Winston-Salem dining on and off campus

Looking for a list of the best food on and off campus to start your semester off right? These are all the best eats.


Cookout is a popular late-night fast food spot for Wake Forest students, known for its shakes.

Jake Stuart, Assistant Sports Editor


Best in Benson Award: Chick-fil-A

Notoriously known for late-night milkshakes, the Old Gold No. 1 (if you don’t know already, you soon will) and waffle fry frenzies, this classic hits the spot every single time. It’s a guarantee you’ll be stocking up on Chick-fil-A sauce by the end of the first semester. Enjoy responsibly.

Best Dining Hall: North Campus Dining Hall (North Pit)

One of the top-rated dining halls in the country, North Dining Hall is not your traditional buffet. It is a more laid-back alternative to the Pit, combining a modern dining experience with fresh and healthy menu choices. While the Pit is more lively, the North dining hall offers better food.

Best Coffee Shop: Camino Bakery

Start your day off right with a coffee and a sweet or savory pastry. It’s not just coffee that Camino serves — the staff is incredible and will go out of their way to make your experience memorable.

Best on the Quad: Zick’s 

Ranked No.1 in Winston-Salem for their flatbread pizza, Zick’s also offers scrumptious desserts and other selections. Try the s’mores pizza — it is worth every single calorie. Their chicken tenders, wings and salads are also top-notch. Expect longer waits, but the pool table and view of Wait Chapel make up for it.

Hidden Gem: Magnolia Room

This fine dining spot offers food that will make you question whether you’re eating on a college campus or a pricey steakhouse. Once a week, the Mag room serves a premium dinner.  Also, they have ice cream socials for lunch on Fridays!


Best Barbecue: Camel City BBQ Factory

Quite possibly the best meal I’ve had during my Wake Forest experience, Camel City will fill you up and then some. Get the two meat platters with ribs fresh off the smoker and brisket that will take your breath away. Hushpuppies are included along with two sides (the mac and cheese and brisket baked beans are the way to go). Good luck finishing it all.

Best Southern Cuisine: Cin Cin Burger Bar

This spot earns the reputation of best Southern cuisine, purely off its legendary chicken and waffles. Opened in 2016 by the Michael Family restaurant group, Cin Cin is located just outside downtown Winston-Salem. The gold digger’s mac & cheese, speakeasy burgers and pimento cheese plate further cement this restaurants spot at the top. Top off your meal with one of their signature shakes — you won’t regret it!

Best Pizza: Cugino Forno

Just three miles from campus, Cugino Forno is a lively spot on Fridays and Saturdays. The pizzeria was started by three cousins from a small town in Turkey and opened in 2019. The trio spent time in Naples learning from legendary pizzaiolos. In fact, 80% of the ingredients are imported from Italy and cooked in a 900-degree oven containing stone from Mt.Vesuvius.

Best Steak: Ryan’s

Bring your parents to this sizzlin’ steakhouse, a Winston-Salem classic for over 40 years. The lobster cakes and mac & cheese are to die for, and the caprese salad is next level. The mouth-watering steaks will take you to heaven and back, just don’t stare at the bill for too long. Make sure to get a reservation in advance of this world-class meal.

Best Burger: Hops Burger Bar

Home of the create-your-own style burgers served on pretzel buns. The patties are hand-pressed and cooked to perfection on a searing hot flat-top grill. Avoid long waits by going on a weekday!

Best Asian: Thai Harmony

Run by mother-daughter duo Nui |38| and Aratporn Ruangrat |65| from Bangkok, Thailand, Thai Harmony offers a wide selection of Thai cuisine along with sushi rolls and Chinese dishes. Personal favorites include the crab rangoons, Thai fried rice and pad Thai. It is open for both lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

Best Fast Food: Cookout

This southern joint would take the prize as best ‘bang for your buck’ and is undoubtedly the top fast food in Winston-Salem. While an argument could be made for Bojangles here, Cookout’s malty milkshakes are unmatched.  For those above the Mason-Dixon line, this legendary late-night classic will take your breath — and your hunger —  away.

R.I.P. Crafted:

As of July 2021, Crafted-The Art of the Taco announced that it was closing its restaurant in Winston-Salem. The student-favorite served primarily tacos, burgers and craft beers. The restaurant was understaffed and unable to meet the demands of the customers. Crafted lovers can still enjoy the foodie experience at the location in Greensboro, just a 30-minute drive from Winston-Salem. 

Bonus Tip:

Follow @Deacon__Deats on Instagram for all your Wake Forest sweet tooth and dining needs. The duo of Wake Forest students, Jess and Waring, post pictures of the best eats around campus. Trust us, you won’t regret it.