The guide to eating in or dining out on the Piedmont lakes. The establishments listed here have water access on site or very nearby. Or we really, really like what they're sellin'!


Got a favorite you'd like us to include? Constructive criticism? Call us: 703-372-3131 or use the feedback form below.


Lake Hickory


Crossroads Grill

5585 Rink Dam Rd, Taylorsville NC


Cheeseburgers & homemade chili, barbeque, country style steaks & fried pies, Southern cooking, mentioned in Our State magazine. Open M – Sat 8am – 8pm; Closed Sun. Casual. $


Lighthouse Pub

6706 Limbaugh Ln, Hickory NC 28601


Hot dogs & meatball subs. Beer, wine, and sodas. Just above the gas dock at Lake Hickory Boat Rental & Marina. Available for private parties. May-Sept Hours: Sun 11a-7p; M N-5p; Closed Tues; W-Sat 11a-10p. Casual. $


Lake Wylie


Drift on Lake Wylie

315-M Lanyard Ln, Belmont NC 28012

980-351-0111 or 704-965-0632

Chef-inspired lakeside chophouse. Heavy on beef, pork, & seafood. Fine dining by the lake. Located at the new Morningstar McLean Marina (see 73 on the Wylie map) and just south of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. There are slips (It is side-by-each to a marina, after all!), with a gas dock close at hand. Not the kind of place to come in your wet board shorts. Sun 3-9pm; M-Th 4-10pm; F-Sat 4-11pm. Not very casual. $$$


JR Cash's Grill & Bar

1000 Marina Village Dr, Mt Holly NC 28120


Waterfront, Lake Wylie at Tailrace Marina (see 62 on the Wylie map). Very full menu includes apps, soups, sandwiches, & burgers, steaks, ribs, seafood, chicken & pasta. What else is there? Oh… desserts and the bar, of course. There are slips, so come by boat. Casual. $$


Pier 88 Yacht Club

On the dock at River Mills Marina.

54 Marina Rd, Lake Wylie.


Hot dogs, burgers, BBQ, chicken wings, French fries, onion rings and much more. Beer & wine to go. On the lake in Joe’s Cove just two coves south of Buster Boyd Bridge. Ship’s store, boat slips & gas dock. Open 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Very casual. $


Papa Doc's Shore Club

3990 Charlotte Hwy, Lake Wylie SC


What was once the Hungry Fisherman then, for many years, T-Bones, is just off the SC side of the Buster Boyd Bridge. The renovated space includes 4 bars and seating for 120 on the deck & 530 inside. 38 boat slips. Adjacent to Lake Wylie Marina & the Buster Boyd Public Access. The menu features steamed and fried seafood platters, oysters, burgers, salads, sandwiches, tacos and bar appetizers. It’s casual, but entrees range from an $11 cheeseburger to a $38 16-oz ribeye. Other items: tequila bacon mussels, Smack Down shrimp, seared tuna tacos, & mac & cheese burger. Tiki bar. Carry-out service for boaters. M-F 11a-2a; Sat-Sun 10a-2a. Casual. $$

Try one or all of these waterfront or water-access restaurants next time you're, you know, hungry ...



Pilot Media publishes boating guides providing comprehensive information on boating and waterfront living. Each edition includes an index of boat related businesses, reference maps, marina & boatyard guides, a directory of waterfront & water-access restaurants - The Pilot's Galley - and a Fishing Guide that includes a directory to area fishing service providers.  Read more >

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