Where to Dine in Lexington NC | 13 Top Restaurants in Lexington, North Carolina

Rate this post

Lexington, North Carolina is renowned as the World’s BBQ Capitol. Folks go from all around to Lexington for real Que. There are several types of North Carolina BBQ, each with its own set of fans.

There’s east and west, and then there’s Lexington style. It’s in a league of its own. We’ve compiled a list of the greatest restaurants in Lexington, NC that serve world-class barbecue.

In 1919, farmer Sid Weaver set up an open-pit outside the courthouse to roast his pigs and serve barbecue to passerby. As they say, the rest is history.

Lexington now has more than fifteen barbecue restaurants. Many are family-owned, with several run by third-generation family members, and all adhere to age-old Lexington barbecue traditions.

What distinguishes Lexington-style barbecue? It’s merely pork shoulder (no entire hog) slow-roasted in pits over hardwood fires. It’s served on trays or on plates, finely chopped, coarsely chopped, or sliced, with red slaw and hushpuppies. The dip (not sauce) is created with vinegar, ketchup, and a few additional unidentified components.

Sure, barbecue reigns supreme in Lexington, but there are some other excellent restaurants as well. This is a list of the top restaurants in Lexington, North Carolina.

Not in the mood to dine out tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver right to your door from the greatest restaurants in town.

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 Restaurants In Raleigh NC
  • 10 Must-Try Greensboro Restaurants
  • 10 Must-Try Restaurants In Cary NC
  • 7 Must-Try West Jefferson NC Restaurants
  • 6 Best Things To Do In Banner Elk NC
  • 7 Best Fayetteville NC Restaurants & 9 Fun Things To Do In Fayetteville NC
  • 5 Must-Try Greer SC Restaurants 

When in Lexington, don’t miss out on the following activities that will let you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):

  • From Lexington: Horse Farm Tour & Keeneland Race Track Visit
  • Lexington: Ashland Henry Clay Estate Ticket with Guided Tour
  • Lexington: Fully Guided Zipline Canopy Tour
  • Lexington: The Aviation Museum of Kentucky Entry Ticket

Lexington’s Top 13 Restaurants

The Barbecue Center

N Main St, 336-248-4633900

One of Lexington’s oldest barbecue establishments, still cooking on pits, and one of the top Restaurants In Lexington.

The Bar-B-Que Center has been featured in Southern Living Magazine, Good Morning America, and hundreds of other periodicals and newspapers around the country.

Needless to say, the barbeque is fantastic, but some people believe the Center’s giant banana split is equally spectacular.

Because of their background as a dairy hub, it seems reasonable that they provide ice cream.

Lexington Barbeque Company

Smokehouse Lane 336-249-9814100 Smokehouse Lane

Lexington Barbecue, located in a distinctive white structure just off Highway 85, is a must-stop for visitors travelling through the Piedmont.

Locals nickname it Honeymonks or The Monk, after the owner’s surname. It was named one of the 10 Best Southern BBQ Places by USA TODAY.

They create and bottle Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce, which is fiery with a vinegar flavor, in addition to the dip. It’s available on the tables and in bottles to go. We’re very confident if you Google Best Restaurants In Lexington, this business will be on the list.

Quicky’s Barbeque

Winston Road (336-248-24101317).

Speedys is known for its big servings.

The barbecue plate, with two sides, is practically enough to serve a full table, and the barbecue sandwiches arrive packed high with pork and slaw. They were included in Southern Living’s Barbecue Across the South and justifiably hold the status as one of the greatest Lexington Restaurants.

Speedys took part in the inaugural Lexington Barbecue Festival in 1984. They have continued to promote the tradition, which attracts hundreds of thousands of barbecue enthusiasts to Lexington eateries.

Cooks BBQ

336-798-1928336 Valiant Dr.

Cooks Barbecue Still Smoking is its full name. That’s great! The cabin-style facility, located south of Lexington near High Rock Lake, making it a gastronomic attraction. If you see flames pouring high into the air, you know you’ve arrived.

In addition to typical Lexington-style pig barbecue, Cooks offers smoked brisket, steaks, chicken, turkey, burgers, and sausage, as well as sandwiches, seafood, and much more. And don’t forget about those fantastic Southern sides. Cooks is one of the greatest Restaurants In Lexington for a wide choice of traditional American dishes.

Pizza and Deli on Main Street

N Main Street 336-249-223313 N Main Street

The Main Street Deli is a Lexington restaurant staple. One local informed me that it has been there for a long time.

With wood-paneled walls, high-backed seats, and soft lighting, it seems cozy and comfortable as you walk in.

Everyone in town probably has a favorite Main Street sandwich, but everyone can agree on one thing: the handmade bread is out of this world.

The daily made Italian yeast bread is an ancient recipe gained in the early 1960s. Wesley, our waitress, informed us that she has been cooking bread for thirty years and that they make 144 loaves every day.

My spouse had the meatball hoagie while I got their famed chopped roast beef sandwich. While all of the fixings were delicious, we both agreed that the warm fresh buttered bread was the highlight of the sandwich. In addition, they produce their own pizza dough.

This is one of the top Restaurants In Lexington for amazing pizza and deli.

Shoto Japanese Steakhouse and Seafood Restaurant

N Main Street 336-238-573317 N Main Street

Another long-standing Lexington restaurant, Shoto Japanese Restaurant, is a local favorite and one of the greatest Restaurants In Lexington. With high-backed booths below and tables and chairs above, this unique two-story dining establishment has plenty of seating.

With ancient wood flooring and exposed red-brick walls, the atmosphere is nostalgic. It’s the type of setting where you quickly feel at ease.

