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9+ Exceptional Restaurants in Boone NC

Boone NC is definitely a foodie-town and there are many exceptional restaurants in Booone NC to choose from. Whether you're looking for a simple burger and fries or some gourmet Italian, Boone has it all.

We visited Boone NC recently for a long weekend and explored many of the different Boone NC restaurants. We've been to Boone several times in the past as well, and we're slowly checking off our Boone NC Restaurant bucket-list, if you will.  

This guide highlights our top picks for the best restaurants in Boone NC from our many visits over the year, including our most recent. These are all restaurants we've visited and have eaten at while in Boone.

Let's eat in Boone NC!

9 Exceptional Restaurants in Boone NC

Are you looking for the best restaurants in Boone NC? Look no further! We've put together a list of nine amazing dining experiences. Boone has a wide range of restaurants that can satisfy your food cravings and budget..

We have dined at these restaurants in Boone NC during our visits and have enjoyed eating all all of them. We list the restaurants in order based on our personal preferences.  

To set the stage, we enjoy casual dining, but in a more refined atmosphere. We like many types of food, but we especially like restaurants that offer unique dishes or a special take on southern favorites..

If they use local and fresh ingredients, even better!

Vidalia - Our Top Pick

Address: 831 W King St, Boone, NC 28607

Vidalia Restaurant Boone NC

Vidalia in downtown Boone NC, checks all our boxes, making it our favorite choice for the best restaurants in Boone NC.    

Vidalia isn't huge, but not small either. The dining area is casual, yet airs a level of more sophisticated dining. There is a bar, and the kitchen is open, which we always appreciate. It's nice to see how the food is being prepared, and always enjoyable to watch the chefs perform their food magic.

We arrived for our reservations and only had to wait a few minutes for a table near the open kitchen area. Normally we prefer to sit at the bar, but chose a table this time so we could get some good food photos. Our server was excellent, providing suggestions and being available when needed, but not overbearing..

Drinks and Appetizers

We started off with a couple of their drink specials and the Nosh Plate as an appetizer. The Nosh Plate has 3 small bowls, one with lemon garlic hummus, one with in-house pimento cheese, and the third with house-smoked NC trout spread. On the side is grilled sourdough break, celery sticks, cucumber for dipping.

All three were fantastic, but that Trout Spread ... some of the best we've had, and we've had some amazing NC Trout spreads during our travels.

We munched on our Nosh plate, and fought over the Trout spread. We read over the menu, which is unique. Vidalia has many of your favorite comfort foods, but with their own unique twist, which we love. They also have some unique dishes as well.

Main Entrees

https://www.vidaliaofboonenc.com/We settled on the Shrimp and Grits (Larry) and the Yellow Fin Tuna (Jenn). Our server, Beatrice recommended both.  

I'm a shrimp and grits fanatic, and if it's on the menu at a new restaurant, I almost always order it. I've tried many shrimp and grits dishes over the years and would consider myself a bit of a shrimp and grits expert.

Vidalia's Shrimp and Grits guilford grits with medium-sized shrimp. Smoked Tasso ham, mushrooms, spinach, and a white wine sauce with herbs and chili threads are in the bowl. The sauce in shrimp and grits is the deal breaker, and the creamy white wine pan sauce was really nice, with a wonderful flavor. The smoked Tasso ham really complimented the dish to both add texture and a smoky flavor. Overall, it was excellent and very fresh tasting.

Jenn ordered the Yellowfin Tuna, which is bonito flake and nori encrusted tuna, sriracha pork cracklins, pea flower infused heirloom Santee gold rice, sesame seaweed salad, muddy pond sorghum hoison sauce, sriracha yum yum sauce, and hoison caviar.  

The Yellowfin Tuna was a beautiful dish, and the pea flower made the rice blue, which made the dish look really colorful. If Sushi isn't your cup of tea, then this would not be dish for you, but if you love Sushi or rare fish like we do, this dish was delightful.

