When most people in North Carolina think of Lexington, they immediately think barbecue. And for good reason – Lexington-style barbecue is the best kind of barbecue in my humble opinion.

There are so many other amazing restaurants in Lexington, NC serving different cuisine though! I think that’s what surprised me the most about my visit here. The restaurants were so unique.

From fun breakfast spots to casual bites to upscale dining, you’ll find it all here in Lexington.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for keeping Stuck On The Go going! I was hosted by Visit Lexington, NC for part of my time in town. All opinions are my own.

11 Best Restaurants in Lexington, NC

I was only in town for a few days so of course I wasn’t able to try all the restaurants in Lexington. Here are some of my favorites plus a couple suggestions from locals. I’ll add to this as I’m able to visit more!

1. The Factory

This is an absolute must-visit breakfast spot. They specialize in waffles and coffee and holy moly do they do a great job with both.

If you love specialty coffee drinks, then I highly recommend one of their Factory Favorites. I tried A Shot In the Dark which had dark chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, and a shot of espresso. They have so many flavors that look good though!

I don’t know if I had a tougher time choosing which coffee or which waffle to get. Finally, I went with the Strawberry Fields and absolutely no regrets there. The cheesecake filling mixed with strawberry compote on top of the Belgian waffle was heavenly.

They have both sweet and savory options for breakfast and next time I visit I really want to try the Over the Top – biscuit waffles smothered in sausage gravy with eggs and bacon.

You’ll order at the counter and then choose your seat where they bring out the food to you. Most of their seating is indoors but they do have a couple of tables outside.

2. Perfect Blend

This is another great breakfast place that also serves lunch. They have a bright and airy coffee shop feel and are attached to the very popular Missions Pottery in Uptown.

They’re well known for their amazing coffee and the beans are roasted right over at the Goose & The Monkey Brewhouse in town. I can definitely say that their mocha was delicious.

If you need something on the go then they have plenty of sweet treats like muffins, scones, or cookies (yes, you can eat cookies for breakfast).

They also serve amazing breakfast sandwiches and have just started offering them on biscuits! I had a sausage, egg, and cheese on an English muffin and it was so satisfying.

For lunch, they serve sandwiches and other seasonal items like soup. They occasionally change their menu so you never know what you might find!

When the weather is nice, they have a couple of tables outside on the sidewalk where you can relax and people watch as people make their way in and out of all the shops Uptown.

This cute little cafe reminded me of the breakfast restaurant in Beaufort that Tyler and I loved.

3. The Bistro at Childress Vineyards

Childress Vineyards was the first winery in Lexington and has long been one of the best wineries in the Yadkin Valley but did you know they have an amazing restaurant on site?

The Bistro changes their menu seasonally with the exception of a few staples and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better meal anywhere in the Piedmont Triad.

They have a beautiful indoor seating area with large windows going all the way around the building but you can also sit outside and enjoy views of the pond.

While I visited Lexington, I was able to try the Fall Seasonal Salad, Pan-Seared Salmon, and Pecan-Crusted Rack of Lamb. All great choices!

Oh and the Pimento Cheese Dip appetizer is an absolute must if you like pimento cheese. It’s served with house-fried pork rinds and the spicy pepper jam just takes it to another level.

Try some of their wine with lunch or stick around and have a full wine tasting or get a flight. This is a great place to hang out for the afternoon.

You will need reservations at The Bistro!

4. Sophie’s Cork & Ale

This is probably one of the most unique restaurants in Lexington, NC and one of my favorites!

Whether you’re trying to impress a date or you want a place to get together with friends and grab small plates, Sophie’s is it.

While the food is upscale and presented so well, it feels like you’re just hanging out in someone’s living room and has a casual vibe. The atmosphere is fantastic.

They have a great selection of small plates, sandwiches, and salads but what they’re really known for is Chef John’s daily specials.

Each day he announces specials that typically include soup, hummus, salad, scallops, pasta, a burger, and one other item like tacos, quesadillas, fish, or steak. They are always so creative too.

I was able to try the burger special which was a bacon, egg, & cheese burger on a Biscuit King biscuit. I was skeptical at first, but wow was it good.

In addition to the daily specials, Sophie’s is also known for their wine list and craft beer options. They have a huge selection of both!

5. The Barbecue Center

Serving Lexington-style barbecue since 1955, the Barbecue Center has been a staple in the community and is one of the original barbecue restaurants in town.

Walking into the Barbecue Center feels like you’ve stepped back in time since not much has changed with the decor. Or the barbecue for that matter.

Sandwiches are one of the most popular items on the menu but my preference is definitely a chopped tray. The barbecue is served three different ways – fine chopped, coarse chopped, or sliced.

A tray comes with slaw and hushpuppies. Red slaw is what’s served with traditional Lexington-style barbecue but I’m pretty picky about my red slaw. If you order white slaw just be prepared for some friendly jabs.

I love their hushpuppies because they’re a tad on the sweet side and that just goes so well with the tangy dip (sauce).

Make sure to leave room for dessert because they have the biggest banana split that I’ve ever seen. If you love ice cream then you have to order one!

North Carolina is known for its barbecue and these Lexington BBQ restaurants are the reason for that. Don’t miss out.

6. Rustic Roots

Rustic Roots is fun because it’s located in an old hotel lobby so the design is pretty unique. They serve fresh salads, soups, and sandwiches in addition to entreés like salmon and chicken.

They have a good wine and beer selection as well and many of their bread products are made fresh by Go Rustic Artisan Breads.

