Young families enjoy Reynolda Village of Wake Forest University in the first weeks of September 2015.

Image copyright Lauren Olinger for Red Cardinal Studio
Young families enjoy Reynolda Village of Wake Forest University in the first weeks of September 2015. Image copyright Lauren Olinger for Red Cardinal Studio
Lauren Olinger

Where To Go In Winston-Salem

As Winston-Salem grows, it has become easier to break out of the Wake Forest bubble and explore the surrounding areas. Here are some of the best restaurants, coffee shops and activities that the city has to offer.


Although Winston-Salem may not seem like a “foodie” destination, the city has become home to a variety of quality, affordable and enticing restaurants.

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Beginning with breakfast, head downtown to Trade Street. There, you will find two of Winston-Salem’s ultimate breakfast destinations: Mary’s Gourmet Diner and Famous Toastery. Walls filled with colorful paintings and imaginative murals, Mary’s serves brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day except for Tuesday. While drinking their mocha ($4.50) out of a one-of-a-kind mug, you can enjoy dishes ranging from cinnamon swirl French toast ($12) to the breakfast burrito ($12). Make sure to head to Mary’s as early as possible, as it fills up quickly.

Although it is a chain with multiple restaurants in the South, Famous Toastery still serves up fresh and comforting breakfast foods. With classics such as the flapjacks ($10) and innovative dishes such as the huevos rancheros and Cali eggs benedict ($11.30), Famous Toastery has something on the menu for everyone.

Newer to the Winston-Salem scene, Yamas Medditeranean Street Food and Penny Path Cafe & Crepe Shop are both delicious and affordable lunch options. Located Downtown, Yamas embraces the “build-your-own” style of dining. Customers can build their own grain bowl, salad bowl or sandwich ($8.99), filling it with proteins such as falafel or chicken souvlaki and topping it with a wide variety of condiments like tomato and cucumber salad, sumac pickled onions, white chocolate baba ghanoush and garlic toum.

Only a short walk from campus, Penny Path Cafe is located in Reynolda Village. Available for breakfast and dinner, their menu boasts both savory and dessert crepes. With simple options like a ham and cheese or Nutella crepe, as well as the innovative “kitchen sink” crepe, Penny Path Cafe is the perfect lunch spot for a salt lover or a sweet tooth.

Also recent editions to Winston-Salem, Cugino Forno and Campus Gas have become favorites among students for a quick and delicious dinner. Cugino Forno dishes out Neapolitan-style pizzas like the pomodoro ($16.95) and bianca ($16.95) that are perfect for sharing. Head to their outdoor seating and grab a picnic table for a great meal with friends. Just a quick walk off campus onto Polo Road, Campus Gas is a bar and restaurant serving up hot dogs, hamburgers and other comfort food daily. Started by Wake Forest alumni, the restaurant is the perfect choice for a dinner off campus when an Uber ride is looking a little too pricey.


With this article being geared towards new college students, it only makes sense for coffee shops to get their own section. Winston-Salem is home to three different, yet equally innovative, establishments that serve up delicious cups of coffee and all the appropriate accoutrements.

Located on Fourth Street in the Downtown neighborhood, Camino Bakery is a Winston-Salem staple. With delicious seasonal drinks, like summer’s coconut cooler (iced coffee with coconut milk and cinnamon) and freshly made baked goods, including a vegan banana chocolate chip muffin ($3.55) and ginger molasses cookies ($2.99), Camino always delivers deliciousness.

Twin City Hive, which can be found in the Brookstown neighborhood, is the perfect spot to indulge in a latte and hole up to work on a paper. If you arrive early enough in the day, it’s easy to grab a table with electrical outlets in reach. Although they don’t have as many baked goods as their counterparts, Twin City Hive offers a variety of specialty drinks that use in-house roasted coffee.

On top of their full breakfast and lunch menu, Krankies cranks out delicious cups of iced and hot coffee throughout the day.

Only a quick walk from Wake Downtown, Krankies has a delicious chai latte, which can be made iced ($4 -$4.50), and classics like the cappucino ($4) and nitro iced coffee ($3.50). Pair your drink with the avocado toast ($7.50) or even the fried chicken sandwich ($6.75) to complete the experience. 

Weekend “worth-its”

Getting off campus during the week can be pretty difficult, but the weekends free up enough time to experience what Winston-Salem and the surrounding area has to offer.

If you or a friend have a car, take a drive to either Hanging Rock State Park or Pilot Mountain. Both of these locations have scenic hiking trails that are easily accessible and range in level of difficulty for both new and seasoned hikers.

Continuing the theme of “staying active,” Winston is also home to a variety of workout studios. Make your weekend feel a little more productive by heading to CycleBar for a morning cycling class or practice your Vinyasa flow at a session hosted by Yoga Dogz, a non-profit yoga studio in Reynolda Village.

For a relaxing evening, head to a/perture cinema to catch an indie film. The independent theatre screens multiple movies a day and offers a student discount at $9 a ticket. Overall Winston-Salem has a lot of amazing things to explore during your time here.

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