The Dan’l Boone Inn is located in downtown Boone in one of the town’s oldest and most historical buildings. In fact, this building once served as Boone, NC’s very first hospital, and later transition into a rooming house for college students. Finally, in 1959, the local Whitaker family bought the property and transitioned it into the beloved country restaurant it is today.
You’ll find the Dan’l Boone Inn at the corner of E. King St. and Hardin St. It’s an elongated two-story building with bright white paint accented by a white picketed fence that extends along Hardin St. One side of the building features an extended covered porch that is perfect for people-watching as you wait for your table to be ready (they will only take reservations for parties of 15 or more).
And chances are you probably will experience some type of wait if you go to Dan’l Boone Inn during peak breakfast (Friday through Sunday only), lunch, or dinner hours. This is an incredibly popular Boone-area restaurant for both the nostalgia the building offers and the delicious country food the kitchen serves up.
In terms of ambiance, the interior of Dan’l Boone Inn remains incredibly authentic. The doors open to beautiful wood flooring and several glass displays featuring historic memorabilia. You can go one way to visit their extended gift shop complete with hats and branded shirts, or you can go the other way to wait for your hostess to seat you. The rest of the interior boasts a very southern country feel. If you’ve ever been into a Cracker Barrel, consider that but much more authentic. Plus, the tables are plenty spaced out thanks to the building’s large size, allowing for a more private dining experience but still with a southern family charm. so that diners can enjoy a more private dining experience
Now, there are two very important things to note when dining at Dan’l Boone Inn. The first is that you cannot choose your meal. Yes, part of why there is an “inn” in the name is due to this restaurant serving up meals very much like a country inn or boarding house in which a meal was served with your room price. There is thus both a set menu for breakfast and brunch and a set menu for dinner.
For the breakfast menu, the big ticket items include bacon, sausage, scrammed eggs, pancakes, country ham, and, of course, buttermilk biscuits with fresh gravy. If you talk to people in Boone, just about everyone will tell you how amazing these biscuits and gravy are. You actually will have two choices of gravy, redeye, and cream. Other items on the breakfast menu include black cherry preserves, grits, and freshly stewed apples.
You’ll also see biscuits on the dinner menu, this time in the form of hot and fresh country ham biscuits. There is also southern fried chicken, country-style steak, real mashed potatoes with gravy, a ton of vegetable sides, signature coleslaw, your choice of homemade dessert, and more. Yes, more. This is a restaurant you are going to want to go to when you have a big appetite.
The other important thing to note before you get in the car and head to Dan’l Boone Inn is that it is a cash and check only. Yes, they take checks but no debit or credit cards. There is an ATM available on-site but will require you to pay a fee.
With no reservations taken, things can get quite busy. If you see a line out the front door to where the large bear statue stands outside, you can expect about an hour-long wait to be seated. Your wait time can speed up, however, if you say you’re willing to take an upstairs seat once you get inside the lobby area. This is because Dan’l Boone Inn is an old building that still serves primarily an older clientele that largely prefers ground floor seating over climbing up the stairs.