Best of Sandhills 2022 -- Dining
Ashten’s Restaurant & Pub
As Ashten’s celebrates its silver anniversary, enjoy one of the amazing starters. The original Rueben egg rolls with corned beef, sauerkraut, and caper remoulade are the perfect way to embark on the restaurant’s casual but fine dining. The corn-crusted blue crab cake is equally superior. Or consider the delectable artichoke heart pops stuffed with Paradox Farm goat cheese and herbs.
Chapman’s Food & Spirits
Since opening in downtown Southern Pines in 2015, Chapman’s has epitomized the “casual concept” of food and spirits as it serves plenty of American comfort food. The Hamm Burger is one of several imaginative sandwiches, although the regular menu is only part of the story at Chapman’s. Every day they also have specials not on the menu.
Red Bowl Asian Bistro
This traditional Asian restaurant with a contemporary setting features a full-service cocktail lounge that serves Asian-inspired drinks. Each distinctive dish is handcrafted to order in its immaculate, open kitchen and prepared with only the finest and freshest ingredients. Open daily at 11 a.m., the menu is very extensive with all your Asian favorites.
Vito’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
Proudly serving families in the Sandhills since 1980, Vito’s in Southern Pines offers a great menu and stellar wine selection to anyone seeking an authentic Italian dining experience. It offers the perfect atmosphere for multiple generations to appreciate, and the menu has something to please every member of the family, from parmigiana to pizza.
San Felipe Mexican Restaurant
The menu of this family-owned business with its own recipes for traditional Mexican fare has been expanded and now includes selective dishes like sizzling skillets and menu del mar. The food is prepared fresh for signature items that you can find only at San Felipe. They treat every guest like family because to them diners become family.
The premier bakery in the Sandhills continues to be The Bakehouse in Aberdeen as it transitions to new owners, David and Ginny Tran. They are leaving the recipes largely unchanged (particularly the beloved Barcelona burger) and will honor the bakery’s Austrian and Spanish roots. Visit and discover what fills the morning air with a scrumptious scent.
Stubbs & Sons BBQ
Come hungry to Stubbs because you will go home satisfied. Its eastern N.C. style chopped BBQ is the real deal. Enjoy it with the homemade coleslaw, made fresh every morning, that has a sweet and slightly spicy flavor and adds the perfect taste to the BBQ. Be careful: The delicious, golden-brown, sweet-tasting hushpuppies, made fresh as you order, are addictive.
Mac’s Breakfast Anytime
The dependable, go-to breakfast spot in the Sandhills has been Mac’s for decades. From omelets and other egg dishes to sausage and gravy, Mac’s knows how to start (and end) everyone’s day the right way. Although the extensive menu and specials-of-the-day board include more than breakfast items, they are the most popular choices.
Ronnie’s Chuck Wagon
Ronnie’s has been a favorite of many Sandhills residents since they were children. In this no-frills, old-fashioned restaurant that is cash only, the staff is very friendly, and the low prices make it the best burger bargain in the Sandhills. If you want an old-fashioned hamburger, Ronnie’s is the place to go. Try the banana pudding too.
Form V Chocolates
The mastermind behind this artisan chocolate company that specializes in boutique-style bon bons is Scott Hasemeier. His luxurious chocolates are handcrafted with a thorough knowledge of the scientific properties of cocoa butter. Does that make him an artist or a scientist? As he blends art and science with technical precision, he creates visually stunning chocolates that showcase the flavors of premium ingredients.
Spoon Lickers Catering
Are you looking for someone to provide the food at your next event? Large or small, Spoon Lickers does it all! They have menus for you to peruse, or they’re happy to make a custom menu just for you. Get in touch with Chefs Ivory and Jen to start planning the perfect meal for an office lunch, cocktail hour, promotion ceremony, or birthday party.
Buggy Town Coffee
Darryl and Meg Russell started this shop in 2014. Many items on the menu have been their own creations, have come from family recipes, or are just things they love that they can't usually find nearby. Coffee selections change weekly. They offer classes that include tastings and demonstrations where they discuss coffee and tea. Their mission is to make your day better.
The Tavern at The Holly Inn
With an antique bar brought over from Scotland as its centerpiece, The Tavern is the preferred location to overlook the village center. The amazing Southern-style crab cake, featured on the dinner menu, is served with sweet corn skillet, asparagus, white cheddar and caramelized hushpuppies, Old Bay aioli and grilled lemon.
Janell Canino, C.Cups founder, believes in small-batch baking and providing top-quality sweets with no shortcuts, and the open kitchen concept allows visitors to watch the staff at work. Born out of a desire to help the women and families forever changed by breast cancer, C.Cups is the first stop in the Sandhills for desserts for any event.
Although fire destroyed Pik-n-Pig over a year ago, the spirit of the owners and loyal customers remains unbroken. A family-run business from pitmaster to servers, it has been the place for families and barbecue fans to savor slowly smoked meat cooked over hot coals in the traditional way. The rebuilding is almost complete, so get ready for a special reopening.
195 American Fusion
A staple in the fine dining community of the Sandhills for over 20 years, 195 strives to provide uniquely eclectic cuisine that is showcased by fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Restructured for a more modern vibe from the windows to the walls in 2019, the restaurant takes pride in providing excellent service.
This natural food market has a large selection of vitamins, herbs, and other supplements. Anyone with special dietary needs will appreciate its natural sugar substitutes and large selection of gluten-free foods. Enjoy juices, smoothies, soups, and sandwiches at the juice bar. This market has been bringing healthy food and supplements to the Sandhills for 25 years.
