Last Updated on August 25, 2021
Last Updated on August 25, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
We’re huge fans of Cabarrus County and have found some pretty amazing restaurants in Concord, Kannapolis, and Mount Pleasant. If you’re looking to visit this fun part of North Carolina, we want you to come prepared with this list of places to eat.
If you’re searching for a specific place, here’s how we’ve organized this guide:
- 9 Restaurants in Concord
- 3 Restaurants in Kannapolis
- 2 Restaurants in Mount Pleasant
Restaurants in Concord
The Smoke Pit
796 Concord Pkwy
The first of our favorite restaurants in Concord is a great stop for barbecue! The Smoke Pit is open for breakfast and lunch with large portions of smoked meat and house-made sides.
If you are looking for more than just NC barbecue, The Smoke Pit features Texas, Kansas City, and Memphis-style too!
All of the meat is butchered on-site and smoked over local hickory for the best possible flavor. In case the name sounds familiar, the Smoke Pit has locations in Gastonia, Salisbury, and Monroe, too!
Hot Box Next Level Kitchen
165 Brumley Ave NE Suite 3001
Located inside of Southern Strain Brewing Company (one of the best breweries in the area), Hot Box Next Level Kitchen serves pub food, but with international flavors. The food is fresh, inventive, and definitely pairs well with a pint of small-batch hoppy goodness.
If you don’t drink alcohol, they also sell house-made sodas!
16 Union St S
More than just your average Italian, Gianni’s Trattoria is one of the best restaurants in Concord. Owned by real New Yorkers, the vibe is friendly and welcoming.
Fresh and quality ingredients are what make the menu items shine such as their Prosciutto from Parma and the Truffle oil from Perugia.
There are multiple What-a-Burger locations in Cabarrus County, with two great ones in Concord. By the way, this is not to be confused with the Texas-based What-a-Burger chain.
At this cash-only spot, you should grab a double What-a-Burger and don’t skip the onion rings!
Also, have you ever lived without trying soda filled with dill pickles? That’s exactly what the Witch Doctor, a mix of all of the sodas with pickles, ordered!
Havana Carolina Cafe & Bakery
11 Union Street South, Suite #108
Family-owned, the Havana Carolina Cafe & Bakery in downtown Concord brings a unique dining experience. This Concord restaurant is a favorite among locals and serves authentic Cuban food with family recipes.
Make sure to order a Cafe Havana or a Guava smoothie!
44 Mills Kitchen & Tap
6189 Bayfield Pkwy
Located in Afton Ridge, 44 Mills Kitchen & Tap is one of the best date night restaurants in Concord! Chef Mike Watson prepares thoughtful and locally inspired dishes, including his crave-worthy liver mush croutons!
The name is inspired by the 44 historic mills that used to thrive in this area, and the food here lives beyond that legacy. Order a cocktail, don’t skip the mini ham biscuits, and enjoy a fabulous night with extraordinary food.
Johnny Roger’s BBQ & Burgers
3709 Concord Pkwy S
There really is nothing better than a restaurant serves both fantastic barbecue AND a moist juicy burger! Johnny Roger’s BBQ and Burgers uses an old family recipe for their BBQ seasoning and sauce, this barbecue joint serves more than North Carolina style.
Make sure to get some brisket and a cheese-stuffed burger!
Not Just Franks
72 Union St S
Let’s face it. When offered the opportunity to get a damn good hot dog, we are always game! Not Just Franks serves up the best hot dogs in North Carolina right in downtown Concord.
Get the number 5—an all-beef hot dog and a pretzel and for a heck of a deal!
10005 Weddington Rd Ext
That’s right. Those donuts really are OMG!
Perfectly yeasty and filled to order, OMG Donuts is an absolute must when in Concord. The apple fritters are ginormous and unlike most donut places, OMG does a really fantastic job at their variety while maintaining consistency in their quality.
The absolute cherry on top? They are really affordable!
Restaurants in Kannapolis
There are also some pretty amazing restaurants in Concord’s neighbor Kannapolis. The three that we’ll feature are all located in the newly revamped historic downtown.
Local Patriot Roasting Co.
139 West Ave
If you are searching for a coffee shop in Kannapolis, then Local Patriot Roasting Co is a must! Veteran-owned, Local Patriot is the first coffee roaster in Kannapolis and newly opened at the end of 2020.
Grab a piping hot cup of coffee and enjoy the beautiful open layout and decor.
Eat Cakes Bakery
141 West Ave
We aren’t usually dessert people, but when there is a smell so strong and inviting from the coffee shop next door—you have to investigate! Eat Cakes Bakery opened at the beginning of 2021 just like most of the shops in the historic district of Kannapolis.
Baking delicious cupcakes, brownies, scones, muffins, and more, this family-run shop is a delight! And don’t forget treats for the furry love of your life!
Eat Cakes Bakery also makes treats for pups.
101 West Ave
Starting from humble beginnings as a salad line cook, Carlos Hernandez opened Chophouse 101 in 2020 to bring fresh farm-to-table food to Kannapolis.
You may recognize some of the flavors from his food truck, Hot Tamale, which frequented many of the area breweries.
Restaurants in Mount Pleasant
Before we leave Cabarrus County, we need to discuss the wonderful small town of Mount Pleasant and its lovely restaurant scene.
73 & Main
1467 N Main St
An impressive bourbon wall greets you as you enter the speakeasy side of 73 & Main. The Mount Pleasant restaurant showcases upscale menu items at an approachable price.
Fine Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, and melty Seafood Mac & Cheese are great dinner choices here. If dining during lunch, we 10/10 recommend their peanut butter and hot pepper jelly cheeseburger!
It’s still a meal that is talked about frequently as being unique and so unexpectedly delicious!
Mount Pleasant Smoke House
8335 W Franklin St
Vinegar, red slaw, and Brunswick Stew. You’re in North Carolina, baby!
Mount Pleasant Smoke House smokes pork barbecue, brisket, ribs, chicken, and more with a motto of low and slow. Add in some pimento cheese fries and fried corn on the cob and we bet you’ll be in foodie heaven!
Hungry for More Restaurants in Concord and Cabarrus County?
These restaurants in Concord, Kannapolis, and Mount Pleasant are just the beginning of the fun in Cabarrus County! After you’ve fueled up from a locally owned restaurant check out more things to do in Cabarrus County.
This place is packed with fun, including the waves at Great Wolf Lodge, the races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, amazing breweries, and more. These great restaurants in Concord, Kannapolis, and Mount Pleasant are the perfect pairing with all the excitement found in this Central North Carolina county.
Have you been lucky enough to dig into any of these restaurants? We’d love to know about your experiences here and if you have any delicious places to add.