We like to eat out when we are on vacation.  While A Happy Bear Chalet has a fully stocked kitchen with pots, pans, strainers, large microwave, crock pot, blender, toaster and more, sampling the local cuisine is also fun.  We haven't tried every restaurant yet, there are so many, but these are some of the ones we like so far.  Also for burger lovers, note that North Carolina law requires all burgers to be cooked medium well, so if you like'm raw, cook your burgers on our grill at home.

Grandview (10575-1 Hwy. 105 S.) - For a quick breakfast, the Grandview wins out because its is right at the base of Seven Devils.  Open early, Grandview has eggs and pancakes and coffee.  A local favorite.

YUM YUM Fabulous Foods to Go in Foscoe. This new place offers Hors D'oeuvres, Soups, Entrees and Desserts - Perfect to take home and enjoy! Turn left at the base of the mountain and its a minute away on the left, across from Mountain Lumber on 105 South 828-963-6100.

Pappys BBQ - After years of closure, Pappys reopened in June of 2009 to record crowds.  With a full bar, indoor and outdoor (screened) dining, fantastic pork, chicken and ribs, Pappys will likely be crowded.  Turn right at the base of the mountain and go up 105 about two miles on the right.  Visit www.pappysbbq.com for more info.

Troy's 105 Diner (1286 Hwy. 105) - For great breakfasts all day long, plus good burgers and other diner fare, we head to Troy's about 15 minutes away in Boone on Highway 105. www.troys105diner.com

Pizza - There are several great choices for Pizza.  Right around the corner on Tynecastle Highway in the Food Lion Center there is Bella's Italian Restaurant (3585 Tynecastle Hwy.) with great pizza (We haven't yet tried their Italian dinners but plan to our next visit).

Mellow Mushroom has two locations, in Boone (957 Rivers St) and in Blowing Rock (155 Sunset Drive).  We prefer the Blowing Rock location for its ambiance. www.mellowmushroom.com

Villa Sorrento Italian Restaurant (176 Main St, Banner Elk) - has excellent Italian Food.  I really like the Chicken Parm Dinner.

Banner Elk Cafe (324 Shawneehaw Ave, Banner Elk) - All-American cuisine with great sandwiches, burgers and desserts.

Bayou Smokehouse and Grill (130 Main Street, Banner Elk) - North Carolina allows smoking in restaurants, so some of them allow it. This typically isn't a problem, as the smoking areas are separated. At Bayou Grill, we find that eating at their nice outdoor area works best for us. It has great cajun food and a wide selection of beers. Also check out their general store, attached to the restaurant.

The Peddler Steak House (1972 Blowing Rock Rd.) in Boone has the best steaks we have tasted in the mountains.  This is no Ruth Chris or Mortons and the sides are just okay, but the meat selection is pretty good and they hand carve your cuts at table side.

Makoto's Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar (2124 Blowing Rock Rd.)  Think Benihana and you get the same here in Boone.  My son's favorite restaurant with very good grilled steak, shrimp and chicken.  Gets crowded at times.

Beef 'O' Brady's (276-G Watauga Village Dr.)  Whenever we need to go to Walmart in Boone we stop at this sports bar for lunch or dinner.  With over 20 ESPN tuned TVs, lots of beer and good sandwiches, it's a fun, smoke-free place to eat.  The curly fries are great.

Bandana's Bar-B-Que and Grill (1475 Hwy. 105 Boone)  Family food, it was okay, but we have had better ribs elsewhere.

Pssghetti's Italian Restaurant (7179 Valley Blvd. Blowing Rock) has really good but somewhat pricey Italian Food.  On our visit it was very crowded.

For more restaurants, try these links: