Sometimes you’re craving something different; something spicy, something unique, maybe even something you’ve never tried before. Any traveler knows the joys of experiencing dishes you never knew existed. But you don’t have to hop on a plane to taste mind-blowing cuisine, you can find a wide variety right here in North Carolina, starting with these ten restaurants.
1. Copper, Charlotte
Located in a quaint house you'll find Copper: upscale Indian cuisine that always delivers on flavor. Try classic dishes like the Chicken Tikka Masala or stick to more traditional items like the duck confit. With a trendy white tablecloth atmosphere and full bar, Copper is perfect for a business meeting, first date, or special occasion.
2. Queen of Sheba, Chapel Hill
Queen of Sheba is perfect for someone who has always wanted to try Ethiopian cuisine, but was a bit unsure of where to go. The owner, Friesh, has been operating for 19 years in the Triangle area. You'll get a true, authentic experience with flavorful dishes in a fun environment.
Sassool is a gourmet Mediterranean market and cafe. You can get classic favorites like falafel or just browse the market for unique, hard to find Mediterranean options. More than just a one-stop shop, Sassool will be your new go-to for fresh Mediterranean cuisine.
4. Chai Pani, Asheville
Chai Pani is a combination of traditional Indian cuisine and urban, modern touches. Try unique dishes like Jai-Spicy lamb hash topped with pickled purple onions and drizzled with sweet yogurt.
5. J Betski's, Raleigh
J Betski's is flavorful German and Polish cuisine served in an elegant environment. The menu is full of tantalizing options made from locally-sourced ingredients. If you're opting for something classic and delicious try the pierogies and also the sausage served with various dipping sauces. Don't forget to order a glass of wine or pint of beer to complement your dish.
6. Lang Van, Charlotte
Don't let the exterior fool you. Sure, Lang Van is a hole in the wall, but their Vietnamese cuisine is amazing. After you try the authentic, delicious pho, you'll understand why it's one of the best-kept secrets of Charlotte.
7. Jerusalem Bakery & Grocery, Raleigh
Jerusalem Bakery & Grocery has a wide range of hard-to-find items that will make your pantry, and your dishes, unique and flavorful. But the best part? The fresh pita bread and most delicious baklava you'll ever have.
8. Beulah’s Bavarian Pretzels
Delicious, natural, handmade pretzels are rare these day but Beulah's channels original German pretzel-making, as far back as 1111 AD. Check their calendar to see where they will be next. Their specialty is the beer-garden pretzel, and it complements your Asheville craft beer perfectly.
9. Pierogies, Oak Island
This Eastern European dumpling can be hard to find (outside of Europe or Pittsburgh), but Oak Island has some of the most authentic you'll find in North Carolina. The menu is simple and approachable, but if you've never had the opportunity to try a pierogi before, this is a good place to start!
10. Hob Nob Farm Cafe, Boone
If you can't decide which flavor of the world you're craving, Hob Nob has a bit of everything. Using all natural, locally-sourced ingredients, the dishes are both fresh and flavorful. Try something traditional with a tasty twist like the biscuits and gravy (pictured above) or go for spice with yellow curry. Aside from delicious food, they also carry a wide assortment of beer and spirits.
What did you think of our list? Any places we should add? Tell us in the comments!