Dessert

They make their desserts in-house, and we had to try to them. We ordered the Banana Pudding, and chocolate torte. Both were fantastic. The Banana Pudding was unique with a presentation I've never seen before, but I loved it!   

Final Thoughts on Vidalia

Everything was excellent at Vidalia. The food is superb, and staff members are all friendly and hardworking. Local ingredients are so fresh and they are very charitable for local causes.

They offer a variety of small plate options, with something for everyone. The menu is constantly changing, offering new and inventive dishes each week. Vidalia has an extensive craft beer list that pairs perfectly with the unique flavors that their kitchen provides.

Mint Cuisine of India

Address: 203 Boone Heights Dr, Boone, NC 28607

Dining area of Mint Indian Cuisine with people eating during lunch

We love Indian food. If you've never tried you, you really should. Out of all the Indian restaurants we've tried, Mint Cuisine in Boone NC is our favorite.. 

Mint Cuisine of India is located right off Highway 321 through Boone NC, and has a large dining room with indoor seating and a bar. The staff is professional and friendly, and the service is excellent. We are pretty sure we've never had a empty dish on the table for more than a minute.   

The menu is huge and they offer a ton of unique items, from appetizers, to entrees, and deserts. We enjoy many Indian dishes, from full vegetarian options to meat and seafood items. We've eaten enough Indian food over the years know our favorites and they are Tiki Masala Chicken and Paag Saneer.

Mint delivers on both staple Indian menu items in a big way, and they are both amazing.

Tiki Masala Chicken is a great Indian dish to start with if you're new to Indian food. To prepare Tiki Masala chicken, they roast and marinate chicken in a spicy sauce.. The sauce is usually creamy and orange-colored because of its tomato base and spices.  

The flavor is sweet with a spicy flavor, and spicy hot depending on your preference. We normally get ours mildly spicy, as Indian spice can be powerful and overwhelming for those not used to it.

Paag Saneer is blocks of Indian cheese cooked in a spinach sauce that reminds us of a lot of creamed spinach, but more spicy tasting and flavorful.

Mint makes both dishes exceptionally creamy with lots of intricate flavors that are absolutely delicious. We always order our food with Garlic Naan as well, one of the most wonderful breads we've ever had.  

If you like Indian food, try Mint Cuisine in Boone NC - We haven't found a better Indian restaurant yet.. 

Come Back Shack

Address: 1521 Blowing Rock Rd, Boone, NC 28607

These photos are not ours, and courtesy of Come Back Shack - We had some photos, but seem to have lost them in a recent migration to new computers. We'll update these photos on our next visit! I mean, the sacrifices we make for our readers!

Most of the restaurants on our list are fairly fancy, offering several unique menu items. Come Back Shack is not one of these restaurants. Come Back Shack is a no frills burger joint that absolutely nails excellent and fast burgers and fries.

It's our go to place for quick and good food when on the run.

What makes Come Back Shack unique is how you order and pick up your food. While there is staff working at the Come Back Shack, you'll hardly see them. You place your order and pay for it online, then run to the restaurant at the estimated time it will be ready to just pick it up. You can either go in and grab your food or go through the drive-through.

There is also limited seating in the dining area.

Come Back Shack uses natural beef, that is never frozen, and hand cut the fries.  They make all items to order and are hot and fresh. Even better? They make almost all their sauces and add-ons in-house, including cole slaw, dressings, pimento cheese, and more..

Our top menu picks are the bacon cheeseburger, fried green tomato burger with in-house pimento cheese, and Ahi Tuna sandwich.. We always get their fries as well. They also have excellent chicken sandwiches, salads, and chicken fingers as well.   

If you want fast food style food, that is fresh, and great tasting, Come Back Shack is the place to go. 

Melanie's Food Fantasy

Address: 664 W King St, Boone, NC 28607

Entrance to Melanie's in Boone NC showing the main building and front fenced in patio under the large trees out front.

We had breakfast at Melanie's for the first time during our most recent trip to Boone NC, based on some recommendations we received. This place is absolutely wonderful.

