Winston-Salem Insider Guide
Winston-Salem was created in 1913 as a union of two towns–Salem was founded by the Moravian colonists in 1766 and Winston was founded in 1849 as the county seat. And we think it was a marriage made in heaven! The city is thriving with a vibrant downtown as well as lovely neighborhoods and shopping areas.
While big tobacco and airlines no longer dominate the city, there is plenty to do and see in this beautiful city. With four major universities in the city (Wake Forest University, Winston Salem State University, Salem College, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts), there is an abundance of arts and cultural activities to take part in. Yes, you can still smell sweet tobacco in the air and grab a hot fresh original doughnut but there’s lots more to love.
Photo: LIndley Battle Photography
WHERE TO SHOP
Bookmarks, 634 W 4th Street #110
An incredible independent bookstore located downtown. Bookmarks hosts author events, storytimes, book clubs, lectures, trivia nights, and more throughout the year. All bookstore profits support Bookmarks’ nonprofit outreach programs. The store offers online shopping, touchless pick up and free parking.
Buie’s Market, 749 N Avalon Road
Open daily and nestled in the Buena Vista neighborhood, Buie’s features fresh produce, a grocery selection and a great selection of frozen prepared meals from local restaurants and chefs. They carry over 50 local vendors and hundreds of healthy national brand options. The 2000 square foot shop features a full espresso bar, 8 draft taps and wine by the glass. Saturday food trucks are a popular activity for many families.
Camel City Goods, 1004 Brookstown Avenue
You’ll certainly want a one-of-a-kind souvenir from your visit to Winston-Salem! Look no further than locally-owned Camel City Goods. T-shirts, hats, mugs–all completely original and designed in-house by local designers.
Caviste, 1100 Reynolda Road
Located at the edge of Buena Vista, Caviste has a wine for every palate. Owner Russ Anderson offers a curated selection of wine focused on small traditional producers that are selected “through tasting not marketing.” Enjoy a glass of wine and a small bite at the inside bar or on the back outdoor patio.
Deva Fine Jewelry, 924 Burke Street
Located near downtown in the historic Burke Street area, Deva is a boutique jewelry store featuring handmade jewelry and custom design and the occasional trunk show.
Gazebo, 107 Reynolda Village
Whether it’s the annual formal gala, a sophisticated Designer wardrobe, or the latest accessories and handbags, the Gazebo has you covered. And don’t forget to swing by the Gazebo Sale Room around the corner! In-house alterations make it a perfect fit for your busy lifestyle.
Hive, Thruway Center
A contemporary women’s clothing store that also offers fabulous home decor and hostess gifts, this boutique is run by a super fun mother-daughter duo that is always ready to help make their customer look her best. One of our “must visit” shopping destinations in town.
Kim Taylor & Company, 153 S Stratford Road
This is the place for fun and trendy gifts and fashion. The perfect place to shop for graduation gifts and hostess gifts. In addition to the clothing and gift side of the shop, the other side carries home decor and a full service interior design shop with fabric, furniture and wallpaper.
McCalls, 111-A Reynolda Village
Since 1925 McCalls has been filling Winston Salem homes with the finest of things. Gorgeous lingerie and sleepwear for ladies, beautiful infant clothing, and traditional boy and girl clothing from 2T to 6x. Additionally you’ll find fine bed, bath and table linens by Matouk, Sferra and Fino Lino.
Monkees of the Village, 217 Reynolda Village
Got a party? Beach weekend? Mountain getaway? Spruce up your entire wardrobe from head to toe at Monkees. Start with a dress, grab a pair of trendy jeans, a colorful silk blouse, and a belt. Of course you’ll need a clutch, new Tory Burch flats and some Sheila Fajil earrings. And voila, you are ready to go!
Nitsa’s Apparel, 107 S Stratford Road
Fifty years of fashion! Nitsa’s has it all. A complete line of sportswear including Nic and Zoe, Bianca, Elliott Lauren, Neon Buddha, and Joe’s Jeans–high quality, modern lines for all ages. Nitsa’s is the place for brides! The expert staff at Nitsa’s will help you explore all the latest in couture bridal styles. Their team of bridal buyers has been participating in NYC Bridal Fashion Week for nearly three decades. Find your dream dress at Nitsa’s.
Norman Stockton Clothier, 249 S Stratford Road
And for the stylish man in your life, stop in at Norman Stockton for a full selection of men’s fashion. Fine merchandise with exemplary customer service and full service tailoring. Carrying lines such as Alan Paine cashmere, Ballin, Canali, Heal Goods, Johnnie O, Peter Millar.
Primms, 1034 Burke St
A carefully curated designer clothing boutique for the contemporary woman, Primm’s is a key shopping destination located in the historic West End. Proprietor Amie Havens has a fabulous assortment of clothes, accessories, and shoes for the perfect look.
