Wilson is not only the home to the whirlygigs but also has a variety of good places to eat.
Whether you are new in the area, a local looking for new restaurants, or someone beginning to venture out after the pandemic, this list of some of the best restaurants in Wilson, NC, is for you.
All the restaurants mentioned in this article are open for business, and each offers its unique flavor for those who want more than fast-food eateries.
Links to their websites, contact information, and price ranges are included to help you find the best choice for that special event or a change of taste.
1. Beefmastor Inn
$$$ | 252-237-7343 | WEBSITE
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The Beefmaster Inn is an American steakhouse perfect for a romantic candlelight dinner, a special occasion, or a place to experience as a group.
Well known for its ribeyes and steaks, this restaurant doesn’t provide a menu. Instead, you choose your portion of beef, then complete the meal with salad from the salad bar, a baked potato, and Texas toast.
There are no reservations, and you are encouraged to BYOB as you tailgate in the parking lot, waiting for a table. It has a cozy yet lively atmosphere with a full bar. It provides take-out, delivery, and wheelchair access for those who wish to dine in.
2. La Rancherita Grill & Tequila Bar
$$ | 252-206-0923 | WEBSITE
La Rancherita Grill and Tequila Bar is the place to go if you are hungry for a good Mexican or Southwest meal. Vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free meals are also available.
It is a casual, trendy restaurant that is great for families and kids, dog-friendly, and wheelchair accessible. Eat lunch, dinner, or brunch outside, dine inside, and enjoy the Mexican décor.
Stop by on a Saturday night for some tacos and a drink from ‘their extensive drink menu at reasonable prices.’ You will receive excellent service, food, and huge portions inside or out. ‘Something as simple as black beans was out of this world!’
3. Bill’s Grill
$ | 252-239-1627 | WEBSITE
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Winner of the Taste of Wilson award three years in a row, Bill’s Grill now has two locations for your convenience. Their Nash Street location is open for breakfast and lunch, while the Highway 117 location is open for lunch and dinner.
Both sites offer home-style food and comfort with friendly and fast service, dine-in, take-out, and online ordering. Close to the interstate for a quick stop, or you can stay and listen to some live music in a pleasant atmosphere—a local favorite.
4. Daniel’s Casual Fine Dining
$$$ | 252-281-1349 | WEBSITE
Daniels Casual Fine Dining is a high-level restaurant that provides quality American food in a comfy environment. Whether a Reuben sandwich for lunch or duck for dinner, reviewers rave about how servers and management make a real effort to provide the best service.
‘Flavor, texture, presentation, service, and value of all the food is exceptional.’ Daniel’s is vegetarian-friendly and provides take-out, table service, and wheelchair accessibility. Due to limited seating, reservations are encouraged on Friday or Saturday nights.
5. Varee Asian Café and Bakery
$$$ | 252-281-5932 | WEBSITE
Do not let Varee Asian Café and Bakery’s location in a strip mall fool you; once you walk inside, you will be in a restaurant with high-end décor and a full bar.
It serves sushi, Asian, and Thai cuisine with vegetarian-friendly, vegan and gluten-free options. You can order online for take-out or delivery or dine inside.
The top-notch service, friendly staff, wonderful atmosphere, and music make it an excellent spot for the perfect date night. Praised for ‘tons of flavor, large portions, and fresh ingredients.’ Reservations are available, and large groups are welcome.
6. Marty’s BBQ
$ | 252- 281-1709 | WEBSITE
Word has it that Marty’s BBQ is the place to go in Wilson for the best NC-style barbecue and crispy fried chicken.
It is a traditional, no-frills, family-owned business that has been serving family recipes for years. Open till 9 PM; it provides drive-through, take-out, curbside pickup, or delivery with online ordering.
Or dine in to enjoy fast service and great food. Marty’s is casual dining that is good for lunch and suitable for kids and groups. It also provides catering.
7. Pino’s Pizza
$ | 252-265-0600 | WEBSITE
One of Wilson’s most popular pizza restaurants, Pino’s Pizza, offers Italian dishes as well as pizza. They also are vegetarian-friendly with vegan options. Pino’s is located in a small strip mall and provides a casual atmosphere with outdoor seating and music.
