It's no secret that when it comes to eating in the High Country, Boone is home to some of the best local joints that always satisfy your cravings. However, with there being so many great options, sometimes it can be hard to narrow it down, especially if this is your first year experiencing everything that Appalachian State has to offer. To make it easier for you, I put together a little guide to lead you to the best places for all App State students to eat. You're welcome.

1. When you need to grab lunch for under 10$ between classes: Maddie's 

sauce, cheese, gravy, cream, meat, chicken
Photo courtesy of @Maddie's Alehouse on Facebook

A new addition to the many restaurant options on King Street, Maddie's Alehouse has plenty of creative sandwich options, as well as salads and plates. They also have a bomb-ass student deal that includes a sandwich, salad, and drink for $6.50 on the weekdays. They haven't been on King Street long (a little under a year), but they're definitely fitting in already.

What to order: They have a ton of panini options, from eggplant Parmesan to a chipotle turkey sandwich, and even a fried calzone. For something on the heavier side, they have pasta dishes ranging from A-Phi Tortellini to gnocchi with homemade tomato sauce. You can also add chicken or meatballs to any of their pasta dishes, so there's no lack of comfort food here.

Where they're located: 454 West King Street (on the bottom of the King Street Apartments, right next to Capone's, a super easy walk from campus).

2. When you're sick of Starbucks: Higher Grounds Coffee Shoppe

tea, beer
Photo courtesy of @glendale215 on

Okay, to be fair, there's only one Starbucks near App State, so it's sort of hard to crave something you aren't constantly bombarded by. But when it comes to local coffee in Boone, there's plenty of options and Higher Grounds is one of the best. It's usually pretty quiet, making it the perfect place to study or relax with your friends, and their coffee and fresh pastries are to die for.

What to order: I'm a sucker for anything caramel, so my personal favorite is always the Salted Caramel Thing. Besides just regular coffee, they have a ton of unique latte flavors ranging from a Raspberry Truffle Mocha to a Ghirardelli Mocha. For a snack, treat yourself to one of their jumbo, housemade muffins. You won't regret it.

Where they're located: 201 New Market Centre #10 (In the same development as Lowe's Foods off 421, about 4 minutes from campus).

3. When you're craving Indian food: Mint

bread, sauce, vegetable, chutney
Abby Humphries

Home of authentic Indian food and a 7-day-a-week lunch buffet, Mint is actually the only Indian restaurant near App State. Not that it matters, because even if there were more, Mint would still be the best. It's the perfect way to treat yourself, and did I mention their mimosas are amazing? Also, four words: freshly made naan bread.

What to order: Mint can be a little pricey, but it's definitely worth it. Going to their buffet or ordering one of their daily lunch specials (including tikka masala and a tandoori lunch) can get you a lot of delicious food for a pretty low price. I'd also recommend their lentil dish or chickpea masala from the vegetarian menu.

Where they're located: 203 Boone Heights Drive (In the same development as Goodwill, about 2 minutes from campus off 321).

4. When you're craving Asian food: CoBo

sushi, salmon, tuna
Photo courtesy of Emily W. on

Talk about an upgrade from sushi from Central. To be fair, almost anything is better than Central, but this sushi is definitely the real deal. They have a ton of unique roll combinations and a huge bar selection as well. Since they're located right off King Street, it's the perfect place to have dinner and drinks before heading out to another bar.

What to order: If you want to stay on the safe side, CoBo makes a mean Philly roll. However, if you're more willing to venture into the Specialty Rolls, the Burning Man is a pretty popular favorite. It has seared tuna and spicy crab, as well as CoBo's specialty sauce.

Where they're located: 161 Howard St. Suite B (right off King Street, about a five minute walk from campus).

5. When you're trying to be fancy: Pepper's

sandwich, coleslaw, slaw, bun, pork
Photo courtesy of  @Pepper's Restaurant and Bar on Facebook

Pepper's started out as a little deli back in 1975, and although they're still serving up some amazing sandwiches, they've expanded their menu since then to some delicious, all-American classics. They're also committed to being environmentally friendly (so Boone, I know) and if it couldn't get any better, they also have one of the best whiskey selections in the High Country. That's definitely a step up from PBR and chicken nuggets.

What to order: If you order a dinner entree, you get your choice of a Caesar salad, cup of soup, or a trip to the salad bar. I'd recommend the salad bar, but you can't go wrong with a cup of French Onion soup either. Then go for their wild mushroom ravioli, which comes in a creamy pesto sauce. For dessert (treat yourself), get a slice of their homemade pecan pie.

Where they're located: 240 Shadowline Dr (in the Shops at Shadowline development near Harris Teeter, about a 5 minute drive from campus).

6. When your parents are visiting and they're footing the bill: Joy Bistro

Photo courtesy of @Joy Bistro on Facebook

Joy Bistro is definitely one of the more expensive and trendy restaurants in Boone, so it's not usually the first place that most students think of going for dinner. However, if your parents are in town, steer them this way for some European and American-inspired food. It's all made with local ingredients from around the High Country and has a warm, inviting atmosphere, perfect for catching up with your family (read: begging for more money).

What to order: If you go for lunch, definitely try the chicken and brie sandwich. It comes with cider-marinated apples and spinach and dijon aioli, all served on a pretzel bun. For dinner, get the Joyce Farms Natural Chicken. The chicken is (you guessed it) raised on a local farm, and is served with wild mushroom and Parmesan risotto and plenty of veggies.

Where they're located: 115 New Market Centre (in the same development as Lowe's Foods off 421, about 4 minutes from campus).

