Are you looking for the perfect bite in the All-American City?
I’ve spent the last 27 years in Fayetteville honing my palette by eating out at least twice weekly because I hate washing the dishes.
And while I’m no Gordan Ramsay, I can show you where to get a burger as big as your head or some barbecue so delicious that I had to invent a “game” to decide which meat to pick. That’s worth at least a couple of Michelin Stars, right?
I suggest strapping on your stretchiest pants and getting your feasting fork ready as I take you on a tour of my picks for the best restaurants in Fayetteville, NC.
Best Restaurants in Fayetteville
Check out the 17 of the Best Restaurants you can find at Fayetteville, NC.
Luigi’s Italian Restaurant & Bar
528 N McPherson Church Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Luigi’s is a little family-run gem near Lafayette Park in the Terry Sanford neighborhood. If I ever go missing, check there.
I’m probably chipmunk-cheeking some lasagna and doing a series of interpretive arm motions that mean, “Another Peach Bellini, please!”
As far as my recommendations, I suggest getting one of everything. For those of you with a better sense of self-control than I have around rustic Italian food, go for the Italian Sausage and Peppers or the Ravioli Pomodoro.
I usually split a Cannoli and a Tiramisu for dessert with my partner because I refuse to choose between two things that I love.
108 Person St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Circa 1800 is a haven for Southern foodies in historic downtown Fayetteville after a day geeking out at the nearby Airborne and Special Operations Museum.
If you ask me, Circa 1800 has the monopoly of chicken and dumplings.
They’re little pillows of potato gnocchi, slow simmered in lemony white wine broth with just the right amount of garlic.
Wash it down with an Old Nick Carolina Bourbon, and enjoy the rest of your day laying on the couch, too full to move.
MaryBill’s Café & Elbow Room
801 Elm St, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Hidden in the Westover neighborhood on Elm St, MaryBill’s is the brunch spot my hungry little dreams are made of.
Here’s my routine: take a morning stroll through the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, then head over to MaryBill’s until they roll me out of the front door.
I’ve been around MaryBill’s at breakfast and lunch, but I prefer the latter because it reminds me of Sunday mornings at my mom’s house in that the helpings are enormous, and someone’s always asking if you want some more.
Mary’s got herself some killer options on her specialty list, including a secret little option called “The Thing.”
You’ll have to ask your server to find out what it is, but in the meantime, try not to dream about Crab Cake Benedict and old-school SOS.
Olea Mediterranean Kitchen
1992 Skibo Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28314
Shopping and falafel? Yes, please!
Olea is a Mediterranean oasis over by Cross Creek Mall that’s basically like taking a trip to Greece without having to deal with middle airplane seats and crying babies for 12 hours.
Now, I’m not too sure who or what Olea is, but I’d like them to know that I’ve spent a few sleepless, stomach-rumbling nights dreaming of their Lamb Souvlaki with a side Dolmathes and a cup of Turkish Coffee strong enough to put hair on my chest.
They also have a cute little outdoor patio with umbrellas to enjoy your meal without being physically assaulted by the summertime heat.
316 Oyster Bar
316 Owen Dr, Fayetteville, NC 28304
316 Oyster in the Medical Arts neighborhood is a seafood lover’s paradise. I like to hang out here when I’m looking to have a shell of a good time.
If you’re not there for the oysters– weird, but okay– it’s all about those 316 Low-Country Steam Pots.
I think it says a lot about a person depending on what they eat first at a low-country boil, so I like to suggest 316 for my friends’ first dates.
If their new friend snaps into that Snow Crab leg first, my girls know it’s a no-go. Momma taught me that you have to save those for after you’ve eaten at least some of your veggies, and that lady’s never wrong.
500 Westwood Shopping Center, Fayetteville, NC 28314
There’s a spot called Bubba’s 33 at the Westwood Shopping Center that has won my heart (and stomach) over. It’s been an absolute whirlwind romance since we met.
When I go to Bubba’s, it’s not for some wimpy wings or a pitiful pizza.
There’s something about that thick beef patty sticking out of the sides of the buns that brings out the animal in me, so I’m going for a chin-dribbling, jaw-stretching, two-hand-holding South of the Border Burger with a spicy pile of Chorizo on top.
Antonella’s Italian Ristorante
300 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Remember that song that goes, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s Antonella’s near the Cameo Art House in downtown Fayetteville-y.”
I don’t have a Nonna to make me rustic Italian food, so I like to think that Antonella is filling that hole in my stomach with her warm embrace of Penne a La Crema and Blue Crab Ravioli.
My dessert recommendation might come as a shock, but Antonella’s also has Cannolis and Tiramisu. It wouldn’t be fair to them if I didn’t order the duo dessert at both of the best Italian restaurants in Fayetteville.
1932 Skibo Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28314
Mission BBQ is near Olea’s, which means that I have an existential crisis about my lunch choice every time I’m at the Cross Creek Mall.
I have a little trick for Mission BBQ that I like to call “The Venn Diagram,” because I always get the Two Meat Sampler with a side of Maggie’s Mac-N-Cheese.
But, because there are five different meat options, every third trip means I get to pick my overlap meat, which is just the one I get to have twice in the three-visit cycle.