Rebecca & Co., 1200 Reynolda Road
Rebecca & Co. of Winston-Salem has been a contemporary clothing destination for women of the Triad since 1995. You’ll find the perfect pair of designer denim, a stand out dress for your next event, or your newest must-have.
L’Avenue Boutique, 905 S Broad St
This Parisian inspired boutique is one of the newer additions to the up-and-coming Broad Street area of Winston. The selections here are classic with a modern twist!
Sfeer+Co., 111 Reynolda Village
SFEER+Co is a furniture store that offers a timeless collection of interior decore, fashion and lifestyle. Interior designer and owner, Laurence Buyle, curates timeless interior pieces to perfectly balance your interior. She combines custom-made with award-winning, natural elements with sustainable materials, all to create the perfect ‘atmosfeer’ your interior deserves. Craftsmanship and enduring design are at the core of the business.
Southern Home & Kitchen, 200 South Stratford Rd, Suite 110
One stop shopping for those who love to cook and entertain. It is a Scout bag destination store carrying custom, locally-inspired Scout patterns. Their shelves are filled with gifts. tabletop, and kitchen gadgets with lines such as Le Creuset and Vietri. They also offer fun cooking classes!
*Theodore B Interiors, 1031 Burke St
Isabella has created a lovely assortment of fashionable home furnishings and accessories. She offers a very distinct aesthetic that works well across a variety of homes and you will find the perfect hostess gift or special present.
Trouvaille Home, 938 Burke Street
If you have a bold, eclectic design style, spend some time at Trouvaille. Funky finds from all over the world. Fine fabrics and furniture. Hand-selected estate pieces and antiques complement North Carolina made custom order upholstery. Fine contemporary designs are interspersed with mid-century masters.
Photo: Liz Grogan Photography
WHERE TO EAT
1703, 1703 Robinhood Road
A hidden gem in the Buena Vista neighborhood. Fine dining at night and ladies’ lunches at noon. The menu is creative and seasonal and just delicious. They are also known for their catering business.
Bobby Boy Bakery, 1100 Reynolda Road
Do you love sugar, chocolate and butter? Well then we have a treat for you at Bobby Boy. The artistry alone is worth the eye candy. Super flaky French pastries and an assortment of sweets. They don’t last long so get there early. Oh, and there’s also some gorgeous paninis and such for lunch.
Louie & Honey’s Kitchen, 401 West End Blvd
Mother & daughter team serve up the best of fresh baked goods and the perfect cup of Counter Culture coffee. Sit in the lovely and serene cafe enjoying sweets with a nostalgic taste or a surprising new twist. The Amish Cinnamon Rolls and Brown Sugar Rice Krispies are a must try! The atmosphere lends itself to anyone looking to study, work, meet with the girls, or take the kids for a treat while you relax.
The Katharine Brasserie & Bar, 401 N Main Street
Located inside the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel (which is the former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company headquarters), a delicious French brasserie offers breakfast and dinner. The cocktails and oyster bar are not to be missed. The name pays homage to Katharine Reynolds, wife of the founder of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco.
Kitchen Roselli, 105 E Main St, East Bend, NC 27018
While technically not in Winston-Salem, this is a must and worth the trip. Drive west on Reynolda Road, cross the Yadkin River and the town of East Bend greets you. This is “mom and pop” Italian food straight from heaven. Always get the meatballs to start. Always get dessert to finish (and you may have to order dessert at the start).
Krankies Coffee, 211 East 3rd Street
Sure, you can have coffee at Krankies, but you should make room for breakfast or come back for lunch! While the avocado toast rocks, why not treat yourself to a Texas Pete and honey chicken biscuit? And sip a bloody mary alongside your meal?
Krispy Kreme, 259 South Stratford Road
No surprises what you’ll eat here but it is fun to see the “flagship” store. Store #101 is huge and you can watch the doughnut line through the windows. Make sure the “hot” sign is lit!
Meridian, 411 S Marshall Street
Fine dining near Old Salem and on the outskirts of downtown. The fresh menu is based on Mediterranean flavors and offers a tapas selection. Everything is made in-house. Reservations recommended. They are also available for private chef and catering events.
*Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro, 878 West 4th Street
A go-to for great food and a casual vibe. You will not be disappointed. Sourcing from local farms, the menu leans toward Southern favorites but gets very creative. Sure things–meatloaf, tomato pie (Editor favorite!!), and succotash. Put it on your list for Sunday brunch.
Quanto Basta, 680 West 4th Street
An Italian restaurant and wine bar with a rustic atmosphere. Get an antipasto board to share because your entree will be of a generous serving size! The beef short ribs are melt-in-your-mouth. And the olive oil cake is a must try for dessert!
