Last Updated on April 12, 2023
Last Updated on April 12, 2023
We’ve eaten at some pretty awesome restaurants in Boone (and in nearby mountain towns) and quickly learned that this place offers more than standard Freshmen fare.
With a heavy emphasis on “as local as possible,” the chefs of this college town really know how to feed folks with all sorts of tastes.
You can chow down on expertly crafted sushi, eat game meat not usually found in restaurants, and get a taste of real Appalachia. And after many foodie visits, we want to share our favorite must-eat Boone restaurants with you.
We’ve organized this Boone restaurant guide to include:
- Breakfast restaurants in Boone
- Casual restaurants in Boone
- Boone Date night spots
Read More: 30+ Great Things to Do in Boone (Hikes, Eats, and More in App Town)
Restaurants in Boone NC (Map)
Visually plan your foodie adventures with our Western North Carolina Map and our North Carolina Travel Map. Before that, you’re welcome to keep reading about the best restaurants in Boone.
If you’re seeking a place to stay in the area, check out these Airbnbs in Boone and nearby towns!
Read More: Places to Visit in the High Country
Breakfast Restaurants in Boone, NC
From gluten-free donuts to classic diners, there are some great breakfast restaurants in Boone! Here are some of our favorites. They are listed in no particular order.
Troy’s 105 Diner
When you are looking for a solid classic American breakfast in Boone, Troy’s 105 Diner hits the spot. The 1950s-style eatery offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with both booth and counter-seating.
While breakfast is served all day, this Boone restaurant also features homemade soups, burgers, and daily weekday specials. Play a song on the jukebox while sipping on a milkshake, and enjoy the vintage memorabilia on the walls.
Melanie’s Food Fantasy
664 W King St
Owned under the Stick Boy Bakery umbrella, Melanie’s Food Fantasy has been a Boone restaurant favorite since 1991. If you were looking for a word to describe this place, try “eclectic.” That’s because they have an exciting menu, colorful cloth napkins, thrift store-curated coffee mugs, and genre-spanning art adorning the walls.
This place is also pet- and kid-friendly, making this the perfect place to bring friends and family and show off the amazing Boone food scene! We really enjoyed their bacon avocado benedict and look forward to returning for more made-to-order yumminess.
345 Hardin St (Bakery) & 211 Boone Heights Drive (Kitchen)
If you’ve been out to eat in Boone, you’ve likely seen Stick Boy Bakery appear on the menu. That’s because of their incredible bread, pastries, and baked goods being used by restaurants throughout Boone.
The folks at Stick Boy have fed people in the High Country since 2001, starting with a bakery (oh, the cinnamon bun!) and eventually expanding to a second location—Stick Boy Kitchen.
Here, you’ll find more seating and specialty sandwiches. At the kitchen, grab a Salty Hog or a Son of a Gouda and don’t you dare miss the Shut the French Door Toast!
Everything is made from scratch daily with the highest quality of ingredients and traditional baking methods that just make you melt like butter on warm toast.
1675 Highway 105 S
Sunrise Grill is Boone’s answer for those seeking the most amazing local breakfast at affordable prices. If you’re feeling special, go for the Flankenstein Benedict and you’ll be treated to house-made bread, goat cheese, spinach, Vidalia Peach hot sauce, and of course, flank steak.
And don’t forget about their Chicken and Waffle Sandwich, either. Honestly, Sunrise Grill is everything I ever would have wanted as a college student!
Read More: 14 Delicious Blowing Rock Restaurants for High Country
791 Blowing Rock Road
Local Lion has donuts that I dream about. Soft, fluffy, and scratch-made. Not only are the donuts sweet sticky smell intoxicating, but if you are lucky, the coffee is roasting in the background too. You’re guaranteed a fresh cup of Joe using single origin and Fair Trade and Organic beans.
But back to the donuts… Every morning Local Lion proofs these donuts using a 1930s potato-based recipe. They also have sour-cream buttermilk cake doughnuts, and on Fridays, they serve Gluten Free offerings.
Casual Restaurants in Boone, NC
Whether you’re looking for burgers, barbecue, or beer- check out some of these amazing casual restaurants in Boone, NC!
246 Wilson Dr
Where else do you go for craft beer and fresh pasta!? Basil’s of course! What started as the tasting room for Booneshine, Basil’s started with a commitment to quality, fresh, and made from scratch.
With a fine selection of pasta and sandwiches, the vibe is easygoing. Don’t forget to take home some of their pasta by the pound!
Read More: Western North Carolina (100+ Wonderful Places to Visit)
Bayou Smokehouse and Grill
130 Main St, Banner Elk
While Bayou Smokehouse is technically in Banner Elk, we think this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it. It’s rare to find a place where you can get both smoked ribs and Cajun gumbo!
