Ray’s Country Smokehouse-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.
If you come to Tavern 24 planning to have dinner, or just a couple of drinks, you will probably leave having had both. Their menu is full of American pub classics, from chicken wings and myriad burgers to fresh sandwiches and pizzas. Their drink menu contains a great range of draft beers, many hailing proudly from the Tar Heel state. No meal in North Carolina is complete without an iced tea, and at Tavern 24 you can also sample one of their ‘adult teas,’ not to mention the moonshine.
Tavern 24, 421 Cox Rd, Gastonia, North Carolina, USA, +1 704 864 0688
Miller & Kasper
You won’t find a flashy interior or long menu at Miller & Kasper – but rather a carefully-crafted selection of nine hot dogs, sandwiches and daily specials. Will you go with an all-beef hot dog, a bratwurst, or a Polish sausage? And then what about the toppings? The name comes from the owner’s inspiration, a small hot-dog stand in Oakland, California, where he discovered the perfect hot dog.
Miller & Kasper, 101 W Main Ave, Gastonia, NC, USA, +1 704 865 4500
Kyle Fletcher’s BBQ & Catering
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.
Spindle City Cafe
Eating out in Gastonia doesn’t have to mean loading up on meat. Spindle City Cafe, a charming spot downtown, has a full range of exciting sandwiches, bread, and salads to satisfy health-conscious diners. The old-fashioned interior uses giant spindles as tables and antique lighting. They source bread from a local bakery, so quality is assured. Have a look at their special spreads, too – the pimento cheese in particular is something not to be missed.
Spindle City Café, 207 W Main Ave, Gastonia, NC, USA, +1 704 671 4374
The Round Bistro
Don’t let its strip mall location fool you – the Round Bistro is the classiest place for miles. This bistro-cum-art gallery will wow visitors with the decor, extensive menu, and service. One of their dining rooms is a gallery for local artists, but the food won’t let the design distract you. Whether you are in for one of their lunch specials or a full three-course dinner, the flavors will never fail to delight. For something new, try the regional menu, which explores cuisine from different parts of the US. Another intriguing choice is in the dessert menu: the BeerNanas, or beer battered bananas.
The Round Bistro, 2609 South New Hope Rd, Gastonia, NC, USA, +1 704 864 2791
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.
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.
Tequila’s Mexican Grill, 283 W Main Ave, Gastonia, NC, USA, +1 704 867 8050
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.
Sprouts Café, 1012 S New Hope Rd, Gastonia, NC, USA, +1 704 864 5244
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.
Tony’s Ice Cream, 604 E Franklin Blvd, Gastonia, NC, USA, +1 704 867 7085