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Best food bets, Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen

Delighted to report that we just bought a place in Pinehurst to satisfy our golf craving now and god willing during retirement. H is a meat-and-potatoes type; my Acadian streak loves southern fare. Any good, cheap (saving pennies to remodel) local places you can recommend? Thank you.

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    1. I'm meeting my mom in Southern Pines/Aberdeen area for lunch this weekend and was wondering where to eat. I didn't find much already posted on the South board, so I thought I'd try asking again. There are lots of chain restaurants there, but I wouldn't mind a pointer to something good from recent, first hand experience...

      1 Reply
      1. re: ncn8tive

        There's not much, honestly. The Squire's Pub in Southern Pines is okay for meat and potatoes, nothing special, and if you look a day under 55 they'll check your ID.

        There's also a Thai place nearby. It's standard fare. I think it's called Thai Orchid???

        Last but not least, a decent Mexican place in Aberdeen, as in the heart of Aberdeen. A real local dive, but the food's good.

        Sorry, can't remember the names of these places, I'm usually with my no-good horsey friends and we don't pay attention to details!

      2. I posted a similar query, here are the results:
        Hope this helps!

        1. i grew up in pinehurst. we always went to the village deli in pinehurst. i always loved their quiche. dugan's is a fun pub. and ive heard great things about the Mexican place in aberdeen.

          1 Reply
          1. Hands down, best lunch in Pinehurst area is Nina's in Olmstead Village. Leans toward Italian at dinner but I often find myself choosing their wonderful seafood bisque for lunch, either by itself or with half a sandwich. Shrimp salad is also incredible and it's one of the only places I know where the food police let you order a burger rare. Great service. Honest food. Closed Sunday and Monday. And they only serve lunch during the week.

            We always try and schedule Pinehurst visits when they're open.

            2 Replies
            1. re: yahooer

              thanks for the recommendation on nina's. sandwiches and salads on lunch menu. great seafood bisque.

              we also went to ashten's in downtown southern pines for dinner. they try to source locally (also a finalist for best dish nc competition) great cane creek flat iron steak.

              1. re: cervisiam

                195 Restaurant in S. Pines - American fusion - a hidden gem.

                Elliot's on Linden is excellent.

                Sunday Brunch at the Pinehurst Hotel is legendary. The entire area- in particular restaurant traffic - has been pulverized by the Great Recession. Golf-related, expense -account tourism drives the local economy. (along with retirees)

            2. We too recently bought a place in Pinehurst and have been scoping out the best places to eat.
              Haven't had a ton of luck yet, honestly, but that might be because we're used to having lots of options and the luxury to be picky.

              Ironwood Cafe in Southern Pines is usually pretty good -- large menu, nice outdoor seating and, occasionally, very good wine specials. Also have early bird pricing of some sort, though we've always been there too late to take advantage of it.

              Villager Deli is old-school and makes delicious sandwiches.

              New York Deli has very good bagels -- apparently the fly them in every day from, you guessed it, New York. They run out early.

              Have yet to find any good options for any pan-Asian cuisine...I find myself really missing Thai, Chinese and sushi, especially, when we're in P-hurst.

              This thread is pretty old, so maybe you've discovered some good options in the past few years, GolferBitch? Would love to know three things:

              1) Where in god's name can I get a good cup of freshly-brewed, strong coffee?
              2) Any good pizza in the area?
              3) What is the name of this elusive Mexican joint in Aberdeen?

              New York Deli
              1047 Murchison Rd Ste 110, Fayetteville, NC 28301

              Villager Deli Restaurant
              6 Chinquapin Rd, Pinehurst, NC 28374

              Southern Pines
              Highway 253, Donalsonville, GA 39845

              3 Replies
              1. re: nicboston

                I don't drink coffee but I got you on the pizza and mexican. Best pizza in town is Vito's on Rt 5 (I don't go to their other location but I can assume it's also good). My husband likes La Casa Mexicana on Morganton by the shopping center. I *think* the mexican place they are referring to is La Poblanita on South St in Aberdeen. Hole in the wall but delicious. Thanks for the tips on the deli, we are Jersey transplants!

                La Poblanita Restaurant
                311 Highway 15, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

                1. re: sliceoflife9

                  I will second the comments on 195 Restaurant and Ironwood.
                  Pik n Pig is good BBQ and sits right on the airstrip in Carthage.

