 Beautiful Places to Explore!)

Bella’s Breakfast and Lunch

Address: 142 Main St. E.

Banner Elk Restaurants Bellas

There aren’t many restaurants left where you can get two eggs, bacon, grits, and a biscuit for a price as affordable as Bella’s Breakfast and Lunch. The charming establishment is Banner Elk’s best diner, complete with bottomless coffee refills and country-fried steak.

There’s more to Bella’s than just biscuits and gravy, too. A recently expanded lunch menu opens up possibilities in the form of burgers, chicken sandwiches, and a variety of classic clubs.

Read more: The Best Breakfast Spots in North Carolina


488 Main St. W

The son of a Cuban immigrant wandered down from Connecticut to Banner Elk, fell in love, and brought a Latin flavor that has quickly become the highlight of the Eagles Nest Marketplace.

Some of the menu items are the same things restaurant owner Paul Alcazar’s father ate as a child, and the family recipe secrets come through in every bite of Bodega’s delicious tapas.

Thoughtful artworks and hanging lanterns create a hip ambiance that brings an irresistible youthfulness through the wine bar. The restaurant brings it together with rotating cocktail options and an extensive wine list.

Read More: 14 Delicious Blowing Rock Restaurants for High Country Travelers

Kettell Beerworks

567 Main St.

Kettell Beerworks makes a great stop for pre-dinner drinks on any night out in Banner Elk. Your trip might line up with a brewery tour, and you can see how the local brewers made your beer.

Read More: How to See Waterfalls Park in Newland (near Banner Elk)

This Banner Elk brewery will always have classic pale ale styles on tap and a seasonal rotation. My camera wouldn’t cooperate with the indoor lights, but I promise Kettell Beerworks has an excellent in-house selection.

If the beer tastes too good to leave, the brewery also serves pizzas, wings, pretzels, and desserts.

Read More: 80+ Tasty North Carolina Breweries (The Best of the Best!)

LP on Main

171 Main St.

We’ve already covered saloon-style Louisiana cuisine, but LP on Main takes things up a notch to further celebrate Creole heritage in Banner Elk.

The fine dining establishment presents affluent takes on shrimp and grits and North Carolina flounder, all guided by a farm-to-table approach.

They are on a mission to ensure their ingredients are enjoyed at their peak and frequently rotate the menu to reflect what’s in season. Even more impressive is the fact that the delicious seafood options are all caught in NC.

Read More: How to Explore the NC Oyster Trail (10+ Adventurous Ways!)

The Pedalin’ Pig

4235 Highway 105 S

The Pedalin Pig Boone Restaurants

It wouldn’t be a Western North Carolina mountain town without a proper BBQ joint. The Pedalin’ Pig provides the sauce with a splash of gourmet infused into classic vinegar-based North Carolina ‘cue.

In addition to delicious dine-in options, the pig serves up a local legend picnic special: a pound of pulled pork, a side of coleslaw, a side of baked beans, and four buns.

Eat in, and you’ll get to sample all of their eight house-made barbecue sauces while having your fill of southern-sized sides of fried okra and collard greens.

Read more: 20+ Delicious Restaurants in Boone for Your Next Meal Out!

Sorrento’s Italian Bistro

140 Azalea Circle SE


Chefs at Sorrento’s Italian Bistro take their food seriously in a classic Italian style, tracing their unique Rigatoni Bolognese recipes back generations to the family’s roots in Sicily.

That authenticity quickly established this bistro as one of our favorite Banner Elk restaurants, especially for date night.

Banner Elk Restaurants Sorrentos

Sorrento is one of the restaurants in Banner Elk with outdoor seating available. They have sections built around a large fire pit, an extensive wine list, and a few surprisingly new options have helped the restaurant stand the test of time and continue the family legacy through good eating.

Read More: 25+ Amazing Waterfalls near Banner Elk (within 2 Hours’ Drive)

Stonewalls Restaurant

344 Shawneehaw Ave. S

Last but not least in Banner Elk is Stonewall’s. This eatery stands strong with a solid food menu and even better drink options.

