Far from being an inhospitable rocky dwelling as the name suggests, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, sits pretty in the state’s Eastern Coastal Plain. It boasts an enviable proximity to stunning beaches meaning that fresh fish are easy to come by and the city’s restaurants certainly make the most of the exquisite seafood available. Enjoy our guide to the ten best restaurants in Rocky Mount and see this foodie hot spot has to offer.
The Prime Smokehouse Barbecue and Beyond
The Prime Smokehouse certainly lives up to its name: it’s a barbecue joint, a jazz club and a gallery. The current owner continues the legacy of his father, a successful jazz musician and stellar cook, and the Smokehouse is quickly becoming one of the best jazz clubs in the state. If you can’t decide between Texas and North Carolina style barbecue, never fear – they’ve got both. They even have several choices for vegetarian barbecue fans and whatever you eat, you’ll be enjoying the a lively and colorful atmosphere.
Lou Reda brings the best of American cuisine together under one roof in Rocky Mount. You’ll find plenty of Surf and turf options on their separate fish and steak menus. Diners will always have something new to look forward to at Lou Reda’s, as the chefs periodically create different menus for different regions of the country. Try New England cuisine one week and Southwest fare the next. Don’t forget the bar either – Lou Reda’s rotate through North Carolina micro-brewed beer on tap and have a full menu of specialty cocktails.
Step back in time with Highway Diner, a 1950s style American diner. You’ll find red booths, glass tiling and metal exterior, an excellent setting to enjoy delicious milkshakes and burgers. Highway Diner boasts huge fluffy layer cakes that change color for the holidays – how about orange frosting for Halloween, or red, white, and blue cake for the Fourth of July? If there isn’t a holiday around the corner, don’t worry, you can typically find House Pork Chops, a favorite on the menu, and a Southern treat you really shouldn’t miss.
Highway Diner, 910 N Winstead Ave, Rocky Mount, NC, USA, +1 252 451 5270
The Main Course
The charming Main Course at Belmont is also part of an exclusive country club, so you can be assured that the decor and atmosphere will retain exceedingly high-standards. Enjoy eggs, cheese, and bacon in a premium atmosphere for a great value price. If looking for something a little more authentically American, plump for Southern favorites like grits and hash browns to start the day. The lunch menu will take you across the country with choices such as the Philly cheese-steak, the shrimp and grits or the shrimp po’ boy. Enjoy a three course meal brought to you by faultless waiting staff.
The Main Course, 201 Belmont Club Way Dr, Rocky Mount, NC, USA, +1 252 977 1029
Milton and Miles
Milton and Miles operates a thriving catering business, but don’t let that discourage you from stopping in for their enticing array of fresh sandwiches and hot drinks. This is a great place to try the pimento cheese and bacon sandwich, a southern specialty sure to fuel you through the day. They also have crispy, deliciously fresh salads, and all the recipes contain only the very highest quality ingredients available. Some favorites, such as the croque monsieur and the Irish cheddar and avocado sandwich, are cafe staples.
Milton and Miles, 270 Gay St, Rocky Mount, NC, USA, +1 252 210 9515
El Tapatio may not look spectacular, but once inside, you’ll quickly realize why it’s Rocky Mount’s favorite Mexican restaurant. Their exceptionally long menu promising numerous delicious treats will make your decision difficult. If you’re struggling to choose, you have the option of a combination meal to make things a bit easier. Like any good Mexican restaurant, El Tapatio has great margaritas.
El Tapatio, 1296 N Wesleyan Blvd, Rocky Mount, NC, USA, +1 252 985 0027
Locals love Hing Ta as it brings a higher level of authenticity to Chinese cooking than its numerous counterparts. Their lunch buffet is extremely popular, as it always features a large selection, including dessert. They also offer an a la carte menu and their many seafood options come directly from the stocks of fresh fish available in the area. They are certain to have all the usual favorites, such as sesame chicken or egg drop soup, but there are plenty of other dishes tempting you to try something new and experience their unique fusion flavors.
Hing Ta, 1276 N Wesleyan Blvd, Rocky Mount, NC, USA, +1 252 985 1828
If you really want to get the feel of Rocky Mount, Westridge Grill is the place to come. This is the definition of a local hang out, with sports paraphernalia covering the walls and an abundance of southern options on the menu. If you thought that fried green tomatoes were only a movie title, Westridge Grill will put you right, serving their own delicious version. The staff here always makes an effort to help diners make the best decisions, whether about food or the beers on draft. This is an especially good choice on game day, whether it’s basketball, football, baseball, they will cover it here.
Westridge Grill, 3639 Sunset Ave, Rocky Mount, NC, USA, +1 252 937 7299
If what you’re after is delicious, melt-in-the-mouth baked goods, then Anne’s Donuts should always be top of your list in Rocky Mount. This Rocky Mount staple been around for over 60 years and is still going strong, making donuts from scratch alongside other pastries and a full range of cakes for any occasion. How about putting two of those things together and trying a donut cake? The chef tends to experiment with the donut flavors, so you can try something truly unusual to upgrade your basic glazed. The cakes, each decorated in a unique and appealing way, demonstrate the convergence of art and cooking, meeting to create something extraordinary.
Anne’s Donuts, 2714 Sunset Ave, Rocky Mount, NC, USA, +1 252 937 6006
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