                  Hickory Tavern is new - small Western NC chain - they do a great job and have the best TVs in town....good oysters, too.

                  1. re: sliceoflife9

                    Thanks (two years later, sorry)! Definitely going to try Vito's next time. We love to make pizza at home but every now and then you just want to pick one up (or have it delivered) and watch a movie, you know?

                    Have you gotten to try the Villager Deli yet? It seems to get busier and busier as time goes by. After now dozens of visits, we still really like it. No complaints.

                2. Good morning, all!

                  I menat to post this a few days ago... Last weekend a group of 6 of us had a lovely Saturday evening in Pinehurst and Southern Pines. After a round of cocktails on the West Porch of the resort at Sunset, we went over to Vito's Risorante in Southern Pines.

                  It could not have been lovlier, nor the staff more hospitable. We had arranged ahead of time for reservations and were put in this fantastic outside porch/room. I say porch/room because the walls were high, but not enclosed to the ceiling. There were heaters & a fireplace outside and an overhead heater (it was still a little crisp last Saturday night once the sun went down) to keep the room warm.

                  I was like eating in someone's sun room off their home and had the warmest feel that was super nice. We had pre-ordered osso bucco for all 6, and I understand it is either something that has to be ordered ahead of time, or isn't always available, so call to check on that. I think they start preparing it it 24 or 48 hours ahead of time, so that is why it is made-to-order. And let me tell you, it was amazing. You nearly just breathed on it and it fell off the bone.

                  As many times as I have gone to and eaten in Pinehurst and Southern Pines, I had never been to Vito's, but it will not be my last! I would definitely encourage everyone on vacation or on a short road trip from the Triangle to go check it out.


                  1. This place sounds great if you're looking for good chow in Aberdeen:


                    2 Replies
                      1. We had dinner at P.ZZA in Southern Pines last night. On the pro's: The owners and waitstaff were super friendly, even though it was very packed. The ambiance was cool, though I would say the tables are too close together given how crowded it was last night making it a tad claustrophobic for my taste.

                        The con, sadly, was the pizza itself. The dough was very thin and had not been allowed to rise properly. It was also undercooked dough. Given that, the marinara was easily able to soak into the crust, making it soggy. I would strongly suggest training the pizza makers further… no matter how good the toppings are, if they are slipping and sliding into your fingers because of poor-quality dough it just isn't a good thing.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Tehama

                          A few weeks back we enjoyed another dinner at Elliotts on Linden,always excellent.Elliott's is an interesting place, with a lot more going on there than just great food.

                          The entire Pinehurst area damn near imploded a few years back.It's 100% tourist/resort economy was crushed.At one point the forclosure rate was as high as anywhere in the country.Things have perked up in the last 18 months or so enough to build a couple more of those damn roundabouts!

                          1. re: mollybelle

                            I'm always glad to know of a new spot in Pinehurst/ So. Pines. Where is Elliots and what type of menu do they have?

                            Another one of my favorites for Italian is Vito's in Southern Pines. The osso bucco we had a few months ago is still very memorable. Delicious!

                            1. re: Tehama

                              Farm to Table, whatever that really means these days...


                              1. re: Tehama

                                Elloitt's is "on Linden" :). Its one part great restaurant,one part gourmet grocer, one part wine bar, one part cooking school and one part kitchen designer/contractor.

                                This is an interesting place!

                              2. re: mollybelle

                                We made it to Elliots on Linden in Pinehurst last evening and ate at the bar from the bar menu. Honestly, I thought the entrée prices were outlandish. The least expensive entrée was $26 (a vegetarian goat tart) and went up to $51 (for either the filet or elk, I don't recall which). Maybe that's just me, but I did think that was some mighty high cotton.

                                I got the short rib burger ($15) and BF got the duck ($28); a glass of pinot and 2 beers and I believe it was $68 before tip. Major props to the pleasant and inviting warm atmosphere and the very friendly and enthusiastic (without being overbearing) bartenders John and Justin. My burger was topped with garlic mayo and some pimento cheese on a brioche-type bun and it was indeed the cat's meow. BF's duck was a a generous proportion and very flavorful.

                                The only hesitancy I would have about going back is the prices. I don't mind paying $15 every now and again for a fancy burger (and it was indeed delicious!), but if I wanted a more nuanced entrée, there are a lot of other places I would go first to pay that much before spending it there.