When thinking about hot spots for food, Winston-Salem would not typically come to mind. However, as a Wake student, you have the chance to discover all the hidden gems that Winston has to offer. From Fourth Street to the West-End, there are plenty of places you need to try in your four years here. Start with the 10 below (in no particular order).

1. Mizu

Bridget Ring

From sushi to hibachi, Mizu has anything you could want if you're craving Japanese food. Located in a strip mall, it is definitely a hidden gem, but if you go there once, you'll find yourself there every weekend.

2. The Porch

If you're craving Tex-Mex, The Porch is your best bet. Their menu has anything you could want, including tacos, quesadillas, burgers, salads and rotating specials. Next time you go in, try the Dr. Pepper Trailer Pot Pie. Trust me. Add on the indoor and outdoor seating, it makes The Porch the perfect place for lunch or dinner, just make sure to call ahead because it fills up quick.

3. Ryan's Restaurant

steak, filet mignon
Spencer Hutchison

While this isn't a place that college students can typically justify going to, it's the perfect place to convince your parents to take you when they're visiting. Ryan's is an upscale steakhouse, and I can easily rank the meal I had here in top 10 I've had in my life. Personal favorites include the toasted phyllo wrapped brie and filet mignon, followed by the vanilla bean creme brûlée

4. Krankies

Krankies is easily the best place for brunch in Winston, and with good reason. Their drinks include amazing coffee, chai, and the infamous espresso milkshake. On the food side, there's a reason why people constantly rave about their biscuits. If that isn't your speed, the menu offers tons of other options.

5. Mission Pizza Napoletana 

While Dominos is a staple for any college student, Mission Pizza makes it worth it to spend a little more money. Located in the downtown Arts-District, Mission Pizza offers classics like Margherita and spin-offs like the Diavola (mozzarella, sopressata, chilis, honey, pecorino, and basil). They always use fresh ingredients, so you don't feel bad about how much you end up eating. 

Spoon Tip! They don't take reservations, so factor possible waiting time in!

6. Silo Bistro & Ba

Located just a 10 minute walk through campus, Silo is my favorite spot to get lunch in Reynolda Village. Good for both lunch and dinner, Silo has the best sandwiches and salad, all of which you can pair with one of their delicious sides.

Spoon Tip! No matter what else you're ordering, make sure to start with the baked brie.

7. Mozelles 

Another place where parents buying is usually appreciated, Mozelles is a classic for Wake students. Located on Fourth Street, it serves some of the best southern food in Winston. Their fresh spins on classic dishes explain why a reservation is necessary.

8. Local 27101

If you're looking for something casual, Local 27101 is your place. Located in the heart of downtown Winston, it is a good place to walk in and grab something quick. Their burgers are delicious, and they have vegetarian options as well. My personal favorite part of this restaurant are the sweet potato fries.

Spoon Tip! They are only open until 2PM, so its a great spot for lunch.

9. Willow's Bistro

Willow's Bistro is definitely a hidden gem, as it is tucked away in the Brookstown area of Winston, but it is definitely worth going past downtown for. Willow's has a close partnership with local farms, ensuring that everything you eat is going to be fresh. It's always a good bet for brunch, lunch, or dinner. I've also been told that their fried chicken sandwich is "life-changing", so do with that what you will.

10. Penny Path Cafe & Crepe Shop 

Penny Path is a crepe shop in Reynolda Village that opened up over the summer, and has quickly become a must-try for every Wake student. They have both a savory and sweet menu, so it works no matter what you're craving. If you're feeling savory, try the Pesto Crepe, but if you want dessert, try the Nutella Crepe!

With only four years to do it and seemingly endless restaurants in Winston, it can seem like an impossible task to hit all the places worth trying. However if you start with this list, you can't go wrong!