They’re not known to rewrite the recipe books, instead focusing on perfecting timeless American classics. This constant commitment keeps Stonewall’s on our mind when reminiscing about meals in Banner Elk.

Full of delicious seafood choices, prime pieces of meat, and a build-your-own salad bar, Stonewall’s has been serving upscale hits since 1985. No trip to Stonewalls should come without one of their famous steaks, always prepared just the way you like.

Read More: Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster (7 Important Tips Before You Go!)

Where to Drink in Banner Elk

The High country takes advantage of its fresh mountain air to create excellent wines! Banner Elk is home to a couple of amazing wineries just outside of town.

135 Deer Run Ln

Banner Elk Winery

Local winemakers decked out this multipurpose lodge and vineyard into the perfect space for private events, daily wine tastings, and luxury accommodations.

Banner Elk Winery & Villa spared no expense on its way to gold medals in winery competitions from here to Sonoma, all while building an intimate experience in the North Carolina mountains.

Visitors can meander through grassy pastures along the three-building complex, sip eight flights of the winemaker’s latest delicacies, and take home a souvenir glass.

Read more: 25 of the Best North Carolina Wineries and Vineyards

Grandfather Mountain Winery

225 Vineyard Ln

North Carolina Wineries Grandfather Winery Image

Grandfather Mountain Winery’s award-winning grapes are always worth investigating, no matter how long you’re in the High Country. The Tatum family has built an excellent winery along the Watauga River and at the foot of Grandfather Mountain.

You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy an afternoon in the curated outdoor environment of the winery, and live music Thursday to Sunday is an excellent reason to stick around.

For a closer look, sign up for their Wine Club and enjoy tastings fresh from the barrel.

Read More: Otter Falls Trail (A Fun Hike to One of the High Country’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls)

Restaurants in Banner Elk’s Surroundings

These restaurants may not be within Banner Elk town limits, but they won’t be more than a 20-minute drive through some beautiful country roads!

Read More: 20 of the Best Day Trips from Boone (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

Elk River Depot

6460 Banner Elk Hwy, Elk Park

This affordable establishment is a perfect spot for the entire family. Elk River Depot keeps things simple while offering a wide-ranging breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu with loads of classic Americana, pizza, and flatbreads.

Line up your trip with their event calendar; Mondays are kid’s night out with a movie showing and free popcorn, and on Saturdays, the smoker heats up full of baby back ribs.

Don’t worry about timing your visit too much, as any night will have delicious entrees accompanied by a full salad bar and a specialty dessert pizza.

Read More: How to See Elk River Falls (Trail and Safety Tips)

Over Yonder

3608 Hwy 194 S, Valle Crucis

Boone Restaurants Over Yonder

You know a restaurant is delicious when they can get away with putting ‘ish’ on the hour’s signs. This down-home country classic is a hop, skip and jump from Banner Elk in beautiful Valle Crucis, and the Chicken Fried Chicken alone is worth the trip.

Over Yonder’s menu is a homage to Appalachian classics, full of delicious food made possible by the Appalachian Mountains.

Boone Restaurants Over Yonder Peach Cobbler

Talented chefs make everything from scratch using cast iron skillets and traditional cooking techniques. For the full Western NC flavor, save room for the Peach Cobbler!

Read More: 25 Wonderful Wineries Near Asheville (Vineyards Within 2 Hours)

Ready to Enjoy These Banner Elk Restaurants?

We can’t narrow it down between the steaks at Stonewall’s, the biscuits at Bella’s, or any of these other memorable places to eat in Banner Elk. If you’re familiar with this wonderful town, what are your favorite restaurants in Banner Elk?

Let us know either in the comments section below or send us an email. Don’t forget to share your High Country adventures in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group.

Beyond Restaurants in Banner Elk (Things to Do)

Beyond these amazing Banner Elk restaurants, we’ve created guides covering things to do and specific spotlights of area attractions. Pick from any of these guides below and plan your next High Country adventure!

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