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.


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


Pappy’s: Down Home at Oxford Dam

Looking for a good, old-fashioned meal at a great price near Lake Hickory?


Check out Pappy’s, in the same location for more than 6 years – 7227 Highway 16 in Taylorsville, next to the Oxford Dam (see the Lake Hickory map on page 46).


Not new to the lake, Pappy’s is an institution in Catawba County. Wanda and Dwayne Carpenter have been cooking up down-home delicacies in Newton and Conover for 34 years. When the lakeside building became available several years ago, the Carpenters moved, taking many of their longtime customers with them.


Known best for its country style steak and open-faced steak sandwiches, Pappy’s features a full menu of breakfast and lunch from 5:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. 7 days a week.


And you may want to spend all day. Breakfast features homemade biscuits and gravy plus eggs, bacon, ham and livermush. Lunch includes barbecue and short-order sandwiches plus the daily meat-and-two vegetables plates with steak, stew beef, hamburger steak, grilled or fried chicken and fried fish. Besides the regular menu items, most days there’s also a special. Thursday’s chicken and dumplings keep many of the regulars coming.

Every day for lunch there’s an all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar, and homemade desserts include coconut pie, pineapple cake, red velvet cake, fried apple pies and banana pudding. “Everything for lunch is $5 or less,” says Wanda Carpenter. “Nothing is over $5 unless you make it over $5.”


“We do things the old-fashioned way – Mama’s way,” she adds. “Everything’s from scratch. We use good quality foods, and we pat out our own hamburgers and hamburger steak. You put the time and effort into it and it comes out good.”


Wanda’s cheery smile no doubt keeps people coming back, too. She enjoys the business because “there are never two days alike. You see smiling faces, meet somebody new every day. That makes it fun.”


Would she be willing to share a recipe? “Lord, honey. We don’t use recipes. I just do everything the way we’ve always done it. I wouldn’t know how to write out a recipe for anything.”



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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