10 Best Places to Eat in Cherokee

by | Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Cherokee NC is about a 40 minute drive from the Nantahala River and a great place to spend some time and still be close enough for a white water rafting trip with Carolina Outfitters. Enjoy breakfast before a rafting trip, then have lunch or dinner at one of the 10 best places to eat in Cherokee. We are sure you’ll find something that will satisfy your hunger for a scrumptious meal!

Granny’s Kitchen

front building of grannys-kitchen-cherokee-north-carolina

Since 1984, Granny’s Kitchen in Cherokee has been serving southern dishes to locals and tourists alike. If you can’t get Mama’s or Granny’s cooking at home, head to Granny’s Kitchen for all your favorite foods, including biscuits & sausage gravy on their country breakfast buffet, roast beef, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and so much more for lunch and dinner. Click on the link above and head on over to see their full menu! Granny’s Kitchen one of the 10 best places to eat in Cherokee.  


All Fried Up

All Fried Up sign

All Fried Up is the second on our list of 10 best restaurants to eat in Cherokee and features fried fish, fried chicken, seafood and more served with a variety of sides, including Mac-n-Cheese, pinto beans, and potato salad. If you’re craving something fried, this is the place to eat. All Fried Up is a local hotspot with a family atmosphere and great service. Occasionally, their menu options explore the history of southern cooking. Hungry? Drop in and feed your soul with southern food and southern hospitality.  


Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles

Peters Pancakes sign in cherokee

If you like to sleep in while on vacation, Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles is a breakfast/brunch restaurant serving tasty American cuisine that is sure to have you coming back again and again. Prices won’t empty your wallet either. From their ham and biscuits to waffles and pancakes to steak and eggs, everyone in your family is sure to find something they’ll love. They’re open until 2 p.m. 7 days a week. Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles, a breakfast to crow about on our list of 10 best places to eat in Cherokee, NC> 


Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Sign of Ruth's Chris Steak House

In 1965, Ruth Fertel started the Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and it continues to offer one of the best dining experiences in the world. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is an upscale restaurant inside Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Resort. No wearing flip-flops and shorts here! It’s the place to celebrate special occasions or just to have a night out somewhere fancy with a chance to dress up for dinner. They offer premium steaks with top-notch culinary and hospitality training and a special place on our list of 10 best places to eat in Cherokee. 

Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant

sign of Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant

Looking for food with menu options a little further south? Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant serves traditional Mexican cuisine made from family recipes that go back decades. Family owned and operated, they serve the best tasting authentic Mexican food and make you feel at home while dining out in one of the 10 best places to eat in Cherokee. Check out their menu to see what delicious dishes they serve!


Firehouse Subs Saunooke Village

two sandwich subs from firehouse subs in cherokee

Some days you just need a sub sandwich piled high with meats, cheeses, and veggies. Listed on our 10 best places to eat in Cherokee, Firehouse Subs at Saunooke Village serves what you’re craving. You can order online too! Got an event coming up? They do catering with at least a day’s notice to prepare delicious subs from the smallest events to the biggest events. Try their new King’s Hawaiian Pork & Slaw sandwich! Yum!

Grounded. Coffee Shop & Food Factory

front grey building with wood trim of grounded coffee shop in cherokee nc

Grounded. Coffee Shop & Food Factory is a great place for coffee and food! The menu includes sandwiches (comes with one seasonal side dish), salads, pizza and more. They also serve breakfast with a variety of croissant sandwiches. Their coffee comes in hot drinks, cold drinks, and specialty lattes. Grounded. Coffee Shop & Food Factory is a good alternative to a fast food lunch on our list of 10 best places to eat in Cherokee.  


Mabel’s Kitchen

outside of Mabels Kitchen in Cherokee.

Mabel’s Kitchen is another downhome southern restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, all made from scratch, until 2:00 p.m. If you remember eating breakfast at your granny’s, then Mabel’s Kitchen will take you on a trip down memory lane. They serve up homemade piping hot biscuits and gravy, pancakes, country ham and more on huge platters with names like Mabel’s Big Breakfast Platter and Herbert’s Huge Pancake Breakfasts that are sure to fill you up. 


Kobe Express

grey building with Kobe Express sign in cherokee NC

Kobe Express is a sushi, hibachi & grill Japanese restaurant that will feed your appetite for Asian food. You can dine in or carry out or order from their drive-thru. Their prices are reasonable and their menu consists of entrees, combination platters, soups, and side orders. Dine in and enjoy the hibachi show!


BJ’s Diner

BJs Diner building with picnic tables by the river in Cherokee NC

BJ’s Diner is another great alternative to traditional fast food and a local favorite in Cherokee, North Carolina. The Bubba Burger, bacon double cheeseburger, with double patty, double cheese, double bacon, and all the fixings, is a crowd pleaser. Burgers are served with crinkle fries, onion rings, or potato chips for an additional charge. You can also get a plain hotdog or have it ATW (all the way: chili, slaw, mustard & onion)!

Carolina Outfitters hope you find a dining experience worth texting back home about. The 10 best places to eat in Cherokee list above is a great place to start. Book a white water rafting trip with us, then go feed your appetite with some great food and friendly southern hospitality. 

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


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