Last Updated on April 25, 2023
The sleepy town of Canton, NC, was once little more than a stopping point midway between the larger hubs of Asheville and Waynesville. Today, visitors are drawn to the historic downtown, while new residents are attracted to the area’s affordability and quality of life. And much of that draw is thanks to Canton’s growing foodie scene.
Experience it for yourself! Here’s a quick food guide for an edible adventure in Canton, NC.
Farms near Canton
Farming has always been a way of life for people in and around Canton. A long growing season and mild winters provide bountiful harvests of produce, dairy, and other farm products throughout the year. The WNC Cheese Trail connects residents directly with cheesemakers so you can see where your favorite cheeses are crafted and buy straight from the producers. And an abundance of regional farmers markets and farm stands make it easy to find the produce you need.
No food guide would be complete without mentioning that Canton is home to more than a dozen farms of various sizes. We enjoy visiting the ten-acre Far Flung Farm for fresh flowers. They also offer in-season vegetables, herbs, fruit, and eggs for purchase. Another great spot is Fowl Seed Farm. Their organic garden supplies plant starts in the spring, plus they’re a great source for purebred chickens, quail, geese, and ducks.
Restaurants in downtown Canton
After decades as a quiet mill town, Canton has recently enjoyed an economic resurgence thanks to new businesses and changing demographics. This is especially true in their charming and very walkable downtown district. Even though the full district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it also offers a fresh face to small-town living.
Papertown Coffee brings a love of coffee and the ritual of its artful preparation to the space. And we can personally vouch for the juiciness of J-RO’s Burgers’ (pronounced JAY-rows) signature sandwich. Arguably, the crown jewel of downtown is the Imperial Hotel, which now operates as The Southern Porch restaurant. Patrons enjoy quality service and diverse Southern fare, from fried green tomatoes to shrimp and grits. From an early morning coffee to evenings on Main Street, it’s easy to spend a whole weekend just enjoying downtown.
Craft beer in Canton
After a filling meal, you’ll want something to wash it down. With 90+ independent establishments across WNC, the craft beverage industry is booming in these parts. Home to several breweries, Haywood County has become a scene in its own right. Boojum Brewing and Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville serve up a wide array of selections that perfectly compliment the innumerable varieties brewed in Asheville.
But you don’t have to venture out of Canton for a great craft beer. BearWaters Brewery is located a quick walk from the heart of downtown along the Pigeon River. Beer aficionados and families alike hang out on the patio overlooking the water, stay for trivia, and enjoy live music and events throughout the year.
Annual events in Canton
Canton’s authenticity extends to their regular annual events. These are great opportunities throughout the year to share food, share music, and share in a great time.
On Friday nights throughout the summer, the City of Canton hosts Pickin’ in the Park. Grab a lawn chair and picnic blanket and head to the Canton Recreational Park to listen to live bluegrass and old-time bands. The Canton Labor Day Festival, which attracts record crowds from across the region, is the oldest festival of its kind in the Southeast. And don’t forget to travel back to town during the holidays for the Canton Festival of Lights. You’ll be awed by the glow of thousands of holiday lights in celebration of the season!
Live the foodie life in Canton, NC
Canton is a snapshot of a classic mill town, with many of the unique bungalows and beautiful buildings once built for mill workers and managers still intact. Historic murals add an artistic touch to the downtown district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stroll down Main Street, enjoy a meal, or shop at the street’s small businesses. You’re sure to be received as a local. Quality of life truly is key in Canton.
Does that sound like the perfect lifestyle for you? Search now for real estate in Canton, NC!