Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on October 13, 2023.
If you’re searching for good food in Catawba County, North Carolina, you’d better believe there are some great restaurants in Hickory. As one of the biggest cities in Western North Carolina (after Asheville), Hickory is full of places to eat with a great atmosphere, delicious menu items, and friendly service.
Whether you’re passing through on I-40 (Exits 125 and 138), spending the weekend here, or living in the area, we think you’re going to love our choices.
After eating our way through this wonderful city, and we’re ready to share our favorite restaurants in Hickory with you here. Our guide will also share one bonus spot that you can’t miss if you’re searching for a pick-me-up.
Here’s a quick outline to everything we cover in our guide:
- Map of Restaurants in Hickory
- Bonus Coffee Shop
- Which of These Restaurants in Hickory is First on Your List?
Read More: Day Trips from Asheville
Map of Restaurants in Hickory
Our food guides are always expanding, so if we left something out, it’s because our stomachs are only so big! Kindly let us know if there is a place you love that we missed and we will try it as soon as possible.
If you’d like to visually plan your trip through these restaurants in Hickory, check out our map.
Read More: Our North Carolina Travel Map
74 8th Street Suite 108
Boca, located in the Moretz Mills shopping area, is a tapas restaurant influenced by Spain’s idea of sharing good times with friends and enjoying food in an unrushed manner.
Owners Youssef and Carol Amrani’s bring that philosophy to Boca, along with a beautiful space that has become one of the best restaurants in Hickory.
Along with tapas, you can order big plates, too. Many of Boca’s menu items come with a heavy Moroccan or Italian influence.
Reservations are highly recommended and can be made via Boca’s website.
248 Union Square NW
Charlie Grainger was an accomplished musician who traveled the country playing packed orchestra houses. He and his wife settled in North Carolina after his retirement and opened “Peacock Alley” in Wilmington.
The original Peacock Alley was then bought by Louis North in 2012 and named after Charlie to pay homage to his legacy. The name changed but you’ll find reminiscent southern fare in a similarly relaxed atmosphere as Peacock Alley.
While that original spot has changed hands and names, Charlie Graingers remains in North Carolina. One of its locations is among the best restaurants in Hickory NC.
Stop by for fresh ingredients to go into and on their hot dogs, brisket, barbecue, and more! Add in top-notch customer service and an amazing atmosphere and they’ve hooked people like us for more.
Note that Charlie Graingers is only open for lunch, so plan your culinary feast accordingly!
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1410 4th Street Drive NW
When you dine at Fourk, expect new American cuisine with premium ingredients, meats, and veggies. All of this is housed within a unique and upbeat space.
Of course, you may wonder why it’s spelled “Fourk.” Ask someone inside and they’ll explain that everything is done with a twist, including the name, which pays homage to their location on “fourth” street.
Along with tasty bites and a fun atmosphere, you can sit at the curved bar, sip on a craft cocktail, and read all the fun and quirky sayings on their chalkboard.
Hatch Sandwich Bar
268 1st Avenue NW
Hatch Sandwich Bar opened in 2012 and serves quick, delicious food in a laid-back small shop environment. We love that Hatch offers daily specials, announcing them both on their website and Facebook page.
The menu always offers over a dozen sandwiches and some platter selections along with fun and unique sides like miso broccoli or creamy mac n cheese.
206 Union Square NW
Union Square is packed with some of the best places to eat in Hickory NC, and Notions is not to be left out of this list. This delicious space specializes in shared plates and craft cocktails.
Notions complements that with a fun, eclectic dining experience with a high-end feel.
Enjoy your own entree or order “shareables” for you and your friends. Just be sure to finish it all off with the “Dessert of the Day.”
Notions also offers plenty of delicious drinks to choose from and on weekends, a brunch menu with a bloody mary bar and bottomless mimosas.
Olde Hickory Station and Market
232 Government Avenue SW
The Olde Hickory Station and Market (OHSM) is a converted train station in the center of Downtown Hickory.
It’s one of two downtown Hickory restaurants we feature that are owned by Olde Hickory Brewery. Keep reading for the next one.
The “Station” side provides a full-service dining experience seven days a week. You can coose from breakfast, lunch, dinner, or brunch (Saturdays and Sundays).
The Market offers seasonal, regional, and imported items. Feel free to enjoy their full-service bar stocked with 50-plus beers and ciders, a large selection of wines, and craft cocktails. You can also order charcuterie from the Market.
All can be enjoyed while you hang out on the patio or back deck.
Olde Hickory Tap Room
222 Union Square NW
The Olde Hickory Tap Room is in Union Square and is open 365 days a year. It’s one of the most beautiful spaces inside and where you’ll find a nice diverse selection of beers.
We always love brewpubs that make good food, and you’ll find plenty of that at the Tap Room, too. The burgers and sandwiches here are delicious, as are the specialty entrees like fish and chips, and Olde Hickory’s yummy pizzas.
Don’t forget to follow their social media pages for daily specials and special events announcements.
Read More: The Best North Carolina Breweries
Standard Oyster Company
2147 N Center Street
Standard Oyster Company came to Hickory in April 2016, so locals could have a dedicated oyster and seafood spot.
There is something for everyone here, from fresh, chilled seafood platters and steamed shellfish to American fare for non-seafood lovers.
After eating copious amounts of all, we are not shy to say that Standard Oyster Company is one of our favorite restaurants in Hickory!
The hole-in-the-wall space (meant with love) is inspired by the owner’s laid-back vibe. It features an “all bar” seating arrangement to keep things intimate for everyone.
Taste Full Beans
29 2nd Street NW
Taste Full Beans is a coffeehouse, cafe, and art gallery that’s been in Hickory since 2001. They are committed to serving specialty tea and coffee, healthy food, and showcasing local art.
Along with quality coffee, Taste Full Beans offers smoothies, teas and tea lattes, ice cream, and seasonal food items.
1006 Conover Boulevard W
Udderly Delicious is a homemade ice cream shop that has been around since 1995.
The owner graduated from Ice Cream School and then worked under Painter’s Ice Cream professionals in Myrtle Beach before bringing their utterly delicious dessert to Catawba County.
UD’s mission is to “Make The Best Homemade Ice Cream.” To stay on mission, each batch is poured the old-fashioned way with only high-quality toppings and ingredients.
Restaurants in Hickory (Bonus Coffee Shop)
2475 North Center Street Suite B
We wrap up this guide to restaurants in Hickory with Taproot Coffee Roasters. This unique spot is the brainchild of Malachi, who decided to pursue something that made him passionate every day.
He views coffee as “more than a vehicle for Taproot.” Along with being the context and foundation for conversation, Malachi focuses on producing great coffee.
Menu items include a winning cold brew, cappuccino, and even Italian sodas. Also, did we mention that all of this happens inside a bus?
Which of These Restaurants in Hickory is First on Your List?
If you find yourself in Hickory, you’ll find that there is plenty of things to do, from the Catawba Science Center to shopping local downtown and more! Regardless of what you’re doing in the area, we think these restaurants in Hickory will hit the spot.
Of course, we’re always interested in hearing about your experiences and plans. Which of these great eateries have you tried or want to try.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments or by email.