Photo courtesy of The Gamekeeper Restaurant
By Arielle Patterson
Adventure and exploration abound in the High Country. Whether you’re flying across the treetops on a zipline or hiking to the peak of Grandfather Mountain, you’re sure to have a new experience when you visit. Treat your taste buds to a new adventure by indulging in some of the High Country’s local fare.
The charming mountain towns in North Carolina’s High Country have quickly established the region as a foodie destination. Locally owned restaurants and skilled chefs are ready to give you a taste of High Country cuisine. From North Carolina’s famous barbecue to more upscale restaurants serving a seasonally inspired menu, you’ll get a taste of flavors that are specific to this region.
The High Country has a number of local streams flowing with delicious trout. Local chefs utilize their own backyard to serve this delicious fish a number of ways—broiled, fried, grilled and smoked—then complement it with a variety of sauces and sides.
North Carolina is known for barbecue. In the western part of the state, local pit masters smoke and slow cook pork shoulder to tender perfection. Enjoy your North Carolina pulled pork with a side of hushpuppies and red slaw. Red slaw is a signature type of coleslaw made with barbecue sauce instead of mayonnaise.
You’ll find that a number of restaurants in the High Country are serving their twist on classic eats. These menus are not only innovative, but also showcase local ingredients. Savor game meats, including duck, venison, boar and more, as part of upscale dishes with photo-worthy plating. Area restaurants will often change their menu options to showcase the local harvest. Your meal will be served with a side of fresh, seasonal vegetables.
If you’re looking for a more casual setting dishing out comfort food, you’ve come to the right place. The High Country has plenty of homestyle restaurants serving family-style meals that will leave you stuffed. Enjoy Southern comfort food dishes from recipes that have been passed down for generations. There’s nothing like starting your day with biscuits and gravy, or ending it with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and more of that finger-licking country gravy. Just be sure to save room for a homemade sweet for dessert.
No matter what kind of cuisine you decide to indulge in, complement your meal with some spectacular views of the High Country. Enjoy sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the windows of a rustic dining room. Or, savor your meal al fresco with the cool mountain breeze blowing by. There are several local restaurants that offer a side of breathtaking scenery at no additional fee.
Whether you have a hankering for down-home recipes or something more modern, satisfy your appetite with a taste of the High Country.