Serving both Texas-style barbecue and Cajun-inspired dishes, you’re going to want to head to Banner Elk for this restaurant!
Read More: 13 Amazing Restaurants in Banner Elk and Nearby (+ Where to Drink!)
Booneshine Brewing Company
465 Industrial Park Dr
Booneshine Brewing Company is where you want to go if you want quality food with a laidback brewery atmosphere.
As one of the three breweries in Boone, Boonshine truly has that community vibe with wide-open seating, an outdoor beer garden, and unpretentious food.
Collaborating with Stick Boy Bakery, Booneshine has some of the best pretzels and beer cheese in Western North Carolina! Booneshine is also incredibly pet and kid-friendly, which is always a plus when you’re traveling and looking for somewhere for the whole family.
Read More: Winter in Boone (20 Great Activities, Snow Tubing, and More!)
1711 Highway 105
Have you ever eaten emu? How about antelope? Visit the Cardinal and you’ll likely find both on the menu. Committed to providing fresh, local food, you’ll find things at the Cardinal that you’re used to but with a bit of added flair. Try their rotating Wild Game burger for something new and exciting.
And on the other end of the spectrum, non-meat-eaters can chow down on the most delicious beet burger in town! Oh, and don’t forget their cocktails. The owners have a strong bartending background, and each glass that comes out looks scrumptious!
Read More: Colorful Fall Hikes in North Carolina (+ 20 Beautiful Places to Explore!)
200 Southgate Dr
At Coyote Kitchen, this family-run restaurant is serving up unique flavors not found any other place to eat in Boone. A recommended must-try is the Taos Boat.
That is made with layers of cornbread, black beans, hormone-free rosemary chicken, sweet potatoes, corn, fried plantains, tomatoes, and jack cheese.
And all of that is topped with their famous chipotle cream cheese. Our waiter at another Boone restaurant told us that it’s so delicious, that he orders extra chipotle cream cheese and chips to take home.
Dan’l Boone Inn
130 Harden St
Dan’l Boone Inn is one of the most talked-about classic restaurants in North Carolina, not just Boone.
But above all, it’s because of the traditional homecooked meals they’ve been serving for over 50 years. Here, diners enjoy family-style dishes that will leave you stuffed and reminiscing about Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house.
The Inn was once Boone’s first hospital and remained one of the oldest and most history-filled buildings in town. Come hungry as you start out with a salad (in the summer) or soup (in the winter).
Three types of meat and five vegetables follow that. Try to leave room for dessert because Dan’l Boone Inn gives incredible value for its family meals.
Note: Dan’l Boone Inn is cash or checks only! Let us know if this changes, though, so we can keep things up to date!
617 W King St
Eat with a purpose at F.A.R.M. Cafe because this non-profit pay-what-you-can community kitchen serves everyone regardless of their means. With a drive to eliminate hunger, F.A.R.M. strives to provide high-quality and locally sourced meals prepared by volunteers.
Diners can make a suggested but not required donation for each meal. The donation amount covers the cost of the meal. However, if you are financially able, it is encouraged to pay that amount or a little more.
No one will be turned away, but if you are not able to pay for your meal, you can also volunteer time as an exchange. Meals change daily and usually include a soup, entrée, two sides, salad, dessert, and a drink.
If you love this Boone restaurant as much as we do, you’ll enjoy Executive Chef Renee Boughman’s recipes in this F.A.R.M. Cookbook!
Lost Province Brewing Co
130 N Depot St
Lost Province Brewing‘s name honors the time when northwestern North Carolina’s three counties were once known by that moniker because they were so difficult to reach.
But just like the olden days, Lost Province Brewing Co’s inventive beers and savory dishes make this a place worth searching for. This is THE downtown brewery and gastropub in Boone and it is always packed.
On the food side, they’re known for amazing wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza. If you walk in midday on a Saturday, you will most definitely have a wait. Check their board to see all of the local farms they’re partnering with to bring you the freshest ingredients available!
3608 Highway 194, Valle Crucis (Sugar Grove)
I know we’re talking about restaurants in Boone, but Over Yonder in Valle Crucis (Sugar Grove) is where you’ll find one of the most delicious Appalachian kitchens. Everything here is made from scratch, or as they say, “done the hard and stupid way.”
Nothing says Appalachia to me more than a ham flight or cornmeal fried frog legs, and that’s just the beginning at this place. Go for their house-smoked rainbow trout spread, followed by a stewed tomato cobbler.
And please leave room for a slice of peach cobbler served with buttermilk ice cream.
The Pedalin’ Pig
2968 NC-105, Boone & 4235 Hwy 105 South, Banner Elk
There aren’t enough words to describe the deliciousness that is The Pedalin’ Pig! From using locally sourced ingredients and huge dining areas, this is where you go if you want good food and vibes.
