The North Carolina High Country (which includes popular towns like Banner Elk, Blowing Rock, and Boone) is home to an abundance of delicious eateries.
Home to Appalachian State University, Boone is located approximately two hours north of Asheville. The hip mountain town offers an array of attractions for locals and visitors alike.
There are all sorts of art galleries, shopping options, waterfalls, scenic mountain overlooks, and hiking trails to enjoy, which makes it a great place for a fun-filled mountain getaway.
Boone is also home to more than its fair share of bakeries, breweries, coffee shops, and an impressively diverse assortment of delightful restaurants.
Read on for our guide to the best Boone NC restaurants, including local favorites such as Our Daily Bread, Lost Province Brewing Company, Coyote Kitchen, Boone Bagelry, and more!
READ MORE: 20 Best Things to Do in Boone NC (Blue Ridge Parkway MM 291.8)
Best Restaurants in Boone NC Guide
- Our Daily Bread (Sandwiches)
- Local Lion (Coffee House)
- Lost Province Brewing Company (Gastropub)
- The Red Onion (Gourmet Cafe)
- Stick Boy Bread Company (Baked Goods)
- Coyote Kitchen (Southwest Caribbean Soul Food)
- Boone Bagelry (Breakfast)
- Cardinal (Fast Casual)
- Come Back Shack (Fast Casual)
- Appalachia Cookie Co (Cookies)
1. Our Daily Bread (Sandwiches)
672 W King St • 828-264-0173 • $$
Awarded Best Sandwich of Boone 2021 in The Appalachian, Our Daily Bread is a casual eatery that uses fresh local ingredients to make mouthwatering soups and sandwiches. They also sell enormous slices of cake and other decadent desserts.
Our Daily Bread (a.k.a. “ODB”) has a cozy, rustic interior, with fairy lights in the back and an abundance of plants throughout the space. There are also benches outside, where you can sit while waiting for a table.
The homey restaurant is the perfect spot for lunch after hiking in the mountains, or for grabbing a bite to eat while out shopping at the stores on King Street.
We highly recommend trying the Smoked Ham & Apple Press sandwich, which comes with a side of potato salad, chips, fries, or fruit.
Made on a panini grill, the sandwich includes smoked ham, cheddar, Granny Smith apples, and ODB sauce on sourdough bread. The sweet apples and sharp cheddar combine to create a flavorful masterpiece.
Our Daily Bread is located in downtown Boone, right across the street from King Street’s Mast General Store. They are offer dine-in, curbside pickup, and delivery.
Their hours are Monday through Wednesday from 11 AM to 5 PM, Thursday through Saturday from 11 AM to 7 PM, and Sunday from noon to 5 PM.
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2. Local Lion Espresso Bar & Homemade Donuts (Coffee House)
791 Blowing Rock Rd • 828-386-1120 • $
Local Lion Espresso Bar & Homemade Donuts is an iconic coffee shop in Boone and an extremely popular hangout for App State students.
The cozy coffee house features 1930s-style donuts that are made from scratch every day, and their gourmet coffee is also roasted in-house daily (which makes the shop smell heavenly).
Local Lion has won numerous awards, including the 2020 Small Business of the Year Award from the Boone Chamber of Commerce, Best Off-Campus Coffee Shop 2021 in The Appalachian, and recognition in Our State magazine as one of North Carolina’s Top Nine Donut and Coffee Shops.
The restaurant’s atmosphere is warm and inviting, making it a perfect spot for having coffee with a friend, reading a book, or catching up on work while sipping a latte.
Plants surround the front door, where several cushioned seats are located. A coffee roaster and bags of coffee beans sit in the corner of the shop, which is filled with indoor and outdoor seating options.
We recommend the Cinnamon Sugar donut, Chocolate Espresso donut, and hot Caramel Macchiato. There are also a variety of other delicious coffee and smoothie options, as well as seasonal donut flavors.
They’re available for dine-in and takeout, and their hours are 7 AM to 8:30 PM from Monday through Saturday. Note that the shop is closed on Sunday.
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3. Lost Province Brewing Company (Gastropub)
130 N Depot St • 828-265-3506 • $$
The Lost Province Brewing Company is a 2-story gastropub and brewery in Boone that boasts a broad variety of excellent wood-fired pizzas and sky-high burgers.
