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A sample of small plates from Machete.
Machete

18 Essential Restaurants in Greensboro, North Carolina

From small plates at Machete to fried chicken at Dame’s

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A sample of small plates from Machete.
| Machete

Greensboro is an international city, with more than 100 languages spoken by students in the local school system thanks in part to several local refugee resettlement agencies. The Gate City’s global nature is reflected in its dining scene, rich with immigrant-run and family-helmed businesses bringing forward recipes for salves like rare steak pho and fresh falafel sandwiches. Greensboro is also a burger- and biscuit-loving Southern city, and staples like pulled pork pop up in brunch hashes and mac-and-cheese tacos.

In the last few years, a generation of experimental and rule-breaking chefs have added depth to the bench, flanking long-standing community hubs that serve everything from candied yams to pastrami sandwiches. Greensboro’s culinary prowess has long been ignored by North Carolinians elsewhere in the state, but with a healthy amalgam of restaurants pursuing traditional and modern tracks, there’s more to enjoy than ever.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cugino Forno Pizzeria

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1160 Revolution Mill Dr
Greensboro, NC 27405
(336) 897-7920
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This Neapolitan-style pizzeria is one of Greensboro’s rare culinary exports. After its celebrated launch helped bring the former Revolution Mill complex in northeast Greensboro to life, Cugino Forno expanded to Winston-Salem, Clemmons, and now Durham. The Livorno with Italian sausage, buffalo mozzarella, and basil may be the best option, but there’s something to be said for enjoying a classic margherita at one of the wooden family-style tables, too.

2. Print Works Bistro

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702 Green Valley Rd
Greensboro, NC 27408
(336) 379-0699
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Located inside the eco-friendly “greenest hotel in America,” Print Works is the best of the city’s legacy fine-dining options. The lavish, high-ceilinged space with flowing white curtains manages to avoid feeling stuffy, making it a favorite for anniversary dinners and graduation celebrations. The seasonal menu offers dishes like a seared scallop risotto with mushrooms, leeks, and goat cheese, but a more straightforward brunch menu is also worth the trip, especially on Print Works’ open-air patio.

3. Machete

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600 C Battleground Ave
Greensboro, NC 27401
(336) 265-8859
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Despite opening moments before the pandemic, Machete held on and quickly rocketed to the top of the Triad’s dining scene. Chefs Kevin Cottrell and Lydia Greene — expats from the late LaRue — came into their own at this New American restaurant. They just received a massive recognition to prove it: being named as a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant nationwide by the illustrious James Beard Awards. Customers can sit in the open (but covered) lounge area to try the spread of rotating small and large plates, which include items like a divine roasted cauliflower with brown butter and hazelnut, smoky king trumpet mushroom skewers, double-fried and massive crispy duck wings, and a pillowy olive oil toast topped with warm chocolate ganache.

Small plates of food.
A tasting menu from Machete.
Machete

4. Bandito Bodega

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1609 W Friendly Ave
Greensboro, NC 27403
(336) 897-7878
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Initially launched as a food truck, the compact Bandito Bodega is one of the city’s most inventive and compelling restaurants. The ever-changing menu relies on a range of Latin American and Asian ingredients, from choices like kimchi fried rice with miso sambal aioli to a beef birria quesadilla. Diners can’t go wrong at this deceptively casual counter.

5. Crafted The Art of the Taco

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220 S Elm St
Greensboro, NC 27401
(336) 273-0030
Visit Website

Kris Fuller may be the most well-known, recognizable chef in Greensboro. When her wildly popular taco joint first opened, few if any experimental dining options existed in the area. The success of items like the Big Truck tacos with pulled pork and mac and cheese catapulted Fuller to the forefront of the region’s culinary scene, setting her up to consult for restaurants like Hops and opening several more restaurants. The flagship downtown Crafted always remained the busiest, slinging tacos stuffed with everything from Nashville hot chicken to battered fish with roasted corn and cotija cheese.

6. ‘Cille and ‘Scoe

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312 S Elm St
Greensboro, NC 27401
(336) 522-6592
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Named for owner and chef Sean Reaves’ grandparents Lucille and Roscoe, ‘Cille & ‘Scoe made its mark on the city’s dining scene within just a few months into operating. That’s not surprising considering that Reaves made his bones in some of the area’s most well-known restaurants, including Southern Roots, 1618 Midtown, and Green Valley Grill. Dubbed a “Southern eatery,” the restaurant reaches beyond the norm with plates like a Swedish meatball with homemade pasta, popcorn cauliflower with roasted garlic oil and anchovy cream, and an Outer Banks ahi tuna with white beans, bacon, and tomato tarragon pan sauce.

