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2014/15 Wine & Dine Guide
It’s only natural that the City of Arts and Innovation would elect to toast the agricultural underpinnings in its history and celebrate the food and drink of the South. Winston-Salem is one of the region’s best-kept culinary secrets. But not for long. It has everything culinary travelers dream about, and spicy stories you won’t find anywhere else in the country.
Our culinary roots dates back to 1753 with the arrival of the Moravians, hard-working followers of a mainstream protestant religion who settled here 250 years ago. They contributed significantly to the area’s rich culture. This denomination originated in the Czech Republic around 1415 from the followers of Jan Hus. These missionaries made their way from Germany to Pennsylvania, and then settled in Winston-Salem on 10,000 acres known as the Wachovia Tract. They brought what has now become the city’s most iconic tastes: Moravian Sugar Cakes, the thinly sliced ginger-spiked Moravian cookies (now available in many flavors); Love Feast Buns, Moravian Chicken Pot Pies, and assorted pickles and German-style foods.
Food ENTREPRENEURS Stop Here:
Miss Jenny’s Pickles is a recession success story. The former financial analyst turned to pickles to cash in on the green. A GOOD FOOD AWARDS 2012 winner, Miss Jenny farms cucumbers on her grandmother’s place outside of Winston-Salem, and you can find her pickles at specialty gourmet food stores, Dean & Deluca, The Fresh Market, and even in China!
Three food companies are headquartered here which specialize in Moravian baked goods: Dewey’s Bakery; Winkler’s Bakery, the inspiration for an entire line of Old Salem branded baked goods; and Mrs. Hanes Cookies (one of Oprah’s “favorite things” during the holidays, 2010).
Lively independent restaurants dominate the city’s restaurant scene. Downtown Winston-Salem bustles with pedestrian traffic every night as the theatre lovers mix with the downtown evening crowd to gather for the evening meal and drinks at more than 100 restaurants. During the warmer months, outdoor dining is widely requested and many restaurants make a point of providing popular spaces with excellent views. The personalities of our restaurants are as distinct as their chefs and owners.
An abundance of local farmer’s markets tempts and excites both chefs and residents. Downtown markets, the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds Market and a newer market at the historic Reynolda Village offer plenty of choices. Have you ever been to a farmer’s market at a coffee shop? Come to this one, downtown, every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. directly across the street from the infamous Krankies Coffee. (Get great photo opps at Krankies of the old tobacco warehouses a few blocks over. Many are being converted into condos.)
Thirty-four wineries wait for you the Yadkin Valley. Winston-Salem is the perfect base for weekend or multi-day wine country excursions. Meet and taste with the winemakers at our smaller wineries, and tour operations both large and small. Our North Carolina wine industry is more than 25 years old. The first European vinifera wine was bottled in the Yadkin Valley at Westbend Vineyards, right here in Forsyth County. Within a 30-minute drive, you can spread your blanket at an outdoor vineyard concert, enjoy a picnic after a tasting and tour, or ride high in a hot air balloon over the vineyards!
Craft beer beckons at Foothills Brewing, downtown. Sign up for Beer School or simply drop by for a brew. One of the leaders in North Carolina’s craft brewing revolution, Foothills relies on brew master Jamie Bartholomaus and Chef Shane Moore to keep the crowds returning. Are you a beer geek? Then you might know that the brewery’s famous “Sexual Chocolate,” a cocoa-infused Imperial Stout has received national attention. The brewery is known for its artful beer posters and labels, too. Check them out!
A lively bar scene keeps us up at night. Leading the charge is Tate’s Craft Cocktails, named by IMBIBE Magazine as one of the top 100 places to drink in the South. Their five-page craft cocktail menu changes seasonally, as do their small plates to share. A street-side patio offers excellent people-watching year-round. Infusions, syrups and mixers are all made in house. Sip on strawberry-jalapeno infused tequila, a peach-infused bourbon, homemade sweet vermouth or homemade lemoncello. Or order your drink spiked with Lavender Honey or Balsmic syrups. Tate’s mixologists are sticklers for high quality spirits, and they know what should be shaken and what should be stirred.