Salisbury Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Salisbury

April 15, 2018 Jeremy Dunfee

Salisbury (/ˈsɔːlzbəri/ SAWLZ-bə-ree) is a city in North Carolina and the county seat of Rowan County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 33,663 in the 2010 Census (growing 27.8% from the previous Census in 2000). Salisbury is the home to famed North Carolina soft drink, Cheerwine, regional supermarket Food Lion, and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. It is one of only two cities in North Carolina to have gigabit capacity through its municipally-owned broadband system Fibrant. A press conference held September 3, 2015 at Catawba College announced Salisbury's Fibrant system is now capable of 10 gigabit capacity town-wide; believed to be the only town owned system in the world with this capacity.
Things to do in Salisbury

1. Spanky's Homemade Ice Cream

101 N Main St, Salisbury, NC 28144-4304 Takeout, Seating American Lunch
Excellent
66%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 58 reviews

Spanky's Homemade Ice Cream

Reviewed By Caytoncristy - New Bern, North Carolina

Oh my gracious...that maple bacon ice cream was fabulous...worth the 4+ hours it took to get here...service couldn't have been more warm and welcoming. Ice cream was spoon bending thick...made me long for that wooden ice cream spoon of my childhood...thanks for being SO wonderful to my rambunctious 3-year old train loving Thomas fan.

2. Sabaidee Thai & Sushi Bar

2204 S Main St, Salisbury, NC 28147-1303 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Sushi, Asian, Thai, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 704-637-0111
Excellent
82%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 162 reviews

Sabaidee Thai & Sushi Bar

Reviewed By jmay336 - Tualatin, Oregon

Great food. Our daughter took us there while visiting over the holidays. We enjoyed it so much we went back 2 nights later for dinner again.
Really, really enjoyed the Crab Rangoon appetizer. I could eat them full time. Wife enjoyed the Massaman Curry and I enjoyed everything I ate. What a treat to be introduced to this restaurant. We will return on our next visit.
Location is not prime city center dining but is worth finding. Just follow signs towards the airport off Jake Alexander Blvd. It is just past the first signal light in a small strip mall. Interior is neat with the finest seating ever in a restaurant is available. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

3. Koko Java

329 N Main St, Salisbury, NC 28144-4301 Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible Breakfast +1 704-630-1145
Excellent
84%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 34 reviews

Koko Java

Reviewed By NCJim397 - Zebulon, North Carolina

Art and Berta own this fantastic quaint coffee shop in downtown Salisbury. The coffee choices are good and there are extras for folks who do not enjoy a good java--teas, smoothies, etc. Additionally, there are pastries and a few healthier options. It is truly a good place to visit when in the area!

4. Mambo Grill & Tapas

122 E Fisher St, Salisbury, NC 28144-4906 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Television, Highchairs Available, Free Wifi Caribbean, Latin, Cuban, Spanish, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks SGD 8 - SGD 31 +1 704-637-0192
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 152 reviews

Mambo Grill & Tapas

Family recipes make Mambo Grill & Tapas about as authentic as you can get. From pork, beef, chicken or seafood there is something to delight everyone's taste buds. Starting off in a small shopping center as a small buffet style restaurant, Mambo has grown to full sit down restaurant with over 160 seats. With our move to Downtown Salisbury, Mambo merged together with its lounge to offer a large array of craft beer and cocktails. We are proud to now serve 20 craft beers on tap from our custom designed beer cooler and draft system.

Reviewed By Gene K - Salisbury, North Carolina

Not only is the food good, but service always is friendly and efficient. A very good craft beer selection, including many on draft, enhances the meal. If you sit on the upper level, you have good people watching opportunities while eating.

