Welcome to West Jefferson, NC, situated in Ashe County and renowned as North Carolina’s Coolest Corner! We genuinely are in the coolest part of the state, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains and flanked by Virginia to the north and Tennessee to the west.
West Jefferson is an hour’s drive from the mountain cities of Boone and Blowing Rock, but many people consider it to be a hidden treasure for shopping, outdoor activities, and numerous excellent West Jefferson NC restaurants.
During the nineteenth century, Ashe County was sparsely inhabited with tiny agricultural settlements, and towards the end of the century, copper and iron were found in the region. For a brief period, copper from the Ore Knob mine was the country’s second-largest copper producer.
Ashe County is currently recognized for cheese production, agricultural goods, and Christmas tree farms, but tourism is a significant component of the economy, bringing economic development and change, as well as individuals buying second homes and migrating to the region to enjoy the mountain lifestyle.
Maybe the most appealing aspect of the region is the beauty and the many outdoor activities available to those who choose to explore it. Our county is home to the New River, one of the world’s oldest rivers, which offers possibilities to fish, paddle, and float.
Mount Jefferson State Park has hiking routes as well as picnic sites. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a picturesque drive with multiple scenic pullouts that provide long-range vistas and opportunity to stretch your legs on the Mountains to Sea Trail.
You will undoubtedly want food before or after a day of outdoor activity or downtown shopping. I’ve included my top seven West Jefferson NC eateries for a fast nibble or a leisurely sit-down supper.
Visiting other places in North Carolina? Check out our other tasty guides:
- 13 Must-Try Restaurants in Mooresville, NC
- 11 Must-Try Restaurants in Manteo, North Carolina
- 9 Best Blowing Rock Restaurants
- 8 Must-Try Outer Banks NC Restaurants
- The Best Chapel Hill Restaurants NC & 11 Best Things To Do In Chapel Hill
- 9 Best Asheville NC Restaurants
- 10 Best North Carolina Dishes
- 10 Best Restaurants In Raleigh NC
- 10 Must-Try Greensboro Restaurants
- 10 Must-Try Restaurants In Cary NC
- 8 Must-Try Boone NC Restaurants
- 13 Best Restaurants in Lexington
The Top 7 Restaurants in West Jefferson, North Carolina
336-846-2800109 West Jefferson Backstreet
The slogan of this tiny treasure situated downtown on the Backstreet is authentic Cuban food presented with southern charm. Here’s why it’s one of the greatest restaurants in West Jefferson, NC.
This modest eatery is great on friendliness, variety, and deliciousness! The caf has a fixed menu as well as daily specials, making it tough to choose.
One of my favorites is the basic black beans and rice with fried plantains; the rice is wonderfully cooked and the beans are perfectly seasoned.
The Patacon, crispy crushed plantain topped with your choice of chicken vaca frita or pulled pork with mango slaw and garlic cilantro sauce, is my most recent fave.
The Cuban sandwich is an all-time favorite.
The cafe serves real Cuban bread from Tampa’s La Segunda Bakery. The Cuban is stuffed with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickle, and just enough mustard. The sandwich is available in two sizes and is served with fries.
In one of the greatest West Jefferson NC restaurants, you may get a taste of Cuba. There is no need for a passport to enter the Havana Café!
The Taproom and Restaurant at New River Brewery
West Jefferson, 336-846-2739108 S 3rd St.
If you want craft beer, terrific cuisine, and a casual environment at a West Jefferson restaurant, New River Brewery is the place to go.
This is a terrific spot to dine lunch or supper, or just relax with a cold one and an appetizer or two. Enjoy a flight of different beers on tap.
Skeeter Pee is my ultimate favorite, but Six Feet Four and Full of Strength is a close second, and you may also want to try Take Me to the River (don’t you just love the titles given to craft beers?).
You’ll certainly need some food to go with your drink, and we suggest the pub chips and wings as appetizers. The brewery serves delicious burgers, including a veggie burger for vegetarian customers.
The beer-battered fish and chips are a must-order. A significant quantity of food in the basket may be split by two people, but after a day of trekking, all bets are off as well as hands-off!
When visiting New River Brewery, take advantage of the pleasant staff, rustic atmosphere, and painting on the wall.
Tasty and sweet
West Jefferson, 336-846-88886 S Jefferson Ave
What more could you ask for if you’re searching for a fantastic lunch restaurant in downtown West Jefferson? Quick pleasant service, a large menu selection, and home cooking.
The Capri on sourdough toast, presented Panini style, is my absolute favorite. Using pesto and mayo, the sandwich is piled high with mozzarella cheese, spinach, onion, and tomato. It’s a little messy to eat, so ask for extra napkins.
Sandwiches are served with a cup of soup or your choice of a daily side. Sweet and Savory’s Roasted Red Pepper soup is my all-time favorite; it’s rich, delicious, and cooked in-house. I was tempted to lick the cup, and I may have if it hadn’t been so crowded!
There are numerous handmade delights to pick from if you saved some space for dessert or chose to create room anyhow; cookies, cupcakes, and cakes will undoubtedly tantalize your taste buds.
Hole Lotta Doughnuts
336-846-6000211 West Jefferson Backstreet
If your sweet appetite is calling, then go over to Hole Lotta Doughnuts, an excellent option among all West Jefferson NC eateries.
I couldn’t think of a better name for a bakery that specializes in massive, handmade yeast doughnuts. These massive behemoths are handcrafted every day (no automation here). Hole Lotta Doughnuts demonstrates that you can have both quality and quantity without compromising one for the other.
