Located in a former drugstore that retains its old-fashioned soda fountain counter, this eclectic eatery serves a dynamic fusion of Caribbean and Mexican fare in a laid-back atmosphere on Main Street in the mountain town of Sylva. Menu includes tapas, full plates, and brunch on the weekends. Tapas start at $3, full plates at $13.95.
606 W. Main St., Sylva. 828-586-9877, www.guadalupecafe.com.
Housed in a rustic wooden barn between Cashiers and Sapphire, this is elegant multicourse, mountain-casual dining at its finest with a fixed-price menu. Many of the ingredients come from the gardens outside the kitchen door. $68 for a four-course dinner.
150 Lonesome Valley Road, Sapphire. 828-743-7967, lonesomevalley.com/cashiers-nc-restaurant.
Laughing Seed Cafe
This long-standing vegetarian and vegan restaurant downtown serves a wide array of international fare that you would never know was meatless unless somebody told you. Dinner entrees start at $13, small plates at $7.
40 Wall St., Asheville. 828-252-3445, laughingseed.com.
Jinks Creek Waterfront Grille
This waterfront establishment on Ocean Isle Beach (next to Holden Beach) serves gourmet Lowcountry-style fare along with traditional fresh seafood classics. There’s a Tiki bar deck overlooking the creek and marsh. Dinner entrees start at $17, seafood baskets, $9.99, platters, $15.99.
14 Causeway Drive, Ocean Isle Beach. 910-579-9997, www.facebook.com/jinkscreek.
Sweet Potatoes (well shut my mouth!!)
Yes, that’s the full legal name of this restaurant in the Downtown Arts District (DADA) of Winston-Salem. Down-home Southern cuisine for lunch and dinner and a popular Sunday brunch. Dinner entrees start at $12.59.
607 N. Trade St., Winston-Salem. 336-727-4844, www.sweetpotatoes.ws.
IN OTHER TRAVEL NEWS: