Elkin is an up-and-coming little town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and if you’re a foodie, then I think the restaurants in Elkin, NC will really surprise you.

I grew up about 15 minutes from Elkin and now I live 30 minutes from there so I’ve really seen it change over the last few years.

The Yadkin Valley wineries have really boosted tourism in the area and as more people found out about this underrated North Carolina town more restaurants and places to stay started popping up.

Honestly, we never came to Elkin when I was growing up – we always went to restaurants in Winston-Salem instead. Now anytime we think about going out with friends, Elkin is our first choice.

So here is my list of the best restaurants in Elkin, NC. Hope you enjoy them!

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17 Best Restaurants in Elkin, NC

Here are 17 amazing places to eat in Elkin whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This list is full of local favorites as well as places where I commonly see visitors.

1. Angry Troll Brewing

  • Address: 222 E Main St
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Cuisine: American/Pizza

Angry Troll Brewing was originally named 222 – in case you hear anyone refer to them as 222 – but they’ve always been known for their amazing wood fired pizzas.

My personal favorite is their Mexican Pizza but I also love the Triple Threat. The wood fired pretzel and mini corn dogs are great appetizers too.

The brewery started out in the basement and it sort of was like a troll’s dungeon. I remember visiting when they first opened when it was just a bar downstairs with a couple tables and chairs. 

They’ve gone through multiple add-ons and renovations since they opened and now it’s one of the most popular hang-out spots in Elkin. One half of the basement has seating and the bar and the other half has pool tables and arcade games.

The building is an old tobacco warehouse, so it’s a pretty cool nod to the history of the area. A large majority of the farms in the Yadkin Valley used to be tobacco farms.

The space is very rustic with most of the seating made of wood. They have large, picnic tables and big booths. In the summer, they also put picnic tables out on the sidewalk.

If you want to stay downstairs in the brewery, you can order food to-go from the restaurant upstairs. I believe you order at the bar upstairs if that’s what you want to do.

I don’t believe they take reservations so you’ll want to make a backup plan on the weekends. This place gets absolutely packed on Friday and Saturday nights so you’ll either want to show up very early or be prepared to wait.

For backup plan options check Southern on Main, Harry’s Place, The Reeves Theater & Cafe, or The Wisdom Table.

2. Barking Coyote Kitchen

  • Address: 205 S Bridge St
  • Price Range: $
  • Cuisine: Sandwich

This is one of our go-to lunch spots when I’m meeting my mom, grandma, and sister.

Their menu is small but it changes weekly. They typically only serve sandwiches and wraps but occasionally they’ll throw in something else on the menu.

Sandwiches come with a bag of chips and dill pickle. You order at the counter when you walk in and then they’ll bring it out to you.

They have a small seating area inside with just three or four tables but we prefer to visit on nice days and sit out on their back patio.

If you’re local to the area, they have take n’ bake meals that you can take home with you and heat up for dinner. They also have deli items like pimento cheese, various soups, and hummus.

Both the take n’ bake and deli items change weekly but they post their options on their Facebook page if you want to see what they have before visiting.

Definitely try one of their baked goods – if you don’t have one with lunch then get one to take home.

3. Dirty Joe’s Coffee

  • Address: 132 E Market St
  • Price Range: $
  • Cuisine: Cafe

This is the cutest little coffee shop a block above Main Street where you can grab pastries and your morning cup of coffee or an afternoon pick me up.

In the mornings, they typically have things like croissants, muffins, and cookies so this is a great place if you need a light breakfast.

They also have a smoothie station at their original Elkin location which is perfect for breakfast or lunch. They opened a second location in Jonesville just across the county line.

They have a few tables inside but plenty of outside seating along the sidewalk as well.

4. The Wisdom Table

  • Address: 101 E Main St
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Cuisine: American

The Wisdom Table started out as a wine bar and they recently added a small dinner menu to their offerings.

We love coming here to do a wine tasting as they offer multiple different types and it changes often. They have many local wines though so you can try different local vineyards all at once with their NC wine flight. There are tons of great wineries near Elkin.

They also do special flights and pairings from time to time. We visited on New Year’s Eve to do their sparkling wine flight. Around Christmas, they did a cookie and wine pairing which I’m sad that I missed.

They also host special multi-course dinner events that commonly sell out. These would be worth planning a trip around themselves!

This is by far my favorite place in the area to get a charcuterie board. They give you a ton for the money plus the items are varied so it’s not just a plate of cheese and meat with a couple crackers.

