Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on May 5, 2023.
There are so many great places to explore and eat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, but these restaurants in Burnsville have earned a warm spot in our hearts (and bellies).
So whether you’re traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville (or from Boone) and need a food break or have the fortune of staying in this beautiful small town, you’re in for more than a treat.
Our guide shares the perfect places in and around downtown Burnsville’s historic Town Square. Hopefully, you’ll have plenty of time to stretch your legs and explore this great place in Western North Carolina.
But in the meantime, these are our favorite places to eat in Burnsville.
Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Burnsville area and are wondering, “What are the best things to do near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!
The Best Restaurants in Burnsville NC
These restaurants in Burnsville are listed in alphabetical order and do not reflect our personal ranking.
Our food guides are always growing and our stomachs are only so big. So if there’s a place we missed, please feel free to let us know KINDLY, and we’ll take a closer look!
- Appalachian Java
- Babe’s Pizza and Treats
- Bantam Chef
- Bubba’s Good Eats
- Carolina Empanada Company
- Garden Deli
- Hog Hollow Wood Fired Pizza (Homeplace Beer Company)
- Lil’ Smoky
- Pigs and Grits
- Rio Mexican Cuisine
- Snap Dragon
- Ye Olde Country Store
Read More: The NC Tripping North Carolina Travel Map
8 W Main St
Appalachian Java is the little cafe that could. They slowly expanded their menu to cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner while earning recognition as one of the best restaurants in Burnsville (and Western NC) for three straight years.
Specialties cover the best from local coffee roasters, high-quality gelatos, and classic southern breakfasts like biscuits and gravy. You can also get a breakfast sandwich, which is the perfect takeout option.
The Java spot’s central location and charming ambiance have helped the restaurant define itself as a Main Street staple. No waltz amongst Burnsville local shops is complete without a cup of Appalachian Java in hand.
Babe’s Pizza and Treats
170 Reservoir Rd
Bob, Phyllis, and the gang know the secret to yummy comfort food isn’t complicated. Babe’s Pizza and Treats full menu isn’t trying to reinvent the industry, instead combining a few familiar favorites to provide an eclectic stop a half-mile from Main Street.
Babe’s Pizza has made its name on wild combos. It’s a pizzeria that’s just as passionate about its desserts and is home to the only double-decker pizza in NC. You’ll have to stop in to find out just how delicious those combos can be.
19 Burnsville School Rd
Bantam Chef is a familiar favorite and right across US-19 Bypass from Babe’s Pizza and Treats. This independently-owned diner is ready to serve you breakfast and lunch.
Whether you’re there for bacon and eggs, burgers for lunch, or anything else, this place has got you covered. Don’t forget to grab a fresh coffee on your way out, especially if you’re driving out to Mount Mitchell State Park or anywhere else that requires a drive.
Bubba’s Good Eats
394 E Main St
Nobody knows comfort food quite like Bubba. He’s got the most remarkable secret ingredient in the business: a sweet and saucy combination of good food, family, and friends.
This fan-favorite is often full up with a local crowd on game day, and Bubba’s Good Eats’ all-encompassing menu and friendly staff will fill you up while providing charming local recommendations any day of the week.
Carolina Empanada Company
260 E Main St
The American dream is fresh-baked, authentic Colombian Empanadas right on Mount Mitchell’s doorstep.
Carolina Empanada Company is a mobile empanada stand that rotates through local breweries to cap off an afternoon spent enjoying a few local brews with locally fried, crispy chicken, pork, beef, and veggie Empanadas.
Finish your meal with an apple pie to find out how versatile cornmeal can be.
107 Town Square
Garden Deli is the perfect place to grab lunch and on weekends, for dinner, too! We love their selection of deli sandwiches, soups, and salads.
This place is worthy of its own entrance next to its sister restaurant and Burnsville heavyweight Snap Dragon. Stay tuned for more on the latter.
