HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >


ISO Hidden Gems in Greensboro and Winston Salem NC

I am looking for the best of the best in terms of small, family run, made from scratch cooking. Please let me know if you know of any 'secret' dining spots in Greensboro or Winston Salem, NC. I am not interested in eating at fancy, expensive places or chains... please tell me about the local favorites!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. do a board search for meat and three, vietnamese and mexican places. that is where the hidden gems are here. Unfortunately most local family run places have a sysco truck pulling up every week. Also try a few barbecue places - lil richards, mr. bbq. even though it is a small chain I would include harpers. no a hidden gem but with decent cooking.

    1. I would put Bianca's in Greensboro in that category. Its an italian restaurant near the coliseum. Great food, very small, family owned and run. Meta's and Murphy's in W-S come to mind as well...downtown meat and three places. Bell Brothers is an out of the way cafeteria out near Smith Reynolds airport that has tasty, but not healthy food. lol Ted's Kickin Chickin on S. Main and out near Pfafftown fits the bill. Nitty Gritty Soul Cafe is good, and certainly qualifies as a hidden gem. Skippy's on 4th Street in W-S is great for hot dogs.

      1. She-Crab Soup at Bleu is my favorite W/S hidden gem. At lunch you can find She-Crab Soup and half a sandwich on their $7 menu. I had the soup and half a Cuban sandwich on good baguette a couple of days ago and was delighted. Husband had meat loaf and was disappointed. But at a table of 7 or 8 men next to us, all ordered the soup. It is delicious.

        1. If you're interested in a diner-type restaurant, try Cloverdale Kitchen in W-S. Great breakfast place, family run, etc.

          5 Replies
          1. re: carolinadawg

            Lordy lordy. Is that the place near Baptist Hospital? Right across the street, in the old shopping center?

            1. re: uptown jimmy

              I think that would be the place you are referring to...its not right across the street from Baptist, but up the street a little ways. In a shopping center at the corner of Cloverdale and Miller Streets. There is a Harris Teter in the center. Not sure about the age of the center...its been renovated fairly recently.

              1. re: carolinadawg

                Wow. Used to go to Cloverdale Kitchen back in the 70's with my mom. I loved their pigs in a blanket, link sausages rolled up in pancakes. I'm really happy to hear the food is still good. Next time I'm in town, I'm going.


                1. re: uptown jimmy

                  Yeah, its still going strong. The 2 sons of the couple that started it own it now and run it. They are there every day (and the mother is too). Truly family-owned and operated, and a real institution in W-S.

                  1. re: carolinadawg

                    Wonderful. That makes me so happy. I miss my hometown so badly sometimes...

          2. Thanks for the suggestions so far. I will check them out before heading out. I will still take any more recommendations though... I am really interested in places that have character and interesting food. Thanks for your help!

            1. sweet potatoes in downtown winston salem. love the fried green tomato lettuce and bacon blt sandwich. great fried chicken and cheesy grits.

              1. Yum Yum in Greensboro, on Spring Garden Street near UNC-G. In business for over 100 years, still owned by the family of the founder. Great hot dogs and homemade ice cream. A true G'boro institution.

                4 Replies
                1. re: carolinadawg

                  I visited this thead yesterday in search of a "hidden gem" in G-boro. My husband and daughter were up there today for a soccer tournament and they wanted a local place to grab lunch. I suggested Yum Yums based on your rec. My daughter is a hot dog and ice cream junkie so it seemed a perfect match. Even better was that the hotdogs were the red variety. We've heard of them, but have never had them. Well, my husband and daughter had a great lunch at Yum Yums today. Hot dogs all the way and banana ice cream, they were as happy as can be. Thanks for posting!

                  Yum Yum
                  9872 Nc Highway 105 S, Banner Elk, NC 28604

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    The red is just from a dye as far as I know.

