Mt. Airy and the surrounding cities and towns have tons of culinary choices. Not only can you go out for breakfast every single day of the week during your vacation, but you can go on nice romantic date nights, eat out with your family at casual dining spots, and go for a quick lunch after a nice long hike.

We have narrowed down the list of dozens of restaurants, cafes, dessert shops, and fine dining restaurants to come up with the top 10 you must go to during your mountain vacations in North Carolina. Whether you are in the mood for a middle-of-the-road dinner stop with great beer, or you want a fast breakfast joint to get a huge greasy meal, Mt. Airy truly has it all.

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13 Bones Restaurant

This American pub-like restaurant churns out some of the best seafood, steak, and grilled items you will find in the entire state. We love coming here on a weekend night for a romantic evening with our partner as we watch the steak get seared to perfection over the open flame.

Don’t know what to get to start? We think that ordering the 13 Bones soon-to-be-famous baby back ribs with vinegar-based barbecue sauce is the ideal appetizer to split with the table. Or, if you are more of a seafood fan, try the grilled tuna with olive oil and lemon zest for a light and healthy snack. Other popular starters include fried mushrooms with ranch or buffalo shrimp with blue cheese.

For an entree, the burgers and steaks are usually the prime choices. This casual restaurant knows how to cook meat well, so choosing the filet mignon, New York strip, ribeye, or massive 13-ounce sirloin steak with your choice of sides seems like the way to go. You can even add grilled onions or mushrooms to enhance the flavor profile of your steak for a little added bite.

Non-meat eaters will rejoice at the options they have for big salads, combos, and seafood dishes. The fried oysters, salt and pepper catfish, or lemon pepper trout with lemon pepper seasoning are all healthy and filling options that use freshly caught seafood. You can also take to-go food back to your places to stay in Mt Airy, NC.

Plate of ribs with tomatoes

The Loaded Goat

This laid-back, fun-friendly sports pub and grill is arguably one of the best restaurants in the NC mountains to go and watch a game. If you are in town with your friends and aunt to have beer, eat some filling food, and experience a cool night out with the locals, this is the place to be. Head here any night of the week to play pool, watch the latest NFL games on the big screen, and chat with new friends.

Start by ordering the famous fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and pimento cheese to split with the table. Then, get the ‘sausage fest,’ a complete appetizer with four frankfurters, smoked bratwurst, sausage, and polish dogs with your choice of mustard, peppers, onion, and sauerkraut.

For your main course, there is nothing better than having an ice-cold beer in the heat of the summer paired with a well-done burger. We love the bacon cheeseburger with your choice of cheese, 100% certified Angus beef, bacon, and onions. Are you a veg-head? The Beyond Burger is a great alternative that really hits the spot.

Gondola Italian Restaurant

Are you looking for a taste of Sicily while on vacation in the United States? Well, look no further. Gondola Italian Restaurant offers the flavors of the Italian homeland while being in a convenient and easily accessible restaurant right in North Carolina. If you are in the mood for cheese pasta, huge pizzas, great glasses of wine, and fresh vegetables, come here for dinner any night of the week that you can take back to your houses for rent in Mount Airy, NC.

Order a few different items to share with one another, as the portion sizes are huge, and you will want to try it all! Other popular dishes are calzone, house special pizza, fried mushrooms, breadsticks with cheese, bruschetta, twister fries, chicken Rosa Maria, Gondola special, and mushroom soup.

End the evening with a sweet treat, like cherry chocolate forest cake, to pair with your bottle of red wine. This causal Italian joint will make you feel like you are right out of a Euro adventure for just a fraction of the price!

Three different pasta dishes

Chase N Charli

Chase N Charli is a laid-back sports bar and grill that is great for sitting outside, watching a ballgame, or having a nice family meal during mountain vacations in North Carolina. Located right on Main Street in the heart of Mt. Airy, we love the small-town vibe of this yummy American eatery that churns out classic dishes and a casual atmosphere.

We love ordering the loaded potato cakes with herbs and spices to split with the table. For large groups, the pizza rolls stuffed with mozzarella and pepperoni and served with ranch are always a big hit. If you are feeling especially hungry, the fried shrimp with cocktail sauce is another smart appetizer choice.

As an entree, the Hurricane Chicken with panko-crusted crab cake and homemade alfredo sauce has a little bit of both worlds. If you are just a seafood lover, you can’t go wrong with the healthy salmon filet with your choice of sides or the savory crab legs. Pair the seafood with a glass of white wine, like the Sycamore Lane Pinot Grigio, and a meat dish with a nice Merlot.

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Derby Restaurant

Do you need a family-friendly spot that is relaxed, casual, and reminiscent of past times? The Derby Restaurant seems like it has been left in the 1980s, and we love the small-town feel of this charming spot. You can come here at almost any time of the day and be guaranteed a great seat, friendly service, and tasty food.

The most popular breakfast items that tourists and locals love are the Derby Breakfast Special with two eggs and your choice of meat, the Derby Breakfast Skillet, biscuits n’ gravy, or French Toast. Personally, we love the simple breakfast sandwiches with your choice of meat, style of eggs, and bread. Order the sausage and egg sandwich on a biscuit for a traditional way to start your day!