Add in the option of indoor or outdoor seating and you can see why this is one of our favorite restaurants in Burnsville. If you don’t have time to sit down, we think their food is perfect for take-out, especially after a hike.
Hog Hollow Wood Fired Pizza (Homeplace Beer Company)
321 W Main St
Located inside Homeplace Beer Company, Hog Hollow Pizza is one of the most popular restaurants in Burnsville for several reasons.
For starters, they ensure you won’t have to go far to fill up after enjoying a few craft beers. The menu includes yummy starters and salads, specialty pies, and a whole world of build-your-own pizza adventures.
The wood-fired pizza turns that after-hike beer into an afternoon of yummy relaxation. The two companies work together to bring all sorts of special events and ensure no two nights are ever quite the same.
It all comes together to create one of our favorite Burnsville restaurants.
Their wings travel well for takeout if you want to surprise your family and friends with some deliciousness. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a growler full of amazing Homeplace Beer.
We were very sad to see sister restaurant Second Home close but we look forward to seeing what comes next from the Homeplace team! Please support them if you can!
702 E Main St
Packing a flavor that hasn’t lost its way since this diner first opened in 1953, this laid-back environment is home to some great American classics.
Lil’ Smoky named themselves after their signature smoky burger, a mouthwatering half-pound Angus burger that’s never frozen.
Pair it with a creamy milkshake blended with their famous peanut butter for an authentic Burnsville classic meal.
Pig and Grits
620 W Main St
It isn’t easy to hold the crown of the best barbecue in any Southern town. Pig and Grits have perfected its cuisine across breakfast, lunch, and dinner to give you a slow-cooked option for three meals a day.
All their natural meats are smoked in-house over hand-cut hickory to bring the flavor home without shortcuts.
Can’t make it to the restaurant? Keep an eye out for the restaurant’s iconic food truck Pigs on Wheels. You can find info on upcoming stops on their website, and start planning your trip today.
Rio Mexican Cuisine
22 E US Highway 19E
You don’t need to head to the Rio Grande for authentic Tex Mex. Delicious Mexican cuisine met up with cheddar cheese and hard shells to create Rio Mexican Cuisine’s unique flavor and serve as the best Mexican food in Burnsville.
The wide-ranging menu features all sorts of Tex Mex favorites. You’ll find Vegetarian options, 20-plus combo platters, an a la carte menu, Mexican favorites, seafood, and their famous Tortas.
Wash it all down with a jumbo margarita, either at the restaurant or at home. We’ve tested Rio’s food for takeout and can confirm it travels well!
107 Town Square
Snap Dragon’s rotating menu often depends on what fresh catch they can provide today. Thanks to their partnerships with Cape Hatteras Seafood Co., they bring some of the country’s best seafood options, all capped off by exciting drink specials like the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail!
Besides seafood, you’ll find yummy finger foods, fresh salads, and a lively atmosphere.
Also, props to this Burnsville restaurant for honoring the late great Otway Burns’s ship Snap Dragon. Don’t forget to pay homage to the famous privateer and Burnsville namesake at his statue in the center of Town Square.
Ye Olde Country Store
7 S Main St
Last but not least on our list of restaurants in Burnsville is Ye Olde Country Store. Stock up for a High Country picnic with authentic deli meats and cheese- swing by for in-house churned ice cream after a grand day out, or sit down and chow on their wide-ranging local menu.
Everything on the expansive menu is handmade, so you can always grab something for now and later! While waiting for your order, you can browse the charming Amish shops and find local delicacies or the perfect souvenir to cap off your trip.
Ready to Enjoy These Restaurants in Burnsville?
We keep returning to these restaurants for more amazing Burnsville food memories and look forward to our next meal here. It’s impossible to pick our favorite and if you’re willing, maybe you can help us.
Are you familiar with any of these places to eat? We’d love to know which you love most of all.
Beyond Restaurants in Burnsville NC (Travel Guides)
Beyond the best restaurants in Burnsville, there are plenty of fun things to do in and around this town. Here are some additional NC travel guides we created to help you explore!