Whether you’re in the Sandhills region for golf, shopping, pottery or a festival, ya gotta eat, and there’s no shortage of fabulous eateries from which to choose. This list of restaurants in Southern Pines and Pinehurst will more than satisfy your every craving!
SOUTHERN PINES RESTAURANTS
I began my culinary press tour of Moore County at Wolcott’s, a popular downtown Southern Pines eatery. Open for lunch and dinner, this cozy, yet sophisticated restaurant was the perfect way to get started.
The chef at Wolcott’s uses fresh, local ingredients to put wonderfully inventive twists on classic American dishes and my seemingly simple grilled chicken salad was deliciously crisp and flavorful.
Although the building has a somewhat casual atmosphere, the tablecloths and formal wait staff bring a more upscale fine dining vibe to the experience.
This popular restaurant in Southern Pines (famous for their Reubens) offers guests a twofer. Half of the restaurant is fine dining, the other half is a casual pub, and guests can order from either the pub menu or the entree menu no matter where they’re seated.
Ashten’s was the first restaurant (named for sisters Ashley and Quinten Van Camp) to start the farm to table movement in the area. The sisters drove from farm to farm to discover what was growing locally and whether they could source those ingredients for the restaurant.
I had a chance to chat with Ashten’s award-winning chef, Matt Hannon, about the globally inspired, southern rooted cuisine. He told me the menu changes seasonally and will feature fresh from the field favorites like asparagus in the spring, peppers in late summer and squash blossoms in the fall in simple dishes that let the ingredients shine.
He also told me they regularly use local ostrich eggs to make their desserts because they provide a wonderful richness without any change in flavor.
Fun fact: He has to use a hacksaw to open them and there’s the equivalent of 28-32 chicken eggs in a single ostrich egg.
I ordered the daily special for my entree: Brasstown Farms beef and curry served on a bed of coconut rice with farmer’s market vegetables, tzatziki sauce and naan bread. The dish was fabulous and I’m guessing it was a hit with other guests too because it’s no longer just a special; it’s on the fall menu.
C Cups Cupcakery
Save room for a cupcake at this dessertery/bakery because it’ll knock your socks off. Their big seller is the key lime cupcake, so that’s the one I chose to try.
I loved every mouthwatering bite, but with flavors like pink champagne, snickerdoodle and hotcakes, it was hard to decide.
I visited the downtown Southern Pines location but they’ve also just opened a second location in Old Town Pinehurst.
Drum & Quill
Who doesn’t love a good Irish pub? Along with maintaining a welcoming public house tradition, Drum & Quill (owned by Kevin Drum) celebrates the roots of the Drum Family and Old Town Pinehurst’s legendary golf history.
The name comes from Bob “Drum” (Kevin’s father), a renowned golf writer and broadcaster who documented Arnold Palmer’s career and first coined the Professional Golf “Grand Slam” term. The “Quill” represents the pen and the powerful words that can turn stories into legends.
The cozy pub atmosphere gives it a “Cheers” of Pinehurst status and its prime Old Town location doesn’t hurt either. Although I had a salad (and an excellent one at that), Drum & Quill is known for its killer tacos and great beer and cocktail selection.
Chicken Salad Plate
Pinehurst Brewing Company
I’ve never met an adaptive re-use building project I wasn’t impressed with and Pinehurst Brewing Company is no exception. Located in what was the original steam power plant for Pinehurst, this microbrewery/smokehouse saved the historic landmark from demolition and gave it new life.
The industrial chic decor makes use of old steam valves, pipes and fittings, and I was especially taken with how it was used as table legs and support.
Make sure to check out the community table in the room behind the bar also. It was made from an enormous tree that had to be felled on the property, and then creatively ornamented underneath with a snaking network of pipes.
Beyond the decor, you’ll find more history in the black and white steam plant photos hung on the walls. It’s fun to compare the past with the present.
Along with their classic pub fare of burgers and sandwiches, Pinehurst Brewing Company offers small plates, house-smoked BBQ and pizza, and you can’t go wrong with any of it.
I had a pulled pork sandwich which I chose to douse with the spiciest of the four sauce options: blackberry habanero sauce. Exceptionally delicious!
RESTAURANTS NEAR PINEHURST AND SOUTHERN PINES
Pik n’ Pig
The Pik n’ Pig is 20 minutes from Pinehurst at the Gilliam-McConnell Airport in Carthage. Yep, an airport, and you’re likely to see at least one plane landing or taking off while you dine, especially if you sit outside on the patio.
Dinner and a show!
Family-run for three generations now, it’s the place to go when you’re looking for good ol’ North Carolina BBQ and country sides. The family has been slow-smoking their ‘cue over a natural wood and charcoal fire for three generations giving it that tell-tale pink color and intense flavor.
I tried their hand-pulled pork with beans and cornbread, and I especially loved all the burnt ends. Man, those were good!
As always, the meat comes sauce-free and you can top it with spicy vinegar-based sauce (my fave) or a sweet honey sauce.
Another great lunch option (or shareable) – the pie tin nachos!
Ready to stick a fork in it?
Here’s more info about the eateries in this post:
Address: 160 W. New Hampshire Avenue, Southern Pines, NC, 28387
Hours: Tues-Sat 11am-3pm, 5-9pm
Address: 140 E. New Hampshire Ave., Southern Pines, NC 28387
Hours: Sun-Thurs 5-9 pm, Fri-Sat 5-10pm
Drum & Quill
Address: 40 Chinquapin Road Pinehurst, NC 28374
Hours: Sun-Tues 11:30am-10pm, Wed-Thurs 11:30 am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-1am
Pinehurst Brewing Company
Address: 300 Magnolia Rd, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Hours: Mon-Tues 5-11pm, Wed, Thurs, Sun 11am – 11pm, Fri-Sat 11am – midnight (kitchen closes 1 hour earlier)
Pik n’ Pig
Address: 194 Gilliam-McConnell Rd, Carthage, NC 28327
C Cups for Cupcakes
Address: 105 E. Pennsylvania Ave Southern Pines, NC 28387
105 Cherokee Rd Suite 1E, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Hours: Tues-Fri 10:30 am – 5:30 pm, Saturday 10:30 am – 3:30 pm
The eatin’ is mighty fine in the Home of American Golf.
Do you have any other favorite Pinehurst and Southern Pines restaurants you’d recommend? Do tell!