Every year millions of travelers bound for the Blue Ridge Parkway begin the journey in North Carolina’s Queen City and gateway to the high peaks, Charlotte.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is the second most visited destination of all the National Parks! The trip westward from Charlotte to the High Country is an easy drive of about two and a half hours, filled with natural beauty all four seasons and allowing ample time for adventures off the highway as you go.
For fabulous fare and great fun, you must begin with a weekend in Belmont. You won’t leave hungry, as you’ll find several great Belmont restaurants to choose from.
Belmont is a sparkling jewel box tucked away in Gaston County, just over the county line from Charlotte and fifteen minutes from Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Located in the midst of the Carolina Thread Trail, charm abounds in Belmont’s downtown and Belmont Abbey College campus. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Take Exit 27 off Interstate 85. That beautiful campus is the first site you’ll see.
10 Must-Try Belmont Restaurants
100 Belmont-Mount Holly Road // (704) 461-5060
Ready for coffee? Or a latte? Or any other caffeinated concoction? Can’t wait ’til downtown? Then stop at Holy Grounds, right on campus.
It’s Belmont Abbey College’s favorite coffee house. Its creative name makes perfect sense, considering its college home. It is a warm and welcoming place. Stroll the campus, take a seat on a bench, relax and enjoy the fresh air and ambiance of this gorgeous location.
The campus abounds with flowers and trees, tended by horticulture experts. Stretch your legs with a stroll down Abbey Lane, past the Haid Art Center and the library. Your view will include a verdant hillside, charming footbridge, and a babbling brook.
Then, jump back in the car, exit the campus, and travel the mile or so into downtown Belmont. Don’t mind the railroad tracks that cross-campus. Those were decommissioned years ago.
You will feel a world away from the big city in the company of Belmont’s 12,000 or so residents. Expect warm welcomes from the locals, especially the downtown merchants.
Leave behind all thoughts of fast food, malls, and outlet stores, and embrace the quaint, the folksy, the warmth of Belmont. Head straight for Main Street. It is loaded with boutiques and antiques, pubs and grub, sweets, and treats.
Belmont’s downtown is a foodie’s delight! Casual fare? A fancy plate? A sweet treat? The finest wines? The best beer? You’ll find it all in Downtown Belmont!
NSK (Nellies Southern Kitchen)
36 North Main Street // (704) 396-7169
Start at the crest of downtown at Nellie’s Southern Kitchen. Its proprietors are among the famed Jonas Brothers family, and Jonas sightings do happen, although rarely.
If the weather is fair, grab the best seats in the house – way up top – to plot your next moves.
Your pup is welcomed on the rooftop, with water bowls scattered here and there.
From this vantage point, you’ll be able to see from one end of downtown to the other. Or you might rather relax inside.
Enjoy a traditional Southern option – chicken? ribs? Mac’n’Cheese? How about all three?
There’s a full bar and an ample selection of beers. Stick around while great local musicians entertain with Carolina flair. Yes, they take requests too!
And the Sunday brunch is not to be missed. Weekday or weekend, if you are looking for traditional southern foods, this is a must-try restaurant in Belmont.
106 North Main Street // (704) 823-3636
Just up the street and around the bend, you can’t miss String Bean. It’s a real gem with its amazing collection of wines. Enjoy a glass and a bite at an inviting outdoor fireside table.
This local favorite has a little bit of everything. Indoors, you’ll find a top-notch deli. Grab some provisions for grilling later on.
Peruse their selection of wines. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at their eclectic array. Fancy a pricey bottle – they have that. Looking for a moderate expenditure – ask the staff for recommendations.
Be sure to wander through the whole place. You’re sure to be impressed with the Wine Spectator accolades on display.
101 Kenwood Street // (704) 461-8044
If you fancy pub fare with a local flair, drop into the Lodge Tavern & Tap, next door to The String Bean.
A favorite among locals and popular weekend destination, the vibe is a warm and comfortable upscale barroom, tasting room, and treasure trove of libations options.
And the food! A cut above the average bar burger, this place plates creative, tasty, eye-catching fare to assuage your hunger, as well as your thirst.
Friendly, welcoming, attentive…. This downtown Belmont pub is for you!
102 Davis Street // (704) 829-8131
Notice that blue ranch-style house just around the bend? That’s the new, cool spot in Belmont, The Bottle Tree.
Utterly unique among its neighbors, the bottle tree offers cuisine at a whole different level of creativity, taste, and appearance.
A feast for the eyes – that’s a tall order, but reserve a table the Bottle Tree, and you’ll agree.
