10 Best Places to Eat in Bryson City

by | Bryson City, Nantahala River

Food. It’s one of the greatest pleasures to partake in while on vacation. You don’t need to worry about dieting, cholesterol, fat intake, and whatever else you worry about when it comes to food. Vacation is a get-out-of-food-jail-free-for-all. So, have at it! You know you’ll be hungry after a fun-filled day rafting down the Nantahala River. Carolina Outfitters white water rafting inhaled the heady aromas and tasted through a list of restaurant meals and picked 10 best places to eat in Bryson City that we absolutely love and think you will too. After all, who doesn’t love food, especially at an exceptional restaurant?

Everett Street Diner

everett stree diner sign on grey brick building with blue awning in bryson city nc

Everett Street Diner has been serving delicious downhome, country style meals for over 20 years. It’s the go-to-place for biscuits and gravy made the way Granny made it. It’s so good, you’ll think you woke up to breakfast in your grandma’s kitchen! Breakfast isn’t all they serve. Lunch is awesome, too. You’ll find a variety of sandwiches, burgers, fish, soups & salads, desserts, and plenty of great sides to choose from to round out your meals for breakfast and lunch. 


Jimmy Mac’s

motorcycle parked outside jimmy mac's restaurant in bryson city nc

Jimmy Mac’s is a family friendly all-American grill serving lunch, dinner, and takeout. They specialize in hand cut steaks, seafood, pasta, the best burgers in Bryson City, and more. They began their restaurant in Florida in 1978 and continued to offer fresh food and fair prices when they arrived in North Carolina. Give them a try, but check for days they are open, so you won’t be disappointed. (828) 488-4700.


CJ’s Grille

CJ's Grille sign at night in bryson city. Welcome bikers banner on outdoor porch

CJ’s Grille was once visited by Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon, y’all! How’s the food, though? CJ’s serves up tasty burgers, wings, and sandwiches. The staff are friendly and their service is high quality. They offer craft beers, gin and wine. It’s a good place to eat after coming off your train ride with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. We can’t speak for Kevin Bacon, but we imagine he would agree!


Derailed (Anthony’s Pizza)

anthony's pizza bryson city sign, with twinkle lights on porch

Anthony’s main specialty is their artisan pizzas, but they serve a variety of Italian food from baked lasagna to spaghetti and meatballs. Just standing outside this restaurant will make your mouth water. They also serve hand-shaped patties made with 1/2 lb premium Angus ground beef served on a toasted brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, and onion. 


Pasqualino’s Italian Restaurant

outside pasqualino's italian restaurant in bryson city. two large cartoon statues of italian chefs with benches.

Pasqualino’s Italian Restaurant has been called one of the best places for Italian food in Bryson City. Their pizzas are hand-thrown and they serve a variety of Italian food for lunch and dinner from fettuccini alfredo to spaghetti and lasagna. They even serve rib-eye steak all in a friendly atmosphere you’re sure to love.


Guayabitos Mexican Restaurant

inside guayabitos mexican restaurant in bryson city with red booths and banners on the ceiling

Guayabitos is a family owned, authentic Mexican restaurant serving food daily in two locations. Maggie Valley and Bryson City, North Carolina. Their Mexican fare is hot and fresh with friendly service. They even have seafood and vegetarian options. If you have a taste for Mexican food, stop in and eat at Guayabitos.


Iron Wok

inside iron wok restaurant in bryson city. orange walls with tables

The Iron Wok specializes in Pan-Asian cuisine from soups to sides. Pan-Asian is not only traditional Chinese food but Asian food from other countries including Thailand, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam fused together to make a delicious dish that will have you wanting more. You can also get carryout orders to take with you on the go. 


The Bistro at the Everett Hotel

blue skys behind everett hotel and bistro black awnings on red brick building next to courthouse in bryson city, nc

The Bistro is pretty much a reservation only restaurant unless you’re a guest at The Everett Hotel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a reservation; just call a week in advance. They serve Open Range Meatloaf (a savory blend of four regionally sourced specialty meats), Creole Shrimp & Grits, Petite Filet Mignon, and more. Call for reservations: 828-488-1976.

4 Queens Mexican Grill

4 Queens Mexican Grill tacos, dinner plates

4 Queens Mexican Grill serves authentic Mexican food in a relaxing, friendly environment. They have beef, chicken, and vegetarian options with outdoor seating overlooking the Tuckasegee River. Bring the whole family, they have something for everyone. 


Boxcar Cafe and Cones

boxcar cafe Z& cones green awning with red brick building in bryson city nc

Boxcar Cafe and Cones serves food from appetizers to ice cream. They offer delicious and fresh salads, fully loaded specialty burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, wraps, and their legendary chili cheese fries. For dessert they offer hand-scooped ice cream and fresh baked goods (whole or by the slice). Sounds yummy to us!


Bonus Favorite Eats – Food Trucks

Food trucks are a fast convenient way to grab a bite to eat, and some have amazing food!

The Rice Wagon

green and grey food truck of The Rice Wagon. parked in bryson city, nc

The Rice Wagon specializes in Hawaiian / Asian Fusion food and is one of our favorites! They are at  Mountain Layers Brewing in Bryson City every day from 12-8 p.m. and Innovation Brewing in Dillsboro, North Carolina on Tuesdays 5-8 p.m. Check out their Facebook page for menu options!


Big Laurel Food Truck

Big Laurel blue food truck in bryson city nc

Another good food truck is at Bryson City Outdoors. The Big Laurel Food Truck offers a variety of burger options, kids menu, nachos, and bacon cheese fries! It’s a great place for a quick and delicious bite to eat before you head out for more adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina.

Whatever you’re hungry for, Bryson City, North Carolina has it in one of their many restaurants and food trucks! From Asian to seafood and everything in between, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your craving after a fun adventure on the Nantahala River with Carolina Outfitters white water rafting!

Book now for an awesome day of white water and food!


Margaret Marr, is a local author of paranormal, mystery, and suspense laced with romance. She has written over 15 books available on Amazon. 


From the Blog

Our Posts

5 Best Places to Stay in Cherokee

5 Best Places to Stay in Cherokee

Vacation time is when you don’t have to make the beds, vacuum the carpet, sweep the floor, or cook (well, if you stay at an AirBnB you might have to...

NC Barn Quilt Trail

NC Barn Quilt Trail

In the good old days, as the elders are wont to say, families would pile into their vehicles and go for a Sunday drive after church. It was a chance...

Our Favorite 10 Waterfalls

Our Favorite 10 Waterfalls

Gazing upon a waterfall calms the mind and puts you at peace with the world. The roar of water as it cascades over the rocks releases power as it...