Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and we'll send you a FREE Printable NC Waterfalls Checklist!

13 of the Most Delicious Restaurants in Rocky Mount

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on September 23, 2023.

Disclaimer: This site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please visit our Disclosure and Privacy Policy pages for further explanation.

Rocky Mount is an adorable mill town in the heart of Eastern North Carolina, just off I-95. A perfect compliment to the fun things to do here is all the delicious restaurants in Rocky Mount.

After digging into all the great places to eat here, we’ve come away impressed and want to share some of our favorites with you. This guide covers where to eat in Rocky Mount, including casual coffee, elevated Southern cuisine, and hometown eats.

If you’re looking for specific restaurants, here’s how we’ve organized things:

  • Restaurants in Rocky Mount Mills
  • More Restaurants in Rocky Mount (and Elsewhere in Nash County)
  • More Things to Do in Rocky Mount

We’ve also broken down whether these places to eat serve breakfast, lunch, brunch, and/or dinner. Enjoy!

This post is part of our series on all the awesome things to do in North Carolina (especially on the eastern side), with a specific focus on our awesome food!

Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Rocky Mount area and are wondering, “What are the best restaurants near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!

Restaurants in Rocky Mount Mills

We start things in Rocky Mount Mills, a history- and fun-packed place to stay and visit. It’s home to some of the best restaurants in Rocky Mount NC

Books & Beans

Address: 1151 Falls Rd, Rocky Mount, NC

Owned by novelist and New York Times bestselling author, Etaf Rum, Books and Beans goes beyond just the title page. While selling books alongside Counter Culture coffee, Books and Beans also has a thriving online community and virtual book club.

For the nosh, you’ll find breakfast and lunch sandwiches that will satisfy your hunger alongside your need to turn to the next page.

We also included Books and Beans among our favorite bookstores in North Carolina, in case you were wondering!

Tipsy Tomato

Address: 7 East Elm St, Rocky Mount, NC

wood-fired pizza and a tin bowl of wings from The Tipsy Tomato

Pizza, but elevated. The Tipsy Tomato slices gourmet wood-fired pizza in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Not only are the pizzas amazing, but as the name suggests, they also have an incredible lineup of local craft beer on tap.

This pairing of great food and drinks makes it one of the best places to eat in Rocky Mount NC


Address: 1135 Falls Rd, Rocky Mount, NC

If you are looking for an upscale dining experience in Rocky Mount, Tap@1918 is the ticket. From the same chef and owner at Lou Reda’s (see below), Tap@1918 takes on comfort food but with elevated ingredients.

A pastrami Burger, house-made bratwurst, and even pork belly curry are three of many reasons why this is a restaurant you need to visit.

Incredible Restaurants in Rocky Mount (and Elsewhere in Nash County)

We’ll now venture away from the Mills but think you should keep your fork handy and enjoy these additionally amazing Rocky Mount restaurants.

Anne’s Donuts

Address: 2714 Sunset Ave, Rocky Mount, NC

A stack of donuts in a coffee cup from Anne's donuts

Starting in 1953, Anne’s Donuts have been made the old-fashioned way ever since. Deep fried, crispy, yet doughy on the inside, you are hard-pressed to find a better doughnut in North Carolina!

Original glazed or filled, it is undeniable that Anne’s Donuts is a must-eat when in Rocky Mount.

Larema Coffee House

Address: 106 S Washington St, Rocky Mount, NC

a cup of coffee on a table full of plants

Located in the historic downtown, Larema Coffee House was one of the most recommended restaurants in Rocky Mount NC. Meaning “my friend” in the Acholi language of Uganda, this space is where people from across the community can come together.

Featuring coffee roasted by Coffee Culture, their lattes are absolutely delicious. Pair that with a salad, avocado toast, or a buffalo wrap, and you’ll see why this place came so highly recommended!

We also noticed they have a great beer and wine selection! I even spied Dirtbag Ales (one of my favorite Fayetteville breweries) featured there!

