Winston-Salem Restaurants that Impress

The Winston-Salem restaurant scene is strong. We’ve been to this North Carolina city several times and a huge reason why we return is the promise of great food and beer. Here’s the restaurants we’ve been to that impressed us in such a way it imprinted our memories and tastebuds.

Winston-Salem North Carolina restaurants you need to try, from breakfast and lunch to dinner. #winstonsalem #sometimeshome #NorthCarolina

Weekend Winston-Salem Restaurant Itinerary 

For an added bonus, in addition to the restaurants below we’ve created a Friday through Sunday schedule of what we would recommend for a weekend visit, assuming you arrive in time for lunch. B/L/D = Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Friday:

  • L: Canteen Market and Bistro
  • D: Mission Pizza Napoletana

Saturday:

  • B: Krankie’s Coffee
  • L:  Small Batch Beer Co.
  • D: The Katharine, at Kimpton Cardinal Hotel

Sunday:

  • B: Mary’s Diner
  • L: Earl’s

Mixed in: we highly recommend mixing in a lot of breweries, Old Salem, and art during your visit. Here’s three articles that will greatly help you plan. We repeat them again at the bottom of the post for easy access!

Mission Pizza Napoletana Restaurant

Right out of the gate we need to proclaim Mission Pizza Napoletana was one of the BEST meals we have had. If not ever, definitely in recent history. And we travel all over the world.

When I look at the images from our meal I’m overwhelmed with rich flavors flooding my memory. And not just the flavors but QUALITY of the ingredients. The most fascinating part is owner and head chef, Peyton Smith, was formally a part of the soccer world not the chef community. He’s certainly earned his place amongst creators of top cuisine, however. And supports local farmers and producers, “executing an Italian ethos in NC”.

Here’s what we ate:

  • Arugula Salad with fresh finely grated parmigiano cheese, lightly tossed in lemon and extra virgin olive oil with fresh cracked black pepper
  • Bucatini all’Amatriciana (this pasta amazing and we dream about it!) with all sorts of tiny pieces of high quality meats like pancetta and sopressata, tossed with pecorino cheese
  • Clams Scampi Style, which were literally THE BEST clams we’ve ever had (and we’ve eaten our fair share of seafood) and I almost licked the plate
  • Pizza with fresh mozzarella and greens, which we think was a special that night as it was fried and fired in their special pizza oven
  • Zeppoles for dessert, which they serve in a brown paper bag and you shake up with powdered sugar

They don’t take reservations and the restaurant isn’t too big. But if there’s a wait it’s 100% worth waiting for.

Address: 707 Trade Street NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Open Tuesday through Thursday, 5:00 – 9:00pm / Friday and Saturday 11:30am – 2:00pm and 5:00-10:00pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.

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The Tavern Restaurant at Old Salem

It has recently come to our attention, sadly, The Tavern has decided to close its doors after many years of business. However, we left this portion of the post up as to honor the wonderful establishment it was and the great meal we had there. 

If you follow us on Instagram (especially our foodie account, which is relatively new) you know how much we love hot soup, no matter the weather. But it’s especially comforting on a cold day. As I write this, it’s raining in North Carolina and I’m craving this divine beer cheese soup we had on a fall day. They even sprinkled crumbled up pretzels on it, which was the icing on the cake!

The Tavern is in the heart of historic Old Salem and is family owned and operated. It was built in 1816 and they still honor that era, with waitstaff dressed in traditional clothing from the time. They serve Moravian food with a menu that changes with the seasons. If you’re wondering what Moravian cuisine is, don’t fret! Most of it is hearty, comfort foods that are agreeable with any taste preference. It’s a blend of German, Austrian, Czech and Hungarian foods, where the Moravian culture roots are from.

Here’s the food we ate:

  • Beer Cheese Soup with crumbled pretzel topper
  • Beer Boiled and Grilled Bratwurst sandwich on a pretzel baguette with sauerkraut and german mustard potato salad
  • Overnight Pot Roast with red skin mashed potatoes, green beens and brown beef Guinness Gravy

Address: 736 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Currently closed for business. We hope a new family takes over and re-opens a restaurant there soon!

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Small Batch Beer Co. 

I’m guilty of looking things up on Yelp before arriving. But I love food photos and we eat with our eyes first, don’t we? That’s why I knew I had to have a milkshake when we arrived at Small Batch Beer Co. without even looking at the menu. And I’m not necessarily a milkshake kind of girl. (Dan and I have different flavor preferences when it comes to these things too. He prefers vanilla, eight times out of ten, and I love whackier flavors like mint chocolate chip or black cherry.)

We weren’t disappointed! And we had to share the milkshake because, truth be told I simply wanted a few big bites and sips. It was kind of like getting dessert before lunch! Dan had a beer brewed in house as it was the start of our self-guided Winston-Salem breweries tour.

We had:

  • Free Bird Salad that was their take on a Cobb Salad with grilled chicken
  • Smoke Batch Burger with grilled jalapeño peppers, pork belly, cheddar, bacon and hand cut fries
  • Black and White milkshake with Oreo cookies, chocolate drizzle, and a chocolate chip cookie
  • Small Batch Co. brewed beer, which they make in a nano-brewing style as their name indicates

Address: 241 W. 5th Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 11:00am-10:00pm, closed Mondays, Thursday and Friday from 11:00am-2:00am, Saturday 10:00am-2:00am.

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The Katharine, Brasserie and Bar at The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel

We love French food. And we’re a little hard to please in this department, not just because we have high standards but because we’ve both been to France and cook French food at home. (Mostly Dan – he’s the French cuisine cooking pro in our home!)