It’s located in a historic building in Downtown Boone that housed an automobile showroom before becoming the offices for a local newspaper. The walls feature picturesque forest scenes. A huge wood-fired oven sits near the center of the restaurant, by the bar.
After traveling to Italy and trying pizza there, we can confidently say that Lost Province’s thin-crust pie truly is the most authentic and best pizza in Boone.
Lost Province offers dine-in and takeout options, and live music from local High Country artists is usually available on the weekends.
Lost Province, which won Best Pizza in Boone 2021 in The Appalachian, gets their fresh ingredients directly from local farms.
We recommend their classic Margherita Pizza and the scrumptious Mountain Mama Pizza, which includes herbed cream sauce, roasted cremini mushrooms, applewood bacon, fresh mozzarella, and herbs.
Their hours of operation are Sunday through Wednesday from 11:30 AM to 9 PM, and Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 AM to 10 PM.
READ MORE: Exploring The 12 Best Asheville NC Breweries
4. The Red Onion (Café)
227 Hardin St • 828-264-5470 • $$
The Red Onion is a gourmet café that offers both indoor and outdoor patio seating, where customers can take in views of the Appalachian State University campus.
Greenery hangs near the cozy, covered outdoor seating area, giving it a natural feel. Inside, you’ll find light yellow walls, stone panels, and a bar stocked with wines, which give the place an upscale feel.
From excellent traditional pasta dishes to filling sandwiches, pizzas, tacos, and desserts, this Boone restaurant has something for everybody to enjoy.
We highly recommend trying the Meat Lasagna and the French Onion Soup.
The café normally offers dine-in, curbside service, and take-out. However, they were not offering take-out when we last visited the restaurant.
Red Onion is located across the street from App State’s east campus. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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5. Stick Boy Bread Company (Bakery)
345 Hardin St • 828-268-9900 • $
Opened in 2001, the Stick Boy Bread Company is a popular bakery and coffee bar that specializes in delicious, homemade pastries, bread, bagels, cookies, and more.
Located across the street from Appalachian State University’s east campus, they do offer day-old bread for sale at a discounted rate. But customers can be confident that anything else purchased from Stick Boy has been freshly made that day.
We highly recommend the seasonal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones and the Magic Cookies, which include caramel, marshmallows, chocolate chips, walnuts, and coconut.
Inside, customers will find glass cases filled with pastries and wooden shelves with bread on the back wall. There are various handmade goods displayed at the shop’s center, with a coffee station to the left.
In the right-hand corner, customers will find a freezer containing various pre-made meals and cookie dough. There’s also a rack of clothing and other items for sale by the window.
Note that there are no seating areas inside, but there are a few tables and benches outside. Hours are Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 6:30 PM, Saturday from 7 AM to 5:30 PM, and closed on Sunday.
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6. Coyote Kitchen
200 Southgate Dr • 828-265-4041 • $$
Coyote Kitchen serves eclectic “Southwest Caribbean Soul Food.” It’s a fascinating fusion, and the various island spices make the restaurant a one-of-a-kind dining option in the North Carolina mountains.
The restaurant offers a covered patio seating area outside. Inside, customers will find unique mountain art pieces and tapestries hanging on the brightly colored walls.
Our State magazine named Coyote Kitchen’s Taos Boat as one of “100 Foods You Must Eat” in NC. The popular dish combines Appalachian staples such as cornbread and sweet potatoes with black beans, chicken, fried plantains, tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, and guacamole.
We also highly recommend their Domingo Burrito, which includes rosemary chicken, black beans, roasted red peppers, cheese, and Chipotle cream cheese. It’s a flavorful wonderland for fans of spicy foods!
This dish also comes with a choice of mild mango lime salsa, medium pico de gallo salsa, medium cranberry chipotle salsa, and hot pineapple habanero salsa.
Coyote Kitchen’s hours are Thursday through Monday from 11 AM to 9 PM. The Boone restaurant is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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7. Boone Bagelry (Breakfast)
516 W King St • 828-262-5585 • $
Boone Bagelry is a delicious place for bagels and breakfast in Boone. It’s one of our favorite spots to stop for a bite while browsing the King Street shops, or before visiting nearby Blue Ridge Parkway hiking trails.
Note that their indoor seating has been closed due to COVID-19, but outdoor seating area is available and they also offer pickup and delivery options.
