NC Mom and Pop Restaurants: The Best Home Cooking Statewide


Home Cooking. You know the term. So, maybe you haven’t had much of an opportunity since making the move to the South Lakes new home community to discover “local home cooking.” There are plenty of amazing restaurant options we have discussed right there in Fuquay-Varina. However, at some point you certainly will want to explore a bit and lets say “get a taste of some Southern hospitality.” Another term that used across NC in place of “home cooking,” is a “mom and pop” restaurant. Just to give you a head start on exactly where you will want to plan out your trips to sample the best NC Mom and Pop Restaurants statewide, we have compiled an easy to follow list for you below.

Now obviously, we have discussed the ideal location of your new hometown, Fuquay-Varina. We have looked at its centralized location that makes many places, landmarks, and stops only a day trip away. In some cases, even less. Likewise, some of these NC Mom and Pop Restaurants are a bit of a distance from the South Lakes community., However, we are sure that over time, your decision to visit each of them will be approved with a thumb’s up and a satisfied appetite.

NC Mom and Pop Restaurants for Some ” Home Cooking”

Ok, ok, now, don’t be deceived by that headline. We understand that nearly all of these NC Mom and Pop Restaurants could be described as featuring “home cooking.” However, in this category what we will detail is those big, hearty plates of comforting goodness that really can’t just be described as having one or two specialties. So, really the best way we could think to describe was….well, you know, and if you don’t, just take a read and you’ll understand.

Mike’s Farm and Country Store, Beulaville, NC

Many refer to Mike’s Farm and Country Store as a “one-of-a-kind” dining experience. Now, how does one say no to that? They don’t if they are looking for one of the top NC Mom and Pop Restaurants. Southern hospitality is on display at its finest with the great service here and the huge, family-style portions of every type of down-home hearty meal your heart desires is waiting for you here. Mike’s is even located directly on the family’s own farmland.

Hillbilly Hideaway, Walnut Cove, NC

Just by the name, before you hear of or see the delicious offerings here, this place screams “home cooking” at the top of its lungs. This NC Mom and Pop Restaurant is actually inside a real log cabin. Once again, the portion size at the Hillbilly Hideaway is enormous and they have such favorites as country ham, and fried fish or chicken. Don’t forget to try and at least save a little room, as the “Hideaway” is also known for its made from scratch desserts, too.

Lip Smackin’ and Finger-Lickin’ Fried Chicken at North Carolina Mom and Pop Restaurants

Fried chicken you will come to find, regardless of what sides it is served with can be the feature at many NC Mom and Pop Restaurants. With these next couple “joints” having the name of the bird right on their marquee outside, tells you that they are serving up some delicious home-cooked poultry.

The Chicken Hut, Durham, NC

For over six decades, the Durham and surrounding community have been enjoying the delicious fried chicken from the areas favorite NC Mom and Pop Restaurant, the Chicken Hut. As much as the crispy and delightful chicken packs them in here, their fantastic sides including a killer macaroni and cheese and their signature collard greens

Dame’s Chicken and Waffles, Durham, NC

Well, maybe since both our “chicken entries” are based very near your new home in Fuquay Varina in the city of Durham, you will have the opportunity to try both of these out for size. We are pretty certain you will love each North Carolina Mom and Pop Restaurant for their own specialties. Dame’s, just as the name states has become a state landmark for its once unique delicacy of a combo, chicken, and waffles. The ambiance and atmosphere here are also a huge selling point, bringing new meaning to the term “regulars.” Either way, if its fried chicken you have a hankering for, heading just up the road to Durham is a safe bet that you’ll get some of the tastiest around.

Fresh, Fried, or Festive: NC Mom and Pop Restaurants with Great Seafood Options

Any list of NC Mom and Pop Restaurants at some point should mention a fresh, fried seafood option or two. Well, we have our list here for you. Likewise, here are our options for some good ol’ fashioned seafood choices.

Ella’s Seafood Restaurant, Calabash, NC

A cozy laid back atmosphere set right on the gorgeous coast of NC. Where could possibly be a better place for an authentic North Carolina Mom and Pop Restaurant? How about if they were serving up fresh and delicious seafood? Well, I can answer that for you…nowhere would be better. Ella’s is renowned for its fried “fishy goodness” and one-stop through and we are sure you will believe.

Freshwaters, Charlotte, NC

Ok, ok, so this isn’t strictly for seafood. But this North Carolina Mom and Pop Restaurant does feature some delicious choices in seafood. This casual, family-owned stop also accounts for the “festive” that you read in the heading here. This is due to the Southern, New Orleans-style cuisine served up at Freshwaters. Complete with jazz music, fried catfish, homemade cornbread. Freshwaters is basically all things “Big Easy.” That description alone screams that when the opportunity arises, you don’t want to pass.

Throw it Back to the 1950’s with a Burger and Fries at a NC Mom and Pop Restaurant Drive-In

Equally as glaring an omission as the aforementioned seafood type restaurant would have been is some type of classic throwback burger joint. Well, say no more, as this final restaurant on our list will take you back to the days of waiters on roller skates and window speakers for the car.

Johnson’s Drive-In Restaurant, Siler City, NC

Grab a seat right at the counter. Listen to the sizzle of the grill. Take a whiff of the grilled and fried goodness in the air at this NC Mom and Pop Restaurant. Johnson’ Drive-In actually prides itself on after a few visits remembering all their customers’ names. If you want the house favorite and specialty burger, the Velveeta Cheeseburger comes highly recommended, but really there is no burger here that you could go wrong with.

Getting adjusted with the lifestyle and local customs here in North Carolina can take some time. But, considering you know reside in Fuquay at the South Lakes neighborhood, you have plenty of time. So there is no rush, but at some point be sure to enjoy these things.

The choice is yours. Whether to hit these NC Mom and Pop Restaurants in one big swoop. In that case you better have a HUGE appetite, though. Likewise, you can plan to get out to each individual stop when time permits. Either way, one thing is for sure. That’s the old fashioned home cooking at each. Thus, anytime you make it, you are the winner.

For more information on South Lakes Living and the location of Fuquay Varina, visit the official website here.