This creative and unique dining experience has made its mark in Belmont and is the talk of the big city (that’d be Charlotte) too!
Allow ample time to appreciate this one! You’ll want to make reservations at this fine dining Belmont restaurant.
23 North Main Street // (704) 825-0414
Reversing course back into the center of downtown, you’ll notice Cherub’s Café.
Charming and meaningful, Cherubs Café is a great choice, known for its chicken salad, soups, and sweets.
Cherubs is an entrepreneurial program operated under the auspices of a nonprofit organization, Holy Angels, and staffed by their clients.
Save room for their delicious cookies or an awesome ice cream cone.
This Belmont, NC restaurant sits between their adjacent popcorn business and their art gallery. Invest in an original work of art created by a Holy Angels artist.
There’s a fair-weather-friendly picnic area for you to enjoy lunch amidst Southern sunshine and balmy breezes. Then, grab some popcorn for the road!
7 South Main Street // (980)283-7170
Here’s the place to grab a specialty drink, house-baked pastry, and stock up for unique evening snacks.
You’ll be hypnotized by the dessert case, starting with the array of macrons. Languish in the fragrance of the gorgeous cakes and pies on display. And, be tempted by the possibility of breakfast goodies for the morning.
You’ll want to take a seat, chat up the friendly staff, relax, and enjoy this completely unique market. It’s a one-of-a-kind Belmont restaurant experience.
Explore the vast array of takeaway items, cooking oils, pasta, a remarkable selection of wines, and a cooler full of goodies you won’t find anywhere else in the area. Yes, the baked goods are made in-house, daily!
23 South Main Street // (704) 825-9995
The Old Stone is absolutely, positively your serious Belmont steak house.
The interior boasts a dark wood, rustic vibe. Regionally known for their product’s quality, this is THE PLACE for a classic, succulent steak dinner.
Unique among contemporary restaurants, and a specific reason why some choose the Old Stone repeatedly, is their extraordinary “wedge salad.” That’s right, it’s a traditional lettuce wedge, with a blanket of bleu cheese dressing and topped with bacon bits.
As the saying goes, success is in the details. At the Old Stone, attention to detail is paramount!
Reservations are highly recommended at this exceptional Belmont steakhouse.
South Main Street // (704) 825-4266
If casual, authentic Southern cooking is your jam, be sure to drop in at Belmont’s local favorite, Sammy’s, for Southern home-style cuisine.
Sammy’s offers just the right plate for every Carolina occasion. Locals rave about their burgers, pulled pork, fried fish, and the list goes on.
Known for the quality of their offerings and their welcoming atmosphere, no matter where you hail from, you will be “y’all” at Sammy’s.
Their flavors are perfect, and the price just right. For sure, you’ll be more than satisfied with the Sammy’s experience.
And, Sammy’s is happy to provide take-out and call-ahead orders. Or, bring the whole clan to get classic Southern cooking in Belmont, and turn “y’all” into “all y’all”
609 North Main Street // (704) 825-7005
You’ll find Estia’s just a few blocks from downtown and conveniently located near interstate highway access.
This local treasure is the spot for Mediterranean/Greek cuisine. The vibe is modern upscale, with extra casual flair.
Take a seat at the bar and chat with the always receptive staff there. Or take your beverage to your table and order some of the best Greek/Mediterranean selections you’ll find anywhere.
You need never worry about missing the big game. There are televisions here and there, and staff who would be happy to assist with your preferred channel.
You’ll be favorably impressed with Estia’s selections, and with the owners on-site, be sure to let them know what you most enjoyed. You’ll get the best Greek/Mediterranean food in Belmont.
For further exploration and to work up your appetite, check out The Carolina Thread Trail, a portion of which runs right through Belmont. It’s a regional and growing collection of trails that run through both North and South Carolina.
Trail construction is ongoing. You’ll know you’re on the thread trail when you see way-finding signs—https://www.carolinathreadtrail.org/ for maps and directions.
Which of these Belmont restaurants do you most want to try? Let us know in the comments section below!
Author Bio: Based in North Carolina, Monica’s passion for storytelling sparked during business trips that took her from New York to San Francisco, all around the Southern US, and internationally to Brazil and Italy. Her background spans marketing, public relations, academics, travel and tourism.Equally at home at the keyboard and on camera, Monica is a people person with a gift for languages. Reporting these days primarily from the U.S., number one on her travel bucket list is Hondarribia, Spain, a village in the Basque Country. Visit her via Instagram and follow her blog.