Vacation rentals are fun, and it can be extra economical to stay in and cook but, let’s face it – you’re on vacation! While the Lake Lure and Chimney Rock area is not necessarily known for its cuisine (like Asheville), that doesn’t mean there aren’t some really great restaurants and bars. There are plenty of places for dining in the Lake Lure area. We’ve tried a bunch of the local fare and have trimmed down the list to our favorites, and we have tried to limit our list to places that really are close-by. Got questions? Feel free to contact us.
LAKEHOUSE RESTAURANT (FORMALLY LARKINS ON THE LAKE).
This is a well-established classic and one of the best places for dining in the Lake Lure area. Take a pontoon boat and enjoy lunch on their deck or drive over and have dinner (rental boats are not allowed on the lake after dark). Larkin’s offers great drink selections and a hearty menu ranging from prime ribs to grilled trout and burgers. They have enough room to seat large groups, and a kids menu to satisfy picky eaters. This is a classic on Lake Lure and worth a visit for sure.
LA STRADA AT LAKE LURE
La Strada is a classic Italian restaurant with something special for everyone – including baked and sautéed pasta, NY-style and Sicilian pizza, baby back ribs, fresh seafood, chicken, burgers, salads, and steak. The menu also includes a children’s section. Their pizza is fantastic, and the restaurant is adept at handling large groups of people. We actually have a long-standing tradition on Friday Nights. We start at the Hickory Nut George Brewery. When we order our beers, we also call in some pizzas to go. By the time we finish our beers, we are right on time to go pick up the pizzas and take them back to the cottage. Good times!
THE VERANDA AT THE INN
The Veranda is located inside The 1927 Lake Lure Inn. This is definitely more of a white table cloth type of experience, and also note that they are often closed on the weekends for wedding parties. On Sunday they offer their ‘Prime Rib Brunch Buffet’ with a ton of different stations, from the fresh carving table to salads, fruits, and pastries.
READY TO BOOK YOUR VACATION?
MEDINA’S VILLAGE BISTRO
Medina’s is a hidden gem in Chimney Rock. It is a small bistro, but everything they cook is freshly made with locally sourced ingredients. Do not leave without getting one of their famous cinnamon rolls! They have an absolutely incredible breakfast, but you’ve got to get there early – they stop serving breakfast by 10:15.
THE ESMERALDA INN
This is one of the best restaurants in the area, in a great location. Chef Keith Chinn has created a fantastic menu, and they’ve got a great wine list to go with it. This is generally for smaller parties as the dining room isn’t well set up for large groups. If you want to try something really special, ask for the Chef’s Table experience. You will be seated at a small table adjacent to the kitchen. You can watch the hustle and bustle while Chef Keith waits on you personally, creating your menu from scratch right before your eyes. A really fun experience!
HICKORY NUT GORGE BREWERY
This is our local brewery. I will admit that, from the front, it does not look like much. However, once you step out onto their back deck, you’ll never want to drink beer anywhere else! They are situated right above the Rocky Broad River with an incredible view up and down the river. They’ve got a great selection of rotating taps and a kitchen that adds some fun and easy bar treats to the mix. A really fun place to grab a few beers.
Burnt Shirt Vineyard
Right across the street from the Hickory Nut George Brewery is the Burnt Shirt Vineyard tasting room and bistro. They offer wine tastings or wine by the glass, and they actually have a full dinner menu. This place is ready for large groups, but I’d call ahead for a reservation during the peak season. They have an incredible view of Chimney Rock, and the building itself has an bright and open design.