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Nov 19, 2004 02:05 PM

Hickory, North Carolina Food Joints Worth Visiting

  • d

I am from Hickory NC, and read in another post that Hickory does not have any good places to eat. I am here to set them straight. We have lots of good restaurants in Hickory NC here are just some of my favorites.


Davinci's (127 in Viewmont) Authentic Italian Cusine with an autentic Italian owner and cooks- has a very romantic abiance, hugh wine selection, fireplaces, candlelight, resonable dinner prices ($10-$18 a plate). Melt in your mouth food. A+++ should not be missed. Well worth a trip.

Hamburger/BBQ Joints:

Shell's Diner (Springs Road) has HUGH... wonderful hamburger's, OK hotdogs, OK BarBQ, Country style plates and sandwichs, wonderful breakfast (livermush, bologna, fried hot dogs) Try their Cherry-Vanilla-Lemon-Sundrop (slushie or drink-out of this world) Cheap. Cute 50's style diner and decor, even has live music occasionally, and bike night.

Reynolds Sandwhich Shop: (321 between Hickory and Lenoir, behind Hams and Mcdonalds) hugh hamburgers/cheeseburgers, BBQ (almost like shells but different atmosphere.

Snack Bar- (30+years) used to be a drive in with a small eat-in, now hugh eat-in and pick up orders, WONDERFUL home cooking, very family friendly, great veggie sides and all the South Specialities as well as a good hamburger. (Uptown Hickory past Reynolds above - just stop and ask anyone for directions.


Akito's- 127 (off 321 in Mountain View) absolutely delicious japanese cusine, sit down or take out, better than another delicious much more expensive Japanese restaurant in area). $5.00-$10.00

Kobes (Japanese Steakhouse) They prepare food (5 courses) in front of you. Dinners from $10-$30. Nice atmosphere but share table with strangers.

Close BY:

Stop N' Shop (in a gas station) on Hwy 18 - great hamburger steak (hugh portions) - out of this world potato wedges VERY CHEAP $5.00 for a full meal, that only a really BIG eater can finish. Hamburgers, justa s big and good. Must not miss. Lots of Country cooking plates also. Family friendly atmosphere.

Morganton (LOCATION IN HICKORY TO OPEN THIS WEEK) Butch's (64-70 across from Valley Hills Mall - {right off of I-40 - Lenior Rhyne Blvd Exit to 64-70 towards CVCC/Valley Hills Mall)(one in Valdese on old 64-70 and another) They have the BEST (hugh) CHICKEN FINGERS in the world (with a great honey mustard or BBQ sauce - Fast food type atmosphere, owner very friendly, they have lots of sides. They also have awesome chicken. Owner VERY FRIENDLY, you can even stop and ask for samples (at least sample the items you don't order- will refund your money if you do not like it - But I PROMISE you will LOVE IT!)

Hope You will Visit Hickory and Try some of our Fabulous FOOD!!!

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  1. How about Tia's, a little unassuming Thai place in a small strip mall out on NE Springs Rd? I've only been in Hickory twice, and ate there both times for lunch and it was great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KyMikey

      I had dinner at Tia's and would never go back. I should have known when I saw the restaurant was EMPTY on a Saturday night that it was a mistake to go in. The spring roll appetizer was fresh but just ok and the fried tofu was tough...both were served with the same tasteless sauce. The main dish was a disaster. My companion and I ordered two completely different dishes which not even our waitress could tell apart. They were just two plates of brownish grey, overcooked, gellatenous rice noodles, devoid of vegetables and too salty to eat. We left hungry. Very disappointing.

    2. I 2nd the comment about DaVinci's. We went there on a warm summer night and ate outside. Food and service were terrific. I have seldom had better for the price in a metropolitan setting!

      1. Based on this recommendation, I tried Snack Bar yesterday and was impressed. A typical southern meat and three type place, with well-prepared sides. Of particular note were the green beens - well-cooked as you would expect, but sweet rather than savoury. The slaw was good, with nice texture and a touch of sweet pickle. And the banana pudding was excellent.

        10 Replies
        1. re: brentk

          I was in Hickory in May and tried the Snack Bar. I doubt I'd go back. The fried chicken was just okay; mashed potatoes were very good, but the cornbread was dry and the fried okra was the worst I've ever had - soaked with grease, and the grease tasted old! In all fairness, I should have sent it back & asked for something else. I suspect it was a fluke, or they wouldn't be doing such a good business. But my conclusion is that the kitchen isn't dependable.

          1. re: David_in_CH

            My experience at the Snack Bar was better than yours.

            It's not a remarkable place, but I recall a variety of good vegetables, and particularly enjoyed the green beans. I often order a vegetable place at meat and threes and I'm sure I didn't have the same dishes you tasted.

            The place sure was popular with the locals, as I had a good wait the day I had lunch there.

            1. re: brentk

              The places Diedra mentioned are alright, but I would give other suggestions. (lived in HKY for 23 years and i'm a foodie...)

              BBQ -
              Sims BBQ: While this is not in Hickory itself, it's only about a 10 minute drive away from it. It is worth the drive just for the BBQ Chicken (Served only on thurs-sat). Only locals really know about this place, it's simply a wonderful place out in the country that consists of square dancing, horse shoe pitching, molasses, and fish feeding (Not to mention the delicious BBQ!). And just the make the record straight, I judge my BBQ by that of Lexington style BBQ, namely "The Monk".

