Biscuits made in the South are unlike any other in the world. The soft, winter wheat grown here is the key to the flour used to make the edible disks of flaky, buttery glory. Lard, vegetable shortening, whole butter and a very hot oven are the only additional ingredients needed to create the perfect biscuit. Some biscuits were left off the class roster because while they look good, they are otherwise unremarkable. This list includes biscuits from places known for their biscuits with a few surprises in the mix. Not only do plain biscuits from each place stand on their own without accompaniment, they taste good and look good too. Some are made with unique ingredients, all are consistent across the board, and none are made with a packaged biscuit mix. Size does not matter much when it comes to choosing your favorite bodacious bundles of baked biscuits, but taste will always tell.
Krankies Café — 211 E Third St., WS, krankiescoffee.com
Arguably the home of the best chicken biscuit in Winston-Salem, the plain biscuit is just as glorious as it’s fowl-mouthed cousin. The edges are dark-golden brown while the inside has structured layers that hold up to the heft of deep-fried meats, eggs and sausage or mushroom gravy, or a light sprinkling of Texas Pete and honey.
Biscuit Factory — 2103 Kirkwood St., HP
Don’t be discouraged by the cars wrapping around the parking lot or the line snaking out of the door. This High Point outlet is worth the wait. Each biscuit is best held with two hands. Supremely buttery and soft with a light crumb and crispy exterior, it holds up to the weight of each piece of fried tenderloin, country ham and slice of cheese hanging off the sides of the enclosed biscuit.
Country BBQ— 4012 W Wendover Ave., GSO, country-bbq.com
No, that isn’t a hamburger bun you just ordered. It’s your tenderloin on a biscuit so huge, you mistook it for a bun. Known for its Lexington-style barbecue, ribs and 1970s decor, the breakfast biscuits at this barbecue joint just may be the best thing on the menu. Do yourself a favor and add sausage gravy to your next biscuit order.
Mary’s Gourmet Diner — 723 N. Trade St., WS, marysgourmetdiner.net
Serving breakfast and more for nearly two decades, the biscuits here are the stuff of legend. Big, tall, fluffy and golden with nooks and crannies perfect for dabs of butter and schmears of jam, the layers of buttery goodness are often accented with seasonal pumpkin and whipped, flavored butters. While owner Mary Haglund has taken a step back from the kitchen and is currently reveling in retirement, on rare occasions you may still find her rolling out and cutting biscuits using locally milled flours.
Sweet Potatoes, A Restaurant — 607 N. Trade St., WS, sweetpotatoes.ws
The biscuits here are the unsung heroes of this menu. The sweet-potato biscuits are small, soft, fluffy, lightly accented with spice (think more cinnamon and nutmeg than pepper), and are more than just pieces of bread to sop up potlikker and to pair with the soup of the day. Used as a base for the sweet-potato hot brown at lunch (sliced turkey, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese sauce topped with crumbled bacon) or served in diminutive form with molasses and butter at dinner, these biscuits are always a treat.
Scrambled Southern Diner — 2417 Spring Garden St., GSO, scrambledgreensboro.com
Served with most breakfast and brunch menu entrées, the biscuits here are large and in charge. The crumb is soft and light in a way that only a buttermilk biscuit can be described. Split one in half and as the steam rises from it, sink your teeth into its ethereal middle. Here’s a pro tip: The next time you order eggs Benedict, ask to substitute a biscuit for the English muffin. You’re welcome.
Acadia Foods —228 W Acadia Ave., WS
Full of vegetarian and vegan-friendly bravado, the biscuits at this Washington Park outpost have a crispy, crunchy exterior that gives way to dozens of layers. These square-shaped beauties get topped with crispy panko-crusted chicken cutlets and Slappy’s Chicken’s vermillion-hued signature sauce on Sundays when the neighborhood chicken shack is closed. It’s truly a hyper-local marriage of neighborhood gems.
Sticks and Stones Clay Oven Pizza — 2200 Walker Ave., GSO, sticksandstonesclayoven.com
Biscuits from a pizza place? You bet. It’s almost like a super-special, secret menu achievement is unlocked at this popular Lindley Park spot. The breakfast biscuits are served only on Saturdays. As a bonus, the Corner Farmers Market takes place in the parking lot so it’s easy to migrate inside for a biscuit sandwich or an egg platter. The cylindrical, fluffy, buttery biscuits here are baked in the signature clay oven.
Biscuitville — Triad-wide, biscuitville.com
I feel safe putting this regional chain on this list because all of the locations are company-owned. Serving biscuits for more than 50 years, the best part is being able to watch the biscuits being rolled out and cut right in the store. Known for its biscuit sandwiches and a closing time of 2 p.m. each day, the ultimate biscuit can be found here, stacked high with freshly cracked eggs and breakfast meats with a flair of local products like Cheerwine and honey from Winston-Salem based Golding Farms.
Moose Café — 2914 Sandy Ridge Rd., Colfax, eatatthemoosecafe.com
A staple at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, this popular spot is known for their cathead biscuits. While large and fluffy and served in multitudes to your table, it’s the house-made apple butter that accompanies these giants that is the real draw. Sold in 16-ounce jars, there’s nothing like taking a bag of biscuits and some apple butter home for a late-night snack.