Culinary Discoveries in the Sandhills of N.C.

By Charles McCool

The food and drink scene is vibrant and memorable in the North Carolina Sandhills region and dining out is a highlight for visitors to Moore County and the Pinehurst area.

The Sly Fox Pub in Southern Pines NC

Some of our favorite dinner experiences in Southern Pines were on low humidity evenings at patio tables at The Sly Fox and 195 American Fusion. The Sly Fox is a British pub with an impressive selection of European and North Carolina beers, plus their food was really good. The grilled salmon and shrimp and grits entrees are winners and we would gladly order them again and again. At 195 American Bistro, the appetizers are so appealing that we enjoyed a few of them instead of dinner entrees. Recommended 195 smaller plates include the delicious parmesan truffle fries, sweet and tangy chili shrimp, and calamari with spicy aioli.

Wolcott's Restaurant

Other popular Southern Pines restaurants for dinner include Wolcott’s (neo-continental cuisine), Ashten’s (farm to fork, pre-fixe), Chef Warren’s (French bistro), Southern Prime Steakhouse (steak, of course, but also seafood options and an impressive wine room), and Leadmine Whiskey Bar and Kitchen (phenomenal cocktails plus Korean street food items).

Neko Thai and Sushi

Our top choice for dining in historic Pinehurst is Lisi Italian. Lisi is in the theatre building and has a wonderful patio as well as inside seating, an extensive wine menu, plus fresh house made pastas. Other places to eat in Pinehurst Village include Villaggio (upscale Italian), Drum & Quill (Scottish pub), Neko Thai and Sushi, Dugan’s (Irish pub), and Carolina Dining Room at the Pinehurst Resort.

Lunch at Ryder Cup

Spend some time in the resort lobby and the Ryder Cup Lounge and read about the golf and Pinehurst history and see the memorabilia and photographs throughout the years. Learn about Annie Oakley providing shooting lessons and exhibitions at the Pinehurst Gun Club and much more. Enjoy a classic martini or dark & stormy in a rocking chair on the Ryder Cup patio and people watch the arrivals area in front of you.

Chapman's Restaurant Southern Pines NC

A lunch favorite in Southern Pines is Chapman’s. Popular menu choices include fish tacos, crawfish fries, and chef-driven specials—such as the red curry gnocchi we enjoyed on our last lunch visit. SoPies NY Pizzeria is always busy and is perfect for a quick slice or when sharing an entire pie. Next door, The Ice Cream Parlor is a classic throwback place with really good ice cream and sandwiches. Fish and Co. is a casual option next door to Wolcott’s, owned and operated by Chef Scott Wolcott. Betsy’s Crepes is the go-to spot in Southern Pines for breakfast. Later in 2021 or early 2022, a food truck park will open near The Sly Fox and will bring more exciting options to Southern Pines.

Pinehurst Brewing Company

Craft beer lovers will also love the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen Area

Pinehurst Brewing Company is a large craft beer operation housed in the historic steam plant with about a dozen varieties and a full kitchen. This place is super popular, for the craft beer, cocktails, and food. A half dozen taps continually refresh so visit often and sample different brews. Food is mostly BBQ platters from the smokehouse with some sandwiches, appetizers, and pizzas also.

Taproom at Southern Pines Brewery

Southern Pines Brewing has two locations. The downtown Southern Pines Brewing Company taproom on Pennsylvania Avenue is a block from The Jefferson Inn and has a gorgeous patio covered by magnolia tree canopies. While at this location also look at their inside tables – they are designed to look like golf tees (fun!). The two dozen taps featuring mostly Southern Pines Brewing beers and also a couple of ciders and seltzers. The Jour de Jambe (barrel-aged Belgian quad) is phenomenal. The Southern Pines Brewing taproom and production facility location is 1.5 miles from downtown and may have additional choices.

Southern Pines Growler Co. interior

Just a block away is the Southern Pines Growler Company. Enjoy a variety (32 to be exact at all times) of quality craft beers from across North Carolina and the country. Like a certain brew? Purchase a growler, fill it and take it home to enjoy. The destination brewery scene also include Hatchett Brewing in downtown Southern Pines and Ralihouse Brewery in Aberdeen.

Bakehouse in Aberdeen NC

If your journey takes you through Aberdeen, be sure to stop at Lynette’s Bakery and Cafe for pastelitos (Cuban pastries) and a variety of Cuban sandwiches. You might also be tempted by the nearby The Bakehouse, a European themed bakery and cafe. Their breads and Austrian treats are delicious. The savviest visitors allow time to visit both places.

Learn more about our Southern Pines getaway to the area.

DC based Charles McCool is recognized by Cision for having one of the Top US Travel Accounts on Twitter. Follow his journeys on and check out his wife Julie’s work at