So your fill-in-relationship-here has come to visit you for the weekend, and you’re running low on Old Golds or food dollars. Coupled with being sick of the mundane experience of eating dining hall food every day, you decide to venture out into the streets of Winston-Salem. In the dog-eat-dog world of finding a restaurant on the fly on a Friday or Saturday night, what follows is a list of restaurants that I would personally recommend for a nice(r) evening out on the town. My roommate also happens to be a vegan, so here’s the skinny on restaurants that cater to dietary restrictions, allergies or special diets.
Mission Pizza (V/VG/GF options)
I have a love-hate relationship with this Winston-Salem staple. It is unbelievably delicious napoletana-style pizza (think thin and crispy). However, unless you are a miracle worker or like to eat at 5:30 p.m., there is an almost-guaranteed wait of at least 45 minutes. If you possess an identification card that says you’re 21+, enjoy a cocktail at the bar while you wait. Otherwise, get ready to stick it out for the long haul. If spicy pizza is your go-to, try the Diavola. Prices vary but are pretty economical, and they offer a Ten-Dollar-Tuesday special on their pizzas.
6th & Vine (V/VG/GF options)
This was the first restaurant I went to in Winston-Salem for a brunch with my student advising group. We made everyone else jealous, leaving them to their cold pizza in an empty classroom. “6th” is technically a wine bar, located just off of Trade Street in the heart of the arts district. It can get packed any night of the week, so get there early. The menu ranges a wide array of options. I would recommend splitting the baked brie appetizer or hummus platter to start, and then rounding off your meal with the baked goat cheese salad and adding the grilled salmon or shrimp. I get this every single time I go, and it never disappoints. I have also heard from reliable sources that the pesto pasta is scrumptious.
Canteen Market and Bistro
Canteen is the best. Shout out to all my fellow ex-pats or international students who crave a taste of home. Canteen opened early last semester, and after stumbling upon it I found myself in imported food heaven. Half of the establishment is a market of imported goods (including beverages) from Europe and Asia. Looking for the Provençal-style flaky salt from the south of France? Check. Looking for that Japanese mayo that comes in a squeezy bag? Check. Looking for an obscure beer from Belgium? CHECK. Of course, all of this comes at a steeper price, but for some of us, a taste of home is worth the cost. They have a restaurant too. What I ordered is no longer on the menu, but I’d give it a try.
The most expensive and upscale of all the options on this list, Willow’s Bistro is a farm-to-table restaurant near Old Salem. With a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff, Willow’s is great place to take your grandparents or a date. The menu is a mix of adventurous creations and southern classics. Once again, the baked brie is a phenomenal starter topped with pistachios and a fig compote. The perfect blend of creamy, salty, and sweet. I added salmon to the risotto, but my sister loved the fried chicken sandwich. The quality of farm-to-table ingredients is really unmatched anywhere else in Winston-Salem.
All in all, Winston-Salem is known for its amazing food, and anywhere that you eat will be a great choice.