7. Nazareth Bread Co and Restaurant

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4507 W Market St
Greensboro, NC 27407
(336) 285-6096
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This Middle Eastern bakery, grocery, and restaurant inside a former gym is one of Greensboro’s most underrated establishments. With the pandemic closure of beloved Jack’s Corner, Nazareth assumes the mantle as the best option for shawarma, gyros, kabobs, and falafel. The platters, which come with a meat choice like shish kabobs, pita and three sides, offer the most customization — ideally the tabouli, hummus, and Greek salad.

8. Sticks & Stones

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2200 Walker Ave
Greensboro, NC 27403
(336) 508-7750
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This casual-yet-classy pizza place has long been a hallmark of Greensboro’s dining scene. Located in the heart of the Lindley Park neighborhood and diagonally across from sister restaurant Fishbones (and adjacent to standouts Emma Keys and Lindley Park Filling Station), Sticks impresses with its pizzas named for Ryan Adams’ songs, including the walnut pesto and chicken Mockingbirdsing, fried eggplant and mushroom A Kiss Before I Go, and rich, unforgettable Let It Ride with shallot cream sauce, fried chicken, prosciutto, collards, and mozzarella. The salads and beer menu are also among the best in town.

Pizza at Sticks & Stones.
Sticks and Stones Clay Oven Pizza

9. Don Japanese

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423 Tate St
Greensboro, NC 27403

It may be across the street from UNC-Greensboro, but there’s nothing sophomoric about Don. The popular restaurant excels at Japanese and Korean dishes.. With three ramens, curry don katsu don, and a spread of rice-based entrees delivered in a hot stone bowl including the city’s best bibimbap, Don always brings a bit of comfort, especially when the temperature drops. It’s more relaxed and affordable than sister restaurant Sushi Republic, making it ideal for a quick solo lunch or a night out with friends.

10. Pho Hien Vuong

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4109 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27407
(336) 294-5551
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For more than a quarter century, the Hien Vuong family has wooed locals with a range of dishes from southeastern Vietnam. Known for its namesake pho, the restaurant cultivated such a dedicated fanbase that it took over the adjoining space to amass one of the city’s largest dining areas. Pho Hien Voung also offers regional favorites like chicken with Thai yellow curry and a vegetarian pad Thai that maintains the same level of excellence.

11. Dame's Chicken & Waffles

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301 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Greensboro, NC 27406
(336) 275-7333
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Originally from Durham, Damion “Dame” Moore’s restaurant quickly became a Greensboro staple. Plenty of restaurants offer fried chicken and waffles, but the juicy chicken cutlets, fluffy waffles, and accouterments here are unparalleled in central North Carolina, if not statewide. The Orange Speckled Chabo with its sweet potato waffle and orange-honeycomb spread, is popularly paired with sides of the spicy collard greens and luscious mac and cheese.

12. SouthEnd Brewing Co

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117B W Lewis St
Greensboro, NC 27406
(336) 285-6406
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Most Gate City breweries don’t serve prepared food of their own, instead relying on food trucks and other outside vendors. But SouthEnd Brewing, which filled a neighborhood void when Gibb’s Hundred Brewing moved out of the building, is a welcome exception. In addition to more predictable pub fare like brats and wings, the small kitchen at the back of the brewery sells tuna poke nachos, house-made falafel, and lobster bisque. The deeply gratifying maple brisket sandwich — with flavor-packed brisket, crispy onion straws, bacon, pepperjack, and a gooey egg — is enough to earn SouthEnd a spot on this list. The tart “Squarepants” pineapple mango gose is a delightful pairing.

13. Scrambled Southern Diner

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2417 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27403
(336) 285-6590
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Every Southern city needs a landmark diner, a place where customers can count on fluffy biscuits and memorable shrimp and grits. That’s exactly what Scrambled delivers, which matters even more since the longstanding Smith Street Diner shuttered. Here you can choose between country sausage, red eye, or vegan mushroom gravy for the biscuit and order fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese. Visitors should not miss the skillet options, which range from The Mariner, crab and lobster in sherry fondue, to the Three Little Pigs with pulled pork, country sausage, and bacon with black beans, and cheddar. Scrambled also excels with the crab cake Benedict and  corned beef hash, too.