              Burger - I would avoid the snackbar (60 yrs) for a burger at all costs. This is just a frozen, mass pre-packaged 'Sams club' burger. I do however love the snackbar...It's just plain, simple, good comfort food. Normally a plate lunch is a good bet, but it'll be the same as any other plate lunch you'll find at just about any other older dinner. There Onion rings are homemade though and to die for. If you want a truly good burger, Skins (starlight cafe) or Crossroads in Bethelehem (Both another 10 min drive from HKY) are fabulous. These burgers are so incredibly good, you'll be hard pressed to go back to a fast food place. Both places are local gems and have been written up in the newspapers from time to time...

              Thai -
              Whoever said Tia's is exactly right! Tia's is in a little unassuming shopping strip on springs road...It's one of my favorite Thai places around. More so authentic thai food with large portions for a cheap price.

              I wouldn't recommend any other Asians restaurants only because they are your same...everyday...Japanese steakhouse that everyone has in their community.

              Pizza -
              Tony's Pizza near Valley Hills mall (HWY 70). Great, NYC thin sliced pizza. Nothing completely amazing, just really good thin crust pizza.

              I can't think of more off of the top of my head, but DaVinci's is a darn good italian restaurant...I do wish Hickory had more to offer as far as great food goes, but until then! Try these spots.

              1. re: AppStateStew

                Where is Sim's? How would you get there off 40? Is it open for lunch?

                1. re: AppStateStew

                  BBQ - We like Sim's too! It's like eating dinner in the barn plus the music is fun. I also like Hickory Smoke House BBQ on NC127 across the street from Hobby Lobby. Love their Salt&Pepper catfish!!

                  Burger - Try Pleasers, also on 127 in Viewmont area, local fast food. I like it better than any other fast food places in Hickory.

                  I don't really care much for Japanese but since I'm Thai, I can recommend Thai restaurant I usually go. I like Tia's ok but I like "Thai Lanna" better. Fancier than Tia's and better too. I-40 Exit 128.

                  Pizza - I agree with AppStateStew. Tony's pizza is pretty good. I just found out that the owner just opened another pizza place in town called "Michael's pizza" (or something like that). It's in Viewmont area.

                  1. re: Flying Feist

                    The BEST pizza in town is in a new place off 127 in viewmont called Frankies. All I can say is...WOW! Outstanding pizza good prices. If you like pizza and Papa John's isnt gonna cut it try Frankies i promise you that you will love it as much as me and my wife have. Location: Across the street from Michael's on 4th.

                    Thai Orchid has the best asian food or Nara for chicken terriaki.

                    1. re: ryanz

                      You may be interested to know that the same family owns Frankie's & Tony's (near Target). They are also opening a pizza shop in the new River Crest shopping center in Granite Falls. Wow! I'm so excited!!! Finally, something besides the standard chain establishments. Happy eating:)

                      1. re: catu85

                        Had lunch at the Frankies in Granite Falls last week - VERY good. I'm with you, catu85 - SO glad to have an option besides chains! And I'll second, third, whatever for DaVinci's. Their garlic knots - oohhhhh my!

                        1. re: sarahNC

                          I have been to DaVinci's a couple times and was unimpressed. Maybe next time I'll try the garlic knots. mmmm I love garlic knots.

            2. re: brentk

              I have eaten at the Snack Bar a handful of times now and would never go back! The food is alright and the green beans are excellent-so is the chicken noodle soup. Let me explain: I've witnessed whom I assume to be the manager, degrading her waitstaff and customers (very loudly) on several occassions. Even more alarming is that the only staff which was friendly and helpful where the very same waitresses whom were being treated so badly! I just cannot enjoy another meal with my family in that kind of atmosphere-it was horrible!

            3. never been to tia's but i really like thai orchid. but i think my fave for asian cuisine in general is wild wok. it is right behind the mall. has a lot of chinese cuisine but has the sushi bar. place is almost always packed every time i been there. lunch and dinner times.

              1. Thanks for the suggestions! I went to Butch's (so close to 40 along the way of my drive). And you pretty much hit it on the spot. great friendly atmosphere. The fastfoody ambiance had me nervous that it wasn't going to be good bbq, but after getting the food, and digging in, I was actually surprised and impressed at how good the pork was. I had a piece of the chicken fingers, and wasn't incredibly impressed with the breading, but otherwise was good meat. same with the regular chicken. good meat. thumbs up.

                2 Replies
                1. re: attgig

                  Will be in the Hickory area the end of this month and Sims BBQ sounds like the deal--can someone give me directions?? THANKS!

                  1. re: BlueDevilRN1

                    From I-40 Exit 123 Hickory, NC: Take US 321 N toward Lenoir...Turn right at the stoplight at the Exxon, Fairvalue & Pizza Hut in Granite Falls...Go to the end of the road (1/4 Mile) and turn left at the stop sign onto Dudley Shoals Road...Go approximately 7 miles into Dudley Shoals...Turn right on Charlie Little Road, just past Gateway High School...At the stop sign, turn left...Go about 50 yards and the entrance to the BBQ will be on your right...follow the dirt road til the end! Our address is 6160 Petra Mill Road if you would like to look up the directions.