In the weeks before making the big move down south for my freshman year at Wake Forest, I made sure to hit all of my favorite restaurants at home one last time before trading in my passion for eating out for unlimited pit swipes. My expectations as far as the foodie scene in Winston-Salem went were, well, pretty low. But boy was I surprised.

Winston-Salem is a true gem in the Piedmont triad, with everything from classic gluttonous southern favorites to stellar Mexican and everything in between. Every Deac knows that these spots are the best for satisfying every type of craving.

1. You have the munchies at 2 am: Cookout

A photo posted by Cook Out (@cookout) on

If you hit Cookout post-party on a Friday night, you're likely to hit a pretty hefty line. The good news? You'll probably know a handful of the other cars waiting in line, and you'll definitely want to holla at them from the passenger seat.

What to order: Go for savory and sweet — choose from 40 shake flavors (everything from basic vanilla to banana cobbler) and pair it with classically southern hush puppies and maybe even some cheese fries too, because why not? At $5, the Cookout tray is a great deal. But, TBH, deciding which entree and sides might be a little too strenuous at 2am.

Location: 339 Akron Drive, Winston-Salem NC 27109 (8 minutes from the University Parkway entrance) 

2. You're sick of Starbucks: Camino

cream, sweet, milk, herb, dairy product, vegetable
Ashley Hamati

Camino is Starbucks' hip cousin that just got back from a two-year Euro tour. It's got everything you love about Starbucks — cozy seating that's good for studying or chatting, delicious espresso drinks and friendly staff — and more. The freshly baked pastries are out of this world, and every drink has a hip twist. Major plus: it's nestled on a busy corner and the people watching is not to be missed.

What to order: Head downtown to Camino on a Tuesday and pair a slice of half-price cheesecake with a special seasonal drink (like this basil and vanilla iced latte). 

Location: 310 W 4th St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (10 minutes from the University Parkway entrance) 

3. You're craving Mexican: The Porch

tacos, avocado, beans, cilantro, black beans
Ashley Hamati

The Porch quickly gained a cult following amongst Wake Forest students after its opening in 2014. The fun, casual vibes of the restaurant itself make it perfect for big group dinners — you can always find at least one squad celebrating with margaritas in hand around one of the hefty wooden tables. In addition to the traditional menu full of tasty Tex Mex creations, The Porch releases a monthly special menu that'll have you checking their Instagram on the first of every month. 

What to order: Start of with Tres Amigos for the table. You'll get guac, salsa, and most importantly, decadent queso along with an endless supply of fresh chips. Just be careful you don't fill up on the chips too much before your entree arrives (have yet to achieve this, personally). For an entree, head to the specials menu. Don't be afraid to stray away from Mexican, i.e. a tantalizingly fresh poke bowl.

Location: 840 Mill Works St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (8 minutes away from Reynolda entrance

4. You're trying to be healthy: Village Juice

rice, vegetable, banana
Megan Rivenburg

In the age of fitstagrams and nutrition fanatics, Village Juice came to Winnie S to fill a gaping hole in the restaurant scene: quick and convenient health food. What started off as a bottled juice line in Reynolda Village has since expanded to a full restaurant, serving made-to-order smoothies, toasts, and salads.

What to order: Order an açaí bowl topped with seasonal fruit, homemade granola, cacao nibs, and coconut flakes for a refreshing dose of your daily antioxidants.

Location: 205-O South Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27103 (6 minutes from Reynolda Village)

5. Your parents are visiting and they're footing the bill: Spring House

Ashley Hamati

I'm 90% sure my dad is more excited for dinner at Spring House in May than he is for my college graduation. Honestly, I'm kinda with him on this one. Spring House has been a family favorite since our first trip for parents weekend, which seems like eons ago. It's a classy establishment with amazing decor and a decorated chef. While it might be hard to get your freshman hall to go to a group dinner here, the 'rents will definitely be down.

What to order: Spring House's menu changes seasonally, so there are no guaranteed dishes on the menu. What you can be sure of is that everything will be super fresh. You just can't go wrong. Since the 'rents are here, treat yourself to a three course meal. You'll want more of everything.

Location: 450 N Spring St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101

6. You or your friends don't eat meat: Whole Foods

corn, vegetable, pepper
Hannah Huffman

Ah, Whole Foods. A college student staple that always seems to be a quick, cheap option for a meal out. That is, until you're ringing up your salad and it turns out you managed to stack on two pounds of literally everything you set your eyes on, whether or not it even forms a cohesive meal. Whole Foods is definitely a great place for vegetarians, vegans, and everything in between so check out these tips to make it a little lighter on your wallet next time.

