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. $


Food Factory

5251 Hickory Blvd, Hickory NC 28601


Comfort food for working people at the 321 bridge, with slips available. Of course, you can beach your boat and splash ashore, too. There’s the full-service restaurant on the street level, and Factory Underground below, on the lake level. And what a diverse menu! … including fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds. Drop by to see for yourself. Factory Underground, open for summer hours, offers pool, darts, skee-ball, and basketball games in addition to its own menu. Restaurant hours: Tu-Th 11a-10p; F-Sat 11a-M. Sunday Brunch 10a-2:30p. Underground seasonal hours: Sun N-9p; Tu-Sat 2-9p. 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


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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