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      Yes, I know. But its a NC novelty we had not previously indulged in. We've heard about them but had never seen them before. My daughter thought they were raw (she's young and doesn't understand that hotdogs are precooked) but enjoyed them anyway. :)

                  2. re: carolinadawg

                    I've never been impressed with their hotdogs. They're just boiled red hotdogs. I usually grab one on my way to class because they are the cheapest meal on campus, but I get them plain, instead of my usual "all the way" preference at other places. I think the condiments, the onions especially, have a very unappealing taste. The homemade ice cream is ridiculously good though. The chocolate will make you swear off other brands forever.

                  3. I second the recommendation for Bianca's. It has a great atmosphere, tasty food, and is priced very well for all of the food that you get. Each entree comes with an appetizer, salad with garlic bread, and dessert--you don't get to choose, it is whatever they have prepared for the day, but I have never gotten anything that I didn't like (and neither has my picky boyfriend). For great Vietnamese/Thai food in Greensboro, I would recommend Pho Hien Voung on Spring Garden Street. I have been going there for years and have always been satisfied. My father introduced me to it, and he lived in Asia for a number of years and preferred it to other similar restaurants in the area. For excellent cheeseburgers and homemade onion rings (and tasty fried pickles), Fincastle's Restaurant in downtown Greensboro is great. Also, if you like Southern home-style cooking, Dixie III in Asheboro on Hwy. 64 is one of my favorite places to go. It doesn't look like much, but all of the food there tastes like your Grandmother cooked it, and you get plenty to eat. Enjoy!

                    Biancas' An Italian Eatery
                    1901 Spring Garden St, Greensboro, NC 27403

                    Pho Hien Voung
                    4109 Spring Garden St, Greensboro, NC 27407

                    Fincastle's Restaurant
                    215 S Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27401

                    Dixie III Restaurant
                    715 E Dixie Dr, Asheboro, NC 27203

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jiff

                      Thanks so much for posting about Fincastle's. We were in W-S a few months ago for a soccer tournament. It was a Sunday and we wanted to grab lunch somewhere casual. I pulled up this thread on my iPhone and began searching to see which places were opened on Sunday - Fincastle's was the only one. We went and we fell in love! Delicious hot dogs, patty melts, onion rings and thick milkshakes. I had two dogs, one dressed w/ house made pimento cheese, chili and mustard, the other was carolina style w/ chili, slaw and mustard. Deliciou! Neat diner atmosphere and great service to boot. We can't wait to go back.

                      Fincastle's Restaurant
                      215 S Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27401

                    2. Thanks to a recommendation by Brent Kulman, I had a really nice lunch in Greensboro recently at Sweet Basil. The menu was heavily stocked with N.C./local foods, and the atmosphere in an old house near Guilford College was nice. There's also a lovely deck, and a waitress told us they sometimes show movies on the wall out there. http://www.sweetbasilsrestaurant.com/

                      1. There is a great restaurant in Winston-Salem called o'So Eats on Jonestown Rd. They have an amazing fried green tomato BLT at lunch. The dinner choices are always wonderful. The prices are extremely reasonable given the outstanding quality of the food.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: dawnmtn

                          The review for o'So Eats sounds like it was written by one of the restaurant staff. I have visited this restaurant and would not return. The prices were low, but so was the quality.
                          This is just another of the many Greek run restaurants in Winston-Salem, and you can not expect anything special.

                          1. re: Roger

                            Agree Roger. My two visits have be barely average at best. Nothing special. I keep thinking maybe I ordered the wrong thing but this should never be the case in an "outstanding" restaurant.

                            1. re: Bluemold

                              I'm surprised no one on this board has talked about Mexican food yet. I'm not a resident, but I pass through Winston-Salem every year and always end up at the same family-run lunch spot. I know how to find it, but I don't know the name - it shares the building with a grocery/sundries store? I'm the only person there not speaking spanish, but I don't care -- the barbacoa is worth it.

                        2. Seriously old thread, but since it's been revived, I'll add Coliseum Country Cafe. We're going there for lunch.

                          1. In Greensboro, I highly recommend these very authentic holes in the wall:

                            Villa Del Mar Mexican Grill & Taqueria - 3738 High Point Rd.
                            Pakse Cafe (Vietnamese) - 827 W Florida St.
                            Saigon Sandwiches Bakery (Vietnamese) - 3808 High Point Rd.