5. Hap's Grill

116 1/2 N Main St, Salisbury, NC 28144-4336 Takeout American, Fast Food Lunch +1 704-633-5872
Excellent
71%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 204 reviews

Hap's Grill

Reviewed By Rod L

Stopped in for hot dogs and hamburgers today, plus Cheerwine. They are good. Beautiful day to stand and eat at the outside table. Met new folks and the hot dogs and cheeseburger was very good. Worth the stop anytime you are in the area. Went a little out of the way today to introduce my friend to Haps and she loved it. Enjoy

6. El Patron Mexican Grill & Cantina

1030 Freeland Dr Ste 105, Salisbury, NC 28144-5176 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations Mexican, Southwestern, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 7 - SGD 26 +1 704-636-5300
Excellent
66%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 198 reviews

El Patron Mexican Grill & Cantina

El Patron Mexican Grill is a family owned and operated business, we strive to make your visit with us very personable and pleasant we use fresh ingredients and top quality meats hoping to become one of your favorite places to eat.

Reviewed By Ashley H

My family of 9 visited on a Friday night around 6:30pm and the food not only took forever but came out all wrong and mostly inedible. One steak order was essentially beef jerky. The jumbo shrimp and tiny! The waitress apologized but it was obviously the kitchens fault and the entire place seemed to have an issue with lack of management. It’s upsetting because this used to be our go to place when in town for the past couple years. We will not be back.

7. The Smoke Pit

117 E Innes St, Salisbury, NC 28144-5098 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Highchairs Available American, Barbecue, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 704-754-8336
Excellent
72%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 108 reviews

The Smoke Pit

Reviewed By Norma F - St. Petersburg, Florida

We did family key style braised tips, ribs and beef BBQ with sides of bean, potatoe salad and sweet potatoes tots. Very little left to take home. They close at 9 on Friday night. We arrived at 8:45 and we're seated and ordered quickly. Our waitress was fast and our service was awesome. Can't wait to have the tips which are my favorite. The BBQ sauces are excellent.

8. Go Burrito

115 W Fisher St, Salisbury, NC 28144-4933 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Television Mexican, Southwestern, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 7 - SGD 13 +1 704-754-4577
Excellent
62%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 141 reviews

Go Burrito

We're a small but popular burrito joint offering up fresh food, craft beer, and nightlife with a scenic view. We're from California and it shows in our food, with offerings like a San Diego Burrito (with steak, guac, and french fries) and fish taco Tuesdays. We have an upstairs bar with karaoke and live music, and head up one more flight to the only rooftop bar and dining within 50 miles. Come check us out and we'll do everything we can to make us your new favorite hang out!

Reviewed By radishmom - Gainesville, FL, USA

This counter service restaurant seems to do brisk business most hours of the day (I'm told the rooftop bar becomes quite the place later in the evening). However, this is about dinnertime, and burritos. They're good -- skip the chains. However, that brisk business means that seating is tough to come by at peak times -- have a "plan B" for where to take your dinner if there's no seats.

9. Chef Santos

123 E Fisher St, Salisbury, NC 28144-4905 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Italian, American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Lunch +1 704-637-7144
Excellent
79%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 106 reviews

Chef Santos

Reviewed By citadel76

Oh my! The Crystal Scallops were the best scallops I've ever eaten. The avocado sauce, yes avocado sauce, was light and wonderful. Others had filet au poivre and reported it to be excellent. Both very reasonably priced. Starting salads were just ok. The wines are almost too inexpensive and served in very large pours. Took the cheesecake home to my wife. Tonight I am revisiting....with her. Truly good Italian food.

10. Ivan's Restaurant

2024 Old Mocksville Rd, Salisbury, NC 28144-9068 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Television American, Steakhouse, Gluten Free Options Dinner SGD 26 - SGD 52 +1 704-637-2000
Excellent
73%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 142 reviews

Ivan's Restaurant

Fine Dining in a Relaxed and Casual Atmosphere

Reviewed By RobandKrishna

Every time we visit Ivan's, it's like coming home. Tonight, Mark provided us with excellent service, a warm smile and great food. The entire staff makes us feel like we are eating with friends. Thank you, Mark for another wonderful meal served with excellence!

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