You can dine in, take out, do curbside pickup, or opt for delivery. Whichever you choose, as one reviewer mentioned, ‘the closer you get to the food, you will recognize the aroma of a genuine New York pizzeria.’
$ | 252-237-2555 | WEBSITE
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If you’re hungry for a burger and don’t want to go to a fast-food chain, consider Best-N-Burger.
Referred to as the ‘burger god,’ Best-N-Burger is a small family-owned business perfect for families and kids. The burgers are juicy with free burger toppings, the fries are hand-cut in-house, and the hotdogs are great.
It offers vegetarian options, outdoor seating, curbside pickup or take-out, and delivery. Order online and enjoy the free wi-fi as you wait for your meal. Don’t forget the milkshakes.
9. Flo’s Kitchen
$ | 252-237-9146 | WEBSITE
Flo’s Kitchen is the place to go when you are up early and hungry. It opens at 4 AM and serves breakfast and brunch until noon. It is a modest counter service or drive-through that accepts CASH ONLY.
You can order online for curbside pickup or use the outside seating to enjoy the jumbo biscuits and other traditional Southern breakfast items. Known for its tenderloin and pork chop biscuits, Flo’s Kitchen fills you enough to skip your next meal.
10. Salty Shores Seafood Calabash Style
$$ | 252-674-7673 | WEBSITE
Salty Shores Seafood Calabash Style restaurant is a small family-run restaurant with only about 12 tables inside. But don’t let its hole-in-the-wall location deter you.
Many say it is the finest seafood in the Greater Wilson Metropolitan Area. ‘Everything I try is so delicious.’ You will find generous portions when you dine in or take out. Kid-friendly and close to trails and other attractions. Arrive early as it gets busy.
$$ | 252-991-6035 | WEBSITE
Brewmasters is a gastropub and beer bar that has been providing craft beer, sandwiches, and pizza since 2013. It is locally owned with an artsy and family-friendly atmosphere.
Open till 10 PM, it is the perfect place for a late-night snack with your date. Or come and hang out with a group of friends and watch the games on the large TV while enjoying ‘food that is always hot and fresh.’
Brewmasters also provides online ordering, curbside pickup, delivery, take-out, and event catering.
12. Nard’s Food Truck
$ | 252-363-3920 | WEBSITE
Nard’s Food Truck is not for dining in. But if you are hungry for soul food, this is the place for you.
Open from 7 AM to 3 PM; Nard’s boasts ‘Southern eats with a modern twist’ as take-out only. Customers agree, saying this is the ‘best breakfast with fresh food and great customer service. It is the Bomb.’
Text your order ahead, so it is waiting for you when you arrive.
13. Little China Chinese Restaurant
$ | 252-237-8823 | WEBSITE
Little China Chinese Restaurant has a loyal clientele for Chinese and Asian food. Open till 10 PM most nights and 11 PM on Fridays, it has plenty of space for large groups or can also provide take-out and delivery.
A popular place, it is almost always busy yet still provides friendly service and consistent food quality. Reviewers mention that the ‘vegetables are fresh, crisp yet tender, and there is no skimping on the meat.’
14. Pauls of NY Restaurant
$ | 252-291-3837 | WEBSITE
Pauls of NY is a small, quaint restaurant serving Wilson for eighteen years with ‘giant Italian subs, good food, and plentiful portions.’
The dishes are fairly priced. It has a cozy and quiet bar area with some booths separate from the main dining room—an excellent place to stop and chat, which seems to be what many do in this local hangout.
Large enough for groups, suitable for kids with outdoor seating and take-out or delivery options.
This is just a sample of Wilson’s more than one hundred places to eat. Many are gems hidden in strip malls or out-of-the-way locations.
But location does not indicate the quality of food and service offered. Be adventurous, check out these friendly establishments, and rate your best restaurants in Wilson. Happy eating!
Hayden has been a digital director for years. He has five years of experience editing and writing about food, restaurant, and recipe review content. At Birch Restaurant, he’s in charge of scouting, showing up unannounced in different restaurants, and writing a thorough food guide!