As much as you love your new kitchen, no one wants to stay home and cook every night. There’s something special about going out and treating yourself, whether it’s a fancy cocktail, a locally brewed beer, a slice of pizza, or a gourmet meal. We’ve got you covered on recommendations, so go ahead and treat yourself.
In 2021, Fonda Lupita took home the coveted recognition of joining 10 other restaurants in big cities across the country as Eater’s Best New Restaurants in America! After a planned grand opening in March 2020, Fonda Lupita had to pivot and persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic as North Carolina ordered all restaurants to close. Since then, the eyes of all foodies are feasting on Fonda’s menu of gorditas, tacos, and freshly made in-house tamales. Their dishes are all derived from classic recipes that have been passed down from generations of cooks in Mexico. Sanford is by far the smallest town represented on Eater’s prestigious list, which makes it that much more important that you don’t miss this stop on your food journey!
Hugger Mugger Brewing celebrates the secretive in a city where masonic symbols are written right onto the architecture. Choose from the 18 beers brewed on site while trying your hand at unraveling the meaning behind the symbols on the tapestries adorning the walls of the spacious beer hall. Hugger Mugger (which means secretive, or hidden – a word coined by Shakespeare), boasts a brewery building designed to accommodate large crowds, and includes a beer hall with a front bar of 20 taps. If that’s not enough, there’s also an outdoor beer garden, where food trucks set up to satiate your hunger pings.
Bar hopping isn’t just for beer lovers anymore! Enter the new local restaurant serving Italian and American cuisine, and most importantly, wine! This restaurant and bar located in Cameron, NC features a fun atmosphere with outdoor pool tables and live music. They have a wide variety of options when it comes to dining. The Twisted Grape also features a very generous late-night menu for all their night owls. They recently expanded their building to include an indoor and outdoor wine bar, as well as an outdoor dining room. Their seasonal menu changes with the temperature, featuring what’s growing fresh, and what their customers’ stomachs are grumbling for. They also host regular events like trivia, live music, and specials during sports games.
Sanford’s version of “Cheers,” Smoke and Barrel is the feel-good neighborhood pub that you will be a regular in before you know it. They focus on offering outstanding slow-cooked smoked meats, North Carolina craft beer (12 taps!), and bourbon. The delicacies don’t stop at the meats though; you can choose from deli style sandwiches, house made sides, salads, and even tacos. Don’t miss the live local music on weekends!
Camelback focuses on one thing and does it well: craft beer. They are set up to maximize their creativity for crafting great beers. Using a five-barrel brewhouse and a ten-barrel cellar, Camelback is constantly finding new ways to innovate a wide range of diverse options for their guests. Stop in to experience their rotating taps, and while you’re there, grab a bite to eat from their brewpub restaurant on site.
For nearly 20 years, Jimmy Stubbs has been the owner of Allen & Sons BBQ in Pittsboro, NC. Luckily for the community, in 2013 he decided to expand his reach to Sanford by opening Stubbs. Before he knew it, Stubbs & Son became THE place in Sanford to get authentic BBQ. Jimmy’s unique take on their homemade coleslaw: sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy, quickly became a local crowd pleaser. He even hand cuts his French fries daily from whole potatoes!
Three local friends were brought together by a passion for service, entrepreneurship, and craft beer. After first meeting while serving in the Green Berets in Fort Bragg, these friends and teammates decided to trade in their uniforms for brewers’ boots and start their brewery. In 2014, they brewed their first batch of beer and opened the taproom. The guys have been so successful that in November of 2020, they opened a second taproom in downtown Southern Pines!
Nestled in a historic building, those with a sweet tooth come from far and wide to wander onto Sandra’s doorstep since they first opened in 1999. What started as a hobby for owner Sandra Duty soon grew to a 4.5 star-reviewed bakery that offers all sorts of sweet treats, ranging from homemade cinnamon rolls, muffins, donuts, and elephant ears to bread pudding, cheesecake, brownie bites, and special-order cakes.
Aye! Toro focuses on authentic Mexican dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients, infused with love. Their inspired cuisine is created using traditional Mexican recipes passed down through generations of Latino culture. They also serve hand-crafted margaritas and a variety of tasty cocktails.
Serving up fresh Southern biscuits since 1966, Maurice Jennings, a former flour broker, has honored his grandmother’s legacy by perfecting her made-from-scratch recipe for mouthwatering biscuits. This biscuit aficionado even has a coveted jelly bar for guests to add their favorite jams and jellies! Be sure to come early though – the lines are likely to be out the front door! Now with a successful outfit of 50 stores selling country ham, eggs, bacon, steak, chicken, and sausage, Biscuitville is an incredibly delicious way to start your day on the right foot.