Choose from glazed, chocolate, maple, and the incredibly popular peanut butter doughnut, as well as any other day’s selections. Don’t overlook the fritters and doughnut holes.
Have a cappuccino, latte, or ice tea to pair with one of their delicious doughnuts or fritters. Your sweet tooth will be delighted now!
The Public House
West Jefferson, 336-846-2121203 E 1st St.
Formerly known as The Hotel Tavern while it was housed within the historic old hotel, it is now simply known as The Tavern after a transfer to a new site in town. The present facility is big, with plenty of parking and a menu that includes both old and new favorites.
We arrived late for lunch and began with hot soft pretzels and homemade cheese dip to accompany our drinks. Since we wanted to preserve food for the burgers we were wanting, that one appetizer was sufficient for the three of us to split.
The Black Bean Burger with fries, Tavern Burger with sweet potato fries, and Ghost Burger with fries were all delicious. All of the burgers were properly grilled and filled with the toppings we wanted.
We didn’t reserve room for dessert, which was unfortunate. We saw another table consume their red velvet cake and chocolate molten cake, so dessert is definitely on the menu for next time!
The Tavern serves fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, steaks, ribs, and daily seafood specialties, as well as a menu for Little Hoots twelve and younger. Make sure to pop by on Sunday for brunch and a visit to the Bloody Mary bar.
Every community needs a tavern, and we are glad for the one we have in West Jefferson NC, with its friendly and knowledgable staff, delicious cuisine, and pleasant ambiance.
Seafood from the High Country
West Jefferson, 336-977-1827215 Beaver Creek School Road
If you believe it’s impossible to get fresh seafood in the highlands, think again. High Country Seafood Restaurant brings the seashore to the mountains.
Every week, the proprietor makes a trip to the North Carolina coast to get the freshest quality fish and seafood for their retail store and take-out restaurant.
They are able to provide a range of Sea to Table meals to West Jefferson and the nearby High Country areas. Fresh fish is always available to take home and prepare yourself, but the take-out kitchen is always pleased to make prepared meals to go.
We had usually bought fresh fish and shrimp to cook at home, but we recently opted to let their chef prepare it for us, and we were not disappointed. We ordered the fried shrimp plate, and to say they stuffed the box would be an understatement.
Hush puppies, hand-cut fries, and cilantro coleslaw complimented the big serving of fried shrimp. Everything was well cooked and seasoned, and one piece comfortably served two individuals.
Based on great comments from friends, we want to try one of their poboys or lobster tacos the next time we visit.
High Country Seafood provides the finest quality seafood in the highlands at moderate costs. It is a fantastic seafood restaurant and one of the top restaurants in West Jefferson, NC.
Bistro Games & Kitchen Table Games
West Jefferson, 336-846-3002114 N Jefferson Ave
If you’re looking for smoothies and power bowls, then Kitchen Table Gaming & Bistro should be on your list of West Jefferson NC places to visit. The Farmhouse serves deliciously nutritious meals. Begin with a freshly prepared smoothie in front of you.
Fruit smoothies, protein smoothies, and green smoothies are my favorites. Grandma’s Banana Bread is a must-try!
Want to get pumped for a hike? The Southwest Power Bowl, prepared with organic quinoa, black beans, corn, red onion, tomatoes, avocado, lime, pink Himalayan salt, and cilantro, is another option. This healthful dish may be topped with fresh jalapeño and pepper jack cheese.
There are numerous additional bowls to pick from, each of which is a meal in and of itself. Try one of the acai bowls or avocado toast for breakfast.
Soups and sandwiches, as well as daily specials, are available at the Kitchen Table Games & Cafe. The staff is welcoming, and the cuisine is great, so stop by for a juice, breakfast, or lunch; you’ll be glad you did!
That’s all there is to it. Some of the greatest restaurants in West Jefferson, NC. We hope you enjoy your stay and try one or two of these West Jefferson restaurants.
Which of these West Jefferson NC eateries piques your interest the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!
Cathy is a multi-award-winning nature photographer who has gone to four continents to capture wildlife in its natural setting. She is extending her career into the travel sector after attending Great Escape Publishing’s travel writing and photography classes.
Cathy’s parents, who moved to America from Scotland, encouraged her to travel at a young age. Cathy had lived on both sides of the Atlantic and both coastlines of the United States by the age of five. Cathy’s family eventually moved in Delaware, where she grew up; her parents always made sure the family had a vacation every year so they could continue their travels.
After graduating from high school, Cathy attended the University of Delaware for two years before leaving to join the Air Force. Cathy was lucky that her first tour took her to Germany, where she remained for three years, seeing many countries throughout her time in Europe.
Cathy attended college and worked in physical therapy after leaving the Air Force, while continuing to travel and shoot as time allowed. She presently works in customer service for a huge shop during the day, but she also writes and photographs in her spare time.
Cathy also likes bicycle riding to explore other regions of the nation at a slower pace, and she just completed a huge milestone by pedaling across America with many other ladies. Two months later, the group departed San Diego, CA and landed in Saint Augustine, FL. This allowed Cathy to explore America from the seat of a bicycle, witness the generosity of people, and taste various cuisines throughout the nation.
Cathy resides in the gorgeous highlands of western North Carolina, and with travel down due to the epidemic, she is focused on writing and photography in the Appalachian Mountains.