Shutterbug’s Favorite Restaurants on the Appalachian Trail

Note: The opinions in this post are completely my own and not that of The Trek. 

In 2017 I hiked around 1,500 miles of the Appalachian Trail. During that time I had the chance to eat many meals in towns. Here’s a list of my favorite restaurants along the AT. I’ve arranged them by mile marker going north based off of the 2017 AWOL Guide.

Georgia

Bodensee Restaurant (Helen, Ga.): If you like authentic German food then go here. It’s the only legit German restaurant in the town of Helen despite them all looking like they’re authentic. I suggest getting the rouladen with spaetzle and red cabbage. It tasted just as good as my grandmother’s cooking and she grew up in Germany.

North Carolina

MadBatter Food Truck (Franklin, N.C.): If you like spinach artichoke dip then you’re in for a treat. This food truck makes the best dip I’ve ever had. And the best part is you can bring it next door to the brewery to eat while you’re hanging out drinking a beer with your friends.

Smoky Mountain Diner (Hot Springs, N.C.): My friend and I practically sprinted from Deer Park Mountain Shelter to Hot Springs because of this diner. We ordered the hiker breakfast special. I remember the waitress came over and asked us if we needed anything else and my reply was, “I’ll have another order.” That’s when I knew the hiker hunger was real. I also had lunch here and it was just as delicious.

Virginia

Grayson General Store (Va., mile 501.1): One of the pieces of advice my Dad gave me about thru-hiking was to keep your winter gear until Damascus because Roan Mountain can get snow even in May. So, at trail days I sent home all of my winter gear except for my puffy jacket and camp leggings. If I were to do it over again, though, I would keep my winter gear until after the Grayson Highlands. It got really cold and rained the night before the highlands so when we found out we could hitch to a general store and warm up we put on our sad faces and yogied a ride to the general store. The owners were extremely friendly and went out of their way to find us a place to stay for the night. Of course, I got the burger and it was delicious.

The Homeplace Restaurant (Catawba, Va.): One of the ways my friend and I passed the time while hiking was talking about what food we couldn’t wait to have when we got to town. For about two weeks the top items on my list were mac and cheese, fried chicken, and peach cobbler. I’d never had peach cobbler before and for some reason it’d come up in multiple conversations. My friend and I hiked up to Dragon’s Tooth, took some pictures, and started the descent. (Which I later discovered was a mini preview of the Whites.)

After we’d gotten past the worst part we started hearing thunder and it started to pour. I wound up slipping and scraping my leg open so we took cover under an overhanging rock. We looked at the guidebook and saw that a couple miles farther and we’d be at a road crossing. We went to Four Pines, changed into some dry clothes, and got a ride to the Homeplace Restaurant. That night the menu consisted of fried chicken, mac and cheese (which was listed as the vegetable of the night), and for dessert… homemade peach cobbler! The food was delicious and it was all you could eat. Worth every penny.

Pennsylvania

The Doyle (Duncannon, Pa.): Even if you don’t stay at the Doyle, you need to at least get a meal at the pub. I had a burger (of course) and it was great.

Port Clinton Hotel (Port Clinton, Pa.): If you like Philly cheese steaks then go here. I’d also suggest any flavor of their boneless wings and the mozzarella sticks.

New York

Bellvale Farms Creamery (Warwick, N.Y.): Do you like ice cream? Then definitely stop here on your hike. Reward yourself for completing New Jersey. (If going NOBO). I believe the creamery is only a couple tenths of a mile up the road from where the trail crosses NY 17A.

Tonys Deli (Pawling, N.Y.): Out of all the delis I went to in New York along the trail (I think I might have missed maybe one or two) this was by far the best. I got a burger that was as big as my face. I ate the entire thing and debated getting another one to go. When hiking through New York, stop at all the delis. You won’t regret it.

Connecticut

Toymakers Cafe (Falls Village, Conn.): If you like breakfast foods then make sure to make the side trip to this cafe. The food is really, really good.

Vermont

Zoey’s Deli (Manchester Center, Vt.): Although expensive, this deli had some of the best food I had in Vermont. The homemade baked goods were delicious too.

Yellow Deli (Rutland, Vt.): I would definitely recommend the hibiscus deli cooler to drink, the Deli Rose sandwich, hearty beef chili, and the cream cheese pie for dessert. It was one of my favorite meals on trail for sure.

Inn at Long Trail (Killington, Vt.): The food at this Irish pub was amazing. I’d suggest the Irish spuds with bacon and cheddar, the shepherd’s pie, and of course the burgers.

Maine

Little Red Hen Diner (Andover, Maine): This place has bomb food and the owners are really hiker friendly. The burger was so good. I missed out on it, but on Saturdays they have an all you can eat Italian buffet. I heard it was totally worth the $12. Also, get one of their homemade whoopie pie.

White Wolf Inn (Stratton, Maine): After spending the morning crossing a freezing cold river in my underwear I was in need of a warm, home-cooked meal. Especially since the river had been up to my waist and I thought I was going to die the entire time. The employees at the Stratton Motel suggested we walk down the street and get some food at the inn. I had the chili burger and it was definitely among my top three burgers I had on trail. The mozzarella sticks were delicious too.

Spring Creek BBQ (Monson, Maine): I know barbecue restaurants are generally a southern thing but this place was honestly the best barbecue place along the AT. The homemade corn bread with maple syrup was amazing. I would also definitely recommend the pulled pork sandwich.

The Lakeshore House (Monson, Maine): This is a great place to get some delicious food and drinks in celebration the night before you head out into the 100 Mile Wilderness. (If you’re going north.) Because I stayed in Monson on three separate occasions (long story), I was able to try out a number of items on the menu. I would 100 percent recommend their lobster roll, Philly cheese steak (called The Bomb), and their homemade french fries. 

Whitehouse Landing (Maine, mile 2,144.1): I am the queen of burgers so when I found out that I could get a burger in the middle of the 100 Mile Wilderness of course I had to go. The food here was delicious. Especially the homemade baked goods. It was definitely pricey but sooooooo worth it. Just note that they will only pick you up if you’re staying the night.

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Comments 5

  • Avatar
    Chris Guynn : Feb 7th

    The homeplace literally tried to kill me with the amount of fried chicken they continued to bring out and I likkkked it!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Victor : Feb 7th

    Thanks, I’m marking these in my guidebook.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Sarah : Feb 7th

    Yumm.. I agree w everything she said lol

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Mark Stanavage : Feb 7th

    You are a woman after my own heart! They sound wonderful. I make the Bodensee specialties myself. But will have to try. P. S. What camera do you pack?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Kirsten Fraude : Feb 7th

      I use the Sony a6300!

      Reply

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