14. Hops Burger Bar

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2419 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27403
(336) 235-2178
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In a city swarming with burger options, Hops stands above the rest. An instant hit with locals, its popularity exploded in 2015 after TripAdvisor named it as the “best burger restaurant” in the country. With two house-made vegan burgers and standouts like the Spicy Goat with goat cheese, pepper jelly, and bacon, Hops has something for everyone. Consider the rotating burger special and the truffle oil and parmesan fries.

Burger and side salad from Hops.
Burger and side salad from Hops.
Hops Burger bar

15. First Carolina Delicatessen

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1635 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27403
(336) 273-5564
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Opened in the middle of Reagan’s presidency, First Carolina is the region’s most charming and satisfying deli, save for sister restaurant Lox, Stock & Bagel. It’s known for classics like the  pastrami sandwich, bialy with nova lox, and the seemingly pedestrian yet delightful Arlington with smoked turkey and Havarti. The service is impeccable and warm, quickly making visitors feel at home.

The Sky Dog sandwich at First Carolina Delicatessen.
First Carolina Delicatessen

16. San Luis Restaurant

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1503 W Gate City Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27403
(336) 851-2158

It’s easy to find Mexican food in Greensboro, and every local has their own favorite spot. But there’s a reason the folks behind San Luis have been able to open two additional locations and sister restaurant Casa Vallarta. With large portions, lunch specials, and seemingly endless menu options including a range of vegetarian choices, San Luis is arguably the city’s standard bearer for Mexican food. San Luis offers consistency, large booths, and standouts like its caldo de pollo, carnitas tacos, and al pastor torta.

17. Banh Mi Saigon Sandwiches and Bakery

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3808 W Gate City Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27407
(336) 856-7667
Visit Website

Before banh mi became hip, this modest sandwich shop was cranking out remarkably flavorful curry chicken and a range of other baguette-based sandwiches. Options are more plentiful these days, but Banh Mi Saigon’s dominance is practically undisputed. The menu also includes a number of noodle and rice plates, bubble tea, and assorted desserts including taro pudding and Vietnamese honeycomb cake, but the affordable, mouthwatering banh mi remains the primary draw.

18. Stephanie's Restaurant II

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2507 Randleman Rd
Greensboro, NC 27406
(336) 389-1008
Visit Website

There’s a reason that then-candidate Barack Obama stopped at Stephanie’s during his 2008 presidential campaign — this soul food restaurant is a cultural institution. Nicki Minaj, DMX, and Richard Petty have also stopped by for hallmarks like the fried chicken quarter, catfish filet, grilled pork chops, candied yams, fried okra, and broccoli chicken and cheese casserole. It would be hard to leave hungry.

1. Cugino Forno Pizzeria

1160 Revolution Mill Dr, Greensboro, NC 27405

This Neapolitan-style pizzeria is one of Greensboro’s rare culinary exports. After its celebrated launch helped bring the former Revolution Mill complex in northeast Greensboro to life, Cugino Forno expanded to Winston-Salem, Clemmons, and now Durham. The Livorno with Italian sausage, buffalo mozzarella, and basil may be the best option, but there’s something to be said for enjoying a classic margherita at one of the wooden family-style tables, too.

1160 Revolution Mill Dr
Greensboro, NC 27405

2. Print Works Bistro

702 Green Valley Rd, Greensboro, NC 27408

Located inside the eco-friendly “greenest hotel in America,” Print Works is the best of the city’s legacy fine-dining options. The lavish, high-ceilinged space with flowing white curtains manages to avoid feeling stuffy, making it a favorite for anniversary dinners and graduation celebrations. The seasonal menu offers dishes like a seared scallop risotto with mushrooms, leeks, and goat cheese, but a more straightforward brunch menu is also worth the trip, especially on Print Works’ open-air patio.

702 Green Valley Rd
Greensboro, NC 27408

3. Machete

600 C Battleground Ave, Greensboro, NC 27401
Small plates of food.
A tasting menu from Machete.
Machete

Despite opening moments before the pandemic, Machete held on and quickly rocketed to the top of the Triad’s dining scene. Chefs Kevin Cottrell and Lydia Greene — expats from the late LaRue — came into their own at this New American restaurant. They just received a massive recognition to prove it: being named as a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant nationwide by the illustrious James Beard Awards. Customers can sit in the open (but covered) lounge area to try the spread of rotating small and large plates, which include items like a divine roasted cauliflower with brown butter and hazelnut, smoky king trumpet mushroom skewers, double-fried and massive crispy duck wings, and a pillowy olive oil toast topped with warm chocolate ganache.