Melanie's is in downtown Boone, just off King Street. We arrived just as they opened on a Monday morning and parked right out front. Melanie's has both indoor and outdoor seating, and we sat outside on the patio, which was beautifully surrounded by a lovely flower garden. The tables are metal, with umbrella tops.

Outdoor Patio at Melanie's with metal tables topped with Red and Blue Umbrella covers

We started with some coffee, as we looked over the menu, which is full of yummy sounding breakfast and lunch items.    

After spending far too much time trying to decide what to order, we ended up choosing the Trucker's Breakfast and Stuffed French Toast. 

We enjoyed our hot coffee while watching downtown Boone wake-up and come alive. The restaurant staff served our breakfast really quickly, and the portions blew us away. The food looked delicious.

The stuffed French Toast was two large and thickly cut pieces of Stick Boys bread - If you haven't heard of Stick Boys, it's a highly rated local bakery. But back to the French toast, they generously spread the lovely purple raspberry cream cheese over the bread. They toped the dish with fresh fruit and a fruit puree, whip cream and powered sugar.  

The Trucker's Breakfast was very large as well, with homemade biscuits, sausage gravy, eggs, crumbled bacon, and cheese.   

Both were delicious, hot, and well above your normal breakfast fair in both taste and quantity. Melanie's has to be one of our favorite breakfast places we've ever eaten, and that's saying a lot.

You really can't go wrong with breakfast at Melanie's Food Fantasy. The staff was great, the atmosphere and outdoor seating were wonderful, and the food was in a category of its own.  

Melanie's takes some negative press for being pricy, and to be honest, we thought the same at first glance as well.

But after eating there, we're 100% ok with paying more for great food, especially with the amount you get. Definitely well worth the few extra dollars.

We'll be back and hope to try them for lunch on our next visit to Boone NC.

Over Yonder

Address: 3608 NC-194, Sugar Grove, NC 28679

Over Yonder Restaurant Valle Crucis NC

Over Yonder is a wonderful southern restaurant in an old historic home directly across from the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, NC. Just a few minutes outside of Boone.

We arrived early, browsed Mast General Store for a while, then headed ... ahem ... "over yonder" to grab some lunch.

They have a large gravel parking area, and both indoor and outdoor seating. The old home is gorgeous, with a big front porch with tables, and tables set out in the front yard as well.

The outdoor seating had a wait, so we sat inside, far back in the restaurant and next to an old fireplace at a two top table. Our server came out quickly, went over the specials with us, and headed out to grab some waters for us while we looked over the menu.

The menu isn't large, which we like, but full of interesting and good sounding items. We elected to start with the House-cut Rosemary Chips, which were superb. They seasoned it just enough for good flavor, without being over the top with Rosemary. The buttermilk ranch dressing on the side was excellent and made in-house. 

Choosing entrees was tough, as they had several really great sounding options on the lunch menu.   After some debating, we ended up ordering the Pork Burger and a daily special sandwich and we shared them.

The Pork Burger is a normal menu item and has apple butter, onion jam, napa almond slaw, house pickles, smoked gouda, and comes with house chips. The sandwich special was focaccia bread, with refresh tomatoes, spinach, and an aged cheddar pimento cheese.

Both were great, with lots of complex flavors. Jenn is not a cole slaw fan, so I tried it (remember, I love to try different coleslaw at restaurants). I wasn't a fan - it's not that it wasn't good; it was just not the type of slaw I prefer, and I'll admit, I'm picky with cole slaw.

Overall, the food was excellent, and the service was good as well. Definitely worth the short and beautiful drive from Boone to Over Yonder, and absolutely worth a stop if you visit the Mast General Store before or after.

Coyote Kitchen & Lost Cantina

Address: 200 Southgate Dr, Boone, NC 28607

Exterior photo of the Coyote Kitchen in Boone NC, showing the covered outdoor seating area.

The Coyote Kitchen & Lost Cantina is in the heart of Boone NC right off the main drag, and is a restaurant we've eaten at several times when visiting Boone. They serve a mix of foods, but specialize in Caribbean Soul Food.