7. When you're craving something sweet: Stick Boy Bread Company

cheesecake, sweet, cake, cream, dairy product, chocolate, butter
Photo courtesy of @stickboybreadco on Instagram

Okay, maybe this one doesn't need to be on the guide, because hopefully everyone knows how great Stick Boy is at this point. Everything is made fresh in-house every day, using the best local ingredients Boone has to offer. Even their coffee is free-trade and organic, and it comes from a local roaster. Their employees are also super friendly, as if you needed another reason to get yourself a Sticky Bun.

What to order: They make a cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing which is literally to die for, as well as some awesome scones (cranberry pecan all the way). For cookies, definitely try the oatmeal chocolate chip. Their drip coffee is delicious, but if you're willing to splurge, try one of their Stick Boy Steamers. My personal favorite is the Armadillo, which comes with amaretto, caramel, and mocha syrup.

Where they're located: 345 Hardin St. (right across from East Residence Hall on campus, about 2 minutes away from Sanford Mall).

8. When you turn 21: Appalachian Mountain Brewery

beer, wheat
Photo courtesy of @Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cidery on Facebook

Most of AMB's beers are sold at grocery stores around Boone, but nothing really compares to drinking it on tap at AMB's 120-foot-long outdoor bar. They're committed to sustainable business practices and supporting the community in the High Country, and they even support App State's Fermentation Sciences program.

What to order: There's so many beers on tap at AMB that it's hard to narrow it down for this list. The only solution is to try them all, but you have to start somewhere. The Dry-Hopped Cider Mimosa is made with AMB's delicious cider, as well as a splash of orange juice. They also make a very Boone-esque Thai Tea Chai Cider, infused with mint, black tea, chai, tarragon, and cardamon.

Where they're located: 163 Boone Creek Dr. (Near Boone Mall off of 321, about 3 minutes from campus).

9. When you or your friends don't eat meat: Kindly Kitchen

kale, spinach
Abby Humphries

Kindly Kitchen is Boone's first ever plant-based restaurant, meaning they serve no meat. That makes them 100% vegan and gluten-free. That can be a little intimidating for some people, but believe me when I say there's nothing intimidating about their menu. You get to build your own bowl by picking from fresh, local options, so no matter what you pick, you know you're getting the good stuff.

What to order: I'll be honest, I can't really recommend a bowl combination since their menu changes every day depending on local availability. However, I can tell you that their Citrus Mango smoothie is amazing, made with a coconut milk base and fresh fruit. If you're craving something rich and sweet, try one of their Date Shakes, made with coconut milk, organic dates, and organic cashews.

Where they're located: 659 West King St. Suite 2 (At the corner of Depot Street and King, about a five minute walk from campus).

10. When you're craving a slice: Capone's Pizza

pizza, pepperoni, crust, cheese, dough, sausage
Photo courtesy of @Capone's Pizza and Bar on Facebook

Plenty of places near App State serve flatbread pizzas as part of their menu, but this is one of the only true local pizza parlors. Capone's makes their dough fresh every day and uses their own special recipe for marinara sauce. They also specialize in deep-dish pizzas that are stuffed with plenty of cheese and two toppings of your choice underneath another layer of delicious, freshly baked crust.

What to order: The Don Vito is one of Capone's stuffed deep dish pizzas, loaded with marinara, mozzarella, and Parmesan. After the top crust is added, they throw on mozzarella, Parmesan, and fresh garlic. If you're not feeling that sort of commitment, try the Sicilian Connection. It's made with an alfredo base and topped with spinach, red onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and grilled chicken.

Where they're located: 454 West King St. Suite B (near College Street, about a 2 minute walk from the library).

11. When you're hungover: Boone Bagelry

egg, bacon, bagel, cheese
Halle Carter

Okay, I know I talk about Boone Bagelry a lot, but it's only because it really is so damn good. Their breakfasts are super affordable and they range from specialty omelettes to banana pancakes to breakfast sandwiches. Almost all of their breakfast items can be served in a breakfast platter. No matter if you're craving salty or sweet to cure your hangover, Boone Bagelry will be there for you with plenty of coffee and carbs.

What to order: Some of their breakfast platters come with pancakes or French toast, but the best hangover cure is their Hearty Breakfast Platter. It comes with two eggs, your choice of home fries or grits, two slices of bacon, ham or sausage, and a bagel. It's the perfect way to load up on carbs and greasy food after a long night out.

Where they're located: 516 West King St. (Right across from Macado's on the corner of Appalachian St. and King, about a five minute walk from campus).

12. When you want to check out live music: Black Cat Burrito

tomato, vegetable, meat, cheese, bread, chicken
Abby Humphries

Every student knows that there's a ton of Mexican restaurants in Boone, but there's only one Black Cat Burrito. Besides being home to delicious, loaded burritos, fresh-baked tortilla chips, and key lime margaritas, Black Cat also has live music every third Friday of the month. Doors open at 10pm after dining hours, so you can load up on Tex-Mex and margaritas until it's time to jam.

What to order: You can build your own burrito at Black Cat, but if you want to try one of their signature creations, go for the Don't Be A Jerk burrito. You choose between chicken, shrimp, or tofu, then the burrito is stuffed with cheese, beans and rice, grilled pineapple, and their homemade jerk sauce. If you want something a little lighter and less expensive, try their Jumping Juan plate of rice and beans, smothered with fresh salsa and sour cream.

Where they're located: 127 South Depot St. (Right off of King Street, around the corner from Mast General, about a five minute walk from campus).

There you have it, folks! Whether you're a new or returning student to our beautiful Boone scenery, make sure you check out all these places to eat. Who knows? Maybe you'll find a new favorite.

Need more student guides? Check out these articles:

The Ultimate Student Guide to Eating and Drinking at College of Charleston

The Ultimate Student Guide to Eating and Drinking at UNC Chapel Hill

The Ultimate Student Guide to Eating and Drinking at Georgetown University