I tried the cheeseburger and fries – both were great but the fries were crispy and so addicting. I could have eaten a whole plate of them.

Like many businesses, they’ve been having some staffing issues so make sure to check their Facebook Page for up-to-date information on their operating hours.

7. Pour Folk Provisions Co.

If I lived in Lexington, I would be here all the time. Located in the Goose & The Monkey Brewhouse, this is another funky restaurant in Lexington.

There is a walk-up window where you order and then they give you a buzzer to take with you that notifies you when to come pick up your food. In the meantime, you can order drinks at the bar.

They have three sections to their menu – shareables & salads, handhelds, and flatbreads. If you like soft pretzels then their Pour Folk Pretzel is delicious and served with creamy beer cheese.

I tried the Chicka Chicka Boom Flatbread and it was out of this world amazing! It started with a Carolina gold barbecue sauce base and was topped with grilled chicken, bacon, red onions, cheddar cheese, Italian seasoning, and ranch dressing.

I also was able to try a bite of the teriyaki Bibimbap Bowl and highly recommend those as well. Everything is served in to-go containers so you can stay and hang out at the Goose & The Monkey or head up to Bull City Ciderworks which is also in the Depot District.

Both places have outdoor spaces that are pet friendly.

8. Lexington Barbecue

Another one of the original Lexington-style barbecue restaurants, Lexington Barbecue sits right off of Business 85 so it stays busy almost all day, not just at peak lunch and dinner times.

You can see the smokestacks and as soon as you get out of the car, you’ll smell the pork cooking. Again, I got my go-to order of the chopped tray here and it did not disappoint.

If you aren’t familiar with Lexington-style barbecue, the staff here is super friendly and happy to answer any questions you might have about the menu so don’t be shy.

One thing to note here is they only serve red slaw, they don’t offer white slaw. It’s definitely worth a try if you’ve never had it – I like theirs pretty good.

9. JJ’s Mama’s Soulfood & More

If you’re looking for true, southern soul food then JJ’s Mama’s is your place. The fried chicken, turkey wing, and ribs are consistent hits.

Served with sides like mac & cheese, collard greens, and yams, you really can’t go wrong here. The service is also truly amazing and the owners are always giving back to the community.

If you’re planning on visiting then be sure to arrive with plenty of tie before closing – they don’t do dine-in or fried foods within 30 minutes of closing.

10. The Eatery

In the mood for Mexican food? The Eatery is a Southwestern-style spot that’s set up a little like a Moe’s or Chipotle where you build your own items.

You can choose from burritos, bowls, quesadillas, nachos, or tacos and all the toppings are as fresh as you can get. Each item comes with free chips and salsa too!

This is one of the most popular restaurants in Lexington, NC for a quick bite to eat.

11. Speedy’s Barbecue

Another popular barbecue stop in town. Tyler and I visited this one after trying wakeboarding for the first time at Elevated Wake Park – one of the most fun things to do in Lexington – so we were pretty hungry.

I decided to go with BBQ plate and it was more than enough for two meals. I may have even gotten three meals including the leftovers. Their red slaw went perfectly with their dip so I was a happy camper.

It stays busy here but they keep people moving and there’s much more seating than what you can initially see when you walk in.

Specialty Foods in Lexington

While the places listed below aren’t full restaurants, they do serve great specialty food or drinks and I don’t think you should miss them.

Red Donut Shop

I am a sucker for any kind of bakery treat but especially a donut. At Red Donut Shop, they have mostly yeast donuts but you can also get a cake style like blueberry. My personal favorite are the yeast.

Their donuts are freshly made each day and they have all kinds of flavors. If you want a filled donut, you get to choose the filling and they’ll fill the donut right in front of you.

They also have amazing fritters, cinnamon rolls, Long Johns, and bear claws. Need a hot drink with your donuts? Choose from coffee, hot cocoa, or hot tea.

Black Chicken Coffee House & Gifts

Now this is the perfect coffee shop hangout if you wanted to read or get some work done for a bit. It’s also a great place for an afternoon pick me up.

If you’re a blended frappe kind of person you will be in absolute heaven here. Their menu has pages on pages of different flavors for their frappes.

You can get them hot, iced, or frozen but you can’t really beat a frozen frappe on a summer afternoon. If you’re visiting during winter then by all means go with a hot drink.

Sinfully Delicious Custom Bakery

Sinfully Delicious specializes in custom cakes for various events but they also have a bakery space in Uptown Lexington where they sell a variety of goodies.

The flavors will vary depending on when you visit but you can get cakes by the slice, cupcakes, all kinds of cookies, brownies, and more.

They even serve some keto friendly items!

The Candy Factory

This is a staple in Uptown Lexington and incredibly popular with kids. If you’re an adult then I’m sure you’ll see so many different kinds of candy that you remember from childhood.

You’ll also find homemade fudge here that’s made in-house and other handmade candies like chocolate-covered pretzels, truffles, and more.

If you have a sweet tooth then this is a really fun stop, not just for all the candy but the decor too.

Wrap Up: Restaurants in Lexington, NC

So there you have it – eleven different Lexington, NC restaurants that should be on your list plus some bonus stops.

This little town in the Piedmont of North Carolina really has so much to offer and whether you’re visiting for the surrounding lakes, wine scene, or the barbecue, you shouldn’t leave hungry.

You don’t have to visit restaurants in Winston-Salem for a good meal. Hope you get to enjoy a few of these local spots soon!

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