We noticed a significant revision to the indoor portion of the restaurant during our most recent visit, which was surprising. The new layout was more roomy feeling, and offered a larger entry area, a new bar location, and more seating. 

Later on, we discovered the restaurant had new owners who made the changes and renamed it to Coyote Kitchen and Lost Cantina. Before it was just Coyote Kitchen.

Coyote Kitchen offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and when we arrived at 5 pm, there was already a 20-30 minute wait. We chose the first available and waited for about 30 minutes. The host/hostess seated us at a high-top two-top table near the bar and entrance area. Not our preference, but not a poor option either.

Our server promptly came over and headed out to get us some waters while we looked over the drink menu.  We ended up ordering a class of wine, a Margarita, and enjoyed sipping on those while looking over the extensive menu.

The Coyote Kitchen offers salads, burritos, tacos, burgers, bowls, boats, plates, and quesadillas. You can select the type of protein you prefer from different options and select your choice of salsa from several varieties as well. All delicious.

If you are vegetarian, vegan, or require gluten-free options, Coyote Kitchen has plenty of options for you.

We skipped on an appetizer, but had ordered the chips and salsa in the past. Their salsas are excellent, making this familiar and delicious option.

For entrees, we ordered a bowl and tacos. Their bowls are rice, with a protein, some toppings, and a sauce. Jenn ordered a bowl and I ordered the Coyote Tacos. Both entrees were great, with lots of mixed flavors and textures. Both had a little spice to them, but not too much, nor was it overbearing.

After finishing our entrees and drinks, we tried the triple chocolate cake. I'm not a huge chocolate cake fan, but the cake was pretty light and tasted fantastic.

Overall, we once again really enjoyed our meal at Coyote Kitchen. Their offerings are pretty unique for what we're used to in our small town of Waynesville NC. We just don't have a Caribbean food in the area, so our meal was definitely a delightful treat for us.

Wild Craft

Address: 506 W King St, Boone, NC 28607

Front of Wild Craft Eatery Boone NC with their covered outdoor seating area, surrounded by green shrub.  Their sign is hanging visibly on the front.

During one of our prior visits to Boone NC, for Tweetsie Railroad, a local recommended we try Wild Craft. We loved it. We wanted to eat there again during our most recent visit, but it didn't work out.   

Regardless, Wild Craft is one of our favorite restaurants in Boone NC. They are in the heart of downtown Boone NC, and deliver classic comfort food menu items from all over the United States.   Wild Craft is environmentally friendly and they source use local and fresh ingredients as much as they can.

We arrived at Wild Craft for our reservations around 5:30 pm. The small parking area was full, but we found a spot after circling and around a few times. A better option would be to park out on King Street and walk down.

Indoor photo of Wildcraft Eatery's dining area, with dim lighting and lots of string lights.

They offer indoor and outdoor seating, and we sat indoors in their casual dining area. They offered us indoor and outdoor seating, but sat indoors in their casual dining area.

We started looking at the menu and the variety of food pleasantly surprised us. They offer American comfort food items, Asian options, and Mexican food options. They also feature local beef and other locally sourced ingredients.

We ended up ordering the Boonies Pot Pie, Baja Mahi tacos, and the Bolick Farms meatloaf.

The portions were large, but not overly so, and the food was delicious. We couldn't eat it all. Our stomachs were bursting;.

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at Wild Craft, and loved how unique the menu was. If you are looking for something delicious and a little different, Wild Craft is the place!

Sunrise Grill

Address: 1675 NC-105, Boone, NC 28607

Front Entrance to Sunrise Grill, with their sign, front deck area, and trees and blue skies behind the building.

We visited the Sunset Grill for breakfast one morning on our recent trip to Boone NC. They are on the edge of town heading towards Valle Crucis on 105.  

Sunrise Grill isn't super fancy and seems to be a local hangout. Our breakfast was excellent, and they have many options to choose from, including daily specials.

We sipped coffee while looking at the breakfast menu that had many options, like omelettes, waffles, pancakes, sandwiches, and quiche. I love eggs benedict, and they have seven different styles of eggs benedict on their menu!

