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I-85 from NC to Atlanta - need good food choices near I-85

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I posted this response to an old thread, but then decided it made more sense to start a new thread. We just made this drive, from Mebane/Burlington area of NC south to Atlanta (on Friday) and back today. There must be a way to find the best local food near I-85 for those of us traveling who don't want to stray too far from the highway, but don't want fast food. We finally, out of desperation, ended up at a Cracker Barrel because we couldn't determine where other food options might be located. We will be making that trip again in a few months and I don't want to make the same mistake. Midway (mealtime) for us is anywhere in SC on the way south, and Charlotte north to Lexington on the way north. Please, someone must know of some good places to eat!

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  1. There's actually very little between Charlotte and Atanta that meets your criteria. Wades in Spartanburg is relatively close to the highway, although certainly not right on it. Harold's is a local hot dog joint in downtown Gaffney. Northbound, there is Lexington BBQ, if BBQ interests you and you're not driving on Sunday. There are a couple of other good BBQ places in Lexington that are open on Sunday...I think Jimmy's is one. My best advice is to do a search on here. There are several posts on this exact topic, and also lots of posts about Charlotte and Greenville-Spartanburg.

    1. I recommend 2 Chefs to Go in Greenville, SC. It's very close to I-85 and offers good fresh salads and sandwiches.

      http://www.2chefs2go.com/home.php

      1. Try Salisbury, NC right off I-85.

        You can eat real BBQ at Wink's there at the Salisbury/Albemarle exit. They are wood burners.

        Other very good BBQ restaurants not far from the highway:
        Richard's
        Hendick's
        College Barbecue

        El Patron is a good Mexcian American restaurant at the same exit area. Look for the Cracker Barrel there, and you will find this one across the parking lot.

        Downtown you can get the best hot dogs ever. That's Haps. It is very small with no seating. Only open until 3 pm. They are good enough not to need to open more hours. The chili is the big one.

        Down Innes St. and also close is L.A. Murphs. Upscale soup and sandwiches. Limited menu. But very good. Drive is maybe 10 minutes.

        4 Replies
        1. re: CyndiA

          Also in Salisbury, La Cava is very nice. A tad pricy, but a cut above for the area. Check it out.... http://www.lacavarestaurant.com/

          1. re: grampart

            La Cava opens at 5:30 and is closed on Sundays.

          2. re: CyndiA

            Since it seems the OP is looking for suggestions for a Sunday, I'll just warn him/her that Winks, Haps, L.A. Murphs and probably all the other bbq places are closed on Sunday.

            1. re: CyndiA

              I read your recs a few days ago in preparation for a trip to High Rock Lake. On our way to the lake we made a quick lunch stop at Hap's Grill and I'm so glad we did. What a charming super-tiny place! It was a lovely, sunny spring day and we waited patiently in the line that snaked out the door (it moved quickly). We gathered up our burgers, all-the-way hot dogs and bottles of Cheerwine and shared a stand only table with another couple outside in the sunshine. The burgers weren't anything special, but we really enjoyed the hot dogs. The steamed buns were perfect and the glass bottled cheerwine made it all... well... fine. ;-)

            2. Thanks everyone... I'm saving these recommendations for our next drive down 85.

              1 Reply
              1. re: btc1951

                Hey, the Greenville SC mainstreet restaurants are about 5 mins off I-85.I-385 takes you right to main street,literally.No,its not Charleston or Ashville,but its full of good spots on one of the nicest main streets in a city of this size.

                If you are lloking for a nice casual but fun spot, I would suggest Chiccora Alley.Its right in front of the new riverfront park.Search the Greenville threads or let us know what you are looking for

              2. Pita House in Greenville
                Pop's Kitchen in Cowpens (dying to try this place)