Posted on: November 28, 2023 Posted by: Sarah Giavedoni Comments: 0

Last Updated on November 28, 2023

Luckily for residents (and visitors!) of the bustling mountain town of Boone, NC there are many local restaurants that offer what you crave: a great meal in a beautiful setting. Here are a dozen of the best restaurants in Boone, NC to try right now.

Black Cat Burrito

Black Cat Burrito is locally owned and rolled with love. After 15 years of slinging great Southwest-fusion fare, locals consider them to serve up “the best damn burritos, tacos, and quesadillas in town”. We recommend the Don’t be a Jerk Burrito, served with chips and Southwest slaw. Or build your own for the perfect bite. Wash your burrito down with their selection of beers, wine, and mixed drinks, including their infamous key lime margaritas. Exposed brick walls, large windows, and unique tables means you can expect a no-fuss environment. 

127 Depot Street, Boone | (828) 263-9511 | blackcatburrito.com 

The Cardinal

This lodge-like burger joint features an eclectic menu and creative cocktails. They create their classic American road food with the freshest ingredients available. Ordering your Cardinal burger all the way or Carolina style means you get the best toppings around. But adventurous eaters can also enjoy a patty made from bison, Wagyu beef, emu, or wild game. Never fear, veg heads! There are also a number of vegan options on their menu. Sit and stay for seasonal cocktails, rotating house slushies, and more alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

1711 NC-105, Boone | (828) 355-9600 | thecardinalboone.com 

Coyote Kitchen

Located in the Southgate Shopping Center, this eco-conscious Southwest and Caribbean soul food restaurant does not disappoint! The bright, cheery digs graced with local art set the tone for your meal. And even picky eaters will find something on their menu, featuring many vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and allergy friendly options—including items from the bakery. After 20 years, Lost Province Brewing Company purchased and now operates Coyote Kitchen. Stay and enjoy a fresh beer on tap in the restaurant’s Lost Cantina.

200 Southgate Drive, Boone | (828) 265-4041 | coyotekitchen.com 

The Gamekeeper Restaurant

elk dish from the gamekeeper restaurant

Located between Boone and Blowing Rock, NC, The Gamekeeper has a reputation as one of the best restaurants for offering adventures in fine dining. Their seasonal menu rotates among interesting and delicious interpretations of Southern classics, blending the traditional with the exotic—including boar, elk, and emu. Humanely farm-raised meats serve as the backbone of the menu, but veggie lovers will also be satisfied by their menu options. The Gamekeeper is set in a 1950s-era stone cottage, offering a rustic fine dining experience.

3005 Shulls Mill Road, Boone | (828) 963-7400 | gamekeeper-nc.com 

The Local

Any place that calls itself “The Local” must know how to cater to the tastes of local residents! Established in 2014, Boone’s The Local offers a little something for everyone, where friends and family can come to relax and have fun. They also support local vendors as much as possible, choosing local ingredients and North Carolina beers wherever possible. And local artwork adorns the walls. Best of all, The Local has committed to growing and evolving with the community. They see endless opportunities for what they serve next.

179 Howard Street, Boone | (828) 266-2179 | thelocalboone.com 

Melanie’s

If you’re looking for a farm-to-fork American menu, look no further than Melanie’s Food Fantasy. They have been serving up great food and atmosphere since 1991, at the heart of the King Street shopping and dining district. In that time, Melanie’s has perfected a menu—nay, a culinary experience—that has both shaped the unique dining culture of Boone as much as it has reflected it. Enjoy fresh fruits, farm-raised eggs, local produce, organic coffee, made to order juice, and more for breakfast and lunch.

664 W King Street, Boone | (828) 263-0300 | melaniesfoodfantasy.com 

Mint Indian Cuisine

Take a break from shopping at the Boone Heights Shopping Center and give your taste buds a treat! Mint Indian Cuisine combines exquisite spices and flavors with top-class service for a meal you’re sure to love. Indian dishes are flavorful and sure to please spice lovers, “salty” lovers, and those with a sweet tooth alike. At Mint, every dish modernizes traditional authentic tastes and elevates them to new, interesting, and fascinating delights. Lunch entrees include popular curries, korma, and vindaloo, as well as classics like biryani, dal makhani, and crab masala.