What to order: The clutch part about Whole Foods is that there is something for just about all tastes — from kale salad to gluttonous mac and cheese. Get a little bit of everything from both the hot line and the salad bar and create a rainbow bowl that's full of flavor and healthy vegetarian nutrients.

Location: 41 Miller St, Winston-Salem, NC 27104 (7 minutes from Reynolda entrance) 

7. You're craving a slice: Mission Pizza

arugula, prosciutto, balsamic, ham, bacon, pizza
Devon Brown

This is not your basic dominos. And while it definitely requires quite a bit more effort to get a slice — i.e. waiting in what can be some pretty hefty lines rather than ordering from an app on your phone — it is well worth it. Mission combines the freshest, most intriguing ingredients to create flavor combinations that'll change the old fashioned standby you thought you knew.

What to order: Go for the Rocket Man — the arugula on top provides wonderful peppery flavor and basically turns it into a salad so you don't have to think twice about eating the entire thing.

Location: 707 Trade St NW, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (10 minutes away from University Parkway entrance)

8. You're brunching: Mary's Gourmet Diner

blueberry, french toast
Ashton Caudle

Mary's fame has extended far beyond the Tre Fo' to as far as the Daily Show . Don't be fooled by the warehouse exterior. Mary's is full of both sweet and savory treats and kitsch cool decor. Just be sure to get there on the earlier side — lines can pile up to as long as an hour or more.

What to order: As if Camino's cinnamon swirl bread wasn't good enough, Mary's ups the ante by turning it into French toast and adding a slew of toppings. Almonds, caramelized apples, homemade apple butter, glazed blueberries, chocolate chips, peanut butter, pecans, and walnuts all come together to create a breakfast dish that may as well be on the dessert menu. If you want a little savory too, order a side of cornmeal cakes and sausage gravy for some down home flavors. 

Location: 723 Trade St Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (10 minute drive from the University Parkway entrance)

9. You're hungover: Dioli's

sandwich, bacon, cheese, arugula, chicken, tomato
Kelly McAdam

Don't be turned away by the fact that Dioli's is called an Italian market — it's also a full service deli with the most coveted panini in Winston-Salem. It's great for lunch every day (minus Sunday, when it's closed), but you can spot the most Deacons there before 2pm on weekends, when they offer breakfast sandwiches and burritos.

What to order: Make your own breakfast sandwich depending on which ingredients you think will best cure your hangover. Not to be missed: pesto mayo.

Location: 2898 Reynolda Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106 (5 minutes from the Reynolda entrance)

10. You're craving Mediterranean: Mooney's

Megan Rivenburg

Looking for gourmet taste on a fast-casual budget? Look no further than the corner of 4th and Liberty. Here you'll find your favorite Mediterranean dishes as well as a couple you may have never heard of before. You'll leave feeling full but not quite gluttonous thanks to the nutrition-packed Mediterranean fare.

What to order: If you feel overwhelmed by how good everything looks on Mooney's menu, try the Sample Plate and choose four items that look particularly alluring. Not to be missed: the falafel and tabouli. The rest is up to you so long as you dip it in a big bowl of hummus.

Location: 101 W 4th St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (10 minutes from the University Parkway entrance)

11. You're craving something sweet: Dewey's

Dewey's has been Winston-Salem's home of sweet treats since opening back in the Great Depression. The area's first all-electric bakery, it focused on Moravian baked goods (those perfectly spiced thin cookies, for example). Today it offers everything from ice cream to wedding cake. A staple item: free cake squares on Monday. 

What to order: Get a red velvet cake square and top if off with a scoop of cake batter ice cream — it's the best of both dessert worlds. Don't forget to grab a sleeve of Moravian cookies when you check out.  

Location: 262 South Stratford Road Winston-Salem, NC 27103 (10 minutes from the Reynolda entrance)

12. You're craving Asian: Mizu

Megan Rivenburg

Despite being located hours from the shore, Mizu offers a wide array of fresh fish — whether it's sashimi, sushi, or their Nata Tuna (tuna served in a bell pepper). Not a seafood fan? Mizu also has a menu of Japanese favorites like chicken teriyaki and hibachi. 

What to order: Head to the special rolls and check out the Naruto roll. In place of traditional rice and seaweed paper, the Naruto uses thin cucumber as a wrap. From there, you can choose either salmon or tuna to pair with the crab and avocado inside. 

Location: Location: 3374 Robinhood Road Winston-Salem, NC 27106 (10 minutes from the Reynolda Entrance)

Whether you're a freshman wondering where to head for certain cravings or a senior making sure you've checked everything off the bucket list before May rolls around, don't miss out on these Winston-Salem favorites. The city's gold mine of restaurants is capable of solving even the worst of on-campus dining blues. Try them all — soon enough you'll be curating your own guide to eating and drinking at WFU.