We ordered two of their specials, a vegetable and feta cheese omelet, and eggs benedict over corned beef hash.  Both came out pretty quickly and were very good. I particularly enjoyed the eggs benedict. 

The coffee and breakfast were very good. Sunrise Grill is a must-visit breakfast spot with a menu that has something for everyone in your group.

Daniel Boone Inn

Address: 130 Hardin St, Boone, NC 28607

Front of Daniel Boone Inn, showing sign surrounded by yellow flowers, with the white Inn building in the background and beautiful blue skies.

I hesitate to include Daniel Boone Inn, and not because it isn't fantastic, but because every single "top restaurants in Boone NC" list includes it. But you really can't leave it out to be taken seriously.

 A visit to Daniel Boone Inn not only delivers a historic experience, but great food as well.   Let's be honest, eating there is almost a rite of passage for saying you really visited Boone NC as well.

This historic Inn serves break, lunch and dinner, family style. They cook and serve all of your classic southern favorites, just like at Grandma's house.

We've been wanting to visit for dinner, but just haven't made it there yet. We had breakfast there on one of many visits to the High Country and really enjoyed it. Not our favorite place, but it's definitely one of the best, and worth visiting for the experience.

The restaurant is large, and inside of the historic Inn. The staff dresses up in vintage era clothing and serves food family-style on large dishes. You can eat as much as you want.

 For breakfast, you'll get all the basics, like eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, stewed apples, pancakes, grits and more.  Oh, and did we mention Glazed Cinnamon Biscuits that are frankly out of this world good?

The restaurant walls are full of historic memorabilia from the days of Daniel Boone as well.   

A few very important items to be aware of when visiting:

  1. They do not take reservations, and it's first come first serve.  It's a very popular place, so the line can be long.  So bring your patience.
  2. They take cash only. That's right, no cards. There is an ATM in the lobby, but it charges a service fee.

Hatchet Coffee Roasters

Address: 150A Den Mac Dr, Boone, NC 28607

Interior of Hatchet Coffee with large and small wooden tables and chairs.

For an unforgettable coffee and breakfast experience in Boone NC, be sure to check out Hatchet Coffee Roasters.

It's a great place to start the day by yourself or with friends and family! Enjoy some of the best coffee around and they offer some delicious breakfast and snack items, too. They served all of this up in a clean cafe, with a large and open seating area. 

Hatchet Roasts their own speciality coffee locally, and it is absolutely delicious.

We visited one morning on our recent long weekend in Boone NC, ordered a couple of hot lattes, some avocado toast, and a breakfast burrito.

The avocado toast was huge, with an enormous piece of Stickyboy sourdough bread, covered with avocado, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil and lime.  

The breakfast burrito was vegan, with eggs, cheese, veggie sausage, and tater tots, wrapped up in a flour tortilla. It was delicious. I'm not a huge fan of most veggie sausage, but theirs was excellent, and honestly it was hard to tell the difference from the real thing.

Our Lattes were a traditional Vanilla Latte, and Jenn tried the Lavender Latte, which she absolutely loved. In fact she's still talking about it. The lattes were hot, creamy and not overly sweet.  

We relaxed, ate breakfast and enjoyed our lattes in the large open cafe area. We very much enjoyed Hatchet Coffee, and look forward to returning on our next trip to Boone NC. Highly recommend! 

Final Thoughts on the Best Restaurants in Boone NC

And there you have it, fellow foodies! We tasted delicious food in Boone NC and now you know all our favorites!

Boone is full of great dining options, and most definitely a great town for foodies. We're sure there are many other fantastic restaurants that we haven't tried yet and look forward to trying more on our future visits.

Remember, dining out in Boone isn't just about satisfying your hunger; it's about immersing yourself in a community that cherishes good food, good company, and a good dose of mountain charm. These restaurants have tasty food and represent the town's spirit.

So, next time you're in Boone, don't just eat—explore! Explore the flavors, explore the ambiance, and explore the stories behind each exceptional restaurant. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.


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