Gastonia, a small city in southern North Carolina, has a lot to offer: from endless miles of hiking in the nearby wilderness to fine-dining venues. Have a look at our selection of the best restaurants and discover where to eat like a local in Gastonia.
Ray’s Country Smokehouse-Grill
© Ray’s Country Smoke-House Grill
North Carolina is barbecue country, and when you’re in Gastonia, Ray’s Country Smokehouse-Grill is the place to go – Ray’s really knows how to do meat. Whether you opt for a juicy burger, the country ribs or the chicken, you’ll walk out satisfied – just watch out for greasy fingers. One of Ray’s particular specialties is the beef brisket, a dish that is not often on the menu at a barbecue joint in North Carolina. Don’t forget the pineapple upside-down cake or creamy cheesecake for dessert.
Kyle Fletcher’s BBQ & Catering
Pimento cheese | © chippenzideutch/WikiCommons
This place may not look like much from the outside, but as the saying goes, the best things come in small packages. Kyle Fletcher’s also operates a catering business, but visitors can stop by for a meal. As you arrive, you’ll be able to smell the hickory smoke, which is what gives the BBQ meat its particular taste. Visitors are also treated to a crash course in North Carolina sports history, as the walls are covered with posters, jerseys and memorabilia. Duke University fans, however, may want to steer clear – there’s a high concentration of arch-rival Carolina blue, from the University of North Carolina.
Jia Asian Fusion and Sushi Bar
This is a great spot for conflicted groups, because it offers the best of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food, all in one lovely restaurant. The atmosphere at Jia is calm and inviting, and the the food is well presented. While there are plenty of options for those wanting meat or noodle dishes, the sushi is really the main event, with creative special rolls such as the Mexican roll, with jalapeños, or the New Orleans roll with crawfish-meat salad.
© Sprouts Café
A North Carolina city would be incomplete without a few good Mexican restaurants, and in Gastonia there is no better place than Tequila’s. Their menu is full of delicious options, although the nacho bowls and the sizzling fajitas might sway you. Tequila’s is rightly one of the county’s most popular Mexican restaurants.
As part of Gastonia’s Organic Marketplace, Sprouts is the perfect place for anyone with specific dietary preferences or needs. Try one of their smoothies for a boost, all with completely organic ingredients, while sandwiches and wraps can be made gluten-free. They have plenty of choices for vegans, and the chefs are happy to substitute or remove any ingredient that doesn’t work for your diet. Get your daily serving of vitamins through one of their freshly squeezed juices.
Tony’s Ice Cream
Tony’s is a true Gastonia institution. They’ve been open since 1915, making their own ice cream and selling it across the state of North Carolina. You’ll find plenty of sandwiches, biscuits, and sides on the menu, but it is telling that they only appear after the 28 choices of homemade ice cream. They range from basic chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry to chocolate and peanut butter ripple or black walnut. Milkshakes made with whole milk are also a favorite – they’ll have you hooked as soon as you step into the cheerful restaurant.
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