#20 of 22 Boone Restaurants

Red Onion Cafe

The Red Onion Café – A Beloved Farm-To-Table Production in Boone, North Carolina
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

For over 30 years, The Red Onion Café has proudly served Boone the finest farm-to-table fare around. Their imaginative preparations take all the fresh, local ingredients to the next level every time. Then, they ensure you can really feel good about your meal through their eco-friendly approach in all they do.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Whenever you want a delicious meal that you can truly feel good about enjoying, jet on over to The Red Onion Café. Set in the heart of Boone, North Carolina, this mellow eatery proudly serves up farm-to-table fare to remember. Beyond that, they’re committed to becoming a green business to reduce their impact on the environment in every way possible.

Through their efforts to stay both eco- and socially conscious, they’ve gained quite a following over the past 30 years. But their exceptionally delicious food and drinks would have likely earned them a full house day in and day out anyway. The team designed their menu to work well for the whole family by offering all the most popular American fare around. Ranging from pizza and pasta to salads and sandwiches, all their menu items never fail to delight with their rich, bold flavors.

Although they do have martinis and other alcoholic beverages available, their non-alcoholic drinks are all well worth a try. Their coffee drinks, for example, use their special blend roasted just for their restaurant by Mountain Lion Coffee. Using their house beans as a base, they can make all the most popular specialty coffee drinks, including their dessert-inspired lattes.  On top of that, they have hot and iced tea, soft drinks, premium bottled water, and hot chocolate with whipped cream.

Since they’re only open for lunch and dinner, you’ll need to plan accordingly to get a taste of whatever you’re craving. No matter when you come through the doors, you can choose between sitting at a table inside their dining room or out on the veranda. In either location, your servers will provide the highest quality of service throughout your visit. So, feel free to ask about the origin of their fresh, local ingredients or anything else you want to know about their menu items.

You must try their:

Fried Onion Rings
Although it might seem like a simple dish, their Fried Onion Rings bring in people from far and wide, and for good reason. This house specialty starts with huge sweet onions chopped into thick rings. After that, they dip them in their homemade batter and slide them into the fryer until perfectly golden brown.

Signature French Onion
Another fan favorite, the Signature French Onion soup promises to whet your appetite with its bold flavors. Available by the cup or bowl, this tasty soup starts with sauteed onions swimming in a rich beef broth. Then, they put the soup in a crock and cover it with French bread, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. The crock goes into the oven after that and doesn’t come back out until the cheese looks toasted and bubbly.

Florentine Wild Mushroom Lasagna
If you love mushrooms, then the Florentine Wild Mushroom Lasagna is the way to go, for sure. This dish takes a true classic to the next level with its layers of shiitake, portobello, and button mushrooms in between the pasta. A robust chardonnay herb cream sauce adds to the flavors as do the copious amounts of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese added to each layer.

Since they make every last dessert on the menu in-house each day, definitely go above and beyond in trying to save room for a sweet treat at the end of your meal. On their dessert menu, they have many excellent options, including Red Velvet Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, and Crème Brulee. If you’re just not sure what to get, go with the Horace Cookie, for sure. This house specialty features a pecan-filled blonde brownie served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!

Insider Tips:
-Expect to see an 8% inflation surcharge on your bill.
-Want to enjoy your soup before digging into your entrée? Ask your server to have the kitchen stagger their preparation of your meal.
-Prefer to enjoy guacamole with your hand-fried tortilla chips? They’re happy to provide a bowl for an extra charge.