With two different locations, each of The Pedalin’ Pigs has its own environment. The original location in Banner Elk is more family-friendly- complete with a pond, waterwheel, and ducks that love to come say, “Hello!” on the patio. Meanwhile, the Boone location has a lively bar to complement their delicious fall-off-the-bone meats.
Pepper’s Restaurant and Bar
240 Shadowline Dr
Pepper’s serves up fresh and delicious sandwiches and pub food, making it one of our favorite Boone restaurants for a casual bite. From using local produce for their vegetables and even offering curly fries, there’s nothing on this menu that isn’t delicious. Make sure to ask if they have their famous mud pie and you’ll thank us later!
Wild Craft Eatery
506 W King St
Located in the heart of downtown, Wild Craft Eatery is a delicious Boone restaurant with healthy and fresh dishes. I loved the abundance of gluten-free and vegan options at Wild Craft Eatery!
Open for Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner; the outdoor patio is the perfect place to browse their culturally diverse menu. Find Latin and Asian flavors mixed with great burgers and the best salsa in the High County at Wild Craft Eatery.
Date Night Restaurants in Boone, NC
If you are looking for something a little more upscale to wow your partner, here are some of our suggestions on where to enjoy a meal out on the town.
161 Howard St Suite B
You might not think amazing sushi can be found in the mountains, but that preconception is exactly what Appalachian State finance major Joseph Miller sought to change with CoBo. He apprenticed in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for five years, and brought CO (Colorado) to BO (Boone) with upscale and exciting Japanese delicacies.
His specialty rolls combine his roots with a sushi flare. From the Burning Man of seared tuna, spicy crab, cucumber, and tempura to the Yosef of tuna, Panko shrimp, crab, avocado, Nitzume, and spicy aioli, there is something for every palate.
Your experience can move beyond sushi at CoBo with amazing plated dishes. Try their amazing crispy honey duck or hibachi plates for any of your non-seafood-eating relatives.
Read More: Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster in Banner Elk
3005 Shulls Mill Rd
If the Cardinal is a casual spot that serves exotic meat, then the Gamekeeper is the fine dining must-eat spot for adventurous foodies. The restaurant is a rustic cabin nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains between Boone and Blowing Rock.
The Gamekeeper accompanies only the freshest ingredients with its humanely farm-raised meats. They know the farmers and foragers and honor their produce by using everything from nose to tail.
Cut into moist Elk served with a shiitake jus and bleu mac or perfectly grilled Bison. While their meats are worth trying, Chefs Wendy and Ken Gordon care greatly about making beautiful and colorful vegetable dishes.
179 Howard St
The Local is definitely a spot meant for hanging out and enjoying time with friends. Many folks come for live music, a round of pool, or to watch a game, but you can’t pass up on any of the Local’s tasty dishes, either.
Sit down for a fork-and-knife meal or kick back in the lounge area with one of their expertly crafted cocktails. Dance the night away on Thursday nights and stop in on Mondays for 45-cent wings!
142 S Water St
The folks at Proper know their food is better than what you’ll find at home, but don’t worry. They won’t tell your momma. Just don’t let her catch you saying anything about your experience on Facebook! Seriously, though, Proper is where you go for a seasonally curated meal that’s fit for everyone.
Whether you’re stopping in for some Tomato Pie or a bowl of Pintos and Rice, each and every bite is sourced from local farmers and businesses. Don’t overlook the weekday specials and remember that no southern meal is complete without dessert!
831-835 W King St
If you want a nice night out in town or to impress a date, Vidalia is where you can do both! With an extensive wine and drink list, Vidalia is an upscale bistro that serves North Carolina’s best.
Heritage Farms and Joyce Farms are just a couple of places they source from, showing that they keep things local and delicious.
You’ll definitely write home about their chicken and waffles, with southern fried chicken breast, sawmill gravy, and turnip greens all topping sweet potato waffles. Reservations are definitely recommended because this place fills up, for a good reason.
Read More: 25 Wonderful Wineries Near Asheville (Vineyards Within 2 Hours)
Ready to Dig Into These Restaurants in Boone?
Whether you’re hankering for Southern classics or looking to try the best Caribbean soul food in all of North Carolina, these places have your back.
No matter which of these restaurants in Boone you visit, bring your palette what you know or stretch it out with something new.
If you’re familiar with this awesome food scene, we’d love to know which are your favorites. Also, do you have any to add?
Let us know in the comments section or by email. Don’t forget to share your adventures through these restaurants in Boone in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group!
More Things to Do (Beyond Restaurants in Boone)
There are plenty of things to do in Boone and elsewhere in the High Country beyond these wonderful places to eat. Our North Carolina Travel Guides collection has you covered from the mountains to the sea!
40 thoughts on “20+ Delicious Restaurants in Boone (Breakfast, Casual, and Date Night!)”