Brisket’s won every time so far, but that succulent, slow-smoked pulled pork could knock beef off its throne any day now. The anticipation is almost more than I can stand.
The Sweet Palette
101 Person St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
When I’m out near the Arts Council, you already know I’m Van Gogh-ing to The Sweet Palette before the day is done.
In case it wasn’t obvious yet, I’m a sucker for sweets, and Sweet Palette is my ultimate not-so-guilty pleasure. They invited what just might be the most important culinary invention since the butter knife: a Banana Pudding cupcake.
Y’all… I’m pretty sure the first time I had one and discovered there was actual vanilla pudding in the middle, a literal single tear rolled down my cheek.
The Fried Turkey Sandwich Shop
2318 Paintersmill Dr, Fayetteville, NC 28304
After I finish watching whatever Marvel movie is coming out in a given year at the AMC Fayetteville 14, The Fried Turkey Sandwich Shop is my favorite place to gobble down some dinner.
I’m a simple girl with simple tastes, at least when it comes to fried turkey, so I’m a fan of the Turkey Club, hold the Ranch.
That said, I’ve stolen a few bites of my old man’s Turkey Day, and it’s good enough to skip Thanksgiving dinner altogether and pick up one of those the day after. They even have sweet potato squares for dessert.
Gaston Brewing Company
124 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Despite the misleading name, you will not find a hairy-chested Disney brute named Gaston bench-pressing bears at the Gaston Brewing Company, but you will probably find some guy bragging about his bench press while drinking some stellar craft beers.
If you’re there with your gal pals for a Sunday morning brunch, it’s practically a legal obligation that everyone gets a Tropical Mimosa bucket, filled with three fruit juice, a splash of coconut, and a single-serve bottle of bubbly.
Plus, you get to keep the bucket when you’re done, so it’s extra fun trying to explain to your mom why you have a 6-foot tall stack of them tucked into the corner of your apartment.
5052 Yadkin Rd #101, Fayetteville, NC 28303
Who would have thought one of the best restaurants in Fayetteville– no, the world– was in the Eutaw Shopping Center?
Not to speak ill of Memaw again, but if there’s one thing that came close to her homemade chicken noodle soup when I’m sick, it’s Grilled Ginger’s, Phở Tai.
All those fresh veggies and rich broth are like sinus medicine for your soul and Tylenol for your tummy.
I wouldn’t even be surprised to find out it’s secretly made with some kind of magical healing broth that makes everything feel slightly better while you’re slurping up rice noodles.
2425 Hope Mills Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28304
The only thing that could get me to wrap up my Southgate shopping early is the thought of wrapping my hands around one of Pharaoh’s Village’s kebabs.
It feels like cheating to mention two Italian AND two Greek restaurants in a single post. Still, it would be a culinary crime if I didn’t convince you to go get yourself a shawarma and baklava from possibly the nicest restaurant owners in the entire tri-state area next time you’re on that side of Fayetteville.
Caruso Confections & Bistro
106 Person St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
I never thought I’d see the day when I’d reach for something savory over something sweet, but Caruso in downtown Fayetteville managed to do the impossible.
To be clear, I also get dessert– shoutout to you, lemon macarons– but that Muffalata could make me forget my non-existent firstborn’s name.
If I just named my future child Muffalata, I’d never have to deal with the awkwardness of forgetting it every time we got Caruso for lunch.
Just kidding, I would never… Or would I?
Anyways, go to Caruso’s and get the Muffalata. It’s great!
2770 Freedom Pkwy Dr, Fayetteville, NC 28314
The best thing to ever come to the Freedom Town Center is mezeh, which I affectionately refer to as “Chi-Pita,” because it’s like Chipotle, but pita instead of tortillas. Get it?
When you order, you just let them know if you want a bowl, wrap, or pita pocket, then they’ll fill it up with all the Mediterranean goodness you fit into your chosen vessel.
I like bulgur pilaf with chicken kebab, plus whatever toppings I can say before they tell me, “Ma’am, this bowl is cardboard, it’s not rated for greater than 15 lbs.”
1040 Bragg Blvd, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Want to try one of the most phở-nominal restaurants in Fayetteville? Go to Saigon Bistro by the Technical Community College.
Saigon was a recent find for me, but I’ve been to it approximately 1 billion times in the last six months or so since then.
It’s not even the phở this time, which is definitely a perfect 10 out of 10. It’s the Fresh Summer Rolls, which ranks somewhere around 12 out of 10.
I actually think I might be addicted, but I’ll quit when I’m good and ready.
Blue Moon Cafe
310 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC 28301
Blue Moon Cafe is much more than a cafe at the corner of Hay and Donaldson Street. It’s a love story between me and the most decadent Monte Cristo you’ll find downtown.
Honestly, what’s not to love about Blue Moon?
They have everything a restaurant needs: Breakfast Nachos with literally every topping you can possibly think of, Pork Breakfast Tacos with an Avocado Crema you’ll want to lick off the plate, and a seasonal, rotating drink menu with cocktails like a Tamarind Cosmo and Peach-Oolong Flip.