There are several red tables and chairs outside, with blue umbrellas providing shade. Inside the yellow building, a large chalkboard menu displays the various food and drink options.
The walls are painted with depictions of popular Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks and an image of App State’s mascot, Yosef. There’s also a photo wall along the back wall of the restaurant.
In terms of their menu, we highly recommend the fresh, handmade Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese; Sausage, Egg & Cheese Everything Bagel; and the seasonal Apple Cinnamon Bagel.
Located in downtown Boone next to Wildcraft Eatery, the Boone Bagelry’s hours are 7 AM to 3 PM every day of the week.
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8. The Cardinal (Fast Casual)
1711 NC-105 • 828-355-9600 • $$
The Cardinal is a High Country burger restaurant that serves craft cocktails, fried chicken, homemade oatmeal cream pies, and various side options, all prepared food in-house with fresh, local ingredients.
We love them because their burgers are filling, their portions are huge, and we always leave feeling satisfied.
The restaurant looks like one of those classic Blue Ridge Mountain cabins, with a red neon sign that reads “Burgers” lighting up the front window.
Inside, there are a few tables in front of the register, a back wall filled with shelves of various drinks, and a rainbow flag that reads “Abide No Hatred” and a unique tapestry of lights hangs from the high ceiling.
Outside, there’s a large porch with long tables and plenty of seating. Blue umbrellas are attached to the porch railings, offering shade on warm, sunny days.
The Cardinal also has a food truck that travels throughout Boone. Their red and white “burger wagon” can often be found on campus at Appalachian State University, but is also available for catering events.
The restaurant is located off NC-105, and their hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to midnight, and Sunday from noon to midnight.
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9. Come Back Shack (Fast Casual)
1521 Blowing Rock Rd • 828-264-2797 • $
A visit to Boone NC is not complete without stopping at Come Back Shack. This iconic local joint serves up excellent burgers, fries, chicken tenders, and seasonal milkshakes.
The restaurant’s website states, “We’re not a chain. We’re not a franchise. We’re born in Boone NC, and we’re family-owned and operated in Boone and the SC low country.”
They’re infamous for offering up food so fresh, they don’t even use any freezers in-house!
Their hand-cut fries are made from fresh Idaho potatoes; burgers are made with meat from sustainable local farms; and their chicken is hand-breaded using “mama’s recipe.”
Inside the brick-lined dining room, there’s plenty of seating, with TVs, hanging lights, and chalkboard menus on the walls.
Booths are decorated with the famous App State logo, which is symbolic of the mountain town. There’s a large, covered outdoor seating area as well.
The restaurant offers drive-through service, dine-in, and delivery. However, new customers should note that the line typically wraps around the building, so this is not the place to go if you’re in a hurry!
Come Back Shack’s hours are from 10:30 AM to 9 PM every day of the week.
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10. Appalachia Cookie Company (Cookies)
208 Faculty St • 828-355-4448 • $
The Appalachia Cookie Company bakes delicious, made-from-scratch cookies in a variety of unique flavors, including seasonal favorites and vegan and gluten free options.
Named one of the Top 10 Cookies in America by celebrity chef Paula Deen, the bakery’s extreme success led them to open a second location in Charlotte NC.
The restaurant itself is surprisingly small, with only a few indoor bench seating areas. However, they’ve made the most of the small space, with walls covered in colorful art.
One wall is painted with a North Carolina map, and customers can create their own art on cardboard cookie boxes. A large chalkboard menu lists the daily menu options.
Although there’s normally a 20-minute wait for fresh-baked cookies, it’s well worth it. And since there is an online order-ahead option, you can easily schedule cookies to be ready when you arrive.
Due to COVID-19, Appalachia Cookie Co has been offering a curbside delivery system. Customers place their order online, call the bakery once they’ve arrived, then an employee brings cookies to the car. They also offer nationwide shipping.
We highly recommend trying their Honey Peanut Butter Cookies, Yosef Cookies (a vegan/gluten free option with coconut, chocolate chips, oats, pecans, apples & cinnamon), and Cookies & Cream Cookies.
The Appalachia Cookie Company hours are from 11 AM to 11 PM Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 AM to 12:30 AM on Friday and Saturday. –by Maggie Watts; lead image courtesy of Red Onion Café