Agree with everything except Daniel Boone Inn! While Boone lacks the culinary “mystique” of Asheville, it has made leaps and bounds in the last 5-6 years in both the quality and variety of its fare. Great post!
Thanks, AJ. I was also impressed by all the options in Boone. So many great places pushing the envelope there.
We love Coyote Kitchen! One other gem is Our Daily Bread. Perfect place to get soup in bread bowls on cold days!!
I married a Boone girl over thirty years ago and am currently staying with her elderly dad here near Boone . If we want to go out to a sit down restaurant we go to either go to Mike’s Inland Seafood in Boone or to Smoky Mountain BBQ in West Jefferson . You won’t find a better seafood restaurant at the coast and Smokey Mountain BBQ can’t be beat . Both are reasonably priced with great quality . What Boone really needs and lacks , is a regular diner where the locals eat everyday . You won’t find that here like in most all towns . Everything here is geared toward tourism and charge high prices you can’t afford everyday . Most of the people that live and work here still cook at home , because eating out here is just to expensive .
We tried Mike’s Inland Seafood Restaurant last night, and were very impressed! Many of the dishes are offered in three sizes. My broiled catfish filets in lemon butter and Old Bay were perfectly cooked (medium platter was two filets). My husband’s crab-stuffed was exceptional, with enough spice in the crab to be interesting and not enough to melt your tonsils. He also enjoyed the vegetables stir fried with Old Bay.
And the crab legs with melted butter are out of this world!
ODB is currently closed – no idea of plans to reopen or to sell.
You left out one of the biggest staples in Boone and one of the best restaurants Cafe Portofino. That should have definitely been on this list.
That is one of my favorite places. The sirloin pasta is the bomb.
Portofino is closed.
Great picks! I went to graduate school in Boone, and loved every minute of living there! Hopefully, I will get back soon to visit.
Peters pancakes didn’t make the cut? Dang!
The sushi restaurant Co Bo is as good as it gets. I know…it’s N.C. Surprise.
Basils is great
You forgot ”Wild Craft Eatery!” It would be my top pick for sure!!
Have you tried Booneshine? Seriously the best!!! It needs to be on this list. Especially to represent East Boone;)
We went for a beer but didn’t have room for a meal! We’ll definitely stop by for food too next time we’re in town. Thanks, Tiffany!
How about the Famous Come Back shack! Best milkshakes and freshest “fast” food in the area!
We’ll definitely have to “Come Back” for it! Thanks for mentioning this place to us!
Blue Ridge Diner is a must! The food is prepared daily, fresh and delicious. A large variety to choose from. Great customer service. The best sweet tea around. The owner is very sweet and always speaks when we dine in. Next time your in the area give them a try! You will not be disappointed.
Peppers should definitely be on your list.
Thanks for mentioning. We’ll definitely have to investigate further!
Peppers has slowly declined over the last 35 years. It is hit or miss on quality and the service can be slow. But it has been an institution in Boone for many decades and the Mudpie is to die for
Thanks, Beth. Will definitely check it out next time!
Craft Bistro in West Jefferson is a must. It may be 30 min away but West Jefferson is a great excursion.
Craft Bistro is definitely amazing. I am a foodie who moved here recently from the big city and it is as good as the restaurants there.
As a local, I like the blue ridge diner and thompsons on old 421. Your list includes some good food but it’s pricy!
Thanks penny. As the owner of Thompsons in deep gap I appreciate your comments
You should check out the great eateries in Blowing Rock too! The Public House, The Speckled Trout, Best Cellar, and Sunset and Vine, the best wine bar in the state!
Hi Carole, We have written a separate post on Blowing Rock restaurants! Check it out! https://www.nctripping.com/blowing-rock-restaurants/
Love the list. Been going to Pepper’s since late 80s. My first date w the lady that became my wife!
The burgers, Jean Lawson sandwhich and mud pie are my favs. Thanks Christina and Carl!
What a lovely connection, Gordon! It’s something special when love and food come together!
I have tried many of these restaurants but you left out one of my favorites…to satisfy your Mexican tastes, visit Dos Amigos!!
Coyote Kitchen is so good! But you left out Mint! 🙁 Its amazing!
High country GREEK!!!! Bamboo Road. Authentic Greek food. And ..BAKLAVA !
We enjoyed a long weekend get-away in Boone this past August. The hotel recommended The Local but it was packed. We found and would like to recommend Casa Rustica on Hwy 105 S. Two fine Italian meals and the most personable, fun server ever.
Thanks for the suggestion, Ron! With so many wonderful places to eat in Boone, we’ll never run out of options:)
Don’t forget about Boone’s newest downtown market and Deli, Wildwood Community Market! Fresh, fast, healthy food located right across the street from the Local! Check it out, the food is amazing!!!