Places to Eat

Below is a list, in my ranking order, of the very best places on and around Beech Mountain to eat.  There is a wide variety, ranging from the best dive joints to the finest of dining.  You may be at elevation, but there is no shortage of great places to eat and drink.

I’ll use a diamond system to rate the restaurants where 5 diamonds ◊◊◊◊◊ mean, “if you don’t like this place then there is no point in you using me as a resource,” to one diamond ◊ which would mean, “I can’t imagine this joint lasting much longer in business.”  But it’s worth noting once again, these opinions are all my own.

◊◊◊◊◊ Can’t-miss and if you don’t like it then get off my lawn!

◊◊◊◊ This is a great experience, a go-to place that won’t disappoint

◊◊◊ Can’t go wrong, but not going to leave immediately planning your return

◊◊ This place is basically OK-at-best.

◊ The place is not going to remain open for much longer, or at least it shouldn’t.


  1. Bodegas-White-Border◊◊◊◊◊ Bodegas. Banner Elk, 
    • Caribbean-inspired fare and tapas style dining.  This place is not a great restaurant for the area, but just a plain outstanding place to eat, period. The chef is originally from Miami.  The tacos are simply outstanding, as are the yuca fries.  If you don’t like the pork belly tacos then we just can’t be friends.
  2. artisnal◊◊◊◊◊ Artisanal.  Banner Elk,
    • Fine dining at its finest.  The only reason I wouldn’t rate this as my #1 restaurant is that, because it is fine dining, it is on the pricey side and is a place that is going to be special-occasion-only, at least until Yelp or Trip Advisor buys this site from me for several million :).  But this is not only the best food in the Beech Mountain area but actually a top-10 restaurant in all of North Carolina.  It is a gourmet experience that you have to try at some point but make a reservation well in advance.
  3. painted fish◊◊◊◊◊ Painted Fish Cafe.  Banner Elk,
    • They describe it as “recognizable dishes with a twist,” and “an upscale experience in a casual ambiance,” all 100% correct.  This is just great food, prepared well and served with a great attention to detail.  Perfect for a delicious lunch or dinner.
  4. ◊◊◊◊ Valle de Bravo Mexican Grill.  Beech Mountain,
    • I grew up in Arizona and California, so I am particular about Mexican food, my favorite type of food.  This is a good, authentic place with an expansive menu and great service.  It’s a little divey on the inside, which frankly, I also love.  It gives it further character.  I probably hit this place more often than any other on the mountain.
  5. ◊◊◊◊◊ Dunn’s Deli.  Banner Elk,
    • This is my kids’ favorite place on the mountain.  The sandwiches are simply marvelous, the salads are fresh and ample and you can simply never go wrong at this joint for the perfect lunch.  2 of my 3 kids will never get anything other than the Monte Christo at this place, and I can understand why.  It’s not health food, but take an extra few runs down the slopes because its worth the calories.
  6. ◊◊◊◊ Banner Elf Cafe. Banner Elk,
    • Nothing fancy, here.  Just standard bar food, done well and served professionally.  The menu is huge due to the unique fact they actually have two kitchens which each prepare different fare, but everyone will find something to eat, here, and have fun doing it.
  7. ◊◊◊◊ Beech Alpin Inn. Beech Mountain,
    • This place is a really enjoyable, slightly upper scale restaurant that won’t disappoint.  The service is always fantastic.  The trout is always spot on.  And if you’re there in the summer, go early on Sunday evening, get a table outside and enjoy some live music.  This place always delivers a great experience.
  8. ◊◊◊◊ Stonewalls. Banner Elk,
    • Just a good, all-around steak joint.  It’s no Del Monicos or Palm, but you’re also not going to spend $80 for a cut of meat.  If you’re on the mountain, want a decent steak or prime rib, then this is the place you want.
  9. ◊◊◊◊◊ Ramble Juice and Ice Cream.  Banner Elk,
    • This place was a recent find and man am I thankful we found it.  The ice cream is made somewhat locally in Ashville and they have everything from standards like cookies-and-cream, to some of the most unique flavors I have ever seen.  I had an orange and habanero ice cream that was amazing.  It was a refreshing, orange ice cream with a little kick at the finish.  They also make their own waffle cones which is a huge plus.
  10. ◊◊◊ Fred’s General Mercantile.  Beech Mountain,
    • Fred’s is a Beech Mountain staple and the place to go if you need anything.  They also claim the best breakfast on the mountain and you know what?  It’s pretty damn good.  Nothing fancy, but after a long day on the slopes or hiking in the summer, you probably can’t beat this the next morning.
  11. ◊◊◊ Beech Mountain Grille.  Beech Mountain,
    • This place is simply fine.  Decent bar fare, probably a little over-priced for what you’re going to get.  But like Brick Oven Pizza, you’re likely paying for a convenient location on Beech.  You probably can’t go wrong, here, but it’s not necessarily a “can’t miss” place, either.
  12. ◊◊◊ Sorrento’s Italian Bistro.  Banner Elk,
    • I’m not a big Italian guy, I have to admit.  But this place was just OK.  We went on a night that had a great deal on wine, which made the meal enjoyable, but the calamari appetizer was not good at all and the rest of our meals were just OK.  We were looking forward to this place as we had heard great things, maybe we will have to give it another try.
  13. ◊◊◊ Holy Smokes BBQ, Beech Mountain,
    • The BBQ is very good.  This placed is strategically placed to where, as you drive in and out of town you always get to smell their smoker.  The portions are a little small, but that is the only complaint.  Also, I have spoken several times to the owners and they are some of the finest people I have come into contact with on the mountain.  If you’re on the mountain and you need a BBQ fix, then here is your joint.
  14. ◊◊ Rascals Bar and Grille.  Beech Mountain,
    • This is a relatively new place that is still trying to find its footing, I believe.  The food is fine, the service is always super friendly, but on the slow side, but a recent trip into the restaurant with my family netted a sub-par experience.  They were out of many things, not the least of which was french fries.  What bare and grille runs out of french fries?!
  15. ◊◊ The Famous Brick Oven Restaurant.  Beech Mountain,
    • The food here is actually quite good, the only reason I rate it as low as I do is because it is simply over-priced.  They have a full bar, a massive beer selection, an OK wine selection and even make a pretty decent salad, but you’re going to pay north of $30 for a pie.  So, for someone like me who has 3 kids, including a teenage boy who can eat an entire pizza by himself, this is just not a viable option, regularly.  But they have been around as long as I have been coming up, so people keep paying, which is great for them.
  16. ◊◊ Bullwinkel’s.  Beech Mountain,
    • I am torn about this place.  Though I have sworn to never go back I still do because the pizza is pretty good and the price, compared to Brick Oven, is more fair.  But the service here is simply abhorrent.  I recommend this as more of a place to call in for take-out, but make sure to give an hour for that, especially in the winter-time.  I often wonder why the owner of this place got into the service industry because there is really no dedication to service, whatsoever.



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