Toast with egg

Mi Casa on Main

In the mood to shake things up? Maybe you are tired of ordering the same food from the same traditional American restaurants while on vacation. If so, it might be time for tortilla chips, margaritas, and burritos. You guessed it – it is time to head to one of the best restaurants in the NC mountains, Mi Casa on Main.

This authentic Mexican joint offers a cool interior, great drink specials, friendly staff, and filling burritos, taquitos, tacos, and other standard plates that will have your taste buds rejoicing. Not only does this Mexican establishment offer a huge variety of food items, but it specializes in vegetarian dishes and offers a kids’ menu for a family-friendly vacay spot.

We recommend ordering the chiles toreados to start, featuring whole jalapenos to kickstart the meal and refresh your taste buds. If you are not a fan of spice, you can’t go wrong with a heaping basket of chips and queso or guacamole for a salty treat. Other popular appetizers include the sopapillas, featuring deep-fried dough stuffed with pulled pork and chili-infused honey.

As for the main dish, the menu is so big it can be hard to choose. We love the choice of a burrito or burrito bowl, with your choice of meat, rice, beans, melted cheese, sour cream, and shredded lettuce. Or, the primo tacos, like the Al Pastor with marinated pork, grilled pineapple, and cilantro, are a tasty choice for lunch or dinner.

Pair any one of these authentic Mexican plates with a margarita for a fun night out on the town. We love the Sunrise Rita with Espolon Reposado Tequila, triple sec, sour mix, and orange juice. Yum!

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Ocie’s Restaurant

Sometimes, simple is best. A no-frills restaurant can make some of the best food that you may ever expect. Instead of focusing on the decor, the focus is on the food. And that is what we found at Ocie’s Restaurant, a laid-back and casual spot that has checkered tablecloths, white walls, small TVs, ceiling fans, and GREAT food!

We love coming here for a relaxing meal to escape the heat of the summer or a rainy day in the spring. There are daily specials that offer huge plates and great money-saving deals you won’t find in more high-end restaurants. Head here on Sunday to enjoy country-style steak, chicken, or salmon patties with your choice of two vegetables and cornbread for just $15. What a bargain!


Barney’s Café

This exciting brunch spot offers a seasonally changing menu that churns out traditional plates and unique offerings you won’t find in the diner-style restaurant in Mt. Airy. We love the creativity and fresh ingredients served at Barney’s, which keeps us coming back for more multiple times during the week.

Although it has an old-school vibe, it keeps up with the times by including new ingredients, great menu offerings, and the classics. We love Mayberry’s Big Country Breakfast with three eggs, your choice of meat, choice of grits or gravy, baked apples, pancakes, and French toast. Or, if you want a savory meal, the breakfast biscuits with your choice of meat are just right.

If you come here later during your mountain vacations in North Carolina, the variety of salads, specialty burgers, classics, and hot or cold sandwiches are sure to hit the spot. Kids will love the simple BLT or turkey club with chips and a pickle, whereas you may enjoy a Mayberry Gourmet burger topped with pickle relish, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and gourmet seasoning on a sesame seed bun.

Miss Angels Heavenly Pies

The best thing to have after dinner? Dessert! That’s right, you can’t end the evening without having a nice cookie, slice of cake, muffin, donut, or pie to end the day. We recommend going to Miss Angels Heavenly Pie and picking up a few items from the bakery to curb your sweetness craving during vacation. Or fill the pantry of your Mt Airy vacation rentals with all sorts of goodies.

Miss Angels truly has it all. Are you feeling a bit hot after hiking or swimming all day long in Mt. Airy? Head here to try some of their ice cream, like the salty caramel truffle, better brownie battery, peanut butter cup, red velvet revival, midnight caramel fever, or banana pudding flavors. We also love the Blackbeards Java — complete with their very own moonshine.

For traditionalists, the typical pies are enough to make you come back for more. The cream pie, meringue pie, lemon pie, or apple pie are great for a typical dessert. You can also pick up a savory pie to have for dinner, like the pork pot pie or the broccoli and veggie of the day pie.

For another type of dessert, the NY Cheesecake, cake and brownie square, tiramisu, cannoli, homemade peach ice cream with fresh peaches, banana splits, and turnovers are some of the crowd favorites.

Pie with orange slices

Libby Hill Seafood

This popular chain serves grilled seafood, steamed fresh seafood right from the coastline, tantalizing burgers, shareable plates, and handheld sandwiches and burgers in a laidback and easygoing atmosphere. We love coming here with our kids or friends for a fast lunch stop when you are in the mood for fresh seafood that you won’t find in other diners or drive-ins in NC.

Not sure what to get? Tru the New England Clam chowder to start. Dip in some freshly baked bread and see why people keep coming back here every single day for lunch. You can also try one of their weekly specials, like the fish bites on Thursday, chicken tenders on Friday, or the white fish and baby flounder on Sunday.

Other popular items include the boiled shrimp with hushpuppies and coleslaw, barbecue boneless chicken breast, pasta alfredo with shrimp, broiled fish of your choice, scallops, combo broiled seafood selections, or a ‘senior’ selection to help save a few bucks.

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Delight Your Taste Buds in Mt. Airy

As you can see, there is no shortage of restaurants in this beautiful part of North Carolina. After a long day of hiking, sightseeing, and shopping, head to any one of these eateries for a tasty meal that will be one of the highlights of your holiday. Then head back to your Yadkin Valley Cabin rentals or wherever your staying for a good night’s rest.

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