Best Comfort Food in Winston Salem, NC

Catering to the tastes for homemade creations, Winston Salem is home to a number of well-established eateries that are known for their comfort food menus.

Defining comfort food, especially in the American South, is more about trying to describe the familiar smells and tastes of fried chicken, lasagna, or some other dish that brings back memories of a dinner table where all of the servings represented made-from-scratch endeavors in grandma’s kitchen. As in all North Carolina towns and cities, Winston Salem is home to a number of comfort food restaurants that are packed with hungry customers during peak serving times. Many of these restaurants are open on holidays like Thanksgiving.

K & W Cafeteria

K & W is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012. When K & W opened in 1937, a slice of pie cost ten cents, and the most expensive seafood dish – Shrimps Ala Newburg, was seventy-five cents. Prices have gone up but an entree, salad, bread, two vegetables, and ice tea represent one of the least expensive lunches or dinners in town.

With three Winston Salem locations as well as the new, smaller “café” concept, K & W features dozens of daily entrees, salads, bread, and homemade desserts. K & W Cafeterias on Healy Drive and Hanes Mill Road also serve breakfast. The restaurants are open on Thanksgiving, featuring a full Turkey dinner with stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, two vegetables, a “scratch-made dessert,” and ice tea for $6.99 per person.

K & W Cafeterias are located at 800 E. Hanes Mill Road, 3300 Healy Drive, 3169 Peters Creek Parkway, and 6300 Amp Drive in Clemmons off the I-40 exit. K & W also offers take-out orders and group catering. K & W Cafeterias are highly affordable and many of the popular entrees are offered on different days of the week, allowing for a wide array of choices.

Mama Zoe’s

MamaZoe’s front window sign states “Where Friends and Family Meet to Eat!” Located at 2859 Reynolda Road in a strip mall behind Bank of America, MamaZoe’s tables are always filled and with good reason. The menu includes the very best in comfort food like chicken pot pie, meatloaf, roast turkey, grilled chicken livers, house specials, and seafood. MamaZoe serves dishes not found elsewhere such as “Greek-style” green beans and stuffed pepper soup.

MamaZoe’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and gives a student discount to Wake Forest University students. Service is prompt and the staff is highly attentive, ready to refill ice teas and coffee cups without being called to the table. Although more expensive than K & W Cafeteria, prices are affordable and family-friendly, especially if ordering one of the daily specials. Portions are generous. MamaZoe’s is the kind of eatery where patrons gravitate toward one or two specific items they have come to enjoy but regret not being able to order everything on the menu.

Other Noteworthy Comfort Food Restaurants

It’s easy to find a restaurant that is known for delicious comfort food in Winston Salem. These include:

  • Cagney’s at 2201 Cloverdale Avenue, on the corner of Cloverdale and Miller a few blocks from Baptist Hospital
  • Cloverdale Kitchen at 2251 Cloverdale Avenue in the Cloverdale shopping center
  • 4 Way Restaurant located in the Reynolda Manor shopping center at 2804 Reynolda Road
  • Carriage House on Stratford Road one block south of Hanes Mall; known for the relish tray appetizer as well as seafood, Italian, and Greek specialties
  • Omega House on Peters Creek Parkway at the Link Road intersection; open 24-hours, including holidays like Thanksgiving
  • Café Arthur’s on the corner of Hawthorne and Magnolia Street; Greek specialties, Italian, soups, salads, and breakfast
  • Moose Cafe, although not in Winston Salem, is on the grounds of the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market in Colfax on Sandy Ridge Road off the I-40 exit; Moose Cafe features a superb Friday night “fish fry” and is open on Thanksgiving.

All of the restaurants have websites detailing menu offerings and daily specials.

Whether gorging on a bowl of rich, homemade vegetable soup, a slice of fruit cobbler, or mac-and-cheese the way grandma used to make it, comfort food abounds in Winston Salem, North Carolina.


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