Updated Jan. 2, 2022
In Shelby, N.C., for the American Legion World Series baseball tournament, a show at the Don Gibson Theatre or a visit to the Earl Scruggs Center? You’re sure to get hungry!
Well, Kings Mountain-based blog #FoodieScore’s got you covered with great local recommendations for where to eat while you’re here in Cleveland County, N.C. This list is just a small sampling of our favorite spots, and it is by no means a full list of all the amazing restaurants our county has to offer. We hope you enjoy!
Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge, 2000 E. Dixon Blvd., Shelby
Red Bridges is arguably one of the most popular barbecue joints in our area, as it is a two-time national award winner for barbecue. It has won Thrillist’s “Best BBQ in America” March Madness bracket competition, as well as the Garden and Gun Ultimate Barbecue Bracket. We won’t waste any more your time on reading, other than to tell you this barbecue is worth the acclaim.
Alston Bridges Barbecue, 620 E. Grover St., Shelby
Alston Bridges offers up fast service and fantastic barbecue on the northern side of Shelby. This place has a ton of regulars that you can see filling up the parking lot at all hours of the day. (It is not affiliated with Red Bridges across town.) Its barbecue is more vinegar-based and less sauce-focused, which gives it a completely different flavor and a wonderful texture.
Pizza & Italian
Jammin J’s Pizza Factory, 1011 Grove St., Shelby
Jammin J’s is our personal favorite for delicious, inexpensive, endless pizza. Did we say endless? Jammin J’s offers buffet pizza with a range of flavors. They’ll ask when you come in what kind you’d like and immediately get it started for you. (Molly always asks for bacon, tomato, mushroom.) A few favorites are fiesta chicken and livermush pizza. (Livermush is a Southern specialty made from similar ingredients as sausage, but it has cornmeal mixed in, so the texture is a little different.) You won’t break the bank at Jammin J’s either, which is another reason it’s one of our favorites.
238 Terra Mia Ristorante, 238 S. Cherokee St., Kings Mountain
We now take friends and family here on a regular basis (in addition to going ourselves) because our guests are always impressed by the food here. There are several styles of pizza, many pasta options and other Italian specialties to delight your tastebuds. You always start with fresh bread with oil and vinegar as well, and that’s a win!
Pleasant City Wood Fired Grille, 233 S. Lafayette St., Shelby
You usually see wood-fired pizza grilles in larger cities, and they’re usually part of a chain. Not so here. Pleasant City is a local delight that many in our county can’t get enough of. Their pizza and beer game is strong, and it’s a great local hangout.
Toscanos Bistro, 5 E. Marion St., Shelby
If you’re looking for an Italian option, the relatively new Toscano’s is a great pick. Their pita gyros are delicious and fresh, their pizza is amazing, and their pasta plates are quite tasty.
Shelby Cafe, 220 S. Lafayette St., Shelby
You can’t come to Shelby without going to the Shelby Café. Their menu says it best: “Home Cooking Since 1922.” One of Molly’s personal favorite dishes: the Mayor’s Special, a pita bread breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, and livermush.
Snack Shop Family Restaurant, 103 S. Main St., Boiling Springs
A great local diner option on the western side of the county, the Snack Shop is a near-daily favorite for many locals in Boiling Springs. They have excellent home-style food, as well as diner food such as burgers, hotdogs, and milkshakes.
238 Cherokee Grill, 222 S. Railroad Ave., Kings Mountain
One of the best restaurants around if you’re looking for something a little more fancy. Cherokee has wonderful steaks, Greek chicken dishes, killer sandwiches, delicious desserts, and more. They also have a well-stocked bar area.
The Honey Hog, 4629 Fallston Rd., Fallston
If you’re looking for farm to table in Cleveland County, look no further. The Honey Hog’s meats and fresh ingredients are fabulous, and the locals rave about their cheese curds made from locally-sourced cheese. It’s in an old house, which houses both the restaurant and a gift shop with tons of local goods.
Coffee & Dessert
Sweet House Bakery, 200 W. Marion St., Shelby
Sweet House has a delectable assortment of cupcakes (filled, iced, however you like), cookies, and dessert bars. It’s Molly’s go-to place for dessert anywhere in Cleveland County.
Hannah’s Coffee House, 1024 E. Marion St., Shelby
This coffee shop situated in a quiet area of Marion Street is the perfect place for a variety of sweet treats, as well as great coffee. The service is impeccable! You can also pull up a few chairs and play Scrabble if you like.
Scoop, 214 S. Railroad Ave., Kings Mountain
Scoop opened not long ago along the main stretch of downtown, and we’ve been impressed by their traditional and specialty flavors. You can try as many samples as you like, and you can even get a milkshake of one flavor topped with a scoop of another flavor! There are plenty of adjoining parks and streets to walk or sit and enjoy your treats.