approximately 600 restaurants exist in the Camel City, while fewer than a quarter-million people call it home. That resident-to-restaurant ratio means that for locals, it’s possible to eat somewhere new every day — and still have places left to explore after a year. It also means compiling a list of the best restaurants in Winston-Salem during the National Black Theater Festival is a formidable task, but we (and our boundless appetites) are up to the challenge. Here’s a look at the best restaurants to visit that embody the colorful, rich culinary traditions of the area as well as black-owned establishments that many guests, visitors as well as locals can use as a guide to use between mixing, mingling and enjoying shows, revues and star-studded events. Here you’ll find the best our fair city has to offer, from old standbys to the newer spots.
1. Ackingna’s Place
3066 New Walkertown Road 336.721.0270 (no website)
Located in the original Zesto’s location in East Winston, this takeout-only spot serves up breakfast all day and soul food-inspired dishes on weekdays only.
2. Cam’s Coffee Creations
930 S. Broad St.
What started as a pop-up shop now sells whole-bean coffee with lunch specials and creates employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.
3. Carolina’s Vineyards and Hops
1111 S Marshall St.
One-hundred percent of the menu is dedicated to North Carolina vineyards, breweries, creameries and farms. Including small plates, charcuterie, artisanal cheeses and beverages.
4. Dr. Chops Soul Food Café
4830 Old Rural Hall Rd 336.893.5356 (no website)
Home of the collard-green sandwich, this soul-food spot is known for its extensive menu which includes wings, chitlins, fish platters and chicken and waffles.
5. Downtown Bodega
140 W. Sixth St. (no website)
Downtown’s newest convenience store has all of your snack needs covered with products from local entrepreneurs like DJ’s Cheesecakes alongside fresh produce and cold drinks.
6. Forsyth Seafood Market and Café
108 N Martin Luther King Jr Drive
Serving since 1984, this community staple offers more than 25 varieties of wild-caught fish and crustaceans in the market and fresh fried and grilled fish platters and meals in the café.
7. Hot Dog City
2300 Patterson Ave. (no website)
Known for hot dogs, cheesesteaks, hoagies and vegetarian-friendly options, the housemade Italian ice is a great way to beat the heat.
8. Meta’s Restaurant
102 W Third St 336.750.0811 (no website)
Grab some homemade favorites like turkey legs, smothered pork chops or fried chicken at downtown’s first black-owned restaurant.
9. Miss Ora’s Kitchen
605 Trade St.
This small enterprise is the sister restaurant to Sweet Potatoes and serves up cast-iron fried chicken, sweet potato biscuits and classic, housemade sides.
10. Simply Soul
4339 S Main St 336.788.0400 (no website)
This lunch and dinner only restaurant is “simply” the best with daily specials including liver and onions, chicken pot pie and barbecued ribs.
11. Sweet Potatoes
607 Trade St.
This Downtown Arts District staple serves lunch, brunch and dinner with the promise of unique, Southern-inspired uptown cooking.
12. Ta’Nisha’ Monique Cupcakes
1318 N Liberty St.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a selection of cupcake flavors including Fruity Pebbles, white wine, red velvet or pink lemonade at this diminutive storefront in East Winston.
13. Taste of the Triad
4320 Old Walkertown Road
This family-style cafeteria restaurant offers southern comfort cuisine, daily chef specials and a Saturday brunch menu.
14. Zestos Burgers & Ice Cream
2600 New Walkertown Road
This modernized and local version of a 70-year-old, fast-casual brand has burgers, shakes, fries and a convenient drive thru window.
Can’t-miss fine-dining restaurants
Butcher & Bull, 425 N Cherry St.
Ryan’s Steakhouse, 719 Coliseum Drive
Meridian Restaurant, 411 Marshall St.
Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro, 878 W. Fourth St
Sir Winston Wine Loft and Restaurant, 104 W. Fourth St.
Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar 450 N. Spring St.
Tavern at Old Salem, 736 S. Main St.
All of the places listed are open past 10 p.m. according to individual websites and posted hours available online. Please call ahead before heading out. Most do not require reservations, but if your party needs special considerations or is of a large size (more than 6 people) please make reservations, if possible. Keep in mind that hours may vary due to summer hours.
Burke Street Pizza, Camino Bakery, Dogwood Hops and Crops, Earl’s, Foothills Brewing, Finnegan’s Wake, Jimmy the Greek, Mac and Nelli’s, Prime Tyme Soul Café, Quiet Pint, Sixth And Vine, Wake Grill and Deli.