12 Best Restaurants in Winston Salem, NC [2023 Updated]

A visit to Winston Salem, N.C. will charm you with its interesting history and fascinating cultural scene.

The culinary scene in Winston Salem is also highly noteworthy. The cuisine in this central North Carolina city has its roots in old Southern traditions with a twist of the contemporary and an international flair.

You’ll find quaint cafes with a homey atmosphere, impressive upscale dining, and everything in between at the best restaurants in Winston Salem. Our well-researched list will help every diner find the right spot for their taste buds, budget, and occasion.

1. Sweet Potatoes

$$ | (336) 727-4844 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants In Winston Salem, NC

Located in the downtown arts district, Sweet Potatoes is the perfect stopover after exploring the city. Named in honor of the state vegetable, the dining experience at Sweet Potatoes is distinctly Southern.

Begin your meal with a classic signature starter such as a fried green tomato and okra basket or the house-made pimiento cheese dip with crackers and veggies.

Then move on to what the restaurant is most famous for, The Slap Yo’ Mama Ribs, a 1/2 rack of ribs smothered in a delicious BBQ sauce and served with Cole slaw and French fries.



2. The Porch Kitchen And Cantina

$$ | 336-893-8361 | WEBSITE


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For the best Tex-Mex in town, head to The Porch Kitchen And Cantina. The atmosphere is festive and friendly with seating available in an open garage space or an outdoor patio. The restaurant is dog-friendly, so feel free to bring along your four-legged friend.

The chefs at the Porch know how to fuse Southern flavors with Latino and prove it with dishes like Puffy Houston Beef Tacos and Avocado Fries with Cilantro Ranch for dipping.

If you’re in town on Sunday, stop by for Sunday Brunch for Huevos Rancheros and a margarita in flavors like mango and pineapple.



3. 1703 Restaurant and Catering

$$$ | 336-725-5767 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurant In Winston Salem, NC

Specializing in fine dining with white tablecloths and a refined atmosphere, 1703 Restaurant features a changing menu using fresh local and seasonal ingredients. Confirm and clarify the serving hours or specify if brunch is only available on certain days.

The chef at 1703 won several accolades with dishes that combine classic European with Southern fare such as Pumpkin Goat Cheese Bisque and Autumn Slaw with Blackened Shrimp.

Dine al fresco on the outdoor patio, perfect for a date night.



4. Spring House

$$$ | 336-293-4797 | WEBSITE


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Located in the former 1920s residence of the Bahnson family, the Spring House is the last remaining home on the city’s Millionaire’s Row. The elegant setting is perfect for an intimate dinner or catered events for special occasions.

The award-winning chef at Spring House has created a seasonal menu that features elevated New American fare for a farm-to-fork dining experience.

The Charred Filet Mignon with Fried Oysters comes highly recommended. Small plates are available for tasting creative dishes like Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry.

Be sure to have a before or after-dinner cocktail in the opulent Library Bar.



5. River Birch Lodge

$$ | 336-768-1111 | WEBSITE


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The River Birch Lodge brings the mountains to the Winston Salem flatlands with New American fare served in a cozy cabin with wooden rafters and a stone fireplace.

The menu features a variety of sandwiches, pizzas, meats, pasta, and Appalachian Trout. You can also settle for an entree like Prime Rib, Ribeye, and Filet Mignon. For a unique dining experience, try the Goat Cheese Ravioli.

The Lodge is also popular for its 15 Carolina craft beers on tap and a selection of fine wines.



6. Mozelle’s

$$$ | 336-703-5400 | WEBSITE


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Cuisine doesn’t get more Southern than at Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro. Dishes like Tomato Pie and Winter Squash Carpaccio support local farmers and Winston Salem neighbors to bring you fresh farm-to-table cuisine.

The indoor dining room is cushy and friendly, and the outdoor patio is cozy all year with heaters and blankets furnished to keep customers warm. The sidewalk tables are highly requested.

In addition to lunch, dinner, and brunch, Mozelle’s puts on a fantastic monthly wine dinner with 6 courses of exquisite mouth-watering dishes from starters to desserts. It sells out often, so contact the restaurant in advance.