Lou Reda’s

Address: 3646 Sunset Ave, Rocky Mount, NC

From the same owner as Tap@1918, Lou Reda’s is an upscale American restaurant that will leave you begging for more. From the perfect burgers to the Lobster Mac n’ Cheese, hungry diners can expect exquisite flavors with fresh seasonal local ingredients.

The Prime Smokehouse

Address: 1151 Falls Rd, Rocky Mount, NC

collard greens, cheesy mac, and smoked meat from The Prime Smokehouse

If you are looking for ribs in Rocky Mount, Prime Smokehouse should be your first stop! This is where you’ll find two amazing concepts packed into one delicious experience.

Ed Wiley Jr. was one of the best saxophonists in the South. He was also an incredible cook. His son, Ed Wiley III, took his father’s two great skills and turned it into Prime Smokehouse.

With its slow-smoked Texas-style barbecue and live jazz music, Prime Smokehouse is absolutely a must-eat Rocky Mount restaurant!

Read More: 50+ Easy Day Trips from Fayetteville (Great Getaways!)


Address: 219 NE Main St, Rocky Mount, NC

NABS, or “Never A Better Sandwich,” comes from the same masterminds as The Prime Smokehouse. The concept is fast, easy, and delicious.

This East Coast-style deli is great for picking up something fresh for breakfast or lunch. Don’t forget about their delicious single-origin Ethiopian coffee, either.

Church Street Grill

Address: 121 W Church St, Nashville, NC

Are you even in the South if you haven’t had a biscuit yet? Luckily, Church Street Grill serves the fluffiest and buttery biscuits in Nashville!

This hometown place will welcome you with open arms and a very tasty breakfast and lunch menu.

Barley & Burger

Address: 2921 Zebulon Rd, Rocky Mount, NC

a cheeseburger with fried pickles, fries, and beer

Gourmet Burgers, hand-spun milkshakes, and Hollywood nostalgia are reason enough to eat at Barley & Burger in Rocky Mount! Sourcing their high-quality meat from world-renowned butcher and chef Pat LaFrieda, you know that every burger is juicy and delicious.

You’re also going to want some barley with that burger! Taps rotate weekly and feature ice-cold local beer.

Moe & D’s

Address: 123 S Church St, Rocky Mount, NC

Family-owned and home to a great atmosphere, Moe & D’s serves pub food with incredible value. Slicing up some yummy cheesesteaks, Moe & D’s is one of the best restaurants in Rocky Mount for families and sports fans.

Gardner’s Barbecue

Address: 1331 N Wesleyan Blvd, Rocky Mount, NC

takeout Barbecue with fried, pulled pork, and greens

Cooking up barbecue since 1972, Gardner’s is a third-generation Rocky Mount institution still run by family. Their all-you-can-eat buffet is affordable and offers up incredible pulled pork, fried chicken, and Southern food at its finest!


Address: 1005 West Mount Dr, Rocky Mount, NC

Cooked to order and made from scratch, Chew N Chat Café serves up Southern Classics from family recipes and the freshest ingredients. Keep up with their seasonal menu, but we think you’ll rave about their desserts, too!

Save room for a slice of chocolate pie or lemon pound cake, and check out the daily specials!

Which of these Restaurants in Rocky Mount are Your First Picks?

With a great mix of restaurants in Rocky Mount, from the Mills to downtown and beyond, we think you’re going to enjoy eating in this wonderful slice of North Carolina. If you’re from the area or know it well, we’d love to know where you like eating here.

Of course, if you haven’t been yet, we’re curious to know where you’ll be eating first. As always, let us know in the comments section or by email.

Note: If there’s a place not on the list that you think we should know about, please (kindly) tell us about it. All suggestions for new restaurants Rocky Mount NC has to offer are welcome!

More Things to Do in Rocky Mount

More Things to Do in Eastern North Carolina

5 thoughts on “13 of the Most Delicious Restaurants in Rocky Mount”

  1. Central Cafe above needs to be removed. It went out of business last month after years open!
    Very sad for us live here but wasn’t same past couple


Leave a Comment