The cuisine is brief yet unmistakably wonderful. Appetizers and salads set the stage for hibachi and teriyaki courses. Choose from a variety of speciality stir-fry styles, including sweet and sour, tempura, and yellow, green, and red curry. There are vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

The beef, broccoli, and zucchini hibachi with lo mein noodles (made fresh in Charlotte) was among the greatest I’d ever had. Oh. and don’t forget to order one of Jimmy’s legendary trademark drinks.

The Lowly Plate

1905 Cotton Grove Rd 336-843-2043

The Humble Plate, which launched in the summer of 2020 and is situated just off Highway 85, is a welcome addition to the Lexington gastronomic scene.

A real farm-to-table restaurant, Ronnie, the owner and chef, seeks for the freshest ingredients he can find and is pleased to promote local farmers and creameries.

Soups, salads, fresh vegetable platters, and loaded baked potatoes are among the menu options. There are also daily options and specials based on the availability of fresh ingredients.

On Tuesday, we came to have lemon-butter chicken and orzo pasta in cream sauce with fresh asparagus. Make space for some homemade Homeland Creamery ice cream (or eat it first while waiting for your dinner, as we did).

Main Street Rustic Roots

102 S Main Street, 336-843-1559

Rustic Roots On Main, one of Lexington’s newest eateries, puts a unique spin on classic favorites. It has rapidly become a local favorite and clearly matches the criteria of one of the greatest Restaurants In Lexington, having opened in the spring of 2019.

Visitors will get a sense of the old days with what may be the hotel front desk, now the bar area, and marble steps leading to the upper stairwell, which is housed in the historic March Hotel (where a young Charlie Chaplin once had a sleep).

They have a limited menu, allowing them to concentrate on quality. Rustic Roots distinguishes itself via the use of fresh, local foods. Soups and salads, burgers and sandwiches, spaghetti, steaks, salmon, and North Carolina trout are all available.

Its children’s menu is just $5 and includes a side and a drink. In this Lexington eatery, simple food is prepared with flare and exceptional quality.

Sophie’s Cork and Ale House

23rd W 2nd Avenue 336-300-7338

Sophies, housed in an ancient bookshop, is as cozy as a restaurant can get. The service is excellent. The meal is fantastic. They also provide a wide selection of excellent wines and specialty brews. With meals like Wagyu Beef Sliders and Teriyaki Sashimi Tuna Tartlets, their small plates and appetizers menu is out of this world.

Salads, sandwiches, spaghetti, flat-bread pizza, and daily specials make the remainder of their menu tough to pick from. The special that night was bacon-wrapped scallops over turnip au gratin risotto.

Return to the old bookshop. The fact that they kept pieces of the original shop adds to Sophie’s attractiveness. They maintained the bookcase on one wall and the information counter in the middle of the room, which also functions as an auxiliary bar. For a book fan like myself, the environment was warm and inviting, similar to that of an old bookshop.

Cafe 35

103 S Main Street 336-238-3535

Café 35 is a fantastic Main Street eatery. With its black window awnings and bright red umbrella-covered tables on the sidewalk, you can’t miss it. Check their website or phone ahead of time since they are only open a few days a week and you don’t want to miss out.

The Cafe’s menu is broad (as is their complete bar) and offers a little bit of everything, including Angus beef burgers served any way you want them, chicken wings, wraps, and hot and cold sandwiches.

Customers love their grilled Reuben on rye, as well as their excellent crispy fried pickles. Café 35 in Lexington serves basic American fare.

Childress Vineyards’ Bistro

Childress Vineyards Road, 336-245-9436

Richard Childress, a NASCAR driver, pursued his love for wine by developing his winery and vineyards in 2004. The Bistro has a beautiful view of dozens of acres of vineyards, a beautiful green area, a huge pond, and a gazebo. Ideal for a romantic date or any special event.

With appetizers like Tomato Chevre Soup and Sesame Duck Lettuce Wraps, the food is as gorgeous as the surroundings. Entrees include Maple Pecan-Crusted Fish and Steamed Mussel and Sea Scallop Linguine, all of which are delicious.

Salads, sandwiches, and flat-bread pizza are among the other options. Lunch reservations are necessary Friday through Sunday and are strongly recommended throughout the week. Try this restaurant for exquisite dining in Lexington; you won’t be disappointed.

Lunch in the South

South Railroad Street, 336-248-527626

Southern Lunch, a third generation family-owned restaurant providing home-cooked southern-style meals, is best visited hungry. The meal is excellent, with generous amounts at a fair price in a pleasant and welcoming ambiance.

You name it: meat pie, chicken pot pie, meatloaf, ribs, chicken casserole. Southern Lunch will include it on the menu if it is southern food. Don’t forget about the sides and the dessert.

The family-style eating space is spacious, with several tables and booths. Be warned: you could pick up a touch of the regional accent after dining at this Lexington southern eatery.

Original Christos

1718 Cotton Grove Road 1500 S Main Street 336-357-0713 336-243-2532

What drew our attention to Christos was the ancient Coca-Cola building on South Main. The delightful scent that greeted us as we approached the doors teased our taste senses.

The big dining area offers plenty of seats with trademark red and white table linens. Excellent meal and quick, polite service will have you coming back.

The menu is really vast. Italian lasagna, manicotti, and meatballs. Greek gyros, sauvlaki, and stuffed peppers. And everything in between, including signature wings, hot-oven sandwiches, burgers, and pizza, among other things.

It’s the type of establishment where a dozen trips wouldn’t get you through everything on the five-page menu, but you’d eat well trying.

Lexington has long been a barbecue restaurant lover’s destination, but which of Lexington’s other outstanding restaurants will become your favorite?

Visiting more places in the area? Check out our other tasty guides:

  • 10 Must-Try Daniel Island Restaurants

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *