The Best Restaurants In Winston-Salem In 2024

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Winston-Salem is fortunate to have such a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. It is hard to know where to start when looking for the right one to satisfy your needs. Here, we describe the types of restaurants in Winston-Salem and link you to a list of each.

Interior of Tulum bar and grill in Winston-Salem, NC
Tulum Bar & Grill offers plenty of seating and has a nice bar area.
Photo by Aniya Ellison for MyWinston-Salem.com, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2023.

BBQ

Everyone has a favorite BBQ place, but trying a new one you hear about is always fun. One of the best ones I ever went to was in a Kansas City, MO, service station, so you never know where you will find great BBQ.

We have so many good ones here in Winston-Salem. When you walk in the door, the smell gets your mouth watering for that smoky goodness. Pulled pork, brisket, and ribs, all just begging to be slathered with the sauce of your choice or eaten as is.

And the sides! You have to have BBQ slaw and cornbread. But what about Mac and Cheese and mustard greens? I always want banana pudding for dessert, too.

You need to check out our list of best BBQ places and the menus to see where you need to try next. You may find a new favorite!

Breakfast

Where can you find a delicious early morning meal in Winston-Salem when you are ready to start the day but don’t want to cook? I don’t want to think too much in the morning, so having a list of some places and menus to look at would make life more pleasant.

Do I want a full breakfast with eggs, bacon, and pancakes? Why not! Or should I go for a healthier option? How about a little sweet treat for breakfast or something small? 

Oh, wait! Is anyone open this early? When do they open? That would be a good thing to know. Who is near me? However, I am okay with driving if their menu looks good. I need coffee…everyone must have that!

I better look at this list of best breakfast spots and get dressed before it’s too late. No one wants you showing up at their restaurant in pajamas!

Egg chicken and bacon toast with bloody mary
Egg, chicken, spinach, and bacon on toast with a Bloody Mary. Now this looks like a tasty brunch option!
But where in Winston-Salem can you get this?
Photo by Alex Schenker for MyWinston-Salem.com, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2013.

Brunch

Saturday or Sunday morning…lazy days. The perfect days to think about going out to have a late breakfast or brunch. Where to go? We have looked around and found some of the best brunch restaurants in Winston-Salem. Nothing is nicer than relaxing over a cup of coffee or, in some cases, a mimosa or bloody mary and leisurely enjoying a delicious midday meal.

Let me look at the special menus in the best brunch restaurants to see where I want to enjoy my brunch today. And who was it that was serving mimosas?

Casual Restaurants

There are those restaurants where you know you have to dress up to go and that your behavior has to be a little more refined. And there is nothing wrong with that. I usually prefer the eateries standing with arms open wide, saying Come in just like you are, sit down; it’s okay if you laugh a little too loud and tell stories. Just relax, eat, and enjoy.

Families feel more comfortable at most casual restaurants, and they are better equipped to serve them. Groups interested in sitting together, sharing appetizers, and chatting find the atmosphere more conducive in a casual setting. Even couples who just want to enjoy a little relaxed laughter and fun like to dine in this type of environment.

Some restaurants make you feel like you are home, some like you’re visiting a friend’s house, and some just have a laid-back, easygoing vibe that makes you happy to be there. These are our best casual restaurants.

Chinese Restaurants

Roast Pork Lo Mein, dumplings, and pork egg rolls are my go-to dishes when I order Chinese food. They just make me happy. Isn’t that what Chinese food does? Make your taste buds happy. There is something unique about the cuisine’s salty, sweet, spicy, bitter, and sour taste. The spices, sauces, fresh veggies, and noodles all come together into delicious dishes. Much Chinese food we consume is take-out, ordered, picked up, and eaten at home.

I can never wait to open the containers. It is nice to sit around the table with family and friends and enjoy a Chinese meal, sometimes sharing what you order.

Winston Salem has many Chinese restaurants, most of which feature take-out and dine-in. Some are elevated dine-in restaurants. Take a look at our list and menus and find someplace you would like to try.

Coffee Shops

A good cup of coffee in the morning, or anytime during the day, is what most people need to get themselves going. A rich blend, whether a fancy latte or a regular cup of Joe, makes you take a deep breath and smile. For some, it is a necessity; for others, it is a small luxury, but all desired. Pair a yummy treat with your drink, and life is really good!

Winston-Salem is fortunate to have so many places to visit for your favorite brew. See our list of best coffee shops.

Deli’s

You’re hungry, and you want food! Something to bite down into. A Sub, a ham and cheese on rye, a Reuben! You want to go to a Deli! The place where you can get a good sandwich to fill that hunger growing in your stomach. You’re in luck! Winston-Salem has a lot of delis to choose from. They all offer something that will satisfy the hungriest of us. Sandwiches, subs, wraps, and most offer the famous Reuben.

Many have sides available. I love the sides. And it’s always wonderful when they include a pickle.

Be sure to look at the menus to see who has what you are looking for. You are certain to find one of those delicious delis close by.

exterior of 6th and vine wine bar
Exterior of 6th and Vine wine bar and restaurant in downtown Winston-Salem, NC.6th & Vine is a Winston-Salem staple and has been serving fine wines and food for over a decade and a half.
Photo by Aniya Ellison for MyWinston-Salem.com, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2023.

Downtown Eateries

Winston-Salem’s Downtown area is very large, and we have many wonderful restaurants to take advantage of when you are there. If you are taking in the sights, visiting art galleries, stopping in the shops, there is a restaurant or two right around the corner. There are so many different types to choose from. Many are open for lunch and dinner, some for breakfast too.

In all, we have 58 downtown eateries at this moment – international fare such as Mexican, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Mediterranean, and more. There are lunch spots, cafes, casual dining, and fine dining restaurants. You can find anything you are looking for within the blocks of downtown.

Take a look at our downtown restaurants and the menus they offer, then try to decide. You can always go back another day!

Fine Dining

Sometimes, we just need a place to go that says you’re special. Maybe it is to celebrate a graduation or promotion, to ask that important question, to tell that cherished secret you have been keeping, to let someone know how very much they mean to you, or just to get dressed nicely and spend a moment in time with your partner enjoying the finer things in life. Whatever your reason for a night of elegant, fine dining, you will find the restaurants here in Winston-Salem meet your expectations.

Many establishments on our list meet the standards of distinct ambiance, impeccable service, and delectable, creatively crafted dishes, with dining satisfaction paramount.

Choose one of these fine dining restaurants, and you won’t be disappointed in the evening you have planned.

Greek Restaurants

Wrap a warm pita around pieces of sliced lamb, add tomatoes and lettuce, add tzatziki sauce, and have the delicious Greek creation known as a gyro. Gyro is pronounced “yee-roh,” rhyming with hero. Spanakopita is a Greek spinach pie made with flaky layers of phyllo filled with savory seasoned spinach and feta cheese. Baklava is a dessert with layers of delicious phyllo dough filled with crushed walnuts and honey syrup. The taste is outstanding!

Gyros, spanakopita, and baklava are some of the delectable Greek items in the eateries we list in our best Greek restaurants.

Indian Restaurants

When trying a cuisine like Indian food, the names of the dishes can be daunting. The words describe the dish in most cases, but it isn’t easy if you don’t speak the language. For instance, Tikka means small pieces of meat, Paneer means Indian cheese, Saag means greens, and Bhuna means dry roasted/sauteed. If you want to try a dish, ask what it is. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste something new and delicious. Here is a list of wonderful Indian restaurants.

Italian Restaurants

Experience the fragrant smells of Italy as you walk in the door. You immediately get hungry for whatever it is they are cooking! But as you peruse through the menu, you realize Italian food is not just spaghetti and meatballs, and your choice becomes harder as you look at the delectable dishes. Italian food is simple in its composition but always made with fresh, local, if possible, ingredients. It is seasoned to perfection and cooked in a manner that is a tradition, an art.

There are so many different styles of dishes because there are many regions of Italy, and each has its specialty: some rich sauces, some meat and potatoes, and some seafood. All are cooked with techniques passed down through generations.

Food is love in Italy, and in an excellent Italian restaurant, you can feel that come through in the food. 

Explore the Italian restaurants in Winston-Salem. You are sure to find a menu that appeals to you.

A Japanese Chef is cooking hibachi-style with food on his grill and utensils in his hands. Three people are sitting around the grill waiting for their food.
Japanese chef cooking in front of his patrons in a hibachi-style Japanese restaurant on a large grill similar to teppanyaki.

Japanese Restaurants

The incredible art of making a sushi roll is usually overlooked as we stuff those delectable bites in our mouths. The chef creates tight rolls filled with goodness using a Mikisu (bamboo sushi mat), Nori sheets, sushi rice, and various proteins and vegetables. Each one is different with the ingredients, sauces, and toppings – one of the delightful offerings of a Japanese Restaurant.

Not to be left out, the hibachi dinners are delicious, and if you have never experienced a dinner cooked hibachi-style at your table, you should definitely enjoy one. The chef skillfully cooks and “plays” with the food simultaneously, entertaining you as you wait, taking in the aroma of sizzling steak, seafood, vegetables, sauces, and spices. Truly exciting all your senses.

Hungry? Hurry and find your choice of our best Japanese restaurants.

Mexican Restaurants

You know you have entered a portal to a different culture when you step into a Mexican restaurant. Whether it be the decor or the aromas, it feels warm and earthy, and the anticipation of good, hearty food rises. Chips and salsa usually proceed the meal if you dine in, and you must always remind yourself not to fill up on those. Mexican cuisine today is a blend of indigenous and Spanish cuisine. As you look through the menu, you may be surprised to see more than just tacos, burritos, beans, and rice. There are beef, pork, chicken, and seafood dishes as well. All are made with the vibrant colors and seasonings of Mexican cuisine.

Some people think the food is spicy, but it is actually bold and complex. Some spices used are garlic, onion, cilantro, oregano, cumin, and chilies – over 100 different chilies. They not only add heat but flavor to the food. A technique Mexican restaurants know how to use well.

Check out the many Mexican restaurants in Winston-Salem. Some are more of the take-out variety, and others are dine-in.

Pizza

Traditional, Sicilian, New York Style, or thin crust, Winston-Salem has it all! Just writing about pizza makes me want some. There are so many varieties: Buffalo chicken pizza, cheese steak pizza, lasagna pizza, pizza boats, and The Greenhouse pizza, just to name a few. Whether looking for take-out or dine-in, you can find just the thing to delight your taste buds as you look through the menus of the best pizza in Winston-Salem.

Don’t overlook the calzones and strombolis!

Seafood Restaurants

You don’t need to go to the beach for a scrumptious, fresh, quality seafood dinner. You can enjoy that fried flounder, grilled shrimp, or Low Country Boil right here in Winston-Salem. Who doesn’t love a dinner of lobster tail, scallops, or oysters – raw, steamed, or char-grilled? Or maybe a steamy bucket of crab legs or spicy Jambalaya? All of this sounds good to me.

The choices are yours to make as you read over the descriptions and menus of our best seafood restaurants.

Where To Eat In Winston-Salem

This cataloging of our wonderful restaurants helps you to decide where to go next. With so many different categories, you could eat a new cuisine every week…or every night if you wish! You can’t go wrong with your selections, as Winston-Salem has some of the best food. Enjoy!

Have we missed any of the restaurants you like? Let us know in the comments.

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