The Ice Cream Parlor
The place to meet and enjoy adventurous homemade ice cream flavors since 1976 has been The Ice Cream Parlor Restaurant, located in the heart of Southern Pines. Its famous Dog of the Day specials are best enjoyed with old-fashioned floats, sodas, and malts. Enjoy reading the menu that has bits of the past sprinkled in with the present.
Sweet Basil Café
The perfect locale for a delicious lunch is this popular eatery in downtown Southern Pines. For a midday meal, choose among several signature salads, distinctive sandwiches on rustic breads, and other specialties. Breads are freshly made and baked each morning by John Davis, chef and owner.
YellowBird Southern Table and Bar
Since opening last November, YellowBird has been serving up sweet and savory waffles, smoked brisket deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes, wagyu and bison meatloaf and, of course, chef-driven craft cocktails. A new venture by Leadmine owners Sonja McCarrell and Orlando Jinzo, this family-friendly restaurant has become to place to go for Southern fare that is fresh and seasonal.
Rooted Café and Market
Rooted was born to educate and inspire more plant-based eating. Its goal is to source the highest quality food directly from the earth to nourish our souls without compromising taste. Encouraging people to eat with purpose, Rooted aspires to create a community that understands the link between food and health.
Outside among towering North Carolina pines is the perfect place to enjoy Ironwood’s seasonal menu that combines the signature flavors of the South with local and international ingredients. Ironwood’s charming patio is open for lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and dinner each evening. Not to worry: it’s dog-friendly and has heaters in case the temperature dips (it won’t).
Whispering Pies Pizzeria
At this perfect New York style pizzeria, specialty pizzas include meat lovers, veggie, BBQ chicken, buffalo chicken, Greek, supreme, margherita, Hawaiian, and more. Other favorites include calzone, stromboli, pizza rolls, pasta. Check out the daily lunch specials of classic and specialty slices available until 3 p.m. Dine-in, take-out, and delivery.
Full Moon Oyster Bar
This popular watering hole and seafood restaurant offers grilled, baked, and fried items prepared to order. With the freshest seafood anywhere, its homemade recipes have been handed down over the years, and its soups and entrees are the best in the Southeast. It offers fresh oysters and other shellfish delights prepared raw or steamed to preserve the salty good freshness everyone loves.
Elliott’s on Linden
For any romantic occasion, Elliott’s on Linden sets the mood with a comfortable yet elegant atmosphere. Chef Mark Elliott and his staff treat you like royalty from the moment that you enter. Indulge in hospitable service, fresh ingredients, and beautifully plated meals. Plan your next date night at the restaurant that has set the standard for romantic dining as it showcases the region’s bounty daily.
Villaggio Ristorante & Bar
Since it opened in Pinehurst’s historic Magnolia Inn, Villaggio Ristorante & Bar has more than surpassed the expectations of savvy locals and out-of-town guests who want to enjoy an exquisite, fine-dining experience. The creative salads including roasted beet, caprese, and Caesar are especially tempting.
Chef Warren’s Bistro
In a French-inspired neighborhood bistro where you can watch the chef at work in the open kitchen, amazing seafood choices are featured on the menu that changes daily and varies with the availability of seasonal products. Seafood entrees may include such specialties as oven-roasted line-caught amberjack, grilled line-caught swordfish, and Dijon and nut-crusted halibut.
Scott’s superior service is equal parts communication and genuine attention to the diners. The restaurant’s staff is dedicated to providing excellent service and strives to be friendly, available, attentive, and quick to take care of each customer’s needs. Customers are always greeted with a smile and receive prompt and continual attention. Servers listen intently and pay attention to what each customer wants.
This locally-owned and family-operated steak and seafood restaurant has been a favorite dining destination in the Sandhills for generations. One of its prized awards is from the N.C. Cattlemen’s Beef Council, which represents the state’s 19,000 cattle producers. The restaurant has received the “Best Steak in North Carolina” award, which is given only once a year by the cattlemen.
Table on the Green
Make the weekend extra special where Sunday brunch is exceptional. In addition to the enticing omelets, waffles, and pancakes, the brunch menu also includes a smoked salmon platter, lamb chops with two eggs, and a Monte Cristo sandwich. The Thai lunch special always deserves a request from your server for more information about it.
Susa Sushi & Hibachi
If you’re looking for an excellent sushi or hibachi lunch or dinner, this comfortable family-run spot is the place to go. The sushi and its presentation are excellent. Hibachi dinners include soup and salad and are served with fried rice. In addition to beef and chicken, popular hibachi choices are scallop, lobster, salmon, and tofu; all are served with grilled onion, mushroom, zucchini, and broccoli.
Hennings Taste of India
The vegetable entrees at Hennings are as enticing as they are almost endless. Specialties that feature spinach, eggplant, green peas, chickpeas, lentils, black and red beans, cauliflower, potato, okra, and other vegetables are equally tempting to carnivores as well. Several vegetable appetizers also can start the meal on the flavorsome path.
After opening 12 years ago in downtown Southern Pines, the restaurant quickly established itself as an elite dining choice by superbly preparing succulent steaks and pairing them with carefully chosen wines from around the world from the familiar to the adventurous and the mild to the bold. The restaurant’s large wine room has a one-of-a-kind cooling system and can hold 4,500 bottles of wine.