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, Shelby-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.
The Flying Pig, 901 College Ave., Shelby/Boiling Springs
Matthew is a huge fan of the barbecue (and the friendly staff!) at Flying Pig. It’s a little more off the beaten path, a true old-fashioned barbecue joint. The Q is delicious and Flying Pig offers three different barbecue sauces for your fancy.
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.
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.
Uptown Sweets & Treats, 221 S. Lafayette St., Shelby
Uptown offers ice cream, specialty popcorn varieties, cupcakes, fudge and much, much more, just as its name promises.
Swooger’s, 1016 Shelby Rd., Kings Mountain
Want to enjoy a fantastic, fresh-scooped milkshake in a retro, 1950s-themed diner? Swooger’s is your place. They also have great diner food, including a solid cheeseburger.
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.
Updated: June 2019