We were impressed by The Katharine, brasserie and bar, at the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel in downtown Winston-Salem. We stayed there overnight so it was especially exciting to learn it had a great reputation. That meant we could have a delicious meal and cocktails, and simply take the elevator upstairs to our rooms after and not have to drive anywhere.

The restaurant was named after Katharine Reynolds, the wife of the founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Reynolds American’s original home was that building.

We enjoyed:

  • Butchers Block Plate with house made rilletes, pate and pickled chow chow
  • Baked Escargot (snails) with roasted garlic, herbed butter and mini biscuit topper
  • Coriander Crusted Duck Breast with fingerling potatoes and orange coriander sauce

Address: 401 N. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

They have a ton of operating hours for their bar beyond the sit down restaurant but here’s the restaurant hours: Lunch, Monday through Friday, 11:00am-3:00pm. Dinner, Monday through Saturday, 5:00pm-10:00pm. Sunday dinner 5:00pm-9:00pm. They also have weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00am-2:00pm. 

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Canteen Market and Bistro

So here’s the great thing about Canteen Market and Bistro – they have three distinct areas to cater to whatever dining setting you may be in the mood for. This could be either buying groceries for cooking at home, or sitting down at their restaurant for table service, or getting food to go from their pre-packaged refrigerators and deli counter. And it’s all at one location!

We loved the idea we could get items to go to bring on our self-guided tour of Winston-Salem breweries since a lot of the breweries don’t serve food but they allow customers to bring food in. It’s the perfect solution to support local and get quick to-go items to maximize your time in Winston-Salem.

Another thing I loved about their gourmet food section was that they had a pickles section for all your Bloody Mary and charcuterie try needs! So smart!

We ate:

  • Market Salad Plate with tuna salad on top
  • Cat’s Club, a stacked sandwich with turkey, ham, cheddar, lettuce and tomato on toasted potato bread with shoestring fries
  • Chess Pie, a chocolate pie that is another southern classic
  • Raspberry Almond Square (which was delicious and a highlight of the meal!)

Address: 411 W. 4th Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Open daily from 10:00am-10:00pm. 

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Krankie’s Coffee

The best way to start a day is with a great meal. And that’s especially valid if it’s the weekend and you’re heading out to a place like Krankie’s Coffee for brunch. They have the cutest little coffee shop inside for to-go items (not just cups of coffee but bags of it and some cute apparel too) and a full sit down restaurant. They also have one of our, colorful favorite Art-o-mat machines as well.

By the way: did you know Texas Pete hot sauce is from Winston-Salem? It’s true! It’s from North Carolina…contrary to what you may have thought, definitely not from Texas. It was on every table at Krankie’s.

We devoured breakfast:

  • Hoppin’ John bowl with a rice and cornbread base, topped with collard greens, peas, and chow chow – I added an egg
  • Smothered and Covered Chicken Biscuit, with fried chicken drenched with sausage gravy (such a southern classic!)

Address: 211 E 3rd Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Open daily. Monday through Friday, 7:00am-10:00pm. Saturday 8:00am-10:00pm, and Sunday from 8:00am-3:00pm.

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Mary’s Gourmet Diner

The first Art-o-mat was placed in Mary’s Gourmet Diner back in the 1990s and it’s been there since. So it was extra interesting for us to visit this Winston-Salem restaurant staple! Everyone knows Mary’s.

Outside you’ll find a red brick building with a huge red circle indicating you’ve reached the right place. Inside you’ll find an eclectic style of decorating and friendly faces that greet you. They have a huge mural on the wall next to where you walk into the space where most of the seating is. It’s an interpretation of the Garden of Eden by artist Jason Blevin. And mismatched mugs to add to the character of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, which is, in fact, owned by Mary. (And partner, Mike, joined the team too adding expertise in Cuban cuisine.)

They are committed to sustainability and serving as many locally sourced products as possible by buying from a number of local farms.

We fueled up for our morning here with:

  • Vegetable Omelette filed with marinated grilled squash, spinach and shallots with a side of roasted mushrooms (I loved that they have mushroom as a side option)
  • Huevos Rancheros with black beans, two eggs, avocado and a slew of delicious sauces

Address: 723 N. Trade Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

They are open Monday, and Thursday through Sunday from 8:00am-2:00pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Earl’s in Winston-Salem’s Industry Hill

This was one of our favorite stops. We were leaving to go back home to Raleigh and wanted something that was no fuss, low stress and casual. It wouldn’t hurt if it was comforting and delicious! We went to Earl’s because Dan and I spotted it while we were trying Wise Man Brewing, across the street earlier in our trip.

It was exactly what we were craving! It’s also a whiskey bar and music venue for country, blue grass and folk.

We ordered:

  • Tator Tot Nachos (because how can you say no when you see that on a menu?) with queso, ranch, bacon, jalapeño peppers and scallions
  • The Wedge salad, prepared in the classic style with iceberg lettuce, topped with bacon, tomatoes and blue cheese
  • “EFC” Earl’s Fried Chicken sandwich with lettuce, pickles and mayo

Address: 121 W. 9th Street, Winston-Salem NC 27101

Open 7 days a week from 11:00am-2:00am. Yes, in the morning. 

Winston-Salem North Carolina restaurants you need to try, from breakfast and lunch to dinner. #winstonsalem #sometimeshome #NorthCarolina

We hope you eat your heart out at Winston-Salem like we did!

Please note: we thank Visit Winston-Salem for generously hosting us. All the opinions in the post are ours and we bring you genuine content with real facts, photos and thoughts. Always.

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What kind of cuisine is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Winston-Salem North Carolina restaurants you need to try, from breakfast and lunch to dinner. #winstonsalem #sometimeshome #NorthCarolina

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