Spring(er) Fever Sweet 16: What Are the Best Restaurants on the Appalachian Trail?
Springer Fever Sweet 16
We’ve polled previous thru-hikers, selected, and seeded the best restaurants on the Appalachian Trail. Winners from the first round matchups have advanced to the Sweet 16. It’s time to once again vote on your favorite restaurants in our Springer Fever Bracket. Winners advance to the Elite 8.
Voting ends at midnight, March 29 (PT)
Noteworthy First-Round Upsets
Perhaps the biggest upset was when our number five seed, Village Farmer and Bakery (DE Water Gap), featuring a $3 apple pie and hot dog combo, got upset by our number 28 seed. Spring Creek Tavern (Hot Springs, NC) recorded 65% of the votes to advance. I enjoyed my first zero in that town and two days in the tavern. Big win!
Bob’s Dairyland (Roan Mountain, TN), ranked at 27, pulled out a shocker, beating the sixth-ranked Appalachian Market (Garrison, NY). Bob’s Dairyland has been a longtime hiker favorite but recently received more competition with the addition of hostels. It still proves to be a favorite and moves on! Appalachian Market is right off trail and most hikers stop without realizing it. It’s a gas station/general store that makes some great subs/hoagies.
A hiker favorite for beer and apparently food too, Lazy Hiker Brewing (Franklin, NC) pulled out a close one over a hiker favorite AYCE, Ming Garden (Waynesboro, VA), 52% to 48%.
The closest matchup was between number 15 Caratunk House (Caratunk, ME) and number 18, the Doyle (Duncannon, PA). Both are legendary stops and have served thousands of hikers in their years of business. Caratunk House squeaked by with 50.69% of the votes.
Two PA restaurants faced off. Number 13 Bert’s Steakhouse vs number 20 Boiling Springs Tavern, which received 74% of the votes to win.
Congrats to all restaurants on making the bracket. To be recognized in the Top 32 is not only a hat tip to your tasty food, but your continued service to the AT hiker community. From me, The Trek, and past, present, and future hikers, thank you!
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