600 C Battleground Ave
Greensboro, NC 27401

4. Bandito Bodega

1609 W Friendly Ave, Greensboro, NC 27403

Initially launched as a food truck, the compact Bandito Bodega is one of the city’s most inventive and compelling restaurants. The ever-changing menu relies on a range of Latin American and Asian ingredients, from choices like kimchi fried rice with miso sambal aioli to a beef birria quesadilla. Diners can’t go wrong at this deceptively casual counter.

1609 W Friendly Ave
Greensboro, NC 27403

5. Crafted The Art of the Taco

220 S Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27401

Kris Fuller may be the most well-known, recognizable chef in Greensboro. When her wildly popular taco joint first opened, few if any experimental dining options existed in the area. The success of items like the Big Truck tacos with pulled pork and mac and cheese catapulted Fuller to the forefront of the region’s culinary scene, setting her up to consult for restaurants like Hops and opening several more restaurants. The flagship downtown Crafted always remained the busiest, slinging tacos stuffed with everything from Nashville hot chicken to battered fish with roasted corn and cotija cheese.

220 S Elm St
Greensboro, NC 27401

6. ‘Cille and ‘Scoe

312 S Elm St, Greensboro, NC 27401

Named for owner and chef Sean Reaves’ grandparents Lucille and Roscoe, ‘Cille & ‘Scoe made its mark on the city’s dining scene within just a few months into operating. That’s not surprising considering that Reaves made his bones in some of the area’s most well-known restaurants, including Southern Roots, 1618 Midtown, and Green Valley Grill. Dubbed a “Southern eatery,” the restaurant reaches beyond the norm with plates like a Swedish meatball with homemade pasta, popcorn cauliflower with roasted garlic oil and anchovy cream, and an Outer Banks ahi tuna with white beans, bacon, and tomato tarragon pan sauce.

312 S Elm St
Greensboro, NC 27401

7. Nazareth Bread Co and Restaurant

4507 W Market St, Greensboro, NC 27407

This Middle Eastern bakery, grocery, and restaurant inside a former gym is one of Greensboro’s most underrated establishments. With the pandemic closure of beloved Jack’s Corner, Nazareth assumes the mantle as the best option for shawarma, gyros, kabobs, and falafel. The platters, which come with a meat choice like shish kabobs, pita and three sides, offer the most customization — ideally the tabouli, hummus, and Greek salad.

4507 W Market St
Greensboro, NC 27407

8. Sticks & Stones

2200 Walker Ave, Greensboro, NC 27403
Pizza at Sticks & Stones.
Sticks and Stones Clay Oven Pizza

This casual-yet-classy pizza place has long been a hallmark of Greensboro’s dining scene. Located in the heart of the Lindley Park neighborhood and diagonally across from sister restaurant Fishbones (and adjacent to standouts Emma Keys and Lindley Park Filling Station), Sticks impresses with its pizzas named for Ryan Adams’ songs, including the walnut pesto and chicken Mockingbirdsing, fried eggplant and mushroom A Kiss Before I Go, and rich, unforgettable Let It Ride with shallot cream sauce, fried chicken, prosciutto, collards, and mozzarella. The salads and beer menu are also among the best in town.

2200 Walker Ave
Greensboro, NC 27403

9. Don Japanese

423 Tate St, Greensboro, NC 27403

It may be across the street from UNC-Greensboro, but there’s nothing sophomoric about Don. The popular restaurant excels at Japanese and Korean dishes.. With three ramens, curry don katsu don, and a spread of rice-based entrees delivered in a hot stone bowl including the city’s best bibimbap, Don always brings a bit of comfort, especially when the temperature drops. It’s more relaxed and affordable than sister restaurant Sushi Republic, making it ideal for a quick solo lunch or a night out with friends.

423 Tate St
Greensboro, NC 27403

10. Pho Hien Vuong

4109 Spring Garden St, Greensboro, NC 27407

For more than a quarter century, the Hien Vuong family has wooed locals with a range of dishes from southeastern Vietnam. Known for its namesake pho, the restaurant cultivated such a dedicated fanbase that it took over the adjoining space to amass one of the city’s largest dining areas. Pho Hien Voung also offers regional favorites like chicken with Thai yellow curry and a vegetarian pad Thai that maintains the same level of excellence.

4109 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27407

11. Dame's Chicken & Waffles

301 Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Greensboro, NC 27406

Originally from Durham, Damion “Dame” Moore’s restaurant quickly became a Greensboro staple. Plenty of restaurants offer fried chicken and waffles, but the juicy chicken cutlets, fluffy waffles, and accouterments here are unparalleled in central North Carolina, if not statewide. The Orange Speckled Chabo with its sweet potato waffle and orange-honeycomb spread, is popularly paired with sides of the spicy collard greens and luscious mac and cheese.