203 Boone Heights Drive, Boone | (828) 386-1441 | mintnc.com 

The Moon at Blowing Rock

shrimp dish from the moon at blowing rock

The Moon at Blowing Rock serves the best of both worlds: Thai and Japanese cuisine. Their wide range of menus is both authentic and contemporary. Enjoy Tom Yum Kung, fresh sashimi, hand-rolled sushi, and more served at their cozy location or delivered right to your doorstep. Their stone building sits on a hill across the street from Tanger Outlets in the Village of Blowing Rock. It’s the perfect place for a date or dinner with friends after a day exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, hitting the slopes, or scouting for shopping deals.

7179 Valley Boulevard, Blowing Rock | (828) 414-9905 | themoonatblowingrock.com 

Over Yonder

Compared to the restaurants lining Boone’s King Street, Over Yonder is located … well, you know. A few miles out of town in Valle Crucis, Over Yonder bills itself as a country-chic eatery for Southern classics. Diners come from all over to enjoy their modern and casual takes on the classics, including skillet-fried chicken, pimento cheese, and trout. The restaurant is housed in the former homestead of the Taylor Family, one of the founding families of Valle Crucis. They take this heritage to heart, creating scratch-made food “the hard and stupid way”.

3608 NC-194 South, Sugar Grove | (828) 963-6301 | overyondernc.com 

Phan’s Japanese Express

It’s worth the drive out of the heart of Boone, NC to try the delicious menu at Phan’s Japanese Express—one of the best restaurants in town. This food truck is run by Mrs. Phan, who is friendly and warm to everyone who stops by. But it’s her authentic menu that keeps diners coming back for more. We recommend her hibachi, homemade spring rolls, and delectable dipping sauce. Phan’s Japanese Express is a great option for a good meal on the go, or a hot option after a long day enjoying the outdoors around Boone.

1856 NC Highway 105 Bypass, Boone | (828) 719-6079 | facebook.com

Psst! If you need a break from eating, here’s our favorite things to do in Boone.

Stick Boy Kitchen

The idea for Stick Boy Bread Company started in 2001 with a silly stick boy doodle. That doodle became a logo, and that local to-go bakery has since developed such a devoted following that they now have a second sit-down location. Opened in 2013, Stick Boy Kitchen (known simply as “the Kitchen” to locals) offers made-to-order breakfast plates, bagels, soups, salads, and sandwiches in a restaurant setting. Each menu item is made with the same singular focus on quality ingredients, freshness, and creativity that Stick Boy’s bakery is known for.

211 Boone Heights Drive, Boone | (828) 265-4141 | stickboybread.com/kitchen 

Troy’s 105 Diner

banana split from Troy's 105 Diner

Troy’s 105 Diner could not be located anywhere other than on Highway 105. This 1950s-style eatery offers American meals in an upbeat environment—the only “true” classic diner in town. Enjoy booth or counter seating, and step back in time to play the jukebox or enjoy all the vintage memorabilia. The diner serves breakfast all day, along with an extensive menu featuring daily and blue plate specials. Many of their sandwich plates are named after ‘50s favorites. Save room for one of their locally famous milkshakes, banana splits, or homemade desserts.

1286 NC-105, Boone | (828) 265-1344 | troys105diner.com 

Explore the best restaurants every day in Boone, NC

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, the town of Boone offers everything you could want in a Southern mountain town. Home to Appalachian State University and 3,333 feet above sea level, Boone is known as “The Heart of the High Country” and boasts a unique quality of life. Lined with local specialty stores, coffee shops, antique shops, galleries, and some of the best restaurants around, King Street in the heart of Boone, NC brings the college community and the locals together and gives the mountain town its charm. The area also offers a plethora of options for nature lovers and adventure seekers, no matter the season. During the winter months, local ski and snowboard resorts are a must!

Does this sound like the perfect lifestyle for you? Find your dream home in Boone, NC.

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