Roosters – A Noble Grille, 380 Knollwood Street
Locally-sourced fine dining and great for groups, Roosters is a special occasion restaurant for some and a regular hang out for others. An extensive wine list and creative cocktails. The high top 6-seater tables in the bar are easy for an after work drink and appetizer with friends.
Ryan’s, 719 Coliseum Drive
A classic, old school chop house. Great service, wonderful food, extensive wine list.. Not much has changed inside Ryan’s over the years and we wouldn’t want it to. The best for special occasions or if you just really need a great steak or seafood. Someone at the table must get a side of bacon and blue cheese brussels sprouts for the table!
Sweet Potatoes, 607 North Trade Street
If you only go for a basket of fried green tomatoes and fried okra with a side of cornbread, you will have accomplished something–but stay for a full meal to satisfy your need for southern deliciousness. Self described as “unique, southern inspired uptown, down-home cooking,” this is a treat.
The Porch, 840 Mill Works St
You can never go wrong with Tex-Mex, and The Porch does it the best. This funky restaurant has a hefty menu which includes tacos, fajitas, burritos and more! You also have to try one of their signature margaritas!
East of Texas, 907 S Broad St
This area of Winston-Salem has started bustling! East of Texas is the newest concept by the owners of The Porch. This is the epitome of the blend of Tex-Mex. Brisket and barbeque rounds out the Texas part of the restaurant, and it compliments the tacos and flautas on the Mexican side. There is a huge outdoor patio that allows your family to spread out and enjoy a beautiful day.
Photo: Lindley Battle Photography
THINGS TO DO
a/perture Cinema, 311 West Fourth Street
The only dedicated year-round, nonprofit art house cinema in the Piedmont Triad, a/perture brings first-run independent and major films to its screens. a/perture cinema builds an inclusive and welcoming culture that attracts, engages and serves a large and diverse population. Enjoy a beer or glass of wine while you escape into a great film.
Cobblestone Farmers Market, 1001 South Marshall Street
Open year-round, the outdoor market has booths from local farmers and craftspeople. Many of the farmers are offering pre-order and pick up at the market. But there is always lots to choose from and to plan the next week’s worth of meals. Bring your own bags!
*Kaleideum North, 400 W Hanes Mill Road & Downtown, 390 S Liberty Street
It’s all about play at Kaleideum! Kaleideum is the merger of the former SciWorks and the Children’s Museum of Winston Salem. The North location offers hands-on science exhibits while Kaleideum Downtown is filled with hundreds of options for good hearted play! The new Downtown location is almost completed and will be a great museum for people of all ages. One membership covers both locations.
Old Salem Museums & Gardens, 600 S Main Street
Step back in time to life with the Moravian settlers of this area. Founded in 1766, you’ll walk cobblestone streets and meet “re-enactors” at each exhibit who show how they practiced their trades and home life. Each season offers several unique opportunities and classes are offered year round. The sunrise Easter service in the cemetery called “God’s Acre” will warm your heart.
The Ramkat, 170 West 9th Street
Everyone needs some live music in their life. The Ramkat doesn’t disappoint in its variety of music offerings. From bluegrass to hip hop artists, the intimate setting brings you up close to exceptional local and national talent. The venue offers general admission as well as reserved seating on the upper level.
Winston-Salem Dash Minor League Baseball, 951 Ballpark Way
If you are a baseball fan, you have to check out Truist Stadium to cheer on the Dash! One of three minor league baseball teams in the Triad, you can’t miss a game here! These games are fun for the whole family, and if you go on a Friday or Saturday night you can see some fireworks after the game!
Recreation Billiards, 412 West 4th Street
A stalwart of downtown Winston Salem, the “Rec” opened in 1947, just after World War II. The owners have maintained the historic vibe even through renovations. In fact they were named a “Small Wonder Bar of the Year” in a nationwide competition. Stop in for a game of pool and a drink and be sure to check the schedule of live music.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Road
Once the “bungalow” of the R.J. Reynolds tobacco family, this house museum holds a permanent collection of renown works; traveling exhibits are frequent. The home itself is remarkable in its architecture and decor. Be on the lookout for the occasional organ concert. The Aeolian symphonic residence organ at Reynolda is the only operable four-manual organ that has survived unaltered in its original location. Be sure to check out the bowling alley and pool!
SECCA, 750 Marguerite Drive
Just across Reynolda Road from Reynolda House, you’ll find tucked away at the end of a residential street an impressive collection of “the art of our time.” SECCA is both historic and modern–the original Hanes family mansion and the connecting 8,896 square foot gallery. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts houses its substantial permanent collection of visual art and offers music, dance, and theater. Check their calendar for events such as the wildly popular “Crossroads” series featuring an eclectic mix of musical artists. .