A charcuterie board here includes multiple different cheeses, meat (if you choose the add-on), jams, nuts, olives, pickles, and more.

5. Southern on Main

  • Address: 102 E Main St
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Cuisine: Southern/Vegan Options

The outside of this building is so cute as it sits right on the corner of Main Street and South Bridge Street. There is a huge mural on the side of the building showing a large vineyard representing the Yadkin Valley Wine Region.

We love their courtyard area where you can enjoy outdoor seating in warm weather, but the indoor seating is just as nice.

They are known for their southern dishes, so fried chicken, catfish, and shrimp & grits. Their side dishes are pretty southern too like fried okra, collard greens, and southern green beans.

I love the sandwiches on their lunch menu, especially with their sweet potato fries. Their gouda mac & cheese appetizer is also delicious.

If you’re looking for a varied drink menu then this is a great spot for you as well. They have cocktails, beer, and wine with local options for both.

6. Reeves Theater & Cafe

  • Address: 129 W Main St
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Cuisine: American/Cafe

The Reeves Theater is a historic venue in downtown Elkin and I highly recommend attending a show here while you’re in town.

The Cafe is all about supporting the local community and farmers of the Yadkin Valley. You’ll even find a list of their local partners on the menu.

They serve dinner Wednesday – Saturday and lunch on Saturday only. The menu has burgers, sandwiches, wraps, soups, and salads. Of course, they carry local beer and wine as well.

Don’t forget dessert. Their desserts change daily since they also partner with local bakers.

This is definitely one of the most unique restaurants in Elkin, NC so you won’t want to miss it!

7. Harry’s Place

  • Address: 135 Front St
  • Price Range: $
  • Cuisine: American

Fun fact: my first official date with my husband was at Harry’s Place.

I will warn you – the outside does not look like much, although they did just repaint. This small cinderblock building sits right beside the railroad tracks and it’s our go-to spot in the summer because Tyler loves the crab legs.

There’s typically always a wait but a list hangs on the door and when you come in, just write your name and the number in your party.

Then turn to the left where you’ll find the bar. Another reason we love visiting in summer – we grab a drink and head outside to hang out and wait.

I’ll mention the bathrooms because they are a little confusing when you visit the first time. They are actually located outside at the front of the building. If you’re looking at the front door, they will be to the right.

While Tyler loves the crab legs, I typically go with the hamburger steak. Both meals come with salads, baked potatoes, and toast.

They actually have a really great lunch menu as well. You can get hamburgers and hotdogs or the meat and three plate. It’s popular with people who are working in the area.

8. Skull Camp Brewing

  • Address: 2000 N Bridge St
  • Price Range: $
  • Cuisine: American/Appetizers

If you went to Skull Camp when it opened but haven’t been back in a while, a lot of changes have been made. The food menu has scaled WAY back.

These days the main entrees they serve are their smoked wings and peel & eat shrimp. They have added back in a couple sandwich options lately.

They do have some appetizer options and for dessert, their sonker is actually really good. It’s seasonal but if they have the sweet potato sonker then be sure to get it.

I do love the atmosphere here – it’s a brewpub but it’s not too loud and the space is big enough that it doesn’t feel crowded. They also have some nice outdoor seating.

If you’re visiting the wineries nearby then this is a great place for lunch with a group of friends.

9. Speedy Chef

  • Address: 685 N Bridge St
  • Price Range: American/Fast Food
  • Cuisine:

For burgers, hotdogs, and fries head to Speedy Chef. This is a no-frills old-timey spot so don’t expect anything fancy. Think walk-up burger window but they have an indoor seating area.

The best thing about Speedy Chef might be the prices. If you’re on a budget then this is a great place to stop.

They also have great desserts like hot fudge sundaes and milkshakes.

10. Yellow Door Café

  • Address: 280 Standard St
  • Price Range: $-$$
  • Cuisine: Cafe

You’ll recognize Yellow Door Café as you pull up because it literally has a yellow door. The outside of the building is absolutely adorable as is the inside with the mismatched tables and chairs and farmhouse decor.

This is actually a sister restaurant to Angry Troll where they serve breakfast and lunch. We went for lunch recently after visiting some of the wineries nearby and I will definitely be back.

I had the chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich that came on a pretzel bun and I highly recommend it. Their menu is described as Southern Soul Food with a French Flair.

Next time I want to go back for breakfast when you can get things like quiche, chicken & waffles, or a traditional breakfast platter. They also have different homemade desserts daily.

