Local Love: Where to Eat and Explore in the Tar Heel State
What we love about North Carolina is that it has it all: mountains and ski resorts, beaches and lighthouses, and boatloads of history. Oh, did we mention amazing southern cuisine? We knew we had you at that! With Charlotte one of the first cities we launched in, and Asheville, Winston-Salem and Greensboro our most recent launches, we couldn’t think a better way to celebrate than with a roundup of some of our favorite hotspots in the Tar Heel State — Shipt style.
We discovered this iconic North Carolina joint a while back and it still remains one of our favorite local standbys. Featuring classic Eastern-style barbecue with vinegar- and pepper-based sauces, our go-to is the combo platter piled high with burnt ends, smoked sausage, and pork. Whatever you do: Just. add. napkins.
There are times when we’re craving sushi and there are times when we’re craving a burger. And sometimes, there are times when we’re craving sushi and a burger at the same time. Does that ever happen to you? If so (and even if not) you must try The Cowfish where you can get both wrapped into one. Our recommendation? The All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi featuring seasoned certified angus beef, cheddar cheese, applewood bacon, and red onion, wrapped in soy paper and potato strings. Are you salivating yet? (Silly question.)
We recently stumbled upon the Scrambled Southern Diner in downtown Greensboro. It’s true the place is pint-sized so there’s often a wait, but it’s well worth it. When we think of the south, fried green tomatoes often come to mind, so when we spotted the fried green tomato eggs benedict on the menu we couldn’t say no. And boy, were we glad. When you go, be sure to bring your appetite because portions are generously ginormous.
Photo Cred: @chefandmamabird
With a kreative name like Krankies contained in an old warehouse in downtown Winston-Salem, we couldn’t turn down the coffee, the cranberry raspberry French toast, AND the completely craveworthy homemade chicken biscuits. (Our goal here was to marry our alliteration with our enthusiasm about this place — have we succeeded? Regardless, Krankies is a place we want to not only enjoy delicious food at, but also a space where we want to gather and linger. For that, it’s one of our favorite new spots in Winston-Salem.
Photo Cred: @FrankiesCoffee
Go if only for the PBJ (fried pork chop with peanut butter and banana aioli topped with bacon, cheddar, and tomato jam on a sweet potato bun) but be sure to stay for the sweet potato pie, some of whom would say is the “best ever.” We’re not into absolutes, but it IS creamy and decadent and just the right amount of sweet. Okay, it might be the best, but just don’t tell your mom. Sweet Potatoes is quintessentially southern in all the right ways, which is why we make every effort to stop here when we’re in town.
Photo Cred: Katherine B
We know donuts are super trendy right now and we’re quite alright with that. Actually, we hope the trend is here to stay for as long as we’re on this earth. Our friends told us to head straight to Vortex Donuts when we got to town so that’s exactly what we did. The coffee is strong and freshly brewed and the health nut in us loves that they also carry kombucha. Donut flavors change daily, so go for whatever flavor strikes your fancy. Just one tip: you can never go wrong by throwing a glaze over it, so do that.
Photo Cred: @VortexDoughnuts
Before you visit (or revisit) the Biltmore ( a MUST when you’re in Asheville), be sure to stop by the Sunny Point Cafe for brunch. We love it because it’s got that quintessential artsy, hippy, farm-to-table Asheville vibe. And just as important, the food features large portions for all sorts of palates, such as the iconic Breakfast Sandwich featuring roasted tomatoes, maple bacon (OR tofu bacon), a cheddar cheese omelette, finished off with a drizzle of chipotle aioli. Our favorite part is that all this deliciousness is stuffed into a fresh buttery croissant.
Photo Cred: @Glennbenglish