11 Mom & Pop Restaurants In North Carolina That Serve The Best Home Cooked Meals
The words “home-cooked meal” conjure up specific imagery here in North Carolina: sweet tea, biscuits, fried chicken, greens, and, of course, friends and family. If you’re looking to experience Southern food, comfortable atmosphere, traditional cooking, and establishments that will make you feel right at home, look no further than the following local businesses. Without further ado, we give you some of the best mom & pop restaurants in North Carolina:
We're aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we're continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Chicken Hut (Durham)
For over 60 years, Chicken Hut has been serving up delicious home-cooked meals in the North Carolina Central University area. In fact, some would even venture to say it's the best fried chicken in all of Durham. And don't forget all those delicious sides, like collard greens and mac & cheese. When it comes to the best mom & pop restaurants in Durham, it's hard to beat Chicken Hut. For more information about this local restaurant,
2. Johnson's Drive-In Restaurant (Siler City)
Grab a seat at the bar and enjoy a delicious Velveeta Cheeseburger, which happens to be a staple of Johnson's. From the counter, you'll love watching the burgers being grilled right before your eyes. Visit enough times and your name and order are sure to be memorized! Curious to learn more about Johnson's Drive-In Restaurant? Be sure to check out their Facebook page by
3. Dan'l Boone Inn and Restaurant (Boone)
Located in one of the most beautiful and distinguished buildings in Boone, this restaurant is a beloved stop for both travelers and locals alike. The specialty here is home-style Southern cuisine. In other words, if you have an appetite for loads of delicious home cooking, you can't go wrong with lunch or dinner here! For more information on the Dan'l Boone Inn and Restaurant,
4. Mike's Farm and Country Store (Beulaville)
Mike's Farm is a destination restaurant and a one-of-a-kind North Carolina experience. It's here you'll find down-home cuisine in a family-friendly atmosphere. With a prime location on gorgeous farmland, this eatery offers plenty to see and explore prior to your meal. And speaking of plenty...the family-style portions are huge! Plus, the front porch rocking chairs add to the homey atmosphere and are perfect for a nice summer day.
5. Hillbilly Hideaway (Walnut Cove)
If home-cooked country cookin' served in a log cabin is what you're after, Hillbilly Hideaway is the answer. The kitchen dishes out some of the finest country food in all of North Carolina. Diners will enjoy their selection of meals, which come served on a cart, in generous portions to ensure there's plenty to share with the whole family. Favorites include country ham, fried fish, and fried chicken. Just be sure to save room for dessert! For more information on Hillbilly Hideaway, you can
6. Freshwaters (Charlotte)
Freshwaters is a casual, family-owned restaurant that's made quite a name for itself in the Charlotte area for its delectable selection of Southern and New Orleans-style cuisine. Amidst live jazz, fried catfish, and mouthwatering cornbread you'll feel like you're in home-cooked heaven.
7. Sims Country BBQ (Granite Falls)
At Sims, looks are definitely deceiving. What may appear as a modest shed is indeed a place for authentic bluegrass and fantastic barbecue. Visit during the weekends and you can look forward to live music and a little two-step, but don't forget to try the food!
8. Thompson's Store and Ward's Grill (Saluda)
Thompson's has been around since the late 1800s with Ward's Grill opening in the 1950s. Located in a town with under 500 residents, there's no way you won't feel like part of the family in this historic and delicious restaurant. When you visit, be sure to take advantage of the full-service meat market and deli and order up a delicious gourmet sandwich. For more information on this business,
9. The Fountain at Smith's Drugs (Forest City)
The Fountain is a place where nostalgia still remains. On my last visit, the mayor of Rutherfordton was dining with his wife and many sat on bar stools low to the ground eating cheeseburgers and a variety of Southern cuisine. While the food is simple, this Mom & Pop-meets-diner-meets-drugstore is a wildly unique experience.
10. Dame's Chicken and Waffles (Durham)
What started as one of the best mom & pop restaurants in North Carolina has quickly evolved into a landmark destination in the Tar Heel State. Nevertheless, the spirit of Dame's Chicken & Waffles hasn't changed a bit since it opened. The interior is simple and the waitstaff is abundantly kind. You can tell who the regulars are and who is just popping in while visiting. The best part, you're all treated the same. If you want a true Southern delicacy, this is the best place for chicken and waffles in the state.
11. Ella's Seafood Restaurant (Calabash)
No list of the best mom & pop restaurants in North Carolina is complete without mention of fried fishy goodness on the NC coast. A local favorite is Ella's. For fresh seafood in a cozy atmosphere, skip the more well-known chain restaurants, and keep it simple and delicious. You won't regret it! For more information on Ella's,
Before anyone asks where the BBQ restaurants are, we felt that this whole other element of North Carolina dining deserved its own
list and road trip. Did any of your favorites make the list? If so, be sure to share them with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
If you love down-home cooking and Southern cuisine, make sure to check out our list of
hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Address: 130 Hardin St, Boone, NC 28607, USA Address: 1600 Haw Branch Rd, Beulaville, NC 28518, USA Address: 1520 E 11th St, Siler City, NC 27344, USA Address: 4375 Pine Hall Rd, Walnut Cove, NC 27052, USA Address: 125 N Main St, Mt Airy, NC 27030, USA Address: 407 Shatley Springs Rd, Crumpler, NC 28617, USA Address: 6160 Petra Mill Rd, Granite Falls, NC 28630, USA Address: 24 E Main St, Saluda, NC 28773, USA Address: 139 E Main St, Forest City, NC 28043, USA Address: 1148 River Rd, Calabash, NC 28467, USA