11. Cowboy Restaurant

  • Address: 961 N Bridge St
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse

Known for their steaks and seafood, Cowboy Restaurant is one of the popular places to eat in Elkin. The interior is a little small so there is usually a wait at peak meal times.

They have rocking chairs and picnic tables outside though if you have to wait. In the spring they have the most beautiful flowers in pots and hanging baskets outside the restaurant.

Everyone loves the fair prices and portions here.

12. Elkin Creek Vineyard

  • Address: 318 Elkin Creek Mill Rd
  • Price Range: $$
  • Cuisine: Pizza

Need to Know: This is only an option on Sunday afternoons and you must make reservations in advance.

However, it is totally worth it. Elkin Creek Vineyard makes brick oven pizzas with a sourdough crust and they are out of this world good. My personal favorite is the Bacon Brie which comes with caramelized onions, sautéed garlic spinach, bacon, and brie cheese.

They have two other specialty pizzas – a Pesto and a Breakfast Pizza – but you can also make your own. You can get a House or Caprese Salad to go with your pizza and they also sell sourdough bread in a ¼, ½, or full loaf.

Don’t forget to order some wine to go with your pizza! The rustic tasting room feels like a log cabin on the inside and they have some covered seating outside as well.

After you’re done eating, take your wine with you and walk down the hill behind the tasting room. Here you can hang out by the river and enjoy the rest of your drinks. There is also a waterfall just upriver from here. 

13. Prime Thai Restaurant

  • Address: 642 N Bridge St
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Cuisine: Thai

The outside of Prime Thai is a little off-putting for some because it does look a little rough and there isn’t a sign but don’t let that stop you! This place has some of the best Thai food in the area.

People love their spring rolls and green curry but you really can’t go wrong here. They also serve local beer, Thai Ice Coffee, and Thai Ice Tea.

The friendly service here and consistently good food keeps people coming back. This is really one of the best Elkin restaurants.

14. Matty’s

  • Address: 111 N Bridge St
  • Price Range: $
  • Cuisine: Southern

This is another restaurant that you really wouldn’t think to stop at if you just passed by and saw the outside. If you love southern cooking though then don’t miss Matty’s.

They have daily specials where you can get a meat, two side items, and rolls. If you order seafood or BBQ it comes with hushpuppies instead of rolls.

I definitely recommend the meat & veggie plates but they also serve sandwiches like burgers, grilled chicken, Philly cheese, and more.

The prices are great for the portion size that you get and this is a true mom & pop business.

15. Nana’s Family Restaurant

  • Address: 260 Standard St
  • Price Range: $
  • Cuisine: American

Nana’s is one of the best breakfast restaurants in Elkin but they also have delicious lunch options. For breakfast, you’ll find egg platters, biscuits & gravy, pancakes, french toast, and more.

At lunch they also have meat & veggie plates, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. They serve a variety of homemade desserts daily too.

They have the friendliest staff so it’s definitely a local favorite for breakfast.

16. Pirates Landing

  • Address: 161 Interstate Way
  • Price Range: $$-$$$
  • Cuisine: American/Seafood

This is one of the more unique places to eat in Elkin and it’s right off the exit from I-77 so it gets a lot of traffic. It’s so unique because it’s built to look like a pirate ship and the theme continues inside the restaurant.

They’re best known for their seafood and steaks but they do have some other options like chicken, ribs, sandwiches, and pasta. They do have wine and beer here as well.

This is probably one of the most popular Elkin, NC restaurants with kids because they really love the pirate theme.

17. 268 Grill

  • Address: 709 NC-268 Business
  • Price Range: $
  • Cuisine: American

Here’s another hole-in-the-wall place with great food. Seems like that’s a theme with the restaurants in Elkin.

They serve breakfast and lunch and the food is diner-style items. For lunch, you can get sandwiches like burgers, grilled cheese, and baked ham. They also serve platters like wings and hamburger steak.

Bonus: Creamy Dayz

Creamy Dayz is the best place to stop for dessert in Elkin. They serve unique ice cream flavors and homemade waffle cones.

Right now they are located on Bridge Street but they will be moving to Main Street soon. If you’re driving from far away, I recommend calling before you visit to make sure that they are open.

Map of Elkin, NC Restaurants

Wrap Up: Restaurants in Elkin, NC

Did you know there were so many great restaurants in Elkin, NC? While they may not look like much on the outside, inside you’ll be greeted with southern hospitality and amazing food.

Make sure to add these to your list when you visit Elkin and I hope you enjoy your time here!

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