301 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Greensboro, NC 27406

12. SouthEnd Brewing Co

117B W Lewis St, Greensboro, NC 27406

Most Gate City breweries don’t serve prepared food of their own, instead relying on food trucks and other outside vendors. But SouthEnd Brewing, which filled a neighborhood void when Gibb’s Hundred Brewing moved out of the building, is a welcome exception. In addition to more predictable pub fare like brats and wings, the small kitchen at the back of the brewery sells tuna poke nachos, house-made falafel, and lobster bisque. The deeply gratifying maple brisket sandwich — with flavor-packed brisket, crispy onion straws, bacon, pepperjack, and a gooey egg — is enough to earn SouthEnd a spot on this list. The tart “Squarepants” pineapple mango gose is a delightful pairing.

117B W Lewis St
Greensboro, NC 27406

13. Scrambled Southern Diner

2417 Spring Garden St, Greensboro, NC 27403

Every Southern city needs a landmark diner, a place where customers can count on fluffy biscuits and memorable shrimp and grits. That’s exactly what Scrambled delivers, which matters even more since the longstanding Smith Street Diner shuttered. Here you can choose between country sausage, red eye, or vegan mushroom gravy for the biscuit and order fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese. Visitors should not miss the skillet options, which range from The Mariner, crab and lobster in sherry fondue, to the Three Little Pigs with pulled pork, country sausage, and bacon with black beans, and cheddar. Scrambled also excels with the crab cake Benedict and  corned beef hash, too.

2417 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27403

14. Hops Burger Bar

2419 Spring Garden St, Greensboro, NC 27403
Burger and side salad from Hops.
Burger and side salad from Hops.
Hops Burger bar

In a city swarming with burger options, Hops stands above the rest. An instant hit with locals, its popularity exploded in 2015 after TripAdvisor named it as the “best burger restaurant” in the country. With two house-made vegan burgers and standouts like the Spicy Goat with goat cheese, pepper jelly, and bacon, Hops has something for everyone. Consider the rotating burger special and the truffle oil and parmesan fries.

2419 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27403

15. First Carolina Delicatessen

1635 Spring Garden St, Greensboro, NC 27403
The Sky Dog sandwich at First Carolina Delicatessen.
First Carolina Delicatessen

Opened in the middle of Reagan’s presidency, First Carolina is the region’s most charming and satisfying deli, save for sister restaurant Lox, Stock & Bagel. It’s known for classics like the  pastrami sandwich, bialy with nova lox, and the seemingly pedestrian yet delightful Arlington with smoked turkey and Havarti. The service is impeccable and warm, quickly making visitors feel at home.

1635 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27403

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16. San Luis Restaurant

1503 W Gate City Blvd, Greensboro, NC 27403

It’s easy to find Mexican food in Greensboro, and every local has their own favorite spot. But there’s a reason the folks behind San Luis have been able to open two additional locations and sister restaurant Casa Vallarta. With large portions, lunch specials, and seemingly endless menu options including a range of vegetarian choices, San Luis is arguably the city’s standard bearer for Mexican food. San Luis offers consistency, large booths, and standouts like its caldo de pollo, carnitas tacos, and al pastor torta.

1503 W Gate City Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27403

17. Banh Mi Saigon Sandwiches and Bakery

3808 W Gate City Blvd, Greensboro, NC 27407

Before banh mi became hip, this modest sandwich shop was cranking out remarkably flavorful curry chicken and a range of other baguette-based sandwiches. Options are more plentiful these days, but Banh Mi Saigon’s dominance is practically undisputed. The menu also includes a number of noodle and rice plates, bubble tea, and assorted desserts including taro pudding and Vietnamese honeycomb cake, but the affordable, mouthwatering banh mi remains the primary draw.

3808 W Gate City Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27407

18. Stephanie's Restaurant II

2507 Randleman Rd, Greensboro, NC 27406

There’s a reason that then-candidate Barack Obama stopped at Stephanie’s during his 2008 presidential campaign — this soul food restaurant is a cultural institution. Nicki Minaj, DMX, and Richard Petty have also stopped by for hallmarks like the fried chicken quarter, catfish filet, grilled pork chops, candied yams, fried okra, and broccoli chicken and cheese casserole. It would be hard to leave hungry.

2507 Randleman Rd
Greensboro, NC 27406

Related Maps