7. Ryan’s Restaurant

$$$ | 336-724-6132 | WEBSITE

Winston Salem, NC Best Restaurants

Dine with a scenic view of large, mature oak trees and a gently flowing creek at Ryan’s Restaurant. Take in the natural view from the interior dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows or from the expansive outdoor deck.

Ryan’s has been serving exclusive cuisine since 1977, with steaks like Prime Rib and seafood like Live Maine Lobster as the standout selections. Begin your meal with a yummy appetizer like Classic Oysters Rockefeller. Move on to a savory serving of the Crab Soup. The sides menu is extensive with dishes like Scalloped Potatoes and 4-Cheese Mac & Cheese.



8. Six Hundred Degrees

$$$ | 336-283-6754 | WEBSITE

Restaurants In Winston Salem, NC

A recently-opened establishment in Winston Salem, Six Hundred Degrees is one of the city’s best date night restaurants. Visitors will notice the swanky bar and live-fire kitchen as soon as they walk in.

The menu and creatively crafted dishes are just as impressive. Dine on Korean Short Ribs, Cast Iron Venison, or NY Strip Steak with Truffle Fries. But only after indulging in a mouth-watering appetizer like Spicy Cucumbers or Chowder Fries.

For a special lunchtime treat, stop in for a classic Southern sandwich like thick-cut Fried Bologna or Fried Green Tomatoes BLT.



9. Fratelli’s Italian Steakhouse

$$ | 336-448-1704 | WEBSITE

Winston Salem, NC Restaurants

Fratelli’s Italian Steakhouse is the go-to in Winston Salem for Italian classics like house-made Lasagna and Spaghetti Parmigiana. But Fratelli’s is more than incredible authentic Italian cuisine. The steaks are exceptional and not to be overlooked. The chef brings out the best in certified Angus Beef steaks with a special seasoning and sears them in a 1200-degree oven.

Fratelli’s is located near Wake Forest University and caters to a young crowd with a cozy atmosphere for a date night or an intimate party of friends.

An extensive wine menu features fine wines. Signature cocktails are also served.



10. Mojito Latin Soul Food

$ | (336) 723-7239 | WEBSITE


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Mojito Latin Soul Food stands out as one of the most unique eateries in Winston Salem, having evolved from the former Mary’s Diner, which closed in 2020. Occupying the same location, the family-owned restaurant is now helmed by Chef Michael Millan, who previously served as a chef at Mary’s.

Mojito’s menu features Caribbean food and fresh, authentic Latin cuisine. The classic Cuban sandwich on real Cuban bread is stuffed with tender pork, sweet ham, and Swiss cheese.

Only the freshest ingredients go into dishes at Mojito’s, and everything is made from scratch. For a unique treat, try Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains).



11. Young Cardinal Cafe

$-$$ | 336-448-5188 | WEBSITE


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The city’s hotspot for breakfast and lunch, Young Cardinal Cafe, is somewhat of an institution in Winston Salem. And while most restaurants only serve brunch on the weekends, Young Cardinal dishes up a Southern-style brunch every day of the week.

Dig into Biscuits & Gravy or Huevos Rancheros before your tour of Downtown Winston Salem. All of the dishes are prepared with the freshest ingredients.

Have your coffee spiked or sip on a mimosa with your brunch. There’s also a coffee bar with Wi-Fi where patrons can enjoy an espresso.
This venue is the perfect spot for students or digital nomads.



12. Mr. Barbecue

$$ | 336-725-7827 | WEBSITE

Winston Salem, NC Restaurant

No one in Winston Salem can only visit Mr. Barbecue just once. The hickory-smoked Carolina-style BBQ is wildly popular and has been since 1962. A fire destroyed the original building in 2019, but the special recipe for barbeque sauce developed over 50 years ago lives on. And the new building has a drive-through for your convenience.

Choose from sliced, chopped, or chunky barbeque served with French fries, hush puppies, two kinds of coleslaw, or Greek-style green beans. The signature fried chicken comes highly recommended.




Winston Salem, NC is a sprawling city that is constantly evolving into a foodie paradise.

Travelers come to explore the city’s history, shop, attend traditional festivals, and more. Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, all of the best restaurants in Winston Salem welcome their guests with meals to please every palate.

Restaurants in Winston Salem

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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.