UNCSA, 1533 South Main Street
Founded in 1963, The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is America’s first public arts conservatory. They are top ranked nationally in dance, design & production, drama, filmmaking, and music. The competition for admission to the school is intense and the resulting performances will blow you away with the level of talent. Student performances occur year-round in all five schools. When tickets for The Nutcracker go on sale, don’t delay! It’s usually a sell out.
Photo: Lindley Battle Photography
WHERE TO DRINK
Broad Branch Distillery, 756 North Trade Street
How could you not want to visit a place with a mission to honor “Old World craft heritage and artisanal Blue Ridge Mountain distilling traditions passed down through generations of immigrants, outlaws and other relatives”? The distillery offers tours and a tasting room with a cocktail bar.
Earls, 121 West 9th Street
A whisky bar with a Nashville atmosphere. Casual good times, outdoor seating, and live music make for a boot-stomping good time.
Eastern Standard, 1131 Burke St
An elegant cocktail lounge located in the historic West End, Eastern Standard is quickly becoming a place to see and be seen. Excellent craft cocktails, fine wines, craft beers, tasty nibbles, and sophisticated surroundings will give you a wonderful night out.
Fair Witness Fancy Drinks, 290 4th Street East
It’s always going to be interesting at Fair Witness. The menu always changes and bartenders are encouraged to be super creative. That’s why you’ll see menu items like “Pepper Steve: Green peppercorns lemongrass vodka with pineapple and lime!” and “The Blackberry Dealie: Bourbon, blackberry, lemon, rosemary, and spice.” Go be fancy!
Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co., 840 Mill Works St
Are you ready to “enjoy the beer you were born to imbibe?” Well then come sit a spell at Hoots. Do not be afraid if you read this on their website “Let it be known that the HOOTS BEER CO. is a mysterious brotherhood which concocts blue collar brews of unmatched character.” Hmmm. Okay then. It’s fun, it’s funky, it’s Southern and progressive. But everybody can walk in, settle down and just have a good beer.
Incendiary Brewing Company, 486 N Patterson Ave, Suite 105
The atmosphere here can’t be beat. Located in the Bailey Power Plant near Bailey Park, you have a huge open outdoor space to enjoy. A large selection of craft beers on tap and a few available to go in cans. Be on the lookout for live music this summer.
Tate’s Craft Cocktails, 279 West 4th Street
For more than 10 years, Tate’s remains one of the best cocktail bars in town. Creative, fun bartenders and a slightly upscale, city vibe. The upstairs can be a reserved space for private events. Their Blackbird Julep never goes out of style.
Vintage Sofa Bar, 1001 Burke Street
There’s just something about this place. Yes, it has sofas–making it a great place to hang with a group or sit in a corner with just one friend. But it also has outdoor seating, “quiet” table sports, and one of the best charcuterie and cheese boards in town.
Wise Man Brewing, 826 Angelo Brothers Avenue
Open the garage doors! Wiseman is just a great place to hang out. A huge space with garage doors that open in nice weather to expand seating. No matter your taste, you’ll find a beer you like here. If one can call a bar “family friendly” then this is it. A great place to bring kids and even your dog on a sunny weekend afternoon. Often there is a food truck to boot.
Photo: Lindley Battle Photography
WHERE TO STAY
Graylyn, 1900 Reynolda Road
You can be “king of the castle” at this estate turned hotel and conference center. You can choose to stay in the Manor House, The Mews, or one of the cottages or bungalows. Any choice will make you feel like you have your own personal staff at your beck and call. Walk right across the street to enjoy the walking trails in Reynolda Gardens or just enjoy the grounds of Graylyn. The estate was once owned by the Gray family but is now owned by Wake Forest University. A portion of proceeds are returned to philanthropic initiatives.
Hotel Indigo, 104 West 4th Street
One of the newest hotels in Winston-Salem (2019), it is true to the Indigo brand with its customer service and boutique size. The 75 room hotel is the reimagining of the historic art deco style Pepper Building, once an upscale department store and furniture store in the 1920’s. The hotel has a great restaurant and wine bar as well, the Sir Winston Wine Loft & Restaurant.
The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, 401 North Main Street
Even if you don’t stay here, at least visit to see the renovation of the former headquarters of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The building served as the architectural model for New York’s Empire State Building which opened two years after the Winston Salem building was complete. The Kimpton group has done a remarkable job maintaining the elegance and splendor of the building. After you tire of being elegant, take the elevator down to the recreation center. A full indoor playground for kids and adults awaits you! You can slide down a slide, play basketball, ping pong and even go bowling. They will even let you bring your dog to stay in your room–no weight limit!
NOTE: These businesses are our personal recommendations from the TSG Triad Team. If you feel that we have missed a great business in Winston-Salem, please let us know! We do intend to update this list as amazing new businesses come to Winston-Salem so if you are about to open your business there, please let us know that as well.
Email [email protected] and we will definitely consider your business nomination for inclusion in this list.