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A Visual Guide to NC’s Secret Foodie Capital

A Visual Guide to NC's Secret Foodie Capital, Frogs Leap Public House

Tastebuds rejoice, we’ve compiled the yummiest, savory, sweet and delicious foodie havens hiding in plain sight for you. Haywood County is the foodie capital of WNC! Home to Master Chefs and over 700 working farms that provide fresh ingredients for culinary masterminds. No matter if you are a diehard breakfast club member or a lunch and dinner fan, Haywood County has options for every tastebud. Feature photo by @coriewebb.

1. Firefly Taps and Grill

Chicken & waffles are a staple in brunch menus these days and Firefly Taps & Grill makes no exceptions. Serving savory and delicious southern menu items throughout the week and brunch on Sundays from 10am – 2pm, you better come hungry.

2. Joey’s Pancake House

Flat cakes for breakfast? We’re in. Stack them high and enjoy endless rounds of coffee at Joey’s Pancake House in Maggie Valley. This legendary breakfast joint usually has a line out the door so get there early to beat the crowds!

3. The Big Bun

If you like big buns and you cannot lie… well then The Big Bun is the place for you my friend. Big sticky cinnamon buns are just one of many delicious treats the new restaurant in Clyde offers.

4. Haywood 209 Cafe

This hidden gem tucked into the side of a Shell gas station on Hwy 209 right off I-40 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Haywood 209 Cafe’s milkshakes are worth saving room for, especially if you like dipping crinkle fries into your shakes.

Haywood 209 Cafe

5. Sauced

A vibrant mural greets you upon entering Sauced on Waynesville’s Main St which features, arguably, the best views while dining in downtown Waynesville. This brand new hot spot serves pizza, tacos, and a great selection of beer. Don’t miss out on the “tatchos” for a pre meal snack. The decor will catch your eye with keg lighting and eccentric accents throughout the restaurant.

Sauced Restaurant in Waynesville, NC


6. Jukebox Junction Restaurant & Soda Shoppe

Speaking of great decor, step back in time to the 50s and 60s in an era of Woodstock and the Beetles and play your favorite tunes on a working jukebox in the center of this iconic place. Jukebox’s hometown menu and 12 flavors of milkshakes make it more than just a great spot for instagram selfies.

7. Blue Rooster Southern Grill

Fried. Green. Tomatoes. And soooo much more, the Blue Rooster is the type of place you stumble upon and then become a regular at. Try the Pimento Cheese Crab Dip before diving into dishes like Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon, Queen Elizabeth Burger, or a BBQ Quesadilla.

8. Southern Porch

An impressive brick castle-like structure in Canton is home to Southern Porch serving southern menu staples with a twist like a Mac & Cheeseburger, Pimento Cheese Shrimp & Grits, and a Shrimp Po’boy. Enjoy live music out on their expansive porch or get in touch with your Gone With The Wind self by dining inside, “as God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”

9. Chef’s Table

Executive Chef/Owner Josh Monroe creates delicious farm to table “wine country cuisine” that you’ll want to snap a pic of first before diving in. Don’t miss out on the Fried Risotto Balls to share with a friend before embarking on your culinary adventure at Chef’s Table.

10. Frankie’s Italian Trattoria

Serving handmade pasta and traditional Italian meals in Maggie Valley since 2011, Frankie’s is an adored lunch and dinner spot among locals and travelers. They have certainly mastered the art of pizza and pasta making.

Frankies Italian Tratorria AmyRohr

11. Frogs Leap Public House

This farm to table restaurant and bar focuses on local, sustainable, natural and organic products. Offering modern regional dishes, innovative southern comfort foods, street foods and pub fare, you just might be leaving with a food baby from Frogs Leap.

12. J. Arthur’s

Have your napkins at the ready when you head to J. Arthur’s in Maggie Valley, known for their prime rib and fresh Maine lobsters. Don’t miss their winter interior decorations that rival Santa’s own each year.

13. Bourbon Barrel Beef & Ale

Explore Waynesville past Main Street and you’ll find thriving neighborhoods like Hazelwood that features Bourbon Barrel Beef & Ale. Meat lovers rejoice, they specialize in hand-cut, all natural steaks from local farms, incredible burgers, and other classic american comfort foods.

14. Birchwood Hall Southern Kitchen

Executive Chef Nicolas Peek shows off his masterpieces at Birchwood Hall showcasing a farm-to-table approach deeply rooted in Southern tradition. Each dish pays homage to the down-home warmth of Southern cuisine with an eclectic, modern twist.

15. The Sweet Onion

The Sweet Onion Restaurant offers regional cuisine with contemporary flair. A popular date night spot and just off Main St in Waynesville, this restaurant has traditional favorites and amazing signature pastas.

16. Kandi’s Cakes & Bakes Shop

What would a foodie capital be without excellent dessert options? Beware sweet tooth junkies, Kandi’s will fulfill your cravings and may ruin a diet or two with items like chocolate thumbprints, lemon bars, unicorn shaped cookies, apple turnovers and more.

17. Moo Mountain Bakery

Gooey brownies, cookies, scones oh my! Moo Mountain Bakery in Maggie Valley is a vibrant bakery offering a creative vibe that just may cure your writer’s block… we may head there now!

18. The Strand

Frozen dessert more your speed? Head to The Strand on Main St Waynesville for ice cream or milkshakes and floats.

Explore our foodie capital and comment down below your own favorite places to grab food!
Share your foodie pics with us! Tag us @visitncsmokies using #haynow!
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